(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Early English poetry, ballads, and popular literature of the Middle Ages ;"

■i^HHl 



i 



P31101 

i?411e 

v~.TT 



-Zercy 



_&o£iet£_ J= _]*. r 1 7 
r ,llsh poetr . . 



Southern Branch 
of the 

University of California 

Los Angeles 



Form L-l 



T^ \\0 1 
"PA- \ \e 



DEC 1 192 
DEC 1 4 1922 



ft AY 10 192b V 

*frt 



t I i 



, s 



H^ IS 1935 



MAY 28 1947 

MAY1 41849 

REC'D UrtL L0 



AU6-? 



1967 



$ercg &otitty. 

EARLY ENGLISH POETRY, 
BALLADS, 

AND POPULAR LITERATURE 
OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 

EDITED FROM ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS 
AND SCARCE PUBLICATIONS. 

45382 

VOL. XVII. 



LONDON. 

PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY, 

BY T. KTCHARDS. GT QUEEN STRI I 

iLN'S-INN-FIELDS. 

M.DCCC.XLVI. 



? ^ \\ I 

v. n 



CONTENTS OF VOL. XVII. 



SCOTTISH THADITIONAL VERSIONS OF ANCIENT 
BALLADS. 

EDITED BY 3. II. DIXON, ESQ. 



ANCIENT TOEMS, BALLADS, AND .SONGS. 

EDITED BY. J. 11. DIXON, ESQ. 






ANCIENT BALLADS, 



f% 



SCOTTISH 
TRADITIONAL VERSIONS OF 

ANCIENT BALLADS. 



EDITED BT 



JAMES HENRY DIXON. 



Dreams that the soul of youth engage 

Ere Fancy lias been quelled; 
Old legends of the monkish page, 
Tales that have the rime of age, 

And chronicles of Eld. 

Longfellow's Voices of the Night. 



LONDON. 
PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY, 

J'.Y T. RICHARDS, 100, ST. MARTIN'S LANE. 



M.DCCC.XLV. 



COUNCIL 



€\)t pmp Society. 



President. 
The Ht. Hon. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A. 

THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. Tbeas. S.A. 

WILLIAM HENRY BLACK, Esq. 

WILLIAM CHAPPELL, Esq. F.S.A. 

J. PAYNE COLLIER, Esq. F.S.A. 

BOLTON CORNEY, Esq. 

PETER CUNNINGHAM, Esq. 

JAMES HENRY DIXON, Esq 

FREDERICK W. FAIRHOLT, Esq. F.K.S., F.S.A. 

J. O. HALLIWELL, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 

WILLIAM JERDAN, Esq. F.S A., M.R.S.L. 

CAPTAIN JOHNS, R.M. 

T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 

WILLIAM SANDYS, Esq. F.S.A. 

WILLIAM J. THOMS, Esq. F.S A. 

THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., Secretary 
awl Treasurer. 



JOHN PETER GASSIOT, Esq. F.R.S. 

(of clapuam, surrey) 

t ii e following work 

is affectionately inscribed, 

BY HIS 
RELATIVE AND FRIEND, 

THE EDITOR. 



Tollington Park, Middlesex, 
Jane 184.}. 



PREFACE. 



The history of the present little volume is soon 
told. Amongst the manuscripts which from time 
to time have found their way into the Council 
room of the Percy Society, were two folio volumes } 
consisting of ballads, songs, and poems, taken 
down by Mr. P. Buchan of Peterhead, N.B. from 
the oral recitation of the peasantry of his country. 
These folios wei*e compiled long before the Percy 
Society was in existence, and solely for the amuse- 
ment of the transcriber, who has for years been 
well known to the anticp_iarian world as a most 
indefatigable collector of traditionary poetry. Mr. 
Buchan's labours as a " Ballad hunter" (a phrase 
which it will be seen is not ours), have elicited 
the praises of no less celebrated a man than the 
late Sir Walter Scott, one of the last acts of 
whose life was inspecting Mr. Buchan's manu- 
script collection of old ballads, which he pro- 
nounced " decidedly and indubitably original." An 
elegant little work has just issued from the press, 
entitled The Book of Scottish Ballads, but which 



might be appropriately styled, the Scottish Kcemp^ 
Vtser; for although the smallest in size, it is the 
most comprehensive Ballad book which has ever 
appeared in print, since the publication of that 
far-famed Danish collection. The Editor, Mr. 
Alexander Whitelaw, in speaking of the labours 
of Mr. Buchan, says: " He has indeed been by 
far the most successful ballad hunter that ever en- 
tered the field ; and his success is to be attributed, 
partly to his own unwearied researches, and partly 
to the district which he explored ; a district, Aber- 
deenshire and Banffshire, comparatively fresh and 
untrod by ballad gatherers." 

We have observed, that Mr. Buchan's manu- 
scripts were compiled solely for his own amuse- 
ment; but at one time, in consequence of the 
solicitations of several of his antiquarian and 
literary friends, it was certainly Mr. Buchan's in- 
tention to have published a portion, at least, of 
the materiei which he had so industriously col- 
lected. Causes, however- over which he had no 
control, compelled an abandonment of the design, 
and the volumes were laid aside till the establish- 
ment of the Percy Society, when they were 
handed over to a member of the Council, who 
made a careful investigation of their contents. 
They were subsequently inspected by other mem- 
bers of the Society, and. finally, by a vote of the 



Council, were placed in the hands of the Editor 
and his friend W. Jordan, Esq., for them to de- 
cide on the authenticity and general merit of the 
Ballad portion of the volumes. 

It has been often asserted, that many of the 
so-called ancient Ballads, that have of late years 
been given to the public in different northern col- 
lections, were modern forgeries ; but the assertion 
so made, has been of far too sweeping a charac- 
ter : for since the time of Lady Wardlaw* (who 
certainly appears to have been a great adept at 
this species of literary imposture), very little has 
been done in the way of " Old Ballad" making, 
by either editors or authors connected with the 
" north countrie" ; and that little has in almost 
every instance been immediately discovered, and 
exposed as it ought to be. 

The Editor and Mr. Jordan did not, however, 
forget that such charges had been made, and, 
therefore, the first consideration in looking over 
the collection of ballads, was their genuineness 
and authenticity. After a very careful scrutiny, 
the conclusion has been come to, that the Ballads 
arc what they assume to be, viz.: genuine tradi- 
tionary relics taken down from oral recitation. 

* This celebrated Lady is now known to be the author of 
Edward! Edward! and Sir Patrick Spens, in addition to 
Hardyknute. 



Ml 



They arc, indeed, not such compositions as a 
literary impostor would think it worth his while 
to produce. The manuscripts contain little that 
has not met the eye before, in some shape or 
other, as will be seen by glancing over the notes 
appended to the following pages. The Editor 
cannot lay before the Society any Hardyknutes, 
any Patrick Spenses, any Lord Ewries or Bar- 
tholin's dirges; he can merely present an offer- 
ing of a few versions of well known and popular 
ballads, the antiquity of which is beyond all 
dispute. 

Whether these versions be coeval with those 
already in print we cannot say, but they are evi- 
dently of considerable antiquity, and certainly 
not to be considered as the productions of a very 
modern era. They abound in ancient and obso- 
lete words and phrases; and, although in the 
Scottish language, they are certainly not in the 
pure Doric of the pastoral poets — the language 
as it is spoken at present — but in the dialect of a 
particular district, or, to speak more correctly, in 
the ancient language of the country. 

To those unacquainted with the manners and 
customs of the " north countrie,' 1 it may seem 
strange, that no sooner has any old relic of tradi- 
tionary lore been rendered popular by the edito- 
rial labours of a Ritson or a Scott, than various 



versions of the same production have made their 
appearance. These second and third editions, 
with variations, can, however, be easily accounted 
for. 

From whom have Ritson, Scott, or Motherwell, 
received many of the old ballads which they have 
been the means of rescuing from obscurity, if not 
oblivion? The answer is, from the minstrels of 
the North — aye, the minstrels, — for although the 
harp has long been silent in the dales of the north of 
England and Scotland, it has been succeeded by the 
violin, and a class of men are still in existence, and 
pursuing their calling, who are the regular descend- 
ants and representatives of the minstrels of old. 

In his rambles amongst the hills of the North, 
and especially in the wild and romantic dales of 
Yorkshire, the editor has met with several of these 
characters — they are not idle vagabonds who have 
no other calling, but, in general, are honest and 
industrious though poor men, having a " local 
habitation" as well as a " name, 1 ' and engaged in 
some calling, pastoral or manual. It is only at 
certain periods, such as Christmas, or some other 
of the great festal seasons of the ancient Church, 
that they take up the minstrel life, and levy con- 
tributions in the hall of the peer or squire, and in 
the cottage of the farmer or peasant. They are 
in general well-behaved, and often very witty fel- 



lows, and therefore their visits arc always welcome. 
These minstrels do not sing modern songs, but, 
like their brethren of a by-gone age, they keep to 
the ballads. The editor has in his possession some 
old poems which he obtained from one of these min- 
strels, who is still living and fiddling in Yorkshire. 
The Welsh bards have an annual congress, 
when they assemble and meet in a friendly and 
brotherly manner. It would not be so easy a task 
to hold a congress of Northern fiddlers, for, from 
some cause, the origin of which it would be diffi- 
cult to ascertain, these men are almost invariably 
found to entertain a supreme contempt for one 
another. Each fiddler has his particular wall:, 
with which it is understood another must not 
interfere ; and it is no uncommon occurrence to 
hear a ballad-singer of one district boast of the 
correctness of his own versions, and speak in dis- 
paragement of those which are sung by his brother- 
fiddler in an adjoining one. If a " ballad-hunter' 11 
obtain three or four versions of the same song from 
as many different reciters, he is therefore certain 
of having no two copies alike, and, unless there be 
some authentic printed copy to appeal to, it is a 
difficult, if not an impossible task, to determine as 
to correctness ; for these singers will tell you that 
they are the grandsons and great-grandsons of 
minstrels, and that they sing the ballads as they 



have come down to them from their illustrious 
progenitors ! The reader will pardon this, we fear, 
tedious statement, but as satisfactorily accounting 
for the existence of a variety of copies of one and 
the same ballad, the editor trusts it may not be 
considered altogether out of place. 

It may be thought that the present volume is 
but a small instalment, when considered as taken 
from two MS. folios ! So it is ; but it must be 
borne in mind, that in Mr. Buchans books there 
are, in addition to the Ballads, several poems, 
songs, satires, &c, which, however curious and 
valuable, do not fall within the scope of the present 
undertaking: and also that with respect to the bal- 
lads themselves, the editor and his friend have, in 
accordance with the altered manners and usages of 
society, been compelled to reject many, which 
however curious in the eyes of an antiquary, 
would have been considered, and justly so, highly 
objectionable, had they appeared in print under the 
auspices of the Percy Society. 

In preparing the Ballads for the press, the 
editor's labours have been pleasantly relieved by 
the assistance he has derived at the hands of Mr. 
Jordan, a gentleman on whose high scholastic 
attainments, and sound critical taste, it were need- 
less to expatiate. A few notes have been added, 
explanatory of obsolete words and phrases, and 



of the topography and history. For the latter 
illustrations he acknowledges his obligations to 
the writings of his friend Robert Chambers, Esq., 
of Edinburgh, a gentleman to whose valuable 
labours the antiquarian world must ever owe a 
deep and lasting debt of gratitude. 



Tollington Park, 
Hornsey, Middlesex. 

June 1845. 



SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 
OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 



i. 
goung; Bonbtoell* 



Young Bondwell was a squire's ae son, 
And a squire's ae son was he; 

He went abroad to a foreign land 
To serve for meat and fee. 

He hadna been in that countrie 

A twalmonth and a day ; 
Till he was cast in prison Strang, 

For the sake of a luvely may. 

O ! if my father get word o' this, 
At hame in his ain countrie, 

He'll send red gowd for my relief, 
And a bag o' white monie. 



SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VKRSIONS 

O! gin an earl wad borrow me, 

At his bridle I wad rin ; 
Or gin a widow wad borrow me, 

I'd swear to be her son. 

Or gin a may wad borrow me, 

I'd wed her wi' a ring; 
Infeft her wi' the ha's an' bouirs 

O' the bonny towers o' Linne. 

But it fell ance upon a day, 

Dame Essels she thought lang ; 

And she is to the jail-house door 
To hear young Bondwell's sang. 

Sing on, sing on, my bonny Bondwell, 
The sang ye sang just noo; 

I never sang the sang, ladye, 
But I wad war't on you. 

O! gin my father get word o' this, 
At hame in his ain countrie, 

He'll send red gowd for my relief, 
An' a bag o' white monie. 

O gin an earl wad borrow me, 

At his bridle I wad rin ; 
Or gin a widow wad borrow me, 

I'd swear to be her son. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 

Or gin a may wad borrow me, 

I wad wed her wi' a ring ; 
Infeft her wi' the ha's and bouirs 

O' the bonny towers o' Linne. 

She 's stole the keys o' the jail-house door, 

Where under bed they lay; 
She's open'd to him the jail-house door, 

And set young Bondwell free. 

She gae 'm a steed was swift in need, 

A saddle o' royal bend : 
A hunder pund o' pennies round, 

Bade him gae rove an' spend. 

A couple o' hounds o' ae litter, 

And Caen they ca'd the ane ; 
Twa gay goss-hawks she gae likeways, 

To keep him on thought lang. 

When mony days were past and gane, 
Dame Essels thought fu' lang ; 

And she is to her lanely bouir, 
To shorten her wi' a sang. 

The sang had sic a melodie, 

It lull'd her fast asleep ; 
Up starts a woman clad in green, 

And stood at her bed feet. 

b2 



SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Win iiji, win up, Dame Essels, she says, 
This day ye sleep ower lang; 

The niorn is the squire's weddin' day, 
In the bonny towers o' Linne. 

Ye'll dress yoursel in the robes o' green, 
Your maids in robes sae fair; 

And ye'll put girdles about their middles, 
Sae costly, rich, and rare. 

Ye'll take your Maries alang wi' ye 

Till ye come to yon strand ; 
There ye'll see a ship wi' sails a' up 

Come sailin' to dry land. 

Ye'll tak' a wand into your hand, 
Ye'll stroke her round about; 

And ye'll tak' God your pilot to be, 
To drown ye'll tak' nae doubt. 

Then up it raise her, Dame Essels, 
Sought water to wash her hands ; 

lint aye the faster that she wash'd 
The tears they trickling ran. 

Then in it came her father dear, 

And in the floor steps he, 
What ails Darue Essels, my dochter dear, 

Ye weep sac bitterlie ? 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 

Want ye a sma' fish frae the flood, 

Or turtle frae the sea ? 
Or is there a man in a' my realm 

This day has offended thee ? 

I want nae sma' fish frae the flood, 

Nor turtle frae the sea; 
But young Bondwell, your ain prisoner, 

This day has offended me. 

Her father turn'd him round about, 

A solemn oath sware he, 
If this be true ye tell me noo, 

High hangit he shall be. 

To-morrow mornin' be shall be 

Hung high upon a tree; 
Dame Essels whisper'd to hersel, 

Father, ye've tauld a lee. 

She dress'd hersel in robes o' green, 

Her maids in robes so fair; 
"YVT gowden girdles round their middles, 

Sae costly, rich, and rare. 

She 's taen her mantle her about, 

A maiden in every hand ; 
They saw a ship wi' sails a' up, 

Come sailin' to dry land. 



SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

She 's tacn a wand intill her hand, 

And stroked her round about; 
And she 's taen God her pilot to be, 

To drown she took nae doubt. 

So they sail'd on, and further on, 

Till to the water o' Tay; 
There they spied a bonny little boy 

Was waterin' his steeds sae gay. 

What news, what news, my little boy? 

What news hae ye to me ? 
Are there any weddins in this plaee ? 

Or any gaun to be ? 

There is a weddin' in this place, 

A weddin' very soon ; 
The morn 's the young squire's weddin' day, 

In the bonny towers o' Linne. 

O then she walked alang the way, 

To see what cou'd be seen ; 
And there she saw the proud porter, 

Brest in a mantle green. 

What news, what news, porter? she said ; 

What news hae ye to me ? 
Are there any weddins i' this place ? 

Or any gaun to be ? 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 

There is a weddin' i' this place, 

A weddin' very soon ; 
The morn's young Bondwell's weddin' day, 

The bonny squire o' Linne. 

Gae to your master, porter, she said, 

Gae ye right speedilie ; 
Bid him come and speak wi' a may 

That wishes his face to see. 

The porter's up to his master gane, 

Fell low down on his knee ; 
Win up, win up, my porter, he said ; 

Why bow ye low to me ? 

I hae been porter at your yetts 
These thirty years and three ; 

But fairer mays than \s at them noo 
My eyes did never see. 

The foremost she is drest in green, 

The rest in fine attire ; 
Wi' gowden girdles round their middles, 

Well worth a sheriif 's hire. 

Then out it speaks Bondwell's ain bride, 

Was a' gowd to the chin ; 
They eanno' be fairer thereout, she says, 

Than wc that are herein. 



SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

There is a difference, my dame, he said, 
'Tween that ladye's colour and yours; 

As much difference as ye were a stock, 
She o' the lily flowers. 

Then out it speaks him, young Bondwell, 

An angry man was he; 
Cast up the yetts baith wide an' braid, 

These laclyes I may see. 

Quickly up stairs dame Essel 's gane, 

Her maidens next her wV; 
Then said the bride, This ladye's face 

Shows the porter 's tauld nae lee. 

The ladye unto Bondwell spake, 
These words pronounced she: 

0! hearken, hearken, fause Bondwell, 
These words that I tell thee. 

Is this the way ye keep your vows 

That ye did mak' to me, 
When your feet were in iron fetters, 

Ae foot ye cou'dna flee ? 

I stole the keys o' the jail-house door, 
Frae under the bed they lay, 

And open'd up the jail-house door, 
Set you at libertie. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 

Gae ye a steed was swift in need, 

A saddle o' royal bend; 
A liunder pund o' pennies round, 

Bade you gae rove an' spend. 

A couple o' hounds o' ae litter, 

Caen they caa'd the ane; 
Twa gay goss-hawks as swift 's e'er flew, 

To keep ye on thought lang. 

But since this day ye 've brake your vows, 
For which ye're sair to blame; 

And since nae rnair I'll get o' you, 
Caen, will ye gae hame? 

Caen! Caen! the ladye cried, 

And Caen he did her ken; 
They baith flapp'd round the ladye's knee, 

Like a couple o' armed men. 

He 's to his bride wi' hat in hand, 

And liail'd her coitrteouslie! 
Sit down by me, my bonny Bondwell, 

What makes this courtesie ? 

An askin', askin', fair ladye, 

An askin' ye '11 grant me; 
Ask on, ask on, my bonny Bondwell, 

What may your askins be ? 



10 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Five lumcler pund to ye I '11 gie, 

O' gowd an' white monie, 
If ye '11 wed John, my ain cousin, 

lie looks as fair as me. 

Keep well your monie, Bondwell, she said, 

Nae monie I ask o' thee; 
Your cousin John was my first luve, 

My husband now he 's be. 

Bondwell was married at morning air, 

John in the afternuin; 
Dame Essels is ladye ower a' the bouirs, 

And the high towers o' Linne. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 1 1 

II. 

Cam--a--3Lme, tlje (Elfin ftnicfjt* 

Take warnin', a' ye ladyes fair, 

That wear gowd on your hair; 
Coine never unto Charter-woods, 

For Tam-a-line he 's there. 

Even about that knicht's middle 

O' siller bells are nine ; 
Nae ane conies to Charter-woods, 

And a may returns agen. 

Ladye Margaret sits in her bouir door, 

Sewing at her silken seam; 
And she lang'd to gang to Charter-woods 

To pou the roses green. 

She hadna pou'd a rose, a rose, 

Nor braken a branch but ane ; 
Till by it came him true Tam-a-line, 

Says, Ladye, lat alane. 

O why pou ye the rose, the rose ? 

Or why brake ye the tree ? 
Or why come ye to Charter-woods 

Without leave ask'd of me ? 



1 2 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

I will pou the rose, the rose, 

And I will brake the tree ; 
Charter-woods are a' my ain, 

I'll ask nae leave o' thee. 

He's taen her by the milk-white hand, 
And by the grass-green sleeve ; 

And laid her low on gude green wood, 
At her he spier'd nae leave. 

When he had got his will o' her, 

His will as he had ta'en ; 
He 's ta'en her by the middle sma', 

Set her to feet again. 

She turn'd her richt and round about, 
To spier her true love's name ; 

But naething heard she, nor naething saw, 
As a' the woods grew dim. 

Seven days she tarried there, 

Saw neither sun nor muin ; 
At length, by a sma' glimmerin' licht, 

Came thro' the wood her lane. 

When she came to her father's court, 

Was fine as ony cpieen ; 
But when eight months were past and gane, 

Got on the gown o' green. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 13 

Then out it speaks an eklren knicht, 

As he stood at the yett ; 
Our king's dochter she gaes wi' bairn, 

And we '11 get a' the wyte. 

haud your tongue, ye eldren man, 
And bring me not to shame ; 

Although that I do gang wi' bairn, 
Yese naeways get the blame. 

Were my love but an earthly man, 
As he's an elfin knicht ; 

1 wadna gie my ain true luve, 

For a' that 's in my sicht. 

Then out it speaks her brither dear, 

He meant to do her harm ; 
There is an herb in Charter-woods 

Will twine you an' the bairn. 

She 's taen her mantle her about, 

Her coiffer by the band ; 
And she is on to Charter-woods, 

As fast as she cou'd gang. 

She hadna poud a rose, a rose, 

Nor braken a branch but ane, 
Till by it came him, Tam-a-Linc 

Says, Lady, lat alane. 



14 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

O! why pou ye the pile, Margaret? 

The pile o' the gravil green ; 
For to destroy the bonny bairn 

That we got us between. 

O ! why pou ye the pile, Margaret, 
The pile o' the gravil gray; 

For to destroy the bonny bairn, 
That we got in our play? 

For if it be a knave bairn, 

He 's heir o' a' my land; 
But if it be a lass bairn, 

In red gowd she shall gang. 

If my luve were an earthly man, 

As he 's an elfin grey, 
I cou'd gang bound, luve, for your sake, 

A twalmonth and a day. 

Indeed your luve 's an earthly man, 

The same as well as thee; 
And lang I 've haunted Charter- woods, 

A' for your fair bodie. 

O ! tell me, tell me, Tam-a-Line, 

O ! tell, an' tell me true ; 
Tell me this nicht, an' mak' nae lee, 

What pedigree are you ? 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 15 

O! I hae been at gude church-door, 

An' I've got Christendom ; 
I'm the Earl o' Forbes' eldest son, 

An' heir ower a' his land. 

"When I was young, o' three years old, 

Muckle was made o' me ; 
My stepmither put on my claithes, 

An' ill, ill-sained she me. 

Ae fatal morning I gaed out, 

Dreading nae injurie; 
And thinking lang, fell soun asleep, 

Beneath an apple tree. 

Then by it came the elfin queen, 

And laid her hand on me ; 
And from that time since e'er I mind, 

I've been in her companie. 

Elfin it 's a bonny place, 

In it fain wad I dwell ; 
But aye at ilka seven years' end, 

They pay a tiend to hell, 
And I'm sae fou o' flesh an' blude, 

I'm sair fear'd for mysell. 

O tell me, tell me, Tam-a-Line, 

tell, an' tell me true ; 
Tell me this nicht, an' mak' nae lee, 

What way I'll borrow you ? 



10 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

The morn is hallowe'en nicht, 

The elfin court will ride, 
Through England, and thro' a' Scotland, 

And through the warld wide. 

they begin at sky sett in, 
Ride a' the evenin' tide ; 

And she that will her true love borrow, 
At Miles-cross will him bide. 

Ye'll do ye down to Miles-cross, 
Between twall hours and ane ; 

And full your hands o' holie water, 
And cast your compass roun'. 

Then the first ane court that comes you till, 
Is published king and queen ; 

The neist ane court that comes you till, 
It is maidens mony ane. 

The neist ane court that comes you till, 
Is footmen, grooms, and squires ; 

The neist ane court that comes you till, 
Is knichts ; and I'll be there. 

1 Tam-a-Line, on milk-white steed, 
A gowd star on my crown ; 

Because I was an earthly knieht. 
Got that for a renown. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 17 

And out at my steed's right nostril 

He '11 breathe a fiery flame ; 
Ye'll loot you low, and sain yoursel, 

And ye'll be busy then. 

Ye'll tak' my horse then by the head, 

And lat the bridal fa'; 
The queen o' Elfin she'll cry out, 

True Tam-a-Line's awa'. 

Then I'll appear into your arms, 
Like the wolf that ne'er wad tame ; 

Ye'll haud me fast, lat me not gae, 
Case we ne'er meet again. 

r 

Then I'll appear into your arms 

Like fire that burns sae bauld; 
Ye'll haud me fast, lat me not gae, 

I'll be as iron cauld. 

Then I'll appear into your arms 

Like the adder an' the snake ; 
Ye'll haud me fast, lat me not gae, 

I am your warld's maike. 

Then I'll appear into your arms 

Like to the deer sae wild ; 
Ye'll haud me fast, lat me not gae, 

And I'll father your child. 



18 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

And I'll appear into ) T onr arms 

Like to a silken string; 
Ye'll baud me fast, Lit me not gae, 

Till ye see the fair mornin'. 

And I'll appear into your arms 

Like to a naked man; 
Ye'll haud me fast, lat me not gae, 

And wi' you I'll gae hame. 

Then she has done her to Miles-cross, 
Between twall hours an' ane; 

And filled her hands o' holie water, 
And kiest her compass roun'. 

The first ane court that came her till, 
Was published king and queen ; 

The niest ane court that came her till, 
Was maidens mony ane. 

The niest ane court that came her till, 
Was footmen, grooms, and squires ; 

The niest ane court that came her till, 
Was knichts ; and he was there ! 

True Tam-a-Line, on milk-white steed, 
A gowd star on his crown ; 

Because he was an earthly man, 
Got that for a renown. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 19 

And out at the steed's right nostril 

He breath'd a fiery flame ; 
She loots her low, an' sains hersel, 

And she was busy then. 

She 's taen the horse then by the head, 

And loot the bridle fa'; 
The queen o' Elfin she cried out, — 

True Tani-a-Line 's awa'. 

Stay still, true Tam-a-Line, she says, 

Till I pay you your fee; 
His father wants not lands nor rents, 

He'll ask nae fee frae thee. 

Gin I had kent yestreen, yestreen, 

What I ken weel the day, 
I shou'd hae taen your fu' fause heart, 

Gien you a heart o' clay. 

Then he appeared into her arms 
Like the wolf that ne'er wad tame; 

She held him fast, hit him not gae, 
Case they ne'er met again 

Then he appeared into her arms 

Like the fire burning bauld; 
She held him fast, lat him not gae, 

He was as iron cauld, 

c 2 



20 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

And he appeared into her arms 
Like the adder an' the snake ; 

She held him fast, lat him not gae, 
He was her warld's maike. 

And he appeared into her arms 

Like to the deer sae wild; 
She held him fast, lat him not gae, 

He 's father o' her child. 

And he appeared into her arms 

Like to a silken string; 
She held him fast, lat him not gae, 

Till she saw fair mornin'. 

And he appeared into her arms 

Like to a naked man; 
She held him fast, lat him not gae, 

And wi' her he 's gane hame. 

These news hae reach'd thro' a' Scotland, 

And far ayont the Tay, 
That ladye Margaret, our king's dochter, 

That nicht had gain'd her prey. 

She borrowed her love at mirk midnicht, 
Bare her young son ere day; 

And though ye'd search the warld wide, 
Ye'll nae find sic a may. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 21 

III. 

Horti Burnett and kittle ^ttnsfgcofoe* 



Four-an-twenty handsome youths 

Were a' playing at the ba'; 
When forth it came him, little Munsgrove, 

The flower out ower them a'. 

At times he lost, at times he wan, 

Till the noontide o' the day; 
And four-an-twenty gay ladyes, 

Went out to view the play. 

Some came down in white velvet, 

And other some in green; 
Lord Burnett's ladye in red scarlet, 

And shin'd like ony queen. 

Some came down in white velvet, 

And other some in pall; 
Lord Burnett's ladye in red scarlet, 

Whose beauty did excell. 

She gae a glance out ower them a', 

As beams dart frae the sun; 
She fixed her eyes on little Munsgrove, 

For him her luve lay on. 



22 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Glide day, glide day, ye handsome youth, 

God make ye safe and free; 
What wou'd ye gie this day, Munsgrove, 

For ae nicht in bouir wi' me? 

I darena for my lands, lady, 

I darena for my life; 
I ken by the rings on your fingers 

Ye are Lord Burnett's wife. 

It wadna touch my heart, Munsgrove, 
Nae mair than 'twad my tae, 

To see as much o' his heart's blude 
As twa brands cou'd let gae. 

I hae a bouir i' fair Strathdon, 

And picturs roun' it sett; 
And I hae ordered thee, Munsgrove, 

In fair Strathdon to sleep. 

Her flatterin' words and fair speeches, 
They were for him too Strang; 

And she 's prevail'd on little Munsgrove 
"Wi' her to gang alang. 

When mass was sung and bells were rung, 

And a' men boun' for bed, 
Little Munsgrove and that ladye 

In ae chamber were laid. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 23 

what hire will ye gie your page, 
If he the watch will keep; 

In case that your gude lord come haine, 
When we're fair fast asleep? 

Siller, siller's be his wage, 

And gowd shall be his hire; 
But if he speak ae word o' this, 

He'll dee in a burnin' fire. 

The promise that I make, madam, 
I will stand to the same; 

1 winna heal it an hour langer 

Than rny master comes hame. 

She 's taen a sharp brand in her hand, 

Being in the tidive hour; 
He ran between her and the door, 

She never saw him more. 

Where he fand the grass grow green, 

He slacket his shoes an' ran; 
And where he fand the brigs broken, 

He bent his bow an' swam. 

Lord Burnett ower a window lay, 

Beheld baith dale and doun; 
And he beheld Ins ain foot page 

Come hastenin' to the toun. 



-! SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

What news, what news, my little wee boy, 

Ye bring sae hastilie? 
Bad news, bad news, my master, he says, 

As ye will plainly see. 

Are any of my biggins brunt, my boy? 

Or are my woods hewn doun? 
Or is my dear ladye lichter yet, 

O' dear dochter, or son? 

There are nane o' your biggins brunt, master, 
Nor are your woods hewn doun; 

Nor is your ladye lichter yet 
O' dear dochter nor son. 

But ye 've a bouir i' fair Strathdon, 

And picturs roun' it sett; 
Where your ladye and little Muusgrove 

In fair Strathdon do sleep. 

O haed your tongue, why talk you so 

About my gay ladye; 
She is a gude and chaste woman 

As i' the north countrie. 

Ae word I dinna lee, my lord, 

Ae word I dinna lee; 
And if ye winna believe my word, 

Your ain twa een shall see. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 25 

Gin this be a true tale ye tell, 

That ye hae tauld to rue, 
I'll wed ye to rny eldest dochter, 

And married ye shall be. 

But if it be a fause storie 

That ye hae tauld to me, 
A hich gallows I'll gar be built, 

And hangit shall ye be. 

He 's ca'd upon his landladye 

The reckonin' for to pay; 
And pulled out twa handsfou o' gowd 

Says, We '11 reckon anither day. 

He ca'd upon his stable groom, 

To saddle for him his steed; 
And trampled ower yon rocky hills, 

Till his horse's hoofs did bleed. 

There was a man in Lord Burnett's train, 

Was ane o' Munsgrove's kin ; 
And aye as fast 's the horsemen rade 

Sae nimbly 's he did rin. 

He set a horn to his mouth, 

And he blew loud and sma'; 
And aye at every soundin's end, 

Awa', Munsgrovc, awa'. 



26 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Then up it raise him little Munsgrove, 
And drew to him his shoon; 

Lye still, lye still, the ladye she cried, 
Why get ye up sae suin? 

I think I hear a horn blaw, 
And it blaws loud and sma'; 

And aye at every soundin's end, 
Awa', Munsgrove, awa'. 

Lye still, lye still, ye little Munsgrove, 
Hap my back frae the win'; 

It 's but my father's proud shepherd 
Caain' his hogs to toun. 

I think I hear a horn blaw, 
And it blaws loud and shrill; 

And aye at every soundin's end 
Bids Munsgrove tak' the hill. 

Lye still, my boy, lye still, my sweit; 

Hap my back frae the cauld; 
It's but the sough o' the westlin' wind, 

BlaAvin' ower the birks sae bauld. 

He turned him richt and roun' about, 

And he fell fast asleep; 
When up it started Lord Burnett, 

And stood at their bed feet. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 27 

Is 't for luve o' my blankets, Munsgrove? 

Or is 't for luve o' my sheets? 
Or is 't for luve o' my gay ladye, 

Sae soun' in your arms she sleeps ? 

It's nae for luve o' your blankets, my lord, 

Nor yet for luve o' your sheets; 
But wae be to your gay ladye, 

Sae soun' in my arms she sleeps. 

Win up, win up, ye little Munsgrove, 

Put a' your armour on; 
It 's never be said anither day, 

I killed a naked man. 

I hae twa brands in ae scabbard, 

Cost me merks twenty-nine; 
Tak' ye the best, gie me the warst, 

For ye're the weakest man. 

The first ane stroke that Munsgrove drew, 

Wounded Lord Burnett sair; 
The next ane stroke Lord Burnett drew, 

Munsgrove he spak' nae mair. 

He turned him to Lis ladye then, 

And thus to her said he; 
A' the time we've led our life, 

I ne'er thought this o' thee. 



28 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

How like ye noo this weel-faur'd face 
That stands straight by your side? 

Or will ye hate this ill-faur'd face 
Lyes weltering in his bhule? 

O! better luve I this weel-faur'd face 
Lyes welterin' in his blude, 

Then e'er I'll do this ill-faur'd face 
That stands straicht by my side. 

Then he 's taen out a sharp dagger, 
It was baith keen and smart; 

And he has wounded that gay ladye 
A deep wound to the heart. 

A grave, a grave, cried Lord Burnett, 

To bury these twa in; 
And lay my ladye i' the hichest flat, 

She 's chiefest o' the kin. 

A grave, a grave, said Lord Burnett, 

To bury these twa in ; 
Lay Munsgrove i' the lowest flat, 

He 's deepest i' the sin. 

Ye '11 darken my windows up, secure, 
Wi' staunchions roun' about; 

And there is nae a livin' man 
Shall e'er see me walk out. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 29 

Nae mair fine claithes my body deck, 

Nor kame gangs i' my hair; 
Nor burnin' coal nor candle licht 

Shine i' my bouir mair. 



30 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

IV. 

%\)t ~$ziv of JLinnt* 

The bonny heir, and the weel-faur'd heir, 
And the wearie heir o' Linne, 

Yonder he stands at his father's yetts, 
And naebody bids him come in. 

O! see for he gangs, an' see for he stands, 

The wearie heir o' Linne; 
O ! see for he stands on the cauld casey, 

And nae an' bids him come in. 

But if he had been his faither's heir, 

Or yet the heir o' Linne; 
He wou'dna stand on the cauld casey, 

Some an' wad taen him in. 

Sing ower again that sang, nourice, 

The sang ye sang just noo; 
I never sang a sang i' my life, 

But I wad sing ower to you. 

0! see for he gangs, an' see for he stands, 

The wearie heir o' Linne; 
O ! see for he stands on the cauld casey, 

An' nae an' bids him come in. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 31 

But if he had been his father's heir, 

Or yet the heir o' Linne; 
He wadna stand on the cauld casye, 

Some ane wad taen him in. 

When his father's lands a sellin' were, 

His claise lay weel in fauld; 
But now he wanders on the shore, 

Baith hungry, weet, and cauld. 

As Willie he gaed clown the toun, 

The gentlemen were drinkiu'; 
Some bade gie Willie a glass, a glass, 

And some bade him gie nane, 
Some bade gie Willie a glass, a glass, 

The weary heir o' Linne. 

As Willie he cam' up the toun, 

The fishers were a sittin'; 
Some bade gie Willie a fish, a fish, 

Some bade gie him a fin; 
Some bade gie him a fish, a fish. 

And lat the palmer gang. 

He turned him richt and roun' about, 

As will as a woman's son; 
And taen his cane into his hand, 

And on his way to Linne. 



32 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

His nourice at her window look'd, 

Beholding dale and doun ; 
And she beheld this distress'd young man 

Come walkin' to the toun. 

Come here, come here, Willie, she said, 

And rest yoursel wi' me; 
I hae seen you i' better days, 

And in jovial companie. 

Gie me a sheave o' your bread, nourice, 

And a bottle o' your wine; 
And I'll pay you it a' ower again, 

When I'm the laird o' Linne. 

Ye'se get a sheave o' my bread, Willie, 

And a bottle o' your wine; 
An' ye'll pay me when the seas gang dry, 

But ye'll ne'er be heir o' Linne. 

Then he turn'd him richt and roun' about, 

As will as woman's son; 
And aff he set, and bent his way, 

And straightway came to Linne. 

But when he cam' to that castle, 
They were set doun to dine; 

A score o' nobles there he saw, 
Sat drinkin' at the wine. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 33 

Then some bad' gie him beef, the beef, 

And some bad' gie him the bane; 
And some bad' gie him naething at a', 

But lat the palmer gang. 

Then out it speaks the new come laird, 

A saucie word spak' bee; 
Put roun' the cup, gie my rival a sup, 

Lat him fare on his way. 

Then out it speaks Sir Ned Magnew, 

Ane o' young "Willie's kin; 
This youth was ance a sprightlie boy 

As ever lived in Linne. 

He turned him right and roun' about, 

As will as woman's son; 
Then minded him on a little wee key 

That his mither left to him. 

His mither left this little wee key, 

A little before she deed; 
And bad' him keep this little wee key 

Till he was in maist need. 

Then forth he went, an' these nobles left, 

A' drinkin' in the room; 
Wi' walkin' rod intill his hand, 

He walked the castle roun'. 

D 



34 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

There he found out a little door, 
For there the wee key slippit in; 

An' there he got as muckle red gowd 
As freed the lands o' Linne. 

Back through the nobles then he went, 

A saucie man was then; 
I'll tak' the cup frae this new-come laird, 

For he ne'er bad' me sit doun. 

Then out it speaks the new-come laird, 

He spak' wi' mock an' jeer; 
I'd gie a seat to the laird o' Linne, 

Sae be that he were here. 

When the lands o' Linne a sellin' were, 
A' men said they were free; 

This lad shall hae them frae me this day, 
If he'll gie the third pennie. 

I tak' ye witness, nobles a', 

Gude witnesses ye'll be; 
I'm promis'd the lands o' Linne, this day, 

If I gie the third pennie. 

Ye've taen us witness, Willie, they said, 

Gude witnesses we'll be; 
Buy the lands o' Linne who likes, 

They'll ne'er be bought by thee. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 35 

He's done him to a gamin' table, 

Fox 1 it stood fair and clean ; 
There he tauld doun as much rich gowd 

As freed the lands o' Linne. 

Thus having done, he turn'd about, 

A saucie man was he; 
Tak' up your monie, my lad, he says, 

Tak' up your third pennie. 

Aft hae I gane wi' barefeet cauld, 

Likewise wi' legs fu' bare; 
An' mony day walk'd at these yetts, 

Wi' muckle dool an' care. 

But noo my sorrow 's past and gane, 

And joy's returned to me; 
And here I've gowd enough forbye, 

Ahin' this third pennie. 

As Willie he gaed doun the toun, 
There he craw'd wonderous crouse; 

He ca'd the may afore them a', 
The nourice o' the house. 

Come here, come here, my nurse, he says, 

I'll pay your bread and wine ; 
Seas ebb and flow as they wont to do, 

Yet I'm the laird o' Linne. 

d2 



36 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

An' he gaed up the Oallowgate port, 

His hose ahoon his shoon; 
But Jang ere he cam' down again 

Was convoyed by lords fifteen. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 37 

IV. 

%\)t Jollp harper* 



There was ane jolly harper man, 
That harpit aye frae toun to toun; 

A wager he made, wi' two knichts he laid, 
To steal King Hem*ie's Wanton Broun. 

Sir Roger he wagered five ploughs o' Ian', 
Sir Charles he wagered five thousand pound, 

And John he's taen the deed i' han', 
To steal King Henrie's Wanton Broun. 

He's taen his harp into his han', 

And he gaed harpin' thro' the toun; 

And as the king i' his palace sat, 
His ear was touchit wi' the soun'. 

Come in, come in, ye harper man, 
Some o' your harpin' let me hear; 

Indeed, my liege, an' hy your grace, 
I'd rather hae stablin' for my meare. 

Ye'll gang to yon outer court, 

That stands a little below the toun; 

Ye'll find a stable snug and neat, 

Where stands my statelie Wanton Broun. 

45 



38 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

He's doun him to the outer court, 
That stood a little below the toun; 

There found a stable snug and neat, 
For stately stuid the Wanton Broun. 

Then he has fix't a guide Strang cord, 
Unto his grey mare's bridle rein; 

And tied it unto that steed's tail, 
Syne shut the stable door behin'. 

Then he harpit on, an' he harpit on, 
Till a' the lords were fast asleip; 

Then doun thro' bouir and ha' he 's gane, 
Even on his hands and feet. 

He's to yon stable snug and neat, 
That lay a little below the toun; 

For there he placed his ain grey meare, 
Alang wi' King Henrie's Wanton Broun. 

Ye'll do you doun thro' mire an' moss, 
Thro' mony a bog an' lairy hole; 

But never miss your Wanton slack, 
Ye'll gang to Mayblane to your foal. 

As suin 's the door he had unshut, 

The meare gaed prancin' frae the toun; 

An' at her bridle rein was tied 

King Henrie's statelie Wanton Broun. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 39 

Then she did rin thro' mire an' moss, 

Thro' mony a bog an' miery hole; 
But never missed her Wanton slack, 

Till she reach'd Mayblane to her foal. 

When the king awakit frae sleip, 

He to the harper man did say, 
O! waken ye, waken ye, jolly John, 

We've fairly slept till it is day. 

Win up, win up, ye harper man, 

Some mair o' harpin' ye'll gie me; 
He said, my liege, wi' a' my heart, 

But first my gude grey meare maun see. 

Then forth he ran, and in he cam', 

Droppin' mony a feigned tear; 
Some rogues hae broke the outer court, 

An' stown awa' my gude grey meare. 

Then by my sooth, the king replied, 
If there's been rogues into the toun, 

I fear as weel as your grey meare, 
Awa's my stately Wanton Broun. 

My loss is great, the harper said, 

My loss is twice as great, I feare, 
In Scotland I lost a gude grey steed, 

An' here I've lost a gude grey meare. 



40 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Come on, come on, ye harper man, 
Some o' your music lat me hear; 

Weel paid ye'se be, John, for the same, 
An' likewise for your glide grey meare. 

When that John his money received, 
Then he went harpin' frae the toun; 

But little did King Henrie ken, 

He'd stow'n awa' his Wanton Broun. 

The knichts then lay ower castle wa', 
An' they beheld baith dale an' doun; 

An' saw the jolly harper man, 

Come harpin' on to Striveling toun. 

Then by my sooth, Sir Roger said, 
Are ye returned back to toun, 

I doubt, my lad, ye hae ill sped, 
O' stealin' o' the Wanton Broun. 

I hae been into fair England, 

An' even into Lunan toun; 
An' in King Henrie's outer court, 

An' stow'n awa' the Wanton Broun. 

Ye lee, ye lee, Sir Charles he said, 
An' aye sae loud's I hear ye lee; 

Twall armed men in armour bricht, 
They guard the stable nicht and day. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 41 

But I did harp them a' asleip, 

An' managed my business cunninglie; 

If ye mak' licht o' what I say, 
Come to the stable an' ye'll see. 

My music pleas'd the king sae weel, 
Mair o' my harpin' he wish'd to hear, 

An' for the same he paid me weel, 
And also for my gude grey meare. 

Then he drew out a gude lang purse, 
Well stored wi' gowd an' white monie; 

And in a short time after this, 

The Wanton Broun he lat them see. 

Sir Roger produced his ploughs o' Ian', 
Sir Charles produced his thousand pound, 

Then back to Henrie the English king, 
Restored the statelie Wanton Broun. 



42 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

V. 



Once there was a bonny hind squire 

Appear'd in a ladye's ha'; 
And aye she walked up and doun, 

Lookin' o'er her castle wa\ 

What is your wills wi' me, kind sir? 

What is your wills wi' me? 
My wills are sma' wi' thee, ladye, 

My wills are sma' wi' thee; 

For here I stan' a courtier, 
And a courtier come to thee, 

For if ye will not grant me your luve, 
For thy sake I will dee. 

If you dee for my sake, she says, 
Few for you will make mane; 

Many better's died for my sake, 
Their graves are grow in' green. 

You appear to be some fause young man, 

You wear your hat so wide; 
You appear to be some fause young man, 

You wear your boots so side. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 43 

An askin', askin', sir, she said, 

An askin' ye'll grant me; 
Ask on, ask on, ladye, he said, 

What may your askin' be? 

What's the first thing in flower, she said, 

That springs in muir or dale? 
What's the neist bird that sings, she says, 

Unto the nightingale? 
Or what is the finest thing, she says, 

That king or queen can wile? 

The primrose is the first in flower, 

That springs in muir or dale; 
The thristle-throat is the neist that sings 

Unto the nightingale. • 
And yellow gowd is the finest thing 

That king or queen can wile. 

You have asked many questions, ladye, 

I've you as many told; 
But how many pennies roun' 

Mak' a hundred pound i' gold? 

How many sma' fishes 

Do swim the salt seas roun'? 
Or what's the seemliest sight you'll see 

Into a May mornin'. 



44 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

There's ale into the birken's cale, 

Wine in the horn green; 
There's gowd in the king's banner 

When he is fightin' keen. 

You may be my match, kind sir, she said, 
You may be my match and more; 

There ne'er was ane came such a length 
Wi' my father's heir before. 

My father's lord o' nine castles, 

Nae body heir but me; 
Your father's lord o' nine castles, 

Your mother's ladye o' three, 

Your father's heir o' nine castles, 

An' ye are heir to three; 
For I am William, thy ae brither, 

That died ayont the sea. 

If ye be William, my ae brither, 

This nicht O weel is me; 
If ye be William, my ae brither, 

This nicht I'll gae wi' thee. 

For no, for no, Jolly Janet, he says, 

For no, that canna be; 
Ye've o'er foul feet, and ill ay ashen hands 

To be in my companie. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 45 

For the wee wee worms are my bed fellows, 

And the clay-cauld is my sheet; 
And the hicher that the wins do blaw 

The souner I do sleip. 

Leave aff your pride, Jolly Janet, he says, 

Use it not any more; 
Or when ye come where I hae been 

Ye will repent it sore- 
When ye gae in at yon church door, 

The red gowd on your hair; 
Mair will look at your yallow locks 

Than look on the Lord's prayer. 

When ye gae in at yon church door, 

The red gowd on your croun; 
When ye come where I hae been 

Ye'll wear it laigher doun. 

The Jolly hind Scpuire he went away, 

In the twinklin' o' an eye, 
An' the ladye left sorrowfu' behin', 

Wi' mony a bitter cry. 



46 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

VI. 

%ty Cruel ^otljer* 



It fell ance upon a day, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 

It fell ance upon a day, Stirling for aye, 

It fell ance upon a day, 

The Clerk and Ladye went to play, 

So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

If my babie be a son, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 

If my babie be a son, Stirling for aye, 

If my babie be a son, 

I'll make him a lord o' high renoun, 

So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

She's lean'd her back to thewa', Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 

She's lean'd her back to the wa', Stirling for aye, 

She's lean'd her back to the wa', 

Pray'd that her pains might fa', 

So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

She's lean'd her back to the thorn,Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 

She's lean'd her back to the thorn, Stirling for aye, 

She's lean'd her back to the thorn, 

There were her babies born, 

So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 47 

0! bonnie babies gin ye souch sair, Edinburgh, 

Edinburgh, 
O! bonnie babies gin ye souch sair, Stirling for aye, 
O! bonnie babies, gin ye souch sair, 
You'll never souch by ray side mair, 
So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

She's riv'n the muslin frae her head, Edinburgh, 

Edinburgh, 
She's riv'n the muslin frae her head, Stirling for aye, 
She's riv'n the muslin frae her head, 
Hand an' foot, the babies tied, 
So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

Out she took her wee pen knife, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 

Out she took her wee pen knife, Stirling for aye, 

Out she took her wee pen knife, 

Twyn'd the young things o' the sweit life, 

So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

She's howkit a hole anent the green, Edinburgh, 

Edinburgh, 
She's howkit a hole anent the green, Stirling for aye, 
She's howkit a hole anent the green, 
There laid her sweet babies in, 
So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

It fell ance upon a day, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 
It fell ance upon a day, Stirling for aye, 



48 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

It fell ance upon a clay, 

She saw twa babies at their play, 

So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

0! bonny babies gin ye were mine, Edinburgh, 

Edinburgh, 
O! bonny babies gin ye were mine, Stirling for aye, 
O! bonny babies gin ye were mine, 
I'd cleathe you i' the silks sae fine, 
So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

O! wild mother, when we were thine, Edinburgh, 

Edinburgh, 
O ! wild mother, when we were thine, Stirling for aye, 
O! wild mother, when we were thine, 
You cleath'd us na i' silks so fine, 
So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

But noo we're in the heavens high, Edinburgh, 

Edinburgh, 
But noo we're in the heavens high, Stirling for aye, 
But noo we're in the heavens high, 
And you've the pains o' hell to try, 
So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 

She hied her to her father's ha', Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 

She hied her to her father's ha', Stirling for aye, 

She hied her to her father's ha', 

She look'd the meekest may amang them a', 

So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Tay. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 49 

She threw hersel' o'er the castle wa', Edinburgh, 

Edinburgh, 
She threw hersel' o'er the castle wa', Sterling for aye, 
She threw hersel' o'er the castle wa', 
Sair, I wat, was her fa', 
So proper St. Johnstoun stands fair upon Taj'. 



50 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

VII. 



The minister's dochter o' Newarke, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

Has fa'en i' luve wi' her father's clerk, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, 0. 

She courted him sax years and a day, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

At length her fause-luve did her betray, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 

She did her doun to the green woods gang, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

To spend awa' a while o' her time, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 

She lent her back unto a thorn, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

And she's got her twa bonnie boys born, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 

She's ta'en the ribbons frae her hair, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, 0; 

Boun' their bodies fast and sair, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 51 

She's put them aneath a marble stane, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

Thinkin' a may to gae her hame, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 

Leukin' o'er her castle wa', 

Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

She spied twa bonny boys at the ba', 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O; 

bonny babies if ye were mine, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, 0; 

1 wou'd feed ye wi' the white bread and wine, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, 0; 

I wou'd feed ye with the ferra cow's milk, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

An' dress ye i' the finest silk, 

Alane by the green burn sidie, 0. 

O, cruel mother! when we were thine, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

"We saw nane o' your bread and wine, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 

We saw nane o' your ferra cow's milk, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

Nor wore we o' your finest silk, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, 0. 

e 2 



52 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

O, bonny babies can ye tell me, 

Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

What sort o' death for ye I maun dee, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, 0. 

Yes,, cruel mother, we'll tell to thee, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

What sort o' death for us ye maun dee, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 

Seven years a fool i' the woods, 

Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

Seven years a fish i' the floods, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 

Seven years to be a church bell, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, 0; 

Seven years a porter i' hell, 

Alane by the green burn sidie, 0. 

Welcome, welcome, fool i' the wood, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

Welcome, welcome, fish i' the flood, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 

Welcome, welcome, to be a church bell, 
Hey wi' the rose and the lindie, O; 

But heavens keep me out o' hell, 
Alane by the green burn sidie, O. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. Oo 

VIII. 

%^z Haicti o' 2Dumu 



The laird o' Drum,'s a wooin' gane, 

A' in a mornin' airly, 
And he did spy a weel-faured may 

"Was shearin' at her barley. 

O will ye fancy me, bonnie lassie, 
And lat your shearin' be, O ? 

will ye fancy me, bonnie lassie, 
And lat your shearin' be, O? 

1 winna fancy you, she says, 

Nor lat my shearin' be, O; 
For I'm o'er low to be Ladye Drum, 
An' your leman I'd scorn be, 0. 

But hie you to my father dear, 
Keeps sheip on yonder bill, 0; 

To ony thing he bids me do 
I'm always at his will, O. 

He 's gane to her father dear, 
Keeps sheip on yonder bill, O; 

I'm come to marrie your ae dochter, 
If ye'll gie me your gude will, O. 



54 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

She'll shak' your barm, and winna your corn, 

And gang to mill an' kill, O; 
In time o' need she'll saddle your steed, 

I'll draw your boots mysel', O. 

O wha will bake my bridal bread ? 

And wha will brew my ale, O ? 
And wha will welcom' my ladye hame, 

It's mair than I can tell, O. 

Four-and-twentie gentle knichts 
Gaed in at the yates o' Drum, O; 

But nae a man liftit his hat 

Whan the lady o' Drum cam' in, O. 

But he has ta'en her by the han', 

And led her but and ben, O; 
Says, You're welcome hame, my ladye Drum, 

For this is your ain Ian', ; 

For he has ta'en her by the ban', 

And led her thro' the ha', O; 
Says, Ye're welcome hame, my ladye Drum, 

To your bouirs ane an' a', O. 

Out it speaks his brother dear, 

Says, You've done us great wrang, O; 

You've married a wife below your degree, 
She 's a mock to a' your kin, O. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 55 

Out then spak' the laird o' Drum, 
Says, I've done you na wrang, 0; 

I 've married a wife to win my bread, 
You 've married ane to spend, 0. 

For the last time that I was wed 

She was far aboon my degree, O; 
She wadna gang to the bonny yates o' Drum, 

But the pearlin' aboon her ee, O : 
And I durst na' gang i' the room where she was, 

But my hat below my knee, O. 

When they had eaten and weel drunken, 

And a' man boun' for bed, O; 
The laird o' Drum and 's ladye gay 

In ane bed they were laid, O. 

Gin ye had been o' high renoun, 

As ye're o' low degree, O; 
We might hae baith gane doun the streets, 

Amang good companie, O. 

I tauld ye ere we were wed, 

Ye were far aboon my degree, O; 
But noo I'm married, i' your bed laid, 

And just as gude as ye, O. 

I tauld ye sir, ere we were wed, 
Ye were far aboon my degree, O; 



56* SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

But noo I'm married, i' your bed laid, 
An' just as gude as ye, O. 

Gin ye were dead, and I were dead, 
And baith in grave had lien, O; 

Ere seven years were at an end, 

They'd na ken your dust frae mine, O. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 57 

IX. 

ilouti aoiillianu 



Lord "William lias gane o'er the sea 

For to seek after lear; 
Lord Lundie had but ae dochter, 

And he'd wed none but her. 

Upon ae book they baith did read, 

And in ae bed did lay; 
But if her father got word o' this 

She'll soon be ta'en away. 

Your father 's gotten word o' this, 
Soon married then we'll be: 

Set trysts, set trysts wi' me, Janet, 
Set trysts, set trysts wi' me. 

Set trysts, set trysts wi' me, Janet, 
When your weddin' day 's to be; 

On Saturday, the first that comes, 
Maun be my weddin' day. 

Bad news, bad news is come, Jane I, 
Bad news is come to me; 

Your father's gotten word <>' this, 
Soon married then ye'll be. 



58 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

will ye niarry the young prince, dochter. 

The queen o' England to be ? 
Or will ye marry lord William, 

And die immediately ? 

O I will marry the young prince, father, 

Because it is your will; 
But I wish it was my burial day, 

For my grave I could gang till. 

When they gaed into the kirk, 

And ae seat they sat in, 
The minister took up the book, 

The marriage to besin. 



/ 



Lay down the book, O dear kind sir, 

And wait a little wee; 
I have a ladye to welcome yet, 

She 's been a gude friend to me. 



Out then spak' the minister, 

An angry man was he; 
Ye might have had your ladye welcom'd, 

Before ye cam' to me. 

She leuk'd o'er her left shoulder, 

And tears did blin' her e'e; 
But she leuk'd o'er her richt shoulder, 

And a blyther sicht saw she. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 59 

For in there cam' him, lord William, 
And his valiant companie. 

An' in there cam' him, lord William, 

His armour shinin' clear; 
And in there cam' him, lord William, 

An' mony a glitterin' spear. 

Stand by, stand by, ye bonny bridegroom, 

Stand by, stand by, said he; 
Stand by, stand by, ye bonny bridegroom, 

Bride, ye maun join wi' me. 

Let the young prince clasp his coffer o' gold, 

When he gangs till his bed; 
Let the young prince clasp his coffer of gold, 

But I'll clasp my bonny bride. 

Out it spake him, lord Lundie, 

An' an angry man was he; 
My dochter will marry him, lord William, 

It seems in spite o' me. 



60 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

X. 



It fell on a Wodensday, 

Love Gregory's ta'en the sea; 

An' he has left his lady Janet, 
An' a wearie woman was she. 

But she hadna been i' child-bed 

A day but barely three, 
Till word has come to ladye Janet, 

Love Gregory she wad never see. 

She's ta'en her mantle her middle about, 

Her cane intill her hand, 
An' she's awa to the salt sea side, 

As fast as she could gang. 

Whare will I get a curious carpenter, 

"Will mak' a boat to me? 
I'm gain' to seek him, love Gregory, 

And land where e'er he be. 

Here am I, a curious carpenter, 

Will mak' a boat for thee; 
And ye may seek him, love Gregory, 

But him ye'll never see. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 61 

She sailed up, she sailed down, 

Thro' mony a pretty stream, 
Till she cam' to that statelie castle, 

Where love Gregory lay in. 

O open, open, love Gregory, 

O open and lat me in; 
Your young son is i' my arms, 

An' shiverin' cheek and chin. 

Had awa', ye ill woman, 

Had far awa' frae me; 
Ye're but some witch, or some warloch, 

Or the mermaid troublin' me. 

My lady she 's in Lochranline, 

Down by Lochlearn's green; 
This day she wadna sail the sea, 

For gowd nor wai'ld's gain. 

But if ye be my ladye Janet, 

As I trust na weel ye be; 
Come tell me o'er some love token 

That past 'tween thee an' me. 

Mind on, mind on, noo love Gregory, 

Sin' we sat at the wine, 
The rings that were o' your fingers, 

I iried thee mine for thine. 



f)2 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

And mine was o' the gude red gowd, 

Yours o' the silly tin; 
And mine's been true, and vera true, 

But yours had a fause ringin'. 

But open, open, love Gregory, 

Open and lat me in; 
Your young son is i' my arms, 

He'll be dead ere in I win. 

Had aw a' ye ill woman, 

Had far awa' frae me; 
Ye're but some witch, or some warloch, 

Or the mermaid troublin' me. 

But if ye be my ladye Janet, 

As I trust na weel ye be, 
Come tell me o'er some love token, 

That past 'tween thee and me. 

Mind on, mind on, love Gregory, 

Sin' we sat at the wine; 
The shifts that were upo' your back, 

I gied thee mine for thine. 

And mine was o' the gude Hollan', 
And yours o' the silly twine; 

And mine's been true, and vera true, 
But your's had fause lynin. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. H3 

XL 

%A)z Ofliatec o' &Hearie'0 mt\U 



There cam' a bird out o' a bush, 

On water for to dine; 
An' sicking sair, says, the king's dockter, 

O wae's tkis keart o' mine. 

He's taen a karp into kis hand, 

He's harpit them a' asleip; 
Except it was the king's dochter, 

"Wha ae wink coudna get. 

He's loupen on kis berry-brown steed, 

Ta'en ker bekin' kimsel'; 
Tken baitk rade doun to tkat water 

Tkat tkey ca' Wearie's Well. 

Wade in, wade in, my ladye fair, 

No karm skall thee befall; 
Oft times ha'e I watered my steed 

Wi' the water o' Wearie's Well. 

The first step that she steppit in, 

She steppit to the knee; 
And, sichin' says this ladye fair, 

This water's nae for me. 



64 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Wade in, wade in, my ladye fair, 

No harm shall thee befall; 
Oft times have I watered my steed 

Wi' the water o' Wearie's Well. 

The next step that she steppit in, 

She steppit to the middle; 
O, sichin' says this ladye fair, 

I've wat my gowden girdle. 

Wade in, wade in, my ladye fair, 

No harm shall thee befall; 
Oft times ha'e I watered my steed 

Wi' the water o' Wearie's Well. 

The next step that she steppit in, 

She steppit to the chin; 
O, sichin' says this ladye fair, 

They sud gar twa luves twin. 

Seven kings' dochters I've droun'd there, 
F the water o' Wearie's Well; 

An' I'll mak' ye the eight o' them, 
An' ring the common bell. 

Sin' I am standin' here, she says, 

This dowie death to dee; 
One kiss o' your comelie mouth, 

I'm sure wad comfort me. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 65 

He louted him o'er his saddle bow, 

To kiss her cheek an' chin; 
She's ta'en hirn in her arms twa, 

An' throun him headlong in. 

Sin' seven king's daughters ye've drouned there, 

I' the water o' Wearie's Well, 
I'll mak' ye the bridegroom to them a', 

An' ring the bell mysell. 

An' aye she warsled, and aye she swam, 

An' she swam to dry Ian'; 
An' thankit God most cheerfullie, 

For the dangers she o'ercam'. 



66 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

XII. 



Whan "Willie was i' his saddle set, 
An' a' his merry men wi' him; 

Stay still, stay still, my merry men a', 
I've forgot something behind me. 

Gie me God's blessing an' yours, mither, 

To hie me on to Gamery; 
Gie me God's blessing an' yours, mither, 

To gae to the bridestool wi' me. 

I'll gie God's blessing an' mine, Willie, 

To hie you on to Gamery; 
Ye'se hae God's blessing an' mine, Willie, 

To gae to the bridestool wi'; 
But Gamery it is wide an' deep, 

An' your weddin' ye'll never see. 

Some rade back, an' some rade 'fore, 

An' some rade on to Gamery; 
The bonniest knicht's saddle amang them a', 

Stood teem i' the water o' Gamery. 

O! out it spak' the bride hersell, 
Says, What mak's a' this ridin'? 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 67 

Where is the knicht amang ye a', 
Aught me this day for weddin'. 

Out it spak' the bridegroom's brother, 
Says, Margaret, I'll tell you plainly, 

The knicht ye should hae been wedded on, 
Is droun'd i' the water o' Gamery. 

She's torn the ribbons aff her head, 

They were baith thick an' mony; 
She's kilted up her green claething, 

An' she has passed the Gamery. 

She's plunged in, so did she doun, 

That was baith black an' jumly; 
An' i' the middle o' that water, 

She found her ain sweet Willie. 

She's taen him in her arms twa, 

An' gied him kisses mony; 
My mither's be as wae as thine, 

We'll baith lie i' the water o' Gamery. 



v 2 



68 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

XIII. 

W$z 2Bcaejs o 1 farcotu. 



Ten lords sat drinkin' at the wine, 

In till a morning airly; 
There fell a combat them amang, 

That must be fought — nae parley. 

0! stay at hame, my ain gude lord, 
O ! stay, my ain dear marrow ; 

Sweetest ruin', I will be thine, 
An' dine wi' you to-morrow. 

She's kiss'd his lips, an' combed his hair, 

As she had dane before, O; 
Gied him a brand doun by his side, 

An' he is on to Yarrow. 

As he gaed o'er yon dewie knowe, 

As he had dane before, O; 
Nine armed men lay in a den, 

Upo' the braes o' Yarrow. 

O cam' ye here to hunt or hawk, 

As ye hae dane before, O? 
Or cam' ye here to wiel' your brand, 

Upo' the braes o' Yarrow? 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 69 

I cam' nae here to hunt nor hawk, 

As I hae dane before, O; 
But I cam' here to wiel' my brand, 

Upo' the braes o' Yarrow. 

Four he hurt, an' five he slew, 

Till down it fell himsell, O; 
There stood a fause lord him behin', 

Who thrust his body thoro'. 

Gae hame, gae hame, my brother John, 

An' tell your sister sorrow; 
Your mither wad come tak' up her son, 

Aff o' the braes o' Yarrow. 

As he gaed o'er yon high, high hill, 

As he had dane before, O, 
There he met his sister dear, 

Cam' rinnin' fast to Yarrow. 

I dream'd a dream last night, she says, 

I wish it binna sorrow; 
I dream'd I was puing the heather green, 

Upo' the braes o' Yarrow. 

I'll read your dream, sister, he says, 

I'll read it intill sorrow; 
Ye're bidden gae tak' up your luvc, 

He's sleepin' soun' on Yarrow. 



70 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

She's torn the ribbons frae her head, 
They were baith thick an' narrow; 

She's kilted up her green claithin', 
An' she's aw a' to Yarrow. 

She's ta'en him in her arms twa, 
An' gied him kisses thoro', 

An' wi' her tears she baith'd his wouns, 
Upo' the braes o' Yarrow. 

Her father leukin' o'er the castle wa', 
Beheld his dochter's sorrow; 

O haud your tongue, dochter, he says, 
An' lat be a' your sorrow ; 

I'll wed ye wi' a better lord, 
Than he that died on Yarrow. 

O haud your tongue, father, she says, 

An' lat be till to-morrow; 
A better lord there couldna be, 

Than he that died on Yarrow. 

She kiss'd his lips, an' comb'd his hair, 
As she had dane before, 0; 

An' wi' a crack her heart did brack, 
Upo' the braes o' Yarrow. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 71 

XIV. 

%atyz 2Dtamcintu 



There was a king, an' a curious king, 

An' a king o' royal fame; 
He had ae docliter, he had never mair, 

Ladye Diamond was her name. 

She's fa'en into shame, an' lost her gude name, 

An' wrought her parents 'noy; 
An' a' for her layen her luve so low, 

On her father's kitchen boy. 

Ae nicht as she lay on her bed, 

Just thinkin' to get rest, 
Up it came her old father, 

Just like a wanderin' ghaist. 

Rise up, rise up, ladye Diamond, he says, 

Rise up, put on your goun; 
Rise up, rise up, ladye Diamond, he says, 

For I fear ye gae too roun'. 

Too roun' I gae, yet blame me nae', 

Ye'll cause me na to shame; 
For better luve I that bonnie boy, 

Than a' your weel-bred men. 



7- SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

The king's ca'd up his wa'-wight men, 

That lie paid meat an' fee; 
Bring here to me that bonnie boy, 

An' we'll smore him right quietlie. 

Up hae they ta'en that bonnie boy, 
Put him 'tween twa feather beds; 

Naethin' was dane, nor naethin' said, 
Till that bonnie bonnie boy was dead. 

The king's ta'en out a braid braid sword, 

An' streak'd it on a strae; 
An' thro' an' thro' that bonnie boy's heart, 

He 's gart cauld iron gae. 

Out has he ta'en his poor bluidie heart, 

Set it in a tasse o' gowd, 
An' set it before ladye Diamond's face, 

Said, fair ladye, behold! 

Up has she ta'en this poor bludie heart, 

An' holden it in her ban'; 
Better luved I that that bonnie bonnie boy, 

Than a' my father's Ian'. 

Up has she ta'en his poor bludie heart, 

An' laid it at her head; 
The tears awa' frae her eyne did flee, 

An' ere midnieht she was dead. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 73 

XV. 

»>tr l£uffl), tlje C5caeme. 



Lord Home he is a huntin' gane, 
Thro' the woods and vallies clear; 

An' he has ta'en Sir Hugh the Graeme, 
For stealin' o' the bishop's meare. 

They hae ta'en Sir Hugh the Graeme, 
Led him doun thro' Strievling toun; 

Fifteen o' them cried a' at ance, 

Sir Hugh the Graeme he maun gae doun. 

They hae caus'd a court to sit, 

'Mang a' their best nobilitie; 
Fifteen o' them cried a' at ance, 

Sir Hugh the Graeme he noo maun dee. 

Out it speaks my ladye Black, 

An' o' her will she was richt free; 

A thousand pound, my lord, I'll gie, 
If Hugh the Graeme's set free to me. 

Haud your tongue, ye lady Black, 
An' ye'll let a' your pleadins be; 

Tho' ye wou'd gie me thousands ten, 
It's lor my honour he maun dee. 



74 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Then out it speaks her, ladye Bruce, 
An' o' her will she was richt free; 

A hundred steeds, my lord, I'll gie, 
If ye'll gie Hugh the Graeme to me. 

O, haud your tongue, ye ladye Bruce, 
An' ye'll let a' your pleadins be, 

Though a' the Graemes were i' this court, 
It's for my honour he maun dee. 

He leukit ower his shoulder then, 
It was to see what he could see; 

An' there he saw his auld father, 
Weepin' and wailin' bitterlie. 

O, haud your tongue, my auld father, 
And ye'll let a' your mournin' be; 

Tho' they bereave me o' my life, 

They canno' had the heavens frae me. 

Ye'll gie my brother John the sworde, 
That's pointed wi' the metal clear, 

An' bid him come at eight o'clock, 
An' see me pay the bishop's meare. 

An' brother James, tak' here the sworde, 
That's pointed wi' the metal broun, 

Come up the morn at eight o'clock, 
An' see your brother puttcn doun. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 75 

An' brother Allen, tak' this sworde, 

That's pointed wi' the metal fine, 
Come up the morn at eight o'clock, 

An' see the death o' Hugh the Graeme. 

Ye'll tell this news to Maggy, my wife, 
Niest time ye gang to Strievling toun ; 

She is the cause I lose my life, 

She wi' the bishop play'd the loon. 

Again he ower his shoulder leuk'd, 

It was to see what he could see, 
An' there he saw his little son, 

Was screamin' by his nourice knee. 

Then out it spak' the little son, 

Sin' 'tis the morn that he maun dee; 

If that I live to be a man, 

My father's death reveng'd shall be. 

If I must dee, Sir Hugh replied, 

My friends o' me they will think lack ; 

He leapt a wa' eighteen feet high, 
Wi' his hans boun' behin' his back. 

Lord Home then raised ten armed men, 

An' after him they did pursue; 
But he has trudg'd out ower the plain, 

As fast as ony bird that flew. 



76 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

He leuk'd ower his left shoulder, 
It was to see what he eou'd see, 

His brother John was at his back, 
An' a' the rest o' his brothers three. 

Some they woundit, and some they slew, 
They fought sae fierce and valiantlie; 

They made his enemies for to yield, 
An' sent Sir Hugh out ower the sea. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 
XVI. 

31oTjnnte o' Cocfeletfmuir, 



Johnnie raise up in a May mornin', 
Ca'd for water to wash his hands, 

An' he's commant his bludie dogs, 

To be loos'd frae their iron bands, bands, 
To be loos'd frae their iron bands. 

Win up, win up, my bludie dogs, 

Win up, and be unboun', 
An' we'll awa' to Bride's Braidmuir, 

An' ding the dun deer doun, doun, 

An' ding the dun deer doun. 

When his mither got word o' that, 

Then she took bed and lay; 
Says, Johnnie, my son, for my blessin', 

Ye'll stay at hame this day, day, 

Ye'll stay at hame this day. 

There's baken bread, and broun ale, 
Shall be at your comman'; 

Ye'll win your mither's blythe blessin', 
To the Bride's Braidmuir nae gang, gang, 
To the Bride's Braidmuir nae zv'vj. 



SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Mony arc my Mens, mither, 
Though thousans were my foe, 

Betide me life, betide me death, 

To the Bride's Braidmuir I'll go, go, 
To the Bride's Braidmuir I'll go. 

The sark that was o' Johnnie's back, 

Was o' the cambric fine; 
The belt that was aroun' his middle, 

Wi' pearlins it did shine, shine, 

Wi' pearlins it did shine. 

The coat that was upon his back, 

Was o' the linsey broun, 
An' he's awa' to the Bride's Braidmuir, 

To ding the dun deer doun, doun, 

To ding the dun deer doun. 

Johnnie lookit east, Johnnie lookit west, 
An' turn'it him roun' and roun', 

An' there he saw the king's dun deer, 
Was cowin ' the bush o' brume, brume, 
Was cowin' the bush o' brume. 

Johnnie shot, an' the dun deer lap, 

He woundit her i' the side; 
Between him an' yon burnie bank, 

Johnnie he laid her pride, pride, 

Johnnie he laid her pride. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 

He ate sae muckle o' the venison, 

He drank sae muckle blude, 
Till he lay doun atween his houns, 

An' slept as he'd been dead, dead, 

An' slept as he'd been dead. 

But by there cam' a silly auld man, 

An ill death may he dee, 
For he is on to the seven foresters, 

As fast as gang could he, he, 

As fast as gang could he. 

What news, what news, ye silly auld man? 

What news hae ye brought you wi'? 
Nae news, nae news, ye seven foresters, 

But what your eyne will see, see, 

But what your eyne will see. 

As I gaed i' yon rough thick hedge, 

Amang yon bramly scrogs, 
The fairest youth that e'er I saw, 

Lay sleepin' atween his dogs, clogs, 

Lay sleepin' atween his dogs. 

The sark that was upon his back, 

Was o' the cambric fine, 
The belt that was aroun' his middle, 

Wi' pearlins it did shine, shine, 

Wi' pearlins it did shine 



80 SCOTTISH TRADITIONAL VERSIONS 

Then out it speaks the first forester, 
Whether this be true or no, 

0! if it's Johnnie o' Cocklesmuir, 
Nae forder need we go, go, 
Nae forder need we go. 

Out it spak' the second forester, 
A fierce fellow was he; 

Betide me life, betide me death, 
This youth we'll go and see, see, 
This youth we'll go and see. 

As they gaed in yon rough thick hedge, 
An' doun yon forest gay, 

They cam' on to that very same place, 
Where John o' Cockl's he lay, lay, 
Where John o' Cockl's he lay, 

The first ane shot they shot at him, 
They woundit him i' the thigh; 

Out spak' the first forester's son, 
By the next shot he maun dee, dee, 
By the next shot he maun dee. 

O stand ye true my trusty bow, 

An' stout steel never fail; 
Avenge me noo on a' my foes, 

Wha have my life i' bale, bale, 

Wha have my life i' bale. 



OF ANCIENT BALLADS. 81 

Then Johnnie kill'd six foresters, 

An' woundit the seventh sair; 
Then drew a stroke at the silly auld man, 

That word he ne'er spak' mair, mair, 

That word he ne'er spak' mair. 

His mither's parrot i' th' window sat, 

She whistled an' she sang, 
An' aye the owerturn o' the note, 

Young Johnnie's biding lang, laug, 

Young Johnnie's biding lang. 

When this reachit the king's ain ears, 

It griev'd him wond'rous sair; 
Says, I'd rather they'd hurt my subjects a' 

Than Johnnie o' Cocklesmuir, muir, 

Than Johnnie o' Cocklesmuir. 

But where are a' my wa'-wight men, 

That I pay meat an' fee? 
We'll gang the morn to Johnnie's castle, 

See how the cause may be, be, 

See how the cause may be. 

Then he's ca'd Johnnie up to court, 

Treated him handsomlie; 
An' noo to hunt i' the Bride's Braidmuir 

For life he's license free, free, 

For life he's licence free. 

finis. <; 



NOTES. 



Young iSontttorll. 

This is a version of a ballad, which exists in a variety of 
forms both in England and Scotland, and is well known by 
the titles of " Lord Bateman" " Lord Beichan," " Young 
Beichan and Susie Pye" " Young Bekie" &c. &c. Jamie- 
son, in his Popular Ballads and Songs, vol. ii. pp. 117 and 
127, first brought the ballad before the notice of the anti- 
quarian world, by giving two oral versions taken down from 
the recitation of the late Mrs. Brown of Falkland, a lady, 
of whose history it would be as well if the antiquarian world 
knew a little more, as a number of ballads which now pass 
current for old ones (and we do not say they are not so), 
were originally made public, as " from the recitation of 
Mrs. Brown." Previously to the publication of Mrs. Brown's 
copies, the story does not appear to have existed in print, 
except in the form of the common stall-broadside of 
" Lord Bateman." It is necessary to bear this fact in mind, 
because the name assigned to the hero in one of the above 
versions, viz., " Bekie," has led to the belief that he was no 
less a personage than the father of Thomas a-Becket, whose 
adventures* strongly resemble those detailed in some ver- 
sions of the story, but not, by-the-bye, in the only one in 

* Vide " The Legend of Thomas a Becket," Percy Society's publica- 
tion, No. LIX. 

02 



84 NOTES. 

which the name "Bekic" occurs. In "Young Bekie," the 
scene of the captivity is France, and the heroine is a Chris- 
tian lady; — the father of Thomas a-Becket was a captive in 
Syria, and the lady by whom he was liberated, and whom 
he afterwards espoused, was a Mahomraedan. In the broad- 
side of " Lord Bateman" (the only ancient form in which 
the ballad has existed in print) the hero is represented as 
a Northumbrian, and having large possessions in his na- 
tive county, which the family of a-Becket certainly never 
had, and, therefore, if the narrative be not altogether a fic_ 
titious one, we must come to the conclusion that it details 
the adventures of a Northumbrian. Jamieson was convinced 
that the ballad was of English border origin, and so far from 
connecting it with the a-Becket family, he thought " Bei- 
chan" was a corruption of "Buchan," a common Border sir- 
name, not being aware of the Northumbrian tradition, that 
the hero was one of the ancient and noble Border family of 
Bartram or Bertram, a race now extinct, but of whom (as in 
the common broadside) it covdd have been truly asserted in their 
palmy days, that " half Northumberland belonged to them." 
To one unacquainted with the peculiarity of Northumbrian 
accent, it may seem strange how such a word as " Bartram" 
could get corrupted to " Bateman." In the word " Bartram" 
the letter r occurs twice, a letter which the Northumbrian 
peasantry have great difficulty to pronounce in common con- 
versation, but which they have still greater difficulty to 
articulate when singing. Ask a Northumbrian peasant to 
pronounce " Bartram" and he will say " Bwhaatam." The 
editor speaks from experience. It may, therefore, without 
any great stretch of imagination, be conceived, that the first 
printed broadside was made from the oral recitation of some 
ignorant minstrel, and the transcriber noted down " Bate- 
man" as the nearest approach to the strange mode in which 



NOTES. 85 

the hero's name was pronounced, xin English traditional 
version of the ballad, communicated by the editor of these 
pages, may be found in the first volume of Tlie Local His- 
torian 's Table-Book, Newcastle, 1842 : like other traditional 
versions, it no doubt contains much that is ancient, mixed 
up with modern interpolations and additions. For Scottish 
versions the reader is referred to Jamieson's work above 
quoted, — to Kinloch's Ancient Ballads, 1826, — to Cham- 
bers's Scottish Ballads, Edinburgh, 1829, — and to the Book 
of Scottish Ballads, Edinburgh, 1844. 

P. 2, v. 1. — Borrow.'] Free. The two verses in which 
this expression occurs, are intended for the prisoner's song. 
In some copies his song is introduced by a few lines, evidently 
the composition of a modern hand. 

P. 3, v. 4. — Caen.] In the MS. the word is printed Cain, 
but, as in " Young Bekie" (the version which most resembles 
the one in the present work) the scene of the captivity is 
France, we have substituted Caen, the name of the capital of 
Normandy, that portion of France with which an old min- 
strel would have most sympathy. 

P. 3, v. 5. — Shorten.] To while away the time. 

P. 4, v. 1. — Win up.] Get up. 

P. 4, v. 3 — Your Maries.] Your maidens. The term 
" Mary" is frequently, in ancient Scottish poetry, applied to 
a, young female. Its origin is to be found in the name of 
the mother of our Lord. 

P. 4, v. 6. — Then in it came.] Then there came. A com- 
mon Scottish idiom. 

P. 5, v. 1. — Turtle j roe the sea.] This is, no doubt, an in- 
correct reading, but we have no means of arriving at the 
true one. 

P. (!, v. 5. — Proud.] This epithet occurs in all the copies, 
both English and Scotch. When applied to a " porter," as 



86 NOTES. 

we find it in many old ballads, it sounds strange to a modern 
ear ; but to a poor minstrel, wbo had probably often suffered 
from the contumely of such an important personage, the 
term would not seem so inappropriate. 
P. 10, v. 3.— Air.} Early. 



•JTam a Sine. 
This ballad, like the preceding one, is found in a variety 
of forms and under different names, as " The Young Tam- 
lane," " Tarn Lin," " Tom Lin," " Kerton Ha," <fec. &c. It 
can be satisfactorily shown, that in some form or other, it ex- 
isted centuries ago as a popular poem. Sir Walter Scott, in 
reference to the version which he inserted in The Min- 
strelsy of the Scottish Border, observes that the poem is of 
" much greater antiquity than its phraseology, gradually 
modernized as transmitted by tradition, would seem to de- 
note." A recent editor of the ballad (Mr. Whitelaw), after 
Quoting Sir Walter Scott's remark, goes on to say that he 
" has been enabled to add several verses of beauty and in- 
terest to his edition of Tamlane, in consequence of a copy 
obtained from a gentleman residing near Langholm, which 
is said to be very ancient, thovigh the diction is somewhat 
of a modern cast !" The name of the " gentleman" is not 
given by Mr. Whitelaw, but he is well known to the Bor- 
derers as an elegant and accomplished local poet, and the 
verses are too much in the style of his acknowledged pro- 
ductions, for us to doubt their origin. Who can believe that 
any eery old bard wrote as follows ? 

" We sleep in rosebuds soft and sweet, 
We revel in the stream; 
We wanton lightly on the wind. 
Or glide on a sun-beam." 



NOTES. 87 



" Their oaten pipes blew wondrous shrill, 
The hemlock small blew clear; 
And louder notes from hemlock large, 

And bog-reed, struck the ear ; 
But solemn sounds, or solemn thoughts, 
The fairies cannot bear. 

They sing, inspired with love and joy, 

Like sky larks in the air ; 
Of solid sense, or thought that's grave, 

You'll find no traces there." 

We have carefully compared our oral version of " Tarn a 
Line" with different published ones, and, judging from in- 
ternal evidence, are of opinion that it is a more genuine 
relic of antiquity, than any hitherto published. 

The dance of Thorn Lyn is mentioned in the Complaynt 
of Scotland, a curious work published in 1549, and of which 
an imperfect copy is in the British Museum. The author, 
Wedderburn, in " the sext cheptor," alludes to dances, and 
after saying: "nor Judms that ioa$ thefyrst dansar of rome 
cidd nocht hev bene comparit to thir scheipherdis" he pro- 
ceeds to name several dances, and amongst others " robene 
hude, thorn of lyn" In another part of the same work is 
mentioned, the " tayl of the yong tamlene" The dancing 
tune, which at one time was very popular, is believed to be 
the air to which the ballad was originally sung, and which, 
Leyden says, is similar to that of " The Jew's daughter." 
Like every popular story, " Tamlane" seems to have been 
burlesqued. The ballad " Tom o' the Linn was a Scotsman 
born" is well known. 

The Irish, we may observe, have burlesque ballads, and 
nursery rhymes, of which Tarn-lane is the hero, sometimes 
figuring under his more usual name of Tom-a-Lin, and at 
others, under those of Paddy and Bryan o' Lin. A verse of 



88 NOTES. 

one of these productions, is quoted by Halliwell iu the 
preface to his Nwr&ery Rhymes of England, pp. vi. and 
vii. ; Percy Society's Publications, No. xvn. Though the 
story of Tam-a-line is, as will be shown, completely local- 
ized in Scotland, the Scottish origin of the tale is very 
doubtful. Many of the incidents are the same as those in 
the ancient Danish ballad of " The Elfin Gray," in the 
" Ksempe Viser," of which an elegant and strictly literal 
version by Jamieson, may be found in the notes to Scott's 
" Lady of the Lake." The " Ksempe Viser" was first pub- 
lished in 1591, but none of the ballads contained in it were 
productions of that era, but of a long anterior date. 

The meaning of the epithet " true," as applied to Tam-a- 
lane, and to Thomas the Rhymer, who was also for many 
years a sojourner in Elfin land, seems to be given them, in 
consequence of the popular notion, that those mortals who 
had lived with the fames, and been permitted by them to 
return to earth, were gifted with prophetic powers, and were 
holy men, and £ra^-speaking. 

The Scottish language, perhaps, more than any other, 
(nor even excepting the Danish), abounds with legends, 
ancient and modern, of mortals carried away to fairy land. 
Amongst the most beautiful of the modern fictions may be 
named Hogg's Kilmeney, and Wilson'^s Lay of Fairy Land. 

" The Scottish ballad is completely localized in Selkirk- 
shire. " Carterhaugh," [in our version, Charterswood], ob- 
serves Sir Walter Scott, " is a plain at the conflux of the 
Ettrick and Yarrow, in Selkirk shire, about a mile above 
Selkirk, and two miles below Newark Castle, a romantic 
ruin which overhangs the Yarrow, and which is said to have 
been the habitation of our heroine's father, though others 
place his residence in the tower of Oakwood. The peasants 
point out upon the plain, those electrical rings which vulgar 



NOTES. 89 

credulity supposes to be traces of the fairy revels. Miles 
Cross is said to have stood near Bowhill, about half a mile 
from Carterhaugh. For different versions of Tam-a-Line, the 
reader is referred to Lewis's Tales of Wonder, London, 1801 ; 
to Scott's Minstrelsy of the Border ; to Chambers' Scottish 
Ballads, Edinburgh, 1829 ; A New Book of Old Ballads, 
Edinburgh, 1844 ; and to The Book of Scottish Ballads, 
Edinburgh, 1844. 

P. 11, v. 4. — The resemblance between this verse, and one 
in the Danish Ballad, is very striking. — 

" He hewed him kipples, he hewed hira hawks, 
Wi' mickle moil and haste; 
Syne speer"d the elf in the knock that bade, 
' Wha's hacking here sae fast ?' " 

Elfin Grey, Jamieson's version. 

P. 12, v.'6. — Got on the gown o' green.] A young female 
who has acted indiscretely, is, in Scotland, said to have put 
on " the gown of green." The expression is not confined to 
Scotland, but prevails in the north of England. To an 
inhabitant of the "north countrie," what a tale of sorrow is 
contained in those simply touching lines of Wordsworth ! 

" A lonely house her dwelling was, 
A cottage in a heathy dell ; 
And she put on her gown of green. 
And left her mother at sixteen, 
And followed l'eter Bell." 

P. 14, v. 1. — The pile o' the gravil gray.] Pile is a Scotch 
word for a grain, or ear, but it is not clear what tree or shrub 
is meant by the " gravil ;" some copies read " savin," which, 
when taken with the context, is more intelligible. The ex- 
pression " around the green gravel," occurs in a nursery 
rhyme. See Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England, p. 148. 

P. 15, v. 2. — mined.] Hallowed. 



90 NOTES. 

The corresponding verse iu the Danish Ballad is as fol- 
lows : — 

" When I was a little wee bairn, 
My mither died me t'rae ; 
My siepmither sent me awa' IVae her ; 
I turu'd till an elfin grey." 

The Elfin Grey, Jamieson's translation. 

P. 15, v. 5. — Elfin ifs a bonny place.'] The word elfin 
is probably derived from an Icelandic word signifying fire, 
or light, and hence elfin land may mean a bright abode, — a 
land of light. 

" a land of light, 



Withouterj sun, a moon, or night, 
Where the river swa'd a living stream, 
And the light a pure celestial beam ; 
The laud of vision it would seem, — 
A still, an everlasting dream !" " 

Hogy'x Kilmeney. 

Jamieson, however, seems to think the word elf is de- 
rived from the Ilebrew, and means "an intelligence, a 
spirit, an angel." 

P. 15, v. 5. — tiend.] A tj'the or tenth part. 

P. 16, v. 2. — at sky sett in.] At the close of day ; Le. the 
twilight or gloaming. 

P. 17, v. 1. — sain.] Vide note on p, 15, v. ± 

P. 17, v. 5. — maike.] Companion. 



Horn Cumct anD Utttle jWunsgrobe. 

An English ballad, of which this is a version and enlarge- 
ment, may be found in Percy's Rdiques, vol. iii. under the 
title of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard. Percy says, 
" This ballad is ancient, and has been very popular ; we find 
it quoted in many old plays. See Beaumont and Fletcher's 
Knight of the Bwrning Pestle, 4to., 1613, act v. The 



NOTES. 91 

Varietie, a comedy, 12ino, 1649, act iv., <fcc. In Sir Wil- 
liam Davenant's play, The Witts, act iii., a gallant thus 
boasts of himself : — 

" Limber and sound ! besides I sing Musgrave, 
And for Chevy Chace no lark comes near me." 

The passage in The Knight and the Burning Pestle is as 
follows : — 

Old Merrythought speaks. — 

"And some they whistled, and some they sung, Hey 
downe, downe ; and some did loudly say, ever as the Lord 
Barnett's home blew, away, Musgrave, away." — Beaumont 
and Fletcher 's Works, edit. 1635. 

It will be observed that the name, with the variation of a 
single letter, is the same in the play as in our version. 

Percy's copy contains twenty-nine stanzas, and is taken 
from one in the British Museum, with a few corrections 
from his celebrated folio MS. The ballad may also be found 
in a work called Wit restored, in severall select poems, not 
formerly publisht. London, printed for R. Pollard, N. 
Brooks, and T. Bring; and are to be sold at the Old Ex- 
change, and in Flete-street, 1658. In this work it is called 
The old Ballad of Little Musgrave, and the Lady Barnard. 
The scene of the catastrophe in the English ballad, is laid 
at a place called in some copies Buckehfordhery, in others, 
Bucklesford-Bury, and in Percy's folio, Bucklefield-berry. It 
cannot be ascertained what place is meant, but the language 
of the ballad, and the names of Barnard and Musgrave, 
connect it with the north of England. The author of the 
English ballad, whoever he was, was no ordinary writer, — 
no cvery-day "metre ballad-monger," as may be seen by 
reading over his production, which abounds with poetical 
beauties. His mantle has evidently fallen on his Scottish 
imitator, who, in the verses which he lias added, has 



1)2 NOTES. 

caught the fire of his spirited original ; indeed, in some 
parts the Scottish ballad is the more poetical. 

P. 24, v. 2. — Biggins.'] Buildings. 

P. 26, v. 3. — Hogs.] Young sheep. 

P. 26, v. 5. — Sough.] A sigh ; a sound dying on the ear. 
See note on p. 47, v. 1. 



Cfje $jeir of JLtnne. 

This ballad was first published by Percy, who took it 
from his folio MS., but in consequence of the imperfection 
of his copy, he added several stanzas, so that the version in 
the Reliques, has no claim whatever to be considered an 
ancient poem. Chambers, in his Scottish Ballads, says, 
" there is still current in Scotland a homely version, which 
begins thus : — 

" The bonny heir, the weel faured heir, 
Anil the weary heir o' Linne ; 
Yonder he stands at his father's gate, 
And naebody bids him eonie in." 

And then he goes on and quotes two more stanzas, which 
are verbatim with the corresponding ones in our pages. 

Motherwell also quotes the first three stanzas of the tra- 
ditionary version. Whitelaw, in his Book of Scottish Bal- 
lads, also quotes the commencement, and says, " We find in no 
collection a continuation of this version." There is, however, 
no ballad better known in Scotland, than the common version 
of the Heir of Linne, and it certainly seems strange that it 
should now be printed for the first time. Its homeliness 
is, perhaps, the reason why it has been passed over by col- 
lectors, who have preferred giving the more elegant, but 
made-up copy of Percy. Whether the traditional version be the 



NOTES. 93 

original, we cannot say, but the probability is in its favour. 
Like all ballads which have been orally handed down, it is 
very unequal, — some verses bear the stamp of antiquity ; 
others are, no doubt, of a comparatively modern cast. As a 
literary production, the ballad is of trifling value, but it will 
be acceptable to the antiquary as a genuine relic of tradi- 
tionary lore. 

P. 30, v. 2. — For he gangs.") i.e. Where. Dialect of Aber- 
deenshire. 

P. 31, v. 5. — As will as a woman's son.) The same expres- 
sion is repeated in page 32, v. 5. The meaning is not very 
clear, but one of the significations of will is, " lost in bewil- 
derment," see Jamieson's Dictionary, and therefore we may 
probably understand by the line, that the heir of Linne was 
as bewildered as it were possible for any man to be. 



This is a version of a ballad which was first published in 
the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. Our copy bears a 
greater resemblance to one in Johnson's Scots Musical 
Museum, vol. vi. 1803, but the variations between the differ- 
ent copies are very considerable, and a vein of quaint humour 
runs through ours, which is not found in the other two. In 
Scott's copy the Harper is represented to be a native of 
Lochmaben, the theft is committed at Carlisle, and the be- 
reaved personage is the Lord Warden. In Johnson's copy 
also the Harper is a native of Lochmaben, and Carlisle is 
the scene of the exploit, but, as in our copy, the mare is 
the property of King Henry. In our version the scene of 
the theft is laid at London, but Carlisle, we are inclined to 
think, is the true reading. The great distance between 
Scotland and London, and the nature of the roads in times 



94 NOTES. 

of old, would render the event an improbable, if not alto- 
gether an impossible one, to have occurred ; and we can easily 
Imagine, when the court was at Carlisle, that such a good 
practical joke was planned, and carried into execution, by 
some waggish courtiers. Chambers thinks the ballad is " as 
old as the time of the earlier of the English Henrys," and 
Scott remarks that it " seems to be the most modern in 
which the harp as a Border instrument of music is found to 
occur." " The whole incident," observes Chambers, " surely 
implies a very early and primitive system of manners, not 
to speak of the circumstance of the court being held at 
Carlisle, which never was the case in any late period of 
English history. The language and versification of the bal- 
lad, moreover, appear more nearly akin to the older compo- 
sitions of the minstrels, than those of almost any other piece 
of the kind now popular." 

P. 40, v. 3. — Striviling.] This is one of the ancient names 
of Stirling. See version of Young Waters, Chambers's Scot- 
tish Ballads, p. 31. 



€f)e ISoitng Ii?inH retire. 

This is a fragment, and very imperfect portions of two or 
three different ballads seem thrown together, and these 
membra disjecta poeta; form but a very inharmonious whole. 
One part of the ballad will remind the reader of " Captain 
Wedderburn's Courtship" in Jamieson's Popular Ballads 
and Songs. Some of the verses resemble those little snatches 
of old ballads to be met with in Shakspeare, and are by no 
means deficient in simple poetic beauty. 

P. 44, v. G. — Jolly.] Pretty. It has the same meaning as 
the French word "jolie." 



NOTES. 95 

Cf)e Cruel flStotfjer. 

This wild and very curious poem is of great antiquity, 
and probably the original of different ballads in the same 
metre, with similar titles, and having the same strange cho- 
rus. The beautiful ballad of the " Twa Sisters" or " Bin- 
norie" is in some copies called " The Cruel Sister," and in 
Mrs. Brown's version commences — 

" There were twa sisters sat in a bour, 

Edinborough, Edinborough, 
There were twa sisters sat in a bour, 

Stirling for aye. 
There were twa sisters sat in a bour, 
There cam a knicht to be their wooer, 

Bonnie St. Johnstoun stands upon Tay." 

Mr. Sharp's version of the " Twa Sisters" (see his Ballad 
Book, 1824) has the same burden with a slight variation, 
viz., 

" Hey Edinbruch, howe Edinbruch." 

St. Johnstoun is an ancient name of Perth. 

P. 47, v. 1. — &ouch.~\ This is the same word as sough, the 
meaning of which is given in note to p. 26, v. 5. The ortho- 
graphy of Scottish words is very arbitrary. Such words as 
" night," " plight," " light," &c. are by some authors spelt 
as above, and by others the c is placed before the h, instead 
of the g, as in the English mode of spelling. The ck is no 
doubt the most correct, and is adopted by all the old au- 
thors, as Barbour, Wyntoun, Douglas, &c. as well as by the 
most esteemed and modern writers in the language. 

P. 47, v. 3. Vide the last verse of " Baby Lon, or the 
Bonny Banks o' Fordic," Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Ancient 
and Modern. 

P. 47, v. 4. — Anent.] Over against, beside. 



96 NOTES. 

Cfic iMmtstfr'fl Z3orf)trr o' ffcrtoarftr. 

This ballad is on the same subject as the preceding one, 
and appears to be more ancient. It is well known in 
Scotland under the title of " The Minister's Daughter of 
New York" an evident and ludicrous corruption of Newark, 
the village of Newark on Yarrow being the locality. By 
" minister" is meant a minstrel, as in Chaucer : — 
" A gret host of ministers 
With instruments and sounes diverse." 

Chaucer's Dreame, 1. 2132. 
By "clerk," the editor is inclined to think, is not meant 
a person in holy orders, but a student. The term, when so 
applied by Chaucer, Gower, Douglas, &c. signifies a student 
at an university, as, " the clerk of Oxenforde"; but our stu- 
dent appears to be only a young man learning " al maner of 
mynstralcie." 

The burden of this ballad is very ancient, and when 
coupled with the pwgatorial nature of the punishment of 
the heroine, affords a strong presumption of the antiquity of 
the whole composition. The " lindie" is the lime or linden- 
tree, a tree which figures in the burdens of the old Scalds. 
The word is derived from an Icelandic verb signifying to bind, 
bonds or ropes having been formerly made of the bark of 
that tree. The linden, under the term " lynde" or " linde" 
often occurs in the old English authors, as in Chaucer : — 
" Be ay of chere, as light as lefe on linde." 

■ Gierke's Tale, 1. 9087. 
In the old ballad of " Adam Bell, Clym of the Clouch, and 
William of Cloudesly," in Percy's Reliques, the " lynde" 
occurs twice : — 

" Thus be these good yenien gon to the wood 

And lyghtly as lefe on lynde." 
" Cloudesle walked a lytle beside, 
He looked under the grene wood lynde." 



NOTES. 97 

The ancient ballad-writers seem to have rung the changes 
between the expressions " under the lynde," and " under the 
green- wood tree," both being frequently to be met with in 
the works of writers of the same age. The reason why, more 
than any other tree, the linden was so great a favourite with 
the Scalds, whose compositions our old ballad authors copied, 
may perhaps be found in the fact of bow-strings having been 
made from the bark. 

The instances in very old ballads of burdens containing 
the names of trees, shrubs, and flowers, are very numerous, 
and many examples might be adduced ; the oak, the lime 
or linden, the willow, the mulberry, the rose, the juniper, 
the rosemary, the birk, the broom, the lily, &c. ; all of these 
may be found in different old burdens. 

P. 50, v. 3. — In this verse, (the only one where it is so), 
the rhyme is deficient. The reciter has no doubt made a 
mistake in the first line, which is not such an one as an old 
minstrel would have written. There can be little question 
that the true reading is — 

" She did her doun to the green wood linde." 

This reading, the word linde, being, after the Scottish man- 
ner, pronounced lin\ would no doubt be thought by the 
writer, a good rhyme with "time." 

P. 51, v. 4. — Ferra cow.] A ferra cow is a cow that is not 
with calf, and therefore, continues to give milk through the 
winter. Dr. Jamieson supposes the phrase to be derived, (on 
the lucus a non lucenclo principle), from the Belgic varekoe, 
i.e. a milkless cow ; " the original idea being that a cow 
that did not carry, would, by degrees, lose her milk entirely." 

P. 52, v. 3. — A fool.] A fowl. The spelling being in 
accordance with the pronunciation. 



9$ NOTKS. 

Cfjc ILatrlr o' Drum. 

This ballad is a version of a longer one with the same 
title, printed in Kinloch's Ancient Ballads, 182(5, and which 
is generally acknowledged to be a copy of the original. Our 
version is only an abridgment, made for the purpose of 
singing, but the readings of several of the lines are superior 
to those of the corresponding ones in Kinloch, and, as far as 
it goes, we are inclined to think it deviates less from the ori- 
ginal. The tale of the composition is about the year 1650, 
when Alexander Irvine of Drum took for his second wife 
Margaret Couts, a woman of inferior birth and manners, a 
step which gave great offence to his relations. He had pre- 
viously married Mary, fourth daughter of George, second 
Marquis of Huntly. Drum, the property of the ancient 
family of Irvine is situated in Aberdeenshire. 

P. 54, v. 1. — Barm.'] Yeast. The expression "shakyour 
barm" seems equivalent to " brew my ale" in the next verse. 



ftorb SS3iIIiam. 

The editor is not aware of any ballad, of which strictly 
speaking, this can be called a version. The story is similar 
in character to " Katherine Janfarie" and " Catherine John- 
stone" (the original of " Young Lochinvar") ; vide White- 
law's Book of Scottish Ballads, where the above three ballads 
will be found in juxtaposition. In the legendary division 
of the Loccd Historians Table-Booh, vol. i. is a pleasing bal- 
lad by Robert White, on the same subject. The ballad of 
" Lord William" is ancient, but it has suffered by oral trans- 
mission, as may be seen by glancing at verses 1, 3, and 5 in 
page 58. The term minister was certainly not applied, in 
Scotland, to a clergyman previously to the Reformation. 

P. 57, v. 1. — Lear."] Education. The word is used by 



NOTES. 99 

Gavin Douglas in his translation of Virgil, and occurs in 
Barbour, Wyntoun, and cotemporary writers. Dr. Jamie- 
son says it is from the Anglo-Saxon laere, from whence is 
derived the English word " learning". 



ftobc (Srcgorg. 
There is no ballad better known than the " Lass of Loch- 
ryan," the one on which " Love Gregory" is founded. Ver- 
sions may be seen in the works of Herd, Scott, Jamieson, 
Buchan, and Chambers, and Dr. Walcot and Robert Burns 
have honoured the ballad, almost simultaneously, by each 
writing a poem on its story. Chambers says that the scene 
of the ballad is " on the coast of a beautiful, though some- 
what wild and secluded bay, which projects from the Irish 
Channel into Wigtonshire, having the little sea-port of 
Stranraer situated at its bottom. Along its coast, which is 
in some places high and rocky, there are many ruins of 
castles ; but tradition, so far as I am aware, points out no 
one as the proper residence of Love Gregory." The fol- 
lowing pleasing imitation of this old ballad, appeared in a 
periodical published in London in 1825, and called " The 
Cigar" : — 



LORD THOMAS. 

I'm hero at thy gate, Lord Thomas — 

I'm here ou the cold cold stone; 
I would not whisper 'tis late, Lord Thomas, 

But oh ! I am not alone. 

■ I'm here on the path, Lord Thomas, 

Which thou wilt pass at morn ; 
My lather has sworn in his wrath, Lord Thomas, 
That here should my hahe he born 



100 NOTES. 

' I'm here on the earth, Lord Thomas, 
Ami low I make my moan; 
I wouhl not flutter thy mirth, Lord Thomas. 
But oh ! I am not alone. 

' We ne'er have been wed, Lord Thomas, 
But I was left to pine ; 
I'm thrust from my sister's bed, Lord Thomas, 
And bidden to go to thine. 

' Oh ! cold is the even, Lord Thomas, 
With dew my pale cheeks smart ; 
It is not the dew of heaven, Lord Thomas, 
But that of my weeping heart. 

' My fair locks are wet, Lord Thomas, 
Each hair weeps for my sin ; 
But I shall die happy yet, Lord Thomas, 
If fhou'lt take thy baby in.' 

P. 60, v. 1. — Wearie.'] Feeble, depressed. 



€1)e esaalcr o' Oram's Wlz\l 
To one of the most ancient ballads in the Kcempe Visir, 
" The Water King," we probably owe the origin of this story, 
which exists in every variety of form in England and Scot- 
land, as well as in Germany and Denmark. In England the 
tale is well known and popular, under the title of " The Out- 
landish Knight," of which ballad, stall copies of consider- 
able antiquity are in existence. In Scotland, a version for 
the stalls, under the title of " The Western Tragedy," can 
be traced as far back as the middle of the last century. 
Other versions are also popular in Scotland under various 
titles, as, " The Fause Six John," " May Colvin," " May 
Collean," and " The Water o' Wearie's Well." Our version 
is the only one in which " the parrot" is not introduced. 
The peasantry of Scotland believe the catastrophe to have 



NOTES. 10 1 

actually taken place, but different localities are assigned. 
Chambers, in bis notes on " May Collean," says, " The bal- 
lad finds locality in that wild portion of the coast of Car- 
rick (Ayrshire) which intervenes betwixt Girvan and Bal- 
lantrae. Carlton Castle, about two miles to the south of 
Girvan, is affirmed by the country people to have been the 
residence of the " fause Sir John," while atallrocky eminence 
called Gamesloup, overhanging the sea about two miles 
further south, and over which the road passes in a style 
terrible to all travellers, is pointed out as the place where 
he was in the habit of drowning his wives, and where he was 
finally drowned himself. The heroine is said to have been 
a daughter of the family of Kennedy of Colzean, now repre- 
sented by the Earl of Cassilis." In another version, called 
" May Colvin," the catastrophe is said to have occurred at 
Binyan's Bay, which is at the mouth of the river Ugie, 
where Peterhead now stands. The locality in our version, is 
probably near* Balwearie Castle in Fifeshire. The following 
version of " The Outlandish Knight'' was communicated by 
the editor, to The TcMe-Book of the late Mr. Hone. It is 
partly ancient, and founded on the common English broad- 
side, some stanzas of which are objectionable. The humorous 
motto was added by Mr. Hone, from his Der Freischutz Tra- 
vestie : — 

' THE OUTLANDISH KNIGKT.' 



" Six go true, 
The seventh askew." 

l>, r Freischutz Iravestie. 



■ An outlandish knight from the north lands came, 
And lif came a wooing to me; 

He told me he'd take onto the north lands 

And I Ids lair bride should be. 



102 NOTES. 

' A broad, broad shield, did this strange Knight wield, 
Whereon did the red cross shine ; 
Vet never, I ween, had that strange Knight been 
In the fields of Palestine. 

'And out and spake this .strange Knight, 
This Knight of the north countrie ; 
O maiden fair with the raven hair, 
Thou shalt at my bidding be. 

' Thy sire he is from home, ladye, 
For he hath a journey gone ; 
And his shaggy blood hound is sleeping sound, 
Beside the postern stone. 

' Go bring me some of thy father's gold, 
And some of thy mother's fee, 
And steeds twain of the best, in their stalls that rest, 
^"here they stand thirty and three. 

* * * * 

' She mounted her on her milk white steed, 
And he on a dapple grey, 
And they forward did ride till they reach'd the sea side, 
Three hours before it was day. 

' Then out and spake this strange Knight, 
This Knight of the north countrie ; 
O maiden fair with the raven hair, 
Do thou at my bidding be. 

' Alight thee, maid, from thy milk white steed, 
And deliver it unto me ; 
Six maids have I drown'd where the billows sound, 
And the seventh one thou shalt be. 

' But first pull off thy kirtle fine 
And deliver it unto me ; 
Thy kirtle of green is too rich, I ween, 
To rot in the salt salt sea. 

' Full off, pull off, thy silken shoon, 
And deliver them unto me ; 
Methinks that they are too fine and gay 
To rot in the salt salt sea. 



NOTES. 1 03 

' Pull off, pull ofl' thy bonny green plaid 
That floats in the breeze so free ; 
It is woven fine with the silver twine, 
Ami comely it is to see. 

' If I must pull off my bonny green plaid, 
O turn thy back to me, 
And gaze on the sun, which has just begun 
To peer o'er the salt salt sea. 

' He turned his back on the damoselle, 
And gaz'd on the bright sunbeam — 
She grasp'd him tight, with her arms so white, 
And plunged him into the stream. 

' Lie there, Sir Knight, thou false-hearted wight, 
Lie there instead of me: 
Six damsels fair thou hast drowned there, 
But the seventh has drowned thee. 

' That ocean wave was the false one's grave, 
For he sunk right hastily ; 
Tho' with a dying voice faint, he prayed to his saint, 
And uttered an Ave Marie. 

' No mass was said for that false Knight dead, 
No convent bell did toll ; 
But he went to his rest, unshrived and unblest ; 
Heaven's mercy on his soul. 

* * * * 

; She mounted her on her dapple grey steed, 
And led the steed milk white : 
She rode till she reached her father's hall. 
Three hours before the night. 

The parrot hung in the lattice so high 

To the lady then did say, 
Some ruffian, I fear, has led thee from home, 

For thou hast been long away, 

Do not prattle, my pretty bird, 

Do not tell tales of me ; 
And thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold, 

Instead of the green wood tree 



10t NOTES. 

' The carl as lie sat in his turret high, 
On hearing the parrot did say, 
" \\ hat ails thee '.' what ails thee, my pretty hinl ? 
Thou hast prattled the live long day. 

' Well may I prattle, the parrot replied, 
And call, hrave earl, on thee, 
For the cat has well nigh reach' d the lattice so high, 
And her eyes are fis'd on me. 

' Well turn'd, well turned, my pretty bird, 

Well turn'd, well turned for me, 
Thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold, 
And the door of the ivory.' 

P. 64, v. 4. — They sud gar two, hives tivyne.] They should 
make two lovers part. 



€%z fflSlatcrs o* <Samerg. 

There are many versions of this story, the most complete 
being the one called " Willie's drowned in Gamery," see 
Buchan's Ballads of the North. " The unfortunate hero of 
the ballad," says Mr. Buchan, " was a factor to the laird of 
Kinmundy. As the young woman to whom he was to be 
united, resided in Gamery, a small fishing-town on the east 
coast of the Murray Frith, the marriage was to be solemnized 
in the church of that parish, to which he was on his way, 
when he was overtaken by some of the heavy breakers 
which overflow a part of the road." The young damsel, 
who was only in her fifteenth year, also met with a watery 
grave. The date of the catastrophe is not given. 

P. 66, v. 4.— Teem.] Empty. It is the Scottish word 
toom, spelt according to the dialect of Aberdeenshire. 

P. 67, v. 3. — Jumly.] Disturbed. 



NOTES. 105 

£fje Braes o' $arroto. 

This ballad is believed to be the original on which all of 
the same name are founded. The various versions of this 
ballad, both ancient and modern, are so well known, that it 
is unnecessary to specify them ; they may be found in every 
collection of Ballad Poetry which has appeared between the 
publication of Percy's Reliques, and Whitelaw's Book of Scot- 
tish Ballads. Sir Walter Scott informs us that the belligerent 
parties were John Scott, of Tushielaw, and his brother-in- 
law Walter Scott, third son of Robert Scott of Thirlstane. 
The unhappy event happened in the early part of the 
seventeenth century, and was fatal to the latter person. 
The combat took place on a level field to the west of Yarrow 
Kirk, immediately opposite to the mouth of a pass which 
connects Ettrick with Yarrow. Two tall monumental stones 
yet remain to mark the spot. 

P. 68, v. 1. — Intill.'] In. Intill is only used in this seuse 
by ancient authors ; later writers use the word in the sense 
of into. 

P. 68, v. 4. — Knowe.] A hillock. 



ILaoge Diamond. 

The editor is unable to give any account of this ballad, 
and cannot trace it either in books or broadsides. It bears 
some resemblance to a well-known tale in the Decameron. 

From the name of Diamond, may it not be a rhyming 
narrative written to accompany one of those childish leger- 
demain tricks with cards, which the nurses in the north are 
in the habit of performing to amuse children, such as " the 
Knaves and the Constables" &c. ? The Queen of Diamonds 
may represent the heroine, some other card may personify 



106 NOTES. 

the kitchen boy, and the two feather beds be two other 
cards, which it is a part of the trick to conjure that card 
between which represents the kitchen boy. The editor, in 
his boyish days, resided with an elderly lady in the north of 
England, who used to perform a number of such tricks, and 
she always accompanied them with a narrative, sometimes 
in plain prose, and at others in homely verses, not unlike 
" Ladye Diamond." 

P. 72, v. 1. — Wo? wight.'] Wall-strong, strong as a wall. 

P. 72, v. 4. — Tasse o' gowd.] A bowl or cup of gold. In 
the Complaynt of Scotland we read " at that tyme the pepil 
var as reddy to drynk vattir in ther bonet, or in the palmis 
of ther handis, as in ane glas, or in ane tasse of siluyr." 



g-tr pjugft tfic Graeme, 

This old border ditty first appeared in Ritson's Ancient 
Songs. His copy was from a collation of two black letter 
ones, one in the possession of the late John, Duke of Rox- 
burghe, and another in the hands of the late John Baynes, 
Esq. Ritson mentions another copy, beginning " Good Lord 
John has a hunting gone." Sir Walter Scott published in 
his Minstrelsy, a traditional version which had long been 
current in Selkirkshire, and which he improved by adopting 
some of the readings of Ritson's copy. In Ritson's version, 
Carlisle is the locality. Subsequently to the publication of 
the ballad by Ritson, a copy was inserted in Johnson's 
Museum, which was obtained from oral recitation in Ayr- 
shire. In this latter version, as in ours, Stirling, and not 
Carlisle, is made the locality. With respect to our copy, 
we may observe that it differs materially from all others 
which have come under our notice, and particularly, in one 



NOTES. 107 

respect, viz., that it has not a tragical ending, the hero 
making his escape. The bishop of Carlisle alluded to, was 
Robert Aldrige, who succeeded to the see of Carlisle about 
a.d. 1553. There is no historical proof, that he and the 
outlaw's wife had acted as insinuated in the Ballad, but that 
Aldrige was not a perfect saint we learn from Anthony a 
Wood, who quaintly observes that, " there were many 
changes in his (Aldridge's) time, both in church and state, 
but the worthy prelate retained his offices and prefer- 
ments during them all." The air to which " Hugh the 
Graeme" is sung, is a beautiful and plaintive melody : it 
may be found at page 24 of an elegant little book edited by 
Mr. Robert Chambers, "for private distribution only," and 
entitled, Twelve Romantic Scottish Ballads, with the original 
airs, arranged for the Piano-forte, Edinburgh, 1844. 
P. 74, v. 4.— Had.] Keep. 



#oIjnme o' (JTocfelefimutr. 

There are many versions of this old ballad to be found 
under different titles, as " Johnie of Breadislee," " Johnie of 
Braidislee," " Johnie of Bradisbank," " Johnie of Cockielaw," 
" Johnie o' Cocklesmuir," <fcc, The variations between our copy 
and those hitherto published are considerable ; and, as is 
not the case in any other version which has come under our 
notice, ours ends with the outlaw's free pardon, and royal 
license to hunt. The date of the story is uncertain, but the 
hero is supposed to have been an outlaw and deer-stealer, 
who possessed the old castle of Morton, near Burisdeer, in 
Dumfriesshire. The tune to which the ballad is sung, may 
be found at p. 13 of the musical work mentioned in the note 
on the preceding ballad. 

P. 78, v. 4. — Cowin'.] Cropping. The name of an old 



108 NOTES. 

song mentioned in the Complaynt of Scotland, is " Cow thou 
rue the rashes grene." 

P. 79, v. 4. — Scroys.] Stunted bushes. The Corwplaynt 
of Scotland says. " troye is overgane vith gyrse and vilde 
scroggis." 

P. 81. v. 1.— Silly.] Weak, feeble. 



Rici.&rds, 100, St. Martin's Lane, Charing Crois. 



ANCIENT POEMS, 

BALLADS, AND SONGS 

OF THK 

PEASANTRY OF ENGLAND, 

TAKEN DOWN FROM ORAL RECITATION, AND TRANSCRIBED 

PROM PRIVATE MANUSCRIPTS, RARE BROADSIDES, 

AND SCARCE PUBLICATIONS. 



COLLECTED, AND EDITED BY 

JAMES HENRY DIXON. 



"Our English laysl 'Tis even such a wreath 
As may be gathered from the hedge-row banlts, 
When linnets sing, and all is glad in June. 
'Tis even such ! perchance of worthless weeds 
'Twill seem, nor win one little day of smiles. 
Yet frown not thou;— who mocks the legends hoar 
Of olden time, or deems the minstrel song 
An empty strain, or jingleof vain sounds, 
Were better shunned than cherished 1" 

Kknnldi. 



LONDON : 
PRINTED FOR THE PERCY SOCIETY, 

BY T. RICHARDS, 100, ST. MAUTIN'S LANE. 



MDCCCXLVI. 



TO MY FRIEND 

JOHN BARRATT, ESQ. 

OP HOLLY-WORTH COTTAGE, CONISTON WATER, LANCASHIRE, 
I INSCRIBE THE FOLLOWING PAGES. 

He will find in them several minstrel lays of his native 

" West-Country," as well as of those Northern dales, 

in one of the most romantic of which is situated 

his quiet mountain home. 

JAMES HENRY DIXON. 



eroimctl, 1845-6. 



President, 
The Rt. Hon. LORD BRAYBROOKE, F.S.A. 

THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. Treas. S A. 
WILLIAM HENRY BLACK, Esq 
WILLIAM CHAPPELL, Esq. F.S.A. 
J. PAYNE COLLIER, Esq. F.S.A. 
BOLTON CORNEY, Esq. 

T. CROFTON CROKER, Esq. F.RS., M.R.I.A. 
JAMES HENRY DIXON, Esq 
FREDERICK W. FAIRHOLT, Esq. F.S.A. 
J. O. HALLIWELL, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 
WILLIAM JERDAN, Esq. F.SA., M.R.S.L. 
CAPTAIN JOHNS, R.M. 
T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 
WILLIAM SANDYS, Esq. F.S.A. 
W. J. THOMS, Esq. F.S.A. 

THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., Secretary 
and Treasurer. 



PREFACE. 



The present work is a selection from the poetry 
of our peasantry, and the Editor trusts that the 
publication, albeit an humble one, may not be 
deemed an unacceptable New-Year's offering to 
the Percy Society. 

He who, in travelling through the rural districts 
of England, has made the road- side inn his resting 
place, — who has visited the lowly dwellings of the 
villagers and yeomanry, and been present at their 
feasts and festivals, must have observed that there 
are certain old poems, ballads and songs which are 
favourites with the masses, and have been said and 
sung from generation to generation. Though, for 
a time, popular modern compositions may obscure 
their lustre, the new publications have only an 
ephemeral existence, and the peasantry go back to 



Vlll 



their antiquated favourites, remarking, that " the 
old rhymes are the best, after all !" This venera- 
tion for antiquity was, at one time, in imminent 
danger of being destroyed by the prevalence of 
that Utilitarian spirit which, seeking to turn every 
thing it touches into gold, would invade the realms 
of Fancy and Romance, banish the bright day- 
dreams of our youth, and leave us nothing but a 
cold Saducean philosophy in its stead. The anti- 
quarian world, however, at the present period, 
witnesses the dawning of a brighter day, and in 
several of the recent serial publications, popular 
treatises on subjects connected with religion and 
science are found in close companionship with 
heart-stirring descriptions of rural games and pas- 
times, with nursery rhymes, with fairy legends, 
and romantic ballads. But amid all this a-rowing 
fondness for the relics of a by-gone age, there is 
one description of literature which does not seem 
to us to have received that attention which its 
merits warrant, — and that is the poetry of our pea- 
santry ; the literature which, however despised by 
some, is, nevertheless, the source from whence was 
derived the first inspired breathings of a Burns, a 
Bloomfield, and a Clare ; the only profane litera- 



ture, indeed, with which, until a very recent 
period, the cottager was acquainted, and which 
shared his humble book-shelf, with his Pilgrim's 
Progress, and other so-called " godly books. " 

Our publication, although far exceeding the 
limits we originally intended, only exhibits afeio 
specimens of peasant-rhymes collected by * us ; 
for, during the progress of the work, the materiel 
has so increased under our own hands, and been 
so swelled by contributions from every part of 
the country, that we have been necessitated to 
omit much that is curious and interesting;. In 
what we have retained, however, will be found 
every variety, 

" From gay to grave, from lively to severe," 

from the moral poem and the religious dialogue, — 

" The scrolls that teach us to live and to die," 

to the legendary, the historical, or the domestic 
ballad; from the strains that enliven the harvest- 
home and festival, to the love- ditties which the 
country-lass warbles, or the comic song with 
which the rustic sets the village hostel in a roar. 
In our Collection are several pieces exceedingly 
scarce, and hitherto only to be met with in broad- 
sides and chap-books of the utmost rarity ; in 



addition to which we have given several others 
never before in print, and obtained by the Editor 
and his friends, either from the oral recitation of 
the peasantry, or from manuscripts in the posses- 
sion of private individuals. 

Nor will there be discovered in our pages a 
solitary " modern antique," or literary forgery ; 
and, with the exception of two provincial-songs, 
being those respectively numbered xxvi. and 
xxvii., and the sea-song numbered xxxix. — and 
even these are strains of a by-passed time, — there 
Js not a single insertion which is not justly en- 
titled to the epithet old, if not to that of ancient. 

Amongst the friends who have assisted us by 
their contributions and remarks, we must not 
forget to name W. H. Ainsworth, Esq., Wm. 
Chappell, Esq., F.S.A., T. Crofton Croker, Esq., 
F. W. Fairholt, Esq., F.S.A., J. S. Moore, Esq., 
Dr.Kimbault, F.S.A., Wm. Sandys, Esq., F.S.A., 
and Thomas Wright, Esq., M. A., the Secretary to 
the Percy Society. To the above gentlemen our 
thanks are especially due, as well as to several 
correspondents moving in a humbler sphere. 

As a parting word, we would express a hope 
that if our work should fall into the hands of any 



who may hitherto have regarded the literary par- 
terre of the English peasant as a rank and unweeded 
garden, a kind glance may be bestowed on the 
flowers we have culled while hastily passing through 
it. If they be not so stately in appearance, and 
so brilliant in tint, as those growing in more fa- 
voured situations, and cultivated under happier 
auspices, they may, perchance, be found to form a 
not unlovely " garland, 11 although, to use the lan- 
guage of Shelley, it be composed only of the — 

" flowers 



That bloom in mossy banks and darksome glens, 
Lighting the green-wood with their sunny smiles." 

J. H. D. 



Tollinqton Villa, 
Hornsey. 



CONTENTS. 



POEMS. 



1. The Vanities of Life 

2. The Life and Age of Man 

3. The Young Man's Wish 

4. The Midnight Messenger 

5. Dialogue between an Exciseman and Death 

6. The Messenger of Mortality 

7. The Weavers' Garland . 

8. Smoking Spiritualized 

9. The Masonic Hymn 

10. Dialogue between the Husband-man 

1 1 . Lydford Law . 

12. Description of St. Keyne's Well 



Page 
I 

. 7 
. 10 
. 12 
. 19 
. 24 
. 28 
. 36 
. 39 
and the Serving-man 42 
. 46 
. 51 



BALLADS. 

1. King Henrie the Fifth's Conquest 

2. The Three Knights 

3. The Blind Beggar of Bednal Green, (original version) 

4. The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood 

5. The Outlandish Knight 



6. 



9. 
10. 
11. 



Lord Lovel 

Lord Delaware 

Lord Beichan 

Lord Bateman 

The Death of Parcy Reed 

The Golden Glove; or the 'Squire of Tamworth 



52 

56 
60 
71 
74 
78 
80 
85 
95 
99 
106 



XIV 



CONTENTS. 



12. King James I and the Tinkler 

13. The Reach i' the Creel 

14. The Merry Broomfield; or the West-country Wager 

1 5. Sir John Barleycorn 

16. Blow the Winds, heigh ho! 

17. Saddle to rags 

18. The Beautiful Lady of Kent 

19. The Berkshire Lady's Garland . 

20. The Nobleman's Generous Kindness 

21. The Drunkard's Legacy 



SONGS. 

1. Arthur O'Bradley's Wedding 

2. The Painful Plough . 

3. The Useful Plow; or the Plowman's Praise 

4. The Farmer's Son 

5. Wooing Song of a Yeoman of Kent's Son 

6. Harvest-Home Song 

7. Harvest-Home 

8. The Mow 

9. The Barley-Mow Song 

10. Craven Churn-Supper Song 

11. Rural Dance about the May- pole 

12. Helstone Furry-day Song 

13. Cornish Midsummer Bonfire-Song 

14. Suffolk Harvest-Home Song 

15. The Haymakers' Song . 

16. Sword-Dancers' Song . 
17- The Maskers' Song 

18. Gloucestershire Wassailers' Song 

19. Richard of Taunton Dean; or Dumble dum 
20. 



deary 



As Tom was a-walkiner. An ancient Cornish Son 





CONTENTS. 


XV 


21. 


The Miller and his Sons 


. 204 


22. 


Joan's Ale was New 


. 206 


23. 


The Leathern Bottel 


. 208 


24. 


The Farmer's Old Wife 


. 210 


25. 


Old Wichet and his Wife 


. 211 


26. 


The Yorkshire Horse-dealer 


. 215 


27. 


Jone o' Greenfield's Ramble 


. 216 


28. 


Thornehagh-Moor Woods 


. 219 


29. 


Somersetshire Hunting Song 


. 221 


30. 


The Seeds of Love 


. 222 


31. 


Pretty Sally's Answer . 


. 223 


32. 


The Garden Gate 


. 226 


33. 


The New-mown Hay 


. 227 


34. 


The Summer's Morning 


. 229 


35. 


Old Adam . 


. 230 


36. 


Trelawny 


. 232 


37. 


Tobacco 


. 233 


38. 


The Spanish Ladies 


. 235 


39. 


The Tars of the Blanche 


. 237 



SONGS IN THE NOTES. 



The Trotting Horse . . . .244 

Barley-Mow Song, (Suffolk version) . . . 246 

Dicky of Ballyman, (Irish version of Dmnble dum deary) 248 



ANCIENT POEMS, BALLADS, &c. 



POEMS. 



'ftlje WanitiefS of ILiU. 

The following verses were copied by John Clare, the Northamp- 
tonshire peasant, from a M.S. on the fly-leaves of an old book in the 
possession of a poor man, and entitled " The World's best Wealth ; 
a Collection of choice Councils in Verse and Prose. Printed for A. 
Bettesworth, at the Red Lion in Paternoster-row, 1720." They were 
in a "crabbed, quaint hand, and difficult to decypher." Clare 
remitted the poem to Montgomery, the author of " The World he- 
fore the Flood," &c. &c, by whom it was published in the Sheffield 
Iris. Montgomery's criticism is as follows: — " long as the poem 
appears to the eye, it will abundantly repay the pleasure of 
perusal, being full of condensed and admirable thought, as well 
as diversified with exuberant imagery, and embellished with 
peculiar felicity of language: the moral points in the closing 
couplets of the stanzas are often powerfully enforced." The 
editor thinks that most readers will agree in the justice of 
Montgomery's remarks. He has not been able to discover any 
old printed copy of the poem, which, as Clare supposes, was pro- 
bably written about the commencement of the 18th century; the 
unknown author appears to have been a person deeply imbued 
with the spirit and train of thought of the popular devotional 
writers of the preceding century, as Herbert, Quarles, &c, but 



2 ANCIENT POEMS, 

who hail modelled his smoother and more elegant versification 
after that of the poetic school of his own times. 



Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." — Solomon. 

What are life's joys and gains? 

What pleasures crowd its ways, 
That man should take such pains 

To seek them all his days ? 
Sift this untoward strife 

On which thy mind is Dent, 
See if this chaff of life 

Is worth the trouble spent. 

Is pride thy heart's desire ? 

Is power thy climbing aim ? 
Is love thy folly's fire? 

Is wealth thy restless game ? 
Pride, power, love, wealth and all, 

Time's touchstone shall destroy, 
And, like base coin, prove all 

Vain substitutes for joy. 

Dost think that pride exalts 

Thyself in others eyes, 
And hides thy folly's faults, 

Which reason will despise ? 
Dost strut, and turn, and stride, 

Like walking weather-cocks ? 
The shadow by thy side 

Becomes thy ape, and mocks. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 

Dost think that power's disguise 

Can make thee mighty seem ? 
It may in folly's eyes, 

But not in worth's esteem: 
"When all that thou canst ask, 

And all that she can give, 
Is but a paltry mask 

Which tyrants wear and live. 

Go, let thy fancies range 

And ramble where they may; 
View power in every change, 

And what is the display? 
— The country magistrate, 

The lowest shade in power, 
To rulers of the state, 

The meteors of an hour: — 

View all, and mark the end 

Of every proud extreme, 
Where flattery turns a friend, 

And counterfeits esteem ; 
Where worth is aped in show, 

That doth her name purloin, 
Like toys of golden glow 

That's sold for copper coin. 

Ambition's haughty nod, 
With fancies may deceive, 

Niiy, tell thee thou'rt a god, — 
And wilt thou such believe? 



I! 2 



ANCTF.NT POEMS, 

Go, bid the seas be dry, 
Go, hold earth like a ball, 

Or throw her fancies by, 
For God can do it all. 

Dost thou possess the dower 

Of laws to spare or kill ? 
Call it not heav'nly power 

When but a tyrant's will ; 
Know what a God will do, 

And know thyself a fool, 
Nor tyrant-like pursue 

Where He alone should rule. 

Dost think, when wealth is won, 

Thy heart has its desire ? 
Hold ice up to the sun, 

And wax before the fire ; 
Nor triumph o'er the reign 

Which they so soon resign ; 
In this world weigh the gain, 

Insurance safe is thine. 

Dost think life's peace secure 

In houses and in land ? 
Go, read the fairy lure 

To twist a cord of sand, 
Lodge stones upon the sky, 

Hold water in a sieve, 
Nor give such tales the lie, 

And still thine own believe. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 

Whoso with riches deals, 

And thinks peace bought and sold, 
Will find them slippery eels, 

That slide the firmest hold : 
Though sweet as sleep with health, 

Thy lulling luck may be, 
Pride may o'erstride thy wealth, 

And check pi*osperity. 

Dost think that beauty's power, 

Life's sweetest pleasure gives ? 
Go, pluck the summer flower, 

And see how long it lives: 
Behold, the rays glide on, 

Along the summer plain, 
Ere thou canst say, " they're gone," 

And measure beauty's reign. 

Look on the brightest eye, 

Nor teach it to be proud, 
But view the clearest sky 

And thou shalt find a cloud ; 
Nor call each face ye meet 

An angel's, 'cause it's fair, 
But look beneath your feet, 

And think of what ye are. 

Who thinks that love doth live 
In beauty's tempting show, 

Shall find his hopes ungive, 
And melt in reason's thaw ; 



ANCIENT POEMS, 

Who thinks that pleasure lies 

In every fairy bower, 
Shall oft, to his surprise, 

Find poison in the flower. 

Dost lawless pleasures grasp ? 

Judge not thou deal'st in joy; 
Its flowers but hide the asp, 

Thy revels to destroy: 
Who trusts an harlot's smile, 

And by her wiles is led, 
Plays with a sword the while, 

Hung dropping o'er his head. 

Dost doubt my warning song? 

Then doubt the sun gives light, 
Doubt truth to teach thee wrong, 

And wrong alone as right; 
And live as lives the knave, 

Intrigue's deceiving guest, 
Be tyrant, or be slave, 

As suits thy ends the best. 

Or pause amid thy toils, 

For visions won and lost, 
And count the fancied spoils, 

If e'er they quit the cost ; 
And if they still possess 

Thy mind, as worthy things, 
Pick straws with Bedlam Bess, 

And call them diamond rings. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 

Thy folly 's past advice, 

Thy heart 's already won, 
Thy fall 's above all price, 

So go, and be undone; 
For all who thus prefer 

The seeming great for small, 
Shall make wine vinegar, 

And sweetest honey gall. 

Wouldst heed the truths I sing, 

To profit wherewithal^ 
Clip folly's wanton wing, 

And keep her within call : 
I've little else to give, 

What thou canst easy try, 
The lesson how to live, 

Is but to learn to die. 



II. 

%\)Z ILitz ano #p of 9paiu 

From one of Thackeray's Catalogues, preserved in the British 
Museum, it appears that " The Life unci Age of Man" was one 
of the productions printed by him at the " Angel in Duck Lane, 
London." Thackeray's imprint is found attached to broadsides 
published between 1672 and 1688. The present reprint, the 
correctness of which is very questionable, is taken from a modern 
broadside. The editor has to express his regret, that he has not 
been able to meet with any older edition. 



In prime of years, when I was young, 
I took delight in youthful ways, 



ANCIENT POEMS, 

Not knowing then what did belong 
Unto the pleasures of those days. 
At seven years old I was a child, 
And subject then to be beguil'd. 

At two times seven I went to learn 
What discipline is taught at school: 

When good from ill I could discern, 
I thought myself no more a fool: 

My parents were contriving plan, 

How I might live when I were man. 

At three times seven I waxed wild, 
When manhood led me to be bold; 

I thought myself no more a child, 
My own conceit it so me told: 

Then did I venture far and near, 

To buy delight at price full clear. 

At four times seven I take a wife, 
And leave off all my wanton ways, 

Thinking thereby perhaps to thrive, 
And save myself from sad disgrace. 

So farewell my companions all, 

For other business doth me call. 

At five times seven I must hard strive, 

What I could gain by mighty skill; 
But still against the stream I drive, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 

And bowl up stones against the bill; 
The more I labor'd might and main, 
The more I strove against the stream. 

At six times seven all covetise 
Began to harbour in my breast ; 

My mind still then contriving was 

How I might gain this worldly wealth; 

To purchase lands and live on them, 

So make my children mighty men. 

At seven times seven all worldly thought 
Began to harbour in my brain; 

Then did I drink a heavy draught 
Of water of experience plain; 

There none so ready was as I, 

To purchase bargains, sell, or buy. 

At eight times seven I waxed old, 
And took myself unto my rest, 

Neighbours then sought my counsel bold, 
And I was held in great request; 

But age did so abate my strength, 

That I was forc'd to yield at length. 

At nine times seven take my leave 
Of former vain delights must I; 

It then full sorely did me grieve — 
I fetched many a heavy sigh; 

To rise up early, and sit up late, 

My former life, I loathe and hate. 



10 AMI FAT POEMS, 

At ten limes seven my glass is run, 
Ami 1 poor silly man must die; 

I looked up and saw the sun, 
Had overcome the crystal sky. 

So now I must this world forsake, 

Another man my place must take. 

Now you may see, as in a glass, 
The whole estate of mortal men; 

How they from seven to seven do pass, 
Untill they are threescore and ten; 

And when their glass is fully run, 

They must leave off as they begun. 



IU. 



%\)z % otmg: part's* &Lli0lj + 

1 aoM an old copy, without printer's name, in possession of the 
editor; probably one from the Aldermary Church-yard press. 
Poems in triplets were very popular during the reign of Charles 
I, as also during the Interregnum, and the reign of Charles II. 



If I could but attain my wish, 

I'd have each day one wholesome dish, 

Of plain meat, or fowl, or fish. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 1 1 

A glass of port, with good old beer, 
In winter time a fire burnt clear, 
Tobacco, pipes, an easy chair. 

In some clean town a snug retreat, 
A little garden 'fore my gate, 
With thousand pounds a year estate. 

After my house expense was clear, 

Whatever I could have to spare, 

The neighb'ring poor should freely share. 

To keep content and peace through life, 
I'd have a prudent cleanly wife, 
Stranger to noise, and eke to strife. 

Then I, when blest with such estate, 
With such an house, and such a mate, 
Would envy not the worldly great. 

Let them for noisy honours try, 

Let them seek worldly praise, while I 

Unnoticed would live and die. 

But since dame Fortune 's not thought fit 
To place me in affluence, yet, 
I'll be content with what I get. 

He 's happiest far whose humble mind, 
Is unto Providence resign'd, 
And thinketh fortune always kind. 



12 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Then I will strive to bound my wish, 
And take, instead of fowl and lish, 
Whate'er is thrown into my dish. 

Instead of wealth and fortune great, 
Garden and house and loving mate, 
I'll rest content in servile state. 

I'll from each folly strive to fly, 
Each virtue to attain I'll try, 
And live as I would wish to die. 



IV. 



OR A SUDDEN CALL FROM AN EARTHLY GLORY TO THE 
COLD GRAVE. 

In a Dialogue between Death, and a Kieh Man; who, in the midst 

of all his Wealth, received the tidings of his Last Day, to 

his unspeakable and sorrowful Lamentation. 

To the tune of " Aim not too high" &c. 



The following poem, as also those numbered V and VI, belongs 
to a class of publications which have ever been peculiar favourites 
with the poor, in whose cottages they may be frequently seen, 
neatly framed and glazed, and suspended from the white-washed 
wall. They belong to the school of Quarles, and can be traced 
to the time when that writer was in the height of his popularity. 
These religious dialogues are numerous, but the majority of them 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 13 

are very namby-pamby productions, and unworthy of a reprint. 
The modern editions preserve the old form of the broadside of 
the seventeenth century, and are adorned with rude woodcuts, 
probably copies of the original ones — 

" wooden cuts 

Strange, and uncouth ; dire faces, figures dire, 
Sharp-knee'd, sharp elbowed, and lean ancled too, 
With long and ghostly shanks, forms which once seen, 
Can never be forgotten !" — Wordsworth's Excursion. 

DEATH. 

Thou wealthy man of large possessions here, 
Amounting to some thousand pounds a year, 
Extorted by oppression from the poor, 
The time is come that thou shalt be no more; 
Thy house therefore in order set with speed, 
And call to mind how you your life do lead, 
Let true repentance be thy chiefest care, 
And for another world now, now prepare; 
For notwithstanding all your heaps of gold, 
Your lands and lofty buildings manifold, 
Take notice you must die this very day, 
And therefore kiss your bags and come away. 

RICH MAN. 

(He started straight and turn'd his head aside, 
Where seeing pale fac'd Death, aloud he cried), 
Lean famish'd slave! why do you threaten so, 
Whence come you, pray, and whither must I go? 

DEATH. 

I come from ranging round the universe, 
Thro' courts and kingdoms far and near T pass, 



14 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Where rich and poor, distressed, bond and free, 

Fall soon or late a sacrifice to me. 

From crowned Kings to captives bound in chains 

My power reaches, sir; the longest reigns 

That ever were, I put a period to ; 

And now I'm come in fine to conquer you. 

RICH MAN. 

I can't nor won't believe that you, pale Death, 
Were sent this day to stop my vital breath, 
By reason I in perfect health remain, 
Free from diseases, sorrow, grief, and pain; 
No heavy heart, nor fainting fits have I, 
And do you say that I am drawing nigh 
The latter minute? sure it cannot be; 
Depart therefore, you are not sent for me. 

DEATH. 

Yes, yes, I am, for did you never know, 
The tender grass and pleasant flowers that grow 
Perhaps one minute, are the next cut down, 
And so is man, tho' fam'd with high renown? 
Have you not heard the doleful passing bell 
Ring out for those that were alive and well 
The other day, in health and pleasure too, 
And had as little thoughts of death as you ? 
For let me tell you, when my warrant 's seal'd, 
The sweetest beauty that the earth doth yield 
At my approach shall turn as pale as lead ; 
'Tis I that lay them on their dying bed. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 15 

I kill with dropsy, phthisick, stone, and gout; 
But when my raging fevers fly about, 
I strike the man, pex-haps, but over -night, 
Who hardly lives to see the morning light; 
I'm sent each hour, like to a nimble page, 
To infant, hoary heads, and middle age; 
Time after time I sweep the world quite thro'; 
Then it's in vain to think I'll favour you. 

RICH MAN. 

Proud Death, you see what awful sway I bear, 
For when I frown none of my servants dare 
Approach my presence, but in corners hide 
Until I am appeas'd and pacified. 
Nay, men of greater rank I keep in awe 
Nor did I ever fear the force of law, 
But ever did my enemies subdue, 
And must I after all submit to you? 

DEATH. 

'Tis very true, for why thy daring soul, 
Which never could endure the least controul, 
I'll thrust thee from this earthly tenement, 
And thou shalt to another world be sent. 

RICH MAN. 

What! must I die and leave a vast estate, 
Which, witli my gold, I purchas'd but of late? 
Besides what I had many years ago? — 
What! must my wealth and I be parted so? 



16 ANCIENT POEMS, 

If you your darts and arrows must let fly, 
Go search the jails, where mourning debtors lie; 
Release them from their sorrow, grief, and woe, 
For I am rich and therefore loath to go. 

DEATH 

I'll search no jails, but the right mark I'll hit; 
And though you are unwilling to submit, 
Yet die you must, no other friend can do, — 
Prepare yourself to go, I'm come for you. 
If you had all the world and ten times more, 
Yet die you must, — there's millions gone before; 
The greatest kings on earth yield and obey, 
And at my feet their crowns and sceptres lay: 
If crowned heads and right renowned peers 
Die in the prime and blossoms of their years, 
Can you suppose to gain a longer space? 
No! I will send you to another place. 

K1CH MAN. 

Oh ! stay thy hand and be not so severe, 

I have a hopeful son and daughter dear, 

All that I beg is but to let me live 

That I may them in lawful marriage give: 

They being young when I am laid in the grave, 

I fear they will be wrong'd of what they have: 

Altho' of me you will no pity take, 

Yet spare me for my little infants' sake. 

DEATH. 

If such a vain excuse as this might do, 

It would be long e'er mortals would go thro' 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 17 

The shades of death; for every man would find 
Something to say that he might stay behind. 
Yet, if ten thousand arguments they'd use, 
The destiny of dying to excuse, 
They'll find it is in vain with me to strive, 
For why, I part the dearest friends alive; 
Poor parents die, and leave their children small 
With nothing to support them here withall, 
But the kind hand of gracious Providence, 
Who is their father, friend, and sole defence. 
Tho' I have held you long in disrepute, 
Yet after all here with a sharp salute 
I'll put a period to your days and years, 
Causing your eyes to flow with dying tears. 

RICH MAN. 

(Then with a groan he made this sad complaint): 
My heart is dying, and my spirits faint ; 
To my close chamber let me be convey'd; 
Farewell, false world, for thou hast me betray 'd. 
Would I had never wrong'd the fatherless, 
Nor mourning widows when in sad distress; 
Would I had ne'er been guilty of that sin, 
Would I had never known what gold had been; 
For by the same my heart was drawn away 
To search for gold : but now this very day, 
I find it is but like a slender reed, 
Which fails me most when most I stand in need; 
For, woe is me! the time is come at last, 
Now I am on a bed of sorrow cast, 

c 



18 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Where in lamenting tears I weeping lie, 

Because my sins make me afraid to die: 

Oh ! Death, be pleas'd to spare me yet awhile, 

That I to God myself may reconcile. 

For true repentance some small time allow, 

I never fear'd a future state till now, 

My bags of gold and land I'd freely give, 

For to obtain the favour here to live, 

Until I have a sure foundation laid. 

Let me not die before my peace be made ! 

DEATH. 

Thou hast not many minutes here to stay, 
Lift up your heart to God without delay, 
Implore his pardon now for what is past, 
Who knows but he may save your soul at last? 

RICH MAN. 

I'll water now with tears my dying bed, 

Before the Lord my sad complaint I'll spread, 

And if he will vouchsafe to pardon me, 

To die and leave this world I could be free. 

False world ! false world, farewell ! farewell ! adieu ! 

I find, I find, there is no trust in you ! 

For when upon a dying bed we lie, 

Your gilded baits are nought but misery. 

My youthful son and loving daughter dear, 

Take warning by your dying father here; 

Let not the world deceive you at this rate, 

For fear a sad repentance comes too late. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 19 

Sweet babes, I little thought the other day, 
I should so suddenly be snatch'd away 
By Death, and leave you weeping here behind; 
But life's a most uncertain thing, I find. 
When in the grave my head is lain full low, 
Pray let not folly prove your overthrow; 
Serve ye the Lord, obey his holy will, 
That he may have a blessing for you still. 
(Having saluted them, he turned aside, 
These were the very words before he died) : 

A painful life I ready am to leave, 
Wherefore, in mercy, Lord, my soul receive. 



# ^Dialogue bettoijt an (lieigeman anti 
2DeatIj* 

Transcribed from a printed copy in the British Museum. The 
idea of Death being employed to execute a writ, reminds the 
editor of an epitaph which he met with in a village church-yard 
at the foot of the Wrekin, in Shropshire, and which commenced 
thus: — 

" The King of Heaven a warrant got, 
And seal'd it without delay, 
Ami be did give the same to Death, 
For him to serve straightway." Ssc. &c. 



Upon a time when Titan's steeds were driven 
To drench themselves beneath the western heaven; 

c 2 



20 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And sable Morpheus had his curtains spread, 
And silent night had laid the world to bed, 
'Mongst other night-birds which did seek for prey, 
A blunt exciseman, which abhorr'd the day, 
"Was rambling forth to seeke himself a booty 
'Mongst merchant's goods which had not paid the duty: 
But walking all alone, Death chanc'd to meet him, 
And in this manner did begin to greet him. 

DEATH. 

Stand, who comes here? what means this knave to 

peepe 
And sculke abroad, when honest men should sleepe? 
Speake, what 's thy name ? and quickly tell me this, 
Whither thou goest, and what thy bus'ness is ? 

EXCISEMAN. 

Whate'er my bus'ness is, thou foule-mouth'd scould, 

I'de have you know I scorn to be controul'd 

By any man that lives; much less by thou, 

Who blurtest out thou knowst not what, nor how; 

I goe about my lawful bus'ness; and 

I'le make you smarte for bidding of mee stand. 

DEATH. 

Imperious cox-combe! is your stomach vext? 
Pray slack your rage, and barken what comes next: 
I have a writt to take you up; therefore, 
To chafe your blood, I bid you stand, once more. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 21 

EXCISEMAN. 

A writt to take mee up! excuse mee, sir, 

You doe mistake, I am an officer 

In publick service, for my private wealth; 

My bus'uess is, if auy seeke by stealth 

To undermine the states, I doe discover 

Their falsehood; therefore hold your hand, — give over. 

DEATH. 

Nay, fair and soft! 'tis not so cpuickly done 

As you conceive it is : I am not gone 

A jott the sooner, for your hastie chat 

Nor bragging language; for I tell you flat 

'Tis more then so, though fortune seeme to thwart us, 

Such easie terms I don't intend shall part us. 

With this impartial arme I'll make you feele 

My fingers first, and with this shaft of Steele 

Tie peck thy bones ! as thou alive tvert hated, 

So dead, to doggs thou shalt be segregated. 

EXCISEMAN. 

I'de laugh at that ; I would thou didst but dare 

To lay thy fingers on me ; I'de not spare 

To hack thy carkass till my sword was broken, 

I'de make thee eat the wordes which thou hast spoken; 

All men should warning take by thy transgression, 

How they molested men of my profession. 

My service to the states is so welle known, 

That should I but coinplaine, they'd quickly owne 



22 ANCIENT POEMS, 

My publicke grievances; and give mee right 
To cut your eares, before to-morrow night. 



DEATH. 

Well said indeed! hut bootless all, for I 

Am well acquainted with thy villanie; 

I know thy office, and thy trade is such, 

Thy service little, and thy gaines are much: 

Thy braggs are many; but 'tis vaine to swagger, 

And thinke to fighte mee with thy guilded dagger: 

As I abhor thy person, place, and threate, 

So now I'le bring thee to the judgement seate. 

EXCISEMAN. 

The judgement seate! I must confess that word 

Doth cut my heart, like any sharpned sword: 

What! come t' account! methinks the dreadful sound 

Of every word doth make a mortal wound, 

Which sticks not only in my outward skin, 

But penetrates my very soule within. 

'Twas least of all my thoughts that ever Death 

Would once attempt to stop excisemen's breath. 

But since 'tis so, that now I doe perceive 

You are in earnest, then I must relieve 

Myself another way: come, wee'l be friends, 

If I have wronged thee, I'le make th' amendes. 

Let's joyne together; I'le pass my word this night 

Shall yield us grub, before the morning light. 

Or otherwise, (to mitigate my sorrow), 

Stay here, I'le bring you gold enough to-morrow. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 23 

DEATH. 

To-morrow's gold I will not have; and thou 
Shalt have no gold upon to-morrow : now 
My final writt shall to th' execution have thee, 
All earthly treasure cannot help or save thee. 

EXCISEMAN. 

Then woe is mee! ah! how was I befool'd! 

I thought that gold, (which answereth all things) could 

Have stood my friend at any time to baile mee! 

But griefe growes great, and now my trust doth faile 

me. 
Oh! that my conscience were but clear within, 
Which now is racked with my former sin; 
With horror I behold my secret stealing, 
My bribes, oppression, and my graceless dealing; 
My office-sins, which I had clean forgotten, 
Will gnaw my soul when all my bones are rotten: 
I must confess it, very griefe doth force mee, 
Dead or alive, both God and man doth curse mee. 
Let all Excisemen hereby warning take, 
To shun their practice for their conscience sake. 

FINIS. 
London: printed by I. C[larke], 1659. 



24 ANCIENT POEMS, 

VI. 

2Flje apetftfcnpr of Mortality : 

Or Life and Death contrasted in a Dialogue betwixt 
Death and a Lady. 

One of the most beautiful and plaintive poems of " Elia," 
(Charles Lamb), was suggested by this old dialogue. The 
tune is given in Chappell's " National English Airs." In Carey's 
" Musical Century" 1738, it is called the " Old tune of Death and 
the Lady." The four concluding lines of the present copy of 
" Death and the Lady" are found inscribed on tomb-stones in 
village church-yards in every part of England. They are not, 
however, contained in an old broadside edition now in the pos- 
session of Dr. Iiimbault, and with which our reprint has been 
carefully collated. 



DEATH. 

Fair lady, lay your costly robes aside, 
No longer may you glory in your pride; 
Take leave of all your carnal vain delight, 
I'm come to summon you away this night! 

LADY. 

What bold attempt is this ? pray let me know 
From whence you come, and whither I must go ? 
Must I, who am a lady, stoop or bow 
To such a pale-fac'd visage? Who art thou? 

DEATH. 

Do you not know me ? well! I tell thee, then, 
It's I that conquer all the sons of men ! 
No pitch of honour from my dart is free; 
My name is Death ! have you not heard of me ? 

LADY. 

Yes! I have heard of thee time after time, 
But being in the glory of my prime, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 25 

I did not think yon would have call'd so soon. 
"Why must my morning sun go down at noon ? 

DEATH. 

Talk not of noon! you may as well be mute; 
This is no time at all for to dispute: 
Your riches, gai'inents, gold, and jewels brave, 
Houses and lands must all new owners have ; 
Tho' thy vain heart to riches was inclin'd, 
Yet thou must die and leave them all behind. 

LADY. 

My heart is cold; I tremble at the news; 
There's bags of gold, if thou wilt me excuse, 
And seize on them, and finish thou the strife 
Of those that are aweary of their life. 
Are there not many bound in prison strong, 
In bitter grief of soul have languish'd long, 
Who could but find a grave a place of rest, 
From all the grief in which they are opprest ? 
Besides, there's many with a hoary head, 
And palsy joints, by which their joys are fled; 
Release thou them whose sorrows are so great, 
But spare my life to have a longer date? 

DEATH. 

Tho' some by age be full of grief and pain, 
Yet their appointed time they must remain: 
I come to none before their warrant 's seal'd, 
And when it is, they must submit and yield. 
I take no bribe, believe me, this is true; 
Prepare yourself to go; I'm come for you. 



26 ANCIENT POEMS, 

LADY. 

Death, be not so severe, let me obtain 
A little longer time to live and reign ! 
Fain would I stay if thou my life will spare ; 
I have a daughter beautiful and fair, 
I'd live to see her wed whom I adore : 
Grant me but this and I will ask no more. 

DEATH. 

This is a slender frivolous excuse; 

I have you fast, and will not let you loose; 

Leave her to Providence, for you must go 

Along with me, whether you will or no; 

I, Death, command the King to leave his crown, 

And at my feet he lays his sceptre down ! 

Then if to kings I don't this favor give, 

But cut them off, can you expect to live 

Beyond the limits of your time and space? 

No ! I must send you to another place. 

LADY. 

You learned doctors, now express your skill, 
And let not Death of me obtain his will ; 
Prepare your cordials, let me comfort find, 
My gold shall fly like chaff before the wind. 

DEATH. 

Forbear to call, their skill will never do, 
They are but mortals here as well as you: 
I give the fatal wound, my dart is sure, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 27 

And far beyond the doctor's skill to cure. 
How freely can you let your riches fly 
To purchase life, rather than yield to die! 
But while you flourish here with all your store, 
You will not give one penny to the poor; 
Tho' in God's name their suit to you they make, 
You would not spare one penny for his sake! 
The Lord beheld wherein you did amiss, 
And calls you hence to give account for this! 

LADY. 

Oh! heavy news! must I no longer stay? 
How shall I stand in the great judgment day? 
(Down from her eyes the chrystal tears did flow: 
She said), none knows what I do undergo: 
Upon my bed of sorrow here I lie; 
My carnal life makes me afraid to die. 
My sins alas! are many, gross, and foul, 
Oh righteous Lord ! have mercy on my soul ! 
And tho' I do deserve thy righteous frown, 
Yet pardon, Lord, and pour a blessing clown. 
(Then with a dying sigh her heart did break, 
And did the pleasures of this world forsake). 



Thus may we see the high and mighty fall, 
For cruel Death shews no respect at all 
To any one of high or low degree, 
Great men submit to Death as well as we. 
Tho' they are gay, their life is but a span- 
A lump of clay — so vile a creature 's man. 



28 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Then happy those whom Christ has made his care, 
Who die in the Lord, and ever blessed are. 
The grave 's the market place where all men meet, 
Both rich and poor, as well as small and great. 
If life were merchandize that gold could buy, 
The rich would live, the poor alone would die. 



VII. 

2Hje cLCLleaticc'cf d5arlanfc» 

Or a New School for Christian Patience. 

From an inquiry into the origin of these verses, the editor is in- 
clined to fix the date about the year 1700-1, a few years after the 
passing of the " Lustring act," when, in consequence of a change 
of fashion, there was a panic in the silk trade, and the weavers 
of Spitalfields were reduced to a state of the greatest distress. 
During other panics in the same trade, it has been customary 
with the London ballad-printers to reprint the Garland, and for the 
weavers, accompanied by their wives and families to recite it in 
the streets. It was originally printed at the Aldermary Church- 
yard press. The last edition was issued a few years ago in the 
old broadside form, by the late Mr. Pitts, of Great St. Andrew's 
Street, London, whose copy was an exact transcript from one 
printed by Marshall, his predecessor. 



Sweet, dear, and loving wife! 
My senses are at strife, 
About this careful life, 
For we decline: 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 

Times being grievous hard, 
All trading spoil'd and marr'd, 
I have a sweet regard 
For thee and thine. 

I thank you for your care, 
Yet, husband! don't despair, 
Let us with patience bear, 

These troubles here: 
Dear love! 'tis all in vain 
To weep, sigh, and complain, 
Love, we may thrive again, 

Be of good cheer. 

My dearest love ! said he, 
How can I cheerful be, 
While pinching poverty 

Knocks at the door? 
And will not hence depart, 
But wounds me to the heart ; 
I never felt such smart, 

Sweet wife, before. 

Dear husband, do not make 
Such moan, for heaven's sake 
Of me this council take, 

Your bosom friend: 
By patience put your trust 
In Him that made you first, 
When times are at the worst 

Sure they will mend. 



29 



30 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Dear love! it may be so, 

But while the grass doth grow 

The steed may starve, you know, 

Then 'tis too late ; 
So my dear family, 
Which wants a quick supply, 
By long delays may die, 

O cruel fate! 

Sweet husband! don't despair, 
Avoid distracting care, 
I will the burden bear 

Along with you: 
Our sons and daughters they 
Shall work, and if we may 
Get bread from day to day, 

Love! that will do. 

At a sad dismal rate, 

Sweet wife, thou know'st of late 

My losses have been great, 

By wicked men. 
Pine not for worldly pelf, 
Bless God we have our health, 
And that is more than wealth, 

Be thankful, then. 

Job lost abundance more, 
Besides his body sore, 
Yet he with patience bore, 
While tidings come, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 31 

How all in ruins lay : 
He patiently did say, 
God gives and takes away, 
Blest be his name. 

Job did not fume and fret, 
When with these things he met, 
Dear loving husband! let 

Us imitate 
His patience, while in pain ; 
Job found it not in vain, 
God rais'd him up again, 

And made him great. 

Love! I have often read 
How Job was comforted, 
Yet I am full of dread, 

And fear, for why? 
Our family is large. 
Six children are some charge, 
We fall within the verge 

Of poverty. 

Dear husband! don't repine, 
Nor grudge this charge of mine ; 
Blest be the powers divine, 

Sweet babes they are. 
When we shall aged grow, 
With locks like winter snow, 
They may, for ought I know, 

Lessen our care. 



32 ANCIENT POEMS, 

It is a great offence, 
To distrust Providence, 
Whose blessed influence, 

Takes special care 
Of all the sons of men. 
Husband! be cheerful then, 
God will be gracious when 

Thankful we are. 

My fingers do not itch 
To be exceeding rich, 
May we but get thro' stitch, 

Keep from the door 
The greedy wolf of prey, 
And all our dealers pay, 
Believe me what I say, 

We need no more. 

I and my children dear, 
Will work then ; never fear 
But we shall something clear. 

Tommy shall weave, 
The girls shall all begin, 
Forthwith to card and spin, 
Which will bring something in : 

Then never grieve. 

Those hands that never wrought 
Shall be to labour brought, 
All which I never thought 
Would be, till now; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 33 

But in regard I see 
It is my destiny, 
I'll draw along with thee, 
God speed the plough. 

I value not to dine 

On sumptuous dishes fine, 

With rich and racy wine 

From foreign parts : 
Good wholesome bread and beer 
Instead of better cheer, 
Let us receive, my dear, 

With thankful hearts. 

In all conditions still, 
Let us not take it ill, 
Since 'tis his blessed will, 

It should be so; 
Whether we rise or fall, 
Our substance great or small, 
Content is all in all, 

My dear ! you know. 

O most indulgent mate ! 
After this long debate, 
My comforts they are great, 

In a kind wife. 
Tho' some may think it strange, 
My fancy seem'd to range, 
But now a happy change, 

Doth bless my life. 

D 



34 ANCIENT POEMS, 

For to my joy I find 
A sweet composed mind, 
I wish that all mankind, 

"Was full as well ; 
Despair 's a dreadful thing, 
And does poor mortals bring 
Unto the bitter sting 

Of death and hell. 

Sweet wife and heart's delight ! 
I had been ruined quite 
In death's eternal night, 

Hadst thou not been 
The happy instrument 
That ruin to prevent ; 
Love, joy, and sweet content, 

I now am in. 

Tho' slender is my store, 
Yet I'll despair no more ; 
That man is truly poor, 

Who wants content ; 
But where content 's increased, 
'Tis a continual feast, 
Praise God, I am released, 

Death to prevent. 

As God gives me grace, 
This council I'll embrace ; 
Despair shall not take place 
In me henceforth; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 35 

Farewell, litigious strife ; 
And come, my cheerful wife, 
Thy words have saved my life, 
God bless us both, 

And all mankind likewise, 
From the calamities, 
"Which do as fogs arise, 

From foul despair ; 
Let doubtful Christians fly, 
In their extremity, 
To God who sits on high, 

By fervent prayer. 

He is a man's friend in chief, 
The fountain of relief: 
When I was lost in grief, 

And at the worst, 
My dear indulgent bride, 
Her council was my guide ; 
In God I'm satisfied, 

In whom I trust. 

My children, Avife, and J, 
We will ourselves apply 
To true industry, 

And leave the rest 
To Providence divine ; 
I renceforth I'll not repine, 
I hope that me and mine 

Shall still be blest. 

i) 2 



36 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Thus, by the good wife's care, 

The husband in despair 

Was brought at length to bear 

His sorrows rife ; 
The bitter cup of grief, 
Her words did yield relief, 
She was his friend in chief, 

And faithful wife. 

Good men and women, pray, 
That hear me now this day, 
Labour now without delay, 

To live in love : 
Assist each other still, 
In fortune good or ill, 
Then you'll have a blessing still, 

Come from above. 



VIII. 



j^mofeiiiff »>pirituali?etu 

By Ralph Erskine, V.D.M. 

The Rev. Ralph Erskine, or, as he chose to designate himself, 
"Ralph Erskine, V.D.M.," the pious author of" Smoking Spirit- 
ualized," was born at Monilaws, in the county of Northumberland, 
on the 15th of March 1685. He was brother to the Rev. 
Ebenezer Erskine, minister of the gospel at Stirling, and son of 
the Rev. Henry Erskine, who was one of the thirty-three children 
of Ralph Erskine of Shieldfield ; a family of considerable repute, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 37 

and originally descended from the ancient house of Marr. He 
was educated at the College in Edinburgh, and obtained his 
license to preach from the Presbytery of Dunfermline on the 8th 
of June, 1709. Receiving an unanimous invitation from the 
Church at Dunfermline in May 1711, he accepted the call, and 
was ordained over them in August the same year. In July 1714, 
he married Margaret Dewar, the daughter of the Laird of Lasso- 
die, by whom he had five sons, and five daughters, all of whom 
died in the prime of life. In 1732, he married Margaret, 
daughter of Mr. Simson of Edinburgh, by whom he had four 
sons, one of whom, with his wife, survived him. He published 
a great number of sermons, — A Paraphrase on the Canticles, — a 
volume entitled Scripture Songs, a Treatise on Mental Images, 
or Faith no Fancy ; but his Gospel Sonnets were not published 
till after his decease. On the 29th October 1752, he was seized 
with a nervous fever, which terminated his life on the 6th of 
November, after an illness of only eight days, in the sixty- 
eighth year of his age. 

The Smoking Spiritualized is, at the present day, a standard 
publication with our modern ballad-printers, but their copies are 
one and all exceedingly corrupt. Erskine no doubt wrote this 
curious poem as an antidote to a class of broadsides at one time 
very common, and still to be found in country inns, in which 
scripture is profanely paraphrased, and made to encourage tip- 
pling; such as — 

" Give liim strong drink 
Until he wink, 

That's sinking in despair." 

Of this latter description of publications the editorcould have given 
several specimens, but their profanity induces him to withhold 
them. They are very witty and quaint, and that is their only 
recommendation. 



FART I. 

Tins Indian weed, now withered quite, 
Though green at noon, cut down at night, 

Shows thy decay ; 

All flesh is hay : 

Thus think, and smoke tobacco 



38 ANCIENT POEMS, 

The pipe so lily-like and weak, 
Does thus thy mortal state bespeak ; 

Thou art e'en such, — 

Gone with a touch. 

Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

And when the smoke ascends on high, 
Then thou beholdst the vanity 

Of worldly stuff, 

Gone with a puff. 

Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

And when the pipe grows foul within, 
Think on thy soul defiled with sin ; 

For then the fire 

It does require : 

Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

And seest the ashes cast away, 
Then to thyself thou mayest say, 

That to the dust 

Return thou must. 

Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 



PART II. 

"Was this small plant for thee cut down ? 
So was the plant of great renown, 

Which Mercy sends 

For nobler ends. 

Thus think, and binoke tobacco. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 39 

Doth juice medicinal proceed 
From such a naughty foreign weed ? 

Then what 's the power 

Of Jesse's flower ? 

Thus think, and smoke tohacco. 

The promise, like the pipe, inlays, 
And by the mouth of faith conveys, 

What virtue flows 

From Sharon's rose. 

Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

In vain the unlighted pipe you blow, 
Your pains in outward means are so, 

'Till heavenly fire 

Your heart inspire. 

Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 

The smoke, like burning incense, towers, 
So should a praying heart of yours, 

With ardent cries, 

Surmount the skies. 

Thus think, and smoke tobacco. 



IX. 

This is a very ancient production, though given from a modern 
copy; it lias always been popular amongst the poor " brethren of 
the mystic tie." The late Henry O'Brien, A.B., quotes the 



40 ANCIENT POEMS, 

seventh verso in his essay On the Round Towers of Ireland. He 
generally had a common copy of the hymn in his pocket, and 
on meeting with any of his antiquarian friends who were not 
Masons, was in the habit of thrusting it into their hands, and 
telling them that if they understood the mystical allusions it 
contained, they would be in possession of a key which would 
unlock the pyramids of Egypt! The tune to the hymn is pecu- 
liar to it, and is of a plaintive and solemn character. 



Come all you freemasons that dwell around the globe, 
That wear the badge of innocence, I mean the royal 

robe, 
Which Noah he did wear when in the ark he stood, 
When the world was destroyed by a deluging flood. 

Noah he was virtuous in the sight of the Lord, 
He loved a freemason that kept the secret word ; 
For he built the ark, and he planted the first vine, 
Now his soul in heaven like an angel doth shine. 

Once I was blind, and could not see the light, 
Then up to Jerusalem I took my flight, 
I was led by the evangelist through a wilderness of care, 
You may see by the sign and the badge that I wear. 

On the 13th rose the ark, let us join hand in hand, 
For the Lord spake to Moses by water and by land, 
Unto the pleasant river where by Eden it did rin, 
And Eve tempted Adam by the serpent of sin. 

When I think of Moses it makes me to blush, 
All on mount Horeb where I saw the burning bush ; 
My shoes I'll throw off, and my staff I'll cast away, 
And I'll wander like a pilgrim unto my dying day. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 41 

When I think of Aaron it makes me to weep, [feet; 
Likewise of the Virgin Mary who lay at our Saviour's 
'Twas in the garden of Gethsemane where he had the 

bloody sweat ; 
Repent, my dearest brethren, before it is too late. 

I thought I saw twelve dazzling lights, which put me 

in surprise, 
And gazing all around me I heard a dismal noise; 
The serpent passed by me which fell unto the ground, 
With great joy and comfort the secret word I found. 

Some say it is lost, but surely it is found, 
And so is our Saviour, it is known to all around ; 
Search all the scriptures over and there it will be shewn 
The tree that will bear no fruit must be cut down. 

Abraham was a man well beloved by the Lord, 
He was true to be found in great Jehovah's word, 
He stretched forth his hand, and took a knife to slay 

his son, 
An angel appearing said, the Lord's will be done. 

O, Abraham ! O, Abraham ! lay no hand upon the lad, 
He sent him unto thee to make thy heart glad ; 
Thy seed shall increase like stars in the sky, 
And thy soul into heaven like Gabriel shall fly. 

O, never, 0, never will I hear an orphan cry, 
Nor yet a gentle virgin until the day I die ; 



42 ANCIENT POEMS, 

You wandering Jews that travel the wide world round, 
May knock at the door where truth is to be found. 

Often against the Turks and Infidels we fight, 

To let the wandering world know we're in the right, 

For in heaven there 's a lodge, and St. Peter keeps the 

door, 
And none can enter in but those that are pure. 

St. Peter he opened, and so we entered in, 
Into the holy seat secure, which is all free from sin ; 
St. Peter he opened, and so we entered there, 
And the glory of the temple no man can compare. 



X. 



Si 2Dialoffue bcttoeen tlje ^utfbanD-matt anH 
t\)t §>ertrinff--maru 

This ancient dialogue has long been used at country merry- 
makings. The editor was present in 1835 at an harvest-home 
feast at Selborne, in Hampshire, when he heard the dialogue 
recited by two country-men, who gave it with considerable 
humour, and dramatic effect. It is said in a sort of chant, or 
recitative. Davies Gilbert published a copy in his Ancient 
Christmas Carols. The editor has several printed copies, but all 
of modern date. The following version is a traditional one 
from Sussex, which has been collated with another traditional 
one communicated by W. Sandys, Esq., F.S.A. In the modern 
editions the term " servant-man" has been substituted for the 
more ancient designation. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 43 

SERVING-MAN. 

Well met, my brother friend, all at this highway end, 

So simple all alone, as you can, 
I pray you tell to me, what may your calling be, 

Are you not a serving-man ? 

HUSBAND-MAN. 

No, no, my brother dear, what makes you to enquire 

Of any such a thing at my hand ? 
Indeed I shall not feign, but I will tell you plain, 

I am a downright husband-man. 

SERVING-MAN. 

If a husband-man you be, then go along with me, 
And quickly you shall see out of hand, 

How in a little space I will help you to a place, 
Where you may be a serving-man. 

HUSBAND-MAN. 

Kind sir ! I 'turn you thanks for your intelligence, 

These things I receive at your hand ; 
But something pray now show, that first I may plainly 
know 

The pleasures of a serving-man. 

SERVING-MAN. 

Why a serving-man has pleasure beyond all sort of 
measure, 
With hi.s hawk on his fist, as he does stand; 



44 ANCIENT POEMS, 

For the game that he does kill, and the meat that does 
him fill, 
Are pleasures for the serving-man. 

HUSBAND-MAN. 

And my pleasure 's more than that, to see my oxen fat, 
And a good stock of hay by them stand ; 

My plowing and my sowing, my reaping and my mowing, 
Are pleasures for the husband-man. 

SERVING-MAN. 

Why it is a gallant thing to ride out with a king, 

With a lord, duke, or any such man ; 
To hear the horns to blow, and see the hounds all 
in a row, 

That is pleasure for the serving-man. 

HUSBAND-MAN. 

But my pleasure's more I know, to see my corn to grow, 

So thriving all over my land ; 
And, therefore, I do mean, with my ploughing with my 
team, 

To keep myself a husband-man. 

SERVING-MAN. 

Why the diet that we eat is the choicest of all meat, 

Such as pig, goose, capon, and swan ; 
Our pastry is so fine, we drink sugar in our wine, 

That is living for the serving-man. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 45 

HUSBAND-MAN. 

Talk not of goose nor capon, give me good beef or 
bacon, 
And good bread and cheese, now at hand ; 
With pudding, brawn, and souse, all in a farmer's 
house, 
That is living for the husband-man. 

SERVING-MAN. 

Why the clothing that we wear is delicate and rare, 
With our coat, lace, buckles, and band ; 

Our shirts are white as milk, and our stockings they are 
silk, 
That is clothing for a serving-man. 

HUSBAND-MAN. 

But I value not a hair your delicate fine wear, 

Such as gold is laced upon ; 
Give me a good grey coat, and in my purse a groat, 

That is clothing for the husband-man. 

SERVING-MAN. 

Kind sir ! it would be bad if none could be had 

Those tables for to wait upon ; 
There is no lord, duke, nor squire, nor member for the 
shire, 

Can do without a serving-man. 

HUSBAND-MAN. 

But, Jack! it would be worse if there was none of us 
To follow the ploughing of the land; 



46 ANCIENT POEMS, 

There is neither king, lord, nor squire, nor member for 
the shire, 
Can do without the husband-man. 

SERVING-MAN. 

Kind sir ! I must confess 't, and I humbly protest 

I will give you the uppermost hand, 
Although your labour 's painful, and mine it is so very 
gainful, 

I wish I were a husband-man. 

HUSBAND-MAN. 

So come now, let us all, both great as well as small, 

Pray for the grain of our land ; 
And let us, whatsoever, do all our best endeavour, 

For to maintain the good husband-man. 



XI. 

By William Browne, author of Britannia's Pastorals. 
The peasants of Devonshire repeat portions of the following 
witty poem as they have been traditionally handed down, but are 
ignorant of the source from whence they are derived. The poem 
was first printed in Prince's Worthies of Devon, 1701. William 
Browne, the author, was born at Tavistock, in 1590. In the 
Anglo-Saxon times, the town of Lidford on Dartmoor, had the 
privilege of coining, and long after such privilege was abolished, 
courts were held there for the purpose of trying all offences con- 
nected with coining, as well as for the settling of mining disputes. 
It is almost unnecessary to remind the reader that by the old 
law of the land, the offence of coining was considered treason, 
and criminals convicted thereof, were subjected to all the disgust- 
ing punishments which, till a very recent period, were inflicted 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 47 

on actual traitors. Some interesting particulars respecting 
Lidford and its judges, one of whom was the notorious Jefteries, 
may be found in Mrs. Bray's Traditions of Devonshire, London 
1826. 



I oft have heard of Lydford law, 
How in the morn they hang and draw, 

And sit in judgment after : 
At first I wondered at it much ; 
But since I find the reason such, 

As it deserves no laughter. 

They have a castle on a hill, 
I took it for an old wind-mill, 

The vanes blown off by weather: 
To lye therein one night 'tis guessed, 
'Twere better to be stoned and pressed, 

Or hanged ; now chose you whether. 

Ten men less room within this cave, 
Than five mice in a lanthorn have, 

The keepers they are sly ones ; 
If any could devise by art 
To get it up into a cart, 

'Twere fit to carry lyons. 

When I beheld it, Lord ! thought I, 
What justice and what clemency 

Hath Lydford, when I saw all ! 
I know none gladly there would stay; 
But rather hang out of the way, 

Then tarry for a tryal. 



48 ANCIENT POEM?!, 

The prince an hundred pound hath sent, 
To mend the leads and planchens wrent, 

Within this living tonih ; 
Some forty-five pounds more had paid, 
The debts of all that shall be laid 

There till the day of doom. 



One lyes there for a seam of malt ; 
Another for a peek of salt ; 
Two sureties for a noble. 
If this be true, or else false news, 

* Thestew- 

You may go ask of master Crews,* ' anl ° r 

J ° the court. 

John Vaughan, or John Doble.t + Attorneys 

° I of the court. 



More, to these men that lye in lurch, 
There is a bridge, there is a church, 

Seven ashes, and one oak: 
Three houses standing, and ten down; 
They say the parson hath a gown, 

But I saw ne'er a cloak. 



Whereby you may consider well, 
That plain simplicity doth dwell 

At Lydford, without bravery : 
And in the town, both young and grave 
Do love the naked truth to have ; 

No cloak to hide their knavery. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 49 

The people all within this clime 
Are frozen in the winter-time, 

For sure I do not fain : 
And when the summer is begun, 
They lye like silk-worms in the sun, 

And come to life again. 

One told me in King Caesar's time, 

The town was built with stone and lime ; 

But sure the walls were clay : 
And they are fallen for aught I see ; 
And since the houses are got free, 

The town is run away. 

Oh ! Caasar, if thou there didst reign, 
While our house stands come there again, 

Come quickly while there is one ; 
If thou stay but a little fit, 
But five years more, they will commit 

The whole town to a prison. 

To see it thus, much grieved was I : 
The proverb saith, sorrows be dry ; 

So was I at the matter ; 
Now by good luck, I know not how, 
There thither came a strange stray cow, 

And we had milk and water. 

To nine good stomachs with our whigg, 
At last we got a roasting pigg; 

i: 



50 ANCIENT POEMS, 

This dyet was our bounds ; 
And this was just as if 'twere known, 
A pound of butter had been thrown 

Among a pack of hounds. 

One glass of drink I got by chance, 
'Twas claret when it was in France; 

But now from it much wider : 
I think a man might make as good 
With green crabs boyled, and Brazil wood, 

And half a pint of cyder. 

I kissed the mayor's hand of the town, 
Who, though he wears no scarlet gown, 

Honours the rose and thistle : 
A piece of coral to the mace, 
Which there I saw to serve in place, 

Would make a good child's whistle. 

At six a clock I came away, 

And prayed for those that were to stay 

Within a place so arrant : 
Wide and ope, the winds so roar, 
By God's grace I'll come there no more, 

Unless by some Tyn Warrant. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 51 



XII. 

ascription of »>t> I&epne'g ctftteU, 

COKNWALL. 

The following lines are to be found in Carew's Survey of 
Cormcall, 1602, but are probably much older than that date. 
They are frequently recited by the peasantry of Cornwall, 
especially by those who reside near the famous " Well of Saint 
Keyne," the sacred spring concerning which a very excellent 
and humorous ballad was written by the poet Southey. 



In name, in shape, in quality, 

This well is very quaint, 
The name to lot of Kayne befell, 

No over-holy saint. 

The shape four trees of clivers kinde, 
Withy, Oke, Elme and Ash, 

Make with their roots an arched roofe, 
Whose floore this spring doth wash. 

The quality, that man or wife, 
Whose chance, or choice attaines, 

First of this sacred streame to drinke, 
Thereby the mastry gaines. 



e2 



ANCIENT POEMS, BALLADS, &c. 



BALLADS. 



T&in$ ^tnct'e tfjc jFiftfTss Conquest* 

(traditional version.) 

A ballad on the same subject as the following one is to be 
found in the Croivn- Garland of Golden Roses, Part II., 1659. 
Vide Percy Society's edit. p. 65, entitled The Battel of Agin- 
court betweene the Englishmen and the Frenchmen, but it is totally 
different from King Henry the Fifth's Conquest, which the editor 
took down from the singing of the late Francis King, of Skipton 
in Craven, an eccentric character, who was well known in the 
western dales of Yorkshire as " the Skipton Minstrel." King's 
version does not contain the third verse, which is obtained, as is 
also the title, from a modern broadside, from whence, also, one 
or two verbal corrections are made, of too trifling a nature to 
particularize. The tune to which King used to sing it, is the 
same as that of The Bold Pedlar and Bobin Hood. The ballad is 
old, and can be traced to the sixteenth century. It is evidently 
the ballad alluded to in An excellent Medley, to the tune of Tarletons 
Medley, and which is to be found in the Roxburgh Collection, 
" Originally printed for Henry Gosson, and afterwards by P. 
Coles, T. Vere, and S. Wright." Gosson was living is 1609. 
The line quoted in the Medley, though given incorrectly for 
the sake of a rhyme, appears to be the first line of the thir- 
teenth verse. 

The story of the Tennis-balls is not the mere invention of a 
ballad-monger, but is recorded by some grave historians. " It is 
reported," says Hume, " by some histoiians, (see Hist. Croyl. 
Cont., p. 500), that the Dauphin, in derision of Henry's claims 
and dissolute character, sent him a box of tennis-balls, intimating 
that these implements of play were better adapted to him than 



ANCIENT POEMS, ETC. 53 

the instruments of war. But this story is by no means credible: 
the great offers made by the court of France, show that they had 
already entertained a just idea of Henry's character, as well as 
of their own situation." — Vide Humes History of England, 
Chap. xix. 



As our King lay musing on his bed, 
He bethought himself upon a time, 
Of a tribute that was due from France, 
Had not been paid for so long a time. 
Down, a down, a down, a down, 
Down, a down, a down. 

He called on his trusty page, 
His trusty page then called he, 
Oh you must go to the King of France, 
Oh you must go right speedilie. 
Down, a down, &c. 

And tell him of my tribute due, 
Ten ton of gold that's due to me ; 
That he must send me my tribute home, 
Or in French land he soon will me see. 
Down, a down, &c. 

Oh ! then away went the trusty page, 
Away, away, and away went he, 
Until he came to the King of France, 
Lo ! he fell down on his bended knee. 
Down, a down, &c. 



54 ANCIENT POEMS, 

My master greets you, worthy Sire, 
Ten ton of gold there is due, says he ; 
You must send him his tribute home, 
Or in French land you will soon him see- 
Down, a down, &c. 

Your master 's young, and of tender years, 
Not fit to come into my degree ; 
But I will send him three tennis balls, 
That with them learn to play may he. 
Down, a down, &c. 

Oh then away came the trusty page, 
Away, away, and away came he, 
Until he came to our gracious King, 
Lo ! he fell down on his bended knee. 
Down, a down, &c. 

"What news, what news, my trusty page, 
What news, what news hast thou brought to me? 
I've brought such news from the King of France, 
That you and he will ne'er agree. 
Down, a down, &c. 

He says you're young, and of tender years, 
Not fit to come into his degree, 
But he will send you three tennis balls, 
That with them you may learn to play. 
Down, a down, &c. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 55 

Oh! then bespoke our noble King, 
A solemn vow then vowed he, 
I'll promise him such tennis balls, 
As in French lands he ne'er did see. 
Down, a down, &c. 

Go, call up Cheshire and Lancashire, 
And Derby hills, that are so free ; 
Not a married man, nor a widow's son, 
For the widow's cry shall not go with me. 
Down, a down, &c. 

They called up Cheshire and Lancashire, 
And Derby lads that were so free, 
Not a married man nor a widow's son, 
Yet they were a jovial bold companie. 
Down, a down, &c. 

Oh! then he sailed to fair French land, 
With drums and trumpets so merrilie, 
Oh ! then bespoke the King of France, 
Yonder comes proud King Henrie. 
Down, a down, &c. 

The first fire that the Frenchmen gave, 
They killed our Englishmen so free, 
We killed ten thousand of the French, 
And the rest of them they were forced to flee. 
Down, a down, &c. 



56 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And then we marched to Paris gates, 
With drums and trumpets so merrilie ; 
Oh ! then bespoke the King of France, 
Lord ! have mercy on my poor men and me ! 
Down, a down, &c. 

Go! tell him I'll send home his tribute due, 
Ten ton of gold that is due from me ; 
And the fairest flower that is in our French land 
To the Rose of England it shall go free. 
Down, a down, &c. 



II. 

%\)t <&ijree Uniffljta. 

(traditional.) 

TJie Three Knights was first printed by the late Davies Gilbert, 
F.R.S., in the appendix to his work on Christmas Carols. Mr. 
Gilbert thought that some verses were wanting after the eighth 
stanza ; the present editor is of a different opinion. A conjectu- 
ral emendation made in the ninth verse, viz., the substitution 
of far for for, seems to render the ballad perfect. The ballad is 
still popular amongst the peasantry in the "West of England. 
The tune is given by Gilbert. 



There did three Knights come from the west, 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
And these three Knights courted one Ladye, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 57 

The first Knight came was all in white, 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
And asked of her if she'd be his delight, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

The next Knight came was all in green, 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
And asked of her, if she'd be his Queen, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

The third Knight came was all in red, 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
And asked of her, if she would wed, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

Then have you asked of my father dear ? 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
Likewise of her who did me bear ? 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

And have you asked of my brother John ? 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
And also of my sister Anne ? 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

Yes, I've asked of your father dear, 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
Likewise of her who did you bear, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 



58 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And I've asked of your sister Anne, 

"With the high and the lily oh ! 
But I've not asked of your brother John, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

Far on the road as they rode along, 

With the high and the lily oh! 
There did they meet with her brother John, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

She stooped low to kiss him sweet, 

"With the high and the lily oh ! 
He to her heart did a dagger meet, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

Ride on, ride on, cried the serving man, 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
Methinks your bride she looks wondrous wan, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

I wish I were on yonder stile, 

With the high and the lily oh! 
For there I would sit and bleed awhile, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

I wish I were on yonder hill, 

With the high and the lily oh! 
There I'd alight and make my will, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 59 

What would you give to your father dear ? 

With the high and the lily oh! 
The gallaut steed which doth me bear, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

What would you give to your mother dear? 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
My wedding shift which I do wear, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

But she must wash it very clean, 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
For my heart's blood sticks in every seam, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

What would you give to your sister Anne ? 

With the high and the lily oh ! 
My gay gold ring, and my feathered fan. 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

What would you give to your brother John? 

With the high and the lily oh! 
A rope and a gallows to hang him on, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 

What would you give to your brother John's wife ? 

With the high and the lily oh! 
A widow's weeds, and a quiet life, 

As the rose was so sweetly blown. 



60 ANCIENT POEMS, 



in. 
W$z Blinti Bcffijac of Bettnall <&mn. 

SHEWING HOW HIS DAUGHTER WAS MARRIED TO A KNIGHT, 

AND HAD THREE THOUSAND POUND TO 

HER PORTION. 

Percy's copy of The Beggar s Daughter of Bednall Green is known 
to be very incorrect: besides many alterations and improvements 
wbich it received at the hands of the Bishop, it contains no less 
than eight stanzas written by Robert Dodsley, the author of The 
Economy of Human Life. So far as poetry is concerned, there 
cannot be a question that the version in the Reliques is far supe- 
rior to the original, which is still a popular favourite, and a 
correct copy of which is now given, as it has existed in all the 
common broadside editions that have appeared from 1672 to the 
present time. Although the original copies have all perished, 
the ballad has been very satisfactorily proved by Percy to have 
been written in the reign of Elizabeth. The present reprint is 
from a modern copy, carefully collated with one in the Bagford 
Collection, entitled, 

" The rarest ballad that ever was seen, 
Of the Blind Beggar's Daughter of Bednal Green." 

The imprint to it is, "Printed by and for TV. Onley ; and are 
to be sold by C. Bates, at the sign of the Sun and Bible, in Pye 
Corner." The very antiquated orthography adopted in some 
editions of The Blind Beggar, does not rest on any authority. 



PART I. 

This song 's of a beggar who long lost his sight, 
And had a fair daughter, most pleasant and bright, 
And many a gallant brave suitor had she, 
And none was so comely as pretty Bessee. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 61 

And though she was of complexion most fair, 
And seeing she was hut a beggar his heir, 
Of ancient housekeepers despised was she, 
Whose sons came as suitors to pretty Bessee. 

Wherefore in great sorrow fair Bessee did say: 
Good father and mother, let me now go away, 
To seek out my fortune, whatever it he. 
This suit then was granted to pretty Bessee. 

This Bessee, that was of a beauty most bright, 
They clad in gray russet, and late in the night 
From father and mother alone parted she, 
Who sighed and sobbed for pretty Bessee. 

She went till she came to Stratford-at-Bow, 
Then she knew not whither or which way to go, 
With tears she lamented her sad destiny ; 
So sad and so heavy was pretty Bessee. 

She kept on her journey until it was day, 
And went unto Rum ford, along the highway; 
And at the Kings Arms entertained was she, 
So fair and well favoured was pretty Bessee. 

She had not been there one month at an end, 
But master and mistress and all was her friend : 
And every brave gallant that once did her see, 
Was straightway in love with pretty Bessee. 



G'2 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Great gifts they did send her of silver and gold, 
And in their songs daily her love they extoll'd: 
Her heauty was blazed in every degree, 
So fair and so comely was pretty Bessee. 

The young men of Rumford in her had their joy, 
She shewed herself courteous, but never too coy, 
And at their commandment still she would be, 
So fair and so comely was pretty Bessee. 

Four suitors at once unto her did go, 
They craved her favour, but still she said no ; 
I would not have gentlemen marry with me! 
Yet ever they honoured pretty Bessee. 

Now one of them was a gallant young knight, 
And he came unto her disguised in the night ; 
The second, a gentleman of high degree, 
Who wooed and sued for pretty Bessee. 

A merchant of London, whose wealth was not small, 
"Was then the third suitor, and proper withal ; 
Her master's own son the fourth man must be, 
Who swore he would die for pretty Bessee. 

If that thou wilt marry with me, quoth the knight, 

I'll make thee a lady with joy and delight; 

My heart is enthralled in thy fair beauty, 

Then grant me thy favour, my pretty Bessee. 

/ 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 63 

The gentleman said, Come marry with me, 
In silks and in velvet my Bessee shall be; 
My heart lies distracted, oh ! hear me, quoth he, 
And grant me thy love, my dear pretty Bessee. 

Let me be thy husband, the merchant did say, 
Thou shalt live in London most gallant and gay ; 
My ships shall bring home rich jewels for thee, 
And I will for ever love pretty Bessee. 

Then Bessee she sighed and thus she did say ; 
My father and mother I mean to obey ; 
First get their good will, and be faithful to me, 
And you shall enjoy your dear pretty Bessee. 

To every one of them that answer she made, 

Therefore unto her they joyfully said: 

This thing to fulfill we all now agree, 

But where dwells thy father, my pretty Bessee ? 

My father, quoth she, is soon to be seen: 
The silly blind beggar of Bednall Green, 
That daily sits begging for charity, 
He is the kind father of pretty Bessee. 

His marks and his token are knowen full well, 
He always is led by a dog and a bell ; 
A poor silly old man, God knowetli, is he, 
Yet he is the true father of pretty Bessee. 



64 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Nay, nay, quoth the merchant, thou art not for me ; 
She, quoth the inn holder, my wife shall not he ; 
I loathe, said the gentleman, a beggars degree, 
Therefore, now farewell, my pretty Bessee. 

Why then, quoth the knight, happ better or worse, 
I weigh not true love by the weight of the purse, 
And beauty is beauty in every degree, 
Then welcome to me, my dear pretty Bessee. 

"With thee to thy father forthwith I will go. 
Nay, forbear, quoth his kinsman, it must not be so: 
A poor beggars daughter a lady shan't be ; 
Then take thy adieu of thy pretty Bessee. 

As soon then as it was break of the day, 
The knight had from Rumford stole Bessee away ; 
The young men of Rumford, so sick as may be, 
Rode after to fetch again pretty Bessee. 

As swift as the wind to ride they were seen, 
Until they came near unto Beanall Green, 
And as the knight lighted most courteously, 
They fought against him for pretty Bessee. 

But rescue came presently over the plain, 
Or else the knight there for his love had been slain ; 
The fray being ended, they straightway did see 
His kinsman come railing at pretty Bessee. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 65 

Then bespoke the blind beggar, altho' I be poor, 
Rail not against my child at my own door, 
Though she be not decked in velvet and pearl, 
Yet I will drop angels with thee for my girl ; 

And then if my gold should better her birth, 
And equal the gold you lay on the earth, 
Then neither rail you, nor grudge you to see 
The blind beggars daughter a lady to be. 

But first, I will hear, and have it well known, 
The gold that you drop it shall be all your own ; 
With that they replied, Contented we be ; 
Then heres, quoth the beggar, for pretty Bessee. 

With that an angel he dropped on the ground, 
And dropped, in angels, full three thousand pound ; 
And oftentimes it proved most plain, 
For the gentlemans one, the beggar dropped twain. 

So that the whole place wherein they did sit, 

With gold was covered every whit ; 

The gentleman having dropt all his store, 

Said, Beggar ! your hand hold, for I have no more. 

Thou hast fulfilled thy promise aright, 
Then marry my girl, quotli he, to the knight; 
And then, quoth he, I will throw you down, 
An hundred pound more to buy her a gown. 

F 



66 ANCIENT POEMS, 

The gentlemen all, who his treasure had seen, 
Admired the beggar of Bednall Green ; 
And those that had been her suitors before, 
Their tender flesh for anger they tore. 

Thus was the fair Bessee matched to a knight, 

And made a lady in others despite. 

A fairer lady there never was seen 

Than the blind beggars daughter of Bednall Green. 



J oo 



But of her sumptuous marriage and feast, 
And what fine lords and ladies there prest, 
The second part shall set forth to your sight, 
With marvellous pleasure, and wished for delight. 

Of a blind beggar's daughter so bright, 
That late was betrothed to a young knight. 
All the whole discourse therefore you may see, 
But now comes the wedding of pretty Bessee. 



PART UP 

It was in a gallant palace most brave, 
Adorned with all the cost they could have, 
This wedding it was kept most sumptuously, 
And all for the love of pretty Bessee. 

And all kind of dainties and delicates sweet, 
Was brought to their bancpiet, as it was thought meet, 
Partridge, and plover, and venison most free, 
Against the brave wedding of pretty Bessee. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 67 

The wedding thro' England was spread by report, 
So that a great number thereto did resort, 
Of nobles and gentles of every degree, 
And all for the fame of pretty Bessee. 

To church then away went this gallant young knight, 
His bride followed after, an angel most bright, 
With troops of ladies, the like was ne'er seen, 
As went with sweet Bessee of Bednall Green. 

This wedding being solemnized then, 
With music performed by skilfullest men, 
The nobles and gentlemen down at the side, 
Each one beholding the beautiful bride. 

But after the sumptuous dinner was done, 

To talk and to reason a number begun, 

And of the blind beggars daughter most bright ; 

And what with his daughter he gave to the knight. 

Then spoke the nobles, Much marvel have we 
This jolly blind beggar we cannot yet see ! 
My lords, quoth the bride, my father so base 
Is loath with his presence these states to disgrace. 

The praise of a woman in question to bring, 
Before her own face is a flattering thing; 
But we think thy fathers baseness, quoth they, 
Might by thy beauty be clean put away. 

v2 



68 ANCIENT POEMS, 

They no sooner this pleasant word spoke, 
But in comes the beggar in a silken cloak, 
A velvet cap and a feather had he, 
And now a musician, forsooth, he would be. 

And being led in from catching of harm, 
He had a dainty lute under his arm, 
Said, please you to hear any music of me, 
A song I will give you of pretty Bessee. 

"With that his lute he twanged straightway, 
And thereon began most sweetly to play, 
And after a lesson was played two or three, 
He strained out this song most delicately: — 

A beggar's daughter did dwell on a green, 
Who for her beauty may well be a queen, 
A blithe bonny lass, and dainty was she, 
And many one called her pretty Bessee. 

Her father he had no goods nor no lands, . 

But begged for a penny all day with his hands, 
And yet for her marriage gave thousands three, 
Yet still he hath somewhat for pretty Bessee. 

And here if any one do her disdain, 
Her father is ready with might and with main 
To prove she is come of noble degree, 
Therefore let none flout at my pretty Bessee. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 69 

With that the lords and the company round 
With a hearty laughter were ready to swound ; 
At last said the lords, Full well we may see, 
The bride and the bridegrooms beholden to thee. 

With thai the fair bride all blushing did rise, 
With chrystal water all in her bright eyes, 
Pardon my father, brave nobles, quoth she, 
That through blind affection thus doats upon me. 

If this be thy father, the nobles did say, 
Well may he be proud of this happy day, 
Yet by his countenance well may we see, 
His birth with his fortune could never agree; 

And therefore, blind beggar, we pray thee bewray, 
And look to us then the truth thou dost say, 
Thy birth and thy parentage what it may be, 
E'en for the love thou bearest to pretty Bessee. 

Then give me leave, ye gentles each one, 

A song more to sing and then I'll begone, 

And if that I do not win good report, 

Then do not give me one groat for my sport : — 

When first our king his fame did advance, 
And sought his title in delicate France, 
In many places great perils past he, 
But then was not born my pretty Bessee. 



70 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And tit those wars went over to fight, 

Many a brave duke, a lord, and a knight, 

And with them young Monford of courage so free, 

But then was not born my pretty Bessee. 

And there did young Monford with a blow on the face 
Lose both his eyes in a very short space ; 
His life had been gone away with his sight, 
Had not a young woman gone forth in the night. 

Among the said men, her fancy did move, 
To search and to seek for her own true love, 
Who seeing young Monford there gasping to die, 
She saved his life through her charity. 

And then all our victuals in beggars attire, 
At the hands of good people we then did require, 
At last into England, as now it is seen, 
We came, and remained in Bednall Green. 

And thus we have lived in Fortune's despyght, 
Though pool 1 , yet contented with humble delight, 
And in my old years, a comfort to me, 
God sent me a daughter called pretty Bessee. 

And thus, ye nobles, my song I do end, 
Hoping by the same no man to offend ; 
Full forty long winters thus I have been, 
A silly blind beggar of Bednall Green. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 71 

Now when the company every one, 
Did hear the strange tale he told in his song, 
They were amazed, as well they might be 
Both at the blind beggar and pretty Bessee. 

With that the fair bride they all did embrace, 
Saying, You are come of an honourable race, 
Thy father likewise is of high degree, 
And thou art right worthy a lady to be. 

Thus was the feast ended with joy and delight, 
A happy bridegroom was made the young knight, 
Who lived in great joy and felicity, 
With his fair lady dear pretty Bessee. 



IV. 

%\)Z OBolD petilar ann Kobiti ^ootu 

This ballad is of considerable antiquity, and no doubt much 
older than some of those inserted in the common garlands. It 
appears to have escaped the notice of Ritson, Percy, and other 
collectors of Robin Hood ballads. An aged female in Bermond- 
sey, Surrey, from whose oral recitation the editor took down the 
present version, informed him that she had often heard her 
grandmother sing it, and that it was never in print ; but he has 
of late met with several common stall copies. 



There chanced to be a pedlar bold, 
A pedlar bold he chanced to be ; 
He rolled his pack all on his back, 
And he came tripping o'er the lee. 
Down, a down, a down, a down, 
Down, a down, a down. 



ANCIENT POEMS, 

By chance he met two troublesome blades, 
Two troublesome blades they chanced to be ; 

The one of them was bold Robin Hood, 
And the other was little John, so free. 

Oh ! pedlar, pedlar, what is in thy pack, 

Come speedilie and tell to me? 
I've several suits of the gay green silks, 

And silken bow strings two or three. 

If you have several suits of the gay green silk, 
And silken bow strings two or three, 

Then it's by my body, cries little John, 
One half your pack shall belong to me. 

Oh! nay, oh! nay, says the pedlar bold, 
Oh! nay, oh! nay, that never can be, 

For there's never a man from fair Nottingham 
Can take one half my pack from me. 

Then the pedlar he pulled off his pack, 
And put it a little below his knee, 

Saying, If you do move me one perch from this, 
My pack and all shall gang with thee. 

Then little John he drew his sword ; 

The pedlar by his pack did stand ; 
They fought until they both did sweat, 

Till he cried, Pedlar, pray hold your hand ! 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 73 

Then Eobin Hood he was standing by, 

And he did laugh most heartilie, 
Saying, I could find a man of a smaller scale, 

Could thrash the pedlar, and also thee. 

Go, you try, master, says little John, 
Go, you try, master, most speedilie, 

Or by my body, says little John, 

I am sure this night you will not know me. 

Then Robin Hood he drew his sword, 
And the pedlar by his pack did stand, 

They fought till the blood in streams did flow, 
Till he cried, Pedlar, pray hold your hand ! 

Pedlar, pedlar ! what is thy name ? 

Come speedilie and tell to me ; 
My name! my name, I ne'er will tell, 

Till both your names you have told to me. 

The one of us is bold Robin Hood, 
And the other little John, so free : 

Now, says the pedlar, it lays to my good will, 
Whether my name I chuse to tell to thee. 

I am Gamble Gold of the gay green woods, 

And travelled far beyond the sea; 
For killing a man in my father's land, 

From my country I was forced to flee. 



74 ANCIENT POEMS, 

If you are Gamble Gold of the gay green woods, 
And travelled far beyond the sea, 

You are ray mother's own sister's son ; 
What nearer cousins then can we be? 

They sheathed their swords with friendly words, 

So merrily they did agree, 
They went to a tavern and there they dined, 

And bottles cracked most merrilie. 



%\)Z £>utlantn'0tj ISntrrljt* 

This is the common English stall copy of a ballad of which 
there are a variety of versions, for an account of which, and of 
the presumed origin of the story, the reader is referred to the 
notes on the Water o' Wearies Well, in the editor's Scottish Tra- 
ditional Versions of Ancient Ballads, Percy Society's publications, 
No. i/vin. By the term " outlandish" is signified an inhabitant 
of that portion of the border which was formerly known by the 
name of " the Debateable Land," a district which, though 
claimed by both England and Scotland, could not be said to 
belong to either country. The people on each side of the bor- 
der applied the term " outlandish" to the Debateable residents. 
The tune to The Outlandish Knight has never been printed ; it is 
peculiar to the ballad, and, from its popularity, is well known. 



An Outlandish knight came from the North lands, 

And he came a wooing to me ; 
He told me he'd take me unto the North lands, 

And there he would marry me. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 75 

Come, fetch me some of your father's gold, 

And some of your mother's fee ; 
And two of the best nags out of the stable, 

Where they stand thirty and three. 

She fetched him some of her father's gold, 

And some of the mother's fee ; 
And two of the best nags out of the stable, 

Where they stood thirty and three. 

She mounted her on her milk-white steed, 

He on the dapple grey ; 
They rode till they came unto the sea side, 

Three hours before it was day. 

Light otf, light off thy milk-white steed, 

And deliver it unto me ; 
Six pretty maids have I drowned here, 

And thou the seventh shall be. 

Pull off, pull off thy silken gown, 

And deliver it unto me, 
Methinks it looks too rich and too gay 

To rot in the salt sea. 

Pull off, pull off thy silken stays, 

And deliver them unto me ; 
Methinks they are too fine and gay 

To rot in the salt sea. 



7G ANCIENT POEMS, 

Pull oil', pull off thy Holland smock, 

Ami deliver it unto me; 
Methinks it looks too rich and gay, 

To rot in the salt sea. 

If I must pull off my Holland smock, 

Pray turn thy back unto me, 
For it is not fitting that such a ruffian 

A naked woman should see. 

He turned his back towards her, 

And viewed the leaves so green, 
She catched him round the middle so small, 

And tumbled him into the stream. 

He dropped high, and he dropped low, 

Until he came to the side, 
Catch hold of my hand, my pretty maiden, 

And I will make you my bride. 

Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man, 

Lie there instead of me ; 
Six pretty maids have you drowned here, 

And the seventh has drowned thee. 

She mounted on her milk-white steed, 

And led the dapple gray, 
She rode till she came to her own father's hall, 

Three hours before it was day. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 77 

The parrot being in the window so high, 

Hearing the lady, did say, 
I'm afraid that some ruffian has led you astray, 

That you have tarried so long away. 

Don't prittle nor prattle, my pretty parrot, 

Nor tell no tales of me ; 
Thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold, 

Although it is made of a tree. 

The king being in the chamber so high, 

And heai'ing the parrot, did say, 
What ails you, what ails you my pretty parrot ? 

That you prattle so long before day. 

It's no laughing matter, the parrot did say, 

But so loudly I call unto thee ; 
For the cats have got into the window so high, 

And I'm afraid they will have me. 

Well turned, well turned, my pretty parrot, 

Well turned, well turned for me ; 
Thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold, 

And the door of the best ivory. 



78 ANCIENT POEMS, 



VI. 



3Lor& HofceL 



The ballad of Lord Lovel is from a broadside printed in the 
metropolis daring the present year. A version may be seen in 
Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, where it is given as taken down 
from the recitation of a lady in Roxburghshire. Mr. M. A. Rich- 
ardson, the editor of the Local Historian's Table Book, says that 
the ballad is ancient, and the hero is traditionally believed to have 
been one of the family of Lovele, or Delavalle, of Northumberland: 
the London printers say that their copy is very old. The two last 
verses are common to many ballads. From the tune being that 
to which the old ditty of Johnnie o' Cockelsmuir is sung, it is 
not improbable that the story is of Northumbrian or Border 
origin. 



Lord Lovel he stood at his castle gate, 

Combing his milk-white steed; 
When up came Lady Nancy Belle, 

To wish her lover good speed, speed, 

To wish her lover good speed. 

Where are you going, Lord Lovel ? she said, 
Oli ! where are you going ? said she ; 

I'm going, my Lady Nancy Belle, 
Strange countries for to see, see, 
Strange countries for to see. 



BALLADS AND SONGS. 79 

When will you be back, Lord Lovel ? she said, 
Oh ! when will you come back ? said she ; 

In a year or two — or three, at the most, 
I'll return to my fair Nancy,-cy, 
I'll return to my fair Nancy. 

But he had not been gone a year and a day, 
Strange countries for to see ; 

When languishing thoughts came into his head, 
Lady Nancy Belle he would go see, see, 
Lady Nancy Belle he would go see. 

So he rode, and he rode on his milk-white steed, 
Till he came to London town ; 

And there he heard St. Pancras bells, 

And the people all mourning round, round, 
And the people all mourning round. 

Oh! what is the matter? Lord Lovel he said, 

Oh ! what is the matter ? said he ; 
A lord's lady is dead, a woman replied, 

And some call her Lady Nancy-cy, 

And some call her Lady Nancy. 

So he ordered the grave to be opened wide, 
And the shroud he turned down, 

And there he kissed her clay-cold lips, 
Till the tears came trickling down, down, 
Till the tears came trickling down. 



SO ANCIENT rOEMS, 

Lady Nancy she died, as it might be to-day, 
Lord Lovel he died as to-morrow; 

Lady Nancy she died out of pure, pure grief, 
Lord Lovel he died out of sorrow, sorrow, 
Lord Lovel he died out of sorrow. 

Lady Nancy was laid in St. Pancras church, 
Lord Lovel was laid in the choir; 

And out of her bosom there grew a red rose, 
And out of her lover's a briar, briar, 
And out of her lover's a briar. 

They grew, and they grew, to the church steeple, too, 
And then they could grow no higher ; 

So there they entwined in a true-lover's knot, 
For all lovers true to admire-mire, 
For all lovers true to admire. 



VII. 

Hocti HDclatoace* 

(traditional.) 

This interesting traditional ballad was first published by Mr. 
Thomas Lyle in his Ancient Ballads and So?igs, London, 1827. 
•• We have not as yet," says Mr. Lyle, " been able to trace out 
the historical incident upon which this ballad appears to have 
been founded ; yet those curious in such matters may consult, if 
they list, Proceedings and Debates in the House of Commons, for 1621 
and. 1662, where they will find that some stormy debating iu 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 81 

these several years had been agitated in parliament regarding the 
corn laws, which bear pretty close upon the leading features of 
the ballad." Does not the ballad, however, belong to a much 
earlier period ? The description of the combat, the presence of 
heralds, the wearing of armour, &c, induce the editor to believe 
so. For De la Ware, ought we not to read De la Mare ? and is 
not Sir Thomas De la Mare the hero ? the De la Mare who in the* 
reign of Edward III, a.d. 1377, was speaker of the House of 
Commons. All historians are agreed in representing him as a 
person using " great freedom of speach," and which, indeed, he 
carried to such an extent as to endanger his personal liberty. 
As bearing somewhat upon the'; subject of the ballad, it may be 
observed that De la Mare was a great advocate of popular rights, 
and particularly protested against the inhabitants of England 
being subject to "purveyance," asserting that "if the royal 
revenue was faithfully administered, there could be no necessity 
for laying burdens on the people." In the subsequent reign of 
Richard II, De la Mare was a prominent character, and though 
history is silent on the subject, it is not improbable that such a 
man might, even in the royal presence, have defended the rights 
of the poor, and spoken in extenuation of the agrarian insur- 
rectionary movements which were then so prevalent and so 
alarming. On the hypothesis of De la Mare being the hero, 
there are other incidents in the tale which cannot be reconciled 
with history, as the title given to De la Mare, who certainly was 
never ennobled, nor (as far as we can ascertain), ever mixed up 
in any duel ; nor does it appear clear who can be meant by the 
"Welsh lord, the brave Duke of Devonshire," such dukedom hav- 
ing been only created in 1694, and no nobleman having derived 
any title whatever from Devonshire previously to 1618, when 
Baron Cavendish of Hardwick was created the first Earl of 
Devonshire. We may therefore presume that for " Devonshire" 
ought to be inserted the name of some other county or place. 
Strict historical accuracy is, however, hardly to be expected 
in any ballad, particularly in one which like the present has 
evidently been corrupted in floating down the stream of time. 
There is only one quarrel recorded at the supposed period of our 
tale as having taken place betwixt two noblemen, and which re- 
sulted in an hostile meeting, viz., that wherein the belligerent 



s _• ANCIENT POEMS, 

parties were the Duke of Hereford, (who might by a "ballad- 
monger" be deemed a Welsh lord), and the Duke of Norfolk. This 
was in the reign of Richard II. No fight, however, took place, 
owing to the interference of the king. Our minstrel author may 
have had rather confused historical ideas, and so mixed up 
certain passages in De la Mare's history with this squabble, and 
the editor is strongly induced to believe that such is the case, and 
will be found the real clue to the story. Vide Hume's History of 
England, chap. xvn. a.d. 1398. Lyle acknowledges that he has 
taken some liberties with the oral version, but does not state 
what they were, beyond that they consisted merely in " smooth- 
ing down ;" would that he had left it " in the rough .'" The last 
verse has every appearance of being apocryphal ; it looks like 
one of those benedictory verses with which minstrels were, and 
still are in the habit of concluding their songs. Lyle says the 
tune " is pleasing, and peculiar to the ballad." 



In the Parliament House, 

A great rout lias been there, 
Betwixt our good King 

And the Lord Delaware : 
Says Lord Delaware 

To his Majesty full soon, 
"Will it please you, my liege, 

To grant me a boon ? 

What's your boon, says the King, 

Now let me understand ? 
It's, give me all the poor men 

"We've starving in this land ; 
And without delay, I'll hie me 

To Lincolnshire, 
To sow hemp-seed and flax-seed, 

And hang them all there. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 83 

For with hempen cord it's better 

To stop each poor man's breath, 
Than with famine you should see 

Your subjects starve to death. 
Up starts a Dutch Lord, 

Who to Delaware did say, 
Thou deserves to be stabbed ! 

Then he turned himself away : 

Thou deserves to be stabbed, 

And the dogs have thine ears, 
For insulting our King 

In this Parliament of peers ; 
Up sprang a Welsh Lord, 

The brave Duke of Devonshire, 
In young Delaware's defence, I'll fight 

This Dutch Lord, my sire. 

For he is in the right, 

And I'll make it so appear : 
Him I dare to single combat, 

For insulting Delaware. 
A stage was soon erected, 

And to combat they went, 
For to kill, or to be killed, 

It was either's full intent. 

But the very first flourish, 

When the heralds gave command, 

g2 



84 ANCIENT POEMS, 

The sword of brave Devonshire 
Bent backward on his hand ; 

In suspense he paused awhile, 
Scanned his foe before he strake, 

Then against the king's armour, 
His bent sword he brake. 

Then he sprang from the stage, 

To a soldier in the ring, 
Saying, Lend your sword, that to an end 

This tragedy we bring : 
Though he's fighting me in armour, 

While I am fighting bare, 
Even more than this I'd venture 

For young Lord Delaware. 

Leaping back on the stage, 

Sword to buckler now resounds, 
Till he left the Dutch Lord 

A bleeding in his wounds : 
This seeing, cries the King 

To his guards without delay, 
Call Devonshire down, — 

Take the dead man away ! 

No, says brave Devonshire, 

I've fought him as a man, 
Since he's dead, I will keep 

The trophies I have won ; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 85 

For he fought me in your armour, 

While I fought him bare, 
And the same you must win hack, my liege, 

If ever you them weai*. 

God bless the Church of England, 

May it prosper on each hand, 
And also every poor man 

Now starving in this land ; 
And while I pray success may crown 

Our king upon his throne, 
I'll wish that every poor man, 

May long enjoy his own. 



VIII. 



%otb Betcfjan. 

(traditional.) 

The history of this old Border ballad has been so fully entered 
upon by the present editor in his Scottish Traditional Versions of 
Ancient Ballads, published by the Percy Society, that it is merely 
necessary to refer the reader to the notes on Young Bondwell, in 
that work. The present version of Lord Beichan was originally 
published in The Local Historian's Table Book. On referring to it 
as there printed, it will be seen that in a single instance, owing 
to a verse containing an absurd contradiction, when compared 
with a subsequent part of the same ballad, it was necessary to make 
a conjectural emendation. The true reading is now given, the 
same having since been discovered in a Scottish copy. To remove 
a glaring inconsistency it was only requisite to alter a single 
letter ! 



86 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Lord Beichan he was a noble lord, 

A noble lord of high degree ; 
He shipped himself on board a ship, 

He longed strange countries for to see. 

He sailed east, and he sailed west, 
Until he came to proud Turkey; 

Where he was ta'en by a savage moor, 
Who handled him right cruellie. 

For he viewed the fashions of that land; 

Their way of worship viewed he ; 
But to Mahound, or Termagant, 

Would Beichan never bend a knee. 

So on each shoulder they've putten a bore, 
In each bore they've putten a tye ; 

And they have made him trail the wine 
And spices on his fair bodie. 

They've casten him in a donjon deep, 
Where he could neither hear nor see ; 

For seven long years they've kept him there, 
Till he for hunger 's like to dee. 

And in his prison a tree there grew, 
So stout and strong there grew a tree, 

And unto it was Beichan chained, 
Until his life was most weary. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 87 

This Turk he had one only daughter — 
Fairer creature did eyes ne'er see ; 

And every day, as she took the air, 
Near Beichan's prison passed she. 

[And bonny, meek, and mild was she, 

Tho' she was come of an ill kin ; 
And oft she sighed, she knew not why, 

For him that lay the donjon in.] 

O! so it fell upon a day, 

She heard young Beichan sadly sing, 
[And aye and ever in her ears, 

The tones of hapless sorrow ring.] 

My hounds they all go masterless ; 

My hawks they flee from tree to tree ; 
My younger brother will heir my land ; 

Fair England again I'll never see. 

And all night long no rest she got, 

Young Beichan's song for thinking on : 

She's stown the keys from her father's head, 
And to the prison strong is gone. 

And she has oped the prison doors, 

I wot she opened two or three, 
Ere she could come young Beichan at, 

He was locked up so curiouslie. 



88 ANCIENT POEMS, 

1 > u t when sfi<> came young Beichan before, 
Sore wondered he that maid to see! 

He took her for some fair captive, — 
Fair Ladye, I pray of what countrie ? 

Have you got houses ? have you got lands? 

Or does Northumberland 'long to thee ? 
What could ye give to the fair young ladye 

That out of prison would set you free ? 

I have got houses, I have got lands, 

And half Northumberland 'longs to me, — 

I'll give them all to the ladye fair 
That out of prison will set me free. 

Near London town I have a hall, 
With other castles, two or three; 

I'll give them all to the ladye fair, 
That out of prison will set me free. 

Give me the troth of your right hand, 
The troth of it give unto me ; 

That for seven years ye'll no ladye wed, 
Unless it be along with me. 

I'll give thee the troth of my right hand, 
The troth of it I'll freely gie; 

That for seven years I'll stay unwed, 
Fur kindness thou dost shew to me. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 89 

And she lias bribed the proud warder, 
With golden store, and white money; 

She's gotten the keys of the prison strong, 
And she has set young Beichan free. 

She's gi'en him to eat the good spice cake, 
She's gi'en him to drink the blood red wine; 

And every health she drank unto him, — 
I wish, Lord Beichan, that you were mine. 

And she's bidden him sometimes think on her, 
That so kindly freed him out of pine. 

She's broken a ring from her finger, 
And to Beichan half of it gave she, — 

Keep it to mind you of that love 
The lady bore that set you free. 

O ! she took him to her father's harbour, 
And a ship of fame to him gave she ; 

Farewell, farewell, to you, Lord Beichan, 
Shall I e'er again you see ? 

Set your foot on the good ship board, 

And haste ye back to your own countrie; 

And before seven years have an end, 
Come back again, love, and marry me. 

Now seven long years are gone and past, 
And sore she long'd her love to see ; 



90 ANCIENT POEMS, 

For ever a voice within her breast 

Said, Beichau has broken his vow to thee ; 

So she's set her foot on the good ship board, 
And turned her back on her own countrie. 

She sailed east, she sailed west, 

Till to fair England's shore came she ; 

Where a bonny shepherd she espied, 
Feeding his sheep upon the lea. 

What news, what news, thou bonnie shepherd ? 

What news hast thou to tell me ? 
Such news I hear, ladye, he said, 

The like was never in this countrie. 

There is a weddin' in yonder hall, 

Has lasted thirty days and three; 
But young Lord Beichan won't bed with his bride, 

For love of one that's ayond the sea. 

She's putten her hand in her pocket, 
Gi'en him the gold and white money; 

Here, tak' ye that, my bonnie boy, 
For the good news thou tell'st to me. 

When she came to Lord Beichan's gate, 

She tirled softly at the pin ; 
And ready was the proud warder 

Tu open and let this ladye in. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 91 

When she came to Lord Beichan's castle, 

So boldly she rang the bell ; 
Who's there ? who's there ? cried the proud porter, 

Who's there? unto me come tell? 

O! is this Lord Beichan's castle? 

Or is that noble lord within ? 
Yea, he is in the hall among them all, 

And this is the day of his weddin'. 

And has he wed anither love ?— 

And has he clean forgotten me ? 
And, sighing, said that ladye gay, 

I wish I was in my own countrie. 

And she has ta'en her gay gold ring, 
That with her love she brake so free, 

Gie him that, ye proud porter, 

And bid the bridegroom speak to me. 

Tell him to send me a slice of bread, 

And a cup of blood red wine, 
And not to forget the fair young ladye 

That did release him out of pine. 

Away, and away went the proud porter, 
Away, and away, and away went he, 

Until he came to Lord Beichan's presence, 
Down he fell on his bended knee. 



92 ANCIENT POEMS, 

What aileth thee, my proud porter, 
Thou art so full of courtesie ? 



I've been porter at your gates, — 

It's thirty long years now, and three, % 

But there stands a ladye at them now, 
The like of her I ne'er did see. 

For on every finger she has a ring, 
And on her rnid-finger she has three; 

And as much gay gold above her brow 
As would an earldom buy to me ; 

And as much gay cloathing round about her 
As would buy all Northumberlea. 

It's out then spak' the bride's mother, — 
Aye, and an angry woman was she, — 

Ye might have excepted the bonnie bride, 
And two or three of our companie. 

O! hold your tongue, ye silly frow, 

Of all your folly let me be; 
She's ten times fairer than the bride, 

And all that's in your companie. 

She asks one sheave of my lord's white bread, 
And a cup of his red, red wine; 

And to remember the ladye's love 
That kindly freed him out of pine. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 93 

Lord Beichan then in a passion flew, 
And broke his sword in splinters three; 

O, well a day! did Beichan say, 
That I so soon have married thee ! 

For it can be none but dear Saphia, 
That's cross'd the deep for love of me ! 

And quickly hied he down the stair, 
Of fifteen steps he made but three; 

He's ta'en his bonnie love in his arms, 
And kist, and kist her tendeidie. 

O ! have ye taken another bride ? 

And have ye quite forgotten me ? 
And have ye quite forgotten one 

That gave you life and libertie. 

She looked o'er her left shoulder 

To hide the tears stood in her ee; 
Now fare- thee- well, young Beichan, she says, 

I'll try to think no more on thee. 

O! never, never, my Saphia, 

For surely this can never be; 
Nor ever shall I wed but her 

That's done and dreed so much for me. 

Then out and spak' the forenoon bride : 
My Lord, your love is changed soon; 



!>1 ANCIENT POEMS, 

At morning I am made your bride, 
And another's chose, ere it be noon ! 

O! sorrow not, thou forenoon bride, 
Our hearts could ne'er united be; 

Ye must return to your own countrie, 
A double dower I'll send with thee. 

And up and spak' the young bride's mother, 
Who never was heard to speak so free, — 

And so you treat my only daughter, 
Because Saphia has cross'd the sea. 

I own I made a bride of your daughter, 
She's ne'er a whit the worse for me, 

She came to me with her horse and saddle, 
She may go back in her coach and three. 

He's ta'en Saphia by the white hand, 
And gently led her up and down; 

And aye as he kist her rosy lips, 

Ye're welcome, dear one, to your own. 

He's ta'en her by the milk-white hand, 
And led her to yon fountain stane; 

Her name he's changed from Saphia, 

And he's called his bonnie love Lady Jane. 

Lord Beichan prepared another marriage, 
And sang with heart so full of glee, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 95 

I'll range no more in foreign countries, 
Now since my love has crossed the sea. 



IX. 

Horn Bateman* 

This is a ludicrously corrupt abridgment of the preceding ballad, 
being the same version which was published a few years ago by 
Tilt, London, and also, according to the title-page, by Mustapha 
Syried, Constantinople ! under the title, of The loving Ballad of 
Lord Bateman. It is, however, the only ancient form in which 
the ballad has existed in print, and is one of the publications 
mentioned in Thackeray's Catalogue, alluded to at page 7 of the 
present work. The air printed in Tilt's edition is the one to 
which the ballad is sung in the South of England, but it is totally 
different to the Northern tune, which has never been published. 



Lord Bateman he was a noble lord, 
A noble lord of high degree; 

He shipped himself on board a ship, 
Some foreign country he would go see. 

He sailed east, and he sailed west, 
Until he came to proud Turkey; 

Where he was taken, and put to prison, 
Until his life was almost weary. 

And in this prison there grew a tree, 
It grew so stout, and grew so strong; 

"Where he was chained by the middle, 
Until his life was almost £one. 



96 ANCIENT POEMS, 

This Turk he had one only daughter, 
The fairest creature my eyes did see; 

She stole the keys of her father's prison, 

And swore Lord Bateman she would set free. 

Have you got houses ? have you got lands ? 

Or does Northumberland belong to thee ? 
What would you give to the fair young lady 

That out of prison would set you free ? 

I have got houses, I have got lands, 

And half Northumberland belongs to me, 

I'll give it all to the fair young lady 
That out of prison would set me free. 

O ! then she took him to her father's hall, 
And gave to him the best of wine; 

And every health she drank unto him, 

I wish, Lord Bateman, that you were mine. 

Now in seven years I'll make a vow, 
And seven years I'll keep it strong, 

K you'll wed with no other woman, 
I will wed with no other man. 

O ! then she took him to her father's harbour, 
And gave to him a ship of fame; 

Farewell, farewell to you, Lord Bateman, 
I'm afraid I ne'er shall see you again. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 97 

Now seven long years are gone and past, 
And fourteen days, well known to thee; 

She packed up all her gay cloathing, 

And swore Lord Bateman she would go see. 

But when she came to Lord Bateman's castle, 

So boldly she rang the bell ; 
Who's there? who's there? cry'dthe proud porter, 

Who's there ? unto me come tell. 

O ! is this Lord Bateman's castle ? 

Or is his Lordship here within ? 
O, yes ! O, yes ! cried the young porter, 

He's just now taken his new bride in. 

O ! tell him to send me a slice of bread, 

And a bottle of the best wine ; 
And not forgetting the fair young lady 

Who did release him when close confin'd. 

Away, away went this young proud porter, 

Away, away, and away went he, 
Until he came to Lord Bateman's chamber, 

Down on his bended knees fell he. 

What news, what news, my proud young porter ? 

What news hast thou brought unto me ? 
There is the fairest of all young creatures 

That ever my two eyes did sec ! 

u 



98 ANCIENT POEMS, 

She Las got rings on every finger, 

And round one of them she has got three, 

And as much gay cloathing round her middle 
As would buy all Northumberlea. 

She bids you send her a slice of bread, 

And a bottle of the best wine; 
And not forgetting the fair young lady 

Who did release you when close confin'd. 

Lord Bateman he then in a passion flew, 
And broke his sword in splinters three; 

Saying, I will give all my father's riches 
If Sophia has crossed the sea. 

Then up spoke the young bride's mother, 
"Who never was heard to speak so free, 

You'll not forget my only daughter, 
If Sophia has crossed the sea. 

I own I made a bride of your daughter, 
She's neither the better nor worse for me; 

She came to me with her horse and saddle, 
She may go back in her coach and three. 

Lord Bateman prepared another marriage, 
And sang, with heart so full of glee, 

I'll range no more in foreign countries, 
Now since Sophia has crossed the sea. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 99 

X. 

'cllje 2D0atl) of JBaccp Eeeo* 

(traditional.) 

The present version of an ancient and popular Northumbrian 
ballad was taken down by Mr. James Telfer, of Saughtree, Liddes- 
dale, fVoni the chanting of Kitty Hall, an old woman who resided 
at Fairloans, Roxburgshire. Mr. Robert White communicated 
it to the Local Historians Table Book; it has not appeared in 
any other work. " Percival, or Parcy Reed," says Mr. White, 
" was proprietor of Troughend, an elevated tract of land lying 
on the west side, and nearly in the centre of Redesdale, North- 
umberland. His office was to suppress and order the apprehen- 
sion of thieves, and other breakers of the law ; in the execution 
of which he incurred the displeasure of a family of brothers 
of the name of Hall, who were owners of Girsonsfield, a farm 
about two miles east from Troughend. He also drew upon him- 
self the hostility of a band of mosstroopers, Crosier by name, 
some of whom he had been successful in bringing to justice." 
The barbarous murder of Reed by the Halls and the Crosiers, is 
an historical fact, and the circumstances attending it are accu- 
rately detailed in the ballad. The catastrophe is said to have 
occurred in the sixteenth century. 



God send the land deliverance 
Frae every reaving, riding Scot: 

We'll sune hae neither cow nor ewe, 
We'll sune hae neither staig nor stot. 

The outlaws come frae Liddesdale, 
They herry Redesdale far and near ; 

The rich man's gelding it maun gang, 
They canna pass the puir man's meare. 

ii 2 



100 ANCIENT POEMS. 

Sure it were weel, had ilka thief 
Around his neck a halter Strang; 

And curses heavy may they light 
On traitors vile oursels amang. 

Now Parcy Reed has Crosier ta'en, 
He has delivered him to the law ; 

But Crosier says he'll do waur than that, 
He'll make the tower o' Troughend fa'. 

And Crosier says he will do waur — 
He will do waur if waur can he ; 

He'll make the bairns a' fatherless, 
And then, the land it may lie lee. 

To the hunting, ho ! cried Parcy Peed, 
The morning sun is on the dew; 

The cauler breeze frae off the fells 
Will lead the dogs to the quarry true. 

To the hunting, ho ! cried Parcy Reed, 
And to the hunting he has gane; 

And the three fause Ha's o' Girsonsfield 
Alang wi' him he has them ta'en. 

They hunted high, they hunted low, 
By heathery hill and birken shaw; 

They raised a buck on Rooken Edge, 
And blew the mort at fair Ealylawe. 



BALLADS AND SONGS. 101 

They hunted high, they hunted low, 
They made the echoes ring amain ; 

With music sweet o' horn and hound, 
They merry made fair Redesdale glen. 

They hunted high, they hunted low, 
They hunted up, they hunted down, 

Until the clay was past the prime, 
And it grew late in the afternoon. 

They hunted high in Batinghope, 
When as the sun was sinking low, 

Says Farcy then, ca' off the dogs, 

We'll bait our steeds and homeward go. 

They lighted high in Batinghope, 
• Atween the brown and benty ground ; 
They had but rested a little while, 
Till Parcy Reed was sleeping sound. 

There's nane may lean on a rotten staff, 

But him that risks to get a fa' ; 
There's nane may in a traitor trust, 

And traitors black were every Ha'. 

They've stown the bridle off his steed, 
And they've put water in his lang gun ; 

They've fixed his sword within the sheath, 
That out again it wiuna come. 



102 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Awaken ye, waken ye, Parcy Reed, 
Or by your enemies be ta'en ; 

For yonder are the five Crosiers 
A-coming owre the Hingin'-stane. 

If they be five, and we be four, 
Sae that ye stand alang wi' me, 

Then every man ye will take one, 
And only leave but two to me: 

"We will them meet as brave men ought, 
And make them either fight or flee. 

We mayna stand, we canna stand, 
"We daurna stand alang wi' thee; 

The Crosiers haud thee at a feud, 
And they wad kill baith thee and we. 

O, turn thee, turn thee, Johnie Ha', 
O, turn thee, man, and fight wi' me; 

When ye come to Troughend again, 
My gude black naig I will gie thee ; 

He cost full twenty pound o' gowd, 
Atween my brother John and me. 

I mayna turn, I canna turn, 

I daurna turn and fight wi' thee; 

The Crosiers haud thee at a feud, 

And they wad kill baith thee and me. 

O, turn thee, turn thee, "Willie Ha', 
O, turn thee, man, and fight wi' me ; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 103 

When ye come to Troughend again, 
A yoke o' owsen I'll gie thee. 

I mayna turn, I canna turn, 

I daurna turn and fight \vi' thee ; 
The Crosiers haud thee at a feud, 

And they wad kill baith thee and me. 

O, turn thee, turn thee, Tommy Ha'— 
O, turn now, man, and fight wi' me ; 

If ever we come to Troughend again, 
My daughter Jean I'll gie to thee. 

I mayna turn, I canna turn, 

I daurna turn and fight wi' thee ; 

The Crosiers haud thee at a feud, 

And they wad kill baith thee and me. 

O, shame upon ye, traitors a'! 

I wish your hames ye may never see ; 
Ye've stown the bridle off my naig, 

And I can neither fight nor flee. 

Ye've stown the bridle off my naig, 
And ye've put water i' my lang gun ; 

Ye've fixed my sword within the sheath, 
That out again it winna come. 

He had but time to cross himsel'— 
A prayer he hadna time to say, 



104 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Till round him came the Crosiers keen, 
All riding graithed, and in array. 

Weel met, weel met, now Parcy Reed, 
Thou art the very man we sought ; 

i hvre lang hae we been in your debt, 
Now will we pay ye as we ought. 

We'll pay thee at the nearest tree, 

Where we shall hang thee like a hound. 

Brave Parcy rais'd his fankit sword 
And fell'd the foremost to the ground. 

Alake, and wae tor Parcy Reed — 
Alake he was an unarmed man: 

Four weapons pierced him all at once, 
As they assailed him there and than. 

They fell upon him all at once, 
They mangled him most cruellie; 

The slightest wound might caused his deid, 
And they hae gi'en him thirty-three. 

They backet off his hands and feet, 
And left him lying on the lee. 

Now, Parcy Reed, we've paid our debt, 
5Te canna weel dispute the tale. 

The Crosiers said, and off they rade — 
They rade the airt o' Liddesdale. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 105 

It was the hour o' gloamin' gray, 

When herds come in frae faulcl and pen; 

A herd he saw a huntsman lie, 

Says he, can this be Laird Troughen' ? 

There's some will ca' me Parcy Reed, 
And some will ca' me Laird Troughen' ; 

It's little matter what they ca' me, 
My faes hae made me ill to ken. 

There's some will ca' me Parcy Reed, 

And speak my praise in tower and town ; 

It's little matter what they do now, 

My life-blood rudds the heather brown. 

There's some will ca' me Parcy Reed, 

And a' my virtues say and sing ; 
I would much rather have just now 

A draught o' water frae the spring! 

The herd flang aff his clouted shoon, 

And to the nearest fountain ran ; 
lie made his bonnet serve a cup, 

And wan the blessing o' the dying man. 

Now, honest herd, ye maun do mair — 

Ye maun do mair as I ye tell ; 
Ye maun bear tidings to Troughend, 

And bear likewise my last farewell. 



106 ANCIENT POEMS, 

A farewell to my wedded wife, 

A farewell to my brother John, 
Wha sits into the Troughend tower, 

\\T heart us black as any stone. 

A farewell to my daughter Jean, 
A farewell to my young sons five; 

Had they been at their father's hand, 
I had this night been man alive. 

A farewell to my followers a', 

And a' my neighbours gude at need ; 

Bid them think how the treacherous Ha's 
Betrayed the life o' Parcy Reed. 

The laird o' Clennel bears my bow, 
The laird o' Brandon bears my brand ; 

Whene'er they ride i' the border side, 

They'll mind the fate o' the laird Troughend. 



XJ. 

%\)t (BolDen (Blofoe • or tlje Squire of 
'flEamtoortlj* 

This is a very popular ballad, and sung in every part of England. 
It is traditionally reported to be founded on an incident which 
occurred in the reign of Elizabeth. It has been published in the 
broadside form from the commencement of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, but is no doubt much older. It does not appear to have 
been inserted in any collection. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 107 

A wealthy young 'squire of Tamworth, we hear, 
He courted a nobleman's daughter so fair ; 
And for to marry her it was his intent, 
All friends and relations gave their consent. 

The time was appointed for the wedding day, 
A young farmer chosen to give her away; 
As soon as the farmer the young lady did spy, 
He inflamed her heai't ; O, my heart ! she did cry. 

She turned from the 'squire, but nothing she said, 
Instead of being married she took to her bed; 
The thought of the farmer soon run in her mind, 
A way for to have him she quickly did find. 

Coat, waistcoat, and breeches she then did put on, 
And a hunting she went with her dog and her gun ; 
She hunted all round where the farmer did dwell, 
Because in her heart she did love him full well : 

She oftentimes fired, but nothing she killed, 
At length the young farmer came into the field; 
And to discourse with him it was her intent, 
With her dog and her gun to meet him she went. 

I thought you had been at the wedding, she cried, 
To wait on the Squire, and give him his bride. 
No, sir, said the farmer, if the truth I may tell, 
I'll not give her away, for I love her too well. 



108 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Suppose thai the lady should grant you her love, 
You knew that the 'squire your rival will prove; 
Why then, says the farmer, I'll take sword in hand, 
By honour I'll gain her when she shall command. 

It pleased the lady to find him so bold ; 
She gave him a glove that was flowered with gold, 
And told him she found it when coming along, 
As she was a hunting with her dog and gun. 

The lady went home with a heart full of love, 
And gave out a notice that she'd lost a glove ; 
And said, Who has found it, and brings it to me, 
"Whoever he is, he my husband shall be. 

The farmer was pleased when he heard of the news, 
With heart full of joy to the lady he goes : 
Dear, honoured lady, I've picked up your glove, 
And hope you'll be pleased to grant me your love. 

It's already granted, I will be your bride ; 
I love the sweet breath of a farmer, she cried. 
I'll be mistress of my dairy, and milking my cow, 
"While my jolly brisk farmer is whistling at plough. 

And when she was married she told of her fun, 
How she went a hunting with her dog and gun; 
And [said] now I've got him so fast in my snare, 
I'll enjoy him for ever, I vow and declare. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS* 109 



XII. 



Bitiff 31ame0 31 anti tlje '(ImMer* 

(traditional.) 

The ballad of King James I and the Tinkler was probably written 
either in, or shortly after the reign of the monarch who is the 
hero. The incident recorded is said to be a fact, though the 
locality is doubtful. By some the scene is laid at Norwood, in 
Surrey ; by others in some part of the English border. The 
ballad is alluded to by Percy, but is not inserted either in 
the Beliques, or in any other popular collection, being only to be 
found in a few broadsides and chap-books of modern date. The 
present version is a traditional one, taken down by the editor 
from the recital of Francis King. It is much superior to the 
common broadside edition with which it has been collated, and 
from which the thirteenth and fifteenth verses were obtained. 
The ballad is very popular on the border, and in the dales of 
Cumberland, Westmoreland and Craven. 



And now, to be brief, let's pass ovex- the rest, 
Who seldom or never were given to jest, 
And come to King Jamie, the first of our throne, 
A pleasanter monarch sure never was known. 

As lie was a hunting the swift fallow-deer, 

He dropt all his nobles ; and when he got clear, 

In hope of some pastime away he did ride, 

Till he came to an alehouse, hard by a wood-side. 



1 10 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And there with a tinkler he happened to meet, 
And him in kind sort he so freely did greet: 
Pray, thee, good fellow, what hast in thy jug, 
Which under thy arm thou dost lovingly hug ? 

By the mass! quoth the tinkler, its nappy brown ale, 
And for to drink to thee, friend, I will not fail ; 
For altho' thy jacket looks gallant and fine, 
I think that my two-pence as good is as thine. 

By my soul! honest fellow, the truth thou hast spoke, 
And straight he sat down with the tinkler to joke; 
They drank to the King, and they pledged to each other, 
Who'd seen 'em had thought they were brother and 
brother. 

As they were a-drinking the King pleased to say, 
What news, honest fellow ? come tell me, I pray ? 
There's nothing of news, beyond that I hear 
The King's on the border a-chasing the deer. 

And truly I wish I so happy may be 
Whilst he is a hunting the King I might see ; 
For altho' I've travelled the land many ways 
I never have yet seen a King in my days. 

The King, with a hearty brisk laughter, replied, 
I tell thee, good fellow, if thou canst but ride, 
Thou shalt get up behind me, and I will thee bring 
To the presence of Jamie, thy sovereign King. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. Ill 

But he'll be surrounded with nobles so gay, 
And how shall we tell him from them, sir, I pray ? 
Thou'lt easily ken him when once thou art there ; 
The King will be covered, his nobles all bare. 

He got up behind him and likewise his sack, 
His budget of leather, and tools at his back ; 
They rode till they came to the merry green wood, 
His nobles came round him, bareheaded they stood. 

The tinkler then seeing so many appear, 
He slyly did whisper the King in his ear : 
Saying, They're all clothed so gloriously gay, 
But which amongst them is the King, sir, I pray ! 

The King did with hearty good laughter, reply, 
By my soul! my good fellow, it's thou or it's I! 
The rest are bareheaded, uncovered all round. — 
"With his bag and his budget he fell to the ground, 

Like one that was frightened cpaite out of his wits, 
Then on his knees he instantly gets, 
Beseeching for mercy ; the King to him said, 
Thou art a good fellow, so be not afraid. 

Come, tell thy name? I am John of the dale, 
A mender of kettles, a lover of ale. 
Rise up, Sir John, I will honour thee here, — 
I make thee a knight of three thousand a year ! 



1 1 2 ANCIENT POEMS, 

This was a good thing for the tinkler indeed ; 
Then unto the court he was sent for with speed, 

Where great store of pleasure and pastime was seen, 
In the royal presence of King and of Queen. 

Sir John of the Dale he has land, he has fee, 
At the court of the king who so happy as he ? 
Yet still in his Hall hangs the tinkler's old sack, 
And the budget of tools which he bore at his back. 



XIII. 



C&e Ikeacf) V rlje CceeL 

This old and very humorous ballad has long been a favorite on 
both sides of the Border, but had never appeared in print till 
about a year ago, when a Northumbrian gentleman printed a few 
copies for private circulation, one of which he presented to the 
editor. In the present impression some trifling typographical 
mistakes are corrected, and the phraseology has been rendered 
uniform throughout. 



A fair young May went up the street, 
Some white fish for to buy ; 

And a bonny clerk's fa'n i' luve wi' her, 
And he's followed her by and by, by, 

And he's followed her by and by. 



BALLADS AND SONGS. 1 1 3 

O! where live ye ray bonny lass, 

I pray thee tell to me ; 
For gin the nicht were ever sae mirk, 

I wad come and visit thee, thee; 

I wad come and visit thee. 

O! my father he aye locks the door, 

My mither keeps the key ; 
And gin ye were ever sic a wily wicht, 

Ye canna win in to me, me ; 

Ye canna win in to me. 

But the clerk he had ae true brother, 

And a wily wicht was he ; 
And he has made a lang ladder, 

Was thirty steps and three, three ; 

Was thirty steps and three. 

He has made a cleek but and a creel — 

A creel but and a pin ; 
And he's away to the chimley-top, 

And he's letten the bonny clerk in, in ; 

And he's letten the bonny clerk in. 

The auld wife, being not asleep, 

Tho' late late was the hour; 
I'll lay my life, quo' the silly auld wife, 

There's a man i' our dochtcr's bower, bower ; 

There's a man i' our dochter's bower. 

i 



114 ANCIENT POEMS, 

The auld man he gat owi*e the bed, 

To see if the thing was true ; 
But she's ta'en the bonny clerk in her arms, 

And covered him owre wi' blue, blue ; 

And covered him owre wi' blue. 

O ! where are ye gaun now, father ? she says, 
And where are ye gaun sae late ? 

Ye've disturbed me in my evening prayers, 
And O! but they were sweit, sweit; 
And O! but they were sweit. 

O! ill betide ye, silly auld wife, 

And an ill death may ye dee ; 
She has the muckle buik in her arms, 

And she's prayin' for you and me, me ; 

And she's prayin' for you and me. 

The auld wife being not asleep, 
Then something mair was said ; 

I'll lay my life, quo' the silly auld wife, 
There's a man by our dochter's bed, bed ; 
There's a man by our dochter's bed. 

The auld wife she gat owre the bed, 

To see if the thing was true ; 
But what the wrack took the auld wife's fit ? 

For into the creel she flew, flew ; 

For into the creel she flew. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 1 15 

The man that was at the chimley-top, 

Finding the creel was fu', 
He wrappit the rape round his left shouther, 

And fast to him he drew, drew ; 

And fast to him he drew. 

O, help! O, help! O, hinny, noo, help! 

O, help ! O, hinny, do ! 
For him that ye aye wished me at, 

He's carryin' me off just noo, noo ; 

He's carryin' me off just noo. 

O ! if the foul thief's gotten ye, 

I wish he may keep his haud ; 
For a' the lee lang winter nicht, 

Ye'll never lie in your bed, bed ; 

Ye'll never lie in your bed. 

He's towed her up, he's towed her down. 
He's towed her through an' through ; 

O, Gude! assist, quo' the silly auld wife, 
For Fm just departin' noo, noo; 
For Fm just departin' noo. 

He's towed her up, he's towed her down. 

He's gien her a richt down fa', 
Till every rib i' the auld wife's side, 

Played nick nack on the wa', wa'; 

Played nick nack on the wa'. 

i 2 



116 ANCIENT POEMS, 

O! the blue, the bonny, bonny blue, 
And I wish the blue may do weel; 

And every auld wife that's sae jealous o' her 
dochter, 
May she get a good keach i' the creel, creel ; 
May she get a gude keach i' the creel ! 



XIV. 



%\)t 9t£eiTp BroomfielD; or %ty clcllesst 
Country (Icliapr* 

This old West-country ballad was one of the broadsides printed 
at the Aldermary press. The editor has not met with any older 
impression, though he has been assured that there are black- 
letter copies. In Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border is a 
ballad called the Broomfield Hill; it is a mere fragment, but is 
evidently taken from the present ballad, and can only be con- 
sidered as one of the many modern antiques to be found in that 
work. 



A noble young 'squire that lived in the west, 

He courted a young lady gay; 
And as he was merry he put forth a jest, 

A wager with her he would lay. 

A wager with me, the young lady replied, 

I pray about what must it be ? 
If I like the humour you shan't be denied, 

I love to be merry and free. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 117 

Quoth he, I will lay you au hundred pounds, 

A hundred pounds, aye, and ten, 
That a maid if you go to the merry Broomfield, 

That a maid you return not again. 

I'll lay you that wager, the lady she said, 
Then the money she flung down amain, 

To the merry Broomfield I'll go a pure maid, 
The same I'll return home again. 

He covered her bet in the midst of the hall, 
With a hundred and ten jolly pounds; 

And then to his servant he straightway did call, 
To bring forth his hawk and his hounds. 

A ready obedience the servant did yield, 

And all was made ready o'er night; 
Next morning he went to the merry Broomfield, 

To meet with his love and delight. 

Now when he came there, having waited ;i while, 
Among the green broom down he lies; 

The lady came to him, and could not but smile, 
For sleep then had closed his eyes. 

Upon his right hand a gold ring she secured, 

Down from her own lingers so fair; 
That when he awaked he might be assured 

His lady and love bad been there. 



I 18 ANCIENT POEMS, 

She left him a posie of pleasant perfume, 
Then stept from the place where he lay, 

Then hid herself close in the besom of broom, 
To hear what her true love did say. 

lie wakened and found the gold ring on his hand, 

Then sorrow of heart he was in ; 
My love has been here, I do well understand, 

And this wager I now shall not win. 

Oh! where was you, my goodly gosshawk, 

The which I have purchased so dear, 
Why did you not waken me out of my sleep. 

When the lady, my love, was here ? 

O! with my bells did I ring, master, 

And eke with my feet did I run; 
And still did I cry, pray awake! master, 

She's here now, and soon will be gone. 

( ) ! where was you, my gallant greyhound, 

Whose collar is flourished with gold; 
Why hadst thou not wakened me out of my sleep, 

When thou didst my lady behold ? 

I tear master, I barked with my mouth when she came, 

And likewise my collar I shook; 
And told you that here was the beautiful dame, 

But no notice of me then you took. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 1 19 

O! where wast thou, my serving man, 

Whom I have cloathed so fine? 
If you had waked me Avhen she was here, 

The wager then had been mine. 

In the night you should have slept, master, 

And kept awake in the day; 
Had you not been sleeping when hither she came, 

Then a maid she had not gone away. 

Then home he returned when the wager was lost, 

With sorrow of heart, I may say; 
The lady she laughed to find her love crost, — 

This was upon midsummer day. 

O, 'squire! I laid in the bushes concealed, 
And heard you, when you did complain ; 

And thus I have been to the merry Broomfiehl, 
And a maid returned back again. 

Be cheerful! be cheerful! and do not repine, 

For now 'tis as clear as the sun, 
The money, the money, the money is mine, 

The wager I fairly have won. 



Printed in Aldermary Churchyard, Bow-lane, 



120 ANCIENT POEMS, 



XV. 



s>ic loljn Barleycorn, 

1 in. WeSt-COUntry ballad of Sir John Barleycorn is very ancient, 
and being the only version which has ever been sung at English 
merrj -makings and country feasts, can certainly set up a better 
claim to antiquity than any of the three ballads on the same 
subject to be found in Evans's Old Ballads; viz., John Barleycorn, 
The Little Barleycorn, and Mas 3Iault. Our west-country version 
bears the greatest resemblance to The Little Barleycorn, but it is 
very dissimilar to any of the three. Burns altered the old 
ditty, but on referring to his version it will be seen that his 
corrections and additions want the simplicity of the original, 
and certainly cannot be considered improvements. The common 
ballad does not appear to have been inserted in any of our popu- 
lar collections. 



There came three men out of the West, 

Their victory to try; 
And they have taken a solemn oath. 

Poor Barleycorn should die. 

They took a plough and ploughed him in, 
And harrowed clods on his head ; 

And then they took a solemn oath, 
Poor Barleycorn was dead. 

There he lay sleeping in the ground, 
Till rain from the sky did fall : 

Then Barleycorn sprung up his head, 
And so amazed them all. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 12 

There he remained till Midsummer, 

And looked both pale and wan ; 
Then Barleycorn he got a beard, 

And so became a man. 

Then they sent men with scythes so sharp, 

To cut him off at knee ; 
And then poor little Barleycorn, 

They served him barbarously. 

Then they sent men with pitchforks strong 

To pierce him through the heart, 
And like a dreadful tragedy, 

They bound him to a cart. 

And then they brought him to a barn, 

A prisoner to endure ; 
And so they fetched him out again, 

And laid him on the floor. 

Then they set men with holly clubs, 

To beat the flesh from his bones; 
But the miller he served him worse than that, 

For he ground him betwixt two stones. 

O! Barleycorn is the choicest grain 

That ever was sown on land ; 
It will do more than any grain, 

By the turning of your hand. 



11^ A.NCIENT POEMS, 

It will make a boy into a man, 

And a man into an ass ; 
It will change your gold into silver, 

Ami your silver into brass. 

It will make the huntsman hunt the fox, 
That never wound his horn ; 

It will bring the tinker to the stocks, 
That people may him scorn. 

It will make the maids stark naked dance, 

As ever they were born ; 
It will help them to a job by chance, — 

Well done, Barleycorn ! 

It will put sack into a glass, 

And claret in the can ; 
And it will cause a man to drink 

Till he neither can 20 nor stand. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 123 



XVI. 



Bloto Hje (KLimD& ^eifflj Ijo ! 

This popular Northumbrian ballad is of great antiquity, and 
bears considerable resemblance to The Baffled Knight ; or Lady's 
Policy, inserted in Percy's Reliques. It is not in any popular 
collection. 



There was a shepherd's son, 

lie kept sheep on yonder hill ; 
He laid his pipe and his crook aside, 
And there he slept his fill. 

And blow the winds, heigh ho! 

Sing, blow the winds, heigh ho! 
Clear away the morning dew. 
And blow the winds, heigh ho! 

lie looked east, and he looked west, 

He took another look, 
And thez'C he spied a lady guy, 

Was dipping in a brook. 

She said, sir, don't touch my mantle, 

Come, let my clothes alone ; 
I will give you as much money 

As you can carry horn 



12 I ANCIENT POEMS, 

I will not touch your mantle, 

I'll let your clothes alone ; 
I'll take you out of the water clear, 

My dear, to be my own. 

He did not touch her mantle, 

He let her clothes alone; 
But he took her from the clear water, 

And all to be his own. 

He set her on a milk-white steed, 

Himself upon another ; 
And there they rode along the road, 

Like sister, and like brother. 

And as he rode along the road, 
They spied some cocks of hay ; 

Yonder, he says, is a lovely place 
For men and maids to play. 

And when they came to her father's gate, 

She pulled at a ring ; 
And ready was the proud porter 

For to let the lady in. 

And when the gates were open, 

This lady jumped in; 
She says, You are a fool without, 

And I'm a maid within, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 12.3 

Good morrow to you, modest boy, 

I thank you for your care ; 
If you had been what you should have been, 

I would not have left you there. 

There is a horse in my father's stable, 

He stands beyond the thorn ; 
He shakes his head above the trough, 

But dai'es not prey [on] the corn. 

There is a bird in my father's flock, 

A double comb he wears ; 
He flaps his wings, and crows full loud, 

But a capon's crest he bears. 

There is a flower in my father's garden, 

They call it marygold ; 
The fool that will not when he may, 

He shall not when he wold. 

Said the shepherd's son, as he doft his shoon, 

My feet they shall run bare, 
And if ever I meet another maid, 

I rede, that maid beware. 



1 26 ANCIENT POEMS, 

xvn. 
~>atiMc to Iftagtf* 

(traditional.) 
No ballad is bettor known in the dales of Yorkshire than Saddle 
to Rugs. It has long enjoyed an extensive popularity. The pre- 
sent version was taken down b} r the editor in October 1845, from 
the excellent and humorous singing of his aged and respected 
friend, Tommy Atkinson, of Linton, in Craven, a genuine York- 
shire yeoman, who only allows this present acknowledgment on the 
express condition that no prefix or adjunct be made to his name, 
and that he be designated in print by his fellow-dalesmen's familiar 
appellation of Tommy Atkinson ! We have not been able to 
discover any broadside copy of the ballad, nor can we trace it 
in any collection, although we have met with The Crafty Plough- 
boy, or the Highwayman Outwitted, and some others of a like de- 
scription, and having nearly the same plot, but they are all very 
inferior to Saddle to Rags. The tune is Give ear to a frolicksome 
ditty, or the Rant, being the air better known as' How happy 
could I be with cither ; it may be found in Chappell's National En- 
glish Airs. 



This story I'm going to sing, 

I hope it will give you content, 
Concerning a silly old man 

That was going to pay his rent. 

With a tiU da dill, till a dill, dill, 
Till a dill, dill a dill, dee, 
Sing fal de dill, dill de dill, dill, 
Fal de dill, dill de dill, dee. 

As he was a-riding along, 

Along all on the highway, 
A gentleman-tliiel' overtook him, 

And thus unto him he did say: 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 127 

O! well overtaken, old man, 

0! well overtaken, said he — 
Thank you kindly, sir, says the old man, 

If you be for my companie. 

How far are you going this way ? 

It made the old man to smile ; 
To tell you the truth, kind sir, 

I'm just a going twa mile. 

I am but a silly old man, 

Who farms a piece of ground ; 
My half year rent, kind sir, 

Just comes to forty pound. 

But my landlord's not been at hame, — 
I've not seen him twelve month or more; 

It makes my rent to be large, 
I've just to pay him fourscore. 

You should not have told any body, 
For thieves they are ganging many : 

If they were to light upon you 

They would rob you of every penny. 

0! never mind, says the old man, 

Thieves I fear on no side ; 
My money is safe in my bags, 

In the saddle on which I ride. 



128 ANCIENT POEMS, 

As they were a-riding along, 
And riding a-down a ghyll, 

The thief pulled out a pistol, 

And bade the old man stand still. 

The old man was crafty and false, 
As in this world are many ; 

He flung his old saddle o'er t' hedge, 
And said, Fetch it, if thou'lt have any. 

This thief got on° his horse, 
With courage stout and bold, 

To search this old man's bags, 
And gave him his horse to hold. 

The old man put foot in stirrup, 

And he got on astride, 
He set the thief's horse in a gallop, — 

You need not bid th' old man ride! 

O, stay! O, stay! says the thief, 

And thou half my share shalt have ; 

Nay, marry, not I, quoth the old man, 
For once I've bitten a knave ! 

This thief he was not content, 
He thought there ?nust be bags, 

So he up with his rusty sword, • 
And chopped the old saddle to rags. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 129 

The old man gallop'd and rode, 

Until he was almost spent, 
Till he came to his landlord's house, 

And he paid him his whole year's rent. 

He opened this rogue's portmantle, 

It was glorious for to behold ; 
There was five hundred pound in money, 

And other five hundred in gold. 

His landlord it made him to stare, 

When he did the sight behold ; 
Where did thou get the white money, 

And where get the yellow gold ? 

I met a fond fool by the way, 

I swapped horses, and gave him no boot; 
But never mind, says the old man, 

I got a fond fool by the foot. 

But now you're grown cramped and old, 

Nor fit for to travel about : 
O, never mind, says the old man, 

I can give these old bones a root! 

As he was a-riding hame, 

And a-down a narrow lane, 
He spied his mare tied to a tree, 

And said, Tib, thou'lt now gae hame. 

K 



130 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And when that he got hame, 

And told his old wife what he'd done ; 
She rose and she donned her clothes, 

And about the house did run. 

She sung, and she danced, and sung, 
And she sung with a merry devotion, 

If ever our daughter gets wed, 

It will help to enlarge her portion ! 



XVIII. 

Clje Beautiful 3Ut>p of Hent: 

Or, The Seaman of Dover. 

The editor has met with two copies of this genuineEnglish ballad ; 
the older one is without printer's name, but from the appearance of 
the type and the paper, it must have been published about the mid- 
dle of the last century. It is certainly not one of the original im- 
pressions, for the other copy, though of recent date, has evidently 
been taken from some much older and better edition than any 
which has come to our hands. In the modern broadside the ballad 
is in four parts, whereas, in our older one, there is no such divi- 
sion, but a word at the commencement of each part is printed in 
capital letters. 



PART I. 

A seaman of Dover, whose excellent parts, 
For wisdom and learning, had conquered the hearts 
Of many young damsels, of beauty so bright, 
< >f him this new ditty in brief I shall write; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 131 

And shew of his turnings, and windings of fate, 
His passions and sorrows, so many and great : 
And how he was blessed with true love at last, 
AVhen all the rough storms of his troubles were past. 

Now, to be brief, I shall tell you the truth : 

A beautiful lady, whose name it was Ruth, 

A 'squire's young daughter, near Sandwich, in Kent, 

Proves all his heart's treasure, his joy and content. 

Unknown to their parents in private they meet, 
Where many love lessons they'd often repeat, 
With kisses, and many embraces likewise, 
She granted him love, and thus gained the prize. 

She said, I consent to be thy sweet bride, 
Whatever becomes of my fortune, she cried. 
The frowns of my father I never will fear, 
But freely will go through the world with my dear. 

A jewel he gave her, in token of love, 

And vowed, by the sacred powers above, 

To wed the next morning ; but they were betrayed, 

And all by the means of a treacherous maid. 

She told her parents that they were agreed : 
With that they fell into a passion with speed, 
And said, ere a seaman their daughter should have, 
They rather would follow her corpse to the grave. 

The lady was straight to her chamber confined, 
Here long she continued in sorrow of mind, 

k 2 



132 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And bo did her love, for the loss of his clear, — 
No sorrow was ever so sharp and severe. 

When long he had mourned for his love and delight, 
Close under the window he came in the night, 
And sung forth this ditty: — My dearest, farewell ! 
Behold, in this nation no longer I dwell. 

I am going from thence to the kingdom of Spain ; 
Because I am willing that you should obtain 
Your freedom once more ; for my heart it will break 
If longer thou liest confined for my sake. 

The words which he uttered, they caused her to weep, 
Yet, nevertheless, she was forced to keep 
Deep silence that minute, that minute for fear 
Her honoured father and mother should hear. 



Soon after, bold Hem-y he entered on board, 

The heavens a prosperous gale did afford, 

And brought him with speed to the kingdom of Spain, 

There he with a merchant some time did remain ; 

Who, finding that he was both faithful and just, 
Preferred him to places of honour and trust ; 
He made him as great as his heart could request, 
Yet, wanting his Ruth, he with grief was opprest. 

So great was his grief it could not be concealed, 
Both honour and riches no pleasure could yield ; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 133 

In private he often would weep and lament, 
For Ruth, the fair, beautiful lady of Kent. 

Now, while he lamented the loss of his dear, 
A lady of Spain did before him appear, 
Bedecked with rich jewels both costly and gay, 
Who earnestly sought for his favour that day. 

Said she, Gentle swain, I am wounded with love, 
And you are the person I honour above 
The greatest of nobles that ever was born ; — 
Then pity my tears, and my sorrowful mourn ! 

I pity thy sorrowful tears, he replied, 
And wish I were worthy to make thee my bride ; 
But, lady, thy grandeur is greater than mine, 
Therefore, I am fearful my heart to resign. 

O! never be doubtful of what will ensue, 
No manner of danger will happen to you ; 
At my own disposal I am, I declare, 
Receive me with love, or destroy me with care. 

Dear madam, don't fix your affection on me, 
You are fit for some lord of a noble degree, 
That is able to keep up your honour and fame; 
I am but a poor sailor, from England who came. 

A man of mean fortune, whose substance is small. 
I have not wherewith to maintain you withall, 
Sweet lady, according to honour and state; 
Now this is the truth, which I freely relate. 

The lady she lovingly squeezed his hand, 

And said with a smile, Ever blessed be the land 



134 ANCIENT l'OKMS, 

That bred such a noble, brave seaman as thee; 
I value no honours, thou'rt welcome to me; 

My parents are dead, I have jewels untold, 
Besides in possession a million of gold ; 
And thou shalt be lord of whatever I have, 
Grant me but thy love, which I earnestly crave. 

Then, turning aside, to himself he replied, 
I am courted with riches and beauty beside ; 
This love I may have, but my Ruth is denied. 
Wherefore he consented to make her his bride. 

The lady she cloathed him costly and great; 
His noble deportment, both pi-oper and straight, 
So charmed the innocent eye of his dove, 
And added a second new flame to her love. 

Then married they wei*e without longer delay; 
Now here we will leave them both glorious and gay, 
To speak of fair Ruth, who in sorrow was left 
At home with her parents, of comfort bereft. 



"When under the window with an aching heart, 
He told his fair Ruth he so soon must depart, 
Her parents they heard, and well pleased* they were, 
But Ruth was afflicted with sorrow and care. 

Now, after her lover had quitted the shore, 

They kept her confined a full twelvemonth or more, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 135 

And then they were pleased to set her at large, 
With laying upon her a wonderful charge. 

To fly from a seaman as she would from death, 
She promised she would, with a faltering breath ; 
Yet, nevertheless, the truth you shall hear, 
She found out a way for to follow her dear : 

Then, taking her gold and her silver also, 

In seaman's apparel away she did go, 

And found out a master, with whom she agreed, 

To carry her over the ocean with speed. 

Now, when she arrived at the kingdom of Spain, 
From city to city she travelled amain, 
Encpuiring about everywhere for her love, 
Who now had been gone seven years and above. 

In Cadiz, as she walked along in the street, 
Her love and his lady she happened to meet, 
But in such a garb as she never had seen, — 
She looked like an angel, or beautiful cpteen. 

With sorrowful tears she turned her aside: 
My jewel is gone, I shall ne'er be his bride ; 
But, nevertheless, though my hopes are in vain, 
I'll never return to old England again. 

But here, in this place, I will now be confined; 
It will be a comfort and joy to my mind, 
To see him sometimes, though he thinks not of me, 
Since he has a lady of noble degree. 

Now, while in the city fair Ruth did reside, 
Of a sudden this beautiful lady she died, 



136 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Ami, though he was in the possession of all, 
Yet tears from his eyes in abundance did fall. 

Ajs lie was expressing his piteous moan, 

Fair Ruth came unto him, and made herself known ; 

He started to see her, but seemed not coy, 

Said he, Now my sorrows are mingled with joy ! 

The time of the mourning he kept it in Spain, 
And then he came back to old England again, 
With thousands, and thousands, which he did possess; 
Then glorious and gay was sweet Ruth in her dress. 



When over the seas to fair Sandwich he came, 
With Ruth, and a number of persons of fame, 
Then all did appear most splendid and gay, 
As if it had been a great festival day. 

Now, when that they took up their lodgings, behold ! 

He stript off" his coat of embroidered gold, 

And presently borrows a mariner's suit, 

That he with her parents might have some dispute, 

Before they were sensible he was so great. 
And when he came in and knocked at the gate, 
He soon saw her father, and mother likewise, 
Expressing their sorrow with tears in their eyes: 

To them, with obeisance, he modestly said, 
Pray where is my jewel, that innocent maid, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 137 

Whose sweet lovely beauty doth thousands excell ? — 
I fear, by your weeping, that all is not well! 

No, no ! she is gone, she is utterly lost ; 
We have not heard of her a twelvemonth at most! 
Which makes us distracted with sorrow and care, 
And drowns us in tears at the point of despair. 

I'm grieved to hear these sad tidings, he cried. 
Alas! honest young man, her father replied, 
I heartily wish she'd been wedded to you, 
For then we this sorrow had never gone through. 

Sweet Henry he made them this answer again ; 
I am newly come home from the kingdom of Spain, 
From whence I have brought me a beautiful bride, 
And am to be married to-morrow, he cried ; 

And if you will go to my wedding, said he, 
Both you and your lady right welcome shall be. 
They promised they would, and accordingly came, 
Not thinking to meet with such persons of fame. 

All decked with their jewels of rubies and pearls, 
As equal companions of lords and of earls, 
Fair Ruth, with her love, was as gay as the rest, 
So they in their marriage were happily blest. 

Now, as they returned from the church to an inn, 
The father and mother of Ruth did begin 
Their daughter to know, by a mole they behold, 
Although she was cloathed in a garment of gold. 

With transports of joy they flew to the bride, 

O! where hast thou been, sweetest daughter? they cried, 



L38 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Thy tedious absence has grieved us sore, 

As fearing, alas! we should see thee no more. 

Dear parents, said she, many hazards I run, 
To fetch home my love, and your dutiful son ; 
Receive him with joy, for 'tis very well known, 
He seeks not your wealth, he's enough of his own. 

Her lather replied, and he merrily smiled, 

He 's brought home enough, as he 's brought home my 

child ; 
A thousand times welcome you are, I declare, 
Whose presence disperses both sorrow and care. 

Full seven long days in feasting they spent ; 

The bells in the steeple they merrily went, 

And many fair pounds were bestowed on the poor, — 

The like of this wedding was never before ! 



XIX. 



'cOje 23ecfetfljice HaUp'0 (Baching 

IN FOUR PARTS. 

To the tune of The Royal Forester. 

When we first met with this very pleasing English ballad, we 
deemed the story to be wholly fictitious, but "strange" as the 
" relation" may appear, the incidents narrated are "true" or at least 
founded on fact. The scene of the ballad is Whitley Park, near 
Beading, in Berkshire, and not, as some suppose, Calcot House ? 
which was only built in 1759. Whitley is mentioned by Leland as 
•• the Abbot's Park, being at the entrance of Redding town." At 
the Dissolution the estate passed to the crown, and the mansion 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 139 

seems, from time to time, to have been used as a royal " palace" 
till the reign of Elizabeth, by whom it was granted, along with 
the estate, to Sir Francis Knollys ; it was afterwards, by pur- 
chase, the property of the Kendricks, an ancient race descended 
from the Saxon kings. William Kendrick, of Whitley, armi'. 
was created a baronet in 1679, and died in 1685, leaving issue 
one son, Sir William Kendrick, of Whitley, Bart., who married 
Miss Mary House, of Reading, and died in 1699, without issue 
male, leaving an only daughter. It was this rich heiress, who 
possessed " store of wealth and beauty bright," that is the 
heroine of the ballad. She married Benjamin Child, Esq., a 
young and handsome, but very poor attorney of Reading, and 
the marriage is traditionally reported to have been brought about 
exactly as related in the ballad. The editor has not been able 
to ascertain the date of the marriage, which was celebrated in 
St. Mary's Church, Eeading, the bride wearing a thick veil, but 
the ceremony must have taken place some time about 1705. In ' 
1714, Mr. Child was high sheriff of Berkshire. As he was a 
humble and obscure personage previously to his espousing the 
heiress of Whitley, and, in fact, owed all his wealth and in- 
fluence to such marriage, it cannot be supposed that immediately 
after his union he would be elevated to so important and dig- 
nified a post as the high-shrievalty of the very aristocratical 
county of Berks. We may, therefore, consider nine or ten 
years to have elapsed betwixt his marriage and his holding 
the office of high sheriff, which he filled when he was about 
thirty-two years of age. The author of the ballad is unknown: 
supposing him to have composed it shortly after the events 
which he records, we cannot be far wrong in fixing its date 
about 1706. The earliest broadside we have met with contains a 
rudely executed, but by no means bad likeness of Queen Anne, 
the reigning monarch at that period. 



SHEWING C'Ll'IU S CONQUEST OVER A COY LAUV ol FIVE 

THOUSAND A VKAIi, 

Bachelors of every station, 
Mark this Strange and true relation, 
Which in brief to you I bring, — 
Never Avas a stranger thin<j '. 



140 ANCIENT POEMS, 

You shall find it worth the hearing; 
Loyal love is most endearing, 
When it takes the deepest root, 
Yielding charms and gold to hoot. 

Some will wed for love of treasure; 
But the sweetest joy and pleasure 
Is in faithful love, you'll find, 
Graced with a noble mind. 

Such a noble disposition 
Had this lady, with submission, 
Of whom I this sonnet write, 
Store of wealth, and beauty bright. 

She had left, by a good gi-annum, 
Full five thousand pounds per annum, 
Which she held without control ; 
Thus she did in riches roll. 

Though she had vast store of riches, 
AVhich some persons much bewitches, 
Yet she bore a virtuous mind, 
Not the least to pride inclined. 

Many noble persons courted 
This young lady, 'tis reported ; 
But their labour proved in vain, 
They could not her favour gain. 

Though she made a strong resistance, 
Yet by Cupid's true assistance, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 141 

She was conquered after all; 
How it was declare I shall. 

Being at a noble" wedding, 
Near the famous town of Redding, 
A young gentleman she saw, 
Who belonged to the law. 

As she viewed his sweet behaviour, 
Every courteous carriage gave her 
New addition to her grief; 
Forced she was to seek relief. 

Privately she then enquired 
About him, so much admired ; 
Both his name, and where he dwelt, — 
Such was the hot flame she felt. 

Then, at night, this youthful lady 
Called her coach, which being ready, 
Homewai'ds straight she did return, 
But her heart with flames did burn. 



PART I!. 



SHEWING THE LADY S LETTER OF A CHALLENGE TO FIGHT 

HIM UPON HIS REFUSING TO WED HER IN A MASK, 

WITHOUT KNOWING WHO SnE WAS. 

Night and morning, for a season, 
In her closet would she reason 
With herself, and often said, 
Why has love my heart betrayed ? 



142 ANCIENT POEMS, 

I, that have so many slighted, 
Am at Length so well requited; 
For my griefs are not a few ! 
Now I find what love can do. 

lie that has my heart in keeping, 
Though I for his sake be weeping, 
Little knows what grief I feel; 
But I'll try it out with steel. 

For I will a challenge send him, 
And appoint whei-e I'll attend him, 
In a grove, without delay, 
By the dawning of the day. 

He shall not the least discover 
That I am a virgin lover, 
By the challenge which I send ; 
But for justice I contend. 

He has caused sad distraction, 
And I come for satisfaction, 
Which if he denies to give, 
One of us shall cease to live. 

Having thus her mind revealed, 
She her letter closed and sealed ; 
Which, when it came to his hand, 
The young man was at a stand. 

In her letter she conjured him 
For to meet, and well assured him, 
Recompense he must afford, 
Or dispute it with the sword. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 143 

Having read this strange relation, 
He was in a consternation ; 
But advising with his friend, 
He persuades hirn to attend. 

Be of courage, and make ready, 
Faint heart never won fair lady ; 
In regard it must be so, 
I along with you must go. 



SHEWING HOW THEY MET BY APPOINTMENT IN A GROVE, 
WHERE SHE OBLIGED HIM TO FIGHT OR WED HER. 

Early on a summer's morning, 
When bright Phoebus was adorning 
Every bower with his beams, 
The fair lady came, it seems. 

At the bottom of a mountain, 
Near a pleasant crystal fountain, 
There she left her gilded coach, 
While the grove she did approach. 

Covered with her mask, and walking, 
There she met her lover talking 
With a friend that he had brought ; 
So she asked him whom he sought. 

I am challenged by a gallant, 
Who resolves to try my talent ; 
Who he is T cannot say, 
But I hope to shew him play. 



144 ANCIENT POEMS, 

It is I that did invite you, 
You shall wed me, or I'll fight you, 
Underneath those spreading trees ; 
Therefore, choose you which you please. 

You shall find I do not vapour, 
I have brought ray trusty rapier ; 
Therefore, take your choice, said she, 
Either fight or marry me. 

Said he, Madam, pray what mean you ? 
In my life I've never seen you ; 
Pay unmask, your visage show, 
Then I'll tell you aye or no. 

I will not my face uncover 
Till the marriage ties are over ; 
Therefore, choose you which you will, 
Wed me, sir, or try your skill. 

Step within that pleasant bower, 
With your friend one single hour ; 
Strive your thoughts to reconcile, 
And I'll wander here the while. 

While this beauteous lady waited, 
The young bachelors debated 
What was best for to be done: 
Quoth his friend, The hazard run. 

If my j udgment can be trusted, 
Wed her first, you can't be worsted ; 
If she's rich, you'll rise to fame, 
If she's poor, why ! you're the same. 



BALLADS AND SONGS. 145 

He consented to be married; 
All three in a coach were carried 
To a church without delay, 
Where he weds the lady gay. 

Tho' sweet pretty Cupids hovered 
Round her eyes, her face was covered 
With a mask, — he took her thus, 
Just for better or for worse. 

With a courteous kind behaviour, 
She presents his friend a favour, 
And withal dismissed him straight, 
That he might no longer wait. 



SHEWING HOW THEY RODE TOGETHER IN HER GILDED COACH 
TO HER NOBLE SEAT, OR CASTLE, ETC. 

As the gilded coach stood ready, 
The young lawyer and his lady 
Rode together, till they came 
To her house of state and fame; 

Which appeared like a castle, 
Where you might behold a parcel 
Of young cedars, tall and straight, 
Just before her palace gate. 

Eland in hand they walked together, 
To a hall, or parlour, rather, 
Which was beautiful and fair, — 

All alone she left him there. 

L 



146 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Two long hours there lie waited 
Her return, — at length he fretted, 
And began to grieve at last, 
For he had not broke his fast. 

Still he sat like one amazed, 
Round a spacious room he gazed, 
Which was richly beautified ; 
But, alas! he lost his bride. 

There was peeping, laughing, sneering, 
All within the lawyer's hearing ; 
But his bride he could not see; 
Would I were at home! thought he. 

While his heart was melancholy, 
Said the steward, brisk and jolly, 
Tell me, friend, how came you here ? 
You've some bad design, I fear. 

He replied, dear loving master, 
You shall meet with no disaster 
Through my means, in any case, — 
Madam brought me to this place. 

Then the steward did retire, 
Saying, that he would enquire 
Whether it was true or no: 
Ne'er was lover hampered so. 

Now the lady who had filled him 
With those fears, full well beheld him 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 147 

From a window, as she drest, 
Pleased at the merry jest. 

When she had herself attired 
In rich robes, to be admired, 
She appeared in his sight, 
Like a moving angel bright. 

Sir! my servants have related, 
How some hours you have waited 
In my parlour, — tell me who 
In my house you ever knew ? 

Madam! if I have offended, 

It is more than I intended ; 

A young lady brought me here : — 

That is true, said she, my dear. 

I can be no longer cruel 
To my joy, and only jewel; 
Thou art mine, and I am thine, 
Hand and heart I do resign ! 

Once I was a wounded lover, 
Now these fears are fairly over ; 
By receiving what I gave, 
Thou art lord of what I have. 

Beauty, honour, love, and treasure, 
A rich golden stream of pleasure, 
With his lady he enjoys ; 
Thanks to Cupid's kind decoj - 

l2 



14S ANCIENT POEMS, 

Now he's cloathed in rich attire, 
Not inferior to a 'squire ; 
Beauty, honour, riches' store, 
What can man desire more? 



XX. 

Giving an account of a nobleman, who taking notice of a poor 
man's industrious care and pains for the maintaining of his 
charge of seven small children, met him upon a day, and dis- 
coursing with him, invited him, and his wife and his children, 
home to his house, and bestowed upon them a farm of thirty 
acres of land, to be continued to him and his heirs for ever. 
To the tune of The Two English Travellers. 



Tnis pleasing ballad is entitled in the modern copies, The Noble- 
man and Tlirasher ; or the Generous Gift. It is very popular at 
the present day. There is a copy preserved in the Roxburgh 
Collection, with which our imprint has been collated. The tune 
to which the editor has always heard the ballad sung is Derry 
Down. 



A nobleman lived in a village of late, 
Hard by a poor thrasher, whose charge it was great ; 
For he had seven children, and most of them small, 
And nought but his labour to support them withall. 

He never was given to idle and lurk, 
For this nobleman saw him go daily to work, 
With his flail and his bag, and his bottle of beer, 
As cheerful as those that have hundreds a year. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 149 

Thus careful, and constant, each morning he went, 
Unto his daily labour with joy and content; 
So jocular and jolly he'd whistle and sing, 
As blithe and as brisk as the birds in the spring. 

One morning, this nobleman taking a walk, 
He met this poor man, and he freely did talk ; 
He asked him, [at first], many questions at large, 
And then began talking concerning his charge. 

Thou hast many children, I very well know, 
Thy labour is hard, and thy wages are low, 
And yet thou art cheerful ; I pray tell me true, 
How can you maintain them as well as you do ? 

I carefully carry home what I do earn, 
My daily expenses by this I do learn ; 
And find it is possible, though we be poor, 
To still keep the ravenous wolf from the door. 

I reap and I mow, and I harrow and sow, 
Sometimes a hedging and ditching I go ; 
No work comes amiss, for I thrash, and I plough, 
Thus my bread I do earn by the sweat of my brow. 

My wife she is willing to pull in a yoke, 
We live like two lambs, nor each other provoke; 
We both of us strive, like the labouring ant, 
And do our endeavours to keep us from want. 

And when I come home from my labour at night, 
To my wife and my children, in whom I delight; 



L50 ANCIENT POEMS, 

To sec them come round me with prattling noise, — 
Now these are the riches a poor man enjoys. 

Though I am as weary as weary may be, 
The youngest I commonly dance on my knee; 
I find that content is a moderate feast, 
I never repine at my lot in the least. 

Now, the nobleman hearing what he did say, 
Was pleased, and invited him home the next day ; 
His wife and his children he charged him to bring ; 
In token of favour he gave him a ring. 

He thanked his honour, and taking his leave, 
He went to his wife, who would hardly believe 
But this same story himself he might raise ; 
Yet seeing the ring she was in amaze. 

Betimes in the morning the good wife she arose, 
And made them all fine, in the best of their clothes ; 
The good man with his good wife, and children small, 
They all went to dine at the nobleman's hall. 

But when they came there, as truth does report, 
All things were prepared in a plentiful sort ; 
And they at the nobleman's table did dine, 
With all kinds of dainties, and plenty of wine. 

The feast being over, he soon let thorn know, 

That he then intended on them to bestow 

A farm-house, with thirty good acres of land, 

And gave them the writings then, with his own hand. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 151 

Because thou art careful, and good to thy wife, 
I'll make thy days happy the rest of thy life ; 
It shall be for ever, for thee and thy heirs, 
Because I beheld thy industrious cares. 

No tongue then is able in full to express 
The depth of their joy, and true thankfulness ; 
With many a curtsey, and bow to the ground, — 
Such noblemen there are but few to be found. 



Newcastle: printed and sold by llobert Marchbank. 



XXI. 

IN THREE PARTS. 

First, giving an account of a gentleman's having a wild son, 
and who, foreseeing he would come to poverty, had a cottage 
built with one door to it, always kept fast; and how, on his 
dying bed, he charged him not to open it till he was poor and 
slighted, which the young man promised he would perform. 
Secondly, of the young man's pawning his estate to a vintner, 
who, when poor, kicked him out of doors; when thinking it time 
to see his legacy, he broke open the cottage door, where instead 
of money he found a gibbet and halter, which he put round his 
neck, and jumping off the stool, the gibbet broke, and a thousand 
pounds came down upon his head, which lay hid in the ceiling. 
Thirdly, of his redeeming his estate, and fooling the vintner 
out of two hundred pounds; who, for beingjeered by his oeigh- 
bours, cut his own throat. And lastly, of the young man's re- 
formation. Very proper to be read by all who are given to 
drunkenness. 



152 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Throw in the introductory remarks to the ballad of The Heir 
of Limn; says, " the original of this ballad, [The Heir ofLinne] 
is Found in the editor's folio MS.; the breaches and defects of 
which rendered the insertion of supplemental stanzas necessary. 
These it is hoped the reader will pardon, as, indeed, the comple- 
tion of the story was suggested by a modern ballad on a similar 
subject" The ballad thus alluded to by Percy is The Drunkard's 
Legacy, which, it may be remarked, although styled by him a 
modern ballad, is only so comparatively speaking; for it must 
have been written long anterior to Percy's time, and, by his 
own confession, must be older than the latter portion of the Heir 
of Linne. Our copy is taken from an old chap-book, without 
date or printer's name, and which is decorated with three rudely 
executed wood-cuts. 



Young people all, I pray draw near, 
And listen to my ditty here ; 
Which subject shews that drunkenness 
Brings many mortals to distress. 

As, for example, now I can 

Tell you of one, a gentleman, 

Who had a very good estate, 

His earthly travails they were great. 

We understand he had one son 
Who a lewd wicked race did run; 
He daily spent his father's store, 
When moneyless, he came for more. 

The father oftentimes with tears, 
Would this alarm sound in his ears; 
Son! thou dost all my comfort blast, 
And thou wilt come to want at last. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 15, 

The son these words did little mind, 
To cards and dice he was inclined; 
Feeding his drunken appetite 
In taverns, which was his delight. 

The father, ere it was too late, 
He had a project in his pate, 
Before his aged days were run, 
To make provision for his son. 

Near to his house, we understand, 
He had a waste plat of land, 
Which did but little profit yield, 
On which he did a cottage build. 

The Wise-Man's Project was its name, 
There were few windows in the same; 
Only one door, substantial thing, 
Shut by a lock, went by a spring. 

Soon after he had played this trick, 
It was his lot for to fall sick ; 
As on his bed he did lament, 
Then for his drunken son he sent. 

He shortly came to his bed-side; 
Seeing his son, he thus replied: 
I have sent for you to make my will, 
Which you must faithfully fulfil. 

In such a cottage is one door, 
Ne'er open it, do thou be sure, 



I 5 I ANCIENT POEMS, 

Until thou art so poor, that all 

Do then despise you, great and small. 

For, to my grief, I do perceive, 
When I am dead, this life you live 
"Will soon melt all thou hast away; 
Do not forget these words, I pray. 

"When thou hast made thy friends thy foes, 
Pawned all thy lands, and sold thy cloathes; 
Break ope the door, and there depend 
To find something thy griefs to end. 

Thus being spoke, the son did say, 
Your dying words I will obey. 
Soon after this his father dear 
Did die, and buried was, we hear. 



Now, pray observe the second part, 
And you shall hear his sottish heart; 
He did the tavern so frequent, 
Till he three hundred pounds had spent. 

This being done, we understand 
He pawned the deeds of all his land 
Unto a tavern-keeper, who 
"When poor, did him no favour shew. 

For, to fulfil his father's will, 

He did command this cottage still: 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 155 

At length great sorrow was his share, 
Quite moneyless, with garments hare. 

Being not able for to work, 
He in the tavern there did lurk; 
From box to box, among rich men, 
Who oftentimes reviled him then. 

To see him sneak so up and down, 
The vintner on him he did frown ; 
And one night kicked him out of dooi*, 
Charging him to come there no more. 

He in a stall did lie all night, 
In this most sad and wretched plight ; 
Then thought it was high time to see 
His father's promised legacy. 

Next morning, then, opprest with woe, 
This young man got an iron crow ; 
And, as in tears he did lament, 
Unto this little cottage went. 

When he the door had open got, 
This poor, distressed, drunken sot, 
Who did for store of money hope, 
He saw a gibbet and a rope. 

Under this rope was placed a stool, 
Which made him look just like a fool; 
Crying, Ala.-! what shall I do ? 
Destruction now appears in view! 



156 ANCIENT POEMS, 

As my father foresaw this thing, 
What sottishness to me would bring; 
As moneyless, and free of grace, 
His legacy I will embrace. 

So then, oppressed with discontent, 
Upon the stool he sighing went ; 
And then, his precious life to check, 
Did place the rope about his neck. 

Crying, Thou, God, who sitt'st on high, 
And on my sorrow casts an eye ; 
Thou knowest that I've not done well, — 
Preserve my precious soul from hell. 

'Tis true the slighting of thy grace, 
Has brought me to this wretched case ; 
And as through folly I'm undone, 
I'll now eclipse my morning sun. 

When he with sighs these words had spoke, 
Jumped off, and down the gibbet broke ; 
In falling, as it plain appears, 
Dropped down about this young man's ears, 

In shining gold, a thousand pound! 
Which made the blood his ears surround: 
Though in amaze, he cried, I'm sure 
This golden salve will cure the sore ! 

Blest be my father, then, he cried, 
Who did this part for me so hide ; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 157 



And while I do alive remain, 
I never will set drunk again. 



PART in. 
Now, by the third part you will hear, 
This young man, as it doth appear, 
With care he then secured his chink, 
And to this vintner's went to drink. 

When the proud vintner did him see, 
He frowned on him immediately, 
And said, Begone! or else with speed, 
I'll kick thee out of doors, indeed. 

Smiling, the young man he did say, 
Thou cruel knave! tell me, I pray, 
As I have here consumed my store, 
How durst thee kick me out of door? 

To me thou hast been too severe; 
The deeds of eight-score pounds a-year, 
I pawned them for three hundred pounds, 
That I spent here; — what makes such frowns? 

The vintner said unto him, Sirrah! 
Bring me one hundred pounds to-morrow 
By nine o'clock, — take them again ; 
So get you out of doors till then. 

He answered, If this chink I bring, 
I fear thou wilt do no such thing. 



158 ANCIENT POEMS, 

He said, I'll give under my hand, 
A note, that I to this will stand. 

Having the note, away he goes, 
And straightway went to one of those 
That made him drink when moneyless, 
And did the truth to him confess. 

They both went to this heap of gold, 
And in a bag he fairly told 
A thousand pounds, in yellow-boys, 
And to the tavern went their ways. 

This bag they on the table set, 
Making the vintner for to fret ; 
He said, Young man! this will not do, 
For I was but in jest with you. 

So then bespoke the young man's friend: 
Vintner! thou mayest sure depend, 
In law this note it will you cast, 
And he must have his land at last. 

This made the vintner to comply, — 
He fetched the deeds immediately ; 
He had one hundred pounds, and then 
The young man got his deeds again. 

At length the vintner 'gan to think 
How he was fooled out of his chink ; 
Said, "When 'tis found how I came off, 
My neighbours will me game rind scoff. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 159 

So to prevent their noise and clatter 
The vintner he, to mend the matter, 
In two days after, it doth appear, 
He cut his throat from ear to ear. 

Thus he untimely left the world, 
That to this young man proved a churl. 
Now he who followed drunkenness, 
Lives sober, and doth lands possess. 

Instead of wasting of his store, 
As formerly, resolves no more 
To act the same, but does indeed 
Relieve all those that are in need. 

Let all young men now, for my sake, 
Take care how they such havock make ; 
For drunkenness, you plain may see, 
Had like his ruin for to be. 



ANCIENT POEMS, BALLADS, &c. 



SONGS. 



I. 

jartljttr C^BraMep'g cLQIetiDincc, 

In the ballad called Robin Hood, his Birth, Breeding, Valour, and 
Marriage, occurs the following line : — 

" And some singing Arthur-a-Bradley." 
Antiquaries are by no means agreed as to what is the song of 
Arthur-a-Bradley, there alluded to, for it so happens that there 
are no less than three different songs about this same Arthur- 
a-Bradley. Ritson gives one of them in his Rubin Hood, com- 
mencing thus : — 

" See you not Pierce the piper." 
He took it from a black-letter copy in a private collection, com- 
pared with, and very much corrected by, a copy, contained in 
An Antidote against Melancholy, made up in pills compounded of 
witty Ballads, jovial Songs, and merry Catches, 1661. Ritson quotes 
another, and apparently much more modern song on the same 
subject, and to the same tune, beginning, — 

" All in the merry month of May," 
it is a miserable composition, as may be seen by referring to a copy 
preserved in the third volume of the Roxburgh Ballads. There is 
another song, the one given by us, which appears to be as ancient 
as any of those of which Arthur O'Bradley is the hero, and from its 
subject being a wedding, as well as from its being the only 
Arthur O'Bradley song that we have been enabled to trace in 
broadside and chap-books of the last century, we are induced to 
believe that it may be the song mentioned in the old ballad, 
which is supposed to have been written in the reign of Charles I. 
An obscure music publisher, who about thirty years ago resided 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 1 6 I 

in the Metropolis, brought out an edition of Arthur CfBradley's 
Wedding, with the prefix " Written by Mr. Taylor." This 
Mr. Taylor was, however, only a low comedian of the day, and 
the ascribed authorship was a mere trick on the publisher's part 
to increase the sale of the song, "We are not able to give any 
account of the hero, but from his being alluded to by so many of 
our old writers, he was, perhaps, not altogether a fictitious per- 
sonage. Ben Jonson alludes to him in one of his plays, and he 
is also mentioned in Decker's Honest Whore. Of one of the 
tunes mentioned in the song, viz., Hence, Melancholy ! we can give 
no account; the other, Mud 31oll, may be found in Playford's 
Dancing -Master, 1 698 : it is the same tune as the one known by 
the names of Yellow Stockings and The Virgin Queen ; the latter 
title seeming to connect it with Queen Elizabeth, as the name of 
Mad Moll does with the history of Mary, who was subject to 
mental aberration. The words of Mad Moll are not known to 
exist, but probably consisted of some fulsome panegyric on the , 
virgin queen, at the expense of her unpopular sister. From the 
mention of Hence, Melancholy, and Mad Moll, it is presumed that 
they were both popular favourites when Arthur O 'Bradley 's Wed- 
ding was written. 



Come, neighbours, and listen awhile, 

If ever you wished to smile, 

Or hear a true story of old, 

Attend to what I now unfold ! 

'Tis of a lad whose fame did resound 

Through every village and town around, 

For fun, for frolic, and for whim, 

None ever was to equal him, 

And his name was Arthur O'Bradley! 

O! rare Arthur O'Bradley! wonderful Arthur 
O'Bradley! 

Sweet Arthur O'Bradley, 0! 



162 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Now, Arthur being stout and bold, 

And near upon thirty years old, 

He needs a wooing would go, 

To get him a helpmate, you know. 

So, gaining young Dolly's consent, 

Next to be married they went; 

And to make himself noble appear, 

He mounted the old padded mare ; 

He chose her because she was blood, 

And the prime of his old daddy's stud. 

She was wind-galled, spavined, and blind, 

And had near lost a leg behind; 

She was cropped, and docked, and fired, 

And seldom, if ever, was tired: 

She had such an abundance of bone; 

So he called her his high-bred roan, 

A credit to Arthur O'Bradley! 

O! rare Arthur O'Bradley! wonderful Arthur 
O'Bradley! 

Sweet Arthur O'Bradley, O! 

Then he packed up his drudgery hose, 

And put on his holiday cloaths; 

His coat was of scarlet so fine, 

Full trimmed with buttons behind ; 

Two sleeves it had it is true, 

One yellow, the other was blue, 

And the cuffs and the capes were of green, 

And the longest that ever were seen: 

His hat, though greasy and tore, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 



163 



Cocked up with a feather before, 

And under his chin it was tied, 

With a strip from an old cow's hide: 

His breeches three times had been turned, 

And two holes through the left side were burned: 

Two boots he had, but not kin, 

One leather, the other was tin ; 

And for stirrups he had two patten rings, 

Tied fast to the girth with two strings: 

Yet he wanted a good saddle cloth, 

Which long had been eat by the moth. 

'Twas a sad misfortune, you'll say, 

But still he looked gallant and gay, 

And his name it was Arthur O'Bradley ! 

O! rare Arthur O'Bradley! wonderful Arthur 
O'Bradley! 

Sweet Arthur O'Bradley, O! 

Thus accoutred, away he did ride, 
While Dolly she walked by his side ; 
Till coming up to the church door, 
In the midst of five thousand or more, 
Then from the old mare he did alight, 
Which put the clerk in a fright ; 
And the parson so fumbled and shook, 
That presently down dropped his book, 
Which Arthur soon picked up again, 
And swore if he did not begin, 
He would surely scuttle his nob, 
If he kept him so long in the mob; 

m 2 



164 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Then so loudly began for to sing, 
lie made the whole church to ring; 
Crying, Dolly, my dear, come hither, 
And let us be tacked together ; 
For it is you I intend to wed, 
And indulge with the half of my bed, 
For the honour of Arthur O'Bradley! 

O! rare Arthur O'Bradley! wonderful Arthur 
O'Bradley! 

Sweet Arthur O'Bradley, O! 

Then the vicar his duty discharged, 

Without either fee or reward, 

Declaiming no money he'd have; 

And poor Arthur he'd none to give: 

So, to make him a little amends, 

He invited him home with his friends, 

To have a sweet kiss at the bride, 

To eat a good dinner beside. 

The dishes, though few, were good, 

And the sweetest of animal food : 

First, a roast guinea-pig and a bantam, 

A sheep's head stewed in a lanthorn, 

Two calves' feet, and a bull's trotter, 

The fore and hind leg of an otter, 

"With craw-fish, cockles, and crabs, 

Lump-fish, limpits, and dabs, 

Red herrings and sprats, by dozens, 

To feast all their uncles and cousins ; 

Who seemed well pleased with their treat, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 165 

And heartily tbey did all eat, 

For the honour of Arthur O'Bradley ! 

O! rare Arthur O'Bradley! wonderful Arthur 
O'Bradley! 

Sweet Arthur O'Bradley, O! 

Now, the guests being well satisfied, 

The fragments were laid on one side, 

When Arthur, to make their hearts merry, 

Brought ale, and parkin, and perry ; 

When Timothy Twig stept in, 

With his pipe, and a pipkin of gin. 

A lad that was pleasant and jolly, 

And scorned to meet melancholy: 

He would chaunt and pipe so well, 

No youth could him excell. 

Not Pan, the god of the swains, 

Could ever produce such strains; 

But Arthur, being first in the throng, 

He swore he would sing the first song, 

And one that was pleasant and jolly : 

And that should be Hence, Melancholy ! 

Now give me a dance, quoth Doll, 

Come, Jeft'ery, play up Mad Moll, 

'Tis time to be merry and frisky, — 

But first I must have some more whiskey; 

For I hate your barley swipes, 

It does not agree with my tripes, — 

It makes me so qualmish and queery. 

Oh! you're right, says Arthur, my deary! 

Mylilly! my lark! and my love! 



166 ANCIENT POEMS, 

My daffy-down-dilly! my dove! 

My everything! my wife! 

I ne'er was so pleased in my life, 

Since my name it was Arthur O'Bradley! 

O! rare Arthur O'Bradley! wonderful Arthur 
O'Bradley! 

Sweet Arthur O'Bradley, O! 

Then the piper he screwed up his bags, 

And the girls began shaking their rags; 

First up jumped old Mother Crewe, 

Two stockings, and never a shoe. 

Her nose was crooked and long, 

"Which she could easily lick with her tongue; 

And a hump on her back she did not lack, 

But you should take no notice of that; 

For though threescore years and ten, 

She had something was pleasing to men. 

And her mouth stood all awry, 

And she never was heard to lie, 

For she had been dumb from her birth; 

So she nodded consent to the mirth, 

For honour of Arthur O'Bradley. 

0! rare Arthur O'Bradley! wonderful Arthur 
O'Bradley! 

Sweet Arthur O'Bradley, O! 

Then the parson led off at the top, 
Some danced, while others did hop; 
"While some ran foul of the wall. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 167 

And others down backwards did fall. 
You'd have laughed to see their odd stumps, 
False teeth, china eyes, and cork rumps; 
While some but one leg they had gotten, 
And that which they had it was rotten. 
There was lead up and down, figure in, 
Four hands across, then back again. 
So in dancing they spent the whole night. 
Till bright Phoebus appeared in their sight; 
When each had a kiss of the bride, 
And hopped home to his own fire-side : 
Well pleased was Arthur O'Bradley ! 

O! rare Arthur O'Bradley! wonderful Arthur 
O'Bradley! 

Sweet Arthur O'Bradley, 0! 



II. 

&fje gainful plough. 

This is one of our oldest agricultural ditties, and maintains its popu- 
larity to the present hour. It is called for at merry-makings and feasts in 
every part of the country. The tune is in the minor key, and of 
a pleasing character. 



Comb, all you jolly ploughmen, of courage stout and bold, 
That labour all the winter in stormy winds, and cold ; 
To cloath the fields with plenty, your farm-yards to renew, 
To crown them with contentment, behold the painful plough! 



168 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Hold! ploughman, said the gardener, don't count your trade 

with ours, 
Walk through the garden, and view the early flowers; 
Also the curious border and pleasant walks go view, — 
There's none such peace and plenty performed by the plough! 

Hold ! gardener, said the ploughman, my calling don't despise, 
Each man for his living upon his trade rebies ; 
Were it not for the ploughman,, both rich and poor would rue, 
For we are all dependant upon the painful plough. 

Adam in the garden was sent to keep it right, 

But the length of time he stayed there, I believe it was 

one night; 
Yet of his own labour, I call it not his due, 
Soon he lost his garden, and went to hold the plough. 

For Adam was a ploughman when ploughing first begun, 
The next that did succeed him was Cain, the eldest son ; 
Some of the generation this calling now pursue; 
That bread may not be wanting, remains the painful plough. 

Sampson was the strongest man, and Solomon was wise, 

Alexander for to conquer 'twas all his daily prise ; 

King David was valiant, and many thousands slew, 

Yet none of these brave heroes could live without the plough ! 

Behold the wealthy merchant, that trades in foreign seas, 
And brings home gold and treasure for those who live at ease; 
With fine silks and spices, and fruits also, too, 
They are brought from the Indies by virtue of the plough. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 169 

Yes! the man that brings them will own to what is true, 
He cannot sail the ocean without the painful plough ! [peas, 
For they must have bread, biscuit, rice-pudding, flour and 
To feed the jolly sailors as they sail o'er the seas. 

I hope there's none offended at me for singing this, 
For it is not intended for any thing amiss ; 
If you consider rightly, you'll find what I say is true, 
For all that you can mention depends upon the plough. 



III. 

Prat'ge, 

The common editions of this popular song say, " From an Old 
Ballad." The editor has not been able to meet with the original. 

A country life is sweet! 
In moderate cold and heat, 

To walk in the air, 

How pleasant and fair! 
In every field of wheat, 

The fairest of flowers 

Adorning the bowers, 
And every meadow now ; 

To that, I say, 

No courtier may 

Compare with they 

Who clothe in grey, 
And follow the useful plow. 



170 ANCIENT POEMS, 

They rise with the morning lark, 
And labour till almost dark ; 

Then folding their sheep, 

They hasten to sleep; 
While every pleasant park, 

Next morning is ringing, 

With birds that are singing, 
On each green, tender bough. 

With what content, 

And merriment, 

Their days are spent, 

Whose minds are bent 
To follow the useful plow. 

The gallant that dresses fine, 
And drinks his bottles of wine, 

Were he to be tried, 

His feathers of pride, 
Which deck and adorn his back, 

Are taylors and mercers, 

And other men dressers, 
For which they do dun them now. 

But Ralph and Will 

No compters fill 

For taylor's bill, 

Or garments still, 
But follow the useful plow. 

Their hundreds, without remorse, 
Some spend to keep dogs and horse, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 171 

Who never would give, 

As long as they live, 
Not two-pence to help the poor : 

Their wives are neglected, 

And harlots respected ; 
This grieves the nation now; 

But 'tis not so, 

With us that go 

Where pleasures flow, 

To reap and mow, 
And follow the useful plow. 



IV. 

©Jje jfacmcc's ^>oru 

From The Britisli Musical Miscellany ; or, the Delightful Grove ; a 
work published about 179G. The song is old, and often heard 
in the dales of Yorkshire. 



Sweet Nelly! my heart's delight! 

Be loving, and do not slight 
The proffer I make, for modesty's sake,- 

I honour your beauty bright. 
For love, I profess, I can do no less, 

Thou hast my favour won: 
And since I see your modesty, 
I pray agree, and fancy me, 

Though I'm but a farmer's son. 

No! I am a lady gay, 

'Tis very well known I may 



] 72 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Have men of renown, in country or town; 

So! Roger, without delay, 
Court Bridget or Sue, Kate, Nancy, or Prue, 

Their loves will soon be won ; 
But don't you dare to speak rae fair, 
As if I were at my last prayer, 

To marry a farmer's son. 

My father has riches' store, 

Two hundred a year, and more; 
Beside sheep and cows, carts, harrows, and ploughs; 

His age is above threescore. 
And when he does die, then merrily I 

Shall have what he has won; 
Both land and kine, all shall be thine, 
If thou'lt incline, and wilt be mine, 

And marry a farmer's son. 

A fig for your cattle and corn! 

Your proffered love I scorn ! 
'Tis known very well, my name is Nell, 

And you're but a bumpkin born. 
Well ! since it is so, away I will go, — 

And I hope no harm is done ; 
Farewell, adieu! — I hope to woo 
As good as you, — and win her, too, 

Though I'm but a farmer's son. 

Be not in such haste, quoth she, 
Perhaps we may still agree; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 1 73 

For, man, I protest I was but in jest! 

Come, prythee sit down by me ; 
For thou art the man that verily can 

Win me, if e'er I'm won; 
Both straight and tall, genteel withall, 
Therefore, I shall be at your call, 

To marry a farmer's son. 

Dear lady! believe me now 

I solemnly swear and vow, 
No lords in their lives take pleasure in wives, 

Like fellows that drive the plough: 
For whatever they gain with labour and pain, 

They don't with't to harlots run, 
As courtiers do. I never knew 
A London beau that could out-do 

A country farmer's son. 



V. 

nig Song of a |>eoman of Hent'g Sonne. 

There are modern copies of this song, but the present version 
is copied from Melismata, Musical phansies fitting the court, citie, 
and countree. To .3, 4, and 5 voyces. London, printed by William 
Stansby, for Thomas Adams, 1611. 



I have house and land in Kent, 

And if you'll love me, love me now ; 
Two-pence half-penny is my rent, — 
I cannot come every day to woo. 
Chorus. Two-pence half-penny is his rent, 

And he cannot come every day to woo. 



174 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Ich am my vather's eldest zonne, 

My mother eke doth love me well ! 
For I can bravely clout my shoone, 
And Ich full well can ring a bell. 
C/io. For he can bravely clout his shoone, 
And he full well can ring a bell. 

My vather he gave me a hogge, 

My mouther she gave me a zow ; 
I have a god-vather dwels there by, 
And he on me bestowed a plow. 
Cho. He has a god-vather dwels there by, 
And he on him bestowed a plow. 

One time I gave thee a paper of pins, 

Anoder time a taudry lace ; 
And if thou wilt not grant me love, 
In truth I die bevore thy vace. 
Clio. And if thou wilt not grant his love, 
In truth he'll die bevore thy vace. 

Ich have been twice our Whitson Lord, 

Ich have had ladies many vare ; 
And eke thou hast my heart in hold, 
And in my minde zeemes passing rare. 
Cho. And eke thou hast his heart in hold, 

And in his minde zeemes passing rare. 

Ich will put on my best white sloppe, 
And ich will weare my yellow hose; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 175 

And on my head a good gray hat, 
And in't ich sticke a lovely rose. 
Cho. And on his head a good gray hat, 
And in't he'll stick a lovely rose. 

Wherefore cease off, make no delay, 

And if you'll love me, love me now ; 
Or els ich zeeke zome oder where, — 
For Ich cannot come every day to woo. 
Cho. Or else he'll zeeke zome oder where, 
For he cannot come every day to woo. 



VI. 

Our copy of this song is taken from one in the Roxburgh Col- 
lection, where it is called, TIic Country Farmer's vain glory ; in a 
new song of Harvest Home, sung to a new tune much in request. 
Licensed according to order. 



Our oats they are howed, and our barley 's reaped, 
Our hay is mowed, and our hovels heaped; 

Harvest home! harvest home! 
We'll merrily roar out our harvest home! 

Harvest home! harvest home! 
We'll merrily roar out our harvest home! 
We'll merrily roar out our harvest home! 

We cheated the parson, we'll cheat him again ; 
For why should the vicar have one in ten? 
One in ten! one in ten! 



176 ANCIENT POKMS, 

For why should the vicar have one in ten? 
For why should the vicar have one in ten? 
For staying while dinner is cold and hot, 
And pudding and dumpling's burnt to pot ; 

Burnt to pot! burnt to pot! 
Till pudding and dumpling's burnt to pot, 

Burnt to pot! burnt to pot! 

We'll drink off the liquor while we can stand, 
And hey for the honour of old England! 

Old England! old England! 
And hey for the honour of old England! 

Old England! old England! 

Printed for P. Brooksby, J. Dencon, [Deacon]. J. Blai[r], and 
J. Back. 



VII. 

From an old copy without printer's name or date. 

Come, Roger and Nell, 
Come, Simpkin and Bell, 
Each lad with his lass hither come ; 
With singing and dancing, 
And pleasure advancing, 
To celebrate harvest-home! 
Chorus. 'Tis Ceres bids play, 

And keep holiday, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 177 

To celebrate harvest-home! 

Harvest-home ! 

Harvest-home ! 
To celebrate harvest-home! 

Our labour is o'er, 

Our barns, in full store, 
Now swell with rich gifts of the land; 

Let each man then take, 

For the prong and the rake, 
His can and his lass in his hand. 

For Ceres, &c. 

No courtier can be 

So happy as we, 
In innocence, pastime, and mirth . 

While thus we carouse, 

With our sweetheart or spouse, 
And rejoice o'er the fruits of the earth. 
For Ceres, &c. 



VIII. 

A HARVEST HOME SONG. 

Tune, " Wlicre the hee sucks." 
This favourite song, copied from a chap-book called The Whistling 
Ploughman, published at the commencement of the present cen- 
tury, is written in imitation of Ariel's song, in the Tempest. It 
is probably taken from some defunct ballad-opera. 



17N ANCIENT POEMS, 

Now our work's done, thus we feast, 
After labour comes our rest ; 
Joy shall reign in every breast, 
And right welcome is each guest : 

After harvest merrily, 
Merrily, merrily, will we sing now, 
After the harvest that heaps up the mow. 

Now the plowman he shall plow, 
And shall whistle as he go, 
Whether it be fair or blow, 
For another barley mow, 

O'er the furrow merrily : 
Merrily, merrily, will we sing now, 
After the harvest, the fruit of the plow. 

Toil and plenty, toil and ease, 
Still the husbandman he sees ; 
Whether when the winter freeze, 
Or in summer's gentle breeze ; 

Still he labours merrily, 
Merrily, merrily, after the plow, 
He looks to the harvest, that gives us the mow, 



IX. 



This song is sung at country meetings in Devon and Cornwall, 
particularly on completing the carrying of the barley, when 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 179 

the rick, or mow of bai'ley, is finished. On putting up the 
last sheaf, which is called the craw, (or crow) sheaf, the man 
who has it cries out " I have it, I have it, I have it;" another 
says, " What have'ee, what have'ee, what have'ee ?" The an- 
swer is, "A craw! a craw! a craw!" there is then some cheer- 
ing, &c, and a supper afterwards. The effect of the barley- 
mow song cannot be given in words, it should be heard, to 
appreciate it properly, — particularly with the West-country 
dialect. 



Here's a health to the barley-mow, my brave boys, 

Here's a health to the barley- mow ! 
We'll drink it out of the jolly brown bowl, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
Cho. Here's a health to the barley-mow, my brave boys, 
Here's a health to the barley-mow! 

We'll drink it out of the nipperkin, boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
The nipperkin and the jolly brown bowl, 
Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the quarter-pint, boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow! 
The quarter-pint, nipperkin, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the half-a-pint, boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
The half-a-pint, quarter-pint, &c. 

dim. Here's a health, &<•. 



180 ANCIENT POEMS, 

"We'll drink it out of the pint, my brave boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
The pint, the half-a-pint, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the quart, my brave boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
The quart, the pint, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the pottle, my boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow! 
The pottle, the quart, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

"We'll drink it out of the gallon, my boys, 
Here's a health to the barley-mow! 
The gallon, the pottle, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the half-anker, boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
The half- anker, gallon, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

"We'll drink it out of the anker, my boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow ! 
The anker, the half-anker, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the half-hogshead, boys, 
Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 181 

The half-hogshead, anker, &c. 

Clio. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the hogshead, my boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow! 
The hogshead, the half-hogshead, &c. 
Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the pipe, my brave boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
The pipe, the hogshead, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the well, my brave boys, 

Here's a health to the barley mow! 
The well, the pipe, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &c. 

We'll drink it out of the river, my boys, 

Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
The river, the well, &c. 

Cho. Here's a health, &e. 

We'll drink it out of the ocean, my boys, 
Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 

The ocean, the river, the well, the pipe, the hogshead, 
the half-hogshead, the anker, the half-anker, 
the gallon, the pottle, the quart, the pint, the 
half-a-pint, the quarter-pint, the nipperkin, and 
the jolly brown bowl! 



182 ANCIENT POEMS, 

( %o. Here's a health to the barley-mow, my brave boys! 
Here's a health to the barley-mow! 



The above verses are very much ad libitum, but always in the 
third line repeating the whole of the previously named mea- 
sures ; and, as the last verse is sometimes the ocean, we have 
concluded with it at length. 



X. 

%\)t Crafceix Cfjttrtv-^upper f5tm$. 

In some of the more remote dales of Craven it is customary at 
the close of the hay-harvest for the farmers to give an entertain- 
ment to their men ; this is called the churn supper ; a name which 
Eugene Aram says has its origin because it " has been from im- 
memorial times, customary to produce at such suppers a great 
quantity of cream in a churn, and to circulate it in cups to each 
of the rustic company, to be eaten with bread." At these churn- 
suppers the masters and their families attend the entertainment, 
and share in the general mirth. The men on these occasions mask 
themselves, and dress in a grotesque manner, and are allowed the 
privilege of playing harmless practical jokes on their employers, 
&c. The churn-supper song varies in different dales, but the 
following used to be the most popular version. In the third 
verse there seems to be an allusion to the clergyman's taking 
tythe in kind, on which occasions it is customary for him to be 
accompanied by two or three men, and the parish clerk. The 
song has never before been printed. 



God rest you, merry gentlemen! 
Be not moved at my strain, 
For nothing study shall my brain, 
But for to make you laugh. 
For I came here to this feast, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 183 

For to laugh, carouse, and jest, 
And welcome shall be every guest, 
To drink his cup and can. 
Chorus. Be frolicksome, every one, 
Melancholy none ; 
Drink about! 
See it out, 

And then we'll all go home, 
And then we'll all go home! 

This ale it is a gallant thing, 

It cheers the spirits of a king ; 

It makes a dumb man strive to sing, 

Aye, and a beggar play ! 
A cripple that is lame and halt, 
And scarce a mile a day can walk, 
When he feels the juice of malt, 

Will throw his crutch away. 
Cho. Be frolicksome, &c. 

'Twill make the parson forget his men, — 
'Twill make his clerk forget his pen ; 
'Twill turn a tailor's giddy brain, 

And make him break his wand. 
The blacksmith loves it as his life, — 
It make the tinkler bang his wife, — 
Aye, and the butcher seek his knife, 

When he has it in his hand ! 
Cho. Be frolicksome, &c. 

So now to conclude, my merry boys, all, 
Let's with strong liquor take a fall. 



1S4 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Although the weakest goes to the wall, 

The best is but a play ! 
For water it concludes in noise, 
Good ale will chear our hearts, brave boys, 
Then put it round with a cheerful voice, 
We meet not every day. 
C/io. Be frolicksome, &c. 



XL 

'cllje l&ural 2Datue about t\)t Slpap-^ole* 

The most correct copy of this song is the one in TTie Westminster 
Drollery, Part II. p. 80. It is there called The Rural Dance about 
the May-pole, the tune, the first-figure dance at Mr. Young's ball, 
May 1671. The tune may be found in Chappell's National En- 
glish Airs. The last verse in our copy is modern, and, we believe, 
was written by a comic song-writer, who, a few years ago, had 
the impudence to palm the whole song off, on those who knew no 
better, as his own composition. 



Come, lasses and lads, 
Take leave of your dads, 

And away to the may-pole hie ; 
For every he 
Has got him a she, 

And the minstrel 's standing by. 
For Willie has gotten his Jill, 

And Johnny has got his Joan, 
To jig it, jig it, jig it, 

Jig it up and down. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 185 

Strike up, says Wat, 
Agreed, says Kate, 

And I prithee, fiddler, play; 
Content, says Hodge, 
And so says Madge, 

For this is a holiday. 
Then every man did put 

His hat off to his lass, 
And every girl did curchy, 

Curchy, curchy on the grass. 

Begin, says Hall, 
Aye, aye, says Mall, 

"We'll lead up Pachingtonh Pound: 
No, no, says Noll, 
And so says Doll, 

We'll first have Sellenger's Round. 
Then every man began 

To foot it round about ; 
And every girl did jet it, 

Jet it, jet it, in and out. 

You're out, says Dick, 
'Tis a lie, says Nick, 

The fiddler played it false; 
'Tis true, says Hugh, 
And so says Sue, 

And so says nimble Alice. 
The fiddler then began 

To play the tune again, 



186 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And every girl did trip it, trip it, 
Trip it to the men. 

Let 's kiss, says Jane, 
Content, says Nan, 

And so says every she; 
How many? says Batt, 
Why three, says Matt, 

For that's a maiden's fee. 
But they, instead of three, 

Did give them half a score, 
And they in kindness gave 'em, gave 'em, 

Gave 'em as many more. 

Then after an hour, 
They went to a bower, 

And played for ale and cakes ; 
And kisses, too; — 
Until they were due, 

The lasses kept the stakes : 
The girls did then begin 

To quarrel with the men ; 
And bid 'em take their kisses back, 

And give them their own again. 

Yet there they sate, 
Until it was late, 

And tired the fiddler quite, 
With singing and playing, 
Without any paying, 

From morning unto night : 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 187 

They told the fiddler then, 

They'd pay him for his play; 
And each a two-pence, two-pence, 

Gave him, and went away. 

[Good night, says Harry, 
Good night, says Mary, 

Good night, says Dolly to John ; 
Good night, says Sue, 
Good night, says Hugh; 

Good night, says every one. 
Some walked, and some did run, 

Some loitered on the way; [love-knots, 
And bound themselves with love-knots, 

To meet the next holiday.] 



XII. 



At Helstone in Cornwall, the 8th of May is a day devoted to revelry 
and gaiety. It is called the Furry-day, supposed to be a corrup- 
tion of Flora's day, from the garlands worn and carried in proces- 
sion during the festival. A writer in the Gentleman's Magazineiot 
June 1790, says, " lu the morning, very early, some troublesome 
rogues go round the streets [of Helstone], with drums, and 
other noisy instruments, disturbing their sober neighbours, and 
singing parts of a song, the whole of which nobody now recol- 
lects, and of which I know no more than that there is mention 
in it of the " grey goose quill," and of going " to the green wood" 
to bring hume "the Summer and the May, (.)!" During the 
festival, the gentry, tradespeople, servants, &c., dance through 



188 ANCIENT POEMS, 

the streets, and thread through certain of the houses to a very 
old dance tune, given in the appendix to Davies Gilbert's Christ- 
mas Carols, and which may also be found in Chappell's National 
Enylish Airs, and other popular collections. The Furry-day song 
possesses no literary merit whatever; but as a part of an old, 
and really interesting festival, it is worthy of preservation. The 
dance-tune has been confounded with that of the song, but Mr. 
Sandys, to whom the editor is indebted for this communication, 
observes " the dance-tune is cpjite different." 



Robin Hood and Little John, 

They both are gone to the fair, 0! 
And we will go to the merry green-wood, 
To see what they do there, O! 

And for to chase, O ! 
To chase the buck and doe. 

With ha-lan-tow, rumble, O! 

For we were up as soon as any day, O! 

And for to fetch the summer home, 

The summer and the may, O! 

For summer is a-come, O! 

And winter is a-gone, O! 

Where are those Spaniards 

That make so great a boast, O ? 
They shall eat the grey goose feather, 
And we will eat the roast, O! 

In every land, ! 
The land where'er we go. 
With ha-lan-tow, &c. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 189 



As for St. George, O! 

Saint George he was a knight, O! 

Of all the knights in Christendom, 

Saint Georgy is the right, O! 

In every land, O! 

The land where'er we go. 

With ha-lan-tow, &c. 



XIII. 

Corm'srtj Qpfojsummet Bonfire &ong> 

The very ancient custom of lighting fires on Midsummer-eve, 
being the vigil of St. John the Baptist, is still kept up in seve- 
ral parts of Cornwall. On these occasions the fishermen and 
others dance about them, and sing appropriate songs. The fol- 
lowing has been sung for a long series of years at Penzance and 
the neighbourhood, and is taken down from the recitation of a 
leader of a West-country choir. It is communicated to our 
pages by Mr. Sandys. The origin of the Midsummer bonfires 
is fully entered upon in Brand's Popular Antiquities. — Vide Sir 
H. Ellis's edition of that work, vol. i. pp. 166-186. 

The bonny month of June is crowned 

"With the sweet scarlet rose; 
The groves and meadows all around 

With lovely pleasure flows. 

As I walked out to yonder green, 

One evening so fair; 
All where the fair maids may be seen 

Playing at the bonfire. 



1<)0 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Hail! lovely nymphs, be not too coy, 
But freely yield your charms; 

Let love inspire with mirth and joy, 
In Cupid's lovely arms. 

Bright Luna spreads its light around, 
The gallants for to cheer; 

As they lay sporting on the ground, 
At the fair June bonfire. 

All on the pleasant dewy mead, 
They shared each other's charms; 

Till Phoebus' beams began to spread, 
And coming day alarms. 

Whilst larks and linnets sing so sweet, 
To cheer each lovely swain; 

Let each prove true unto their love, 
And so farewell the plain. 



XIV. 

Suffolk ^acbetft-.^ome &ong; + 

In no part of England are the harvest-homes kept up with greater 
spirit than in Suffolk. The following old song is a general 
favourite on such occasions. 



Here's a health unto our master, 
The founder of the feast ! 

I wish, with all my heart and soul, 
In heaven he may find rest. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 191 

I hope all things may prosper, 
That ever he takes in hand; 
For we are all his servants, 
And all at his command. 
Drink, hoys, drink, and see you do not spill, 
For if you do, you must drink two, — it is your 
master's will. 

Now our harvest is ended, 

And supper is past ; 
Here's our mistress' good health, 

In a full flowing glass! 
She is a good woman, — 

She prepared us good cheer; 
Come, all my brave hoys, 

And drink oif your beer. 
Drink, my boys, drink 'till you come unto me, 
The longer we sit, my boys, the merrier shall we be! 

In yon green wood there lies an old fox, 
Close by his den you may catch him, or no; 
Ten thousand to one you catch him, or no. 
His beard and his brush are all of one colour, — 

[ Takes the glass, and empties it off.~\ 

I am sorry, kind sir, that your glass is no fuller. 
'Tis down the red lane! 'tis down the red lane! 
So merrily hunt the fox down the red lane! 



192 ANCIENT POEMS, 

XV. 

%t\z ^apmafcettf' »>ona* 

An old and very favourite ditty sung in many parts of England 
at merry-makings, especially at those which occur during the 
hay-harvest. It is not in auy collection. 



In the merry month of June, 

In the prime time of the year; 
Down in yonder meadows 

There runs a river clear : 
And many a little fish 

Doth in that river play; 
And many a lad, and many a lass, 

Go abroad a-making hay. 

In come the jolly mowers, 

To mow the meadows down; 
With budget, and with bottle 

Of ale, both stout and brown, 
All labouring men of courage bold 

Come here their strength to try; 
They sweat and blow, and cut and mow, 

For the grass cuts very dry. 

Here's nimble Ben and Tom, 
With pitchfork, and with rake; 

Here's Molly, Liz and Susan, 
Come here their hay to make. 

While sweet jug, jug, jug! 
The nightingale doth sing, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 193 

From morning unto even-song, 
As they are hay-making. 

And when that bright day faded, 

And the sun was going down, 
There was a merry piper 

Approached from the town : 
He pulled out his pipe and tabor, 

So sweetly he did play, 
Which made all lay down their rakes, 

And leave off making hay. 

Then joining in a dance, 

They jig it o'er the green; 
Though tired with their labour, 

No one less was seen. 
But sporting like some fairies, 

Their dance they did pursue, 
In leading up, and casting off, 

Till morning was in view. 

And when that bright daylight, 

The morning it was come, 
They laid down and rested 

Till the rising of the sun : 
Till the rising of the sun, 

When the merry larks do sing, 
And each lad did rise and take his lass, 

And away to hay-making. 



194 ANCIENT POEMS, 

XVI. 

Sword-dancing is not so common in the North of England as 
it was a few years ago; but a troop of rustic practitioners of the 
art may still be occasionally met with at Christmas time, in some 
of the most secluded of the Yorkshire dales. The following is 
a copy of the introductory song, as it used to be sung by the 
Wharfdale sword- dancers. It was transcribed by the editor 
from a MS. in possession of Mr. Holmes, surgeon, at Grassington, 
in Craven. At the conclusion of the song a dance ensues, and 
sometimes a rustic drama is performed, similar to the one given 
in an article on sword-dancing, to be found in Sir Cuthbert 
Sharp's Bishoprick Garland. 



The spectators being assembled, the clown enters, and after draw- 
ing a circle with his sword, walks round it, and calls in the 
actors in the following lines, which are sung to the accompa- 
niment of a violin played outside, or behind the door. 



The first that enters on the floor, 

His name is Captain Brown ; 
I think he is as smart a youth 

As any in this town: 
In courting of the ladies gay, 

He fixes his delight; 
He will not stay from them all day, 

And is with them all the night. 

The next 's a tailor hy his trade, 

Called Obadiah Trim; 
You may quickly guess, by his plain dress, 

And hat of broadest brim, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 195 

That he is of the Quaking sect, 
Who would seem to act by merit 

Of yeas and nays, and hums and hahs, 
And motions of the spirit. 

The next that enters on the floor, 

He is a foppish knight ; 
The first to be in modish dress, 

He studies day and night. 
Observe his habit round about, — 

Even from top to toe; 
The fashion late from France was brought, — 

He 's finer than a beau ! 

Next I present unto your view 

A very worthy man; 
He is a vintner, by his trade, 

And Love-ale is his name. 
If gentlemen propose a glass, 

He seldom says 'em nay, 
But does always think it's right to drink, 

While other people pay. 

The next that enters on the floor, 

It is my beauteous dame; 
Most dearly I do her adore, 

And Bridget is her name. 
At needlework she does cxcell 

All that e'er learnt to sew, 
And when I choose, she'll ne'er refuse, 

What I command her do. 

2 o 



196 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And I myself am come long since. 

And Thomas is my name; 
Though some are pleased to call me Tom, . 

I think they're much to blame : 
Folks should not use their betters thus, 

But I value it not a groat, 
Though the tailors, too, that botching crew, 

Have patched it on my coat. 

I pray who's this we've met with here, 

That tickles his trunk weam ? 
We've picked him up as here we came, 

And cannot learn his name: 
But sooner than he's go without, 

I'll call him my son Tom; 
And if he'll play, be it night or day, 

We'll dance you Jumping Joan. 



XVII. 



In the Yorkshire dales the young men are in the habit of going 
about at Christmas time in grotesque masks, and of performing 
in the farm-houses a sort of rude drama, accompanied by singing 
and music. The maskers have wooden swords, and the per- 
formance is an evening one. The following version of their 
introductory song was taken down by the editor from the recita- 
tion of a young besom-maker, now residing at Linton, in Craven, 
and who for some years past, has been one of these rustic 
actors. From the mention of the pace, or paschal-egg, it is 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 197 

evident that the play was originally an Easter pageant, which, in 
consequence of the decline of the gorgeous rites formerly con- 
nected with that festival, has been transferred to Christmas, the 
only season which, in the rural districts of Protestant England, 
is observed after the olden fashion. The maskers generally con- 
sist of five characters, one of whom officiates in the thi - ee-fold 
capacity of clown, fiddler, and master of the ceremonies. 



Enter clown, who sings in a sort of chaunt, or recitative, 

I open this floor, I enter in, 
I hope your favour for to win; 
"Whether we shall stand or fall, 
We do endeavour to please you all. 

A room! a room! a gallant room, 

A room to let us ride! 
We are not of the raggald sort, 

But of the royal tribe: 
Stir up the fire, and make a light, 
To see the bloody act to-night! 

[Here another of the party introduces his companions by sing- 
ing to a violin accompaniment, as follows:] 

Here's two or three jolly boys, 

All in one mind; 
We've come a pace-egging, — 

I hope you'll prove kind : 
I hope you'll prove kind 

With your money and beer, 
We shall come no more near you 

Until the next year. 
Fal de ral, lal de lal, &o> 



198 ANCIENT POEMS, 

The first that steps up 

Is Lord [Nelson] you'll see, 
With a bunch of blue ribbons 

Tied down to his knee; 
With a star on his breast, 

Like silver doth shine; 
I hope you'll remember 

This pace-egging time. 
Fal de ral, 8cc. 

O! the next that steps up 

Is a jolly Jack tar, 
He sailed with Lord [Nelson], 

In during last war: 
He's a right on the sea, 

Old England to view: 
He's come a pace-egging 

With so jolly a crew. 
Fal de ral, &c. 

O! the next that steps up 

Is old Toss-Pot, you'll see, 
He's a valiant old man, 

In every degree. 
He's a valiant old man, 

And he wears a pig-tail ; 
And all his delight 

Is drinking mulled ale. 
Fal de ral, &c. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 199 

0! the next that steps up 

Is old Miser, you'll see; 
She heaps up her white 

And her yellow money; 
She wears her old rags 

Till she starves and she hegs ; 
And she's come here to ask 

For a dish of pace-eggs. 
Pal de ral, &c. 

[The characters being thus duly introduced, the following lines 
are sung in chorus by all the party.] 

Gentlemen and ladies, that sit by the fire, 
Put your hand in your pocket, 'tis all we desire; 
Put your hand in your pocket, and pull out your purse, 
And give us a trifle, — you'll not be much worse. 

[Here follows a dance, and this is generally succeeded by a dia- 
logue of an ad libitum character, and which varies in different 
districts, being sometimes similar to the one performed by the 
sword-dancers.] 



XVIII. 



(Mottce0ter0!)ice (LOiaggfailerjai' »>ona; + 

It is still customary in many parts of England to hand round 
the wassail, or health-bowl, on New-Year's Eve. The custom is 
supposed to be of Saxon origin, and to be derived from one of 
the observances of the Feast of Yule. 



Wassail! wassail ! all over the town, 

Our toast it is white, and our ale it is brown; 



200 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Our bowl is made of a maplin tree; 

We be troocl fellows all; — I drink to thee. 



Here's to our horse, and to his right ear, 
God send our measter a happy new year; 
A happy new year as e'er he did see, — 
With my wassailing bowl I drink to thee. 

Here's to our mare, and to her right eye, 
God send our mistress a good Christmas pie; 
A good Christmas pie as e'er I did see, — 
With my wassailing bowl I drink to thee. 

Here's to our cow, and to her long tail, 
God send our measter us never may fail 
Of a cup of good beer : I pray you draw near, 
And our jolly wassail it's then you shall hear. 

Be here any maids ? I suppose there be some; 
Sure they will not let young men stand on the cold stone! 
Sing hey O, maids! come trole back the pin, 
And the fairest maid in the house let us all in. 

Come, butler, come, bring us a bowl of the best; 
I hope your soul in heaven will rest; 
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small, 
Then down fall butler, and bowl and all. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 201 

XIX. 

Ifttcljacti of Taunton HDeati ; oc 2DttmMe 
Hum tiearp* 

This song is very popular with the country-people in every part 
of England, but more particularly so with the inhabitants of* the 
counties of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. There are many 
different versions. The following one, communicated by Mr. 
Sandys, was taken down from the singing of an old blind fiddler, 
" who," says Mr. Sandys, " used to accompany it on his instru- 
ment in an original and humorous manner; a representative of 
the old minstrels!" 



Last New-Year's day, as I've heerd say, 

Young Richard he mounted his dapple grey, 

And he trotted along to Taunton Dean, 

To court the parson's daughter, Jean. 

Dumble dum deary, dumble dum deary, 
Dumble dum deary, dumble dum dee. 

With buckskin breeches, shoes and hose, 
And Dicky put on his Sunday clothes; 
Likewise a hat upon his head, 
All bedaubed with ribbons red. 

Young Richard he rode without dread or fear, 
Till he came to the house where lived his sweet dear, 
When he knocked, and shouted, and bellowed, hallo ! 
Be the folks at home? say aye or no. 

A trusty servant let him in, 

That he his courtship might begin; 



202 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Young Richard he walked along the great hall, 
And loudly for mistress Jean did call. 

Miss Jean she came without delay, 
To hear what Dicky had got to say; 
I s'pose you knaw me, mistress Jean, 
I'm honest Richard of Taunton Dean. 

I'm an honest fellow, although I be poor, 
And I never was in love afore; 
My mother she bid me come here for to woo, 
And I can fancy none but you. 

Suppose that I would be your bride, 
Pray how would you for me provide? 
For I can neither sew nor spin, — 
Pray what will your day's work bring in? 

"Why, I can plough, and I can zow, 
And zometimes to the market go 
With Gaffer Johnson's straw or hay, 
And yarn my ninepence every day! 

Ninepence a-day will never do, 
For I must have silks and satins too! 
Ninepence a day won't buy us meat! 
Adzooks! says Dick, I've a zack of wheat; 

Besides, I have a house hard by, 

'Tis all my awn, when mammy do die; 

If thee and I were married now, 

Ods! I'd feed thee as fat as my feyther's old zow. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 201 

Dick's compliments did so delight, 
They made the family laugh outright; 
Young Richard took huff, and no more would say, 
He kicked up old Dobbin and trotted away, 
Singing, duruble dum deary, &c. 



XX. 

AN ANCIENT CORNISH SONG. 

This song, said to be translated from the Cornish, " was taken 
down," says Mr. Sandys, " from the reeital of a modern Cory- 
pheus, or leader of a parish choir, who said the antiquity of it 
was very auncient .'" 



As Tom was a-walking one fine summer's morn, 
When the dazies and gold cups the fields did adorn ; 
He met cozen Mai, with the tub on her head, 
Says Tom, Cozen Mai, you might speak if you we'd. 

But Mai stamped along, and appeared to be shy, 
And Tom singed out, Zounds! I'll knaw of the why? 
So back he tore after, in a terrible fuss, 
And axed cozen Mai, What's the reason of this? 

Tom Treloar, cried out Mai, I'll nothing do wi' 'ee, 
Go to Fanny Trembaa, she do knaw how I'm shy; 
Tom, this here t'other day, down the hill thee didst stap, 
And dab'd a great doat fig in Fan Trembaa's lap. 

As for Fanny Trembaa, I ne'er taalkcd with bcr tu ice, 
And gived her a doat fig, they are so xrvy nice; 



204 ANCIENT POEMS, 

So I'll tell thee, I went to the market t'other day, 
Anil the doat figs I boft, why I saved them away. 

Says Mai, Tom Treloar, if that be the caase, 
May the Lord bless for ever that sweet pretty faace; 
If thee'st give me thy doat figs thee'st boft in the fear, 
I'll swear to the now, thee shu'st marry me here. 



XXI. 



%\\z filler ann lji'0 &on0. 

A miuler, especially if he happen to be the owner of a soke- 
mill, has always been deemed fair game for the village satirist. 
Of the numerous songs written in ridicule of the calling of the 
" rogues in grain," the following is one of the best and most 
popular: its quaint humour will recommend it to our readers. 



There was a crafty miller, and he 
Had lusty sons, one, two, and three : 
He called them all, and asked their will, 
If that to them he left his mill. 

He called first to his eldest son, 
Saying, My life is almost run; 
If I to you this mill do make, 
What toll do you intend to take? 

Father, said he, my name is Jack; 
Out of a bushel I'll take a peck, 
From every bushel that I grind, 
That I may a good living find. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 205 

Thou art a fool ! the old man said, 
Thou hast not well learned thy trade; 
This mill to thee I ne'er will give, 
For by such toll no man can live. 

He called for his middlemost son, 
Saying, My life is almost run; 
If I to you this mill do make, 
What toll do you intend to take ? 

Father, says he, my mind is Ralph; 
Out of a bushel I'll take a half, 
From every bushel that I grind, 
That I may a good living find. 

Thou art a fool! the old man said, 
Thou hast not well learned thy trade; 
This mill to thee I ne'er will give, 
For by such toll no man can live. 

He called for his youngest son, 
Saying, My life is almost run; 
If I to you this mill do make, 
What toll do you intend to take? 

Father, said he, I'm your only boy, 
For taking toll is all my joy! 
Before I will a good living lack, 
I'll take it all, and forswear the sack ! 

Thou art my boy! the old man said, 

For thou hast right well learned thy trade; 



206 ANCIENT POEMS, 

This mill to thee I give, he cried, 

And then he closed up his eyes and died. 



XXII. 



3|oan'tf ale toatf $le\D* 

Our's is the common verson of this popular song; it varies con- 
siderably from the one given by D'Urfey in the Pills to purge 
Melancholy. From the names of Nolly and Joan, and the allusion 
to ale, we are inclined to regard the song as a lampoon levelled at 
Cromwell and his wife, whom the Royalist party nick-named 
" Joan." The writer seems to represent the Protector's acquaint" 
ances, (who are held up as low and vulgar tradesmen), as paying 
him a congratulatory \isit on his change of fortune, and regaling 
themselves with the " Brewer's" ale. 



There were six jovial tradesmen, 
And they all sat down to drinking, 
For they were a jovial crew; 
They sat themselves down to be merry; 
And they called for a bottle of sherry, 
You're welcome as the hills, says Nolly, 
While Joan's ale is new, brave boys, 
While Joan's ale is new. 

The first that came in was a soldier, 
With his firelock over his shoulder, 
Sure no one could be bolder, 

And a loner broad-sword he drew: 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 207 

He swore he would fight for England's ground, 
Before the nation should be run down, 
He boldly drank their healths all round, 
While Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came in was a hatter, 
Sure no one could be blacker, 
And he began to chatter, 

Among the jovial crew: 
He threw his hat upon the ground, 
And swore every man should spend his pound, 
And boldly drank their healths all round, 

While Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came in was a dyer, 
And he sat himself down by the fire, 
For it was his heart's desire 

To drink with the jovial crew: 
He told the landlord to his face, 
The chimney-corner should be his place, 
And there he'd sit and dye his face, 

While Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came in was a tinker, 
And he was no small beer drinker, 
And he was no strong ale shrinker, 

Among the jovial crew: 
For his brass nails were made of metal, 
And he swore he'd go and mend a kettle, 
Good heart, how his hammer and nails did rattle, 

When Joan's ale was new! 



208 ANCIENT POEMS, 

The next that came in was a taylor, 
With his bodkin, shears, and thimble, 
He swore he would be nimble 

Among the jovial crew: 
They sat and they called for ale so stout, 
Till the poor taylor was almost broke, 
And was forced to go and pawn his coat, 

While Joan's ale was new. 

The next that came in was a ragman, 
With his rag-bag over his shoulder, 
Sure no one could be bolder 

Among the jovial crew. 
They sat and called for pots and glasses, 
Till they were all drunk as asses, 
And burnt the old ragman's bag to ashes, 

While Joan's ale was new. 



XXIII. 

%\)Z Heatljern BotteL 

SOMERSETSHIRE VERSION. 

In Chappell's National English Airs is a much longer version of 
The Leathern Battel. The following copy is the one sung, at the 
present time, by the country-people in the county of Somerset. 
It is communicated to our pages by Mr. Sandys. 

God above, who rules all things, 

Monks and abbots, and beggars and kings, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 209 

The ships that in the sea do swim, 
The earth, and all that is therein ; 
Not forgetting the old cow's hide, 
And every thing else in the world beside : 
And I wish his soul in heaven may dwell, 
Who first invented this leathern bottel ! 



Oh! what do you say to the glasses fine? 

Oh! they shall have no praise of mine ; 

Suppose a gentleman sends his man 

To fill them with liquor, as fast as he can, 

The man he falls, in coming away, 

And sheds the liquor so fine and gay; 

But had it been in the leathern bottel, 

And the stopper been in, 'twould all have been well ! 

Oh! what do you say to the tankard fine? 

Oh! it shall have no praise of mine; 

Suppose a man and his wife fall out, — 

And such things happen sometimes, no doubt, — 

They pull and they haul; in the midst of the fray 

They shed the liquor so fine and gay ; 

But had it been in the leathern bottel, 

And the stopper been in, 'twould all have been well ! 

Now, when this bottel it is worn out, 
Out of its sides you may cut a clout ; 
This you may hang upon a pin, — 
'Twill serve to put odd trifles in ; 



210 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Ink and soap, and candle-ends, 
For young beginners have need of such friends. 
And I wish his soul in heaven may dwell, 
"Who first invented the leathern bottel ! 



XXIV. 

W&z jFarmec'tf flDlU flflliTe* 

A SUSSEX WHISTLING SONG. 

This is a countryman's whistling -song, and the only one of the 
kind which the editor remembers to have heard. It is very 
ancient, and a great favourite. The farmer's wife has an adven- 
ture somewhat resembling the hero's in the burlesque version of 
Don Giovanni. The tune is Lilli burlero, and the song is sung as 
follows: — the first line of each verse is given as a solo; then the 
tune is continued by a chorus of whistlers, who whistle that por- 
tion of the air which in Lilli burlero would be sung to the words, 
Lilli burlero bullen a la. The songster then proceeds with the tune, 
and sings the whole of the verse through, after which the strain is 
concluded by the whistlers. The effect of the song, when accom- 
panied by the strong whistles of a tribe of hardy countrymen, is 
very striking, and cannot be described by the pen. It should be 
heard. 



There was an old farmer in Sussex did dwell, 
[Chorus of whistlers.] 

There was an old farmer in Sussex did dwell, 
And he had a bad wife, as many knew well. 

[Chorus of whistlers.] 
Then Satan came to the old man at the plough, — 
One of your family I must have now. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 211 

It is not your eldest son that I crave, 

But it is your old wife, and she I will have. 

O, welcome! good Satan, with all my heart, 
I hope you and she will never more part. 

Now Satan has got the old wife on his back, 
And he lugged her along, like a pedlar's pack. 

He trudged away till they came to his hall-gate, 
Says he, Here! take in an old Sussex chap's mate! 

O ! then she did kick the young imps about, — 
Says one to the other, Let's try turn her out. 

She spied thirteen imps all dancing in chains, 
She up with her pattens, and beat out their brains. 

She knocked the old Satan against the wall, — 
Let's try turn her out, or she'll murder us all. 

Now he's bundled her up on his back amain, 
And to her old husband he took her again. 

I have been a tormentor the whole of my life, 
But I ne'er was tormented so as with your wife. 



XXV. 

<3DID WLk\)tt atiti t)t'0 mitt. 

This song still retains its popularity in the North of England, 
and, when sung with humour, never fails to elicit roars of laugh- 
ter. A Scotch version may be found in Herd's Collection, I 769, 

p 2 



212 ANCIENT POEMS, 

and also in Cunningham's Songs of England and Scotland, Lon- 
don, 1835. The editor cannot give an opinion as to which is the 
original, but the English set is of unquestionable antiquity. Our 
copy was obtained from Yorkshire. It has been collated with 
one printed at the Aldermary press, and preserved in the third 
volume of the Roxburgh Collection. The tune is peculiar to the 
song. 



O ! I went into the stable, and there for to see, 

And there I saw three horses stand, by one, by two, 

and by three ; 
0! I called to my loving wife, and Anon, kind sir! 

quoth she; 
! what do these three horses here, without the leave 

of me ? 
"Why, you old fool ! blind fool! can't you very well see, 
These are three milking cows my mother sent to me ? 
Ods bobs! well done! milking cows with saddles on ! 
The like was never known ! 
Old "Wicket a cuckold went out, and a cuckold he came 

home! 

0! I went into the kitchen, and there for to see, 
And there I saw three swords hang, by one, by two, 

and by three ; 
O! I called to my loving wife, and Anon, kind sir! 

quoth she ; 
O! what do these three swords do here, without the 

leave of me ? 
"Why you old fool ! blind fool ! can't you very well see 
These are three roasting spits, my mother sent to me? 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 213 

Ods bobs ! well done ! roasting spits with scabbards on ! 
The like was never known ! 

Old Wichet a cuckold went out, and a cuckold he came 
home! 

O! I went into the parlour, and there for to see, 
And there I saw three cloaks hang, by one, by two, 

and by three ; 
0! I called to my loving wife, and Anon, kind sir! 

quoth she; 
O! what do these three cloaks do here, without the 

leave of me ? 
Why you old fool ! blind fool ! can't you very well see 
These are three mantuas my mother sent to me? 
Ods bods ! well done ! mantuas with capes on ! 
The like was never known ! 
Old Wichet a cuckold went out, and a cuckold he came 

home! 

O! I went into the pantry, and there for to see, 
And there I saw three pair of boots, by one, by two, 

and by three ; 
O! I called to my loving wife, and Anon, kind sir! 

quoth she; 
0! what do these three pair of boots here, without the 

leave of me ? 
Why you old fool ! blind fool ! can't you very well see 
These are three pudding-bags my mother sent to me ? 
Ods bobs ! well done ! pudding-bags with spurs on! 
The like was never known ! 



214 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Old Wichet a cuckold went out, and a cuckold he came 
home! 

O! I went into the dairy, and there for to see, 
And there I saw three hats hang, by one, by two, and 
by three; [she; 

O! I called to my loving wife, and Anon, kind sir! quoth 
Pray what do these three hats here, without the leave 

of me ? 
Why you old fool ! blind fool ! can't you very well see 
These are three skimming-dishes my mother sent to me? 
Ods bobs! well done! skimming-dishes with hat- 
bands on ! 
The like was never known ! 

Old Wichet a cuckold went out, and a cuckold he came 
home! 

O! I went into the chamber, and there for to see, 
And there I saw three men in bed, by one, by two, 

and by three ; 
0! I called to my loving wife, and Anon, kind sir! quoth 

she; 
0! what do these three men here, without the leave 

of me? 
Why you old fool ! blind fool ! can't you very well see 
They are three milking-maids my mother sent to me ? 
Ods bobs! well done! milking-maids with beards on! 
The like was never known! 
Old Wichet a cuckold went out, and a cuckold he came 

home ! 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 215 

XXVI. 

This ludicrous and genuine Yorkshire song, the production of 
some unknown country minstrel, was very popular a few years 
ago, owing to the admirable singing of it by Emery. The inci- 
dents actually occurred at the close of the last century, and some 
of the descendants of " Tommy Towers" were resident at Clap- 
ham till within a very recent period, and used to take great 
delight in relating the laughable adventure of their progenitor. 
Abey Muggins is understood to be a sobriquet for a then Clapham 
innkeeper. The village of Clapham is in the west of Yorkshire, 
on the high road betwixt Skipton and Kendal. 



BANEtaClaapamtown-gatelivedan oud Yorkshire tike, 
"Who i' dealing i' horseflesh hed ne'er met his like ; 
Twor his pride that i' aw the hard bargains he'd hit, 
He'd bit a girt monny, but nivver bin bit. 

This oud Tommy Towers, (bi thatnaam he wor knaan), 
Hed an oud carrion tit that wor sheer skin an' baan; 
Ta hev killed him for t' curs wad hev bin quite as well, 
But 'twor Tommy opinion he'd dee on himsel ! 

Well! yan Abey Muggins, a ncighborin cheat, 
Thowt ta diddle oud Tommy wad be a girt treat; 
Ilee'd a horse, too, 'twor war than oud Tommy's, ye sec, 
Fort' neet afore that hee'd thowt proper ta dee! 

Thinks Abey, t' oud codger '11 nivver smoak t' trick, 
I'll swop wi' him my poor Jeead horse for his wick, 



2 If) ANCIENT POEMS, 

An' if Tommy I nobbut can happen ta trap, 
'Twill be a fine feather i' Aberram cap ! 

Soa to Tommy he goas, an' the question he pops, 
Betwin thy horse and mine, prithee, Tommy, what 

swops? 
What wilt gi' me ta boot? for mine's t' better horse still! 
Nout, says Tommy, I'll swop ivven bands, an' ye will. 

Abey preaached a lang time about summat ta boot, 
Insistin' that his war the liveliest brute ; 
But Tommy stuck fast where he first had begun, 
Till Abey shook hands, and sed, well, Tommy, done! 

0! Tommy, sed Abey, I'ze sorry for thee, 
I thowt thou'd a hadden mair white i' thy ee; 
Good luck's wi' thy bargin, for my horse is deead: 
Hey! says Tommy, my lad, soa is min, an it's fleead ! 

Soa Tommy got t' better of t' bargin, a vast, 
An' cam' off wi' a Yorkshireman's triumph at last; 
For thof 'twixt deead horses there's not mitch to choose, 
Yet Tommy war richer by t' hide an' fower shooes. 



XXVII. 

3] one o' (toenfielD'0 IftamMe* 

The county of Lancaster has always been famed for its admi- 
rable pulois songs; but they are in general the productions of 
modern authors, and consequently, however popular they may be, 
are not within tin- scope of the present work. In the following 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 217 

humorous production we have, however, a composition of the last 
century. It is the oldest Lancashire song the editor has been 
able to procure, as well as one of the most popular; and, from 
its being witty without being vulgar, has ever been a favourite 
with all classes of society. 



Says Jone to his wife, on a hot summer's day, 

I'm resolved i' Grinfilt no lunger to stay; 

For I'll go to Owdham os fast os I can, 

So fare thee weel, Grinfilt, un fare thee weel, Nan; 

A soger I'll be, un brave Owdham I'll see, 

Un I'll ha'e a battle wi' th' French. 

Dear Jone, then said Nan, un hoo bitterly cried, 
Wilt' be one o' th' foote, or tha meons to ride ? 
Odsounds! wench, I'll ride oather ass or a mule, 
Ere I'll kewer i' Gi - infilt os black as te dule, 

Booath clemmink un starvink, un never a fardink, 

Ecod! it would drive ony mon mad. 

Aye, Jone, sin' we coom i' Grinfilt for t' dwell, 
We'n had mony a bare meal, I con vara weel tell ; 
Bare meal! ecod! aye, that I vara weel know, 
There's bin two days this wick ot we'n had now t at o: 

I'm vara near sided, afore I'll abide it, 

I'll feight oather Spanish or French. 

Then says my aunt Marget, Ah! Jone, thee'rt so hot, 
I'd ne'er go to Owdham, boh i' Englond I'd stop; 
It matters nowt, Madge, for to Owdham I'll go, 
I'll naw clam to deeoth, boh sumbry shall know: 



218 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Furst Frenchman I find, I'll tell him meh mind, 

Un if he'll naw feight, he shall run. 

Then down th' broo I coom, for we livent at top, 
I thowt I'd reach Owdham ere ever I'd stop; 
Ecod! heaw they stared when I getten to th' Mumps, 
Meh owd hat i' my hond, un meh clogs full o' stumps; 

Boh I soon towd am, I'r gooink to Owdham, 

Un I'd ha'e a battle wi' th' French. 

I kept eendway thro' th' lone, un to Owdham I went, 
I ash'd a recruit if te'd made up their keawnt? 
No, no, honest lad, (for he tawked like a king), 
Go wi' meh thro' the street, un thee I will bring 

Where, if theaw'rt willink, theaw may ha'e a shillink. 

Ecod ! I thowt this wur rare news. 

Hebrowt me to th' pleck where te measurn their height, 
Un if they bin height, thei'e's nowt said about weight; 
I retched me, un stretched me, un never did flinch, 
Says th' mon, I believe theaw'rt meh lad to an inch: 
I thowt this'll do, I'st ha'e guineas enow, 
Ecod! Owdham, brave Owdham for me. 

So fare thee weel, Grinfilt, a soger I'm made, 
I'n getten new r shoon, un a rare cockade; 
I'll feight for Owd Englond os hard os I con, 
Oather French, Dutch, or Spanish, to me it's o one, 

I'll make 'em to stare like a new-started hare, 

Un I'll tell 'em fro' Owdham I coom. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 219 

XXVIII. 

A CELEBRATED NORTHAMPTONSHIRE POACHERS' SONG. 

Nottinghamshire was, in the olden day, famous in song for the 
exploits of Robin Hood and his merry men. In our times the 
reckless spirit and daring of the heroes of " the greenwood 
tree" may be traced in the poachers of the county, who have 
also found poets to proclaim and exult over (heir lawless exploits; 
and in Thornehagh-3Toor icoods we have a specimen of one of these 
rude, but mischievous and exciting lyrics. The air is beautiful, 
and of a lively character. There is a prevalent idea that the 
song is not the production of an ordinary ballad-writer, but was 
written by a gentleman of rank and education, who, detesting the 
English game-laws, adopted a too successful mode of inspiring 
the peasantry with a love of poaching. The song finds locality 
in the village of Thornehagh, in the hundred of Newark; the 
common, or Moor-fields were inclosed about 1797, and arc now 
no longer called by the ancient designation. They contain eight 
hundred acres. The manor of Thornehagh is the property of 
the ancient family of Nevile, who have a residence on the estates. 



In Thornehagh- Moor woods, in Nottinghamshire, 

Fol de rol, la re, right fol laddie, dee; 
In Robin Hood's bold Nottinghamshire, 

Fol de rol. la re da. 
Three keepers' houses stood three- square, 
And about a mile from eaeli other they were, — 
Their orders were to look after tic de< i •• 
Fol de rol, la re da. 

1 went out with my dogs one night, — 

The moon shone clear, and the star- gave light ; 



220 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Over hedges and ditches, and rails, 

With my two dogs close at my heels, 

To catch a fine buck in Thornehagh-Moor fields. 

Oh! that night we had bad luck, 
One of my very best dogs was stuck; 
He came to me both bleeding and lame, — 
Right sorry was I to see the same, — 
He was not able to follow the game. 

I searched his wounds, and found them slight, 
Some keeper has done this out of spite ; 
Bnt I'll take my pike-staff, — that's the plan! 
I'll range the woods till I find the man, 
And I'll tan his hide right well, — if I can! 

I ranged the woods and groves all night, 

I ranged the woods till it proved daylight ; 

The very first thing that then I found, 

Was a good fat buck, that lay dead on the ground; 

I knew my dogs gave him his death-wound. 

I hired a butcher to skin the game, 
Likewise another to sell the same ; 
The very first buck he offered for sale, 
"Was to an old [hag] that sold bad ale, 
And she sent us three poor lads to gaol. 

The quarter sessions we soon espied, 
At which we all were for to be tried; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 221 

The Chairman laughed the matter to scorn, 
He said the old woman was all forsworn, 
And unto pieces she ought to be torn. 

The sessions are over, and we are clear! 
The sessions are over, and we sit here, 

Singing fol de rol, la re da! 
The very best game I ever did see, 
Is a buck or a deer, but a deer for me ! 
In Thornehagh-Moor woods this night we'll be! 

Fol de rol, la re da ! 



XXIX. 

S»omec0et0l)tL*e hunting £>omj* 

The following old song is popular with the peasantry of 
Somersetshire. 

There's no pleasures can compare 

Wi' the hunting o' the hare, 

In the morning, in the morning, 

In fine and pleasant weather. 

Chorus. With our hosses and our hounds, 

We will scamps it o'er the grounds, 

And sing traro, huzza! 

And sing traro, huzza! 

And sing traro, brave boys, we will follcr. 

And when poor puss arise, 
Then away from us she Hies; 
And we'll gives her, boys, we'll gives her, 
One thundering and loud holler! 
C/io. With our bosses, &<•. 



222 ANCIENT POEMS, 

And when poor puss is killed, 
We'll retires from the field; 
And we'll count boys, and we'll count 
On the same good ren to rnorrer. 

Chorus. "With our hosses and our hounds, &c. 



XXX. 

TEfje £eetJ£ of Hobe* 

Tins very curious old song is not only a favourite with our pea- 
santry, but, through its being introduced in the modern dramatic 
entertainment of The Loan of a Lover, has obtained popularity 
in more elevated circles. Its sweetly plaintive tune may be seen 
in Chappell's National English Airs. The words are quaint, but 
by no means void of beauty; they are, no doubt, corrupted, as 
we have them in the common broadsides from which the editor is 
obliged to print, not having been able to meet with them in any 
other form. 



I sowed the seeds of love, it was all in the spring, 
In April, May, and June, likewise, when small birds 

they do sing; 
My garden 's well planted with flowers every where, 
Yet I had not the liberty to choose for myself the flower 

that I loved so dear. 

My gardener he stood by, I asked him to choose for me, 
lie chose me the violet, the lilly and pink, but those I 

I refused all three ; 
The violet I forsook, because it fades so soon, 
The lilly and the pink I did o'erlook, and I vowed I'd 

stay till June. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 223 

In June there 's a red rose-bud, and that 's the flower 

for me! 
But often have I plucked at the red rose-bud till I 

gained the willow tree ; [twine,^— 

The willow-tree will twist, and the willow-tree will 
O! I wish I was in the dear youth's arms that once 

had the heart of mine. 

My gardener he stood by, he told me to take great care, 
For in the middle of a red rose-bud there grows a sharp 

thorn there ; 
I told him I'd take no care till I did feel the smart, 
And often I plucked at the red rose-bud till I pierced 

it to the heart. 

I'll make me a posy of hyssop, — no other I can touch, — 
That all the world may plainly see I love one flower 

too much ; 
My garden is run wild ! where shall I plant anew — 
For my bed, that once was covered with thyme, is all 

overrun with rue? 



XXXI. 

Carey's song of Sally in our Alley has appeared in so many col- 
lections, that, notwithstanding its undying popularity, it lias not 
been deemed advisable to print it in the presenl work. The 
Answer, however, is not so well known. It appeared immediately 
after the publication of the original song, and in the broadside 



224 ANCIENT POEMS, 

called Pretty Sally's Garland, has invariably accompanied it. We 
cannot ascertain whether the Answer was written by Carey. 



Of all the lads in London town, 

There's none I love like Johnny ; 
He walks so stately o'er the ground, 

I like him for my honey. 
And none but him I e'er will wed, 

As my name is Sally; 
And I will dress me in my best, 

In spite of all our alley. 

Because that Nau and Sue did say, 

That live in our alley, 
Unto Bess Franklin, do but see, 

Look, there goes pretty Sally ! 
But let them know, though they say so, 

That I have store of money, 
And can a hundred pounds bestow 

On John, my dearest honey ! 

'Tis true my father deals in nets, 

My mother in long laces ; 
But what of that? if Johnny's pleased, 

'Twon't hinder our embraces. 
For Johnny he does often swear 

He dearly loves his Sally; 
And for the neighbours I don't care, 

We will live in our alley. 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 225 

It's true, when Johnny comes along, 

And I by chance do meet him, 
His master comes out with a stick, 

And sorely he doth beat him: 
Yet Johnny shall be made amends, 

When his time's out, by Sally; 
In spite of all the rogues and girls 

That live in our alley. 

There is one day in every week 

That Johnny does come to me, 
And then, I own, I am well pleased, 

When he doth kiss and woo me: 
Then in the fields we walk and talk, — 

He calls me dearest Sally! 
I love him, and I'll have him, too, 

In spite of all our alley. 

His cheeks are of a crimson red, 

Black eye-brows he does carry; 
His temper is so sweet and good, 

My Johnny I will marry. 
Though all the neighbours spite us sore, 

Because Johnny loves his Sally, 
I but love Johnny more and more, 

And a fig for all our alley! 

Old women grumble, and the maids 
Are all in love with Johnny; 



226 ANCIENT POEMS, 

But they may fume, and they may fret, 
For he'll not leave his honey : 

At Midsummer his time is out, 
Then, hand-in-hand, will Sally 

Unto the parson with him go, 
In spite of all our alley! 



XXXII. 

%\\z d5acDen=pte, 

This is one of the most pleasing of our rural ditties. The air is 
very beautiful. The editor lately heard it sung in Malhaindale, 
Yorkshire, by Willy Bolton, an old Dales'-minstrel, who accom- 
panied himself on the union-pipes. 

The day was spent, the moon shone bright, 

The village clock struck eight; 
Young Mary hastened, with delight, 

Unto the garden-gate: 
But what was there that made her sad ? — 
The gate was there, but not the lad, 
"Which made poor Mary say and sigh, 
"Was ever poor girl so sad as I ? 

She traced the garden here and there, 

The village clock struck nine ; 
"Which made poor Mary sigh, and say, 

You shan't, you shan't be mine ! 
You promised to meet at the gate at eight, 
You ne'er shall keep me, nor make me wait, 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 22^ 

For I'll let all such creatures see, 
They ne'er shall make a fool of me. 

She traced the garden here and there, 

The village clock struck ten ; 
Young William caught her in his arms, 

No more to part again: 
For he'd been to buy the ring that day, 
And O! he had been a long, "long way ; — 
Then, how could Mary cruel prove, 
To banish the lad she so dearly did love ? 

Up with the morning sun they rose, 

To church they went away, 
And all the village joyful were, 

Upon their wedding-day: 
Now in a cot, by a river side, 
William and Mary both reside; 
And she blesses the night, that she did wait 
For her absent swain, at the garden-gate. 



XXXIII. 

This song is a village-version of an incident which occurred in 
the Burleigh family. The same English adventure has, strangely 
enough, been made the subject of one of the most beautiful of 
Moore's Irish Melodies, viz., You remember Helen, the hamlet* t 
pride. 

As I walked forth one summer's morn, 
Hard by a river's side, 

q 2 



228 ANCIENT POEMS, 

Where yellow cowslips did adorn 
The blushing field with pride; 

I spied a damsel on the grass, 
More blooming than the may; 

Her looks the Queen of Love surpassed, 
Among the new-mown hay. 

I said, good morning, pretty maid, 

How came you here so soon ? 
To keep my father's sheep, she said, 

The thing that must be done: 
While they are feeding 'mong the dew, 

To pass the time away, 
I sit me down to knit or sew, 

Among the new-mown hay. 

Delighted with her simple tale, 

I sat down by her side ; 
With vows of love I did prevail 

On her to be my bride: 
In strains of simple melody, 

She sung a rural lay; 
The little lambs stood list'ning by, 

Among the new-mown hay. 

Then to the church they went with speed, 
And Hymen joined them there ; 

No more her ewes and lambs to feed, 
For she's a lady fair: 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 229 

A lord he was that married her, 

To town they came straightway: 
She may bless the day he spied her there, 

Among the new-mown hay. 



XXXIV. 

%ty &ummec'0 ^onxtng. 

This is a very old ditty, and a favourite with the peasantry in 
every part of England; but more particularly with those in the 
mining districts of the North. The tune is pleasing, but uncom- 
mon. The editor's brother, R. W. Dixon, Esq., of Seaton-Carew, 
Durham, by whom the song is communicated to our pages, 
says, " I have written down the above, verbatim, as generally 
sung. It will be seen that the last lines of each verse are not of 
equal length. The singer, however, dexterously makes all right 
and smooth ! The words underlined in each verse are sung five 
times, thus : — They ad-van-ced, they ad-van-ced, thty ad-van- ced, they 
ad-van-ced, they ad-van-ced me some money, — ten girineas and a crown. 
The last line is thus sung:— We'll be married, (as the word is 
usually pronounced), We 11 be ■married, we' 11 be, married, we'll be mar- 
ried, well be married, we'll be married, we'll be mar-rl-ed when I 
return again. 



It was one summer's morning, as I went o'er the moss, 
I had no thought of 'listing, till the soldiers did me 

cross; 
They kindly did invite me to a flowing howl, and down, 
They advanced me some money, — ten guineas and .1 

crown. 

It's true my love has listed, he wears a white cockade, 
lie is a handsome young man. besides a roving blade; 



230 ANCIENT POEMS, 

He is a handsome young man, and he's gone to serve 

the king, 
Oh ! my very heart is breaking for the loss of him. 

Oh! may he never prosper, oh! may he never thrive, 
Nor anything he takes in hand so long as he's alive; 
May the very grass he treads upon the ground refuse 

to grow, 
Since he 's been the only cause of my sorrow, grief, and 

woe ! 

Then he pulled out a handkerchief to wipe her flow- 
ing eyes, 

Leave off those lamentations, likewise those mournful 
cries; 

Leave off those lamentations, while I march o'er the 
plain, 

We'll be married when I return again. 



XXXV. 

The editor has had some trouble in procuring a copy of this 
old song, which used, in his boyish days, to be very popular 
with aged people resident in the North of England. It has been, 
however, long out of print, and handed down traditionally. By 
the kindness of Mr. S. Swindells, printer, Manchester, he has been 
favoured with an ancient printed copy, which Mr. Swindells 
observes he had great difficulty in meeting with. 



Both sexes give ear to my fancy, 

While in praise of dear woman I sing; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 231 

Confined not to Moll, Sue, or Nancy, 
But mates from a beggar to king. 

When old Adam first was created, 
And lord of the universe crowned, 

His happiness was not completed, 
Until that an helpmate was found. 

He'd a garden so planted by nature, 

Man cannot produce in his life ; 
But yet the all- wise Creator 

Still saw that he wanted a wife. 

Then Adam he laid in a slumber, 
And there he lost part of his side ; 

And when he awoke, with great wonder, 
Beheld his most beautiful bride! 

In transport he gazed upon her, 
His happiness now was complete! 

He praised his bountiful donor, 

Who thus had bestowed him a mate. 

She was not took out of his head, sir, 
To reign and triumph over man ; 

Nor was she took out of his feet, sir, 
By man to be trampled upon. 

But she was took out of his side, sir, 
His equal and partner to be ; 



232 ANCIENT POEMS, 

But as they are united in one, sir, 
The man is the top of the tree. 

Then let not the fair be despised 
By man, as she's part of himself; 

For woman by Adam was prized 

More than the whole globe full of wealth. 

Man, without a woman's a beggar, 
Suppose the whole world he possest ; 

And the beggar that's got a good woman, 
With more than the world he is blest. 



XXXVI. 

'CcelatDtip* 

This spirited song was written at the time of the committal of 
Bishop Trelavvny to the Tower, in 1688, for his defence of the 
Protestant religion. He was then Bishop of Bristol, but in the 
same year was made Bishop of Exeter, and in 1707 was translated 
to the See of Winchester. The song has been handed down tra- 
ditionally since 1688, and has never appeared in print, except in 
a work of limited circulation edited by the late Davies Gilbert. 



A good sword, and a trusty hand, 

A merry heart, and true ! 
King James's men shall understand 

What Cornish men can do. 

And have they fixed the where, and when ? 

And shall Trelawny die ? 
Then twenty thousand Cornish men 

Will know the reason why! 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 233 

Out spake the captain, brave and bold, — 

A merry wight was he ; 
Though London Tower were Michael's hold, 

We'll set Trelawny free. 

We'll cross the Tamar, land to land, 

The Severn is no stay; 
And side by side, and hand in hand, 

And who shall bid us nay? 

And when we come to London wall, 

A pleasant sight to view; 
Come forth ! come forth ! ye cowards, all, 

Here are better men than you! 

Trelawny he's in keep in hold; 

Trelawny he may die! 
But twenty thousand Cornish bold, 

Will know the reason why ! 



XXXVII. 

tobacco. 



This song is a more adaptation of a portion of the Rev. Ebenezer 
Erskine's poem Smokiny Spiritualized, which we have given at 
page 37 of the present work. The earliest copy of the abridg- 
ment with which we have been able to meet, is the one in 
D'Urfey's Pills to purge Melancholy, 1719, but whether we arc 
indebted for it to the original author, or to " that bright genius, 
Tom D'Urfey," as Burns calls him, we arc not able to determine. 
The song has always been popular. 



Tobacco's but an Indian weed. 

Grows green in the morn, cul down at evej 



234 ANCIENT POEMS, 

It shows our decay, 
We are but clay ; 
Think of this when you smoke tobacco! 

The pipe that is so lilly white, 
Wherein so many take delight, 

It's broken with a touch, — 

Man's life is such; 
Think of this when you take tobacco ! 

The pipe that is so foul within, 
It shows man's soul is stained with sin ; 
It doth recpjire 
To be purged with fire; 
Think of this when you smoke tobacco ! 

The dust that from the pipe doth fall, 
It shews we are nothing but dust at all ; 

For we came from the dust, 

And return we must ; 
Think of this when you smoke tobacco! 

The ashes that are left behind, 
Do serve to put us all in mind 

That into dust 

Eeturn we must; 
Think of this when you take tobacco ! 

The smoke that does so high ascend, 
Shews that man's life must have an end ; 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 235 

The vapour's gone, — 
Man's life is done ; 
Think of this when you take tobacco ! 



XXXVIII. 

This song is ancient, but we have no means of ascertaining at what 
period it was written. Captain Marryatt, in his novel, of^i'oor 
Jack, introduces it, and says it is old. It is a general favourite, 
The air is plaintive, and in the minor key. 



Farewell, and adieu to you Spanish ladies, 
Farewell, and adieu to you ladies of Spain ! 

For we've received orders for to sail for old England, 
But we hope in a short time to see you again. 

We'll rant and we'll roar like true British heroes, 
We'll rant and we'll roar across the salt seas, 

Until we strike soundings in the channel of old England; 
From Ushant to Seilly is thirty-five leagues. 

Then we hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'-west, 
boys, 

We hove our ship to, for to strike soundings clear; 
We got soundings in ninety-live fathom, and boldly 

Up the channel of old England our course we did steer. 



236 ANCIENT POEMS, 

The first land we made it was called the Deadman, 
Next, Ram'shead off Plymouth, Start, Portland, 
and Wight; 

We passed by Beechy, by Fairleigh, and Dungeness, 
And hove our ship to, off the South Foreland light. 

Then a signal was made for the grand fleet to anchor, 
All in the downs, that night for to sleep; 

Then standbyyour stoppers,let go your shank-painters, 
Haul all your clew-garnets, stick out tacks and sheets. 

So let every man toss off a full bumper, 

Let every man toss off his full bowls; 
We'll drink and be jolly, and drown melancholy, 

So here's a good health to all true-hearted souls ! 



XXXIX. 

®tje ®ac£ of ttje Blanche* 

This song, though rather advanced in years, has not arrived at an 
age sufficient to entitle it to be called an ancient one; and the 
editor, therefore, was in doubt whether he should insert it; but, 
from its popularity, as well as from its poetical merit, he is 
induced to yield to the solicitation of numerous friends and 
supporters of the Percy Society who will not be satisfied 
if it be omitted. It is a street-ballad, and written by some 
unknown author. The first time we heard it sung was by a 
charcoal-burner in the New Forest. It was a hot sultry sum- 
mer's day in 1835, and tired with pedestrianing, we had just 
entered a small inn when our ears were regaled with the Tars of 
the Blanche. The swarthy songster gave it with great spirit, and 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 237 

the chorus was well sustained, by five or six fine-looking fellows 
of the like occupation with himself. 



You Frenchmen, don't boast of your fighting, 

Nor talk of your deeds on the main; 
Do you think that old England you'll frighten, 

As easy as Holland or Spain? 
"We listen and laugh while you threaten, — 

We fear not your wily advance ; 
The boasting Le Picque has been taken 

By the jolly brave tars of the Blanche! 

We sailed from the Bay of Point Peter, 

Four hundred and fifty on board; 
We were all ready to meet them, 

To conquer or die, was the word! 
While the can of .good liquor was flowing, 

"We gave them three cheers to advance, 
And courage in each heart was glowing, — 

For cowards ne'er sailed in the Blanche! 

The night then advancing upon us, 

The moon did afford us a light ; 
Each star then with lustre was shining, 

To keep the French frigates in sight: 
While the night-breeze our sails filled gently, 

Our ship through the water did launch; 
And the grog flew about in full bumpers, 

Among the brave tars of the Blanche. 



238 ANCIENT POEMS, 

The fight made the sea seem on fire, 

Each bullet distractedly flew; 
Britannia her sons did inspire 

"With courage, that damped the French crew: 
Saying, Cowards now surely must rue, — 

While over them Death turned his lance, 
Our balls did repeat, as they flew, 

Fight on, my brave tars of the Blanche! 

When Falkner resigned his last breath, 

Each gave a deep groan and a sigh; 
Such sorrow was found at his death, 

And tears fell from every eye. 
Like Wolfe, then with victory crowned, 

At his death he cried, ne'er mind my chance, 
But, like gallant heroes, fight on, 

Or expire by the name of the Blanche! 

Stout Wilkins his place soon supplied, 

And like a bold actor engaged; 
And his guns with more judgment to guide, 

By the loss of his captain enraged. 
And who could his fury allay, 

When Le Picque alongside did advance ? 
For our masts being all shot away, 

We grappled her close to the Blanche ! 

Our foremast and mizen being gone, 

The French thought to make us their own! 

And while Vive la Republique! they sung, — 
I thought that they ne'er would have done: 



BALLADS, AND SONGS. 239 

We joined their song with dismay, 
And music that made them to dance; 

And not a false note did we play, — ■ 
The harmonious tars of the Blanche ! 

"When they found it in vain for to stand, 

They cried out for quarter amain; 
Although the advantage they had, 

Still Britons are lords of the main! 
So push round the grog, let it pass! 

Since they've found us true-hearted and staunch ; 
Each lad with his favourite lass, 

Drink success to the tars of the Blanche! 



KIMS. 



NOTES. 



P. 5, 1. 15. — Ere thou canst say " they're gone."] This line 
is printed as we found it, but the meaning seems obscured 
by the inverted commas. We would read the line as a 
parenthesis, and use the word say in the signification of 
speak, or utter an expression. 

P. 22, 1. 24. — Grub.] An early instance of a cant term 
still used in the same sense. 

P. 42. — A Dialogue between the Husband man and the 
Serving-man.] In the third volume of the Roxburgh Col- 
lection is an ancient black-letter copy of this curious pro- 
duction. It is without date, or printer's name, and varies, 
but not materially, from our version. We give the title and 
rhyming argument. — " God speed the Plow, and bless the 
Corn-mow; a Dialogue between the Husband-man and (he 
Serving-man. 

" The Serving-man the Plow-man would invite 
To leave his culling, and to take delight ; 
But he to that l>y no means will agree, 
Lust he thereby should come to heggary : 
He makes it plain appear a country hie 
Doth fur cxcell, — and so they mil their virile. 

— The tune is, I am the Duke of Norfolk" 

P. 52. The late Francis King.] This poor minstrel, from 
whose recitation two of our ballade were obtained, met In 

n 



242 NOTES. 

death by drowning, in December 1844. He had been at a 
merry-making at Gargrave, in Craven, and it is supposed 
that, owing to the darkness of the night, he had mistaken 
his homeward road, and walked into the water. He was 
one in whose character were combined the mime and the 
minstrel ; and his old jokes, and older ballads and songs, 
ever insured him a hearty welcome. His appearance was 
peculiar, and, owing to one leg being shorter than its com- 
panion, he walked in such a manner as once drew from a wag 
the remark " that few Kings had had more ups and downs 
in the world !" As a musician, his talents were creditable, 
and some of the dance-tunes that he was in the habit of 
composing, shewed that he was not deficient in the organ 
of melody. In the quiet church-yard of Gargrave may be 
seen the minstrel's grave. 

" Aye, there he rests ! — 
There, where the ilaisy lifts its modest heail 
Above the trefoil green ; — where glides the Aire, 
Lapsing along in liquid music, far 
0*er the romantic land he loved so well !" 

P. 57, 1. 7. — Queen.] Quaere, quean ? 

P. 58, 1. 11. — Meet.] This word seems used in the sense 
of the French verb mettre, to put, or place. 

P. 71. — The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood.] Though, as 
we have stated, this ballad is not in any collection, the sub- 
ject is the same as that of the old ballad called Rohin Hood 
newly revived: or the Meeting and Fighting with his Cousin 
Scarlet. Vide Evans's Old Ballads, and Ritson's Robin 
Hood. 

P. 73, 1. 21. — Gamble Gold.] The stall copies read Gam- 
ble bold. 

P. 74. — The Outlandish Knight.] In the Roxburgh Col- 
lection is a copy of this ballad, in which the catastrophe is 



NOTES. 243 

brought about in a different manner. When the young 
lady finds that she is to be drowned, she very leisurely makes 
a particular examination of the place of her intended exe- 
cution, and raises an objection to some nettles which are 
growing on the banks of the stream ! these she requires to 
be removed, in the following very poetical manner : — 

" Go fetch the sickle, to crop the nettle. 
That grows so near the hrira ; 
For fear it should tangle my golden locks, 
Or freckle my milk-white skin." 

A request so elegantly made, is gallantly complied with by 
the treacherous knight, who, while engaged in " cropping," 
is pushed into the stream, and meets the just reward of his 
perfidy ! 

P. 80. — Lord Delaware^] The editor has recently met 
with a homely version of this ballad. 

P. 89, 1. 10.— pine.] Grief. 

P. 102, 1. 16. — Fight wP me.] i.e. along with me. 

P. 104, 1. 9. — Fankit.] Sheathed, or confined. 

P. 109.— The King and the Tinkler.] The late Robert 
Anderson, the Cumbrian bard, in his song of the Clay Dau- 
bin, represents Deavie as singing The King and the Tinkler. 

" He lilted The King and the Tinkler, 
And Wully strack up Robin Hood; 
Dick Mingins tried Hooly and Fairly, 
And Martha the Bahs o the Wood." 

P. 112. — The Reach i" the Creel.] i. e. the catch in the 
basket. 

P. 126. — Saddle to Rags.] Since we inserted this high- 
wayman's ballad, we hare been favoured by ;i correspondent 
with a highwayman's song, which looks like a composition 
of the reien of Charles II. From the carelessness "I 



2 44 NOTES. 

printers the copy abounded with mistakes, which so obscure 
the meaning, that we could not have inserted it in the state 
in which it came to our hands. The following is the song 
alluded to, but it is given with several conjectural emenda- 
tions, made by a friend who is better acquainted with such 
pop-vlax literature than the editor. 

THE TROTTING HORSE. 

I can sport as fine a trotting horse as any swell in town, 
To trot you fourteen miles an hour, I'll bet you fifty crown; 
He is such a one to bend his knees, and tuck his haunches in, 
And throw the dust in people's face, and think it not a sin. 

For to ride away, trot away, 

Ri, falar, la, &c. 

He lias an eye like any hawk, a neck like any swan, 
A foot light as the stag's, the while his back is scarce a span ; 
Kind Nature hath so formed him, he is everything that's good, — 
Aye ! everything a man could wish, in bottom, bone, and blood. 
For to ride away, &c 

If you drop the rein, he'll nod his head, and boldly walk away, 
While others kick ami bounce about, to him it's only play ; 
There never was a finer horse e'er went on English ground, 
He is rising six years old, and is all over right and sound. 
For to ride away, trot away, &c. 

If any frisk or milling match should call me out of town, 
I can pass the blades with white cockades, their whiskers hanging down ; 
With large jack-towels round their necks, they think they're first and fast, 
But, with their gapers open wide, they find that they are last. 
■Whilst I ride away, trot away, &c. 

If threescore miles I am from home, I darkness never mind, 
My friend is gone, and I am left, with pipe and pot behind ; 
Up comes some saucy kiddy, a scampsman on the hot, 
But ere he pulls the trigger I am off just like a shot. 

For I ride away, trot away, <kc. 



NOTES. 245 

If Fortune e'er should fickle be, and wish to have again 
That which she so freely gave, I'd give it without pain : 
I would part with it right freely, and without the least remorse, 
Only grant to me what God hath gave, my mistress and my horse ! 
That I may ride away, trot away, &c. 



P. 128, 1. 2. — Ghyll.~] A narrow rocky valley branching 
out of one of the larger mountain-dales or passes. The word 
ghyll, or gill, or giel, is used in the same sense in Iceland 
and Norway. The name of the tremendous Norwegian pass, 
Vettie's Giel, described by so many English travellers, will 
occur to our readers. 

P. 165, 1. 9. — Parkin.'] A cake composed of oatmeal, 
carra way-seeds, and treacle; "ale and parkin" is a common 
morning-meal in the North of England. 

P. 168, 1. 20. — 'Twas all his daily prise.] This word 
should have been printed 'prise, to show that it was an 
abbreviation of emprise; — an hazardous attempt. 

P. 171. — The Farmer's Son.] This song is found in The 
Vocal Miscellany; a Collection of above four hundred cele- 
brated Songs, the first edition of which was published in 
1729. As the Miscellany makes no pretension to anything 
beyond a " Collection," we may fairly presume the song to 
be of anterior date to 1729. 

P. 173. — Wooing Song of a Yeoman of Kent's Sonne.] 
We have here the original of a well-known Scottish song. — 

" I hae laid a herring hi saut ; 

Lass, gin ye lo'e me, till me now ' 
I hae brew'd a forpet o' maut, 

An' I canna come ilka day t<> woo! 

P. 175. — Harvest Home Song.] A copy of this song, with 

tin: music, may bo found in D'Urfey's Pflfa i" purge M<l<(n 
choly. It varies from ours, but wc have not adopted its 



246 NOTES. 

rcnderiugs. D'Urfey's work has been greatly overrated; so 
far as the music is concerned, it may be an authority; but 
he took such liberties with the text of the songs, that we 
would sooner trust to a modern broadside, or even to a tra- 
ditional version, than to his book. 

P. 178. — The Barky-Mow Song.] The Suffolk peasantry 
have the following very short version of the Barley-Mow 
Song : — 

" Here's a health to the barley-mow ! 
Here"s a health to the man 
Who very well can 
Both harrow, and plough, and sow ! 

" When it is well sown, 
See it is well mown, — 
Both raked and gavelled clean, 
And a barn to lay it in. 

Here's a health to the man 

Who very well can 
Both thrash, and Ian it clean !" 

P. 185, 1. 16 — Sellengefs Round.] The common modern 
copies read St. Legefs Round. 

P. 196, 1. 10. — Trunk weam. — Taken in the literal sense, 
this would mean trunk, or box-belly. It is evidently a cant 
term for a fiddle. 

P. 196. — The Maskers' Song.] Robert Kearton, a working 
miner, and librarian and lecturer at the Grassington 
Mechanics' Institution, informs us that at Coniston, in Lan- 
cashire, and the neighbourhood, the maskers go about at the 
proper season, viz., Easter. Their introductory song is 
different to the one given by us. He has favoured us with 
two verses of the delectable composition ; he says, " I dare 
say they'll be quite sufficient !" 

" The next that comes on 
Is a gentleman's son ; — 
A gentleman's son he was born ; 



NOTES. 247 

For mutton and beef, 
You may look at his teeth, 
He's a laddie for picking a bone! 

" The next that comes on 

Is a tailor so bold, — 
He can stitch np a hole in the dark ! 

There's never a 'prentice 

In famed London city, 
Can find any fault with his wark .'.' 

P. 201. — Richard of Taunton Dean.] As an exemplifi- 
cation of the extensive popularity which this old West- 
country ditty has obtained, the editor has been favoured by 
T. Crofton Croker, Esq. with two Irish versions. One of 
them is entitled, Last New- Year's Day, and is printed by 
Haly, Hanover Street, Cork. It is almost verbatim with the 
English song, with the exception of the first and second 
verses, which are as follows : — 

" Last New Year's Day, as I heard say, 
Dick mounted on his dapple gray; 
He mounted high and he mounted low, 
Until he came to sweet Ilaphoe .' 
Sing fal de dol de ree, 
Fol de dol, righ fol dee. 

" My buckskin does I did put on, 
My spladdery clogs, to sarc my brogues ■' 
And in my pocket a lump of bread, 
And round my hat a ribbon red." 

The other version is entitled Vicky of BaZlgmcm, and a 
note informs us that " Dicky <;/' Ballymari's sirrumu 
was Byrne!" As our readers may like to hear how tlie 
Somersetshire bumpkin behaved after he had located 
himself in the town of Ballyman, and taken the Birname of 
Byrne, we give the whole of his amatory adventure- in the 



248 NOTES. 

sister-island. We discover from them, inter alia, that he had 
found the " hest of friends" in his " Uncle," — that he had 
made a grand discovery in natural history, viz., that a 
rabbit is a fowl! — that he had taken the temperance pledge, 
which, however, his Mistress Ann had certainly not done; 
and, moreover, that he had hecome an enthusiast in potatoes ! 

DICKY OF BALLYMAN. 

" On New- Year *s Day, as I heard say, 
Dicky he saddled his dapple gray ; 
He put on his Sunday clothes, 
His scarlet vest, and his new made hose. 

Diddle dum di, diddle dum do, 

Diddle dum di, diddle dum do. 

" He rode till he came to Wilson Hall, 
There he rapped, and loud did call ; 
Mistress Ann came down straightway, 
And asked him what he had to say ? 

" Don't you know me, Mistress Ann ? 
I am Dicky of Ballyman ; 
An honest lad, though I am poor, — 
I never was in love before. 

" I have an uncle, the best of friends, 
Sometimes to me a fat rabbit he sends ; 
And many other daiqty fowl, 
To please my life, my joy, my soul. (sowl) 

" Sometimes I reap, sometimes I mow, 
And to the market I do go, 
To sell my father's corn and hay, — 
I earn my sixpence every day ! 

" Oh, Dicky ! yon go beneath your mark, — 
You only wander in the dark ; 
Sixpence a day will never do, 
I must have silks, and satins, too! 



NOTES. 249 

" Besides, Dicky, I must have tea (lay) 

For my breakfast, every day ; 
And after dinner a bottle of wine, — 
For without it I cannot dine. 

" If on fine clothes our money is spent, 
Pray how shall my lord be paid his rent '.' 
He'll expect it when 'tis due, — 
Believe me, what I say is true. 

" As for tea, good stirabout 
Will do far better, I make no doubt ; 
And spring water, when you dine, 
Is far wholesomer than wine. 

" Potatoes, too, are very nice food, — 
I don't know any half so good ; 
You may have them boiled or roast, 
Whichever way you like them most. 

" This gave the company much delight, 
And made them all to laugh outright; 
So Dicky had no more to say, 
But saddled his dapple and rode away. 
Diddle dum di, &c." 

In concluding these remarks, we may just observe that 
we lately heard an old Yorkshire yeoman sing Richard of 
Taunton Bean, who commenced his version with this fine 
line : — 

" It was at the time of a high holiday." 

P. 203, 1. 23. — Doat-fig.~\ A fig newly gathered from the 
tree, so called to distinguish it from a grocer's, or preserved 

fig- 

P. 206. — Joan's Ale was New.] This song is mentioned 
in Thackeray's Catalogue under the title of Jane's Ale's New. 
Thackeray bc^aii t<> {mlilisli al»<>ut nineteen years after the 
Commonwealth, so that the circumstantial evidence i- 
strongly in favour of the hypothesis advanced in our in- 
troductory remarks. 



250 NOTES. 

P. 215, 1. 13.— Bane.] Near. 

Ibid. — 7'oir,i-i/(/te.] The high-road through a town or 
village. 

Ibid. 1. 20. — But 'ticor Tommy opinion."] i. e. Tommy's 
opinion. In the Yorkshire dialect, where the possessive 
case is followed by the relative substantive, it is customary 
to omit the 5, but if the relative be understood, and not ex- 
pressed, the possessive case is formed in the usual manner, 
as in a subsequent line of the same song. — 

" He'd a horse, too, twar war than oud Tommy's, ye see." 

Ibid. 1. 26. — Swop.] Exchange. 

Ibid. 1. 26. — Wick.] Alive, quick. 

P. 216, 1. 1.— Kobbut.] Only. 

P. 217, 1. 16. — Clemmink.] Famished. The line in 
which this word occurs exhibits one of the most striking- 
peculiarities of the Lancashire dialect, which is, that in 
words ending in ing, the termination is changed into ink. 
Ex.gr. for starving, starring, fsxthmg, far dink. 

P. 231, 1. 20. — To reign and triumph.] Quaere, should 
we not read " to triumph and reign." 

P. 233, 1. 3.— Michael's hold.] The fortress on St. Mi- 
chad's Mount, Cornwall. 

P. 235, 1. 15. — Well rant and we'll roar.] These words 
have, in modern copies, been changed into, We'll range and 
we'll rove, but our reading is correct ; the phrase occurs in 
several old songs. 

*£* Richard of Taunton Dean.] In the fourth edition 
of Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England, which has just 
issued from the press, we observe a version of this song, 
called Richard of Dalton Dale. 



Unive ^iS,?LUBRlR? FACILITY 
SOUTHERN REGIONAL "BRARY g51388 

305 De Neve Wg ^^ A 90095-1388 

LOS ANGELES, CAur borrowed 

Betumthism^^ 



UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 



AA 001 119 884 3 



BRANCH, 

CALIFORNIA,