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R E L I Q U E S 



Tiough some make slight of libels, yet you may see by them how the wind sits ; 
as, take a straw and throw it up into the air, you may see by that which way the 
wind is, which you shall not do by casting up a stone. More solid things do not 
show the complexion of the times so well as ballads and libels."— Selden's 

'An ordinary song or ballad, that is the delight of the common people, cannot fail 
to please all such readers as are not unqualified for the entertainment by their 
affectation or their ignorance ; and the reason is plain, because the same painting? 
of Nature which recommend it to the most ordinary reader will appear beautifu' 
to the most refined." — Addison in Spectator, No. 79, 









& "Nth Eftittflit. 



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The Reliques of Bishop Percy have for a century been favourites 
with all lovers of ancient poetry and of English literature ; and as 
they were among the chief friends of my boyhood, it has been a great 
pleasure to me, in advanced manhoid, to help in giving to the world a 
popular edition of them. I have added a few brief foot-notes, where 
the Author's meaning, or a passing allusion, seemed obscure ; and the 
Glossaries to each of the three original volumes have been drafted into 
one in this edition. Those of the " Reliques" which are to be found 
also in Percy's " Folio Manuscript " have been duly noted ; and I have 
prefixed to the volume a new biography of the venerable author himself. 

E. Walford.' 

Hampstead, N.W. 
Sept. 18S0. 

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Dedication, 9 

Advertisement to the Fourth Edi 


The Author's Preface, 

Life of Bishop Percy, .... 15 

Ballads, 18 

Preface to the Present Edition, . 21 
An Essay on the Ancient Minstrels 

in England, 22 

Book I.— 

1. The Ancient Ballad of Chevy- 
Chase 39 

The Battle of Otterbourne, . . 45 
The Jew's Daughter. A Scottish 

Ballad, 50 

Sir Cauline, 52 

Edward, Edward. A Scottish 

Ballad, 57 

King Estmere, . . . -58 
Sir Patrick Spence. A Scottish 

Ballad, 63 

Robin Hood and Guyof Gisborne, 64 
An Elegy on Henry, Fourth Earl 

of Northumberland, by Skelton, 6S 
The Tower of Doctrine, by 

Stephen Hawes, ... 73 
The Child of Elle, ... 75 
Edom of Gordon. A Scottish 

Ballad, 7 3 



Book II. Ballads that illustrate 
Shakespeare — 

On the Origin of the English Stage, 81 
t. Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, 

and William of Cloudedy , 95 


2. The Aged Lover renounceth 

Love 105 

3. Jephthah, Judge of Israel, . . 106 

4. A Robyn Jolly Robyn, . . 107 

5. A Song to the Lute in Musicke, 107 

6. King Cophetua and the Beggar 

Maid, 108 

7. Take thy Old Cloak about 

thee, 110 

8. Willow, Willow, Willow, . . nr 

9. Sir Lancelot Du Lake, . .113 

10. Corydon's Farewell to Phillis, . 115 

11. Gernutus, the Jew of Venice, . 115 

12. The Passionate Shepherd to his 

Love, by Mar low, . . .118 
The Nymph's Reply, by Sir 
W. Raleigh, . . . .119 

13. Titus Andronicus's Complaint, . 119 

14. Take those Lips away, . . 122 

15. King Leir and his Three Daugh- 

ters, .122 

16. Youth and Age, by Shakespeare, 125 

17. The Frolicksome Duke, or the 

Tinker's Good Fortune, . . 125 

18. The Friar of Orders Gray, . . 127 

)K III.— 

1. The more Modern Ballad of 

Chevy-Chase, . . . .130 

2. Death's Final Conquest, . . 135 

3. The Rising in the Norlh, . . 135 

4. Northumberland betrayed by 

Douglas, 138 

5. My Mind to me a Kingdom is, . 142 

6. The Patient Countess, by W. 

Warner 143 

7. Dowsabell, by Drayton, . . 145 


8. The Farewell to Love, from Beau- 

mont and Fletcher, . . . 147 

9. Ulysses and the Syren, by S. 

Daniel, 147 

10. Cupid's Pastime, by Davidson, . 149 

11. The Character of a Happy Life, 

by Sir H. Wotton, . . . 150 

12. Gilderoy. A Scottish Ballad, . 150 

13. Winifreda, 151 

14. The Witch of Wokey, . . . 152 

15. Bryan and Pereene. A West 

Indian Ballad, by Dr. Grainger, 153 

16. Gentle River, Gentle River. 

Translated from the Spanish, . 134 

17. Alcanzor and Zayda, a Mocrith 

Tale, .... 

Book I.— 

1. Richard of Almaigne, . 

2. On the Death of King Edwarc 

the- First, .... 

3. An Original Ballad by Chaucer, 

4. The Turnament of Tottenham, 

5. For the Victory at Agincourt, 

6. The Not-browne Mayd, 

7. A Ballad by the Earl Rivers, 

8. Cupid's Assault, by Lord Vaux 

9. Sir Aldingar, 

10. The Gaberlunzie Man, a Scottish 

Song, by King James V., 

11. On Thomas, Lord Cromwell, 

12. Harpalus. An ancient English 

Pastoral, .... 

13. Robin and Makyne. An an 

cient Scottish Pastoral, . 

14. Gentle Herdsman, tell to me, 

15. King Edward IV. and the Tanner 

of Tamworth, . 

16. As ye came from the Holy 

Land, .... 

17. Hardyknute. A Scottish Fra, 

ment, .... 










Book II.— 

1. A Ballad of Luther, the Pope, 

a Cardinal, and a Husband- 
man, . . . . .194 

2. John Anderson my Jo. A Scot- 

tish Song, . . . .196 

3. Little John Nobody, . . .196 











Queen Elizabeth's Verses while 

Prisoner at Woodstock, . 
The Heir of Linne, 
Gascoigne's Praise of the Fair 

Bridges, afterwards Lady 


Fair Rosamond. By Thomas 


Queen Eleanor's Confession, 

The Sturdy Reck, 

The Beggar's Daughter of BeJ- 

nall Green, .... 
Fancy and Desire, by the Earl 

of Oxford, .... 
Sir Andrew Barton, . 
Lady Anne Bothwell's Lament. 

A Scottish Song, 
The Murder of the King of Scots, 
A Sonnet by Queen Elizabeth, . 
The King of Scots and Andrew 

Browne, by W. Elderton, 
The Bonny Earl of Murray. A 

Scottish Song, . . ' . 

Young Waters. A Scottish Song, 
Mary Ambree, .... 
Brave Lord Willoughby, . 
Victorious men of Earth, by 

James Shirley, 
The Winning of Cales, 
The Spanish Lady's Love, 
Argentile and Curan, by W. 


Corin's Fate, .... 
Jane Shore, .... 

Corydon's Doleful Knell, . 

Book III.— 

1. The Complaint of Conscience, . 

2. Plain Truth and Blind Ignor- 


The Wandering Jew, . 
The Lye, by Sir Walter Raleigh, 
Verses by King James L, . 
King John and the Abbot of 

Canterbury, .... 
You Meaner Beauties, by Sir H. 


The Old and Young Courtier, . 
Sir John Suckling's Campaign, . 
To Althea from Prison, by Col. 

Lovelace, .... 

The Downfall of Charing Cross,. 



























12. Loyalty Confined, by Sir Roger 

L'Estrange, .... 264 

13. Verses by King Charles I., . 266 

14. The Sale of Rebellious House- 

hold Stuff, . . . .267 

15. The Baffled Knight, or Lady's 

Policy, 269 

16. Why so Pale ? by Sir John Suck- 

ling, 271 

17. Old Tom of Bedlam. Mad Song 

the First, 272 

18. The Distracted Puritan. Mad 

Song the Second, . . . 273 

19. The Lunatic Lover. Mad Song 

the Third, . . . .274 

20. The Lady distracted with Love. 

Mad Song the Fourth, . . 275 
si. The Distracted Lover. Mad 

Song the Fifth, . . . 276 
22. The Frantic Lady. Mad Song 

the Sixth, . . . .277 

Lilli Burlero, by Lord Wharton, 277 

The Braes of Yarrow. In imita- 
tion of the ancient Scottish 
manner, by W. Hamilton, . 279 

Admiral Hosier's Ghost, by Mr. 
Glover, 281 

Jemmy Dawson, by Mr. Shen- 
stone 283 




Book I. Poems on King Arthur — 

On the Ancient Metrical Ro- 

1. The Boy and the Mantle, . 

2. The Marriage of Sir Gawaine, . 

3. King Ryence's Challenge, . 

4. King Arthur's Death. A Frag- 


5. The Legend of King Arthur, 

6. A Dyttie to Hey Downe, . 

7. Glasgerion, 

8. Old Robin of Portingale, . 

9. Child Waters, .... 

10. Phillida and Corydon, by Nic. 


11. Little Musgravc and Lady Bar- 


12. The Ew-Bughts, Marion. A 

Scottish Song, ...» 

13. The -Knight and Shepherd's 

Daughter, .... 320 

14. The Shepherd's Address to his 

Muse, by N. Breton, . . 321 

15. Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor, . 322 

16. Cupid and Campaspe, by John 

Lilye, 3*3 

17. The Lady turned Serving-Man, . 323 

18. Gil Morrice. A Scottish Ballad, 326 

Book II — 

1. The Legend of Sir Guy, . . 329 

2. Guy and Amarant, by Sam. Row- 

lands 33 1 

3. The Auld Good-Man. A Scottish 

Song, 335 

4. Fair Margaret and Sweet 

William, 33 6 

5. Barbara Allen's Cruelty, . . 338 

6. Sweet William's Ghost. A Scot- 

tish Ballad, . . . .339 

7. Sir John Grehme and Barbara 

Allan, 34° 

8. The Bailiffs Daughter of Isling- 

ton, 341 

9. The Willow Tree. A Pastoral 

Dialogue, .... 342 

10. The Lady's Fall, . . . 342 

11. Waly, Waly, Love be Bonny. A 

Scottish Song, .... 344 

12. The Bride's Burial, . . . 345 

13. Dulcina, 347 

14. The Lady Isabella's Tragedy, . 348 

15. A Hue and Cry after Cupid, by 

Ben Jonson, .... 349 
The King of France's Daughter, 350 
The Sweet Neglect, by Ben 

Jonson 353 

The Children in the Wood, . 353 

A Lover of Late, . . . . 356 
The King and the Miller of 

Mansfield, . . . -355 
21. The Shepherd's Resolution, by 

Geo. Wither, .... 362 
Queen Dido, or the Wandering 

Prince of Troy, . . . 363 
The Witches' Song, by Ben 

Jonson, ..... 365 
Robin Good-Fellow, . . . 366 
The Fairy Queen, . . . 368 
The Fairies Farewell, by Dr. 

Corbet, 3^9 



296 1 























Book III. — 

i. The Birth of St. George, . . 370 

2. St. George and the Dragon, . 373 

3. Love will find out the Way, . 377 

4. Lord Thomas and Fair Annet. A 

Scottish Ballad, . . 377 

5. Unfading Beauty, by Thomas 

Carew 379 

6. George Barnwell, . . . 380 

7. The Stedfast Shepherd, by Geo. 

Wither, 385 

8. The Spanish Virgin, or the Effects 

of Jealousy, .... 386 

9. Jealousy, Tyrant of the Mind, by 

Dryden, 388 

10. Constant Penelope . . 388 

1 1 . To Lucasta, on going to the Wars, 

by Colonel Lovelace, . . 390 

12. Valentine and Ursine, . . . 390 

13. The Dragon of Wantley, . . 396 

14. St. George for England. The 

First Part, .... 399 

15. St. George for England. The 

Second Part, by J. Grubb, . 402 

16. Margaret's Ghost, by David 

Mallet, 407 

17. Lucy and Colin, by Tho. Tickell, 409 

18. The Boy and the Mantle, revised, 

etc. 410 

19. The Ancient Fragment of the 

Marriage of Sir Gawaine, . 413 













Who, being sole heiress to many great families of our ancient nobility, 
employed the princely fortune, and sustained the illustrious honours, which she 
derived from them, through her whole life with the greatest dignity, generosity, 
and spirit, and who for her many public and private virtues will ever be 
remembered as one of the first characters of her time, this little work was 
originally dedicated ; and, as it sometimes afforded her amusement, and was 
highly distinguished by her indulgent approbation, it is now, with the utmost 
regard, respect, and gratitude, consecrated to her beloved and honoured memory. 

T. P. 


Twenty years have near elapsed since the last edition of this work appeared. But 
although it was sufficiently a favourite with the public, and had long been out of 
print, the original Editor had no desire to revive it. More important pursuits had, 
as might be expected, engaged his attention ; and the present edition would have 
remained unpublished, had he not yielded to the importunity of his friends, and 



accepted the humble offer of an Editor in a nephew, to whom, it is feared, he will 
be found too partial. 

These volumes are now restored to the public with such corrections and improve- 
ments as have occurred since the former impression ; and the text in particular hath 
been emended in many passages by recurring to the old copies. The instances being 
frequently trivial, are not always noted in the margin ; but the alteration hath never 
been made without good reason : and especially in such pieces as were extracted from 
the folio Manuscript so often mentioned in the following pages, where any variation 
occurs from the former impression, it will be understood to have been given on the 
authority of that MS. 

The appeal publicly made- to Dr. Johnson in the first page of the following 
Preface, so long since as in the year 1765, and never once contradicted by him during 
so large a portion of his life, ought to have precluded every doubt concerning the 
existence of the MS. in question. But such, it seems, having been suggested, it may 
now be mentioned that while this edition passed through his press, the MS. itself was 
left for near a year with Mr. Nichols, in whose house, or in that of its possessor, it was 
examined with more or less attention by many gentlemen of eminence in literature. 
At the first publication of these volumes, it had been in the hands of all, or most of, 
his friends ; but, as it could hardly be expected that he should continue to think of 
nothing else but these amusements of his youth, it was afterwards laid aside at his 
residence in the country. Of the many gentlemen above mentioned, who offered to 
give their testimony to the public, it vrill be sufficient to name the Honourable Dailies 
Barrington, the Reverend Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode, and those eminent critics 
on Shakespeare, the Reverend Dr. Farmer, George Steevens, Esq., Edmund Malone, 
Esq., and Isaac Reed, Esq., to whom I beg leave to appeal for the truth of the follow- 
ing representation. 

The MS. is a long narrow folio volume,* containing 195 sonnets, ballads, historical 
songs, and metrical romances, either in the whole or in part, for many of them are 
extremely mutilated and imperfect. The first and last leaves are wanting ; and of 
fifty-four pages near the beginning, half of every leaf hath been torn away, and several 
others are injured towards the end ; besides that through a great part of the volume 
the top or bottom line, and sometimes both, have been cut off in the binding. 

In this state is the MS. itself : and even where the leaves have suffered no injury, 
the transcripts, which seem to have been all made by one person (they are at least all 
in the same kind of hand), are sometimes extremely incorrect and faulty, being in 
such instances probably made from defective copies, or the imperfect recitation 
of illiterate singers ; so that a considerable portion of the song or narrative is some- 
times omitted ; and miserable trash or nonsense not unfrequently introduced into 
pieces of considerable merit. And often the copyist grew so weary of his labour as to 
write on without the least attention to the sense or meaning ; so that the word which 
should form the rhyme is found misplaced in the middle of the line ; and we have 
such blunders as these, want and will [ox wanton will ,f even pan and wale for Wi/« 
and pale, % etc. 

Hence the public may judge how much they are indebted to the composer of this 

* It is now in the British Museum (E. \V.). 

t Page 130, ver. 117. This must have been copied from a reciter. 

t Page 139, ver. 164, viz. " His visage waxed pan and wale." 


collection, who, at an early period of life, with such materials and such subjects, 
formed a work which hath been admitted into the most elegant libraries ; and with 
which the judicious antiquary hath just reason to be satisfied, while refined entertain- 
ment hath been provided for every reader of taste and genius. 

Thomas Percy, 

Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford. 


The reader is here presented with select remains of our ancient English Bards and 
Minstrels, an order of men, who were once greatly respected by our ancestors, and 
contributed to soften the roughness of a martial and unlettered people by their songs 
and music. 

The greater part of them are extracted from an ancient folio Manuscript, in the 
Editor's possession, which contains near 200 poems, songs, and metrical romances. 
This MS. was written about the middle of the last century, but contains compositions 
of all times and dates, from the ages prior to Chaucer, to the conclusion of the reign 
of Charles I.* 

This Manuscript was shown to several learned and ingenious friends, who thought 
the contents too curious to be consigned to oblivion, and importuned the possessor 
to select some of them, and give them to the press. As most of them are of great 
simplicity, and seem to have been merely written for the people, he was long in doubt 
whether, in the present state of improved literature, they could be deemed worthy the 
attention of the public. At length the importunity of his friends prevailed, and he 
could refuse nothing to such judges as the author of the Rambler and the late Mr. 

Accordingly such specimens of ancient poetry have been selected, as either show the 
gradation of our language, exhibit the progress of popular opinions, display the peculiar 
manners and customs of former ages, or throw light on our earlier classical poets. 

They are here distributed into three independent series of poems, arranged chiefly 
according to the order of time, and showing the gradual improvements of the English 
language and poetry from the earliest ages down to the present. Each series is 
divided into three books, to afford so many pauses, or resting-places to the reader, 
and to assist him in distinguishing between the productions of the earlier, the middle, 
and the latter times. 

In a polished age like the present, I am sensible that many of these reliques of 
antiquity will require great allowances to be made for them. Yet have they, for the 
most part, a pleasing simplicity, and many artless graces, which in the opinion of no 
mean criticsf have been thought to compensate for the want of higher beauties, and, 
if they do not dazzle the imagination, are frequently found to interest the heart. 

* Chaucer quotes the old romance of Libiits Disconius, and some others, which are found in 
this MS. (See the essay prefixed to vol. iii. p. 15 et seq.) It also contains several song? 
relating to the Civil War in the last century, but not one that alludes to the Restoration. 

t Addison, Dryden, the witty Lord Dorset, etc. See the Spectato?; No. 70. The learned 
Belden appears also to have been fond of collecting these old things. 


To atone for the rudeness of the more obsolete poems, each volume concludes with 
a few modern attempts in the same kind of writing : and, to take off from thetedious- 
ness of the longer narratives, they are everywhere intermingled with little elegant 
pieces of the lyric kind. Select ballads in the old Scottish dialect, most of them of 
the first-rate merit, are also interspersed among those of our ancient English minstrels ; 
and the artless productions of these old rhapsodists are occasionally confronted with 
specimens of the composition of contemporary poets of a higher class ; of those who 
hnd all the advantages of learning in the times in which they lived, and who wrote 
for fame and for posterity. Yet perhaps the palm will be frequently due to the old 
strolling minstrels, who composed their rhymes to be sung to their harps, and who 
looked no farther than for present applause and present subsistence. 

The reader will find this class of men occasionally described in the following 
volume, and some particulars relating to their history in an Essay subjoined to this 

It will be proper here to give a short account of the other collections that were con- 
sulted, and to make my acknowledgments to those gentlemen who were so kind as 
to impart extracts from them ; for while this selection was making, a great number of 
ingenious friends took a share in the work, and explored many large repositories in 
its favour. The first of these that deserved notice was the Pepysian Library at 
Magdalen College, Cambridge. Its founder, Sam. Pepys, Esq., Secretary of the 
Admiralty in the reigns of Charles II. and James II., had made a large collection of 
ancient English ballads, near 2000 in number, which he has left pasted in five 
volumes in folio ; besides Gcn-lands and other smaller miscellanies. This 
collection, he tells us, was ' ' begun by Mr. Selden ; improved by the addition of 
many pieces elder thereto in time ; and the whole continued down to the year 1700 ; 
when the form peculiar till then thereto, viz. of the black letter with pictures, 
seems (for cheapness' sake) wholly laid aside for that of the white letter without 

In the Ashmoleari Library at Oxford is a small collection of ballads made by Anthony 
Wood in 1676, containing somewhat more than 200. Many ancient popular poems 
are also preserved in the Bodleian Library. 

The archives of the Antiquarian Society at London contain a multitude of curious 
political poems in large folio volumes, digested under the several reigns of Henry VIII., 
Edward VI., Mary, Elizabeth, James I., etc. 

In the British Museum is preserved a large treasure of ancient English poems in 
MS., besides one folio volume of printed ballads. 

From all these some of the best pieces were selected ; and from many private collec- 
tions, as well printed as manuscript, particularly from one large folio volume which 
was lent by a lady. 

Amid such a fund of materials, the Editor is afraid he has been sometimes led to 
make too great a parade of his authorities. The desire of being accurate has perhaps 
seduced him into too minute and trifling an exactness ; and in pursuit of information 
he may have been drawn into many a petty and frivolous research. It was however 
necessary to give some account of the old copies ; though often, for the sake of brevity, 
one or two of these only are mentioned, where yet assistance was received from several. 
Where anything was altered that deserved particular notice, the passage is generally 
distinguished by two inverted " commas." And the Editor has endeavoured to be as 


faithful as the imperfect state of his materials would admit. For, these old popular 
rhymes being many of them copied only from illiterate transcripts, or the imperfect 
recitation of itinerant ballad-singers, have, as might be expected, been handed down 
to us with less care than any other writings in the world. And the old copies, whether 
MS. or printed, were often so defective or corrupted, that a scrupulous adherence to 
their wretched readings would only have exhibited unintelligible nonsense, or such 
poor meagre stuff as neither came from the bard nor was worthy the press ; when, by 
a few slight corrections or additions, a most beautiful or interesting sense hath started 
forth, and this so naturally and easily, that the Editor could seldom prevail on himself 
to indulge the vanity of making a formal claim to the improvement ; but must plead 
guilty to the charge of concealing his own share in the amendments under some such 
general title as a "Modem Copy," or the like. Yet it has been his design to give 
sufficient intimation where any considerable liberties * were taken with the old copies, 
and to have retained either in the text or margin any word or phrase which was 
antique, obsolete, unusual, or peculiar, so that these might be safely quoted as of 
genuine and undoubted antiquity. His object was to please both the judicious anti- 
quary and the reader of taste ; and he hath endeavoured to gratify both without 
offending either. 

The plan of the work was settled in concert with the late elegant Mr. Shenstone, 
who was to have borne a ioint share in it had not death unhappily prevented him.f 
Most of the modern pieces were of his selection and arrangement, and the Editor 
hopes to be pardoned if he has retained some things out of partiality to the judgment 
of his friend. The old folio MS. above mentioned was a present from Humphrey Pitt, 
Esq. of Prior's-Lee, in Shropshire, % to whom this public acknowledgment is due for 
that and many other obliging favours. To Sir David Dalrymple, Bart., of Hales, 
near Edinburgh, the Editor is indebted for most of the beautiful Scottish poems with 
which this little miscellany is enriched, and for many curious and elegant remarks 
with which they are illustrated. Some obliging communications of the same kind 
were received from John Macgowan, Esq., of Edinburgh ; and many curious explana- 
tions of Scottish words in the glossaries from John Davidson, Esq., of Edinburgh, 
and from the Rev. Mr. Hutchinson, of Kimbolton. Mr. Warton, who has twice done 
Eomuch honour to the Poetry Professor's chair at Oxford, and Mr. Hest of Worcester 
College, contributed some curious pieces from the Oxford Libraries. Two ingenious 
and learned friends at Cambridge deserve the Editor's warmest acknowledgments : 

* Such liberties have been taken with all those pieces which have three asterisks subjoined, 
thus *»*. 

t That the Editor hath not here underrated the assistance he received from his friend, will 
appear from Mr. Shenstone's own letter to the Rev. Mr. Grave;, dated March i, 1761. See 
his Works, vol. iii. Letter ciii. It is doubtless a great loss to this work that Mr. Shenstone 
never saw more than about an eighth part of it, as prepared for the press. 

t Who informed the Editor that this MS. had been purchased in a library of old books, 
which was thought to have belonged to Thomas Blount, author of the Jocular Tenures, 1679, 
4to, and of many other publications enumerated in Wood's A tlience, ii. 73, the earliest of which 
is The Art 0/ Making Devises, 1646, 4to, wherein he is described to be "of the Inner Temple." 
If the collection was made by this lawyer (who also published the Law Dictionary, 1671, folio), 
it should seem, from the errors and defects with which the MS. abounds, that he had employed 
}»'-» <lerk in writing the transcripts. 


to Mr. Blakeway, late fellow of Magdalen College, he owes all the assistance received 
from the Pepysian Library : and Mr. Farmer, fellow of Emanuel, often exerted, in 
favour of this little work, that extensive knowledge of ancient English literature for 
which he is so distinguished.* 

Many extracts from ancient MSS. in the British Museum and other respositories, 
were owing to the kind services of Thomas Astle, Esq., to whom the public is indebted 
for the curious preface and index annexed to the Harleia?i Catalogue.-^ The worthy 
Librarian of the Society of Antiquaries, Mr. Norris, deserved acknowledgment for the 
obliging manner in which he gave the Editor access to the volumes under his care. 
In Mr. Garrack's curious collection of old plays are many scarce pieces of ancient 
poetry, with the free use of which he indulged the Editor in the politest manner. To 
the Rev. Dr. Birch he is indebted for the use of several ancient and valuable tracts. 
To the friendship of Dr. Samuel Johnson he owes many valuable hints for the con- 
duct of the work. And, if the Glossary is more exact and curious than might be 
expected in so slight a publication, it is to be ascribed to the supervisal of a friend, 
who stands at this time the first in the world for northern literature, and whose learn- 
ing is even better known and respected in foreign nations than in his own country. 
It is perhaps needless to name the Rev. Mr. Lye, editor of Junius' s Etymologicum, 
and of the Gothic Gospels. 

The names of so many men of learning and character the Editor hopes will serve as 
an amulet, to guard him from every unfavourable censure for having bestowed any 
attention on a parcel of Old Ballads. It was at the request of many of these gentle- 
men, and of others eminent for their genius and taste, that this little work was under- 
taken. To prepare it for the press has been the amusement of now and then a vacant 
hour amid the leisure and retirement of rural life, and hath only served as a relaxation 

* To the same learned and ingenious friend, since Master of Emanuel College, the Editor is 
obliged for many corrections and improvements in his second and subsequent editions; as 
also to the Rev. Mr. Bowie, of Idmistone, near Salisbury, editor of the curious edition of Don 
Quixote, with annotations in Spanish, in six vols. 4to ; to the Rev. Mr. Cole, formerly of 
Bletchley, near Fenny-Stratford, Bucks ; to the Rev. Mr. Lambe, of Norham, in Northumber- 
land (author of a learned History of C/iess, 1764, 8vo, and editor of a curious poem on the 
Battle of Flodden Field, with learned notes, 1774, 8vo); and to G. Paton, Esq., of Edinburgh. 
He is particularly indebted to two friends, to whom the public, as well as himself, are under the 
greatest obligations ; to the Honourable Daines Barrington, for his very learned and curious 
Obsetvations on the Statutes, 4to ; and to Thomas Tyrwhitt, Esq., whose most correct and 
elegant edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, five vols. 8vo, is a standard book, and shows 
how an ancient English classic should be published. The Editor was also favoured with many 
valuable remarks and corrections from the Rev. Geo. Ashby, late Fellow of St. Johu's College, 
in Cambridge, which are not particularly pointed out, because they occur so often. He was no 
less obliged to Thomas Butler, Esq., F.A.S., agent t>o the Duke of Northumberland, and clerk 
of the peace for the county of Middlesex, whose extensive knowledge of ancient writings, 
records, and history, has been of great use to the Editor in his attempts to illustrate the literature 
or manners of our ancestors. Some valuable remarks were procured by Samuel Pegge, Esq., 
author of that curious work the Curialia, 4to ; but this impression was too far advanced to 
profit by them all ; which hath also been the case with a series of learned and ingenious 
annotations inserted in the Gentleman's Magazine for August 1793, April, June, July, and 
October 1794. 
t Since Kseper of the P.ecords in the Tower. 


from graver studies. It has been taken up at different times, and often thrown aside 
for many months, during an interval of four or five years. This has occasioned some 
inconsistencies and repetitions, which the candid reader will pardon. As great care 
has been taken to admit nothing immoral and indecent, the Editor hopes he need not 
be ashamed of having bestowed some of his idle hours in the ancient literature of our 
own country, or in rescuing from oblivion some pieces (though but the amusements 
of our ancestors) which tend to place in a striking light their taste, genius, sentiments, 
or manners. 

T£Il Except in one paragraph, and in the notes subjoined, this Preface is given with 
little variation from the first edition in MDCCLXV. 



Dr. Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore, and the author of Reliqucs of Ancient Poetry, 
was, according to his own account, of an old Worcestershire family, a branch of the 
noble house of Percy. He was born in April 1729, in an old-fashioned timber 
house, in a street called the Cartway in Bridgenorth, Shropshire, where his father, Mr. 
Arthur Lowe Percy, was in business as a grocer. He received his early education at 
the Grammar School of his native town, and, having obtained an exhibition, went in 
due course to Christ Church, Oxford, where he was entered as a commoner. His 
name appears in the books as "Thomas Piercy," and the same orthography occurs in 
the list of Oxford graduates, from which it appears that he took his Bachelor's 
degree in May 1750, and proceeded Master of Arts in July 1753. It is uncertain by 
what bishop he was ordained, or what curacy he served ; but in the same year in 
which he put on his Master's gown at Oxford, he was presented by Christ Church 
with the small living of Easton Maundit, near Northampton. In the register of this 
parish he writes his name Percy, probably for the first time — the result, doubtless, of 
those poetical and antiquarian studies to which he had already devoted himself from 
childhood, like his greater and far more celebrated disciple, Sir Walter Scott. In the 
little vicarage of this rural village he lived for more than a quarter of a century ; 
there he married his wife, Nancy Gutteridge, and there all his children were born. 
The squire of his parish was the Earl of Sussex, whilst Castle Ashby, the seat of 
successive Earls of Northampton, was only a mile and a half distant. In these 
great houses Percy met with society through whom he was kept better acquainted 
than most country parsons of his time with what was passing in the world of letters 
and of fashion in London. Here in the summer of 1764, Dr. Johnson spent several 
months as his guest, when doubtless the parlour and little library were the scenes 
of literary discussions at which more than one of the Muses would have wished to 
have been present unseen. A terrace in the vicarage garden is still traditionally 
called Dr. Johnson's Walk. 

Whilst living at Easton Maundit, namely, in 1761, Percy published in four volumes 

a Chinese novel, translated from the Portuguese, and dedicated to the Countess of 

'Sussex; thto he followed up by Miscellaneous Pieces from the Chinese, dedicated 

to Lady Longueville, as also a Translation of the Song of Solomon from tht 


Hebrew, with a Commentary and Notes, and his Key to the New Testament. 
He also undertook to re-edit the Works of the Duke of Buckingham, and the 
Spectator, the Guardian, and the Tatter, with notes and a key to the names of 
the writers ; but the project fell through, on account of Percy's nomination, through 
the influence and introduction of Lord Sussex, as chaplain and secretary to the Duke 
of Northumberland, which took him to London. In this capacity he occupied 
apartments in Northumberland House, in the Strand, to which he brought a portion, 
at least, of his books ; but these were destroyed by a fire along with his rooms in 
March 1780. Here he was visited by many literary friends, amongst others by Dr. 
Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith. 

In 1763, his patron, the Duke of Northumberland, was appointed Lord-Lieutenant 
of Ireland, and Percy went over to Dublin along with him as his chaplain. He had 
already in 1778 been appointed Dean of Carlisle ; and in 1782, on the Duke's recom- 
mendation, he was nominated and consecrated as Bishop of Dromore, the see which 
had once been held by Jeremy Taylor. On this occasion he resigned his Northamp- 
tonshire living, in which he was succeeded by another man of letters, Dr. Nares. 

He now divided his attention between his duties to his flock, and his attendance 
in the Irish Parliament at Dublin, and his literary studies. The latter he carried on 
continuously until visited by partial blindness in 1805. He lost his beloved ' ' Nancy " 
in 1807, and lived on till September 1811, when he quietly and calmly passed away, 
leaving behind the memory of a blameless life. He was buried at Dromore. His 
only son died long before him, in fact only a year after his appointment as Bishop. 
His two surviving daughters married respectively the Honourable and Venerable 
Pierce Meade, Archdeacon of Dromore, fourth son of the first Lord Clanwilliam, and 
Ambrose Isted, Esq. of Ecton, Northamptonshire. 

It is perhaps worthy of note that the bishop's wife in early life had been employed 
as nurse to the young Prince Edward, afterwards Duke of Kent, and the father of 
our most gracious Queen. It was to her that he addressed those tender and touching 

" Oh I Nancy, wilt thou go with me ? " 

which will be found in this collection. 

The R cliques themselves were first published in 1765, twelve years after his 
appointment to Easton Maundit ; they were the result of long and patient labour 
employed in collecting and gleaning old ballads from literary friends, such as 
Garrick, Goldsmith, Gray, and especially Shenstone, who first suggested to him the 
idea of such a publication, and who had at one time intended to be associated with 
him in his work, though prevented by the stroke of death. No doubt, as the book 
appeared in the very year after Dr. Johnson's visit to Easton Maundit, its compila- 
tion was the subject of much animated discussion in the vicarage library, between 
the enthusiastic gleaner and the burly doctor, whose appreciation of the simple ballad 
style, we happen to know, was not very high. 

But still, though Dr. Percy "touched up," and in fact tampered with the text of 
the ballads extensively — for which he was criticised pretty severely by a rival gleaner 
in the same field, Ritson— yet there can be little doubt that his Reliques have 
proved, if not a well of pure Saxon undefiled, at all events a cover to such a well. 
And with all their faults, they will always be popular with the multitude in their 


present shape, though the learned student and scholar will prefer to read them in their 
original form as they stand in the folio Manuscript. And it may be added, in proof of 
the high estimation in which the name of Dr. Percy is held even by such scholars, that 
in the edition of the said folio Manuscript, issued by Messrs. Hales and Furnivall, 
under the auspices of the Early English Text Society, the R 'cliques are styled "a 
book destined not only to raise him (the author) to eminence in his profession, but 
to render his name a ' household word ' wherever the English language is spoken." 

Sir Walter Scott tells us that as soon as he became in his boyhood acquainted with 
Percy's R cliques, "the first time he could scrape a few shillings together, he 
bought himself a copy of these beloved volumes ; nor (he adds) do I believe that I 
ever read a book half so frequently or with half the enthusiasm." It was probably 
at a later period of life that he made himself acquainted with the three volumes of 
Old English Ballads which had been given to the learned world in 1723-25. Sir 
Henry Ellis, too, expresses his mature opinion that " the Reliques are the most 
agreeable selection perhaps which exists in any language." 

A Percy Society was established in 1840, in honour of the Bishop, by Mr. William 
Chappell, F.S.A., and some other enthusiasts in the cause ; but it was not adequately 
supported by the British public, and it died out in 185 1, having given to the world 
nearly a hundred publications. 

Percy's folio Manuscript is styled by Mr. F.J. Furnivall "the foundation docu- 
ment of English balladry, the basis of that structure which Percy raised." Mr. 
Furnivall writes : " By his emendations and by his taste, public attention was first 
drawn to the ballad literature of our country ; and so far am I from condemning him, 
that I hold him to have been a benefactor to literature." It was printed and pub- 
lished by Messrs. J. W. Hales and F. J. Furnivall, 1867-68, uniform with, though 
not actually as part of, the publications of the Early English Text Society. 

It adds a very great many ballads to the stock already known, for not above a 
sixth or seventh part * of its bulk was selected by Percy for publication in his 
Reliques ; and its editors boast, without wishing to depreciate the Bishop's memory, 
that now for the first time many of the most important ballads "can be read without 
Percy's tawdry touches." 

Percy found the Manuscript lying about on the floor at the house of a friend named 
Pitt, at Shifnall, where the maid-servants had begun to use it for lighting the fire. He 
rescued it, and after some time had it bound, in order to preserve it, or rather such 
part of it as remained ; ultimately it found its way into the library of Mr. Isted, at 
Ecton, Northamptonshire, who had married one of Percy's daughters. It was pur- 
chased from the family in 1868, by the Trustees of the British Museum, where it is 
now to be seen. The date of the writing is probably that of Charles I., and it is said 
to be in the handwriting of Thomas Blount, the well-known author of Joctclar 
Tenures, etc. 

There can be little doubt that the change of his name from Piercy to Percy was a 
piece of affectation, which was probably smiled at and good-humouredly pardoned by 
die Duke of Northumberland, who, though Percy by favour of the Herald's College, 

* The first edition of the Reliques contained 176 pieces, and Percy says that " the greater 
part of them are extracted from a folio Manuscript in his possession,'' but of these on'y 45 ara 
derived from that source. 



and by royal licence, and the owner of Sion House and of the proud Castle of Aln- 
wick, was himself not a Percy but a " Smithson " by birth. In the same spirit Dr. 
Percy, when he erected a monument to his wife at Dromore, designates her maiden 
name as Goodriche in lieu of Gutteridge. It is true also that he placed the lion 
rampant, the Percy cognizance, over his family monument in Dromore Cathedral. 
But this, if it proves anything, proves too much ; for if he was a genuine Percy by 
legitimate descent, at all events the ancient earldom, and probably the dukedom also, 
of Northumberland would not have become extinct, but would have come to him by 
right, instead of being re-granted to the Smithsons, one of whom had married the 
female heir of that ancient and noble house. 


He was a wise man, that friend of Fletcher of Saltoun, who said that if a man were 
allowed to make the ballads of a people, he cared not who made its laws. For there 
can be no doubt that the ballads of an infant nation are a great factor in the 
formation of the national character, and help to mould the minds of its future 
citizens. But if he had been a little more far-sighted, he would have seen that in 
truth it would be utterly impossible to "make" the ballads of any people whatever, 
for the simple reason that they are the natural outcome and product of its infancy. 

The word ballad is akin to ballet, both being derived from the Greek j8a>X»v, 
to cast, throw, or move forcibly ; the former coming from the French balade, 
as the latter comes from the Italian ballata, which means a song accompanied by or 
accompanying a dance. 

A ballad poetry more or less rude has been in almost all countries the earliest 
memorial of public events; and where the infancy of a tribe is savage and war- 
like, it has always been applied, consciously or unconsciously, to the work oi 
fostering a martial spirit. Tacitus tells us in his Annals* that long after his 
death, Arminius was remembered in the rude songs of his country ; and that ballads 
were the chief, if not the only annals amongst the ancient German tribes. "They 
have a tradition," he adds, "that Hercules once visited those parts, and when they 
rush to battle, they sing his praises above those of other heroes. "f A mediaeval 
author, referring to the northern writers of a subsequent date, tells us that they 
**h-ew the materials of their history from Runic songs. The Scandinavian tribes, as 
we know, had their "Scalds, " whose office and duty it was to compose ballads, in 
which they also celebrated the warlike exploits of their forefathers. 

It is equally certain that in our own islands there existed at an early date a race 
of bards whose work was substantially the same ; and it is on record in our history, 
that when Edward I. set himself seriously to the task of subduing the Welsh to his 
sway, one of the first measures which he adopted was to destroy their bards— with 
no other object, we must believe, except that of getting rid of those ballads which 
fostered their nationality. In spite of the king's arms, however, their poetry 
survived; and a writer of the age of Elizabeth,! in his description of North Wales, 
"tells us that "upon the Sunday and holy days the multitude of all sort of men, 
women, and children of every parish do meet in sundry places, either on some hill 

* Tacitus, Ann. ii. 88. t German!*, ii. sect. 3. 

X Ellis, Original Letters 0/ English History, Second Series, vol. iii. p. 49 


or on the side of some mountain, where their harpers and crowthers sing them songs 
of the doings of their ancestors." Nor is this ballad style of poetry confined to our 
side of the Atlantic ; for even the North American savages, when first discovered 
by our people, had their rude and warlike songs, in which they sung the praises 
of those who had died on the battle-field. And from another independent source 
we learn that a like system of national ballads prevailed among the original 
inhabitants of Peru. 

Doubtless what was true in one country was true more or less in every other ; 
as the manners of each people became more refined, their ballads came to embrace 
a wider range of subjects. The songs were no longer confined to the rehearsal 
of deeds of valour, but began to include all sorts of tales of adventure, wild and 
marvellous, and occasionally became the vehicle of sentiment and passion ; and 
"no festivity was esteemed complete among our ancestors in the eleventh, twelfth, 
and thirteenth centuries which was not set off with the exercise of the minstrel's 
talents, who usually sang his ballad to his own or some other harp, and was every- 
where received with respect."* 

As a higher intellectual taste began to prevail, however, these rude performances 
gradually lost their attraction with the upper ranks of society, and the bard's office 
fell into desuetude and comparative neglect. " When," writes Dr. Aikin,f " language 
became more refined, and poetical taste elevated by an acquaintance with the Greek 
and Latin authors, the subjects of the Epic Muse were no longer dressed in the 
homely garb of the popular ballad, but assumed the borrowed ornament and stately 
air of heroic poetry, and every poetical attempt in the sublime and beautiful Cas' 
was an imitation of the classic models. The native poetry of the country was 
reserved merely for the humorous and burlesque, and the term ballad was brought 
by custom to signify a comic story told in low familiar language, and accompanied 
by a droll trivial tunc. It was much used by the wits of the time as a vehicle for 
laughable ridicule and mirthful satire, and a great variety of the most pleasing 
specimens of this kind of writing is to be found in the witty era of English genius, 
which I take to be between the beginning of Charles the Second's reign and the times 
of Swift and Prior. Since that period, the genius of the age has chiefly been 
characterized by the correct, elegant, and tender ; and a real or affected taste for 
beautiful simplicity has almost universally prevailed." 

As time went on, these compositions, being quite out of date and fashion, came 
naturally to be regarded as objects of curiosity, chiefly on account of the insight which 
they afforded as to the manners, customs, and habits of thought which prevailed in 
the times to which they related ; while the strokes of nature with which they 
abounded, and the artless simplicity and force of their language, excited the admira- 
tion of such critics as were not utterly prejudiced in favour of the classical as 
contrasted with the romantic school. When therefore they had ceased to be 
current in song or recitation, they came to be carefully sought after and treasured by 
learned antiquaries, and illustrated by historical notes ; and thus a secondary 
importance was attached to them scarcely inferior to that which they possessed when 
chanted to the harp of the minstrel. If Sir Walter Scott in his day did good service 
in rescuing from oblivion the "minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," it should always 

Penny Cyclopedia, vol. iii. p. 325. Essays on Song-Writing, 1770. 


be remembered that it was Bishop Percy from whom he first learned to appreciate 
such rhymes. 

No doubt by far the greatest portion of the ballads once current and familiar 
in this country have perished irrevocably, for very few specimens exist of an earlier 
date than the reign of our first Stuart king. Being printed on single sheets, they 
would naturally fall chiefly into the hands of the lower orders, who would paste 
them not into scrap-books, but on the walls of their cottages. A few of them, 
however, were gleaned and stored away in little penny collections known as Garlands, 
several specimens of which are to be seen in the Pepys Library at Cambridge. 

The earliest ballad now remaining in the English language, if we may accept the 
statement of the writer in the Penny Cyclopedia already quoted, is believed to be a 
" Cuckow Song " of the latter part of the reign of Henry III, It runs thus : 

" Sumer is icumen in, 
Lhude sing cuccu ; 
Groweth sed and bloweth med, 
And spingeth the wde nu. 
Sing cuccu. 
Awe beteth after lamb, 
Llouth after calve cu, 
Bulluc sterteth, 
Bucke verteth, 
Murie sing cuccu. 
Cuccu, cuccu, 
Wei singes thou, cuccu, 
Ne swik thou never nu. 

This is simple and pastoral enough ; it means — 

" Summer is come in, 
Loud sings the cuckoo, 
Now the seed grows and the mead blows, 
And the wood springs anew. 
The ewe bleats after the lamb, 
The cow loweth after the calf, 
The bullock starts, the buck verts, 
Merrily sing cuckoo. 
Well singest thou, cuckoo ! 
Mayest thou never cease now." 

The earliest specimen of Scottish song, after the Scotch adopted the English tongue, 
is preserved in the Rhyming Chronicle of Andrew Wyntown, Prior of Lochleven, 
written, as is generally supposed, about the year 1420, in which he relates the song 
made on King Alexander III., who was killed by a fall from his horse in 1286. 

The earliest English song, separately printed on a single sheet, is believed to be 
one on the downfall of Thomas, Lord Cromwell, a.d. 1540. 

The effects of ballad poetry in rousing the warlike passions of the people have been 
felt even in the modern prosaic times. The Irish song of " Lillyburlero," mentioned 
by Macaulay in his History of England ; the "Marseillaise Song or Hymn;" and 
Burns's song, " Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled," are sufficient proofs of the truth 
of this assertion. 


The Scotch have got the credit for many of our best ballads, simply because they 
were called northern. But by the north country was denoted not only Scotland, or 
Northumberland, but all the land north of the Humber. The real fact is, that they 
were far more generally English than Scotch ; and for this plain reason. Whilst 
Puritanism and Calvinism reigned or rather tyrannized over Scotland, it was not 
likely that that land, though in many ways a "meet nurse of a poetic child," would have 
produced many ballads ; for we read in Chambers's Domestic Annals of Scotland 
(vol. i. p. 394), that under the Regent Morton death was the penalty for printing a 
ballad, and that two "poets" were actually hanged in 1579 for making ballads. 
Indeed, at one time no licence for a marriage could be issued north of the Tweed, 
unless the parties deposited £\o as a pledge that they would not have minstrels to 
play at it. 


The object of the present Edition has been to simplify the Reliques for general read- 
ing. It professes to be nothing but a popular edition, popularly arranged, with notes 
that simplify and explain without entering into abstruse speculations, which, instead of 
enlightening, only increase the difficulties of the ordinary reader, who desires to read 
the ballads as a matter of amusement, and of information as to the old metrical 
romances, with as little effort as may be. 

In order to assist without confusing, a Glossary of the very difficult words has been 
made. The words to be found in the Glossary are all printed in italics. 

A German told me that when he first came to England, he could read Chaucer 
easily long before he could manage modern English, on account 01 many oi the old 
words assimilating so closely to the German. 

It seems to me, in looking at many of the lootnotes to doubtful words, that this 
element is not sufficiently considered ; and therefore in the Glossary I have occasionally 
suggested extra meanings founded on the German. 

For instance, shecne, used as an adjective, I find shining, and I suggest fine as 
agreeing with the German schon, the pronunciation of which through the modified vowel 
comes not far off the English shecne. For stiffe and stark (the meaning of the latter 
word in some glossaries being given as stiff), I should suggest cruel and strong, from 
the German stief, cruel ; stark, strong ; and I find that stark is given in Percy's folio as 
strong. Renisht, for which glittering or shining is given, may, I think, come from the 
same root as rcnigen, to clean : it would be easy to get renidged or renisht from this ; 
and purified, cleansed, made all clean and presentable, appears to be the sense in which 
the word renisht stands. 

In the " Sturdy Rock," a madrigal set to music, we find the word sliac, now used as 
a slang term, meaning "let it pass." It is found in Shakespeare also, and it is curious 
that the word which in this sense appears to have been lost to the language, was 
revived as a slang term by the Americans — I think the Bostonians, who pride themselves 
on the correctness of their English. 

There are other words that differ in orthography, but which differ so slightly that it 
has not been thought well to burden t'.'ie Glossary with them. Instead 01 this, a 
few remarks are offered. 


Many words beginning with z must have the z turned into y, as zour, ze, your, ye. 
Z also sometimes stands for gk, in such words as dozter, daughter; fyzt, fight ; ryzt, 
right; doz-trough, dough-trough. D and / are almost synonymous; also/ and v. 
Indeed, one can perceive in many of the old words the German v, which is equal to our 
English/"— -fete, many, German viel, vide. D sometimes answers to th, as Bed mill, 
Bethnall : v and u are also used synonymously, give, give ,• loue, love. 

With these remarks in view, it will be easy to understand those words that have not . 
been considered of sufficient difficulty to add to the Glossary. 

The word Editor, in reference to the poems, stands for Bishop Percy himself, the 
notes being partially abridged from his notes to the Reliqucs. Some original notes and 
remarks have been added. 

A long disquisition on the word Termagaunt or Termagant appears in the 
Rcliques in conjunction with Mahmoud ; which latter word appears in one or two of 
the ballads, and Bishop Percy in his remarks says : "Termagaunt is the name given to 
the god of the Saracens, in which he is constantly linked with Mahmoud or Mahomet." 
He goes on to say that the word is derived by the editor of Junius from the Anglo-Saxon 
Typ, very, and mazan, mighty. But Bishop Percy suggests that the derivation seems 
too sublime for the Saracenic deity ; he says : ' ' Perhaps Typ-mazan, or Termagant, has 
been a name originally given to some Saxon idol before our ancestors were converted 
to Christianity, or had been the peculiar attribute of one of their false deities ; and 
therefore the first Christian missionaries rejected it as profane and improper to be 
applied to the true God." 

In answer to this, we would further suggest that probably Termagant alludes to the 
Teutonic Mars. Tyr, Tiw, Zio; why should not the derivation be Tyr, Mars ; Mazan, 
Magan, mighty, the mighty Mars? 

Grimm says of Tyr Zio: "Represented in the Edda as Odin's son, he may seem inferior 
to him in power and moment ; but the two really fall into one, inasmuch as both are 
directors of war and battle, and the fame of victory proceeds from each of them alike."* 

The old Norse name for Tuesday was Tysdagr, from the god Tyr (gen. Tys), the 
Anglo-Saxon Tiwesdcrg. The French Alardi brings us to Dies Martis, and we see in 
each the god of war as the patron of the day ; therefore as Termagant or Termagaunte 
is always spoken of in connection with battles, may not the derivation be Tyr mazan, 
the mighty Tyr, the Mars of the northern nations, the equal in that sense to the god 
Wuotan or Odin? E. W. 


I. The Minstrels were an order of men in the Middle Ages, who subsisted by the 
arts of poetry and music, and sang to the harp verses composed by themselves or 
others. f They also accompanied their songs with mimicry and action ; and 

* Grimm's Teutonic Mythology, translated by James Steven Stallybrass, p. 196. 

t Wedded to no hypothesis, the author hath readily corrected any mistakes which have been 
proved to be in this essay ; and considering the novelty of the subject, arid the time and place 
when and where he first took it up, many such had been excusable. The term "minstrel" was 
not confined, as some contend, to a mere musician in this country, any more than on the 


practised such various means of diverting as were much admired in those rude 
times, and supplied the want of more refined entertainment. These arts rendered 
them extremely popular and acceptable in this and all the neighbouring countries ; 
where no high scene of festivity was esteemed complete that was not set off with 
the exercise of their talents ; and where, so long as the spirit of chivalry 
subsisted, they were protected and caressed, because their songs tended to do 
honour to the ruling passion of the times, and to encourage and foment a martial 

The Minstrels seem to have been the genuine successors of the ancient Bards, 
who under different names were admired and revered, from the earliest ages, among 
the people of Gaul, Britain, Ireland, and the North ; and indeed by almost all the 
first inhabitants of Europe, whether of Celtic or Gothic race ; but by none more 
than by our own Teutonic ancestors, particularly by all the Danish tribes. Among 
these they were distinguished by the name of Scalds, a word which denotes 
" smoothers and polishers of language." The origin of their art was attributed to 
Odin or Woden, the father of their gods ; and the professors of it were held in 
the highest estimation. Their skill was considered as something divine ; their 
persons were deemed sacred ; their attendance was solicited by kings ; and they 
were everywhere loaded with honours and rewards. In short, poets and their 
art were held among them in that rude admiration which is ever shown by an 
ignorant people to such as excel them in intellectual accomplishments. 

As these honours were paid to Poetry and Song from the earliest times in those 
countries which our Anglo-Saxon ancestors inhabited before their removal into 
Britain, we may reasonably conclude that they would not lay aside all their regard 
for men of this sort on quitting their German forests. At least so long as they 
retained their ancient manners and opinions, they would still hold them in high 
estimation. But as the Saxons, soon after their establishment in this island, were 
converted to Christianity ; in proportion as literature prevailed among them, this 
rude admiration would begin to abate, and poetry would be no longer a peculiar 
profession. Thus the Poet and the Minstrel early with us became two persons. 
Poetry was cultivated by men of letters indiscriminately, and many of the most 
popular rhymes were composed amidst the leisure and retirement of monasteries. 
But the Minstrels continued a distinct order of men for many ages after the Norman 
Conquest, and got their livelihood by singing verses to the harp at the houses of the 
great. There they were still hospitably and respectfully received, and retained many 
of the honours shown to their predecessors the Bards and Scalds. And though, 
as their art declined, many of them only recited the compositions of others, 
some of them still composed songs themselves, and all of them could probably 
invent a few stanzas on occasion. I have no doubt but most of the old heroic 
ballads in this collection were composed by this order of men. For although some 
of the larger metrical romances might come from the pen of the monks or others, 
yet the smaller narratives were probably composed by the Minstrels who sang them. 
From the amazing variations which occur in different copies of the old pieces, it is 
evident they made no scruple to alter each other's productions ; and the reciter 
added or omitted whole stanzas according to his own fancy or convenience. 

In the early ages, as hinted above, the profession of oral itinerant poet was held 
in the utmost reverence among all the Danish tribes ; and therefore we might 


have concluded that it was not unknown or unrespected among their Saxon brethren 
in Britain, even if history had been altogether silent on this subject. The original 
country of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors is well known to have lain chiefly in the 
tracts of land since distinguished by the name of Jutland, Angelen, and Holstein. 
The Jutes and Angles in particular, who composed two-thirds of the conquerors of 
Britain, were a Danish people, and their country at this day belongs to the crown 
of Denmark; so that when the Danes again invested England, three or four hundred 
years after, they made war on the descendants of their own ancestors. From this 
near affinity we might expect to discover a strong resemblance between both 
nations in their customs, manners, and even language ; and, in fact, we find them 
to differ no more than would naturally happen between a parent country and its own 
colonies, that had been severed in a rude uncivilised state, and had dropt all 
intercourse for three or four centuries : especially if we reflect that the colony here 
settled had adopted a new religion, extremely opposite in all respects to the ancient 
Paganism of the mother country ; and that even at first, along with the original 
Angli, had been incorporated a large mixture of Saxons from the neighbouring parts 
of Germany ; and afterwards, among the Danish invaders, had come vast multitudes 
of adventurers from the more northern parts of Scandinavia. But all these were only 
different tribes of the same common Teutonic stock, and spoke only different 
dialects of the same Gothic language. 

From this sameness of original and similarity of manners, we might justly have 
wondered if a character so dignified and distinguished among the ancient Danes as 
the Scald or Bard had been totally unknown or unregarded in his sister nation. 
And indeed this argument is so strong, and at the same time the early annals of the 
Anglo-Saxons are so scanty and defective, that no objections from their silence could 
be sufficient to overthrow it. For if these popular bards were confessedly revered 
and admired in those very countries which the Anglo-Saxons inhabited before their 
removal into Britain, and if they were afterwards common and numerous among 
the other descendants of the same Teutonic ancestors, can we do otherwise than 
conclude that men of this order accompanied such tribes as migrated hither ; that^ 
they afterwards subsisted here, though perhaps with less splendour than in the 
North ; and that there never was wanting a succession of them to hand down the 
art, though some particular conjunctures may have rendered it more respectable at 
one time than another? And this was evidently the case. For though much 
greater honours seem to have been heaped upon the northern Scalds, in whom 
the characters of historian, genealogist, poet, and musician were all united, than 
appear to have been paid to the Minstrels and Harpers of the Anglo-Saxons, 
whose talents were chiefly calculated to entertain and divert ; while the Scalds 
professed to inform and instruct, and were at once the moralists and theologues of 
their Pagan countrymen ; yet the Anglo-Saxon Minstrels continued to possess no 
small portion of public favour ; and the arts they professed were so extremely 
acceptable to our ancestors, that the word Glee, which peculiarly denoted their art, 
continues still in our own language to be of all others the most expressive of that 
popular mirth and jollity, that strong sensation of delight, which is felt by unpolished 
and simple minds. 

II. Having premised these general considerations, I shall now proceed to collect 
from history such particular incidents as occur on this subject ; and, whether the 


facts themselves are true or not, they are related by authors who lived too near 
the Saxon times, and had before them too many recent monuments of the Anglo- 
Saxon nation, not to know what was conformable to the genius and manners of that 
people ; and therefore we may presume that their relations prove at least the 
existence of the customs and habits they attribute to our forefathers before the 
Conquest, whatever becomes of the particular incidents and events themselves. If 
this be admitted, we shall not want sufficient proofs to show that Minstrelsy and 
Song were not extinct among the Anglo-Saxons ; and that the professor of them 
here, if not quite so respected a personage as the Danish Scald, was yet highly 
favoured and protected, and continued still to enjoy considerable privileges. 

Even so early as the first invasion of Britain by the Saxons, an incident is recorded 
which, if true, shows that the Minstrel or Bard was not unknown among this 
people ; and that their princes themselves could, upon occasion, assume that 
character. Colgrin, son of that Ella who was elected king or leader of the Saxons 
in the room of Hengist, was shut up in York, and closely besieged by Arthur and 
his Britons. Baldulph, brother of Colgrin, wanted to gain access to him, and to 
apprise him of a reinforcement which was coming from Germany. He had no 
other way to accomplish his design, but to assume the character of a Minstrel. 
He therefore shaved his head and beard, and, dressing himself in the habit of that 
profession, took his harp in his hand. In this disguise he walked up and down 
the trenches without suspicion, playing all the while upon his instrument as a 
Harper. By little and little he advanced near to the walls of the city, and, making 
himself known to the sentinels, was in the night drawn up by a rope. 

Although the above fact comes only from the suspicious pen of Geoffry of Mon 
mouth, the judicious reader will not too hastily reject it ; because, if such a fact 
really happened, it could only be known to us through the medium of the British 
writers ; for the first Saxons, a martial but unlettered people, had no historians of 
their own ; and Geoffry, with all his fables, is allowed to have recorded many true 
events that have escaped other annalists. 

We do not, however, want instances of a less fabulous era and more indubitable 
authority ; for later History affords us two remarkable facts which I think clearly 
show that the same arts of poetry and song, which were so much admired among the 
Danes, were by no means unknown or neglected in this sister nation ; and that the 
privileges and honours which were so lavishly bestowed upon the northern Scalds, 
were not wholly withheld from the Anglo-Saxon Minstrels. 

Our great King Alfred, who is expressly said to have excelled in music, being 
desirous to learn the true situation oi the Danish army, which had invaded his realm, 
assumed the dress and character of a Minstrel, when, taking his harp and one of the 
most trusty of his friends disguised as a servant (for in the early times it was not 
unusual for a Minstrel to have a servant to carry his harp), he went with the utmost 
security into the Danish camp ; and, though he could not but be known to be a 
Saxon by his dialect, the character he had assumed procured him a hospitable 
reception. He was admitted to entertain the king at table, and stayed among them 
long enough to contrive that assault which afterwards destroyed them. This was 
in the year 878. 

About sixty years after, a Danish king made use of the same disguise to explore 
the camp of our king Athelstan. With his harp in his hand, and dressed like a 


Minstrel, Anlaff, or rather Aulaff, king of the Danes, went among the Saxon tents, 
and, taking his stand near the king's pavilion, began to play, and was immediately 
admitted. There he entertained Athelstan and his lords with his singing and his 
music, and was at length dismissed with an honourable reward, though his songs must 
have discovered him to have been a Dane. Athelstan was saved from the consequences 
of this stratagem by a soldier, who had observed Aulaff bury the money which had 
been given him, either from some scruple of honour or motive of superstition. This 
occasioned a discovery. 

Now if the Saxons had not been accustomed to have Minstrels of their own, Alfred's 
assuming so new and unusual a character would have excited suspicions among the 
Danes. On the other hand, if it had not been customary with the Saxons to show 
favour and respect to the Danish Scalds, Aulaff would not have ventured himself 
among them, especially on the eve of a battle. From the uniform procedure then of 
both these kings, we may fairly conclude that the same mode of entertainment pre- 
vailed among both people, and that the Minstrel was a privileged character with each. 

But, if these facts had never existed, it can be proved from undoubted records, 
that the Minstrel was a regular and stated officer in the court of our Anglo-Saxon 
kings : for in Domesday Book, yoculator Regis, the king's Minstrel, is expressl) 
mentioned in Gloucestershire ; in which county it should seem that he had lands 
assigned him for his maintenance. 

III. We have now brought the inquiry down to the Norman Conquest ; and as the 
Normans had been a late colony from Norway and Denmark, where the Scalds had 
arrived at the highest pitch of credit before Rollo's expedition into France, we cannot 
doubt but this adventurer, like the other northern princes, had many of these men 
in his train, who settled with him in his new Duchy of Normandy, and left behind 
them successors in their art ; so that when his descendant, William the Conqueror, 
invaded this kingdom in the following century, that mode of entertainment could not 
but be still familiar with the Normans. And that this is not mere conjecture will 
appear from a remarkable fact, which shows that the arts of Poetry and Song were 
still as reputable among the Normans in France as they had been among their" 
ancestors in the North ; and that the profession of Minstrel, like that of Scald, was 
still aspired to by the most gallant soldiers. In William's army was a valiant warrior 
named Taillefer, who was distinguished no less for the minstrel arts than for his 
courage and intrepidity. This man asked leave of his commander to begin the 
onset, and obtained it. He accordingly advanced before the army, and with a loud 
voice animated his countrymen with songs in praise of Charlemagne and Roland, and 
other heroes of France ; then rushing among the thickest of the English, and valiantly 
fighting, lost his life. 

Indeed, the Normans were so early distinguished for their minstrel talents, that Le 
Grand, the author of the History of the Troubadours, refers to them the origin of all 
modern poetry, and shows that they were celebrated for their songs near a century 
before the Troubadours of Provence, who are supposed to have led the way to the 
Poets of Italy, France, and Spain. 

We see then that the Norman Conquest was rather likely to favour the establish- 
ment of the Minstrel profession in this kingdom than to suppress it ; and although 
the favour of the Norman conquerors would be probably confined to such of their 
own countrymen as excelled in the Minstrel arts, and in the first ages after the Con- 


quest no other songs would be listened to by the great nobility but such as were 
composed in their own Norman-French, yet as the great mass of the original in- 
habitants were not extirpated, these could only understand their own native Gleemcn 
or Minstrels, who must still be allowed to exist, unless it can be proved that they 
were all proscribed and massacred, as it is said the Welsh Bards were afterwards by 
the severe policy of King Edward I. But this we know was not the case ; and even 
the cruel attempts of that monarch, as we shall see below, proved ineffectual. 

The honours shown to the Norman or French Minstrels, by our princes and great 
barons, would naturally have been imitated by their English vassals and tenants, 
even if no favour or distinction had ever been shown here to the same order of men 
in the Anglo-Saxon and Danish reigns. So that we cannot doubt but the English 
Harper and Songster would, at least in a subordinate degree, enjoy the same kind of 
honours, and be received, with similar respect among the inferior English gentry 
and populace. I must be allowed therefore to consider them as belonging to the 
same community, as subordinate members at least of the same College ; and there- 
fore, in gleaning the scanty materials for this slight history, I shall collect whatever 
Vicidents I can find relating to Minstrels and their art, and arrange them, as they 
occur in our own annals, without distinction ; as it will not always be easy to ascertain, 
from the slight mention of them by our regular historians, whether the artists were 
Norman or English. For it need not be remarked that subjects of this trivial nature 
are but incidentally mentioned by our ancient annalists, and were fastidiously rejected 
by other grave and serious writers ; so that, unless they were accidentally connected 
with such events as became recorded in history, they would pass unnoticed through 
the lapse of ages, and be as unknown to posterity as other topics relating to the 
private life and amusements of the greatest nations. 

On this account it can hardly be expected that we should be able to produce regular 
and unbroken annals of the Minstrel art and its professors, or have sufficient informa- 
tion whether every Minstrel or Harper composed himself, or only repeated, the songs 
he chanted. Some probably did the one, and some the other ; and it would have 
been wonderful indeed, if men whose peculiar profession it was, and who devoted their 
time and talents to entertain their hearers with poetical compositions, were peculiarly 
deprived of all poetical genius themselves, and had been under a physical incapacity 
of composing those common popular rhymes which were the usual subjects of their 
recitation. Whoever examines any considerable quantity of these, finds them in style 
and colouring as different from the elaborate production of the sedentary composer at 
his desk or in his cell, as the rambling Harper or Minstrel was remote in his modes of 
life and habits of thinking from the retired scholar or the solitary monk. 

It is well known that on the Continent, whence our Norman nobles came, the Bard 
who composed, the Harper who played and sang, and even the Dancer and the 
Mimic, were all considered as of one community, and were even all included under 
the common name of Minstrels. I must therefore be allowed the same application of 
the term here, without being expected to prove that every singer composed, or every 
composer chanted, his own song ; much less that every one excelled in all the arts 
which were occasionally exercised by some or other of this fraternity. 

IV. After the Norman Conquest, the first occurrence which I have met with relating 
to this order of men is the founding of a priory and hospital by one of them — scil. the 
Priory and Hospital of St. Bartholomew, in Smithfield, London, by Royer or Raherus, 


the king's Minstrel, in the third year of Henry I., A.D. 1102. He was the first Prior 
of his own establishment, and presided over it to the time of his death. 

In the reign of Henry II., we have upon record the name of Galfrid or Jeffrey, a 
Harper, who in 1180 received an annuity from the Abbey of Hyde, near Winchester ; 
and, as in the early times every Harper was expected to sing, we cannot doubt but 
this reward was given to him for his music and his songs ; which, if they were for the 
solace of the monks there, we may conclude would be in the English language. 

Under his romantic son, Richard I., the Minstrel profession seems to have acquired 
additional splendour. Richard, who was the great hero of chivalry, was also the dis- 
tinguished patron of Poets and Minstrels. He was himself of their number, and some 
of his poems are still extant. * They were no less patronized by his favourites and 
chief officers. His Chancellor, William, Bishop of Ely, is expressly mentioned to have 
invited Singers and Minstrels from France, whom he loaded with rewards ; and they 
in return celebrated him as the most accomplished person in the world. This high 
distinction and regard, although confined perhaps in the first instance to Poets and 
Songsters of the French nation, must have had a tendency to do honour to Poetry and 
Song among all his subjects, and to encourage the cultivation of these arts among 
the natives ; as the indulgent favour shown by the monarch or his great courtiers to 
the Provencal Troubadour, or Norman Rymour, would naturally be imitated by their 
inferior vassals to the English Gleeman or Minstrel. At more than a century after 
the Conquest, the national distinctions must have begun to decline, and both the 
Norman and English languages would be heard in the houses of the great ; so that 
probably about this era, or soon after, we are to date that remarkable intercommunity 
and exchange of each other's compositions, which we discover to have taken place at 
some early period between the French and English Minstrels ; the same set of phrases, 
the same species of characters, incidents, and adventures, and often the same identical 
stories, being found in the old metrical romances of both nations. 

The distinguished service which Richard received from one of his own Minstrels, in, 
rescuing him from his cruel and tedious captivity, is a remarkable fact, which ought 
to be recorded for the honour of Poets and their art. This fact I shall relate in the 
following words of an ancient writer.f Mons. Favine : — 

"The Englishmen were more than a whole yeare without hearing any tydings of 
their king, or in what place he was kept prisoner. He had trained up in his court a 
Rimer or Minstrill, called Blondell de Nesle : who (so saith the Manuscript of old 
Poesies, J and an auncient Manuscript French Chronicle) being so long without the 
sight of his lord, his life seemed wearisome to him, and he became confounded with 
melancholly. Knowne it was, that he came backe from the Holy Land ; but none 
could tell in what countrey he arrived. Whereupon this Blondel, resolving to make 

* See a pathetic song of his in Mr. Walpole's Catalogue of Royal Authors, vol. i. p. 5. 
The reader will find a translation of it into modern French in Hist. Litteraire des Troubadours, 
1774, 3 torn. i2mo. See vol. i. p. 58, where some more of Richard's poetry is translated. In 
Dr. Eurney's History of Music, vol. ii. p. 238, is a poetical version of it in English. 

\Theatre of Honour and Knighthood, translated from the French, London 1623. An 
elegant relation of the same event (from the French of President Fauchet's Recueil, etc.) may 
be seen in Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, by Anna Williams, London 1766, 4to. 

t This the author calls in another place, "An ancient MS. of old Poesies, written about those 
very times." 



search for him in many countries, but he would heare some newes of him ; after expence 
of divers dayes in travaile, he came to a towne (by good hap) neere to the castell where 
his maister King Richard was kept. Of his host he demanded to whom the castell 
appertained, and the host told him that it belonged to the Duke of Austria. Then 
he enquired whether there were any prisoners therein detained or no : for alwayes he 
made such secret questionings wheresoever he came. And the hoste gave answer, 
there was one onely prisoner, but he knew not what he was, and yet he had bin 
detained there more then the space of a yeare. When Blondel heard this, he wrought 
such meanes, that he became acquainted with them of the castell, as Minstrels doe 
easily win acquaintance anywhere : but see the king he could not, neither understand 
that it was he. One day he sat directly before a window of the castell, where King 
Richard was kept prisoner, and began to sing a song in French, which King Richard 
and Blondel had some time composed together. When King Richard heard the song, 
he knew it was Blondel that sung it : and when Blondel paused at halfe of the song, 
the king 'began the other half and completed it.' Thus Blondel won knowledge 
of the king his maister, and returning home into England, made the barons of the 
countrie acquainted where the king was." This happened about the year 1193. 

The following old Provencal lines are given as the very original song, which I 
shall accompany with an imitation offered by Dr. Burney : — 


Domna vostra beutas 
Elas bellas faissos 
Els bels oils amoros 
Els gens cors ben taillats 
Don sieu empresenats 
De vostra amor que mi Ha. 

Si bel trop affansia 
Ja de vos non portrai 
Que major honorai 
Sol en votre deman 
Que sautra des beisan 
Tot can de vos volria. 


Your beauty, lady fair, 
None views without delight ; 
But still so cold an air 
No passion can excite ; 
Yet this I patient see 
While all are shunn'd like me. 

No nymph my heart can wound 
If favour she dhide, 
And smiles on all around 
Unwilling to decide : 
I'd rather hatred bear 
Than love with others share. 

The access which Blondel so readily obtained in the privileged character of a 
Minstrel, is not the only instance upon record of the same nature. In this very reign 
of King Richard I. the young heiress of D'Evreux, Earl of Salisbury, had been carried 
abroad and secreted by her French relations in Normandy. To discover the place of 
her concealment, a knight of the Talbot family spent two years in exploring that 
province, at first under the disguise of a Pilgrim ; till having found where she was 
confined, in order to gain admittance he assumed the dress and character of a Harper, 
and being a jocose person exceedingly skilled in '* the Gesta of the ancients ; " so they 
called the romances and stories, which were the delight of that age ; he was gladly 
received into the family. Whence he took an opportunity to carry off the young 
lady, whom he presented to the king ; and he bestowed her on his natural brother 
William Longespee (son of fair Rosamond), who became in her right Earl ol 



The next memorable event which I find in history reflects credit on the English 
Minstrels ; and this was their contributing to the rescue of one of the great Earls of- 
Chester, when besieged by the Welsh. This happened in the reign of King John, 
and is related to this effect : — 

"Hugh, the first Earl of Chester, in his charter of foundation of St. Werburg's 
Abbey in that city, had granted such a privilege to those who should come to Chester 
fair, that they should not be then apprehended for theft or any other misdemeanour, 
except the crime were committed during the fair. This special protection occasion- 
ing a multitude of loose people to resort to that fair, was afterwards of signal benefit 
to one of his successors. For Ranulph, the last Earl of Chester, marching into Wales 
with a slender attendance, was constrained to retire to his Castle of Rothelan (or 
Rhuydland), to which the Welsh forthwith laid siege. In this distress he sent for 
help to the Lord De Lacy, Constable of Chester, ' who, making use of the Minstrels 
of all sorts, then met at Chester fair ; by the allurement of their music, got together a 
vast number of such loose people as, by reason of the before-specified privilege, were 
then in that city ; whom he forthwith sent under the conduct of Dutton (his steward),' 
a gallant youth, who was also his son-in-law. The W T elsh, alarmed at the approach 
of this rabble, supposing them to be a regular body of armed and disciplined 
veterans, instantly raised the siege and retired." 

For this good service, Ranulph is said to have granted to De Lacy, by charter, the 
patronage and authority over the Minstrels and the loose and inferior people, who, 
retaining to himself that of the lower artificers, conferred on Dutton the jurisdiction 
of the Minstrels ; and under the descendants of this family the Minstrels enjoyed 
certain privileges, and protection for many ages. For even so late as the reign of 
Elizabeth, when this profession had fallen into such discredit that it was considered 
in law as a nuisance, the Minstrels under the jurisdiction of the family of Dutton are 
expressly excepted out of all Acts of Parliament made for their suppression, and 
continued to be so excepted down to the reign of George III. 

The ceremonies attending the exercise of this jurisdiction are thus described by 
Dugdale, as handed down to his time, viz. : "That at Midsummer fair there, all the 
Minstrels of that countrey resorting to Chester do attend the heir of Dutton, from his 
lodging to St. John's Church (he being then accompanied by many gentlemen of the 
countrey), one of ' the Minstrels ' walking before him in a surcoat of his arms depicted 
on taffata ; the rest of his fellows proceeding (two and two) and playing on their 
several sorts of musical instruments. And after Divine service ended, give the like 
attendance on him back to his lodging ; where a court being kept by his [Mr, 
Dutton's] steward, and all the Minstrels formally called, certain orders and laws are 
usually made for the better government of that society, with penalties on those who 
transgress." In the same reign of John we have a remarkable instance of a Minstrel, 
who to his other talents superadded the character of Soothsayer, and by his skill in 
drugs and medicated potions was able to rescue a knight from imprisonment. This 
occurs in Leland's Narrative of the Gesta of Guarine (or Warren) and Ms Sous, which 
he "excerptid owte of an old Englisch boke yn ryme, " and is as follows : — 

Whitington Castle in Shropshire, which, together with the co-heiress of the original 
proprietor, had been won in a solemn tournament by the ancestor of the Guarines, 
had in the reign of John been seized by the Prince of Wales, and was afterwards 
possessed by Morice, a retainer of that prince, to whom the king, out of hatred to the 


true heir Fulco Guarine (with whom he had formerly had a quarrel at chess), not 
only confirmed the possession, but also made him governor of the marches, of which 
Fulco himself had the custody in the time of King Richard. The Guarines demanded 
justice of the king, but obtaining no gracious answer, renounced their allegiance and 
fled into Bretagne. Returning into England, after various conflicts, " Fulco resortid 
to one John of Raumpayne, a Soothsayer and Jocular and Minstrelle, and mnde hym 
his spy to Morice at Whitington." The privileges of this character we have already 
seen, and John so well availed himself of them, that in consequence of the intelli- 
gence which he doubtless procured, " Fulco and his brethrene laide waite for Morice, 
as he went toward Salesbyri, and Fulco ther woundid hym, and Bracy," a knight, 
who was their friend and assistant, "cut off Moricef's] hedde." This Sir Bracy being 
in a subsequent rencounter sore wounded, was taken and brought to King John, from 
whose vengeance he was however rescued by this notable Minstrel; for "John 
Rampayne founde the meanes to cast them that kepte Bracy into a deadely slepe, and 
so he and Bracy cam to Fulco to Whitington," which on the death of Morice had 
fceen restored to him by the Prince of Wales. As no further mention occurs of the 
Minstrel, I might here conclude this narrative, but I shall just add, that Fulco was 
obliged to flee into France, where, assuming the name of Sir Amice, he distinguished 
himself in jousts and tournaments ; and, after various romantic adventures by sea and 
land, having in the true style of chivalry rescued "certayne ladies owt of prison," he 
finally obtained the king's pardon, and the quiet possession of Whitington Castle. 

In the reign of Henry III., we have mention of Master Richard the king's 
Harper, to whom in his 36th year (1252) that monarch gave not only forty shillings 
and a pipe of wine, but also a pipe of wine to Beatrice his wife. The title of 
Magistcr, or Master, given to this Minstrel, deserves notice, and shows his respectable 

V. The Harper, or Minstrel, was so necessary an attendant on a royal personage, 
that Prince Edward (afterwards Edward I.) in his Crusade to the Holy Land, in 
1271, was not without his Harper, who must have been officially very near his person ; 
as we are told by a contemporary historian, that, in the attempt to assassinate that 
heroic prince, when he had wrested the poisoned knife out of the Saracen's hand, and 
killed him with his own weapon, the attendants, who had stood apart while he was 
whispering to their master, hearing the struggle, ran to his assistance, and one of 
them, to wit his Harper, seizing a tripod or trestle, struck the assassin on the head 
and beat out his brains. And though the prince blamed him for striking the man 
after he was dead, yet his near access shows the respectable situation of this officer, 
and his affectionate zeal should have induced Edward to entreat his brethren the 
Welsh Bards afterwards with more lenity. 

Whatever was the extent of this great monarch's severity towards the professors of 
Music and of Song in Wales ; whether the executing by martial law such of them as 
fell into his hands was only during the heat of conflict, or was continued afterwards 
with more systematic rigour ; yet in his own court the Minstrels appear to have been 
highly favoured : for when, in 1306, he conferred the order of knighthood on his son 
and many others of the young nobility, a multitude of Minstrels were introduced to 
invite and induce the new knights to make some military vow. 

Under Edward II., such extensive privileges were claimed by these men, and by 
dissolute persons assuming their character, that it became a matter of public grievance, 


and was reformed by an express regulation in A.D. 1315. Notwithstanding which, an 
incident is recorded in the ensuing year, which shows that Minstrels still retained the 
liberty of entering at will into the royal presence, and had something peculiarly splendid 
in their dress. It is thus related by Stow : — 

"In the year 1316, Edward II. did solemnize his feast of Pentecost at Westminster, 
in the great hall : where sitting royally at the table with his peers about him, there 
entered a woman adorned like a Minstrel, sitting on a great horse trapped, as Minstrels 
then used ; who rode round about the tables, showing pastime ; and at length came 
up to the king's table, and laid before him a letter, and forthwith turning her horse 
saluted every one and departed." The subject of this letter was a remonstrance to the 
king on the favours heaped by him on his minions, to the neglect of his knights and 
faithful servants. 

The privileged character of a Minstrel was employed on this occasion, as sure of 
gaining an easy admittance ; and a female the rather deputed to assume it, that, in 
case of detection, her sex might disarm the king's resentment. This is offered on a 
supposition that she was not a real Minstrel ; for there should seem to have been 
women of this profession, as well as of the other sex ; and no accomplishment is so 
constantly attributed to females, by our ancient Bards, as their singing to, and playing 
on, the harp. 

In the fourth year of Richard II., John of Gaunt erected at Tutbury in Staffordshire, 
a Court of Minstrels, similar to that annually kept at Chester, and which, like a Court- 
Leet or Court Baron, had a legal jurisdiction, with full power to receive suit and 
service from the men of this profession within five neighbouring counties, to enact laws, 
and determine their controversies ; and to apprehend and arrest such of them as 
should refuse to appear at the said court annually held on the 16th of August. For 
this they had a charter, by which they were empowered to appoint a king of the 
Minstrels with four officers to preside over them. These were every year elected with 
great ceremony ; the whole form of which, as observed in 1680, is described by Dr. 
Plot in his History of Staffordshire : in whose time, however, they appear to have lost 
their singing talents, and to have confined ail tneir skill to "wind and string music." 

The Minstrels seem to have been in many respects upon the same footing as the 
Heralds : and the king of the Minstrels, like the King-at-Arms, was both here and on 
the Continent an usual officer in the courts of princes. Thus we have in the reign of 
King Edward I., mention of a King Robert, and others. And in 16 Edward II., is 
a grant to William de Morlee, " the king's Minstrel, styled Roy de North," of houses 
which had belonged to another king, John le Boteler. Rymer hath also printed a 
licence granted by Richard II., in 1387, to John Caumz, the king of his Minstrels, to 
pass the seas, recommending him to the protection and kind treatment of all his 
subjects and allies. 

In the subsequent reign Henry IV., we meet with no particulars relating to the 
Minstrels in England, but we find in the statute book a severe law passed against 
their brethren the Welsh Bards, whom our ancestors could not distinguish from their 
own Rimours Ministralx ; for by these names they describe them. This Act plainly 
shows, that far from being extirpated by the rigorous policy of Edward I., this order 
of men were still able to alarm the English Government, which attributed to them 
"many diseases and mischiefs in Wales," and prohibited their meetings and contri- 


When his heroic son Henry V. was preparing his great voyage for France, in 1415, 
an express order was given for his Minstrels, fifteen in number, to attend him : and 
eighteen are afterwards mentioned, to each of whom he allowed i2d. a day, w hen 
that sum must have been of more than ten times the value it is at present. Yet when 
he entered London in triumph after the battle of Agincourt, he, from a principle of 
humility, slighted the pageants and verses which were prepared to hail his return ; and 
as we are told by Holingshed, would not suffer "any Dities to be made and song by 
Minstrels, of his glorious victorie ; for that he would whollie have the praise and 
thankes altogether given to God." But this did not proceed from any disregard for the 
professors of Music or of Song ; for at the feast of Pentecost, which he celebrated in 
1416, having the Emperor and the Duke of Holland for his guests, he ordered rich 
gowns for sixteen of his Minstrels, of which the particulars are preserved by Rymer. 
And having before his death orally granted an annuity of 100 shillings to each of his 
Minstrels, the grant was confirmed by his son Henry VI., in A.D. 1423, and payment 
ordered out of the Exchequer.* 

The unfortunate reign of Henry VI. affords no occurrences respecting our subject ; 
but in his thirty-fourth year, A.D. 1456, we have in Rymer a commission for impressing 
boys or youths, to supply vacancies by death among the king's Minstrels : in which it 
is expressly directed that they shall be elegant in their limbs, as well as instructed in 
the Minstrel art, wherever they can be found, for the solace of his Majesty. 

In the ninth year of Edward IV. (1469), upon a complaint that certain rude husbandmen 
and artificers of various trades had assumed the title and livery of the king's Minstrels, 
and under that colour and pretence had collected money in divers parts of the kingdom, 
and committed other disorders, the king grants to Walter Haliday, marshal, and to 
seven others his own Minstrels whom he names, a charter, by which he creates, or 
rather restores, a fraternity or perpetual gild (such as, he understands, the brothers 
and sisters of the fraternity of Minstrels had in times past), to be governed by a 
marshal appointed for life, and by two wardens to be chosen annually ; who are em- 
powered to admit brothers and sisters into the said gild, and are authorized to 
examine the pretensions of all such as affected to exercise the Minstrel profession ; 
and to regulate, govern, and punish them throughout the realm (those of Chester 
excepted). This seems to have some resemblance to the Earl Marshal's Court among 
the Heralds, and is another proof of the great affinity and resemblance which the 
Minstrels bore to the members of the College of Arms. 

It is remarkable that Walter Haliday, whose name occurs as marshal in the fore- 
going charter, had been retained in the service of the two preceding monarchs, Henry 
V. and VI. Nor is this the first time he is mentioned as marshal of the king's 
Minstrels, for in the third year of this reign, 1464, he had a grant from Edward cf 
£0 marks per annum during life, directed to him with that title. 

But besides their marshal we have also in this reign mention of a Serjeant of tl e 
Minstrels, who upon a particular occasion was able to do his royal master a singular 
service, wherein his confidential situation and ready access to the king at all hours is 
very apparent : for "as he [Edward IV.] was in the north contray in the monneth of 
Septembre, as he lay in his bedde, one namid Alexander Carlile, that was sariaunt of 
the MynstreUis, cam to him in grete hast, and badde hym aryse for he hadde enemyes 

* Rymer, torn. x. 207. 'JL'ncy aic ,..„h.j..cj uy name, being ten in number one of them was 
name J T icmas Chatterton. 



cummyng for to take him, the which were within vi. or vii. mylis, of the which tydinges 
the king gretely marveylid," etc. This happened in the same year, 1469., wherein the 
king granted or confirmed the charter for the fraternity or gild above mentioned ; yet 
this Alexander Carlile is not one of the eight Minstrels to whom that charter is directed. 

The same charter was renewed by Henry VIII., in 1520, to John Gilman, his then 
marshal, and to seven others his Minstrels : and on the death of Gilman, he granted 
in 1529 this office of marshal of his Minstrels to Hugh Wodehouse, whom I take to 
have borne the office of his Serjeant over them. 

VI. In all the establishments of royal and noble households, we find an ample 
provision made for the Minstrels ; and their situation to have been both honourable 
and lucrative. In proof of this it is sufficient to refer to the household book of the 
Earl of Northumberland, A.D. 1512. And the rewards they received so frequently 
recur in ancient writers, that it is unnecessary to crowd the page with them here. 

The name of Minstrel seems, however, to have been gradually appropriated to the 
musician only, especially in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries ; yet we occasionally 
meet with applications of the term in its more enlarged meaning, as including the 
singer, if not the composer, of heroic or popular rhymes. 

In the time of Henry VIII. we find it to have been a common entertainment to 
hear verses recited, or moral speeches learned for that purpose, by a set of men who 
got their livelihood by repeating them, and who intruded without ceremony into all 
companies, not only in taverns, but in the houses of the nobility themselves. This 
we learn from Erasmus, whose argument led him only to describe a species of these 
men who did not sing their compositions ; but the others that did, enjoyed, without 
doubt, the same privileges. 

For even long after, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it was usual ' ' in places of 
assembly " for the company to be "desirous to heare of old adventures and valiaunces 
of noble knights in times past, as those of King Arthur and his knights of the round 
table, Sir Bevys of Southampton, Guy of Warwicke and others like," in "short and 
long meters, and by breaches or divisions \sc. Fits or Fyttes], to be more commodi- 
ously sung to the harpe," as the reader may be informed, by a courtly writer, in 1589. 
Who himself had "written for pleasure a little brief romance or historical ditty . . . 
of the isle of Great Britaine " in order to contribute to such entertainment. And he 
subjoins this caution : "Such as have not premonition hereof" (viz. that his poem was 
written in short metre, etc., to be sung to the harpe in such places of assembly) "and 
consideration of the causes alledged, would peradventure reprove and disgrace every 
romance, or short historicall ditty, for that they be not written in long meeters or verses 
Alexandrins," which constituted the prevailing versification among the Poets of that 
age, and which no one now can endure to read. 

And that the recital of such romances sung to the harp was at that time the delight 
of the common peopls, we are told by the same writer, who mentions that ' ' common 
Rimers " were fond of using rhymes at short distances, " in small and popular Musickes 
song by these Cantabanqui" [the said common Rimers] "upon benches and barrels' 
heads," etc., "or else by blind Harpers or such like taverne Minstrels that give a Fit 
of mirth for a groat ; and their matter being for the most part stories of old time, as 
the tale of Sir Topas, the reportes of Be*is of Southampton, Guy of Warwicke, 
Adam Bell, and Clymme of the Clough, and such other old romances, or historicall 
rimes," etc., "also they be used in carols and rounds, and such light or lascivious 


poemes, which are commonly more commodiously uttered by these buffons, or vices 
in playes, than by any other person. Such were the rimes of Skelton (usurping the 
name of a Poet Laureat), being in deede but a rude railing rimer, and all his doings 
ridiculous. " 

But although we find here that the Minstrels had lost much of their dignity, and 
were sinking into contempt and neglect : yet that they still sustained a character far 
superior to anything we can conceive at present of the singers of old ballads, I think, 
may be inferred from the following representation. 

When Queen Elizabeth was entertained at Kenilworth * Castle by the Earl of 
Leicester in 1575, among the many devices and pageants which were contrived for 
her entertainment, one of the personages introduced was to have been that of an 
ancient Minstrel ; whose appearance and dress are so minutely described by a writer 
there present, and gives us so distinct an idea of the character, that I shall quote the 
passage at large : — 

' ' A person very meet seemed he for the purpose, of a xlv. years old, apparelled 
partly as he would himself. His cap off, his head seemly rounded Tonsterwise, fair 
kembed, that with a sponge daintily dipt in a little capon's greace was finely 
smoothed, to make it shine like a mallard's wing. His beard smugly shaven, and 
yet his shirt after the new trink, with ruffs fair starched, sleeked and glistering like a 
pair of new shoes, marshalled in good order with a setting stick, and strut, that 
every ruff stood up like a wafer. A side [i.e. long] gown of Kendal green, after the 
freshness of the year now, gathered at the neck with a narrow gorget, fastened afore 
with a white clasp and a keeper close up to the chin, but easily, for heat to undo when 
he list. Seemly begirt in a red caddis girdle, from that a pair of capped Sheffield 
knives hanging a' two sides. Out of his bosom drawn forth a lappet of his napkin, 
edged with a blue lace, and marked with a true love, a heart, and a D for Damian, 
for he was but a batchelor yet. 

"His gown had side [i.e. long] sleeves down to mid-leg, slit from the shoulder to 
the hand, and lined with white cotton. His doublet-sleeves of black worsted, upon 
them a pair of poynets of tawny chamlet laced along the wrist with blue threaden 
points, a wealt towards the hand of fustian-a-napes. A pair of red neather stocks. 
A pair of pumps on his feet, with a cross cut at the toes for corns : not new indeed, 
yet cleanly blackt with soot, and shining as a shoing horn. 

"About his neck a red ribband suitable to his girdle. His harp in good grace 
dependent before him. His wrest tyed to a green lace and hanging by. Under the 
gorget of his gown a fair flaggon chain (pewter, for) silver, as a Squire Minstrel of 
Middlesex, that travelled the country this summer season, unto fairs and worshipful 
men's houses. From his chain hung a scutcheon, with metal and colour, resplendant 
upon his breast, of the ancient arms of Islington." 

This Minstrel is described as belonging to that village. I suppose such as were 
retained by noble families wore the arms of their patrons hanging down by a silver 
chain as a kind of badge. f From the expression of Squire Minstrel above, we may 
conclude there were other inferior orders, as Yeomen Minstrels, or the like. 

* See a curious " Letter," printed in Nichols's Collection of Queen Elizabeth's Progresses, etc., 
in 2 vols. 4to. 

t As the house of Northumberland had anciently three minstrels attending on them in their 
castles in Yorkshire, so they still retaio three in their service in Northumberland, who wear tha 


This Minstrel, the author tells us a little below, "after three lowly curtsies, cleared 
his voice with a hem . . . and . . . wiped his lips with the hollow of his hand for 
'filing his napkin, tempered a string or two with his Wrest, and after a little 
warbling on his Harp for a prelude, came forth with a solemn song, warranted for 
story out of King Arthurs Acts, etc." This song the reader will find printed in this 

Towards the end of the sixteenth century this class of men had lost all credit, 
and were sunk so low in the public opinion, that in the thirty-ninth year of Elizabeth, 
a statute was passed by which "Minstrels, wandering abroad," were included 
among "rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars," and were adjudged to be 
punished as such. This Act seems to have put an end to the profession. 

VII. I cannot conclude th:s account of the ancient English Minstrels, without 
remarking that they are most of them represented to have been of the north of 
England. There is scarce an old historical song or ballad wherein a Minstrel or 
Harper appears, but he is characterized by way of eminence to have been "of the 
North Countrye ; " and indeed the prevalence of the northern dialect in such 
compositions, shows that this representation is real. On the other hand, the 
scene of the finest Scottish ballads is laid in the south of Scotland, which should 
seem to have been peculiarly the nursery of Scottish Minstrels. In the old song of 
Maggy Lawder, a Piper is asked, by way of distinction, " Come ze frae the Border?" 
The martial spirit constantly kept up and exercised near the frontier of the 
two kingdoms, as it furnished continual subjects for their songs, so it inspired the 
inhabitants of the adjacent counties on both sides with the powers of poetry. 
Besides, as the southern metropolis must have been ever the scene of novelty and 
refinement, the northern countries, as being most distant, would preserve their 
ancient manners longest, and of course the old poetry, in which those manners are 
peculiarly described. 

The reader will observe in the more ancient ballads of this collection, a cast of 
style and measure very different from that of contemporary poets of a higher class ; 
many phrases and idioms, which the Minstrels seem to have appropriated to them- 
selves, and a very remarkable licence of varying the accent of words at pleasure, in 
order to humour the flow of the verse, particularly in the rhymes ; as 

Countrie harper battel morning 

Ladle singer damsel loving 

instead of country, Iddy, hdrper, singer, etc. This liberty is but sparingly 
assumed by the classical poets of the same age, or even by the later composers of 
heroical ballads ; I mean, by such as professedly wrote for the press. For it is to be 
observed, that so long as the Minstrels subsisted, they seem never to have designed 
their rhymes for literary publication, and probably never committed them to 

badge of the family (a silver crescent on the right arm), and are thus distributed, viz. one for 
the barony of Prudhoe, and two for the barony of Rothbury. These attend the court leets and 
fairs held for the lord, and pay their annual suit and service at Alnwick Castle ; their instrument 
being the ancient Northumberland bagpipe (very different in form and execution from that of 
the Scots, being smaller, and blown, not with the breath, but with a small pair of bellows). 
This, with many other venerable customs of the ancient Lords Percy, was revived by their 
illustrious representatives, the late Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. 


writing themselves : what copies are preserved of them were doubtless taken down 
from their mouths. But as the old Minstrels gradually wore out, a new race of 
Ballad-writers succeeded, an inferior sort of minor poets, who wrote narrative songs 
merely for the press. Instances of both may be found in the reign of Elizabeth. 
The two latest pieces in the genuine strain of the old Minstrelsy that I can discover, 
are Nos. III. and IV. of Book III. in this volume. Lower than these I cannot trace 
the old mode of writing. 

The old Minstrel ballads are in the northern dialect, abound with antique words 
and phrases, are extremely incorrect, and run into the utmost licence of metre ; they 
have also a romantic wildness, and are in the true spirit of chivalry. The other 
sort are written in exacter measure, have a low or subordinate correctness, some- 
times bordering on the insipid, yet often well adapted to the pathetic ; these are 
generally in the southern dialect, exhibit a more modern phraseology, and are 
commonly descriptive of more modern manners. To be sensible of the difference 
between them, let the reader compare in this volume No. III. of Book III. 
with No. XI. of Book II. 

Towards the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign (as is mentioned above), the genuine 
old Minstrelsy seems to have become extinct, and thenceforth the Ballads that were 
produced were wholly of the latter kind, and these came forth in such abundance, 
that in the reign of James I. they began to be collected into little miscellanies, under 
the name of Garlands, and at length to be written purposely for such collections. 



" I never heard the old song alPercie and Douglas, that I found not my heart moved more than 
with a trumpet: and yet 'it' is sung but by some blinde crowder, with no rougher voice, than 
rude style ; which beeing so evill apparelled in the dust and cobweb of that uncivill age, what 
would it work, trimmed in the gorgeous eloquence of Pindare ! " 

Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poetry. 


The fine heroic song of Chevy-Chase has ever been admired by competent judges. 
Those genuine strokes of nature and artless passion which have endeared it to the 
most simple readers have recommended it to the most refined, and it has equally 
been the amusement of our childhood, and the favourite of our riper years. 

Addison has given an excellent critique* on this ballad, but is mistaken with 
regard to the antiquity of the common-received copy ; for this, if one may judge from 
the style, cannot be older than the time of Elizabeth, and was probably written after 
the eulogium of Sir Philip Sidney ; perhaps in consequence of it. I flatter myself \ 
have here recovered the genuine antique poem ; the true original song, which 
appeared rude even in the time of Sir Philip, and caused him to lament that it was 
so evil-apparelled in the rugged garb of antiquity. 

This curiosity is printed from an old MS. at the end of Hearne's Gul. New- 
brigiensis Hist. 1719, 8vo, vol. i. To the MS. copy is subjoined the name of the 
author Rychard Sheale ; whom Hearno supposed to be the same with a R. Sheale, 
who was living in 1588. But whoever examines the gradation of language and idiom 
in this volume, will be convinced that this is the production of an earlier poet. It is 
indeed expressly mentioned among some very ancient songs in an old book, The 
Complaint of Scotland,^ under the title of the Huntis of Chevet, where the two 
following lines arc also quoted : 

"The Perssee and the Mongumrye mette,t 
That day, that day, that gentil day,"§ 

which, though not quite the same as they stand in the ballad, yet differ not more 

* Spectator, Nos. 70, 74. 

t One of the earliest productions of the Scottish press. It is supposed to have been printed in 
X See Fit ii. v. 25. J See Fit i. v. 99. 



than might be owing to the author's quoting from memory. Indeed, whoever 
considers the style and orthography of this old poem, will not be inclined to place it 
lower than the time of Henry VI. ; as, on the other hand, the mention of James the 
Scottish king,* with one or two anachronisms, forbids us to assign it an earlier date. 
James I., who was a prisoner in this kingdom at the death of his father.f did not 
wear the crown of Scotland till the second year of our Henry VI., J but before the end 
of that long reign a third James had mounted the throne. A succession of two or 
three Jameses, and the long detention of one of them in England, would render the 
name familiar to the English, and dispose a poet in those rude times to give it to any 
Scottish king he happened to mention. 

So much for the date of this old ballad ; with regard to its subject, although it has 
no countenance from history, there is room to think it had originally some foundation 
in fact. It was one of the laws of the marches, frequently renewed between the two 
nations, that neither party should hunt in the other's borders, without leave from the 
proprietors or their deputies. There had long been a rivalship between the two 
martial families of Percy and Douglas, which, heightened by the national quarrel, 
must have produced frequent challenges and straggles for superiority, petty invasions 
of their respective domains, and sharp contests for the point of honour, which would 
not always be recorded in history. Something of this kind, we may suppose, gave 
„_3e to the ancient ballad of the Hunting a' the Cheviat.% Percy, Earl of North- 
umberland, had vowed to hunt for three days in the Scottish border without 
condescending to ask leave from Earl Douglas, who was either lord of the soil, or 
lord warden of the marches. Douglas would not fail to resent the insult, and 
endeavour to repel the intruders by force ; this would naturally produce a sharp 
conflict between the two parties ; something of which, it is probable, did really 
happen, though not attended with the tragical circumstances recorded in the ballad ; 
for these are evidently borrowed from the Battle of Otterbourn (see the next 
ballad),— a very different event, but which aftertimes would easily confound with it. 
That battle might be owing to some such previous affront as this of Chevy-Chase, 
though it has escaped the notice of historians. Our poet has evidently jumbled the 
two subjects together ; if indeed the lines || in which this mistake is made are not 
rather spurious, and the after-insertion of some person, who did not distinguish 
between the two stories. 

Hearne has printed this ballad without any division of stanzas, in long lines, as ht 
found it in the old written copy. 

* Fitt ii. v. 36, 140. t Who died Aug. 5, 1406, in the seventh year of our Henry IV. 

X James I. was crowned 1424, murdered Feb. 1436-37. 

§ This was the original title. See the ballad, Fitt i. v. 101 ; Fitt ii. v. 165. 

\ Viae Fitt ii. v. 167. 




The Perse owt of Northombavlande, 

And a vovve to God mayd he, 
That he wolde hunte in the mountayns 

Off Chy viat within dayes thre, 
In the mauger of doughte Doglas, 

And all that ever with him be. 

The fattiste hartes in all Cheviat 

He sayd he wold kill, and carry them 
away : 
Be my feth, sayd the dougheti Doglas 
I wyll let that hontyng yf that I may. 

Then the Perse owt of Bamborowe cam, 
With him a myghtye meany ; 

With fifteen hundrith archares bold ; 
The wear chosen out of shyars thre.f 

This begane on a Monday at morn 

In Cheviat the hillys so he ; 
The chyld may rue that ys unborn, 

It was the mor pitte\ 

The dryvars thorowe the woodes went 

For to reas the dear ; 
Bomen bickarte uppone the bent 

With ther browd aras cleare. 

Then the wyld thorowe the woodes went 

On every syde shear ; 
Grca-hondes thorowe the greves glent 

For to kyll thear the dear. 

The begane in Chy viat the hyls above 

Ycrly on a Monynday ; 
Be that it drewe to the oware off none 

A hondrith fat hartes ded ther lay. 

* Fit, /yt, fyttc, a part of a poem or a 

t Three districts in Northumbeiland,' which 
still go by the name of shires, and are all in 
the neighbourhood of Cheviot. These are — 
Islandshire, so named from Holy Island ; 
Norhamshire, so called from the town and 
castle of Norham; and B.unboroughshire, the 
ward or hundred belonging to Bamborough 

The blewe a mort uppone the bent, 

The semblyd on sydis shear; 
To the quyrry then the Perse went 

To se the bryttlynge off the deare. 

He sayd, It was the Duglas promys 

This day to meet me hear ; 
But I wyste he wold faylle vcrament : 

A gret oth the Perse swear. 

At the laste a squyar of Northombelonde 

Lokyde at his hand full ny, 
He was war ath the doughetie Doglas 
comynge : 

With him a mighte meany, 

Both with spear, " byll," and brande : 

Yt was a myghti sight to se. 
Hardyar men both off hart nar hande 

Wear dot in Christiante. 

The wear twenty hondrith spearmen good 

Withouten any fayle ; 
The wear borne along be the watter a 
Yth bowndes of Tividale. 

Leave off the brytlyng of the dear, he 
And to your bowys look ye tayk good 
heed ; 
For never sithe ye wear on your mothars 
Had ye never so mickle need. 

The dougheti Dogglas on a stede 
He rode att his men beforne ; 

His armor glytteryde as dyd a. glede ; 
A bolder bame was never born. 

Tell me "what " men ye are, he says, 

O whos men that ye be : 
Who gave youe leave to hunt in this 

Chyviat chays in the spyt of me : 

The first mane that ever him an answear 
Yt was the good lord Perse : 



We wyll not tell the what men we ar, he 

Nor whos men that we be ; 
But we wyll hount hear in this chays 

In the spyte of thyne, and of the. 

The fattiste hartes in all Chyviat 
We have kyld, and cast to carry them 
Be my troth, sayd the doughte Dogglas 
Ther-for the ton of us shall de this clay. 

Then sayd the doughte Doglas 

Unto the lord Perse : 
To kyll all thes giltless men, 

A-las ! it wear great pitte. 

But, Perse, thowe art a lord of lande, 
I am a yerle callyd within my contre ; 

Let all our men uppone a parti stande ; 
And do the battell off the and of me. 

Nowe Cristes cors on his crowne, sayd the 
lord Perse, 

Who-soever ther-to says nay. 
Be my troth, doughte Doglas, he says, 

Thow shalt never se that day ; 

Nethar in Ynglonde, Skottlonde nar 

Nor for no man of a woman born, 
But and fortune be my chance, 

I dar met him on man for on.* 

Then bespayke a squyar off Northombar- 
Ric. Wytharynton f was his nam ; 
It shall never be told in Sothe-Ynglonde, 
he says, 
To kyng Herry the fourth for sham. 

* Alan to man. 

t This is probably corrupted in the MS. for 
Rog. Widdringtoti, who was at the head of 
the family in the reign of King Edward III. 
There were several successively of the names 
of Roger and R at '///, but none of the name of 
Richard, as appears from the genealogies in 
the Heralds' Office. 

I wat youe byn great lordes twaw, 
I am a poor squyar of lande ; 

I wyll never se my captayne fyght on a 
And stande my-selffe, and looke on, 

But whyll I may my weppone welde, 
I wyll not "fayl" both harte and hande. 

That day, that day, that dredfull day : 

The first fit here I fynde. 
And youe wyll here any mor athe hountyng 
athe Chyviat, 

Yet ys ther mor behynde. 

The Yngglishe men hade ther bowys 
Ther hartes were good yenoughe ; 
The first of arros that the shote off, 
Seven skore spear-men the sloughe. 

Yetbydysthe yerle Doglas uppon the bent, 

A captayne good yenoughe, 
And that was sene vcrament, 

For he wrought horn both woo and 

The Dogglas pcrtyd his ost in thre, 
Lyk a cheffe cheften off pryde, 

With suar speares off myghtte tre 
The cum in on every syde. 

Thrughe our Yngglishe archery 
Gave many a wounde full wyde ; 

Many a doughete the garde to dy, 
Which ganyde them no pryde. 

The Yngglyshe men let thear bowys be, 
And pulde owt brandes that wer bright ; 

It was a hevy syght to se 

Bryght swordes on basnites lyght. 

Thorowe ryche male, and myne-ye-ple 
Many sterne* the stroke downe streght: 

* Why should not stenie (star) be heroes or 
shining men of valour, even as Dege?i, sword 
or blade, stands in German for champion or 
hero ? Blucher in the song is called the alte 
Degen, aged champion. 



Many a freyke, that was full free, 
Ther undar foot dyd lyght. 

At last the Duglas and the Perse met, 
Lyk to captayns of myght and mayne ; 

The swapte togethar tyll the both swat • 
With swordes, that wear olfyn myllan. 

Thes yfOTthkJreckys for to fyght 

Ther-fo the wear full fayne, 
Tyll the bloode owte off thear basnetes 
sp rente, 

As ever dyd heal or rayne. 

Holde the, Perse, sayd the Doglas, 

And i'feth I shall the brynge 
Wher thowe shalte have a yerls wagis 

Of Jamy our Scottish kynge. 

Thoue shalte have thy ransom fre, 

I hight the hear this thinge, 
For the manfullyste man yet art thowe, 

That ever I conqueryd in hide fightyng. 

Nay " then," sayd the lord Perse, 

I tolde it the beforne, 
That I wolde never yeldyde be 

To no man of a woman born. 

With that ther cam an arrowe hastely 

Forthe off a mightie wane,* 
Hit hathe strekene the yerle Duglas 

In at .the brest bane.- 

Thoroue lyvar and loiigs bathe 

The sharp arrowe ys gane, 
That never after in all his lyffe days, 

He spayke mo wordes but ane, 
That was, Fyghte ye, my merry men, 
whyllys ye may. 

For my lyff days ben gau. 

The Perse leanyde on his brande, 

And sawe the Duglas de ; 
He tooke the dede man be the hande, 

And sayd, Wo ys me for the ! 

* Wane, i.e. anc, one, sc. man : an arrow 
came from a mighty one, from a mighty man. 

To have savyde thy lyffe I wold have 
pertyd with 

My landes for years thre, 
For a better man of hart, nare of hande, 

Was not in all the north countre, 

Off all that se a Skottishe knyght, 
Was callyd Sir Hewe the Mongon- 
He sawe the Duglas to the deth was 
dyght ; 
He spendyd a spear a trusti tre : 

He rod uppon a corsiare 
Throughe a hondrith archery ; 

He never styntyde, nar never blane, 
Tyll he cam to the good lord Perse. 

He set uppone the lord Perse 

A dyntc, that was full soare ; 
With a suar spear of a myghte tre 

Clean thorow the body he the Perse 

Athe tothar syde, that a man myght se, 
A large cloth yard and mare : 

Towe bettar captayns wear nat in 
Then that day slain wear ther. 

An archar off Northomberlonde 
Say stean was the lord Perse, 

He bar a bende-bow in his hande, 
Was made off trusti tre : 

An arow, that a cloth yarde was lang, 

To th' hard stele halyde he ; 
A dynt, that was both sad and soar, 

He sat on Sir Hewe the Mongon-byrry. 

The dynt yt was both sad and sar, 
That he of Mongon-byrry sete ; 

The swane-fethars, that his arrowe bar, 
With his hart blood the wear wete.f 

t This incident is taken from the Battle of 

Otterbourne, in which Sir Hugh Montgomery, 

knight (son of John, Lord Montgomery), was 

slain with an arrow. See Crawford's Peerage. 




Ther was never a freake wone foot wolde 
But still in stour dyd stand, 
Heawyng on yche othar, whyll the myght 
With many a bal-ful brande. 

This battell begane in Chyviat 

An owar befor the none, 
And when even-song bell was rang 

The battell was nat half done. 

The tooke " on " on ethar hand 

Be the lyght off the mone ; 
Many hade no strenght for to stande, 

In Chyviat the hyllys aboun. 

Of fifteen hondrith archars of Ynglonde 
Went away but fifti and thre ; 

Of twenty hondrith spear-men of Skot- 
But even five and fifti : 

But all wear slayne Cheviat within : 
The hade no strengthe to stand on hie • 

The chylde may rue that ys un-borne, 
It was the mor pitte. 

Thear was slayne with the lord Perse 

Sir John of Agerstone,* 
Sir Roge the hinde Hartly, 

Sir Wyllyam thebolde Hearone.f 

Sir Jorg the worthe Lovelef 

A knyght of great renowen, 
Sir Raff the ryche Rugbe§ 

With dyntes wear beaten dowene. 

* Haggerston of Haggerston, near Berwick. 
The name is also spelt Agerstone in Leland's 

t Hcarone or Heron, a family of great 
antiquity in Northumberland. 

% De Lavale or de Lovel, probably of the 
ancient family of Delaval, of Seaton Delaval, 

§ Probably Rokeby, Ralph being a common 
name in the Rokeby family. Another 
suggestion is, Ralph Neville of Raby Castle, 

For Wetharryngton* my harte was wo. 
That ever he slayne shulde be ; 

For when both his leggis wear hewyne in 
Yet he knyled and fought on hys kne. 

Ther was slayne with the dougheti 

Sir Hewe the Mongon-byrry, 
Sir Davye Lwdale.f that worthe was, 

His sistars son was he : 

Sir Charles a Murre,J in that place, 

That never a foot wolde fie ; 
Sir Hewe Maxwell, a lorde he was, 

With the Duglas dyd he dey. 

So on the morrowe the mayde them 
by ears 

Off byrch, and hasell so ' ' gray " ; 
Many wedous with wepyng tears 

Cam to fach ther makys a-way. 

Tivydale may carpe off care, 

Northombarlond may mayk grat mone, 
For towe such captayns, as slayne wear 

On the march perti shall never be none. 

Word ys commen to Edden4}urrowe,§ 
To Jamy the Skottishe kyng, 

That dougheti Duglas, lyff-tenant of the 
He lay slean Chyviot with-in. 

His handdes dyd he weal and wryng, 
He sayd, Alas, and woe ys me ! 

Such another captayn Skotland within, 
He sayd, y-feth shuld never be. 

Worde ys commyn to lovly Londone 
Till the fourth Harry our kyng, 

* Wydrington or Witherington. 

t Liddell ; lords of Liddell Castle and of the 
barony of Buff. 

X Sir Charles Murray of Cockpoole, ancestor 
of the Murrays, Earls of Annandale. 

§ Edinburgh. 

II Life-tenant of the Marches. 



That lord Perse, leyff-tennante of the 
He lay slayne Chyviat within. 

God have merci on his soil, sayd kyng 
Good lord, yf thy will it be ! 
I have a hondrith captayns in Ynglonde, 
he sayd, 
As good as ever was hee : 
But Perse, and I brook my lyffe, 
Thy deth well quyte shall be. 

As our noble kyng made his a-vowe, 
Lyke a noble prince of renowen, 

For the deth of the lord Perse, 

He dyd the battel of Hombyll-down :* 

Wher syx and thritte Skottish knyghtes 
On a day wear beaten down : 

Glendale glytterydcon ther armor bryght, 
Over castill, towar, and town. 

This was the hontynge off the Cheviat ; 

That tear begane this spurn : 
Old men that knowen the grownde well 

Call it the Battell of Otterburn. 

* Humbledon. 

At Otterburn began this spurne 

Uppon a monnyn day : 
Ther was the dougghte Doglas slean, 

The Perse never went away. 

Ther was never a tym on the march partes 
Sen the Doglas and the Perse met, 

But yt was marvele, and the redde blude 
ronne not, 
As the reane doys in the stret. 

Jhesue Christ our balys bete, 

And to the blys us brynge ! 
Thus was the hountynge of the Chevyat, 

God send us all good ending ! 

The Battle of Hombyll-down, or Hum- 
bledon, was fought Sept. 14, 1402 (anno 
3 Henry IV.), wherein the English, under 
the command of the Earl of Northumber- 
land, and his son Hotspur, gained a 
complete victory over the Scots. The 
village of Humbledon is one mile north- 
west from Wooler, in Northumberland. 
The battle was fought in a field below 
the village, near the present turnpike 
road, in a spot called Battle-Riggs or 
Red-Riggs. Humbledon is in Glendale 
Ward, a district so named in this county, 
and mentioned above in ver. 163. 


The only battle wherein an Earl of Douglas was slain fighting with a Percy was 
that of Otterbourne, which is the subject of this ballad. It is here related with the 
allowable partiality of an English poet, and much as it is recorded in the English 
Chronicles. The Scottish writers have, with a partiality at least as excusable, related 
it no less in their own favour. Luckily, we have a very circumstantial narrative of the 
■whole affair from Froissart, a French historian, who appears to be unbiassed, and 
his account carries with it a great appearance of truth. He gives the victory to the 
Scots, but does justice to the courage of both parties I and represents their mutual 
generosity in such a light that the present age .might edify by the example. 

The Battle of Otterbourne was fought on the 9th or 15th of August, in the twelfth 
year of Richard II., 1388. The Scots, taking advantage of the confusion into which 
England had fallen, ravaged the country about Carlisle, and carried off 300 prisoners. 
Afterwards they invaded Northumberland, wasted part of Durham, and advanced to 

4 6 


the gates of Newcastle, capturing a pennon belonging to Henry, Lord Percy. On 
their return home they attacked a castle near Otterbourne, were surprised by Henry, 
Lord Percy, son of the Earl of Northumberland, and thence ensued one of the 
best fought actions of the age, both armies showing the greatest bravery. The Earl 
of Douglas was slain on the spot, the Earl of Murray mortally wounded, and Henry 
Percy and his brother Ralph were taken prisoners. Froissart maintains that the Scotch 
remained masters of the field, whilst English writers give the victory to the English. 

The ballad in the present edition is given from an old MS. in the Cotton Library 
(Cleopatra, c. iv.). 

Yt felle abowght the Lamasse tyde,* 
Whan husbonds wynn ther haye.f 

The dowghtye Dowglasse bowynd him to 
In Ynglond to take a praye : 

The yerl/e of Fyffe.J withoiughten stryffe, 
He bowynd hym over Sulway : § 

The grete wolde ever together ryde ; 
That race they may rue for aye. 

Over "Ottercap" hyll theyll came in, 
And so dowyn by Rodelyffecragge, 

* Lammas-tide. — August 1st, Lammas-day. 
In Midlothian there were curious customs 
observed at Lammas-tide, which gave rise to 
the building of the Lammas towers. These 
were built by the herdsmen, who made mock 
raids on each other, and tried to raze the 
opponents' tower to the ground. Thus we see 
that in their sports a martial spirit was en- 
gendered, which fitted the southern counties 
of Scotland for more serious encounters. 

t " Winn their heaye." Harl. MS. This 
is the Northumberland phrase to this day, by 
which they always express " getting in their 

% Robert Stuart, second son of King Robert 

%i.e. "Over Sol way frith." This evidently 
refers to the other division of the Scottish 
army, which came in by way of Carlisle. 

I! The Earl of Douglas and his party. Well- 
known places in Northumberland. Ottercap 
Hill is in the parish of Kirk-Wbelpington, in 
Tynedale Ward. Rodeliffe (or, as 'it is more 
usually pronounced, Rodeley) Cragge is a noted 
cliff near Rodeley, a small village in the parish 
of Hartburn, in Morpeth Ward. Green Leyton 
is another small village in the same parish of 
Hartburn, south-east of Rodeley. 

Upon Grene "Leyton" they lyghted 
Styrande many a stagge ; 

And boldely brente Northomberlonde, 

And haryed many a towyn ; 
They dyd owr Ynglyssh men grete wrange, 

To battell that were not bowyn. 

Than spake a berne upon the bent, 
Of comforte that was not colde, 

And sayd, We have brent Northomber- 
We have all welth in holde. 

Now we have haryed all Bamboroweshyre, 
All the welth in the worlde have wee ; 

I rede we ryde to Newe Castell,* 
So styll and stalwurthlye. 

Uppon the morowe, when it was daye, 
The standards schone fulle bryght ; 

To the Newe Castelle the toke the waye, 
And thether they cam fulle ryght. 

Sir Henry Percy laye at the Newe 

I telle yow withowtten drede ; 
He had byn a march-man f all hys dayes, 

And kepte Barwyke upon Twede.f 

To the Newe Castell when they cam, 
The Skottes they cryde on hyght, 

Syr Harye Percy, and thow byste within, 
Com to the fylde, and fyght : 

* Newcastle. 

t Marche-man, i.e. a scowrer of the marches, 

X Berwick-on-Tweed. 



For we have brente Northomberlonde, 
Thy eritage good and ryght ; 

And syne * my logeyng I have take, 
With my brande dubbyd many a knyght. 

Sir Harry Percy cam to the walles, 

The Skottyssh oste for to se ; 
"And thow hast brent Northomberlond, 

Full sore it reiuyth me. 

"Yf thou hast haryed all Bambarowe 

Thow hast done me grete envye ; 
For the trespasse thow hast me done, 

The tone of us schall dye." 

Where schall I byde the ? sayd the 

Or where wylte thow come to me ? 
"At Otterborne in the hygh way, J 

Ther maist thow well logeed be. 

"The roo full rekeles ther sche rinnes, 
To make the game and glee : 

Thefawkon and the fcsaunt both, 
Amonge on the holies on ' hee.' 

*' Ther maist thow have thy welth at wyll, 

Well looged ther maist be. 
Yt schall not be long, or I com the tyll," 

Sayd Syr Harry Percye. 

Ther schall I byde the, sayd the Dowglas, 

By the fayth of my bodye. 
Thether schall I com, sayd Syr Harry 
Percy ; 

My trowth I plyght to the. 

A pype of wyne he gave them over the 
For soth, as I yow saye : 

* Syne seems here to mean since. 

t Bamboroughshire, so called from the town 
and castle of Bamborough, formerly the resi- 
dence of the Northumbrian kings. 

% Otterbourn is near the old Watling Street 
Road, in the parish of Elsdon. The Scots 
were encamped in a grassy plain near the 
river Read. The place where the Scotch and 
English fought is still called Battle Riggs. 

Ther he mayd the Douglas drynke, 
And all hys oste that daye. 

The Dowglas turnyd him homewards 

For soth withowghten naye, 
He tooke his logeyng at Otterborne 

Uppon a Wedyns-day : 

And ther he pyght hys standerd dowyn, 

Hys gettyng more and lesse, 
And syne he warned hys men to goo 

To chose ther geldyngs gnsse. 

A Skottysshe knyght hoved upon the bent, 

A wache I dare well saye : 
So was he ware on the noble Percy 

In the dawnynge of the daye. 

He prycked to his pavylcon dore. 

As faste as he myght ronne, 
Awaken, Dowglas, cryed the knyght, 

For hys love that syttes yn trone.* 

Awaken, Dowglas, cryed the knyght, 
For thow maiste waken wyth wynne : 

Yender have I spyed the prowde Percy, 
And seven standardes wyth hym. 

Nay by my trowth, the Douglas sayed, 

It ys but a/ayr/ed taylle : 
He durste not loke on my bred banner, 

For all Ynglonde so haylle.f 

Was I not yesterdaye at the Newe Castell, 
That stonds so fayre on Tyne ? 

For all the men the Percy hade, 

He cowde not garre me ones to dyne. 

He stepped owt at hys pavelyon dore, 

To loke and it were lesse ; 
Araye yow, lordyngs, one and all, 

For here bygynnes no peysse. 

The yerle of Mentaye, % thow arte my erne, 
The forwarde I gyve to the : 

* Sits upon the throne. 

t To gain. 

t The Earl of Menteith. 



The yerlle of Huntlay, cawte and kene, 
He schall wyth the be. 

The lorde of Bowghan * in armure bryght 
On the other hand he schall be ; 

Lorde Jhonstone, and lorde Maxwell, f 
They to schall be with me. 

Swynton % fayre fylde upon your pryde 

To batell make yow bowen : 
Syr Davy Scotte,§ Syr Walter Stewarde, 

Syrjhon of Agurstone. 


The Perssy came byfore hys oste, 
Wych was ever a gentyll knyght, 

Upon the Dowglas lowde can he crye, 
I wyll holde that I have hyght : 

For thow haste brente Northumberlonde, 

And done me grete envye ; 
For thys trespasse thou hast me done, 

The tone of us schall dye. 

The Dowglas answerde hym agayne 
With grete wurds up on " hee," 

And sayd, I have twenty agaynst "thy" 
Byholde and thow maiste see. 

Wyth that the Percye was grevyd sore, 

For soothe as I yow saye : 
'J [He lyghted dowyn upon his fote, 

And schoote his horsse clene away. 

Every man sawe that he dyd soo, 
That ryall was ever in rowght ; 

* The Lord Buchan. 

t The families of Johnstone and Maxwell 
wore always powerful on the borders. 

t Swinton is a small village within the 
Scotch border. The family of Swinton still 
exists, and is very ancient. 

§ Sir David Scott, one of the ancestors of 
the Dukes of Buccleuch. 

II All that follows included in brackets was 
not in the first edition. 

Every man schoote hys horsse him froo, 
And lyght hym rowynde abowght. 

Thus Syr Hary Percye toke the fylde, 

For soth, as I yow saye : 
Jesu Cryste in hevyn on hyght 

Dyd helpe hym well that daye. 

But nyne thowzand, ther was no moo ; 

The cronykle wyll not layne : 
Forty thowsande Skottes and fowre 

That day fowght them agayne. 

But when the batell byganne to joyne, 

In hast ther came a knyght, 
' ' Then " letters fayre furth hath he tayne, 

And thus he sayd full ryght : 

My lorde, your father he gretes yow well, 

Wyth many a noble knyght ; 
And he desyres yow to byde 

That he may see thys fyght. 

The Baron of Grastoke ys com owt of the 

Wyth hym a noble companye ; 
All they loge at your fathers thys nyght, 

And the Battel fayne wold they see. 

For Jesu's love, sayd Syr Harye Percy, 

That dyed for yow and me, 
Wende to my lorde my Father agayne, 

And saye thow saw me not with yee : 

My trowth ys plyght to yonne Skottysh 

It needes me not to layne, 
That I schulde byde hym upon thys bent, 

And I have hys trowth agayne : 

And if that I wende off thys grownde 

For soth unfoughten awaye, 
He wolde me call but a kowarde knyght 

In hys londe another daye. 

Yet had I lever to be rynde and rente, 

By Mary that mykel maye ; 
Then ever my manhod schulde be reprovyd 

Wyth a Skotte another daye. 



Wherfore schote, archars, for my sake, 
And let scharpe arowes flee : 

Mynstrells, playe up for your waryson, 
And well quyt it schall be. 

Every man thynke on hys trewe love, 
And marke hym to the Trenite : 

For to God I make myne avowe 
Thys day wyll I not fie. 

The blodye Harte in the Dowglas armes, 
Hys standerde stode on hye ; 

That every man myght full well knowe : 
By syde stode Starres thre : 

The whyte Lyon on the Ynglysh parte, 

Forsoth as I yow sayne ; 
The Lucetts and the Cressawnts both : 

The Skotts faught them agayne.]* 

Uppon sent Andrewe lowde cane they crye, 
And thrysse they schowte on hyght, 

And syne marked them one owr Ynglysshe 
As I have tolde yow ryght. 

Sent George the bryght owr ladyes knyght, 
To name they were full fayne, 

Owr Ynglysshe men they cryde on hyght, 
And thrysse the schowtte agayne. 

Wyth that scharpe arowes bygan to flee, 

I tell yow in sertayne ; 
Men of armes byganne to joyne ; 

Many a dowghty man was ther slayne. 

The Percy and the Dowglas mette, 
That ether of other was fayne ; 

* The ancient arms of Douglas are pretty 
accurately emblazoned in the former stanza, 
and if the readings were, "The crowned harte," 
and "Above stode starres thre," it would be 
minutely exact at this day. As for the Percy 
family, one of their ancient badges or cog- 
nizances was a white lyon statant, and the 
silver crescent continues to be used by them 
to this day ; they also give three luces 
argent for one of their quarters. 

They schapped together, whyll that the 
With swords of fyne Collayne ; * 

Tyll the bloode from ther lassonetts ranne, 
As the roke doth in the rayne. 

Yelde the to me, sayd the Dowglas, 
Or ells thow schalt be slayne : 

For I see, by thy bryght bassonet, 
Thow arte sum man of myght ; 

And so I do by thy burnysshed brande, 
Thow art an yerle, or ells a knyght. 

By my good faythe, sayd the noble Percy, 
Now haste thou rede full ryght, 

Yet wyll I never yelde me to the, 
Whyll I may stonde and fyght. 

They swapped together, whyll that they 

Wyth swordes scharpe and long ; 
Ych on other so faste they beette, 

Tyll ther helmes cam in peyses dowyn. 

The Percy was a man of strenghth, 

I tell yow in thys stounde, 
He smote the Dowglas at the swordes 

That he felle to the growynde. 

The sworde was scharpe and sore can 

I tell yow in sertayne ; 
To the harte, he cowde hym smyte, 

Thus was the Dowglas slayne. 

The stonderds stode styll on eke syde, 

With many a grevous grone ; 
Ther theyfowght the day, and all thcnyght, 

And many a dowghty man was " slone." 

Ther was nofreke, that ther wolde flye, 
But styffly in stowre can stond, 

Ychone hewyng on other whyll they myght 
Wyth many a bayllefull brotide. 

Cologne steel. 



Ther was slayne upon the Skottes syde, 

For soth and scrtenly, 
Syr James a Dowglas ther was slayne, 

That daye that he cowde dye. 

The yerlle Mentaye of he was slayne, 
Grysely groned uppon the growynd ; 

Syr Davy Scotte, Syr Walter Steward,* 
Syr "John" of Augurstonne. 

Syr Charlies Morrey in that place, 

That never a fote wold flye ; 
Sir Hughe Maxwell, a lorde he was, 

With the Dowglas dyd he dye. 

Ther was slayne upon the Skottes syde, 

For soth as I yow saye, 
Of fowre and forty thowsande Scotts 

Went but eyghtene awaye. 

Ther was slayne upon the Ynglysshe syde, 

For soth and sertenlye, 
A gentell knyght, Sir John Fitz-hughe, \ 

Yt was the more petye. 

Syr James Harebotell ther was slayne, 
For hym ther hartes were sore, 

The gentyll " Lovelle " ther was slayne, 
That the Percyes standerd bore. 

* Stewart, Lord of Dalswinton. 

t Fitz-hughe and Harebotell are Northum- 
brian families. Harbottle is a village upon the 
river Coquet, and gives its name to the family. 

Ther was slayne uppon the Ynglyssl 

For soth as I yow saye ; 
Of nyne thowsand Ynglyssh men 

Fy ve hondert cam awaye : 

The other were slayne in the fylde, 
Cryste kepe their sowles from wo, 

Seyng ther was so fewe fryndes 
Agaynst so many a foo. 

Then one the morne they mayd them 

Of byrch, and haysell graye ; 
Many a wydowe with wepyng teyres 

Ther makes they fette awaye. 

Thys fraye bygan at Otterborne, 
Bytwene the nyghte and the day : 

Ther the Dowglas lost his lyfe, 
And the Percy was lede awaye.* 

Then was ther a Scottyshe prisoner tayne, 
Syr Hughe Mongomery was hys name, 

For soth as I yow saye, 

He borowed the Percy home agayne.f 

Now let us all for the Percy praye 

To Jesu most of myght, 
To bryng hys sowle to the blysse of heven, 

For he was a gentyll knyght. 

* Sc. captive. 

t " Syr Hewe Mongomery takyn prizonar, 
was delyvered for the restorynge of Perssy."— •• 
See Cotton MS. 



Is founded upon the supposed practice of the Jews in crucifying or otherwise 
murthering Christian children, out of hatred to the religion of their parents : a 
practice which hath been always alleged in excuse for the cruelties exercised upon, 
that wretched people, but which probably never happened in a single instance. 

The following ballad is probably built upon some Italian legend, and bears a 
great resemblance to the Prioresses Tale in Chaucer. The poet seems also to have had 

* Printed from a MS. copy sent from Scotland. 



an eye to the known story of Hugh of Lincoln, a child said to have been there 
murthered by the Jews in the reign of Henry III. 

Bishop Percy says that Mirry-land tonne is a corruption of Milan, and Pa stands 
for Po. Another commentator suggests, and it would seem with better reason, 
that " Lincoln is meant — Merry Lincoln corrupted into Merry Lin-town." 

Everything seems to point to this. Doubtless the legend of Hugh of Lincoln's 
murder gave rise to the ballad, the name of the child being Hezv. There is at Lincoln 
"the Jew's house," a curious piece of architecture, said to have been originally 
possessed by Belassel de Wallingford, a Jewess who was hanged for clipping in the 
reign of Edward I., and of whom doubtless many stories, true and false, were handed 
down to posterity. The Pa may be an abbreviation of palace, — John of Gaunt's 
palace, or the Bishop's palace of those days. 

Ball-play in ancient days in England was a famous game, partaken of by all classes, 
and less likely to be played in Italy on account of the exertion required. 

The rain rins doun through Mirry-land 

Sae dois it doune the Pa : 
Sae dois the lads of Mirry-land toune, 

Quhan they play at the ba'. 

Than out and cam the Jewis dochtcr, 
Said, Will ye cum in and dine ? 
' I winnae cum in, I cannae cum in, 
Without my play-feres nine." 

Scho potvd an apple reid and white 

To intice the zong thing in : 
Scho powd an apple white and reid, 

And that the sweit bairne did win. 

And scho has taine out a little pen-knife, 

And low down by her gair, 
Scho has twin'd the zong thing and his 

A word he nevir spak mair. 

And out and cam the thick thick bluid, 

And out and cam the thin ; 
And out and cam the bonny herts bluid : 

Thair was nae life left in. 

Scho laid him on a dressing borde, 

And drest him like a swine, 
4nd laughing said, Gae nou and pley 

With zour sweit play-feres nine. 

Scho rowd him in a cake of lead, 
Bade him lie stil and sleip. 

Scho cast him in a deip draw-well, 
Was fifty fadom deip. 

Quhan bells wer rung, and mass was sung, 

And every lady went hame : 
Than ilka lady had her zong sonne, 

Bot lady Helen had nane. 

Scho rowd hir mantil hir about, 

And sair sair gan she weip : 
And she ran into the Jewis castel, 

Quhan they wer all asleip. 

My bonny sir Hew, my pretty sir Hew, 

I pray thee to me speik. 
"O lady, rinn to the deip draw-well, 

Gin ze zour sonne wad seik." 

Lady Helen ran to the deip draw-well, 

And knelt upon her kne : 
My bonny sir Hew, an ze be here, 

I pray thee speik to me. 

' ' The lead is wondrous heavy, mithcr, 

The well is wondrous deip, 
A keen pen-knife sticks in my hert, 

A word I dounae speik. 

"Gae hame, gae hame, my mither deir, 
Fetch me my windcing sheet, 

And at the back o' Mirry-land toun 
Its thair we twa sail meet." 




It may be proper to inform the reader, before he comes to Pt. II., v. no, in, that 
the round table was not peculiar to the reign of King Arthur, but was common in 
all the ages of chivalry. The proclaiming a great tournament (probably with some 
peculiar solemnities) was called "holding a round table." 

This ballad is given in its original form in the folio edition, together with Bishop 
Percy's own version, which is the one here printed. There are two opening verses of 
the original not given here, then the original is quoted up to verse 140, with a few 
interpolations by the bishop, after which he proceeds with the ending of the story in 
his own fashion. In the original fragment the ending is less tragical. Sir Cauline not 
only conquers the pagan giant, but, unarmed, he kills a lion by thrusting his mantle 
down its throat. He then marries the king's daughter, who bears him fifteen sons. 

Sir Cauline may possibly have been founded on the legend of Charlemagne's 
daughter and the Secretary Eginhardt. There are many points of resemblance in the 
story, with the exception of the one winning by deeds of valour what the other 
gained through learning and scholarship. 

As to what will be observed in this ballad of the art of healing being practised by a 
young princess, it is no more than what is usual in all the old romances, and was 
conformable to real manners ; it being a practice derived from the earliest times 
among all the Gothic and Celtic nations, for women, even of the highest rank, to 
exercise the art of surgery. 


In Ireland, ferr over the sea, 
There dwelleth a bonnye kinge ; 

And with him a yong and comlye knighte, 
Men call him syr Cauline. 

The kinge had a ladye to his daughter, 
In fashyon she hath no peere ; 

And princely wightes that ladye wooed 
To be theyr wedded /cere. 

Syr Cauline loveth her best of all, 

But nothing durst he saye ; 
Ne descreeve his counsayl to no man, 

But deerlye he lovde this may. 

Till on a daye it so beffell, 
Great dill to him was dight ; 

The maydens love removde his mynd, 
To care-bed went the knighte. 

One while he spred his armes him fro, 
Oue while he spred them nye : 

And aye ! but I winne that ladyes love, 
For dole now I mun dye. 

And whan our parish-masse was done, 
Our kinge was bowne to dyne : 

He sayes, Where is syr Cauline, 
That is wont to serve the wyne ? 

Then aunswerde him a courteous knighte, 
And fast his handes gan wringe : 

Sir Cauline is sicke, and like to dye 
Without a good leechinge. 

Fetche me downe my daughter deere, 

She is a leeche fulle fine : 
Goe take him doughe, and the baken 

And serve him with the wyne soe red ; 

Lothe I were him to tine. 

Fair Christabelle to his chaumber goes, 
Her maydens followyng nye : 



O well, she sayth, how doth my lord? 

sicke, thou fayr ladye. 

Nowe ryse up wightZye, man, for shame, 

Never lye soe cowardlee ; 
For it is told in my fathers halle, 

You dye for love of mee. 

Fayre ladye, it is for your love 

That all this dill I drye : 
For if you wold comfort me with a kisse, 
Then were I brought from bale to blisse, 

No lenger wold I lye. 

Sir knighte, my father is a kinge, 

1 am his onlye heire ; 

Alas ! and well you knowe, syr knighte, 
I never can be youre fere. 

O ladye, thou art a kinges daughter, 

And I am not thy peere, 
But let me doe some deedes of armes 

To be your bacheleere. 

Some deedes of armes if thou wilt doe, 

My bacheleere to bee, 
But ever and aye my heart wold rue, 

Giff harm shold happe to thee, ) 

UponEldridge hill there growethathorne, 

Upon the mores brodlnge ; 
And dare ye, syr knighte, wake there all 

Untill the fayre morninge? 

For the Eldridge knighte, so mickle of 
- mighte, 

Will examine you beforne : 
And never man bare life awaye, 

But he did him scath and scorne. 

That knighte he is a foul paynim, 

And large of limb and bone ; 
And but if heaven may be thy speede, 

Thy life it is but gone. 

Nowe on the Eldridge hilles He walke,* 

For thy sake, fair ladle ; 


* Perhaps wake, as in ver. 61. 

And lie either bring you a ready token, 
Or He never more you see. 

The lady is gone to her own chaumbere, 

Her maydens following bright : 
Syr Cauline lope from care-bed soone, 
And to the Eldridge hills is gone, 
For to wake there all night. 

Unto midnight, that the moone did rise, 

He walked up and downe ; 
Then a lightsome bugle heard he blowe 

Over the bents soe browne ; 
Quoth hee, If cryance come till my heart, 

I am ffar from any good towne. 

And soone he spyde on the mores so broad, 

A furyous wight and fell ; 
A ladye bright his brydle led, 

Clad in a fayre kyrtell : 

And soe fast he called on syr Cauline, 

man, I rede thee flye, 

For ' ' but " if cryance comes till my heart, 

1 weene but thou mun dye. 

He sayth, "No" cryance comes till my 

Nor, in faith, I wyll not flee ; 
For, cause thou minged not Christ before, 

The less me dreadeth thee. 

The Eldridge knighte, he pricked his 
steed ; 

Syr Cauline bold abode : 
Then either shooke his trustye speare, 
And the timber these two children * bare 

Soe soone in sunder slode. 

Then tooke they out theyr two good 
And layden on full faste, 
Till hclme and hawberke, mail and 
They all were well-nye brast. 

The Eldridge knight was mickle of might, 

And stifle in slower did stande, 
— . — 1 

* i.e. knights. 



But syr Cauline with a "backward "stroke 

He smote off his right hand ; 
That soone he with paineand lackeof bloud 

Fell downe on that lay-land. 

Then up syr Cauline lift his brande 

All over his head so hye : 
And here I sweare by the holy roode, 

Nowe, caytiffe, thou shalt dye. 

Then up and came that ladye brighte, 

Fast wringing of her hande : 
For the maydens love, that most you love, 

Withold that deadlye brande : 

For the maydens love, that most you love, 
Now smyte no more I praye ; 

And aye whatever thou wilt, my lord, 
He shall thy hests obaye. 

Now sweare to mee, thouEldridgeknighte, 

And here on this lay-land, 
That thou wilt believe on Christ his laye, 

And therto plight thy hand : 

And that thou never on Eldridge come 

To sporte, gamon, or playe : 
And that thou here give up thy armes 

Until thy dying daye. 

The Eldridge knighte gave up his armes 
With many a sorrowfulle sighe ; 

And sware to obey syr Caulines hest, 
Till the tyme that he shold dye. 

And he then up and the Eldridge knighte 

Sett him in his saddle anone, 
And the Eldridge knighte and his ladye 

To theyr castle are they gone. 

Then he tooke up the bloudy hand, 

That was so large of bone, 
And on it he founde five ringes of gold 

Of knightes that had be slone. 

Then he tooke up the Eldridge sworde, 

As hard as any flint : 
ind he tooke off those ringes five, 

As bright as fyre and brent. 

Home then pricked syr Cauline 

As light as leafe on tree : 
I-wys he neither stint ne blanne, 

Till he his ladye see. 

Then downe he knelt upon his knee 

Before that lady gay : 
O ladye, I have bin on the Eldridge hills : 

These tokens I bring away. 

Now welcome, welcome, syr Cauline, 

Thrice welcome unto mee, 
For now I perceive thou art a true knighte, 

Of valour bolde and free. 

O ladye, I am thy own true knighte, 

Thy hests for to obaye : 
And mought I hope to vvinne thy love ! — 

Ne more his tonge colde say. 

The ladye blushed scarlette redde, 

And fette a gentill sighe : 
Alas ! syr knight, how may this bee, 

For my degree's soe highe ? 

But sith thou hast /tight, thou comely youth, 

To be my batchilere, 
lie promise if thee I may not wedde 

I will have none other fere. 

Then shee heldforthe her lilly-white hand 
Towards that knighte so free ; 

He give to it one gentill kisse, 

His heart was brought from bale to blisse, 
The teares stcrte from his ee. 

But keep my counsayl, syr Cauline, 

Ne let no man it knowe ; 
For and ever my father sholde it ken, 

I wot he wolde us sloe. 

From that daye forthe that ladye fayre 
Lovde syr Cauline the knighte : 

From that daye forthe he only joyde 
Whan shee was in his sight. 

Yea and oftentimes they mette 

Within a fayre arboure, 
Where they in love and sweet daliaunce 

Past manye a pleasaunt houre. 




Everye white will have its blacke, 
And everye sweete its sowre : 

This founde the ladye Christabelle 
In an untimely howre. 

For so it befelle, as syr Cauline 

Was with that ladye faire, 
The kinge her father walked forthe 

To take the evenyng aire : 

And into the arboure as he went 

To rest his wearye feet, 
He found his daughter and syr Cauline 

There sette in daliaunce sweet. 

The kinge hee sterted forthe, i-wys, 
And an angrye man was hee : 

Nowe, traytoure, thou shalt hange o: 
And rcwe shall thy ladle. 

Then forthe syr Cauline he was ledde, 
And throwne in dungeon deepe : 

And the ladye into a towre so hye, 
There left to wayle and weepe. 

The queene she was syr Caulines friend, 
And to the kinge sayd shee : 

I praye you save syr Caulines life, 
And let him banisht bee. 

Now, dame, that traitor shall be sent 

Across the salt sea fome : 
But here I will make thee a band, 
If ever he come within this land, 

A foule deathe is his doome. 

All woe-begone was that gentil knight 

To parte from his ladye ; 
And many a time he sighed sore, 

And cast a wistfulle eye : 
Faire Christabelle, from thee to parte, 

Farre lever had I dye. 

Faire Christabelle, that ladye bright, 
Was had forthe of the towre ; 

But ever shee droopeth in her minde, 
As nipt by an ungentle winde 
Doth some faire lillye flowre. 

And ever shee doth lament and weepe 

To tint her lover soe : 
Syr Cauline, thou little think'st on mee, 

But I will still be true. 

Manye a kinge, and manye a duke, 

And lorde of high degree, 
Did sue to that fayre ladye of love ; 

But never shee wolde them nee. 

When manye a daye was past and gone, 

Ne comforte she colde finde, 
The kynge proclaimed a tourneament, 

To cheere his daughters mind : 

And there came lords, and there came 

Fro manye a farre countrye, 
To break a spere for theyr ladyes love 

Before that faire ladye. 

And many a ladye there was sette 

In purple and lit palle : 
But faire Christabelle soe woe-begone 

Was the fayrest of them all. 

Then *nanye a knighte was mickle of might 

Before his ladye gaye ; 
But a stranger wight, whom no man knewe, 

He wan the prize eche daye. 

His acton it was all of blacke, 

His hewberke, and his sheelde, 
Ne noe man wist whence he did come, 
Ne noe man knewe where he did gone, 
When they came from the feelde. 

And now three days were prestlye past 

In feates of chivalrye, 
When lo upon the fourth morninge 

A sorrowfulle sight they see. 



A hugye giaunt stiffe and starke, 

All foule of limbe and lere ; 
Two goggling eyen like fire farden, 

A mouthe from eare to eare. 

Before him came a dwarffe full lowe, 

That waited on his knee, 
And at his backe five heads he bare, 

All wan and pale of blee. 

Sir, quoth the dwarffe, and louted lowe, 

Behold that hend Soldain ! 
Behold these heads I beare with me ! 

They are kings which he hath slain. 

The Eldridge knight is his own couslne, 

Whom a knight of thine hath shent : 
And hee is come to avenge his wrong, 
And to thee, all thy knightes among, 
Defiance here hath sent. 

But yette he will appease his wrath 
Thy daughters love to winne : 

And but thou yeelde him that fayre mayd, 
Thy halls and towers must brenne. 

Thy head, syr king, must goe with mee ; 

Or else thy daughter deere ; 
Or else within these lists soe broad 

Thou must finde him a peere. 

The king he turned him round aboute, 

And in his heart was woe : 
Is there never a knighte of my round table, 

This matter will undergoe ? 

Is there never a knighte amongst yee all 
Will fight for my daughter and mee ? 

Whoever will fight yon grimme soldan. 
Right fair his meede shall bee. 

For hee shall have my broad /ay-lands, 

And of my crowne be heyre ; 
And he shall winne fayre Christabelle 

To be his wedded fere. 

But every knighte of his round table 
Did stand both still and pale ; 

For whenever they lookt on the grim soldan, 
It made their hearts to quail. 

All woe-begone was that fayre ladyib, 
When she sawe no helpe was nye : 

She cast her thought on her owne true-love, 
And the teares gusht from her eye. 

Up then stcrte the stranger knighte, 
Sayd, Ladye, be not affrayd : 

He fight for thee with this grimme soldan, 
Thoughe he be vnmacklye made. 

And if thou wilt lend me the Eldridge 

That lyeth within thy bowre, 
I truste in Christe for to slay this fiende 

Thoughe he be stiff in stowre. 

Goe fetch him downe the Eldridge sworde, 
The kinge he cryde, with speede : 

Nowe heaven assist thee, courteous 
knighte ; 
My daughter is thy meede. 

The gyaunt he stepped into the lists, 

And sayd, Awaye, awaye : 
I sweare, as I am the hend soldan, 

Thou lettest me here all daye. 

Then forthe the stranger knight he came 
In his blacke armoure dight : 

The ladye sighed a gentle sighe, 

"That this were my true knighte ! " 

And nowe the gyaunt and knighte be mctt 

Within the lists soe broad ; 
And now with swordes soe sharpe of Steele, 

They gan to lay on load. 

The soldan strucke the knighte a stroke, 

That made him reele asyde ; 
Then woe-begone was that fayre lady&, 

And thrice she deeply sighde. 

The soldan strucke a second stroke, 
And made the bloude to fiowe : 

All pale and wan was that ladye fayre, 
And thrice she wept for woe. 



The soldan strucke a third fell stroke, 
Which brought the knighte on his knee : 

Sad sorrow pierced that ladyes heart, 
And she shriekt loud shriekings three. 

The knighte he leapt upon his feete, 

All recklesse of the pain : 
Quoth hee, But heaven be now my speede, 

Or else I shall be slaine. 

He grasped his sworde with mayne and 

And spying a secrette part, 
He drave it into the soldan's syde, 

And pierced him to the heart. 

Then all the people gave a shoute, 
Whan they sawe the soldan falle : 

The ladye wept, and thanked Christ, 
That had reskewed her from thrall. 

And nowe the kinge with all his barons 
Rose uppe from offe his seate, 

And downe he stepped into the listes, 
That curteous knighte to greete. 

But he for payne and lacke of bloude 

Was fallen into a swoundc, 
And there all walteringe in his gore, 

Lay lifelesse on the grouiule. 

Come downe, come downe, my daughter 
Thou art a leeche of skille ; 

Farre lever had I lose halfe my landes, 
Than this good knighte sholde spille. 

Downe then steppeth that fayre ladye, 

To helpe him if she maye ; 
But when she did his beavere raise, 
It is my life, my lord, she sayes, 

And shriekte and swound awaye. 

Sir Cauline just lifte up his eyes 
When he heard his ladye crye, 

O ladye, I am thine owne true love ; 
For thee I wisht to dye. 

Then giving her one partinge looke, 

He closed his eyes in death, 
Ere Christabelle, that ladye milde, 

Begane to drawe her breathe. 

But when she found her comelye knighte 

Indeed was dead and gone, 
She layde her pale cold cheeke to his, 

And thus she made her moane : 

O staye, my deare and onlye lord, 

For nice thy faithfulle feere ; 
'Tis meet that I shold followe thee, 

Who hast bought my love soe deare. 

Then fayntinge in a deadlye swoune, 
And with a deepe-feete sighe, 

That burst her gentle hearte in twayne, 
Fayre Christabelle did dye. 


From a MS. copy lrans??iittcd from Scotland, 

Quhy dois zour brand sae drop wi' bluid, 

Edward, Edward? 

Quhy dois zour brand sae drop wi' bluid ? 

And quhy sae sad gang zee, O ? 

O, I hae killed my hauke sae guid, 

Mither, mither : 
O, I hae killed my hauke sac guid : 

And I had nae mair bot hee, O. 

Zour haukis bluid was nevir sae rcid, 

Edward, Edward. 
Zour haukis bluid was nevir sae reid, 

My deir son I tell thee, O. 
O, I hae killed my reid-roan steid, 

Mither, mither: 
O, I hae killed my reid-roan steid, 

That erst was sae fair and free, Q 



Zour steid was auld, and ze hae gat mair, 

Edward, Edward : 

Zour steid was auld, and ze hae gat mair, 

Sum other dule ze drie, 0. 
O, I hae killed my fadir deir, 

Mither, mither: 
O, I hae killed my fadir deir, 

Alas ! and wae is mee, O ! 

And quhattai penance wul ze drie for that, 

Edward, Edward? 

And quhatten penance will ze drie for that? 

My deir son, now tell me, O. 
lie set my feit in zonder boat, 

Mither, mither! 
He set my feit in zonder boat, 

And He fare ovir the sea, O. 

And qukat wul ze doe wi' zour towirs and 
zour ha, 

Edward, Edward? 
And quhat wul ze doe wi' zour towirs and 
zour ha', 

That were sae fair to see, O ? 
He let thamc stand til they doun fa', 

Mither, mither : 
lie let thamc stand till they doun fa', 

For here nevir mair maun I bee, O. 

And quhat wul ze leive to zour bairns and 
zour wife, 

Edward, Edward? 
And quhat wul ze leive to zour bairns and 
zour wife, 

Qithan ze gang ovir the sea, O ? 
The warldis room, let thame beg throw 

Mither, mither : 
The warldis room, let thame beg throw 

For thame nevirmairwul I see, O. 

And quhat wul ze leive to zour ain mither 

Edward, Edward? 
And quhat wul ze leive to zour ain mither 

My deir son, now tell me, O. 
The curse of hell frae me sail ze beir, 

Mither, mither : 
The curse of hell frae me sail ze beir, 

Sic counseils ze gave to me, O. 

This curious song was transmitted to 
the Editor by Sir David Dalrymple, Bart., 
late Lord Hailes, 


This old romantic legend (partly from two copies) bears marks of considerable antiquity, 
and perhaps ought to have taken place of any in this volume. It appears to have been 
written while part of Spain was in the hands of the Saracens or Moors ; whose empire 
there was not fully extinguished before the year 1491. The Mahometans are spoken 
of in ver. 49, etc., just in the same terms as in all other old romances. 

I cannot help observing that the reader will see, in this ballad, the character of the 
old minstrels (those successors of the bards) placed in a very respectable light. The 
further we carry our inquiries back, the greater respect we find paid to the professors 
of poetry and music among all the Celtic and Gothic nations. Their character was 
deemed so sacred, that under its sanction our famous King Alfred (as we have already 
seen) made no scruple to enter the Danish camp, and was at once admitted to the 
king's headquarters. Our poet has suggested the same expedient to the heroes of 
this ballad. Even so late as the time of Froissart we find minstrels and heralds 
mentioned together as those who might securely go into an enemy's country. 



As to Estmere's riding into the hall while the kings were at table, this was usual in 
the ages of chivalry ; and even to this day we see a relic of this custom still kept up 
in the champion's riding into Westminster hall during the coronation dinner. 

Some liberties have been taken with this tale by the editor, but none without notice 
to the reader in that part which relates to the subject of the harper and his attendant. 

Hearken to me, gentlemen, 

Come and you shall heare ; 
He tell you of two of the boldest brethren 

That ever borne y-were. 

The tone of them was Adler younge, 
The tother was kyng Estmere ; 

The were as bolde men in their deeds, 
As any were farr and neare. 

As they were drinking ale and wine 

Within kyng Estmeres halle : 
When will ye marry a wyfe, brother, 

A wyfe to glad us all ? 

Then bespake him kyng Estmere, 

And answered him hastilee : 
I know not that ladye in any land 

That's able to marrye with mee. 

Kyng Adland hath a daughter, brother, 
Men call her bright and sheene ; 

If I were kyng here in your stead, 
That ladye shold be my queene. 

Saies, Reade me, reade me, deare brother, 

Throughout merry England, 
Where we might find a messenger 

Betwixt us towe to sende. 

Saies, You shal ryde yourselfe, brother, 

He beare you companye ; 
Many throughe fals messengers are 

And I feare lest soe shold wee. 

Thus the renisht them to ryde 

Of twoe good renisht steeds, 
And when the came to king Adlands halle, 

Of redd gold shone their weeds. 

And when the came to kyng Adlands hall 
Before the goodlye gate, 

There they found good kyng Adland 
Rearing himselfe theratt. 

Now Christ thee save, good kyng Adland ; 

Now Christ you save and see. 
Sayd, You be welcome, king Estmere, 

Right hartilye to mee. 

You have a daughter, said Adler younge, 
Men call her bright and sheene. 

My brother wold marrye her to his wiffe, 
Of Englande to be queene. 

Yesterday was att my deere daughter 
Syr Bremor the kyng of Spayne ; 

And then she nicked him of naye, 
And I doubt sheele do you the same. 

The kyng of Spayne is a foule paynim, 

And 'leeveth on Mahound; 
And pitye it were that fayre ladye 

Shold marrye a heathen hound. 

But grant to me, sayes kyng Estmere, 

For my love I you praye ; 
That I may see your daughter deere 

Before I goe hence awaye. 

Although itt is seven yeers and more 
Since my daughter was in halle, 

She shall come once downe for your sake 
To glad my guestes alle. 

Downe then came that mayden fayre, 

With ladyes laced in pall, 
And halfe a hundred of bold knightes, 

To bring her from bowre to hall ; 
And as many gentle squiers, 

To tend upon them all. 

The talents of golde were on her head 
Hanged low downe to her knee ; 



And everye ring on her small finger 
Shone of the chrystall free. 

Saies, God you save, my deere madam ; 

Saies, God you save and see. 
Said, You be welcome, kyng Estmere, 

Right welcome unto mee. 

And if you love me, as you saye, 

Soe well and hartilee, 
All that ever you are comen about 

Soone sped now itt shal bee. 

Then bespake her father deare : 

My daughter, I saye naye ; 
Remember well the kyng of Spayne, 

What he sayd yesterdaye. 

He wold pull downe my halles and castles, 

And reave me of my lyfe. 
I cannot blame him if he doe, 

If I reave him of his wyfe. 

Your castles and your towres, father, 

Are stronglye built aboute ; 
And therefore of the king of Spaine 

Wee neede not stande in doubt. 

Plight me your troth, nowe, kyng Estmere, 
By heaven and your righte hand, 

That you will marrye me to your wyfe, 
And make me queene of your land. 

Then kyng Estmere he plight his troth 
By heaven and his righte hand, 

That he wolde marrye her to his wyfe, 
And make her queene of his land. 

And he tooke leave of that ladye fayre, 
To goe to his owne countree, 

To fetche him dukes and lordes and 
That marryed the might bee. 

They had not ridden scant a myle, 

A myle forthe of the towne, 
But in did come the kyng of Spayne, 

With kempes many one. 

But in did come the kyng of Spayne, 

With manye a bold bar6ne, 
Tone day to marrye kyng Adlands 

Tother daye to carrye her home. 

Shee sent one after kyng Estmere 

In all the spede might bee, 
That he must either turne againe and 

Or goe home and loose his ladye. 

One whyle then the page he went, 

Another while he ranne ; 
Till he had oretaken king Estmere, 

I wis, he never blanne. 

Tydings, tydings, kyng Estmere ! 
What tydinges nowe, my boye? 

tydinges I can tell to you, 
That will you sore annoye. 

You had not ridden scant a mile, 

A mile out of the towne, 
But in did come the kyng of Spayne 

With kempes many a one : 

But in did come the kyng of Spayne 

With manye a bold bar6ne, 
Tone daye to marrye king Adlands 

Tother daye to carry her home. 

My ladye fayre she greetes you well, 

And ever-more well by mee : 
You must either turne againe and fighte, 

Or goe home and loose your ladye. 

Saies, Reade me, reade me, deere brother, 
My reade shall ryde * at thee, 

Whether it is better to turne and fighte, 
Or goe home and loose my ladye. 

Now hearken to me, sayes Adler yonge, 
And your reade must rise at me, 

1 quicklye will devise a waye 
To sette thy ladye free. 

* Sic MS. It should probably be tyse, i.e. 
my counsel shall arise from thee. See v. 140. 



My mother was a westerne woman, 

And learned in gramarye,* 
And when I learned at the schole, 

Something shee taught itt mee. 

There growes an hearbe within this field, 

And iff it were but knowne, 
His color, which is whyte and redd, 

It will make blacke and browne : 

His color, which is browne and blacke, 
Itt will make redd and whyte ; 

That sworde is not all Englande, 
Upon his coate will byte. 

And you shal be a harper, brother, 

Out of the north countrye ; 
And He be your boy, so&Jaine of fighte, 

And beare your harpe by your knee. 

And you shal be the best harper, 
That ever tooke harpe in hand ; 

And I wil be the best singer, 
That ever sung in this lande. 

Itt shal be written in our forheads 

All and in grammarye, 
That we towe are the boldest men, 

That are in all Christentye. 

And thus they rcnisht them to ryde, 

On tow good renish steedes ; 
And when they came to king Adlands 

Of redd gold shone their weedes. 

And whan the came to kyng Adlands hall, 

Untill the fayre ha\\ yate, 
There they found a proud porter 

Rearing himselfe thereatt. 

Sayes, Christ thee save, thou proud porter ; 

Sayes, Christ thee save and see. 
Nowe you be welcome, sayd the porter, 

Of what land soever ye bee. 

* A knowledge of certain spells and enchant- 
ments, mixing of potions, philtres, etc., to which 
noble ladies of mediaeval times were much 
given : a refined sort of witchcraft. 

Wee beene harpers, sayd Adler younge, 
Come out of the northe countrye ; 

Wee beene come hither untill this place, 
This proud weddinge for to see. 

Sayd, And your color were white and redd, 

As it is blacke and browne, 
I wold saye king Estmere and his brother 

Were comen untill this towne. 

Then they pulled out a ryng of gold, 
Layd itt on the porters arme : 

And ever we will thee, proud porter, 
Thow wilt saye us no harme. 

Sore he looked on kyng Estmere, 
And sore he handled the ryng, 

Then opened to them the fayre hal yates, 
He left for no kind of thyng. 

Kyng Estmere he stabled his steede 

Soe fayre att the hall bord ; 
The froth, that came from his brydlebitte, 

Light in kyng Bremors beard. 

Saies, Stable thy steed, thou proud harper, 
Saies, Stable him in the stalle ; 

It doth not beseeme a proud harper 
To stable " him " in a kyngs halle. 

My ladde he is so lither, he said, 
He will doe nought that's meete ; 

And is there any man in this hall 
Were able him to beate ? 

Thou speakst proud words, sayes the 
king of Spaine, 

Thou harper, here to mee : 
There is a man within this halle 

Will beate thy ladd and thee. 

O let that man come downe, he said, 

A sight of him wold I see ; 
And when hee hath beaten well my ladd, 

Then he shall beate of mee. 

Downe then came the kcmpcrye man, 
And looked him in the eare ; 

For all the gold, that was under heaven, 
He durst not neigh him ncare. 



And how nowe, kempe, said the kyng of 

And how what aileth thee? 
He saies, It is writt in his forhead 

All and in gramarye, 
That for all the gold that is under heaven 

I dare not neigh him nye. 

Then kyng Estmere pulld forth his harpe, 

And plaid a pretty thinge : 
The ladye upstart from the borde, 

And wold have gone from the king. 

Stay thy harpe, thou proud harper, 

For Gods love I pray thee, 
For and thou playes as thou beginns, 

Thou'lt till * my bryde from mee. 

He stroake upon his harpe againe, 

And playd a pretty thinge ; 
The ladye lough a loud laughter, 

As shee sate by the king. 

Saies, Sell me thy harpe, thou proud 

And thy stringes all, 
Foras many gold nobles " thou shalt have" 

As heere bee ringes in the hall. 

What wold ye doe with my harpe, "he 

If I did sell itt yee? 
"To playe my wiffe and me a fitt.f 

When abed together wee bee." 

Now sell me, quoth hee, thy bryde soe gay, 

As shee sitts by thy knee, 
And as many gold nobles I will give, 

As leaves been on a tree. 

* i.e. entice. 

t A part of a song. 

Here a strain of music 

And what wold ye doe with my bryde soe 

Iff I did sell her thee? 
More seemelye it is for her fayre bodye 

To lye by mee then thee. 

Hee played agayne both loud and shrille, " 

And Adler he did syng, 
" O ladye, this is thy owne true love ; 

Noe harper, but a kyng. 

" O ladye, this is thy owne true love, 
As playnlye thou mayest see ; 

And He rid thee of that foule paynim, 
Who partes thy love and thee." 

The ladye looked, the ladye blushte, 
And blushte and lookt agayne, 

While Adler he hath drawna his brande, 
And hath the Sowdaii slayne. 

Up then rose the kemperye men, 

And loud they gan to crye : 
Ah ! traytors, yee have slayne our kyng, 

And therefore yee shall dye. 

Kyng Estmere threwe the harpe asyde 
And swith he drew his brand ; 

And Estmere he, and Adler yonge 
Right stiffe in stour can stand. 

And aye their swordes soe sore can byte, 

Throughe help of Gramarye, 
That soone they have slayne the kempery 

Or forst them forth to flee. 

Kyng Estmere tooke that fayre ladye, 
And marryed her to his wiffe, 

And brought her home to merry England 
With her to leade his life. 

* Some liberties have been taken in the 
following stanzas, but wherever this edition 
differs from the preceding, it hath been brought 
nearer to the folio MS. 





Is given from two MS. copies transmitted from Scotland. In what age the hero of 
this ballad lived, or when this fatal expedition happened that proved so destructive 
to the Scots nobles, I have not been able to discover ; yet am of opinion that their 
catastrophe is not altogether without foundation in history, though it has escaped my 
own researches. In the infancy of navigation, such as used the northern seas were 
very liable to shipwreck in the wintry months ; hence a law was enacted in the reign 
of James III. (a law which was frequently repeated afterwards), "That there be na 
schip frauched out of the realm with any staple gudes, fra the feast of Simons day 
and Jude, unto the feast of the purification of our Lady, called Candelmess." Jam. 
III. Parlt. 2, ch. 15. 

The king sits in Dumferling toune, 
Drinking the blude-reid wine ; 

O quhar will I get guid sailor, 
To sail this schip of mine? 

Up and spak an eldern knicht, 

Sat at the kings richt kne : 
Sir Patrick Spence is the best sail6r, 

That sails upon the se. 

The king has written a braid letter, * 

And signd it wi' his hand ; 
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spence, 

Was walking on the sand. 

The first line that Sir Patrick red, 

A loud lauch lauched he : 
The next line that Sir Patrick red, 

The teir blinded his ee. 

O quha is this has don this deid, 

This ill deid don to me ; 
To send me out this time o' the zcir, 

To sail upon the se? 

Mak hast, mak haste, my mirry men all, 
Our guid schip sails the morne. 

* A braid letter, i.e. open or patent, in 
opposition to close rolls. 

O say na sae, my master deir, 
For I feir a deadlie stormc. 

Late late yestreen I saw the new moone 
Wi' the auld moone in hir arme ; 

And I feir, I feir, my deir master, 
That we will com to harme. 

O our Scots nobles wer richt laith 
To weet their cork-heild schoone ; 

Bot lang owre a' the play wer playd, 
Thair hats they swam aboone. 

O lang, lang, may thair ladies sit 
Wi' thair fans into their hand, 

Or eir they se Sir Patrick Spence 
Cum sailing to the land. 

O lang, lang, may the ladies stand 
Wi' thair gold kerns in their hair, 

Waiting for thair ain deir lords, 
For they'll se thame na mair. 

Have owre, have owre to Aberdour,* 

It's fiflie fadom deip : 
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spence, 

Wi' the Scots lords at his feit. 

* A village lying upon the river Forth, the 
entrance to which is sometimes denominated 
De mortuo mari. 



We have here a ballad of Robin Hood (from the Editor's folio MS.) which was 
never before printed, and carries marks of much greater antiquity than any of the 
common popular songs on this subject. 

Among all those, none was ever more famous than the hero of this ballad, whose 
chief residence was in Shirewood Forest, in Nottinghamshire ; and the heads of 
whose story, as collected by Stow, are briefly these : 

" In this time [about the year 1190, in the reign of Richard I.] were many robbers 
and outlawes, among the which Robin Hood and Little John, renowned theeves, 
continued in woods, despoyling and robbing the goods of the rich. They killed 
none but such as would invade them, or by resistance for their own defence. 

"The saide Robert entertained an hundred tall men and good archers with such 
spoiles and thefts as he got, upon whom four hundred (were they ever so strong) 
durst not give the onset. He suffered no woman to be oppressed, violated, or 
otherwise molested : poore mens goods he spared, abundantlie relieving them with 
that which by theft he got from abbeys and the houses of rich carles : whom Maior 
(the historian) blameth for his rapine and theft, but of all theeves he affirmeth him to 
be the prince, and the most gentle theefe." Annals, p. 159. 

The personal courage of this celebrated outlaw, his skill in archery, his humanity, 
and especially his levelling principle of taking from the rich and giving to the poor, 
have in all ages rendered him the favourite of the common people, who, not content 
to celebrate his memory by innumerable songs and stories, have erected him into the 
dignity of an earl. Indeed, it is not impossible but our hero, to gain the more 
respect from his followers, or they to derive the more credit to their profession, may 
have given rise to such a report themselves ; for we find it recorded in an epitaph, 
which, if genuine, must have been inscribed on his tombstone near the convent of 
Kirkleesin Yorkshire, where (as the story goes) he was bled to death by a treacherous 
nun to whom he applied for phlebotomy : 

$car ttnticrncao tots lattl steam 
latj tobcrt carl of Jjuntingtun 
nea arcir fact a? ftte sae gcut! 
an ptpl ftauto him ftobtn ^rati 
stcft utlafoj as f>i an is mm 
fail (England rtifair si agctt. 
otttt 24 fcal ockcmfarts, 1247. 

This epitaph appears to me suspicious. However, a late antiquary has given a 
pedigree of Robin Hood, which, if genuine, shows that he had real pretensions to the 
earldom of Huntington, and that his true name was Robert Fitz-ooth or Fitzotho. 

Some liberties were, by the Editor, taken with this ballad, which in this edition hath 
oeen brought nearer to the folio MS. 



When s/iams beene shecne, and shradds 
full fay re, 

And leaves both large and longe, 
Itt is merrye walking in the fayre forrest 

To heare the small birdes songe. 

The woodweele sang, and wold not cease, 

Sitting upon the spraye, 
Soe lowde, he wakened Robin Hood, 

In the greenwood where he lay. 

Now by my faye, sayd jollye Robin, 

A sweaven I had this night ; 
I dreamt me of tow wighty yemen, 

That fast with me can fight. 

Methought they did mee beate and binde, 
And tooke my bow mee free ; 

If I be Robin alive in this lande, 
He be wrokcn on them towe. 

Swcavens are swift, Master, quoth John, 
As the wind that blowes ore a hill ; 

For if itt be never so loude this night, 
To-morrow itt may be still. 

Buske yee, bowne yee, my merry men all, 
And John shall goe with mee, 

For He goe seeke yond wight yeomen, 
In greenwood where the bee. 

Then the cast on their gownes of grene, 
And tooke theyr bowes each one ; 

And they away to the greene forrest 
A shooting forth are gone ; 

Until they came to the merry greenwood, 
Where they had gladdest bee, 

There were the ware of a wight yeoman, 
His body leaned to a tree. 

A sword and a dagger he wore by his side, 

Of manye a man the bane ; 
And he was clad in his capull Jiyde 

Topp and tayll and mayne. 

Stand you still, master, quoth Little John, 

Under this tree so grene, 
And I will go to yond wight yeoman 

To know what he doth meane. 

Ah ! John, by me thou settest noe store, 

And that \farley finde : 
How offt send I my men beffore. 

And tarry my selfe behinde ? 

It is no cunning a knave to ken, 
And a man but heare him speake ; 

And itt were not for bursting of my bowei 
John, I thy head wold breake, 

As often wordes they brecdcn bale, 
So they parted Robin and John ; 

And John is gone to Barnesdale : 
The gates * he knoweth eche one. 

But when he came to Barnesdale, 
Great heavinesse there hee hadd, 

For he found tow of his owne fellowes 
Were slaine both in a slade. 

And Scarlette he was flyinge a-foote 

Fast over stocke and stone, 
For the Sheriffe with seven score men 

Fast after him is gone. 

One shoote now I will shoote, quoth John, 
With Christ his might and mayne ; 

He make yond fellow that flyes soe fast, 
To stopp he shall be fayne. 

Then John bent up his long bende-bowe, 

Andfette/ed him to shoote : 
The bow was made of a tender boughe, 

And fell downe to his foote. 

Woe worth, woe worth thee, wicked wood, 
That ere thou grew on a tree ; 

For now this day thou arte my bale, 
My boote when thou shold bee. 

His shoote it was but loosely shott, 
Yet flewe not the arrowe in vaine, 

For itt mett one of the sherriffes men, 
Good William a Trent was slaine. 

It had bene better of William a Trent 
To have bene abed with sorrowe, 

* i.e. ways, passes, paths, ridings. 
a common word in the north for way. 

Gate is 



Than to be that day in the green wood 
To meet with Little Johns arrowe. 

But as it is said, when men be mett 
Fyve can doe more than three, 

The sheriffe hath taken Little John, 
And bound him fast to a tree. 

Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe, 

And hanged hye on a hill. 
But thou mayst fayle of thy purpose, quoth 

If itt be Christ his will. 

Let us leave talking of Little John, 

And thinke of Robin Hood, 
How he is gone to the wight yeoman, 

Where under the leaves he stood. 

Good morrovve, good fellowe, sayd Robin 
so fayre, 
"Good morrowe, good fellowe," quoth 
Methinks by this bowe thou beares in thy 
A good archere thou sholdst bee. 

I am wilfull of my wave, quo' the yeman, 

And of my morning tyde. 
He lead thee through the wood, sayd 
Robin ; 

Good fellow, He be thy guide. 

I seeke an outlawe, the straunger sayd, 

Men call him Robin Hood ; 
Rather lid meet with that proud outlawe 

Than fortye pound soe good. 

Now come with me, thou wighty yeman, 
And Robin thou soone shalt see : 

But first let us some pastime find 
Under the greenwood tree. 

First let us some masteryc make 

Among the woods so even, 
Wee may chance to meet with Robin Hood 

Here att some unsctt stcven. 

They cutt them downe two summer shroggs, 
That grew both under a breere, 

And sett them threescore rood in twaine 
To shoot the prickes y-fere. 

Leade on, good fellowe, quoth Robin Hood, 

Leade on, I doe bidd thee. 
Nay by my faith, good fellowe, hee sayd, 

My leader thou shalt bee. 

The first time Robin shot at the pricke, 

He mist but an inch it froe : 
The yeoman he was an archer good, 

But he cold never shoote soe. 

The second shoote had the wightye yeman, 
He shote within the garlande : 

But Robin he shott far better than hee, 
For he clave the good pricke wande. 

A blessing upon thy heart, he sayd ; 

Good fellowe, thy shooting is goode ; 
For an thy hart be as good as thy hand, 

Thou wert better then Robin Hoode. 

Now tell me thy name, good fellowe, sayd 

Under the leaves of lyne. 
Nay by my faith, quoth bolde Robin, 

Till thou have told me thine. 

I dwell by dale and downe, quoth hee, 
And Robin to take Ime sworne ; 

And when I am called by my right name 
I am Guye of good Gisborne. 

My dwelling is in this wood, sayes Robin, 

By thee I set right nought : 
I am Robin Hood of Barnesdale, 

Whom thou so long hast sought. 

He that had neither beene kithe nor kin, 
Might have seene a full fayre sight, 

To see how together these yeomen went 
With blades both browne * and bright. 

* The common epithet for a sword or other 
offensive weapon in the old metrical romances 
is broztrn ; as, " brown brand, " or "brown 
sword, brown bill," etc., and sometimes even 
" bright brown sword." 



To see how these yeomen together they 

Two howres of a summers day : 
Yett neither Robin Hood nor Sir Guy 

Them fettled to flye away. 

Robin was reachles on a roote, 

And stumbled at that tyde ; 
And Guy was quicke and nimble with-all, 

And hitt him ore the left side. 

Ah deere Lady, sayd Robin Hood, ' ' thou 
That art both mother and may," 

I think it was never mans destinye 
To dye before his day. 

Robin thought on our ladye deere, 

And soone leapt up againe, 
And strait he came with a "backward" 

And he sir Guy hath slayne. 

He took sir Guys head by the hayre, 
And sticked itt on his bowes end : 

Thou hast beene a traytor all thy liffe, 
Which thing must have an ende. 

Robin pulled forth an Irish kniffe, 
And flicked sir Guy in the face, 

That he was never on woman born, 
Cold tell whose head it was. 

Saies, Lye there, lye there, now sir Guye, 

And with me be not wrothe ; 
If thou have had the worse strokes at my 

Thou shalt have the better clothe, 

Robin did off his gowne of greene, 
And on sir Guy did it thrown, 

And hee put on that capull hyde, 
That cladd him topp to toe. 

The bowe, the arrowes, and litle home, 

Now with me I will beare ; 
For I will away to Barnesdale, 

To see how my men doe fare. 

Robin Hood sett Guyes home to his mouth, 
And a loud blast in it did blow. 

That beheard the sheriffe of Nottingham, 
As he leaned under a /owe. 

Hearken, hearken, sayd the sheriffe, 

I heare nowe tydings good, 
For yonder I heare sir Guyes home blowe, 

And he hath slaine Robin Hoode. 

Yonder I heare sir Guyes home blowe, 

Itt blowes soe well in tyde, 
And yonder comes that wightye yeoman, 

Cladd in his capull hyde. 

Come hyther, come hyther, thou good sir 

Aske what thou wilt of mee. 
O I will none of thy gold, sayd Robin, 

Nor I will none of thy fee : 

But now I have slaine the master, he sayes. 
Let me goe strike the knave ; 

This is all the rewarde I aske ; 
Nor noe other will I have. 

Thou art a madman, said the sheriffe, 
Thou sholdest have had a knights fee : 

But seeing thy asking hath beene soe bad, 
Well granted it shale be. 

When Litle John heard his master speake, 
Well knewe he it was his steuen : 

Now shall I be looset, quoth Litle John, 
With Christ his might in heaven. 

Fast Robin hee hycd him to Little John, 
He thought to loose him bclive ; 

The sheriffe and all his companye 
Fast after him did drive. 

Stand abacke, stand abacke, sayd Robin; 

Why draw you mee soe neere? 
Itt was never the use in our countrye, 

Ones shrift another shold heere. 

But Robin pulled forth an Irysh kniffe, 
And losed John hand and foote, 

And gave him sir Guyes bow into his hand, 
And bade it be his boote. 



Then John he took Guyes bow in his hand, 
His boltes and arrowes eche one : 

When the sheriffe saw Little John bend 
his bow, 
He fettled him to be gone. 

Towards his house in Nottingham towne 

He fled full fast away ; 
And soe did all his companye : 

Not one behind wold stay. 

But he cold neither runne soe fast, 
Nor away soe fast cold ryde, 

But Litle John with an arrowe soe broad 
He shott him into the "backe"-syde. 

\* The title of " Sir " was not formerly 
peculiar to knights ; it was given to 
priests, and sometimes to very inferior 


The subject of this poem, which was written by Skelton, is the death of Henry 
Percy, Fourth Earl of Northumberland, who fell a victim to the avarice of Henry VII. 
In 1489 the Parliament had granted the king a subsidy for carrying on the war in 
Bretagne. This tax was found so heavy in the north, that the whole country 
was in a flame. The Earl of Northumberland, then lord lieutenant of Yorkshire, 
wrote to the king praying an abatement. But the king wrote back that not a penny 
should be abated. This message being delivered by the earl with too little caution, the 
populace rose, and supposing him to be the promoter of their calamity, broke into 
his house and murdered him. This melancholy event happened at the earl's seat at 
Cocklodge, near Thirske, in Yorkshire, April 28, 1489. See Lord Bacon, etc. 

John Skelton, who commonly styled himself Poet Laureat, died June 21, 1529. 
The following poem, which appears to have been written soon after the event, is 
printed from an ancient MS. copy preserved in the British Museum, being much 
more correct than that printed among Skelton's Poems, in bl. let. i2mo, 1568. — It is 
addressed to Henry Percy, Fifth Earl of Northumberland, and is prefaced, etc. in the 
following manner : —  

Pocta Skelton Laurcatus libcllum suutn metrice alloquUur. 

Ad dominum properato meum, mea pagina, Percy, 

Qui Northumbrorum jura paterna gerit, 
Ad nutum Celebris tu prona repone Ieonis, 

Quaeque suo patri tristia justa cano. 
Ast ubi perlegit, dubiam sub mente volutet 

Fortunam, cuncta quae male fida rotat. 
Qui leo sit felix, et Nestoris occupet annos ; 

Ad libitum cujus ipse paratus ero. 


6 9 


I wayle, I wepe, I sobbe, I sigh ful sore 

The dedely fate, the dolefulle destenny 

Of him that is gone, alas ! withoute 


Of the blode* royall descendinge 

nobelly ; 
Whos lordshepe doutles was slayne 
Thorow treson agen hyra compassyd 

and wrought ; 
Trew to his prince, in worde, in deede, 
and thought. 

Of hevenly poems, O Clyo calde by name 
In the college of musis goddess 
Adres the to me, whiche am both halt and 
In elect utcraunce to make memoryall : 
To the four soccour, to the for helpe I 
Myne homely rudnes and drighness to 

With the freshe waters of Elyconysf welle. 

Of noble actes auncyently enrolde, 

Of famous princis and lordes of astate, 

By thy report ar wonte to be extold, 
Regestringe trewly every formare date ; 
Of thy bountic after the usuall rate, 

Kyndle in me suche plenty of thy nobles, 

Thes sorrowfullc dities that I may shew 

* The mother of Henry, First Earl of North- 
umberland, was -Mary, daughter to Henry, 
Earl of Lancaster, whose father Edniond was 
second son of King Henry III. The mother 
and the wife of the Second Earl of Northum- 
berland were both lineal descendants of King 
Edward III. 

t Helicon. 

In sesons past who bathe harde or ser.e 
Of formar writinge by any presidente 
That vilane hastarddis in ther furious 
Fulfyled with malice of froward entente, 
Confctcrd togeder of commoun conccnte 
Falsly to slo ther moste singular goode 

lorde ? 
It maybe registerde of shamefull recorde. 

So noble a man, so valiaunt lorde and 
Fulfilled with honor, as all the worlde 
dothe ken ; 
At his commaundement, whiche had both 
day and night 
Knyghtis and squyers, at every season 

He calde upon them, as menyall hous- 
hold men : 
Were no thes commones uncurtcis Karlh 

of Kynde 
To slo ther owne lorde ? God was not in 
their minde. 

And were not they to blame, I say also. 
That wereaboute hym, his owne servants 
of trust, 
To suffre hym slayn of his mortal! fo? 
Fled away from hym, let hym ly in tl  

dust : 
They bode not till the reckning we: • 
What shuld I flatter? what shuld I glo ■: 

or paynt ? 
Fy, fy for shame, their harts vver to faint. 

In Englande and Fraunce, which gretly 
was redouted ; 
Of whom both Flaunders and Scollanc' 
stode in drede ; 


To whome grete astates obeyde and 

Imvttedc ; 
A mayny of rude villayns made him for 

to blede : 
Unkindly they slew hym, that holp them 

oft at nede : 
He was their bulwark, their paves, and 

their wall, 
Yet shamfully they slew hym ; that shame 

mot them befal, 

I say, ye commoners, why wer ye so stark 


What frantyk frensy fyll in youre bray ne ? 

Wher was your wit and reson, ye shuld 

have had? 

What willfull foly made yow to ryse 

Your naturall lord ? alas ! I can not 
Ye armed you with will, and left your 

wit behynd ; 
Well may you be called comones most 

He was your chyfteyne, your shelde, your 
chef defence, 
Redy to assyst you in every tyme of 
nede : 
Your worship depended of his excellence : 
Alas ! ye mad men, to far ye did excede : 
Your hap was unhappy, to ill was your 
specie : 
What movyd you agayn hym to war or to 

What aylde you to sle your lord agyn all 
right ? 

The grounde of his quarel was for his 

sovereyn lord, 
The welle concernyng of all the hole 

Demaundyng soche dutyes as nedis most 

To the right of his prince which shold 

not be withstand ; 
For whos cause ye slew hym with your 

awne hande : 

But had his nobill mendone wel that day, 
Ye had not been hable to have saide him 

But ther was fals packinge, or els I am 

begylde : 
How-be-it the matter was evident and 

For yf they had occupied ther spere and 

ther shelde, 
This noble man doutles had not be 

Bot men say they wer lynked with a double 

And held with the commouns under a cloke, 
Whiche kindeled the wyld fyre that made 

all the smoke. 

The commouns renyed ther taxes to pay 
Of them demaunded and asked by the 
kinge ; 
With one voice importune, they playnly 
said nay : 
They buskt them on a bushmcnt them- 

self in baile to bringe : 
Agayne the kings plesure to wrastle or 
to wringe, 
Bluntly as bestis withe boste and with cry 
They saide, they forsede not, nor carede 
not to dy. 

The noblenes of the northe this valiant 
lorde and knyght, 
As man that was innocent of trechery 
or trayne, 
Presed forthe boldly to witstand the 
And, lyke marciall Hector, he fauht 

them agayne, 
Vigorously upon them with myght and 
with mayne, 
Trustinge in noble men that wer with hym 

there : 
Bot all they fled from hym for falshode or 

Barons, knights, squyers, one and alle, 
Togeder with servaunts of his famuly. 



Turnd their backis, and let ther master 
Of whos [life] they counted not a flye ; 
Take up whose wolde for them, they let 
hym ly. 
Alas ! his golde, his fee, his annuall rente 
Upon suche a sort was ille bestowde and 

He was envyronde aboute on every syde 
Withe his enemys, that were stark mad 
and wode ; 
Yet whils he stode he gave them woundes 
wyde : 
Alas ioxrouthel what touche his mynde 

were goode, 
His corage manly, yet ther he shed his 
bloode ! 
All left alone, alas ! he fawte in vayne ; 
For cruelly amonge them ther he was 

Alas for pite ! that Percy thus was spylt, 

The famous erle of Northumberlande : 
Of knightly prowes the sworde pomel and 
The myghty lyoun * doutted by se and 

lande ! 
O dolorous chaunce of fortuns fruward 
hande ! 
What man remembring how shamfully he 

was slayne, 
From bitter weepinge hymself kan 

O cruell Mars, thou dedly god of war ! 
O dolorous teusday, dedicate to thy 
When thou shoke thy sworde so noble a 
man to mar ! 
O grounde ungracious, unhappy be thy 

Whiche wert endyed with rede blode of 
the same ! 

* Alluding to his crest and supporters. 
Doutted is abridged for redoubted. 

Moste noble erle! O fowle mysuryi 

Whereon he gat his fynal dedely wounde ! 

O Atropos, of the fatall systers thre, 
Goddes mooste cruell unto the lyf of 
All merciles, in the ys no pite ! 
O homycide, whiche sleest all that thou. 

So forcibly upon this erle thow ran, 
That with thy sworde enharfid of mortall 

Thou kit asonder \\\$> perfight vitall threde ! 

My wordis unpullysht be nakide and 


Of aureat poems they want ellumyn- 


Bot by them to knoulege ye may attayne 

Of this lordis dethe and of his 

Which whils he lyvyd had fuyson of 
every thing, 
Of knights, of squyers, chef lord of toure 

and toune, 
Tylfykkill fortune began on hym to frowne. 

Paregall to dukis, with kings he myght 
Surmountinge in honor all erls he did 
To all cuntreis aboute hym reporte me 
I dare. 
Lyke to Eneas benygne in worde and 

Valiaunt as Hector in every marciall 
Provydent, discrete, circumspect, and 

Tyll the chaunce ran agynehim of fortunes 
duble dyse. 

What nedethe me for to extoll his fame 
With my rude pen enkankerd all with 
Whos noble actis shewworsheply his name, 



Transcendyng far myne homely muse, 

that must 
Yet sumwhat wright supprisid with 
hartly lust, 
Truly reportinge his right noble astate, 
Immortally whiche is immaculate. 

His noble blode never disteynyd was, 

Trew to his prince for to defende his right, 

Doublenes hatinge, fals maters to compas, 

Treytory and treson he bannesht out of 

With trowth to medle was all his hole 
As all his kuntrey lean testefy the same : 
To .r/tfsuche alord, alas, it was grete shame. 

If the hole quere of the musis nyne 

In me all onely wer sett and comprisyde, 
Embrethed with the blast of influence 
As perfightly as could be thought or 

devysyd ; 
To me alsoallthouche it were promysyde 
Of laureat Phebus holy the eloquence, 
All were to litill for his magnyficence. 

yonge lyon, bot tender yet of age, 
Grow and encrease, remembre thyn 

God the assyst unto thyn herytage, 

And geve the grace to be more fortunate, 

Agayne rebelly ouns arme to make debate. 

And, as the lyoune, whiche is of bestis 

Unto thy subjectis be kurteis and benyngne. 

1 pray God sende the prosperous lyf and 

Stabille thy mynde constant to be and 
Right tomayntein, and to resist all wronge : 
All flattringe faytors abhor and from the 

Of foule detraction God kepe the from 
the blast : 
Let double delinge in the have no place, 
And be not light of credence in no case. 

Wythe hevy chere, with dolorous hart and 
Eche man may sorow in his inward 
Thys lords death, whose pere is hard to 
Allgyf Englond and Fraunce were 

thorow saught. 
Al kings, all princes, all dukes, well they 
Bothe temporall and spirituall for to ccm- 

This noble man, that crewelly was slayne. 

More specially barons, and those knygtes 
And all other gentilmen with hym enter- 
In fee, as menyall men of his housold, 
Whom he as lord worsheply manteynd : 
To sorowfull weping they ought to be 
As oft as thei call to ther remembraunce, 
01 ther good lord the fate and dedely 

O perlese prince of heveyn emperyalle, 
That with one worde formed al tiling of 
noughte ; 
Hevyn, hell, and erth obey unto thi kail ; 
Which to thy resemblance wonc'.er. 3 ly 

hast wrought 
All mankynd, whom thou full dere hast 
With thy blode precious our fi na uncc thou 

dyd pay, 
And us redemed, from the fendys pray : 

To the pray we, as prince incomperable, 
As thou art of mercy and pite the well, 

Thou bringe unto thy joye etermynable 
The sowle of this lorde from all daunger 

of hell, 
In endlesblis with the to byde and dwell 

In thy palace above the orient, 

Where thou art lorde, and God omnipotent. 



O quene of mercy, O lady full of grace, 
Maiden moste pure, and goddis moder 
Tosorowfull harts chef comfort and solace, 
Of all women O floure withouten pere, 
Pray to thy son above the starris clere, 
He to vouchesaf by thy mediatioun 
To pardon thy servant, and bringe to 

In joy triumphant the hevenly yerarchy, 
With all the hole sorte of that glorious 
His soule mot receyve into ther company 
Thorowe bounte of hym that formed all 

solace : 
Well of pite, of mercy, and of grace, 
The father, the son, and the holy goste 
In Trinitate one God of myghts moste. 


The reader has here a specimen of the descriptive powers of Stephen Hawcs, a cele- 
brated poet in the reign of Henry VII., though now little known. It is extracted from 
an allegorical poem (written in 1505), entitled, The Hist, of Graunde Amoure & La 
Belle Pucel, called the Palace of Pleasure, etc., 4to, 1555. 

The following stanzas are taken from chaps, iii. and iv. , " How Fame departed from 
Graunde Amour and left him with Governaunce and Grace, and howe he went to the 
Tower of Doctrine," etc. 

I looked about and saw a craggy roche, 
Farre in the west neare to the element, 
And as I dyd then unto it approche, 
Upon the tope I sawe refulgent 
The royal tower of Morall Document, 
Made of fine copper with turrettes fayre 

and hye, 
Which against Phebus shone soe marveyl- 

That for the very perfect bryghtenes 
What of the tower, and of the cleare 
I could nothyng behold the goodlines 
Of that palaicc, whereas Doctrine did 

Tyll at the last, with mysty wyndes 
The radiant brightnes of golden Phebus 
Auster * gan cover with clowde tenebrus. 

* A pernicious wind from the south brought 
dark or shady clouds to cover the sun. The 
wind Auster was said to bring rain and to 
blight the flowers. 

Then to the tower I drewe, nere and 
And often mused of the great hyghnes 
Of the craggy rocke, which quadrant did 
appeare : 
But the fayre tower (so much of ryehes 
Was all about), sexangled doubtles : 
Gargeyld with grayhoundes, and with 

many lyons, 
Made of fyne golde ; with divers sundry 

The little turrets with ymages of golde 
About was set, vvhiche with the wynde 
aye moved 
With proprc vices, that I did well beholde 
About the tower, in sundry vvyse they 

With goodly- pypes, in their 
That with the wynd they pyped a daunce 
/clipped Amour de la liaiilt plcasauiicc. 

* Greyhounds, lions, dragons, were at that 
time the royal supporters. 



The toure was great of marveylous wydnes, 
To whyche ther was no way to passe 
but one, 
Into the toure for to have an ititres : 
A grece there was ychesyld all of stone 
Out of the rocke, on whyche men dyd 
Up to the toure, and in lykewyse dyd I 
Wyth bothe the Grayhoundes in my com- 
pany : 

Tyll that I came unto a ryall gate, 

Where I sawe stondynge the goodly 
Whyche axed me from whence I came a- 
late ; 
To whome I gan in every thynge ex- 

All myne adventure, chaunce, and busy- 
And eke my name ; I tolde her every dell : 
Whan she herde this she lyked me right 

Her name, she sayd, was called Counten- 
aunce ; 
Into the ' ' base " courte she dyd me then 
Where was a fountayne dcpured of ples- 
A noble sprynge, a ryall conduyte-hede, 
Made of fyne golde enameled with reed ; 
And on the toppe four dragons blewe 

and stoute 
Thys dulcet water in four partes dyd 

Of whyche there flowed foure ryvers ryght 

Sweter than Nylus * or Ganges was ther 

odoure ; 
Tygrys or Eufrates unto them no pere : 
I dyd than taste the aromatyke Iy- 

Fragraunt of fume, and swete as any 

fioure ; 

And in my mouthe it had a marveylous 

Of divers spyces, I knewe not what it ment. 

And after thys further forth me brought 

Dame Countenaunce into a goodly Hall, 

Of jasper stones it was wonderly wrought : 

The wyndowes cleare depured all of 

And in the roufe on hye over all 
Of golde was made a ryght crafty vyne ; 
Instede of grapes the rubies there did 

The fiore was paved with berall clarified, 
With pillers made of stones precious, 

Like a place of pleasure so gayely glorified, 
It myght be called a palaice glorious, 
So muche delectable and solacious ; 

The hall was hanged hye and circuler 

With cloth of arras in the rychest maner, 

That treated well of a ful noble story, 
Of the doubty waye to the Tower 
Perillous ; f 
Howe a noble knyght should wynne the 
Of many a serpente foule and odious. 


t The story of the poem. 




This poem is given from a fragment in the Editor's folio ATS., "which, though 
extremely defective and mutilated, appeared to have so much merit that it excited a 
strong desire to attempt a completion of the story ; " so says Bishop Percy, but 
the fragment alluded to consists of but thirty lines. Of these in the ballad before us, 
Percy has omitted some. Those retained are printed in italics, and these are not 
given verbatim. The reader will therefore see upon how slender a foundation the 
present poem of two hundred lines has been built. 

On yonder hill a castle standes 
With walles and towres bedight, 

And yonder lives the Child of Elle, 
A younge and comely knighte. 

The Child of Elle to his garden went, 
And stood at his garden pale, 

Whan, lo 1 he beheld fair Emmelines page 
Come trippinge downe the dale. 

The Child of Elle he hyed him thence, 

Y-wis he stoode not stille, 
And soone he mette faire Emmelines page 

Come climbing up the hille. 

Nowe Christe thee save, thou little foot- 

Now Christe thee save and see ! 
Oh telle me how does thy ladye gaye, 

And what may thy tydinges bee ? 

My lady shee is all woc-begone, 
And the teares they fall from her eyne ; 

And aye she laments the deadlye feude 
Bctweene her house and thine. 

And here shee sends thee a silken scarfe 

Bedewde with many a teare, 
And biddes thee sometimes thinke on her, 

Who loved thee so deare. 

And here shee sends thee a ring of goldc, 
The last boone thou mayst have, 

And biddes thee weare it for her sake, 
Whan she is layde in grave. 

For, ah ! her gentle heart is broke, 
And in grave soone must shee bee, 

Sith her father hath chose her a new new 
And forbidde her to think of thee. 

Her father hath brought her a carlish 

Sir John of the north countraye, 
And within three dayes shee must him 
Or he vowes he will her slaye. 

Nowe hye thee backe, thou little foot-page. 
And greet thy ladye from mee, 

And telle her that I her owne tme love 
Will dye, or sette her free. 

Nowe hye thee backe, thou little foot-page, 

And let thy fair ladye know 
This night will I bee at her bowrc-wind6\ve, 

Betide me weale or woe. 

The boye he tripped, the boye he ranne, 

He neither stint ne stayd 
Untill he came to fair Emmelines bowre, 

Whan kneeling downe he sayd, 

O ladye, Pve been with thy own true love, 
And he greets thee well by mee ; 

This night will he bee at thy bowre- 
And dye or sette thee free. 

Nowe daye was gone, and night was come, 
And all were fast asleepe, ' 

All save the ladye Emmeline, 

Who sate in her bowre to weepe : 



And soono shee heard her true loves voice 
Lowe whispering at the walle, 

Awake, awake, my deare ladye, 
Tis I thy true love call. 

Awake, awake, my ladye deal e, 
Come, mount this faire palfraye : 

This ladder of ropes will lette thee downe, 
He carrye thee hence awaye. 

Nowe nay, nowe nay, thou gentle knight 
Nowe nay, this may not bee ; 

For aye shold I tint my maiden fame, 
If alone I should wend with thee. 

O ladye, thou with a knightc so true 

Mayst safelye wend alone, 
To my ladye mother I will thee bringe, 

Where marriage shall make us one. 

' ' My father he is a baron bolde, 

Of lynage proude and hye ; 
And what would he saye if his daughter 

Awaye with a knight should fly ? 

"Ah ! well I wot, he never would rest, 
Nor his meate should doe him no goode, 

Until he had slayne thee, Child of Elle, 
And scene thy deare hearts bloode." 

ladye, zucrt thou in thy saddle sette, 
And a little space him fro, 

1 would not care for thy cruel father, 
Nor the worst that he could doe. 

ladye, wert thou in thy saddle sette, 
And once without this walle, 

1 would not care for thy cruel father, 

Nor the worst that might befalle. 

Faire Ernmeline sighed, fair Emmeline 

And aye her heart was woe : 
At length he seized her lilly-white hand, 

And downe the ladder he drewe : 

And thrice he clasped her to his breste, 

And hist her tenderlic : 
The tciircs that fell from her fair eyes 

Ranne like the fountayne free. 

Hee mounted himself e on his steede so talle, 

And her on a fair palfraye, 
And slung his bugle about his necke, 

And roundlye they rode awaye. 

All this beheard her owne damselle, 

In her bed whereas shee ley, 
Quoth shee, My lord shall knowe of this, 

Soe I shall have golde and fee. 

Awake, awake, thou baron bolde ! 

Awake, my noble dame ! 
Your daughter is fledde with the Child of 

To doe the deede of shame. 

The baron he woke, the baron he rose, 
And called his merrye men all : 

"And come thou forth, Sir John the 
Thy ladye is carried to thrall. " 

Faire Emmeline scant had ridden a mile, 

A mile forth of the towne, 
When she was aware of her fathers men 

Come galloping ove; the downe : 

And foremost came the carlish knight, 
Sir John of the north countraye : 

' ' Nowe stop, nowe stop, thou false 
Nor carry that ladye awaye. 

For she is come of hye lineage, 

And was of a ladye borne, 
And ill it beseems thee a false churl's 

To carry her hence to scorne." 

Noive loud thou lyest, Sir John the kui^ht, 

Noive thou docst lye of nice ; 
A knight nice gott, and a ladye me lore, 

Soe never did none by thee. 

But light nowe downe, my ladye faire, 
Light downe, and hold my steed, 

While I and this discourteous knighte 
Doe try this arduous deede. 



But light nowe doivne, my deare ladye, 
Light downe, and hold my horse; 

While I and this discourteous knightc 
Doc try our valour s force. 

Fair Emmcline sighed, fair Emmeline 

And aye her heart was woe, 
While twixt her love and the carlish knight 

Past many a baleful blowe. 

1 he Child of Elle hee fought soe well, 
As his weapon he waved amaine, 

That soone he had slaine the carlish 
And layd him upon the plaine. 

And nowe the baron and all his men 

Full fast approached nye : 
Ah ! what may ladye Emmeline doe? 

Twere nowe no boote to flye. 

Her lover he put his home to his mouth, 

And blew both loud and shrill, 
And soone he saw his owne merry men 
• Come ryding over the hill. 

 ' Nowe hold thy hand, thou bold baron, 

I pray thee hold thy hand, 
Nor ruthless rend two gentle hearts 

Fast knit in true love's band. 

Thy daughter I have dearly loved 

Full long and many a day ; 
But with such love as holy kirke 

Hath freelye sayd wee may. 

O give consent, slice may be mine, 

And blesse a faithfull paire ; 
My lands and livings are not small, 

My house and lineage fairc : 

My mother she was an earl's daughter, 
And a noble knyght my sire " — 

The baron he frowned, and turn'd away 
With mickle dole and ire. 

Fair Emmeline sighed, faire Emmeline 

And did all tremblinge stand : 
At lengthe she sprang upon her knee, 

And held his lifted hand. 

Pardon, my lorde and father deare, 
This faire yong knyght and mee : 

Trust me, but for the carlish knyght, 
I never had fled from thee. 

Oft have you called your Emmeline 

Your darling and your joye ; 
O let not then your harsh resolves 

Your Emmeline destroye. 

The baron he stroakt his dark-brow" 

And turned his heade asyde 
To whipe away the starting teare 

He proudly strave to hyde. 

In deepe revolving thought he stoode, 

And mused a little space ; 
Then raised faire Emmeline from the 

With many a fond embrace. 

Here take her, Child of Elle, he sayd, 
And gave her lillye white hand ; 

Here take my deare and only child, 
And with her half my land : 

Thy father once mine honour wrongde 

In dayes of youthful pride ; 
Do thou the injurye repayre 

In fondnesse for thy bride. 

And as thou love her, and hold her deare, 
Heaven prosper thee and thine : 

And nowe my blessing wend wi' thee, 
My lovelye Emmeline. 




This Scottish ballad was printed at Glasgow, by Robert and Andrew Foulis, 
MDCCLV., 8vo, 12 pages. We are indebted for its publication to Sir David 
Dalrymple, Bart., who gave it as it was preserved in the memory of a lady now 

The reader will here find it improved and enlarged with several fine stanzas, 
recovered from a fragment of the same ballad, in the Editor's folio MS. The frag- 
ment is there given under the title of Captain Carre, and the Castle of the Rodes is 
called Brittons-borrow. The fragment consists of eighty-five lines. It is supposed 
that the minstrels who recited this and other ballads were accustomed to change the 
names of their heroes according to the company they were in, and hence the confusion 
of Edom of Gordon (Adam Gordon) and Captain Adam Carre. But the note at the 
end of the poem seems to fix the inhuman deed upon Adam Gordon, brother of the 
Earl of Huntley. 

It fell about the Martinmas, 

Quhcn the wind blew shril and cauld, 
Said Edom of Gordon to his men, 

We maun draw till a ha it Id. 

And quhat a hauld sail we draw till, 

My mirry men and me ? 
We wul gae to the house o' the Rodes, 

To see that fair ladie. 

The lady stude on hir castle wa', 
Beheld baith dale and down : 

There she was ware of a host of men 
Cum ryding towards the toun. 

O see ze nat, my mirry men a' ? 

see ze nat quhat I sec ? 
Methinks I see a host of men : 

1 marveil quha they be. 

She wcend it had been hir luvely lord, 

As he cam ryding hame ; 
It was the traitor Edom o' Gordon, 

Quha reckt nae sin nor shame. 

She had nae sooner buskit hirsel, 

And putten on hir goun, 
But Edom o' Gordon and his men 

Were round about the toun. 

They had nae sooner supper sett, 

Nae sooner said the grace, 
But Edom o' Gordon and his men 

Were light about the place. 

The lady ran up to hir towir head, 

So fast as she could hie, 
To see if by hir fair speeches 

She could wi' him agree. 

But quhan he see this lady saif, 
And hir yatcs all locked fast, 

He fell into a rage of wrath, 
And his look-was all aghast. 

Cum doun to me, ze lady gay, 
Cum doun, cum doun to me : 

This night sail ye lig within mine armes, 
To-morrow my bride sail be. 

I wirmae cum doun, ze fals Gordon, 
I winnae cum doun to thee ; 

I winnae forsake my ain dear lord, 
That is sae far frae me. 

Give owre sour house, ze lady fair, 
Give owre zour house to me, 

Or I sail brcnn yoursel therein, 
Bot and zour babies three. 

* Given in folio as Captain Carre. 



I winnae give owre, ze false Gordon, 

To nae sik traitor as zee ; 
And if ze brenn my ain dear babes, 

My lord sail make ze drie. 

But reach my pistoll, Glaud, my man, 

And charge ze weil my gun : 
For, but an I pierce that bluidy butcher, 

My babes we been undone. 

She stude upon hir castle wa', 

And let twa bullets flee : 
She mist that bluidy butchers hart, 

And only raz'd his knee. 

Set fire to the house, quo' fals Gordon, 

All wood wi' dulc and ire : 
Fals lady, ze sail rue this deid, 

As ze'bren in the fire. 

Wae worth, wae worth ze, Jock, my man, 

I paid ze weil zour lee ; 
Quhy pu' ze out the ground-wa' stane, 

Lets in the reek to me ? 

And ein wae worth ze, Jock, my man, 

I paid ze weil zour hire ; 
Quhy pu' ze out the ground-wa' stane, 

To me lets in the fire? 

Ze paid mc weil my hire, lady ; 

Ze paid me weil my fee : 
But now I'm Edom o' Gordons man. 

Maun either doe or die : 

than bespaik hir little son, 
Sate on the nurses knee : 

Saves, Mither deare, gi' owre this house, 
For the reek it smithers me. 

1 wad gie a' my gowd, my childe, 
Sae wald I a' my fee, 

For ane blast o' the western wind 
To blaw the reek frae thee. 

O then bespaik hir dochter dear, 
She was baith _//'//// and sina : 

O row me in a pair o' sheits, 
And tow me ower the wa. 

They rowd hir in a pair o' sheits, 

And toivd hir ower the wa : 
But on the point o' Gordons spear 

She gat a deadly fa. 

bonnie bonnie was hir mouth, 
And cherry were her cheiks, 

And clear clear was hir zellow hair, 
Whereon the reid bluid dreips. 

Then wi' his spear he turnd hir owre, 

gin hir face was wan ! 

He sayd, Ze are the first that eir 

1 wisht alive again. 

He turnd hir owre and owre againe, 

gin hir skin was whyte ! 

1 might ha spared that bonnie face 
To hae been sum mans delyte. 

Busk and boun, my merry men a', 

For ill dooms I doe guess ; 
I cannae luik in that bonnie face, 

As it lyes on the grass. 

Thame, luiks to freils, my master deir, 

Then freits wil follow thame : 
Let it neir be said brave Edom o' Gordon 

Was daunted by a dame. 

But quhen the ladye see the fire 

Cum flaming owre hir head, 
She wept, and kist her children twain, 

Sayd, Bairns, we been but dead. 

The Gordon then his bougill blew, 

And said, Awa', awa' ; 
This house o' the Rodes is a' in flame, 

1 hauld it time to ga'. 

O then bespyed hir ain dear lord, 

As hce cam owr the lee ; 
He sied his castle all in blaza 

Sa far as he could see. 

Then sair, O sair his mind misgave, 

And all his hart was wae ; 
Put on, put on, my wighty men, 

So fast as ze can gae. , 



Put on, put on, ray wighty men, 

Sa fast as ze can drie ; 
For he that is hindmost of the thrang 

Sail neir get guid o' me. 

Than sum they rade, and sum they rin, 

Fou fast out owr the bent ; 
But eir the foremost could get up, 

Baith lady and babes were brent. 

He w - :ig his hands, he rent his hair, 

And wept in tecncfu muid : 
O traitors, for this cruel deid 

Ze sail weep teirs o' bluid. 

And after the Gordon he is gane, 

Sa fast as he might drie ; 
And soon i' the Gordon's foul hartis bluid 

He's wroken his dear ladie. 

*** Since the foregoing ballad was 
first printed, the subject of it has been 

found recorded in Archbishop Spottis- 
wood's History of the Church of Scotland, 
p. 259, who informs us that — 

"Anno 1571. In the north parts of 
Scotland, Adam Gordon (who was deputy 
for his brother the Earl of Huntley) did 
keep a great stir ; and under colour of 
the queen's authority, committed divers 
oppressions, especially upon the Forbes's 
. . . Having killed Arthur Forbes, brother 
to the Lord Forbes . . . Not long after 
he sent to summon the house of Tavoy 
pertaining to Alexander Forbes. The 
lady refusing to yield without direction 
from her husband, he put fire unto i* , and 
burnt her therein, with children ar. :/ ser- 
vants, being twenty-seven persons in all. 

"This inhuman and barbarous cruelty 
made his name odious, and stained all his 
former doings ; otherwise he was held 
very active and fortunate in his enter- 





Our great dramatic poet having occasionally quoted many ancient ballads, and even 
taken the plot of one, if not more, of his plays from among them, it was judged 
proper to preserve as many of these as could be recovered, and, that they might be 
the more easily found, to exhibit them in one collective view. This second book is 
therefore set apart for the reception of such ballads as are quoted by Shakespeare, or 
contribute in any degree to illustrate his writings ; this being the principal point in 
view, the candid reader will pardon the admission of some pieces that have no other 
kind of merit. 

The design of this book being of a dramatic tendency, it may not be improperly 
introduced with a few observations on the origin of the English stage, and on the 
conduct of our first dramatic poets — a subject which, though not unsuccessfully handled 
by several good writers already,* will yet perhaps admit of some further illustration. 


It is well known that dramatic poetry in this and most other nations of Europe owes 
its origin, or at least its revival, to those religious shows which in the Middle Ages 
were usually exhibited on the more solemn festivals. At those times they were wont 
to represent in the churches the lives and miracles of the saints, or some of the more 
important stories of Scripture. And as the most mysterious subjects were frequently 
chosen, such as the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ, etc., these 
exhibitions acquired the general name of Mysteries. At first they were probably a 
kind of dumb shows, intermingled, it may be, with a few short speeches ; at length 
they grew into a regular series of connected dialogues, formally divided into acts and 
scenes. Specimens of these in their most improved state (being at best but poor 
artless compositions) may be seen among Dodsley's Old Plays, and in Osborne's 
Harleian Misccl. How they were exhibited in their most simple form, we may learn 
from an ancient novel, often quoted by our old dramatic poets, \ entitled, . . . 

a merge 3est of a man that 1ms rallctr |iJob)lcn;lns4 etc., being a translation from 

the Dutch language, in which he is named Ulenspiegle, Howleglass, whose waggish 
tricks are the subject of this book, after many adventures comes to live with a priest, 
who makes him his parish clerk. This priest is described as keeping a leman or 
concubine, who had but one eye, to whom Howleglass owed a grudge for revealing 
his rogueries to his master. The story thus proceeds : . . . " And than in the meane 
season, while Howleglas was parysh clarke at Easter they should play the Resurrection 

* Bishop Warburton's Shakespeare ; preface to Dodsley's Old Plays; Riccoboni's Acct. of 
Theat. of Europe, etc. These were all the Author had seen when he first drew up this essay. 
t See Ben Jonson's Poetaster, Act iii. Sc. iv., and his masque of The Fortunate Isles. ' 

t Howleglass is said in the preface to have died in 1450; at the end of the book, in 1350 



oi our Lorde : and for because than the men wer not learned, nor could not read, the 
Jjriest toke his leman, and put her in the grave for an aungell : and this seing 
Howleglas, toke to hym iij of the symplest persons that were in the towne, that 
played the iij Maries ; and the person [i.e. parson or rector] played Christe, with a 
baner in his hand. Than saide Howleglas to the symple persons, Whan the aungel 
asketh you whome you seke, you may saye, The parsons leman with one iye. Than 
it fortuned that the tyme was come that they must playe, and the aungel asked them 
whom they sought, and than sayd they, as Howleglas had shewed and lerned them 
afore, and than answered they, We seke the priests leman with one iye. And than 
the prieste might heare that he was mocked. And whan the priestes leman herd that, 
she arose out of the grave, and would have smyten with her fist Howleglas upon the 
cheke, but she missed him and smote one of the simple persons that played one 
of the thre Maries ; and he gave her another ; and than toke she him by the heare 
[hair] ; and that seing his wyfe, came running hastely to smite the priestes leaman ; 
and than the priest seeing this, caste down hys baner and went to helpe his woman, 
so that the one gave the other sore strokes, and made great noyse in the churche. 
And than Howleglas seyng them lyinge together by the eares in the bodi of the 
churche, went his way out of the village, and came no more there." * 

As the old Mysteries frequently required the representation of some allegorical 
personage, such as Death, Sin, Charity, Faith, and the like, by degrees the rude poets 
of those unlettered ages began to form complete dramatic pieces consisting entirely of 
such personifications. These they entitled Moral Plays or Moralities. The Mysteries 
were very inartificial, representing the Scripture stories simply according to the letter. 
But the Moralities are not devoid of invention ; they exhibit outlines of the dramatic 
art : they contain something of a fable or plot, and even attempt to delineate 
characters and manners. I have now before me two that were printed early in the 
reign of Henry VIII. ; in which I think one may plainly discover the seeds of tragedy 
and comedy ; for which reason I shall give a short analysis of them both. 

One of them is entitled Srjcrg fElatt.f The subject of this piece is the 
summoning of man out of the world by death ; and its moral, that nothing will 
then avail him but a well-spent life and the comforts of religion. This subject and 
moral are opened in a monologue spoken by the Messenger (for that was the name 
generally given by our ancestors to the Prologue on their rude stage) : then God J 
is represented ; who, after some general complaints on the degeneracy of mankind, 
calls for Death, and orders him to bring before his tribunal Every Man, for so is 
called the personage who represents the human race. Every Man appears, and 
receives the summons with all the marks of confusion and terror. When Death is 
withdrawn, Every Man applies for relief in this distress to Fellowship, Kindred, 
Goods, or Riches, but they successively renounce and forsake him. In this discon- 
solate state he betakes himself to Good Dedes, who, after upbraiding him with his 
long neglect of her,§ introduces him to her sister Knowledge, and she leads him to 

* ImprynteJ . . . by Wyllyam Copland: without date, in 4to bl. let. among Mr. Garrick's 
Old Plays, K. vol. x. 

t This play has been reprinted by Mr. Hawkins in his three vols, of old plays, entitled, Tlu 
Origin of the English Drama, i2mo. Oxford, 1773. See vol. i. p. 27. 

% The Second Person of the Trinity seems to be meant. 

§ The before-mentioned are male characters. 


the "holy man Confession," who appoints him penance : this he inflicts upon himself 
on the stage, and then withdraws to receive the sacraments of the priest. On his 
return he begins to wax faint, and after Strength, Beauty, Descretion, and Five Wits* 
have all taken their final leave of him, gradually expires on the stage ; Good 
Dedes still accompanying him to the last. Then an Aungell descends to sing his 
Requiem ; and the Epilogue is spoken by a person, called Doctour, who recapitulates 
the whole, and delivers the moral : — 

"This memoriall men may have in mynde, 
Ye herers, take it of worth old and yonge, 
And forsake Pryde, for he disceyveth you in thende, 
And remembre Beaute, Five Witts, Strength, and Discretion, 
They all at last do Every Man forsake ; 
Save his Good Dedes there dothe he take ; 
But beware, for and they be small, 
Before God he hath no helpe at all," etc. 

From this short analysis it may be observed, that ISutVH fHait is a grave solemn 
piece, not without some rude attempts to excite terror and pity, and therefore may 
not improperly be referred to the class of tragedy. It is remarkable that in this old 
simple drama the fable is conducted upon the strictest model of the Greek tragedy. 
The action is simply one, the time of action is that of the performance, the scene is 
never changed, nor the stage ever empty. Every Man, the hero of the piece, after his 
first appearance never withdraws, except when he goes out to receive the sacraments, 
which could not well be exhibited in public ; and during his absence, Knowledge 
descants on the excellence and power of the priesthood, somewhat after the marine" 
of the Greek chorus. And, indeed, except in the circumstance of Every Man's 
expiring on the stage, the Sampson Agcmistes of Milton is hardly formed on a 
severer plan.f 

The other play is entitled |tjtck SfOVUCV.t and bears no distant resemblance to 
Comedy : its chief aim seems to be to exhibit characters and manners, its plot being 
much less regular than the foregoing. The Prologue is spoken by Pity, represented 
under the character of an aged pilgrim ; he is joined by Contemplacyon and Perse- 
verance, two holy men, who, after lamenting the degeneracy of the age, declare their 
resolution of stemming the torrent. Pity then is left upon the stage, and presently 
found by Frewyll, representing a lewd debauchee, who, with his dissolute companion 
Imaginacion, relate their manner of life, and not without humour describe the stews 
and other places of base resort. They are presently joined by Hick Scorner, who is 
drawn as a libertine returned from travel, and, agreeably to his name, scoffs at religion. 
These three are described as extremely vicious, who glory in every act of wickedness : 
at length two of them quarrel, and Pity endeavours to part the fray ; on this they fall 
upon him, put him in the stocks, and there leave him. Pity, thus imprisoned, 
descants in a kind of lyric measure on the profligacy of the age, and in this situation 

* i.e. the five senses. These are frequently exhibited as five distinct personages upon the 
Spanish stage (see Riccoboni, p. 98); but our moralist has represented them all by one character. 

t See more of Every Man in vol. ii. Preface to B. ii. note. 

% Imprynted by me YVynkyn de Worde, no date ; in 4to bl. let. This play has also been 
reprinted by Mr. Hawkins in his Origin cf the English Drama, vol. i. p. 69. ^ 


is found by Perseverance and Contemplacion, who set him at liberty, and advise him 
to go in search of the delinquents. As soon as he is gone, Frewill appears again ; 
and after relating in a very comic manner some of his rogueries and escapes from 
justice, is rebuked by the two holy men, who, after a long altercation, at length 
convert him and his libertine companion Imaginacioun from their vicious course of 
life : and then the play ends with a few verses from Perseverance by way of Epilogue. 
This and every morality I have seen conclude with a solemn prayer. They are all of 
them in rhyme ; in a kind of loose stanza, intermixed with distichs. 

It would be needless to point out the absurdities in the plan and conduct of the 
foregoing play : they are evidently great. It is sufficient to observe, that, bating the 
moral and religious reflection of pity, etc., the piece is of a comic cast, and contains a 
humorous display of some of the vices of the age. Indeed, the author has generally 
been so little attentive to the allegory, that we need only substitute other names to 
his personages, and we have real characters and living manners. 

We see then that the writers of these moralities were upon the very threshold of 
real tragedy and comedy : and therefore we are not to wonder that tragedies and 
comedies in form soon after took place, especially as the revival of learning about this 
time brought them acquainted with the Roman and Grecian models. 

II. At what period of time the moralities had their rise here, it is difficult to discover. 
But plays of miracles appear to have been exhibited in England soon after the Con- 
quest. Matthew Paris tells us that Geoffrey, afterwards Abbot of St. Albans, a 
Norman, who had been sent for over by Abbot Richard to take upon him the direc- 
tion of the school of that monastery, coming too late, went to Dunstable, and taught 
in the abbey there ; where he caused to be acted (probably by his scholars) a miracle 
play of St. Catherine, composed by himself. This was long before the year 1119, and 
probably within the eleventh century. The above play of St. Catherine was, for aught 
that appears, the first spectacle of this sort that was exhibited in these kingdoms : and 
an eminent French writer thinks it was even the first attempt towards the revival of 
dramatic entertainments in all Europe ; being long before the representations ot 
mysteries in France, for these did not begin till about the year 1398.* 

But whether they derived their origin from the above exhibition or not, it is certain 
that holy plays, representing the miracles and sufferings of the saints, were become 
common in the reign of Henry II. ; and a lighter sort of interludes appear not to 
have been then unknown. f In the subsequent age of Chaucer, " Plays of Miracles " 
in Lent were the common resort of idle gossips. J 

They do not appear to have been so prevalent on the Continent, for the learned 

* See Abrege Chron. de I' Hist, de France by M. Henault, 1179. 

t See Fitzstephen's description of London, preserved by Stow (and reprinted with notes, 
etc., by the Rev. Mr. Pegge, in 1774, 4to), Londonia pro spectacnlis tfieatralibus, pro ludis 
icenicis, huios habet sanctions, representations viiraculorum, etc. He is thought to have 
written in the reign of Henry II., and to have died in that of Richard I. It is true, at the end 
of this book we find mentioned Henricum regem tertinm ; but this is doubtless Henry the 
Second's son, who was crowned during the life of his father, in 11 70, and is generally dis- 
tinguished as Rexjitvenis, Rex filius, and sometimes they were jointly named Rcg-es Anglia. 
From a jwxage in his chapter De Religione, it should seem that the body of St. Thomas 
Becket was just then a new acquisition to the Church of Canterbury, 

% See Chaucer, Prologue to Wife 0/ Bath's Tale. 


historian of the Council of Constance, M. l'Enfant, ascribes to the English the intro- 
duction of plays into Germany. He tells us that the emperor, having been absent 
from the council for some time, was at his return received with great rejoicings, and 
that the English fathers in particular did, upon that occasion, cause a sacred comedy 
to be acted before him on Sunday, Jan. 31, 1417, the subjects of which were : The 
Nativity of our Saviour ; the Arrival of the Eastern Magi ; and the Massacre by Herod. 
Thence it appears, says this writer, that the Germans are obliged to the English for 
the invention of this sort of spectacles, unknown to them before that period. 

The fondness of our ancestors for dramatic exhibitions of this kind, and some 
curious particulars relating to this subject, will appear from the Household Book of 
the Fifth Earl of Northumberland, A.D. 1512;* whence I shall select a few extracts, 
which show that the exhibiting Scripture dramas on the great festivals entered into 
the regular establishment, and formed part of the domestic regulations of our ancient 
nobility ; and, what is more remarkable, that it was as much the business of the chaplain 
in those days to compose plays for the family, as it is now for him to make sermons : — 

" My lordes chapleyns in household vj. viz. the almonar, and if he be a maker of 
intcrludys, than he to have a servaunt to the intent for writynge of the parts ; and ells 
to have non. The maister of gramer, " etc. — Sect. v. p. 44. 

" Item, my lorde usith and accustomyth to gyf yerely if is lordship kepe a chapell 
and be at home, them of his lordschipes chapell, if they doo play the play of the 
Nativite uppon Cristynmes day in the mornnynge in my lords chapell befor his 
lordship — xxs." — Sect. xliv. p. 343. 

"Item, ... to them of his lordship chappell and other his lordshipis servaunts 
that doith play the play befor his lordship uppon Shrof-Tewsday at night, yerely in 
reward — xs." — Ibid. p. 345. 

"Item, . . . to them . . . that playth the play of Resurrection upon Estur day in 
the mornnynge in my lordis 'chapell' befor his lordshipe — xxs." — Ibid. 

" Item, my lorde useth and accustomyth yerly to gyf hym which is ordynede to be 
the master of the revells yerly in my lordis hous in Cristmas for the overseyinge and 
orderinge of his lordschips playes, interludes, and dresinge, that is plaid befor his 
lordship in his hous in the xijth dayes of Cristenmas, and they to have in rewarde for 
that caus yerly — xxs." — Ibid. p. 346. 

"Item, my lorde useth and accustomyth to gyf every of the iiij parsones that his 
lordschip admyted as his players to com to his lordship yerly at Cristynmes ande at 
all other such tymes as his lordship shall comande them for playing of playe and 
interludes affor his lordship in his lordshipis hous for every of their fees for an hole 
yere " . . . — Ibid. p. 351. 

' ' Item, to be payd ... for rewards to players for playes playd at Christynmas by 
stranegeres in my house after xxd. f every play, by estimacion somme — xxxiijs. iiij." + 
— Sect. i. p. 22. 

* The Regulations and Establishments of the Household of Hen. Alg. Percy, Fifth Earl of 
Northnmb., Lond. 1770, 8vo. A small impression was printed by order of the then Duke of 
Northumberland, to bestow in presents to his friends. 

t This was not so small a sum then as it may now appear ; for in another part of this MS. 
the price ordered to be given for a fat ox is but 13s. 4d. and for a lean one 8s. 

X At this rate the number of plays acted must have been twenty. 


" Item, my lorde usith, and accustometh to gif yerely when his lordshipp is at 
home, to every erlis players that comes to his lordshipe betwixt Cristynmas ande 
Candelmas, if he be his special lorde and frende and kynsman — xxs." — Sect, xliiii. 
p. 340. 

" Item, my lorde usith and accustomyth to gyf yerely, when his lordship is at home 
to every lordis players, that comyth to his lordshipe betwixt Crystynmas and 
Candilmas — xs. ' ' — Ibid. 

The reader will observe the great difference in the rewards here given to such 
players as were retainers of noble personages, and such as are styled strangers, or, as 
we may suppose, only strollers. 

The profession of a common player was about this time held by some in low estima- 
tion. In an old satire, entitled 5ocfe HorrelcS fiate.* the author, enumerating the 
most common trades or callings, as "carpenters, coopers, joyners," etc., mentions 

'' Players, purse-cutters, money-batterers, 
Golde-washers, tomblers, jogelers, 
Pardoners," etc. — Sign. B. vj. 

III. It hath been observed already, that plays of miracles, or Mysteries, as they 
were called, led to the introduction of moral plays, or Moralities, which prevailed so 
early, and became so common, that towards the latter end of King Henry the Seventh's 
reign, John Rastel, brother-in-law to Sir Thomas More, conceived a design of making 
them the vehicle of science and natural philosophy. With this view he published 

IT 8 ncio t'ntcrluor ano a tncrn of tfje nature of tlje iiti elements ftcclarrmgc many 
proper points of philosophy naturall, ano of tigbers stragnge lanous.t etc. It is 

observable that the poet speaks of the discovery of America as then recent : 

" Within this xx yere 
Westwarde be founde new landes 
That we never harde tell of before this," etc. 

The West Indies were discovered by Columbus in 1492, which fixes the wTiting ot 
this play to about 1510 (two years before the date of the above Household Book). 
The play of flJtcR Scomcr was probably somewhat more ancient, as he still more 
imperfectly alludes to the American discoveries, under the name of " the Newe founde 
Ilonde." — Sign. A. vij. 

It is observable that in the older Moralities, as in that last mentioned, Every Man, 
etc., is printed no kind of stage direction for the exits and entrances of the person - 

* Printed at the Sun in Fleet Street by W. de Worde, no date, b. 1. 4to. 

t Mr. Garrick has an imperfect copy (Old Plays, i. vol. iii.). The dramatis persona are— • 
"The Messenger [or Prologue]. Nature naturate. Humanyte. Studyous Desire. Sensuall 
Appetyte. The Taverner. Experyence. Ygnoraunce. (Also yf ye lyste ye may brynge in a 
dysgysynge.) " Afterwards follows a table of the matters handled in the interlude ; among 
which are, — " Of certeyn conclusions prouvynge the yerthe must nedes be rounde, and that yt is 
in circumference above xxi M. myle." — " Of certeyne points of cosmographye— and of dy vers 
straunge regyons, — and of the new founde landys and the maner of the people." This part is 
extremely curious, as it shows what notions were entertained of the new American discoveries by 
our own countrymen. 


ages, no division of acts and scenes. But in the moral interlude of 3LttStVJ SubCutttS,* 
written under Edward VI., the exits and entrances begin to be noted in the margin : \ 
at length in Queen Elizabeth's reign Moralities appeared formally divided into acts 
and scenes, with a regular Prologue, etc. One of these is reprinted by Dodsley. 

Before we quit this subject of the very early printed plays, it may just be observed, 
that, although so few are now extant, it should seem many were printed before the 
time of Elizabeth, as at the beginning of her reign, her injunctions in 1559 are parti- 
cularly directed to the suppressing of ' ' many pamphlets, playes, and ballads ; that no 
manner of person shall enterprize to print any such, " etc., but under certain restrictions. 
Vid. sect. v. 

In the time of Henry VIII., one or two dramatic pieces had been published under 
the classical names of Comedy and Tragedy, % but they appear not to have been intended 
for popular use : it was not till the religious ferments had subsided that the public had 
leisure to attend to dramatic poetry. In the reign of Elizabeth, tragedies and comedies 
began to appear in form, and could the poets have persevered, the first models were 
good. ffiorbrjOUC, a regular tragedy, was acted in 1561 ; § and Gascoigne, in 1566, 
exhibited Jocasta, a translation from Euripides, as also SHje Kupposrs, a regular 
comedy from Ariosto : near thirty years before any of Shakespeare's were printed. 

The people, however, still retained a relish for their old Mysteries and Moralities, || 
and the popular dramatic poets seem to have made them their models. From the 
graver sort of Moralities our modern Tragedy appears to have derived its origin, as 
our Comedy evidently took its rise from the lighter interludes of that kind. And as 
most of these pieces contain an absurd mixture of religion and buffoonery, an eminent 
critic If has well deduced from thence the origin of our unnatural Tragi-comedies. Even 
after the people had been accustomed to Tragedies and Comedies, Moralities still kept 
their ground: one of them, entitled SCfye !Ncrjj (Custom,** was printed so late as 1573 : at 
length they assumed the name of Masques, +f and, with some classical improvements, 
became in the two following reigns the favourite entertainments of the court. 

* Described in vol. ii. Preface to Book ii. The dramatis persona* of this piece are,— 
"Messenger, Lusty Juventus, Good Counsaii, Knowledge, Sathan the Devyll, Hypocrisie, 
Fellowship, Abominable Lyving [an Harlot], God's Merciful Promises." 

t I have also discovered some few " Exeats " and " Intrats " in the very old interlude of the 
Four Elements. 

% Bishop Bale had applied the name of Tragedy to his Mystery of God's Promises, in 1538. 
In 1540, John Palsgrave, B.D., had republished a Latin comedy called Acolastus, with an English 
version. Holingshed tells us (vol. iii. p. 850), that so early as 1520 the king had "agocd 
comedie of Plautus plaied " before him at Greenwich; but this was in Latin, as Mr. Farmer 
informs us in his curious Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare, 8vo, p. 31. 

§ See Ames, p. 316. This play appears to have been first printed under the name of 
Gorbodne, then under the name of Ferrer and Porrer in 1569, and again under Gorlodtic, 1590. 
Ames calls the first edition, quarto; Langbaine, octavo; and Tanner, umo. 

II The general reception which the old Moralities had upon the stage, will account for the 
fondness of all our first poets for allegory. Subjects of this kind were familiar with every one. 

% Bishop Warburton, Shakespeare, vol. v. 

** Reprinted among Dodsley 's Old Plays, vol. i. 

tt In some of these appeared characters full as extraordinary as in any of the old Moralities. 
In Ben Jensen's n-.asqv.e of Christmas, 1616, one of the personages is Minced Pye. 


IV. The old Mysteries, which ceased to be acted after the Reformation, appear to 
bave given birth to a third species of stage exhibition, which, though now confounded 
with tragedy and comedy, were by our first dramatic writers considered as quite distinct 
from them both : these were historical plays, or Histories, a species of dramatic writing 
which resembled the old Mysteries in representing a series of historical events simply 
in the order of time in which they happened, without any regard to the three great 
unities. These pieces seem to differ from tragedies, just as much as historical poems 
do from epic : as Lucanes Pharsalia does from the y£?ieid of Virgil. 

What might contribute to make dramatic poetry take this form was, that soon after 
the Mysteries ceased to be exhibited, was published a large collection of poetical nar- 
ratives, called ©JjclHtrrour for iJffiUjtstratcS,* wherein a great number of the most 
eminent characters in English history are drawn relating their own misfortunes. This 
book was popular, and of a dramatic cast ; and therefore, as an elegant writer f has 
well observed, might have its influence in producing historical plays. These narratives 
probably furnished the subjects, and the ancient Mysteries suggested the plan. 

There appears, indeed, to have been one instance of an attempt at an historical play 
itself, which was perhaps as early as any Mystery on a religious subject ; for such, I 
think, we may pronounce the representation of a memorable event in English history, 
that was expressed in actions and rhymes. This was the old Coventry play of ^Jotk 
CuTS0ag,t founded on the story of the massacre of the Danes, as it happened on St. 
Brice's night, November 13, 1002. § The play in question was performed by certain men 
of Coventry, among the other shows and entertainments at Kenilworth Castle, in July 
1575, prepared for Queen Elizabeth, and this the rather "because the matter mentioneth 
how valiantly our English women, for the love of their country, behaved themselves." 

The writer, whose words are here quoted, || hath given a short description of the 
performance, which seems on that occasion to have been without recitation or rhymes, 
and reduced to mere dumb-show : consisting of violent skirmishes and encounters, first 
between Danish and English "lance knights on horseback," armed with spear and 
shield; and afterwards between "hosts" of footmen: which at length ended in the 
Danes being "beaten down, overcome, and many led captive by our English women." 

* The first part of which was printed in 1559. 

t Catalogue of R oyal and Noble Authors, vol. i. pp. 166, 167. 

% This must not be confounded with the Mysteries acted on Corpus Christi day by the 
Franciscans at Coventry, which were also called Coventry plays, and of which an account is 
given from T. Warton's History of English Poetry, etc., in Malone's Shakespeare, vol. ii. 
Part ii. pp. 13, 14. 

§ Not 1012, as printed in Laneham's Letter, mentioned below. 

|| Ro. Laneham, whose Letter, containing a full description of the shows, etc., is reprinted at 
large in Nichols' Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, etc., vol. i. 4to, 1788. That writer's ortho- 
graphy, being peculiar and affected, is not here followed. Laneham describes this play of 
Hock Tuesday, which was "presented in an historical cue by certain good-hearted men of 
Coventry" (p. 32), and which was "wont to be play'd in their citie yearly" (p. 33), as if it were 
peculiar to them, terming it " their old storial show" (p. 32). And so it might be as represented 
and expressed by them "after their manner" (p. 33); although we are also told by Bevil 
Higgons, that St. Brice's Eve was still celebrated by the Northern English in commemoration of 
this massacre of the Danes, the women beating brass instruments, and singing old rhymes, in 
praise of their cruel ancestors. See his Short View qf English History, 8vo, p. 17. (The 
Preface is dated 1734.) 


This play, it seems, which was wont to be exhibited in their city yearly, and which, 
had been of great antiquity and long continuance there, had of late been suppressed, at 
the instance of some well-meaning but precise preachers, of whose "sourness " herein 
the townsmen complain ; urging that their play was "without example of ill-manners, 
papistry, or any superstition ;" which shows it to have been entirely distinct from a 
religious Mystery. But having been discontinued, and, as appears from the narrative, 
taken up of a sudden after the sports were begun, the players apparently had not been 
able to recover the old rhymes, or to procure new ones, to accompany the action ; 
which, if it originally represented " the outrage and importable insolency of the Danes, 
the grievous complaint of Huna, King Ethelred's chieftain in wars ;" his counselling 
and contriving the plot to despatch them ; concluding with the conflicts above men- 
tioned, and their final suppression — "expressed in actions and rhymes after their 
manner," one can hardly conceive a more regular model of a complete drama ; and, 
if taken up soon after the event, it must have been the earliest of the kind in Europe.* 

Whatever this old play or " storial show " was at the time it was exhibited to Queen 
Elizabeth, it had probably for a spectator our young Shakespeare, who was then in his 
twelfth year, and doubtless attended with all the inhabitants of the surrounding 
country at these "princely pleasures of Kenilworth " when Stratford is only a few 
miles distant. And as the Queen was much diverted with the Coventry play, " where- 
at Her Majesty laught well," and rewarded the performers with 2 bucks, and 5 marks 
in money : who, ' ' what rejoicing upon their ample reward, and what triumphing upon 
the good acceptance, vaunted their play was never so dignified, nor ever any players before 
so beatified :" but especially if our young bard afterwards gained admittance into the 
castle to see a play, which the same evening, after supper, was there "presented of a 
very good theme, but so set forth by the actors' well-handling, that pleasure and mirth 
made it seem very short, though it lasted two good hours and more," we may imagine 
what an impression was made on his infant mind. Indeed, the dramatic cast of many 
parts of that superb entertainment, which continued nineteen days, and was the most 
splendid of the kind ever attempted in this kingdom ; the addresses to the Queen in 
the personated characters of a Sybille, a savage man, and Sylvanus, as she approached 
or departed from the castle ; and, on the water, by Arion, a Triton, or the Lady of the 
Lake, must have had a very great effect on a young imagination, whose dramatic 
powers were hereafter to astonish the world. 

But that the historical play was considered by our old writers, and by Shakespeare 
himself, as distinct from tragedy and comedy, will sufficiently appear from various 
passages in their works. ' ' Of late days, " says Stow, ' ' in place of those stage playes f 
hath been used comedies, tragedies, enterludes, and histories both true and fayned." J 
Beaumont and Fletcher, in the Prologue to <2Tf)c CaptatP, say, 

"This is nor Comedy, nor Tragedy, 
Nor History." 

* The rhymes, etc., prove this play to have been in English, whereas Mr. Thomas Warton 
thinks the Mysteries composed before 1328 were in Latin. Malone's Shakespeare, vol. ii. 
Part ii. p. 9. 

t The Creation of the World, acted at Skinners Well in 1409. 

% Survey 0/ London, 1603, 4to. See also Warton's Observations on Spenser, vol. ii. p. 109. 


Polonius in Pjattllft commends the actors as the best in the world, "either for 
tragedie, comedie, historic pastorall," etc. And Shakespeare's friends, Heminge and 
Condell, in the first folio edition of his plays, in 1623,* have not only entitled their book 
Mr. IVii/iam Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies : but in their table of 
contents have arranged them under those three several heads ; placing in the class of 
histories, " King John, Richard II., Henry IV., two parts Henry V., Henry VI., three 
parts Richard III., and Henry VIII ;" to which they might have added such of his other 
plays as have their subjects taken from the old Chronicles, or Plutarch's Lives. 

Although Shakespeare is found not to have been the first who invented this species 
of drama, f yet he cultivated it with such superior success, and threw upon this simple 
inartificial tissue of scenes such a blaze of genius, that his histories maintain their ground 
in defiance of Aristotle and all the critics of the classic school, and will ever continue 
to interest and instruct an English audience. 

Before Shakespeare wrote, historical plays do not appear to have attained this 
distinction, being not mentioned in Queen Elizabeth's licence in 1574 % to James 
Burbage and others, who are only empowered " to use, exercyse, and occupie the arte 
and facultye of playenge Comedies, Tragedies, Enterludes, Stage Playes, and such 
other like." But when Shakespeare's histories had become the ornaments of the stage, 
they were considered by the public, and by himself, as a formal and necessary species, 
and are thenceforth so distinguished in public instruments. They are particularly 
inserted in the licence granted by King James I., in 1603, § to William Shakespeare 
himself, and the players his fellows ; who are authorized " to use and exercise the arte 
and faculty of playing Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Interludes, Morals, Pastorals, 
Stage Plaies, and such like." The same merited distinction they continued to 
maintain after his death, till the theatre itself was extinguished ; for they are expressly 
mentioned in a warrant in 1622, for licensing certain "late comedians of Queen Anne 
deceased, to bring up children in the qualitie and exercise of playing Comedies, 
Histories, Interludes, Morals, Pastorals, Stage Plaies, and such like."|| The same 
appears in an admonition issued in 1637 H by Philip, Earl of Pembroke and Mont- 
gomery, then Lord Chamberlain, to the master and wardens of the company oi 
printers and stationers ; wherein is set forth the complaint of His Majesty's servants 
the players, that "diverse of their books of comedyes and tragedyes, chronicle 
historyes, and the like," had been printed and published to their prejudice, etc. 

This distinction, we see, prevailed for near half a century ; but after the Restoration, 
when the stage revived for the entertainment of a new race of auditors, many of whom 
had been exiled in France, and formed their taste from the French theatre, Shake- 
speare's histories appear to have been no longer relished ; at least, the distinction 
respecting them is dropt in the patents that were immediately granted after the king's 

* The same distinction is continued in the 2d and 3d folios, etc. 

t See Malone's Shakespeare, vol. i. Part ii. p. 31 

% Ibid. p. 37. J Ibid. p. 40. 

II Ibid. p. 49. Here histories, or historical plays, are found totally to have excluded the 
mention of tragedies — a proof of their superior popularity. In an order for the king's comedians 
to attend King Charles I. in his summer's progress, 1636 (ibid. p. 144), histories are not 
particularly mentioned; but so neither are tragedies; they being briefly directed to "act 
Playes, Comedyas, and Interludes, without any lett," etc. 1 Ibid. p. 139. 


This appears not only from the allowance to Mr. William Beestone in June 1660, 
to use the house in Salisbury Court "for a play-house, wherein Comedies, 
Tragedies, Tragi-Comedies, Pastoralls, and Interludes may be acted ; " but also from 
the fuller grant (dated August 21, 1660) to Thomas Killigrew, Esq., and Sir William 
Davenant, knight, by which they have authority to erect two companies of players, 
and to fit up two theatres ' ' for the representation of Tragydies, Comedyes, Pla) es, 
Operas, and all other entertainments of that nature." 

But while Shakespeare was the favourite dramatic poet, his histories had such 
superior merit, that he might well claim to be the chief, if not the only historic 
dramatist that kept possession of the English stage ; which gives a strong support to 
the tradition mentioned by Gildon,* that, in a conversation with Ben Jonson, our 
bard vindicated his historical plays, by urging that, as he had found "the nation in 
general very ignorant of history, he wrote them in order to instruct the people in this 
particular." This is assigning not only a good motive, but a very probable reason for 
his preference of this species of composition ; since we cannot doubt but his illiterate 
countrymen would not only want such instruction when he first began to write, not- 
withstanding the obscure dramatic chroniclers who preceded him ; but also that they 
would highly profit by his admirable lectures on English history so long as he con- 
tinued to deliver them to his audience. And, as it implies no claim to his being the 
first who introduced our chronicles on the stage, I see not why the tradition should 
be rejected. 

Upon the whole, we have had abundant proof that both Shakespeare and his 
contemporaries considered his histories, or historical plays, as of a legitimate 
distinct species, sufficiently separate from tragedy and comedy — a distinction which 
deserves the particular attention of his critics and commentators, who, by not 
adverting to it, deprive him of his proper defence and best vindication for his neglect 
of the unities, and departure from the classical dramatic forms. For, if it be the 
first canon of sound criticism to examine any work by whatever rule the author 
prescribed for his own observance, then we ought not to try Shakespeare's histories 
by the general laws of tragedy or comedy. Whether the rule itself be vicious or 
not, is another inquiry ; but certainly we ought to examine a work only by those 
principles according to which it was composed. This would save a deal of impertinent 

V. We have now brought the inquiry as low as was intended, but cannot quit it, 
without entering into a short description of what may be called the economy of the 
ancient English stage. 

Such was the fondness of our forefathers for dramatic entertainments, that not fewer 
than nineteen play-houses had been opened before the year 1633, when Prynne 
published his Histriomastix.\ From this writer it should seem that ' ' tobacco, 

* See Malone's Shakespeare, vol. vi. p. 427. 

t He speaks in p. 492 of the play-houses in Bishopsgate Street, and on Ludgate Hill, which 
are not among the seventeen enumerated in the Preface to Dodsley's Old Plays. Nay, it 
appears from Rymer's MSS. that twenty-three play-houses had been at different periods 
open in London ; and even six ot them at one time. See Malone's Shakesptare, vol. i. Part ii. 
p. 48. 


wine, and beer,"* were in those days the usual accommodations in the theatre, as 
within our memory at Sadler's Wells. 

With regard to the players themselves, the several companies were (as hath been 
already shownf) retainers, or menial servants to particular noblemen, J who pro- 
tected them in the exercise of their profession : and many of them were occasionally 
strdllers, that travelled from one gentleman's house to another. Yet so much were 
they encouraged, that, notwithstanding their multitude, some of them acquired large 
fortunes. Edward Allen, master of the play-house called the Globe, who founded 
Dulwich College, is a known instance. And an old writer speaks of the very inferior 
actors, whom he calls the hirelings, as living in a degree of splendour which was 
thought enormous in that frugal age.§ 

* So, I think, we may infer from the following passage, viz.: "How many are there who, 
according to their several qualities, spend 2d., 3d., 4d., 6d., i2d., i8d., 2S., and sometimes 4s. or 5s. 
at a play-house day by day, if coach-hire, boat-hire, tobacco, wine, beere, and such like vaine 
expences, which playes do usually occasion, be cast into the reckoning ? " Prynne's Histriom. 
p. 322. 

But that tobacco was smoked in the play-houses, appears from Taylor the Water poet, in his 
Proclamation/or Tobacco's Propagation : " Let play-houses, drinking schools, taverns, etc., be 
continually haunted with the contaminous vapours of it ; nay (if it be possible), bring it into the 
churches, and there choak up their preachers." (Works, p. 253.) And this was really the case 
at Cambridge; James I. sent a letter in 1607, against "taking tobacco" in St. Mary's. So I 
learn from my friend Dr. Farmer. 

A gentleman has informed me, that once going into a church in Holland, he saw the male 
part of the audience sitting with their hats on, smoking tobacco, while the preacher was holding 
forth in his morning-gown. 

t See the extracts above, in pp. 85 and 86, from the Earl of Northumberland's Household Book. 

% See the Preface to Dodsley's Old Plays. The author of an old invective against the stage, 
called A Third Blast of Retrait from Plaies, etc., 1580, i2mo, says,: "Alas! that private 
affection should so raigne in the nobilitie, that to pleasure their servants, and to upholde them in 
their vanitye, they should restraine the magistrates from executing their office ! . . . They [the 
nobility] are thought to be covetous by permitting their servants ... to live at the devotion or 
almes of other men, passing from countrie to countrie, from one gentleman's house to another, 
offering their service, which is a kind of beggerie. Who indeede, to speake more trulie, are 
become beggars for their servants. For comonlie the good-wil men beare to their lordes, 
makes them draw the stringes of their purses to extend their liberalitie." Vide pp. 75, 76, etc. 

§ Stephen Gosson, in his Schoole of Abuse, 1579, i2mo, fo. 23, says thus of what he terms in 
his margin Players-men : — " Over lashing in apparel is so common a fault, that the very hyerlings 
of some of our players, which stand at revirsion of vi s. by the week, jet under gentlemens 
noses in sutis of silke, exercising themselves to prating on the stage, and common scoffing when 
they come abrode, where they look askance over the shoulder at every man, of whom the 
Sunday before they begged an almes. I speake not this, as though everye one that pro- 
fesseth the qualitie so abused himselfe, for it is well-knowen, that some of them are sober, 
discreete, properly learned, honest housholders and citizens, well-thought on among their 
neighbours at home " (he seems to mean Edward Allen above mentioned), " though the pryde 
of their shadowes (I meane those hangbyes whom they succour with stipend) cause them to be 
somewhat il-talked of abroad." 

In a subsequent period we have the following satirical fling at the showy exterior and 
supposed profits of the actors of that time {vide Greene's Groatsi.vorth of Wit, 1625, 4to) : — 
"What is your profession?" "Truly, sir, ... I am a player." "A player? ... I took 
you rather for a gentleman of great living ; for, if by outward habit men should be censured, I 


At the same time the ancient prices of admission were often very low. Some houses 
had penny benches.* The "two-penny gallery" is mentioned in the Prologue to 
Beaumont and Fletcher's Woman-hater. \ And seats of threepence and a groat 
seem to be intended in the passage of Prynne above referred to. Yet different houses 
varied in their prices ; that play-house called the Hope had seats of five several rates 
from sixpence to half-a-crown.J But a shilling seems to have been the usual price § 
of what is now called the Pit, which probably had its name from one of the play- 
houses having been a cock-pit. || 

The day originally set apart for theatrical exhibition appears to have been Sunday ; 
probably because the first dramatic pieces were of a religious cast. During a great 
part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the play-houses were licensed to be opened only on 
that day ; IT but before the end of her reign, or soon after, this abuse was probably 

tell you, you would be taken for a substantial man." "So I am where I dwell . . . What, 
though the world once went hard with me, when I was fayne to carry my playing-fardle a foot- 
backe : Tcmpora mutantur ... for my very share in playing apparrell will not be sold for two 
hundred pounds. . . . Nay more, I can serve to make a pretty speech, for I was a country 
author, passing at a moral," etc. See Roberto's tale, sign. D. 3. b. 

* So a MS. of Oldys, from Tom Nash, an old pamphlet-writer. And this is confirmed by 
Taylor the Water poet in his Praise of Beggerie, p. 99 : — 

" Yet have I seen a beggar with his many [sc. vermin] 
Come at a play-house, all in for one penny." 

t So in the Bclmau's Night-Walks by Decker, 1616, 4to, " Pay thy twopence to a player, in 
this gallery thou mayest sit by a harlot." 

X Induct, to Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fait. An ancient satirical piece called The Blacie 
Book, Lond. 1604, 4to, talks of " The Six- Penny Roomes in Play-houses ; " and leaves a legacy 
to one whom he calls "Arch-tobacco-taker of England, in ordinaries, upon stages both common 
and private." 

§ Shakespeare, Prologue to Henry VIII.; Beaumont and Fletcher, Prologue to the Captain, 
and to the Mad Lover. 

H This etymology hath been objected to by a very ingenious writer (see Malone's Shakespeare, 
vol. i. Part ii. p. 59), who thinks it questionable because, in St. Mary's Church at Cambridge, 
the area that is under the pulpit, and surrounded by the galleries, is {now) called the pit, which, 
he says, no one can suspect to have been a cock-pit, or that a play-house phrase could be applied 
to a church. But whoever is acquainted with the licentiousness of boys, will not think it 
impossible that they should thus apply a name so peculiarly expressive of its situation ; which 
from frequent use might at length prevail among the senior members of the University, especially 
when those young men became seniors themselves. The name of pit, so applied at Cambridge, 
must be deemed to have been a cant phrase, until it can be shown that the area in other churches 
was usually so called. 

IT So Stephen Gosson, in his Schoole qf Abuse, 1579, i2mo, speaking of the players, says : 
"These, because they are allowed to play every Sunday, make iiii or v Sundayes at least every 
week," fol. 24. So the author of A Second and Third Blast 0/ Re trait from Plaies, 1580, 
i2mo: "Let the magistrate but repel them from the libertie of plaeing on the Sabboth-daie. . . . 
To plaie on the Sabboth is but a priviledge of sufferance, and might w ; th ease be repelled, were 
it thoroughly followed," pp. 61, 62. So again : "Is not the Sabboth of al other daies the most 
abused ? . . . Wherefore abuse not so the Sabbath day, my brethren ; leave not the temple of 
the Lord." . . . " Those unsaverie morsels of unseemelie sentences passing out of the mouth of 
a ruffenlie plaier, doth more content the hungrie humors of the rude multitude, and carrieth 
better rellish in their mouthes, than the bread of the worde," etc. Vide pp. 63, 65, 69, etc. I do 


The usual time of acting was early in the afternoon,* plays being generally 
performed by day-light. f All female parts were performed by men, no English 
actress being ever seen on the public stage % before the civil wars. 

Lastly, with regard to the play-house furniture and ornaments, a writer of King 
Charles the Second's time,§ who well remembered the preceding age, assures us, that 
in general "they had no other scenes nor decorations of the stage, but only old 
tapestry, and the stage strewed with rushes, with habits accordingly." || 

Yet Coryate thought our theatrical exhibitions, etc., splendid, when compared with 
what he saw abroad. Speaking of the theatre for comedies at Venice, he says : ' ' The 
house is very beggarly and base in comparison of our stately play-houses in England : 
neyther can their actors compare with ours for apparrell, shewes, and musicke. Here 
I observed certaine things that I never saw before : for I saw women act, a thing 
that I never saw before, though I have heard that it hath been sometimes used in 
London : and they performed it with as good a grace, action, gesture, and whatso- 
ever convenient for a player, as ever I saw any masculine actor."1T 

It ought, however, to be observed, that, amid such a multitude of play-houses as sub- 
sisted in the metropolis before the civil wars, there must have been a great difference 
between their several accommodations, ornaments, and prices ; and that some would 
be much more showy than others, though probably all were much inferior in splendour 
to the two great theatres after the Restoration. 

not recollect that exclamations of this kind occur in Prynne, whence I conclude that this 
enormity no longer subsisted in his time. It should also seem, from the author of the Third 
Blast above quoted, that the churches still continued to be used occasionally for theatres. Thus, 
in p. 77, he says that the players (who, as hath been observed, were servants of the nobility), 
" under the title of their maisters, or as reteiners, are priviledged to roave abroad, and permitted 
to publish their mametree in everie temple of God, and that throughout England, unto the horrible 
contempt of praier." 

* " He entertaines us " (says Overbury in his character of an actor) "in the best leasure of 
our life, that is, betweene meales ; the most unlit time either for study or bodily exercise." 
Even so late as in the reign of Charles II., plays generally began at three in the afternoon. 

t See Biogr. Brit. i. 117, n. D. 

X I say "no^English actress — on the public stage," because Prynne speaks of it as an unusual 
enormity, that " they had French women actors in a play not long since personated in 
Blackfriars Play-house." This was in 1629. And though female parts were performed 
by men or boys on the public stage, yet in masques at court, the queen and her ladies made no 
scruple to perform the principal parts, especially in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. Sir 
William Davenant, after the Restoration, introduced women, scenery, and higher prices. See 
Cibber's Apology for his own Life. 

§ See a short discourse on the English stage, subjoined to Flecknor's Love's Kingdom, 1674, 
1 2 mo. 

II It appears from an epigram of Taylor the Water poet, that one of the principal theatres in 
his lime, viz. The Globe on the Bankside, Southwark (which Ben Jonson calls the Glory of the 
Bank, and Fort of the whole parish), had been covered with thatch till it was burnt down in 1613. 
(See Taylor's Sculler, Epig. 22, p. 31. Jonson's Execration on Vulcan.) Puttenham tells us 
they used vizards in his time, "partly to supply the want of players, when there were more 
parts than there were persons, or that it was not thought meet to trouble . . . princes chambers 
with too many folkes." [Art of English Poesy, 1589, p. 26.] From the last clause, it should 
seem that they were chiefly used in the masques at court. 

IT Coryate's Crudities, 4to, 161 1, p. 247. 


Since it was first published, the History of the English Stage hath been copiously 
handled by Mr. Thos. Warton in his History of English Poetry, 1774, etc. , 3 vob. 
4to (wherein is inserted whatever in these volumes fell in with his subject) ; and by 
Edmond Malone, Esq., who, in his "Historical Account of the English Stage" 
(Shakesp. vol. i. Pt. ii. 1790), hath added greatly to our knowledge of the economy 
and usages of our ancient theatres. To those names should be added that of the 
veteran Shakespearian scholar and accomplished editor, Mr. J. P. Collier. 



Were three noted outlaws, whose skill in archery rendered them formerly as famous 
in the north of England as Robin Hood and his fellows were in the Midland 
counties. Their place of residence was in the forest of Englewood, not far from 
Carlisle (called corruptly in the ballad, Englishwood ; whereas Engle or Ingle wood 
signifies wood for firing). 

Our northern archers were not unknown to their southern countrymen : their 
excellence at the long-bow is often alluded to by our ancient poets. Shakespeare, in 
his Much ado about Nothing, Act i., makes Benedicke confirm his resolves of not 
yielding to love, by this protestation : " If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat,* and 
shoot at me, and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the shoulder, and called Adam :" 
meaning Adam Bell, as Theobald rightly observes, who refers to one or two other 
passages in our old poets wherein he is mentioned. The Oxford editor has also well 
conjectured, that "Abraham Cupid" in Romeo and Juliet, Act ii. Sc. i. , should be 
"Adam Cupid," in allusion to our archer. Ben Jonson has mentioned Clym of the 
Clough in his Alchemist, Act i. Sc. ii. And Sir William Davenant, in a mock poem 
called The Long Vacation in London, describes the attorneys and proctors as 
making matches to meet in Finsbury Fields. 

" With loynes in canvas bow-case tyde, 
Where arrowes stick with mickle pride ; ... 'v 

Like ghosts of Adam Bell and Clymme. 
Sol sets (or fear they'l shoot at him.' 

Works, 1673, fol. p. 291. 


Mery it \va5 in the grene forest 
Amonge the leves grene, 

Whereas men hunt east and west 
Wyth bowes and arrowes kene ; 

To raise the dere out of theyr denne ; 

Suche sightes hath ofte bene sene ; 
As by thre yemen of the north countrey, 

By them it is I meane. 

* Bottles formerly were of leather, though perhaps a wooden bottle might be here meant. It 
is a diversion in Scotland to hang up a cat in a small cask or firkin half filled with soot ; and 
then a parcel of clowns on horseback try to beat out the ends of it, in order to show their 
dexterity in escaping before the contents fall upon them, 

9 6 


The one them hight Adam Bel, 
The other Clym of the Clough,* 

The thyrd was William of Cloudesly, 
An archer good ynough. 

They were outlawed for venyson, 

These yemen everychone ; 
They swore them brethren upon a day, 

To Englyshe wood for to gone. 

Now lith and lysten, gentylmen, 
That of myrthes loveth to here : 

Two of them were single men, 
The third had a wedded fere. 

Wyllyam was the wedded man, 
Muche more then was hys care : 

He sayde to hys brethren upon a day, 
To Carleile he would fare, 

For to speke with fayre Alyce his wife, 

And with hys chyldren thre. 
By my trouth, sayde Adam Bel, 

Not by the counsell of me : 

For if ye go to Carlile, brother, 
And from thys wylde wode wende, 

If that the justice may you take, 
Your lyfe were at an ende. 

If that I come not to-morrowe, brother, 

By pryme to you agayne, 
Truste you then that I am " taken," 

Or else that I am slayne. 

He toke hys leave of hys brethren two, 

And to Carlile he is gon : 
There he knocked at his owne windowe 

Shortlye and anone. 

Wher be you, fayre Alyce, he sayd, 
My wife and chyldren three ? 

Lyghtly let in thyne owne husbande, 
Wyllyam of Cloudcslee. 

Alas ! then sayd fayre Alyce, 
And syghed wonderous sore, 

* Clym of the Clough means Clem. (Clement) 
of the Cliff; for that is what Clough signifies 
in the noi t h . 

Thys place hath ben besctte for you 
Thys halfe a yere and more. 

Now am I here, sayde Cloudeslee, 

I would that in I were. 
Now fetche us meate and drynke ynoughe. 

And let us make good chere. 

She fetched hym meate and drynke plentye, 

Lyke a true wedded wyfe ; 
And pleased hym with that she had, 

Whome she loved as her lyfe. 

There lay an old wyfe in that place, 

A lytle besyde the fyre, 
Whych Wyllyam had found of charyty6 

More than seven yere. 

Up she rose, and forth shee goes, 
Evill mote shee speede therfore ; 

For shee had sett no foote on ground 
In seven yere before. 

She went unto the justice hall, 

As fast as she could hye : 
Thys night, shee sayd, is come to town 

Wyllyam of Cloudeslye. 

Thereof the justice was txiWfayne, 

And so was the shirife also : 
Thou shalt not trauaile hither, dame, for 

Thy meed thou shalt have ere thou go. 

They gave to her a ryght good goune, 
Of scarlate, "and of graine : " 

She toke the gyft, and home she wente, 
And couched her doune agayne. 

They raysed the towne of mery Carleile 

In all the haste they can ; 
And came thronging to Wyllyames house, 

As fast as they might gone. 

There they besette that good yeman 

Round about on every syde : 
Wyllyam hearde great noyse of folk;s, 

That thither-ward fast hyed, 


Alyce opened a backe wyndowe, 

And loked all aboute, 
She was ware of the justice and shirife bothe, 

Wyth a full great route. 

Alas ! treason, cryed Alyce, 

Ever wo may thou be ! 
Goe into my chamber, my husband, she 

Swete Wyllyam of Cloudeslee. 

/Ie toke hys sweard and hys bucler, 
Hys bow and hys chyldren thre, 

And wente into hys strongest chamber, 
Where he thought surest to be. 

Fayre Alyce, like a lover true, 
Took a pollaxe in her hande : 

Said, He shall dye that cometh in 
Thys dore, whyle I may stand. 

Cloudeslee bente a right good bowe, 

That was of a trusty tre, 
He smot the justise on the brest, 

That hys arowe burst in three. 

"A" curse on his harte, saide William, 

Thys day thy cote dyd on ! 
If it had ben no better then myne, 

It had gone nere thy bone. 

Yelde the Cloudesle, sayd the justise, 
And thy bowe and thy arrowes the fro. 

"A" curse on hys hart, sayd fair Alyce, 
That my husband councelleth so. 

Set fyre on the house, saide the sherife, 

Syth it wyll no better be, 
And bremie we therin William, he saide, 

Hys wyfe and chyldren thre. 

They fyred the house in many a place, 

The fyre flew up on hye : 
Alas ! then cryed fayre Alice, 

I se we here shall dye. 

William openyd a backe wynd6w, 
That was in hys chamber hie, 

And there with sheetes he did let downe 
His wyfe and children three. 

Have you here my treasure, sayde William, 
My wyfe and my chyldren thre : 

For Christes love do them no harme, 
But wreke you all on me. 

Wyllyam shot so wonderous well, 
Tyll hys arrowes were all agoe, 

And the fyre so fast upon hym fell, 
That hys bowstryng brent in two. 

The sparkles brent and fell upon 
Good Wyllyam of Cloudesle : 

Than was he a wofull man, and sayde, 
Thys is a cowardes death to me. 

Leever had I, sayde Wyllyam, 
With my sworde in the route to renne, 

Then here among myne enemyes wode 
Thus cruelly to bren. 

He toke hys sweard and hys buckler, 

And among them all he ran, 
Where the people were most in prcce, 

He smot downe many a man. 

There myght no man abyde hys stroakes, 

Sofcrs/y on them he ran : 
Then they threw wyndowes and dores on 

And so toke that good yeman. 

There they hym bounde both hand and 

And in a deepe dungeon him cast 
Now, Cloudesle, sayd the justice, 

Thou shalt be hanged in hast. 

"A payre of new gallowes," sayd the 

" Now shal I for thee make ; " 
And the gates of Carleil shal be shutte : 

No man shal come in therat. 

Then shall not helpe Clym of the Cloughe, 

Nor yet shall Adam Bell, 
Though they came with a thousand mo, 

Nor all the devels in hell. 

Early in the mornynge, the justice uprose, 
To the gates first can he gone, 


9 s 


And commaunded to be shut full close 
Lightile everychone. 

Then went he to the markett place, 

As fast as he coulde hye ; 
There a payre of new gallowes he set up 

Besyde the pyllorye. 

A lytle boy "among them asked," 
What meaned that gallow-tre ? 

They sayde to hange a good yeman, 
Called Wyllyam of Cloudesle. 

That lytle boye was the towne swyne- 

And kept fayre Alyces swyne ; 
Oft he had seene William in the wodde, 

And geuen hym there to dyne. 

He went out att a crevis of the wall, 
And lightly to the woode dyd gone ; 

There met he with these wightye yemen 
Shortly and anone. 

Alas ! then sayde the lytle boye, 

Ye tary here all too longe ; 
Cloudeslee is taken, and dampned to death, 

And readye for to honge. 

Alas ! then sayd good Adam Bell, 

That ever we saw thys daye ! 
He had better have tarryed with us, 

So ofte as we dyd him praye. 

He myght have dwelt in grene foreste, 

Under the shadowes greene, 
And have kepte both hym and us att reste, 

Out of all trouble and teene. 

Adam bent a ryght good bow, 
A great hart sone hee had slayne : 

Take that, chylde, he sayde, to thy dynner, 
And bryng me myne arrowe agayne. 

Now go we hence, sayed these wightye 

Tarry we no longer here ; 
We shall hym borowe by God his grace. 

Though we buy itt full d«e. 

To Caerleil wente these bold yemen, 

All in a mornyng of maye. 
Here is a.fyt of Cloudeslye, 

And another is for to saye. 


And when they came to mery Carleile, 

All in "the " mornyng tyde, 
They founde the gates shut them untyll 

About on every syde. 

Alas ! then sayd good Adam Bell, 
That ever we were made men ! 

These gates be shut so wonderous fast, 
We may not come therein. 

Then bespake him Clym of the Clough, 
Wyth a wyle we wyl us in bryng ; 

Let us saye we be messengers, 
Streyght come nowe from our king. 

Adam said, I have a letter written, 

Now let us wysely werke, 
We wyl saye we have the kynges seale ; 

I holde the porter no clerke. 

Then Adam Bell bete on the gates 
With strokes great and stronge : 

The porter marveiled, who was therat, 
And to the gates he thronge. 

Who is there now, sayde the porter, 
That maketh all thys knockinge ? 

We be tow messengers, quoth Clim of 
the Clough, 
Be come ryght from our kyng. 

We have a letter, sayd Adam Bel, 
To the justice we must itt bryng ; 

Let us in our message to do, 
That we were agayne to the kyng. 

Here commeth none in, sayd the porter 

By hym that dyed on a tre, 
Tyll a false thefe be hanged, 

Called Wyllyam of Cloudesle. 


Then spake the good yeman Clym of the 

And swore by Mary fre, 
And if that we stande long wythout, 

Lyke a thefe hanged shalt thou be. 

Lo ! here we have the kynges seale : 
What, Lurden* art thou wode f 

The porter went it had ben so, 
And lyghtly dyd off hys hode. 

Welcome is my lordes seale, he saide ; 

For that ye shall come in. 
He opened the gate full shortlye : 

An euyl openyng for him. 

Now are we in, sayde Adam Bell, 

Wherof we are full faine ; 
But Christ he knowes, that harowed hell, 

How we shall com out agayne. 

Had we the keys, said Clim of the Clough, 
Ryght wel then shoulde we spede, 

Then might we come out wel ynough 
When we se tyme and nede. 

They called the porter to counsell, 

And wrang his necke in two, 
And caste hym in a depe dungeon, 

And toke hys keys hym fro. 

Now am I porter, sayd Adam Bel, 

Se brother the keys are here, 
The worst porter to merry Carleile 

That "the" had thys hundred yere. 

And now wyll we our bowes bend, 

Into the towne wyll we go, 
For to delyuer our dere brother, 

That lyeth in care and wo. 

Then they bent theyr good ewe bowes, 
And loked theyr stringes were round, f 

The markett place in mery Carleile 
They beset that stound. 

* Ver. 38. 

t So Ascham in his Toxophilus gives a pre- 
cept, " The stringe must be rounde " (p. 149, 
ed. 1761), otherwise, we may conclude from 
mechanical principles.the arrow will not fly true. 

And, as they loked them besyde, 
A paire of new galowes " they " see, 

And the justice with a quest of squyers, 
That judged William hanged to be. 

And Cloudesle lay redy there in a cart, 
Fast bound both fote and hand ; 

And a stronge rop about hys necke, 
All readye for to hange. 

The justice called to him a ladde, 
Cloudeslees clothes hee shold have, 

To take the measure of that yeman, 
Therafter to make hys grave. 

I have sene as great marveile, said 

As betweyne thys and pryme. 
He that maketh a grave for mee, 

Hymselfe may lye therin. 

Thou speakest proudlye, said the justice, 
I will thee hange with my hande. 

Full wel herd this his brethren two, 
There styll as they dyd stande. 

Then Cloudesle cast his eyen asyde, 
And saw hys ' ' brethren twaine " 

At a corner of the market place, 
Redy the justice for to slaine. 

I se comfort, sayd Cloudesle, 

Yet hope I well to fare, 
If I might have my handes at wyll 

Ryght lytic wolde I care. 

Then spake good Adam Bell 
To Clym of the Clough so free, 

Brother, se you marke the justyce wel ; 
Lo ! yonder you may him se : 

And at the shyrife shote I wyll 
Strongly wyth an arrowe kene ; 

A better shote in mery Carleile 
Thys seven yere was not sene. 

They loosed their arrowes both at once, 
Of no man had they dread ; 



The one hyt the justice, the other the 
That both theyr sides gan blede. 

All men voydcd, that them stode nye, 
When the justice fell to the grounde, 

And the sherife nye hym by ; 
Eyther had his deathes vvounde. 

All the citezens fast gan nye, 

They durst no longer abyde : 
There lyghtly they losed Cloudeslee, 

Where he with ropes lay tyde. 

Wyllyam start to an officer of the towne, 
Hys axe "from" hys hand he wronge, 

On eche syde he smote them downe, 
Hee thought he taryed to long. 

Wyllyam sayde to hys brethren two, 
Thys daye let us lyve and die, 

If ever you have nede, as I have now, 
The same shall you finde by me. 

They shot so well in that tyde, 

Theyr stringes were of silke ful sure, 

That they kept the stretes on every side ; 
That batayle did long endure. 

They fought together as brethren true, 

Lyke hardy men and bolde, 
Many a man to the ground they threw, 

And many a herte made colde. 

But when their arrowes were all gon, 
Men preced to them full fast, 

They drew theyr swordes then anone, 
And theyr bowes from them cast. 

They went lyghtlye on theyr way, 
Wyth swordes and buclers round ; 

By that it was mydd of the day, 
They made many a wound. 

There was an out-home * in Carleil blowen, 
And the belles backward dyd ryng, 

* Outhorne is an old term signifying the 
calling forth of subjects to arms by the sound 
of a horn. 

Many a woman sayde, Alas ! 
And many theyr handes dyd wryng. 

The mayre of Carleile forth com was, 

Wyth hym a ful great route : 
These yemen dred hym full sore, 

Of theyr lyves they stode in great doute. 

The mayre came armed a full great pace, 
Wyth a pollaxe in hys hande ; 

Many a strong man wyth hym was, 
There in that stowre to stande. 

The mayre smot at Cloudeslee with his 

Hys bucler he brast in two, 
Full many a yeman with great evyll, 

Alas ! Treason they cryed for wo. 
Kepe well the gates fast, they bad, 

That these traytours therout not go. 

But al for nought was that they wrought, 
For so fast they downe were layde, 

Tyll they all thre, that so manfulli fought, 
Were gotten without, abraide. 

Have here your keys, sayd Adam Bel, 

Myne office I here forsake, 
And yf you do by my counsell 

A new porter do ye make. 

He threw theyr keys at theyr heads, 
And bad them well to thryve,* 

And all that letteth any good yeman 
To come and comfort his wyfe. 

Thus be these good yeman gon to the 

As lyghtly as lefe on lynde ; 
The lough and be mery in theyr mode, 

Theyr enemyes were ferr behynd. 

When they came to Englyshe wode, 

Under the trusty tre, 
There they found bowes full good, 

And arrowes full great plentye. 

* This is spoken ironically. 


So God me help, sayd Adam Bell, 
And Clym of the Clough so fre, 

I would we were in mery Carleile, 
Before that fayre meynye. 

They set them downe, and made good 

And eate and dranke full well. 
A second fyt of the wightye yeomen : 

Another I wyll you tell. 


As they sat in Englyshe wood, 

Under the green-wode tre, 
They thought they herd a woman wepe, 

But her they mought not se. 

Sore then syghed the fayre Alyce : 
"That ever I sawe thys day ! " 

For nowe is my dere husband slayne, 
Alas ! and wel-a-way ! 

Myght I have spoken wyth hys dere 

Or with eyther of them twayne, 
To show them what him befell, 

My hart were out of payne. 

Cloudesle walked a lytle beside, 

He looked under the grene wood lynde, 

He was ware of his wife, and chyldren 
Full wo in harte and mynde. 

Welcome, wyfe, then sayde Wyllyam, 

Under " this " trusti tre : 
I had wende yesterday , by swete say nt J ohn , 

Thou sholdest me never "have " se. 

" Now well is me that ye be here, 

My harte is out of wo. " 
Dair.c, he sayde, be mery and glad, 

And thanke my brethren two. 

Herof to speake, said Adam Bell, 

I-wis it is no bote : 
The meate, that we must supp withall, 

It runneth yet fast on fote. 

Then went they downe into a launde, 
These noble archares all thre ; 

Eche of them slew a hart of greece. 
The best that they cold se. 

Have here the best, Alyce, my wyfe, 
Sayde Wyllyam of Cloudeslye ; 

By cause ye so bouldly stode by me 
When I was slayne full nye. 

Then went they to suppere 
Wyth suche meate as they had 

And thanked God of ther fortune 
They were both mery and glad. 

And when they had supped well, 

Certayne withouten lease, 
Cloudesle sayd, We wyll to our kyng, 

To get us a charter of peace. 

Alyce shal be at our sojournyng 

In a nunnery here besyde ; 
My tow sonnes shall wyth her go, 

And there they shall abyde. 

Myne eldest son shall go wyth me ; 

For hym have "you " no care : 
And he shall bring you worde agayn, 

How that we do fare. 

Thus be these yemen to London gone, 

As fast as they myght "he," 
Tyll they came to the kynges pallace, 

Where they woulde nedes be. 

And whan they came to the kynges courte, 

Unto the pallace gate, 
Of no man wold they aske no leave, 

But boldly went in therat. 

They preced prestly into the hall, 

Of no man had they dreade : 
The porter came after, and dyd them call, 

And with them began to chyde. 

The usher sayde, Yemen, what wold ye 

I pray you tell to me : 
You myght thus make offycers shcnt; 

Good syrs, of whence be ye ? 



Syr, we be out-lawes of the forest 

Certayne withouten lease ; 
And hether we be come to the kyng, 

To get us a charter of peace. 

And whan they came before the kyng, 
As it was the lawe of the lande, 

The kneled downe without lettyng, 
And eche held up his hand. 

The sayed, Lord, we beseche the here, 
That ye wyll graunt us grace ; 

For we have slayne your fat falow dere 
In many a sondry place. 

What be your nams, then said our king, 

Anone that you tell me ? 
They sayd, Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, 

And Wyllyam of Cloudesle. 

Be ye those theves, then sayd our kyng, 
That men have tolde of to me ? 

Here to God I make an avovve, 
Ye shal be hanged al thre. 

Ye shal be dead without mercy, 

As I am kynge of this lande. 
He commanded his officers everichone, 

Fast on them to lay hande. 

There they toke these good yemen, 

And arested them al thre : 
So may I thryve, sayd Adam Bell, 

Thys game lyketh not me. 

But, good lorde, we beseche you now, 

That yee graunt us grace, 
Visomuehe as " frely " we be to you come, 

"As frely " we may fro you passe, 

With such weapons, as we have here, 
Tyll we be out of your place ; 

And yf we lyve this hundreth yere, 
We wyll aske you no grace. 

Ye speake proudly, sayd the kynge ; 

Ye shal be hanged all thre. 
That were great pitye, then sayd the quenc, 

If any grace myght be. 

My lorde, when I came fyrst into this 

To be your wedded wyfe, 
The fyrst boone that I wold aske, 

Ye would graunt it me bclyfe : 

And I asked you never none tyll now ; 

Therefore, good lorde, graunt it me. 
Now aske it, madam, sayd the kynge, 

And graunted it shal be. 

Then, good my lord, I you beseche, 

These yemen graunt ye me. 
Madame, ye myght have asked a boone, 

That shuld have been worth them all 

Ye myght have asked towres, and townes, 

Parkes and forestes plente. 
None soe pleasant to my pay, shee sayd ; 

Nor none so lefe to me. 

Madame, sith it is your desyre, 
Your askyng graunted shal be ; 

But I had lever have given you 
Good market townes thre. 

The quene was a glad woman, 

And sayde, Lord, gramarcy ; 
I dare undertake for them, 

That true men shal they be. 

But, good my lord, speke som mery word, 

That comfort they may se. 
I graunt you grace, then sayd our king ; 

Washe, felos, and to meate go ye. 

They had not setten but a whyle 

Certayne without lesynge, 
There came messengers out of the north 

With letters to our kyng. 

And whan the came before the kynge, 
They knelt downe on theyr kne ; 

And sayd, Lord, your officers grete you 
Of Carleile in the north cuntre. 

How fareth my justice, sayd the kyng, 
And my sherife also ? 


Syr, they be slayne without leasynge, 
And many an officer mo. 

Who hath them slayne ? sayd the kyng ; 

Anone that thou tell me. 
"Adam Bell, and Clime of the Clough, 

And Wyllyam of Cloudesle." 

Alas for rewth I then sayd our kynge : 

My hart is wonderous sore ; 
I had lever than a thousande pounde, 

I had knowne of thys before ; 

For I have graunted them grace, 

And that forthynketh me : 
But had I knowne all thys before, 

They had been hanged all thre. 

The kyng hee opened the letter anone, 

Himselfe he red it thro, 
And founde how these outlawes had slain 

Thre hundred men and mo : 

Fyrst the justice, and the sheryfe, 
And the mayre of Carleile towne ; 

Of all the constables and catchipolles 
Alyve were "scant " left one : 

The baylyes, and the bedyls both, 
And the sergeauntes of the law, 

And forty fosters ofthefe, 
These outlawes had yslaw : 

And broke his parks, and slayne his dere ; 

Of all they chose the best ; 
So perelous out-lawes, as they were, 

Walked not by easte nor west. 

When the kynge this letter had red, 

In hys harte he syghed sore : 
Take up the tables anone he bad, 

For I may eat no more. 

The kyng called hys best archars 
To the buttes wyth hym to go : 

I wyll se these felowcs shote, he sayd, 
In the north have wrought this wo. 

The kynges bowmen buske them blyve, 
And the quenes archers also ; 

So dyd these thre wyghyte yemen ; 
With them they thought to go. 

There twyse, or thryse they shote about 

For to assay theyr hande ; 
There was no shote these yemen shot, 

That any fry eke myght stand. 

Then spake Wyllyam of Cloudesle ; 

By him that for me dyed, 
I hold hym never no good archar, 

That shoteth at buttes so wyde. 

" At what a butte now wold ye shote ? " 

I pray thee tell to me. 
At suche a but, syr, he sayd, 

As men use in my countree. 

Wyllyam wente into a fyeld, 

And " with him " his two brethren: 

There they set up two hasell roddes 
Twenty score paces betwene. 

I hold him an archar, said Cloudesle, 
That yonder wande cleveth in two. 

Here is none suche, sayd the kyng, 
Nor no man can so do. 

I shall assaye, syr, sayd Cloudesle, 

Or that I farther go. 
Cloudesly with a bearyng arowe 

Clave the wand in two. 

Thou art the best archer, then sayd the 

Forsothe that ever I se. 
And yet for your love, sayd Wyllyam, 

I wyll do more maystery. 

I have a sonne is seven yere olde, 

He is to me full deare ; 
I wyll hym tye to a stake ; 

All shall se, that be here ; 

And lay an apple upon hys head, 
And go syxe score paces hym fro, 

And I my selfe with a brode arow 
Shall cleve the apple in two. 



Now haste the, then sayd the kyng, 

By hym that dyed on a tre, 
But yf thou do not, as thou hest sayde, 

Hanged shalt thou be. 

And thou touche his head or gowne, 

In syght that men may se, 
By all the sayntes that be in heaven, 

I shall hange you all thre. 

That I have promised, said William, 

That I wyll never forsake. 
And ther even before the kynge 

In the earth he drove a stake : 

And bound thereto his eldest sonne, 
And bad hym stand styll thereat ; 

And turned the childes face him fro, 
Because he should not start. 

An apple upon his head he set, 

And then his bowe he bent : 
Syxe score paces they were meatcn, 

And thether Cloudesle went. 

There he drew out a fayr brode arrowe, 
Hys bowe was great and longe, 

He set that arrowe in his bowe, 
That was both styffe and stronge. 

He prayed the people, that wer there, 
That they ' ' all still wold " stand, 

For he that shoteth for such a wager 
Behoveth a stedfast hand. 

Muche people prayed for Cloudesle, 
That his lyfe saved myght be, 

And whan he made hym redy to shote, 
There was many weeping ee. 

" But " Cloudesle clefte the apple in two, 
" His sonne he did not nee." 

Over Gods forbode, sayd the kinge, 
That thou shold shote at me. 

I geve thee eightene pence a day, 
And my bowe shalt thou bere, 

And over all the north countre 
I make the chyfe rydere. 

And I thyrtene pence a day, said the quene, 

By God, and by my fay ; 
Come feche thy payment when thou wylt, 

No man shall say the nay. 

Wyllyam, I make the a gentleman 

Of clothying, and olfe: 
And thy two brethren, yemen of my 

For they are so semely to se. 

Your sonne, for he is tendre of age, 
Of my wyne-seller he shall be ; 

And when he commeth to mans estate, 
Better avaunced shall he be. 

And, Wyllyam, bring me your wife, said 
the quene, 

Me longeth her sore to se : 
She shall be my chefe gentlewoman, 

To governe my nurserye. 

The yemen thanked them all curteously. 

To some byshop wyl we wend, 
Of all the synnes, that we have done, 

To be assoyld at his hand. 

So forth be gone these good yemen, 
As fast as they might "he ;" 

And after came and dwelled with the 
And dyed good men all thre. 

Thus endeth the lives of these good yemen , 
God send them eternall blysse ; 

And all, that with a hand-bowe shoteth : 
That of heven may never mysse. 


i OS 


The Gravedigger's song in Hamlet, Act v., is taken from three stanzas of the 
following poem, though greatly altered and disguised, as the same were corrupted by 
the ballad-singers of Shakespeare's time ; or perhaps so designed by the poet himself, 
the better to suit the character of an illiterate clown. The original is preserved 
among Surrey's Poems, and is attributed to Lord Vaux by George Gascoigne. It is 
also ascribed to Lord Vaux in a manuscript copy preserved in the British Museum. 

I loth that I did love, 

In youth that- 1 thought swete, 

As time requires : for my behove 
Me thinkes they are not mete. 

My lustes they do me leave, 

My fansies all are fled ; 
And tract of time begins to weave 

Gray heares upon my hed. 

For Age with steling steps 

Hath clawde me with his crowch, 

And lusty " Youthe" awaye he leapes, 
As there had bene none such. 

My muse doth not delight 

Me, as she did before : 
My hand and pen are not in plight, 

As they have bene of yore. 

For Reason me denies, 

" All " youthly idle rime ; 
And day by day to me she cries, 

Leave off these toyes in tyme. 

The wrinkles in my brow, 

The furrowes in my face 
Say, Limping age will "lodge " bim now, 

Where youth must geve him place. 

The harbenger of death, 

To me I se him ride, 
The cough, the cold, the gasping breath 

Doth bid me to provide 

A pikcax and a spade, 
And eke a shrowding shete, 

A house of clay for to be made 
For such a guest most mete. 

Me thinkes I heare the clarke, 
That knoles the carefull knell ; 

And bids me leave my ' ' wearye " warke, 
Ere nature me compell. 

My kepers * knit the knot, 
That youth doth laugh to scorne, 

Of me that "shall bee cleane " forgot, 
As I had "ne'er" bene borne. 

Thus must I youth geve up, 
Whose badge I long did weare : 

To them I yeld the wanton cup, 
That better may it beare. 

Lo here the bared skull ; 

By whose balde signe I know, 
That stouping age away shall pull 

"What " youthful yeres did sow. 

For Beautie with her band, 
These croked cares had wrought, 

And shipped me into the land, 
From whence I first was brought. 

And ye that bide behinde, 

Have ye none other trust : 
As ye of claye were cast by kinde, 

So shall ye " turne " to dust. 

* Alluding perhaps to Eccles. xii. 3. 




In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act ii., the hero of the play takes occasion to banter Polonius 
with some scraps of an old ballad, which has never appeared yet in any collection •. 
for which reason, as it is but short, it will not perhaps be unacceptable to the reader, 
who will also be diverted with the pleasant absurdities of the composition. 

The banter of Hamlet is as follows : — 

Hamlet. ' ' O Jeptha, Judge of Israel, " what a treasure hadst thou 1 
Polonius. What a treasure had he, my lord ? 
Ham. Why, ' ' One faire daughter, and no more, 
The which he loved passing welL" 
Polon. Still on my daughter. 
Ham. Am not I i' th' right, old Jeptha ? 

Polon. If you call me Jeptha, my lord, I have a daughter, that I love passing well 
Ham. Nay, that follows not. 
Polon. What follows then, my lord ? 
Ham. Why, "As by lot, God wot :" and then you know, " It came to passe, As 

most like it was. ' 

The first row of the pious chanson will shew you more. 

Edit. 1793, vol. xv. p. 


Have you not heard these many years ago, 

Jeptha was judge of Israel? 
He had one only daughter and no mo, 
The which he loved passing well : 
And, as by lott, 
God wot, 
It so came to pass, 
As Gods will was, 
That great wars there should be, 
And none should be chosen chief but he. 

And when he was appointed judge, 

And chieftain of the company, 
A solemn vow to God he made ; 
If he returned with victory, 
At his return 
To burn 
The first live thing, 
. . . • . • t 
That should meet with him then, 
Off his house, when he should return 

It came to pass, the wars was oer, 
And he returned with victory ; 

His dear and only daughter first of all 
Came to meet her father foremostly : 
And all the way, 
She did play 
On tabret and pipe. 
Full many a stripe, 
With note so high, 
For joy that her father is come so nigh. 

But when he saw his daughter dear 

Coming on most foremostly, 
He wrung his hands, and tore his hair, 
And cryed out most piteously ; 
Oh ! it's thou, said he, 
That have brought me 
And troubled me so, 
That I know not what to do. 

For I have made a vow, he sed, 
The which must be replenished : 

" What thou hast spoke 
Do not revoke : 


What thou hast said, 

Be not afraid ; 
Altho" it be I ; 
Keep promises to God on high. 

" But, dear father, grant me one request, 
That I may go to the wilderness, 

Three months therewith my friends to stay; 
There to bewail my virginity ; 

And let there be, 
Said she, 
Some two or three 
Young maids with me." 
So he sent her away, 
For to mourn, for to mourn, till her 
dying day. 


In his Twelfth Night, Shakespeare introduces the Clown singing part of the two first 
stanzas of the following song ; which song is here printed from what appears the most 
ancient of Dr. Harrington's poetical MSS., and which seems to have been written in 
the reign of King Henry VIII. 

A Robyn, 

Jolly Robyn, 
Tell me how thy leman doeth, 

And thou shalt knowe of myn. 

" My lady is unkynde perde." 

Alack ! why is she so ? 
" She loveth an other better than me ; 

And yet she will say no." 

I fynde no such doublenes : 

I fynde women true. 
My lady loveth me dowtles, 

And will change for no newe. 

" Thou art happy while that doeth last ; 

But I say, as I fynde, 
That women's love is but a blast, 
And torneth with the wynde." 

Suche folkes can take no harme by love, 

That can abide their torn : 
' ' But I alas can no way prove 

In love but lake and morn." 

But if thou wilt avoyde thy harme, 

Lerne this lessen of me, 
At others fieres thy selfe to warme, 

And let them warme with the. 


Tins sonnet (which is ascribed to Richard Edwards, in the Paradise of Daititie 
Devises, fo. 31, b.) is by Shakespeare made the subject of some pleasant ridicule in his 
Romeo and Juliet, Act iv. Sc. v., where he introduces Peter putting this question to 
the musicians : 

Peter. . . . why "Silver Sound"? why " Musicke with her silver sound"? what 
say you, Simon Catling? 

1 Afus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound. 
Pet. Pretty ! what say you, Hugh Rebecke ? 

2 Mits. I say, silver sound, because musicians sound for silver. 
Pet. Pretty too ! what say you, James Sound-post? 

3 Mas. Faith, I know not what to say. 

Pet. ... I will say it for you : It is " Musicke with her silver sound," because musi 
cians have no gold for sounding. 



Where gripinge grefes the hart would 
And dolefulle dumps the mynde 
There musicke with her silver sound 

With spede is wont to send redresse : 
Of trobled mynds, in every sore, 
Swete musicke hathe a salve in store. 

In joye yt maks our mirthe abounde, 
In woe yt cheres our hevy sprites ; 

Dc-strawghted heads relyef hath founde, 
By musickes pleasaunt swete delightes : 

Our senses all, what shall I say more ? 

Are subjecte unto musicks lore. 

The Gods by musicke have theire prayse ; 

The lyfe, the soul therein doth joye : 
For, as the Romayne poet sayes, 

In seas, whom pyrats would destroy, 
A dolphin saved from death most sharpe 
Arion playing on his harpe. 

O heavenly gyft, that rules the mynd, 

Even as the sterne dothe rule the shippe ! 
O musicke, whom the Gods assinde 
To comforte manne, whom cares would 
nippe ! 
Since thow both man and beste doest 

What beste ys he, wyll the disprove ? 


Is a story often alluded to by our old dramatic writers. Shakespeare, in his Romeo and 
Juliet, Act ii. Sc. i., makes Mercutio say : 

" Her (Venus') purblind son and heir, 
Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so true, 
When King Cophetua loved the beggar maid." 

In the second part of Henry IV., Act v. Sc. iii., Falstaff is introduced affectedly 
saying to Pistoll : 

" O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news ? 
Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof." 

Shakespeare also alludes to the ballad in Love's Labour Lost, Act iv. Sc. i. 
is an allusion to the story in King Richard II. , Act v. Sc. iii. 

And there 

I read that once in Affrica 

A princely wight did raine, 
Who had to name Cophetua, 

As poets they did faine : 
From natures lawes he did decline, 
For sure he was not of my mind, 
He cared not for women-kinde, 

But did them all disdaine. 
But, marke, what hapned on a day, 
As he out of his window lay, 
He saw a beggar all in gray, 

The which did cause his paine. 

The blinded boy, that shootes so trim, 
From heaven downe did hie ; 

He drew a dart and shot at him, 
In place where he did lye : 

Which soone did pierse him to the quicke, 
And when he felt the arrow pricke, 
Which in his tender heart did sticke, 

He looketh as he would dye. 
What sudden chance is this, quoth he, 
That I to love must subject be, 
Which never thereto would agree, 

But still did it defie ? 

Then from the window he did come, 

And laid him on his bed, 
A thousand heapes of care did runne 

Within his troubled head : 
For now he meanes to crave her love, 
And now he seekes which way to proove 
How he his fancie might remoove, 

And not this beggar wed. 



But Cupid had him so in snare, 
That this poor begger must prepare 
A salve to cure him of his care, 
Or els he would be dead. 

And, as he musing thus did lye, 

He thought for to devise 
How he might have her companye, 

That so did 'maze his eyes. 
In thee, quoth he, doth rest my life ; 
For surely thou shalt be my wife, 
Or else this hand with bloody knife 

The Gods shall sure suffice. 
Then from his bed he soon arose, 
And to his pallace gate he goes ; 
Full little then this begger knowes 

When she the king espies. 

The Gods preserve your majesty, 

The beggers all gan cry : 
Vouchsafe to give your charity 

Our childrens food to buy. 
The king to them his pursse did cast, 
And they to part it made great haste ; 
This silly woman was the last 

That after them did hye. 
The king he cal'd her back againe, 
And unto her he gave his chaine ; 
And said, With us you shal remaine 

Till such time as we dye : 

For thou, quoth he, shalt be my wife, 

And honoured for my queene ; 
With thee I meane to lead my life, 

As shortly shall be seene : 
Our wedding shall appointed be, 
And every thing in its degree : 
Come on, quoth he, and follow me, 

Thou shalt go shift thee cleane. 
What is thy name, faire maid ? quoth he. 
Penelophon, O king, quoth she : 
With that she made a lowe courtsey ; 

A trim one as I weene. 

Thus hand in hand along they walke 

Unto the king's pallace : 
The king with courteous comly talke 

This begger doth imbrace : 

The begger blusheth scarlet red, 
And straight againe as pale as lead, 
But not a word at all she said, 

She was in such amaze. 
At last she spake with trembling voyce, 
And said, O king, I doe rejoyce 
That you wil take me for your choyce, 

And my degree's so base. 

And when the wedding day was come, 

The king commanded strait 
The noblemen both all and some 

Upon the queene to wait. 
And she behaved herself that day, 
As if she had never walkt the way ; 
She had forgot her gowne of gray, 

Which she did weare of late. 
The proverbe old is come to passe, 
The priest, -when he begins his masse, 
Forgets that ever clerke he was ; 

He knowth not his estate. 

Here you may read, Cophetua, 

Though long time fancie-fed, 
Compelled by the blinded boy 

The begger for to wed : 
He that did lovers lookes disdaine, 
To do the same was glad and faine, 
Or else he would himselfe have slaine, 

In storie, as we read. 
Disdaine no whit, O lady deere, 
But pitty now thy servant heere, 
Least that it hap to thee this yeare, 

As to that king it did. 

And thus they led a quiet life 

During their princely raigne ; 
And in a tombe were buried both, 

As writers sheweth plaine. 
The lords they tooke it grievously, 
The ladies tooke it heavily, 
The commons cryed pitiously, 

Their death to them was paine, 
Their fame did sound so passingly, 
That it did pierce the starry sky, 
And throughout all the world did flye 

To every prince's realme. 




Given in the folio under the title of Bell my Wiffe. This piece is more than a 
controversy between man and wife. It notes the tendency of the age, the struggle 
between social revolution and social conservatism. The man is anxious to do as his 
neighbours, and to do away with distinctions and rise to a higher level. The wife 
thinks old things are best, and wishes not to meddle with new. Shakespeare quotes 
the 7th stanza in Act ii. of Othello. 


It is four and fortye yeeres agoe 

Since the one of us the other did ken, 
And we have had betwixt us towe 

Of children either nine or ten ; 
Wee have brought them up to women and 
men ; 

In the feare of God I trow they bee ; 
And why wilt thou thyselfe misken ? 

Man, take thine old cloake about thee. 
O Bell my wiffe, why dost thou "floute! " 

Now is nowe, and then was then : 
Seeke now all the world throughout, 

Thou kenst not clownes from gentlemen. 
They are cladd in blacke, greene, yellowe, 
or "gray," 

Soe far above their owne degree : 
Once in my life He "doe as they," 

For He have a new cloake about mee. 


King Stephen was a worthy peere, 

His breeches cost him but a crowne, 
He held them sixpence all too deere ; 

Therefore he calld the taylor Lownt. 
He was a wight of high renowne, 

And thouse but of a low degree : 
Itt's pride that putts this countrye downe, 

Man, take thine old cloake about thee. 


' ' Bell my wife she loves not strife, 

Yet she will lead me if she can ; 
And oft, to live a quiet life, 

I am forced to yield, though Ime good- 
man ; ' ' 
Itt's not for a man with a woman to threapc, 

Unlesse he first gave oer the plea : 
As wee began wee now will leave, 

And lie take mine old cloake about mee. 

This winters weather itt waxeth cold, 

And frost doth freese on every hill, 
And Boreas blowes his blasts soe bold, 

That all our cattell are like to spill ; 
Bell my wiffe, who loves noe strife, 

She sayd unto me quietlye, 
Rise up, and save cow Crumbockes liffe, 

Man, put thine old cloake about thee. 


Bell, why dost Xhoujlyte "and scorne?" 
Thou kenst my cloak is very thin : 

Itt is soe bare and overworne 
A cricke he theron cannot renn : 

Then Be noe longer borrowe nor lend, 
' ' For once lie new appareld bee, 

To-morrow He to towne and spend," 
For He have a new cloake about mee. 


Cow Crumbocke is a very good cowe, 
Shee ha beene alwayes true to the payle, 

Shee has helpt us to butter and cheese, I 
And other things shee will not fayle ; 

1 wold be loth to see her pine, 

Good husband, councell take of mee, 
It is not for us to go soe fine, 
Man, take thine old cloake about thee. 


My cloake it was a verry good cloake, 

Itt hath been alwayes true to the weare, 
But now it is not worth a groat ; 

I have had it four and forty yeere : 
Sometime itt was of cloth in graine, 

'Tis now but a sigh clout as you may 
It will neither hold out winde nor raine ; 

And He have a new cloake about mee. 




It is from the following stanzas that Shakespeare has taken his song of the Willow, 
in his Othello, Act iv. Sc. iii. , though somewhat varied and applied by him to a female 
character. He makes Desdemona introduce it in this pathetic and affecting manner : 

" My mother had a maid called Barbara : 
She was in love ; and he she lov'd prov'd mad, 
And did forsake her. She had a song of — Willow. 
An old thing 'twas, but it expressed her fortune, 
And she died singing it." — Ed. 1793, vol. xv. p. 613. 

A POORE soule sat sighing under a sica- 
more tree ; 

O willow, willow, willow 1 
With his hand on his bosom, his head on 
his knee : 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
O willow, willow, willow ! 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 

He sigh'd in his singing, and after each 
Come willow, etc. 
I am dead to all pleasure, my true-love is 
O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 

My love she is turned ; untrue she doth 
prove : 

O willow, etc. 
She renders me nothing but hate for my 

O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

O pitty me (cried he) ye lovers, each one ; 

O willow, etc. 
Her heart's hard as marble ; she rues not 
my mone. 

O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

The cold streams ran by him, his eyes 
wept apace ; 
O willow, etc 

The salt tears fell from him, which drowned 
his face : 

O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the green willow, eta 

The mute birds sate by him, made tame 
by his mones ; 
O willow, etc. 
The salt tears fell from him, which softened 
the stones. 
O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 
garland ! 

Let nobody blame me, her scornes I do 
prove ; 
O willow, etc. 
She was borne to be faire ; I, to die for 
her love. 

O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 

O that beauty should harbour a heart that's 
so hard ! 

Sing willow, etc. 
My true love rejecting without all regard. 

O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

Let love no more boast him in palace, or 
bower ; 
O willow, etc. 
For women are trothles, and flote in an 

O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 


But what helps complaining? In vaine I 

A sign of her falsenesse before me doth 

complaine : 

stand : 

willow, etc. 

O willow, etc. 

I must patiently suffer her scorne and dis- 

Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

ci aine. 

O willow, etc. 

As here it doth bid to despair and to 

Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 


O willow, etc. 

Come, all you forsaken, and sit down by 

So hang it, friends, ore me in grave where 


I lye: 

O willow, etc. 

O willow, etc. 

He that 'plaines of his false love, mine's 

Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 

falser than she. 


O willow, etc. 

Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

In grave where I rest mee, hang this to 

the view, 

The willow wreath weare I, since my love 

O willow, etc. 

did fleet ; 

Of all that doe knowe her, to blaze her 

O willow, etc. 


A Garland for lovers forsaken most meete. 

willow, etc. 

willow, etc. 

Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 
garland ! 

With these words engraven, as epitaph 

O willow, etc. 


" Here lyes one, drank poyson for potion 

Lowe lay'd by my sorrow, begot by dis- 

most sweet." 
O willow, etc. 

daine ; 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

Against her too cruell, still still I com- 

Though she thus unkindly hath scorned 


my love, 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

O willow, etc. 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

And carelesly smiles at the sorrowes I 

Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 

prove ; 

garland ! 

O willow, etc. 

Sing, the greene willow, etc. 

O love too injurious, to wound my poore 

heart ? 

I cannot against her unkindly exclaim, 

O willow, etc. 

O willow, etc. 

To suffer the triumph, and joy in my 

Cause once well I loved her, and honoured 

smart : 

her name : 

O willow, etc. 

O willow, etc. 

Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

Sing, O the greene willow, etc. 

O willow, willow, willow ! the willow 

The name of her sounded so sweete in 


mine eare, 

O willow, etc. 

O willow, etc. 


1 I 

It rays'd my heart lightly, the name of my 

deare ; 
O willow, etc. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 


As then 'twas my comfort, it now is my 
griefe ; 

O willow, etc. 
It now brings me anguish ; then brought 
me reliefe. 
O willow, etc. 

Sing, O the greene willow 

shall be 


Farewell, faire false hearted : plaints end 
with my breath ! 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
Thou dost loath me, I love thee, though 
cause of my death. 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
O willow, willow, willow ! 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my 


This ballad is quoted in Shakespeare's second part of Henry IV. Act ii. The 
subject of it is taken from the ancient romance of King Arthur (commonly called A forte 
Arthur), being a poetical translation of chaps, cvii., cix. , ex. in Parti., as they stand in 
ed. 1634, 4to. In the older editions the chapters are differently numbered. This song 
is given from a printed copy, corrected in part by a fragment in the Editor's folio MS. 

When Arthur first in court began, 

And was approved king, 
By force of armes great victorys wanne, 

And conquest home did bring, 

Then into England straight he came 

With fifty good and able 
Knights, that resorted unto him, 

And were of his round table : 

And he had justs and turnaments, 

Wherto were many prest, 
Wherin some knights did far excell 

And eke surmount the rest. 

But one Sir Lancelot du Lake, 

Who was approved well, 
He for his deeds and feats of armes 

All others did excell. 

When he had rested him a while, 
In play, and game, and sportt, 

He said he wold goe prove himselfe 
In some adventurous sort. 

He armed rode in a forrest wide, 

And met a damsell faire, 
Who told him of adventures great, 

Whereto he gave great eare. 

Suche wold I find, quoth Lancelott : 

For that cause came I hither. 
Thou seemst, quoth shee, a knight full 

And I will bring thee thither. 

Wheras * a mighty knight doth dwell, 

That now is of great fame : 
Therfore tell me what wight thou art, 

And what may be thy name. 

" My name is Lancelot du Lake." 

Quoth she, it likes me than : 
Here dwelles a knight who never was 

Yet matcht with any man : 

Who has in prison threescore knights 
And four, that he did wound ; 

Knights of king Arthurs court they bo, 
And of his table round. 

She brought him to a river side, 

And also to a tree, 
Whereon a copper bason hung, 

And many shields to see. 

* V. 29. Where is often used by our old 
writers for whereas; here it is just the con- 


ii 4 


He struck soe hard, the bason broke ; 

And Tarquin soon he spyed : 
Who drove a horse before him fast, 

Whereon a knight lay tyed. 

Sir knight, then sayd Sir Lancelott, 
Bring me that horse-load hither, 

And lay him downe, and let him rest ; 
Weel try our force together : 

For, as I understand, thou hast, 

Soe far as thou art able, 
Done great despite and shame unto 

The knights of the Round Table. 

If thou be of the Table Round, 

Quoth Tarquin speedilye, 
Both thee and all thy fellowship 

I utterly defye. 

That's over much, quoth Lancelott tho, 

Defend thee by and by. 
They sett their speares unto their steeds, 

And eache att other flie. 

They coucht theire speares (their horses 
As though there had been thunder), 
And strucke them each immidst their 
Wherewith they broke in sunder. 

Their horsses backes brake under them, 
The knights were both astoutid: 

To avoyd their horsses they made haste 
And light upon the ground. 

They tooke them to their shields full fast, 
Their swords they drew out than, 

With mighty strokes most eagerlye 
Each at the other ran. 

They wounded were, and bled full sore, 
They both for breath did stand, 

And leaning on their swords awhile, 
Quoth Tarquine, Hold thy hand, 

And tell to me what I shall aske. 
Say on, quoth Lancelot tho. 

Thou art, quoth Tarquine, the best knight 
That ever I did know ; 

And like a knight, that I did hate : 

Soe that thou be not hee, 
I will deliver all the rest, 

And eke accord with thee. 

That is well said, quoth Lancelott ; 

But sith it must be soe, 
What knight is that thou hatest thus ? 

I pray thee to me show. 

His name is Lancelot du Lake, 

He slew my brother deere ; 
Him I suspect of all the rest : 

I would I had him here. 

Thy wish thou hast, but yet unknowne, 

I am Lancelot du Lake, 
Now knight of Arthurs Table Round ; 

King Hauds son of Schuwake ; 

And I desire thee do thy worst. 

Ho, ho, quoth Tarquin tho, 
One of us two shall end our lives 

Before that we do go. 

If thou be Lancelot du Lake, 
Then welcome shalt thou bee : 

Wherfore see thou thyself defend, 
For now defye I thee. 

They buckled then together so, 
Like unto wild boares rashing ;* 

And with their swords and shields they ran 
At one another slashing : 

The ground besprinkled was with blood : 

Tarquin began to yield ; 
For he gave backe for wearinesse, 

And lowe did beare his shield. 

* Rashing seems to be the old hunting term 
to express the stroke made by the wild boar 
with his fangs. 


This soone Sir Lancelot espyde, 

He leapt upon him then, 
He pull'd him downe upon his knee, 

And rushing off his helm, 

Forthwith he strucke his necke in two, 
And, when he had soe done, 

From prison threescore knights and four 
Delivered everye one. 


Is an attempt to paint a lover's irresolution, but so poorly executed, that it would not 
have been admitted into this collection, if it had not been quoted in Shakespeare's 
Twelfth Night, Act ii. Sc. iii. 

Farewell, dear love ; since thou wilt j 

needs be gone, 
Mine eyes do shew, my life is almost done. 
Nay I will never die, so long as I can 

There be many mo, though that she doe 
There be many mo, I fear not : 
Why then let her goe, I care not. 

Farewell, farewell ; since this I find is true, 

I will not spend more time in wooing you : 

But I will seek elsewhere, if I may find 

love there : 
Shall I bid her goe ? what and if I doe ? 
Shall I bid her goe and spare not? 
O no, no, no, I dare not. 

Ten thousand times farewell ; — yet stay a 

while : — 
Sweet, kiss me once ; sweet kisses time 

beguile : 

I have no power to move. How now am 

I in love ? 
Wilt thou needs be gone ? Go then, all 
is one. 
Wilt thou needs be gone? Oh, hie 

thee ! 
Nay stay, and do no more deny me. 

Once more adieu, I see loath to depart 
Bids oft adieu to her, that holds my heart. 
But seeing I must lose thy love, which 

I did choose, 
Goe thy way for me, since that may not be. 
Goe thy ways for me. But whither ? 
Goe, oh, but where I may come thither. 

What shall I doe? my love is now departed. 
She is as fair, as she is cruel-hearted. 
She would not be intreated, with prayers 

oft repeated, 
If she come no more, shall I die therefore? 
If she come no more, what care I ? 
Faith, let her goe, or come, or tarry. 


This ballad, Mr. Warton thinks, gave rise to Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, 
though other critics have based it upon a direct Italian source. Doubtless the Italian 
story, wherein, however, the Christian played the part of Shakespeare's Jew, was known 
both to the dramatist and to the author of the present ballad. 


IN Venice towne not long agoe 
A cruel Jew did dwell, 

Which lived all on usurie, 
As Italian writers tell. 

Gernutus called was the Jew, 
Which never thought to dye, 

Nor ever yet did any good 
To them in streets that lie. 


His life was like a barrow hogge, 

That liveth many a day, 
Yet never once doth any good, 

Until men will him slay. 

Or like a filthy heap of dung, 

That lyeth in a whoard ; 
Which never can do any good, 

Till it be spread abroad. 

So fares it with the usurer, 

He cannot sleep in rest, 
For feare the thiefe will him pursue 

To plucke him from his nest. 

His heart doth thinke on many a wile, 

How to deceive the poore ; 
His mouth is almost ful of mucke, 

Yet still he gapes for more. 

His wife must lend a shilling, 

For every weeke a penny, 
Yet bring a pledge, that is double worth, 

If that you will have any. 

And see, likewise, you keepe your day, 

Or else you loose it all : 
This was the living of the wife, 

Her cow * she did it call. 

Within that citie dwelt that time 

A marchant of great fame, 
Which being distressed in his need, 

Unto Gernutus came : 

Desiring him to stand his friend 
For twelve month and a day, 

To lend to him an hundred crownes : 
And he for it would pay 

Whatsoever he would demand of him, 
And pledges he should have. 

*Ver. 32. Her cow, etc., seems to have 
suggested to Shakespeare Shylock's argument 
for usury taken from Jacob's management of 
Laban's sheep, Act i., towhich Antonio replies: 
" Was this inserted to make interest good 1 

Or are your gold and silver ewes and rams? 

Shylock. I cannot tell, I make it breed as 

No (quoth the Jew vA'Ca.flearing lookes), 
Sir, aske what you will have. 

No penny for the loane of it 

For one year you shall pay ; 
You may doe me as good a turne, 

Before my dying day. 

But we will have a merry jeast, 

For to be talked long : 
You shall make me a bond, quoth he, 

That shall be large and strong : 

And this shall be the forfeyture ; 

Of your owne fleshe a pound. 
If you agree, make you the bond. 

And here is a hundred crownes. 

With right good will ! the marchant says : 

And so the bond was made. 
When twelve month and a day drew on 

That backe it should be payd, 

The marchants ships were all at sea, 

And money came not in ; 
Which way to take, or what to doe 

To thinke he doth begin : 

And to Gernutus strait he comes 

With cap and bended knee, 
And sayde to him, Of curtesie 

I pray you beare with mee. 

My day is come, and I have not 

The money for to pay : 
And little good the forfeyture 

Will doe you, I dare say. 

With all my heart, Gernutus sayd, 
Commaund it to your minde : 

In thinges of bigger waight then this 
You shall me ready finde. 

He goes his way ; the day once past 

Gernutus doth not slacke 
To get a sergiant presently ; 

And clapt him on the backe : 

And layd him into prison strong, 

And sued his bond withall ; 
And when the judgement day was come, 

For judgement he did call. 



The marchants friends came thither fast, 

With many a weeping eye, 
For other means they could not find, 

But he that day must dye. 


" Of the Jews crueltie ; setting foorth the 
mercifulnesse of the Judge towards the 
Marchant. To the tune of Blacke and 

Some offered for his hundred crownes 

Five hundred for to pay ; 
And some a thousand, two or three, 

Yet still he did denay. 

And at the last ten thousand crownes 

They offered, him to save. 
Gernutus sayd, I will no gold : 

My forfeite I will have. 

A pound of fleshe is my demand, 

And that shall be my hire. 
Then sayd the judge, Yet, good my friend, 

Let me of you desire 

To take the flesh from such a place, 

As yet you let him live : 
Do so, and lo ! an hundred crownes 

To thee here will I give. 

No : no : quoth he ; no : judgement here : 

For this it shall be tride, 
For I will have my pound of fleshe 

From under his right side. 

It grieved all the companie 

His crueltie to see, 
For neither friend nor foe could helpe 

But he must spoyled bee. 

The bloudie Jew now ready is 
With whetted blade in hand,* 

* The passage in Shakespeare bears so 
strong a resemblance to this, as to render it 
probable that the one suggested the other. 
See Act iv. Sc. ii. : 

" Bass. Why doest thou whet thy knife so 
earnestly 1 " etc. 

To spoyle the bloud of innocent, 
By forfeit of his bond. 

And as he was about to strike 

In him the deadly blow : 
Stay (quoth the judge) thy crueltie ; 

I charge thee to do so. 

Sith needs thou wilt thy forfeit have, 

Which is of flesh a pound : 
See that thou shed no drop of bloud. 

Nor yet the man confound. 

For if thou doe, like murderer, 

Thou here shalt hanged be : 
Likewise of flesh see that thou cut 

No more than longes to thee : 

For if thou take either more or lesse 

To the value of a mite, 
Thou shalt be hanged presently, 

As is both law and right. 

Gernutus now waxt franticke mad, 

And wote not what to say ; 
Quoth he at last, Ten thousand crownes. 

I will that he shall pay ; 

And so I graunt to set him free. 

The judge doth answere make ; 
You shall not have a penny given ; 

Your forfeyture now take. 

At the last he doth demaund 

But for to have his owne. 
No, quoth the judge, doe as you list, 

Thy judgement shall be showne. 

Either take your pound of flesh, quoth he, 

Or cancell me your bond. 
O cruell judge, then quoth the Jew, 

That doth against me stand ! 

And so with griping* grieved mind 

He biddcth them fare-well. 
"Then " all the people prays'd the Lord, 

That ever this heard tell. 

* Ver. 61. Grimed, Ashmol. copy. 



Good people, that doe heare this song, 

For trueth I dare well say, 
That many a wretch as ill as hee 

Doth live now at this day ; 

That seeketh nothing but the spoyle 

Of many a wealthey man, 
And for to trap the innocent 

Deviseth what they can. 

From whome the Lord deliver me, 

And every Christian too, 
And send to them like sentence eke 

That meaneth so to do. 

%* Since the first edition of this book 
was printed, the editor hath had reason to 
believe that both Shakespeare and the 
author of this ballad are indebted for their 
story of the Jew (however they came by it) 
to an Italian novel, which was first printed 
at Milan in the year 1554, in a book 
entitled, 77 Pecorone, nel quale si conten- 
gono Cinquanta Novelle autichc, etc., 
republished at Florence about the year 
1748 or 1749. The author was Ser. 
Giovanni Fiorentino, who wrote in 1378, 
thirty years after the time in which the 
scene of Boccace's Decameron is laid. 

( Vid. Manni Istoria del Decameronc di 
Giov. Boccac. 4to, Fior. 1744.) 

That Shakespeare had his plot from the 
novel itself, is evident from his having 
some incidents from it, which are not 
found in the ballad : and I think it will 
also be found "that he borrowed from the 
ballad some hints that were not suggested 
by the novel. (See above, Part ii. ver. 
25, etc., where, instead of that spirited 
description of the whetted blade, etc., the 
prose narrative coldly says, ' ' The Jew had 
prepared a razor," etc. See also some 
other passages in the same piece.) This, 
however, is spoken with diffidence, as I 
have at present before me only the 
abridgment of the novel which Mr. 
Johnson has given us at the end of his 
commentary on Shakespeare's play. The 
translation of the Italian story at large 
is not easy to be met with, having I 
believe never been published, though it 
was printed some years ago with this title : 
— "The Novel, from which the Merchant 
of Venice written by Shakespeare is taken, 
translated from the Italian. To which is 
added a translation of a novel from the' 
Decamerone of Boccacio. London, 
printed for M. Cooper, 1755, 8vo." 


This beautiful sonnet is quoted in the Merry Wives of Windsor, Act iii. Sc. i. , and has 
often been ascribed (together with the reply) to Shakespeare himself. 

There is, however, abundant reason to believe that it was written by Christopher 
Marlow. Isaac Walton in his Compleat Angler, first printed in the year 1658, but 
probably written sometime before, speaks of it as "that smooth song, which was 
made by Kit Marlow, now fifty years ago : and ... an answer to it which was made 
by Sir Walter Raleigh in his younger days." 

There are also other proofs of the author of the one being Christopher Marlow ; of 
the other, Sir Walter Raleigh. 

Come live with me and be my love, 

And we wil all the pleasures prove 
That hils and vallies, dale and field, 
And all the craggy mountains yield. 

There will we sit upon the rocks, 
And see the shepherds feed their flocks, 
By shallow rivers, to whose falls 
Melodious birds sing madrigals. 



There will I make thee beds of roses 
With a thousand fragrant posies, 
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle 
Imbrodered all with leaves of mirtle ; 

A gown made of the finest wool, 
Which from our pretty lambs we pull ; 
Slippers lin'd choicely for the cold ; 
With buckles of the purest gold ; 

A belt of straw, and ivie buds, 
With coral clasps, and amber studs : 
And if these pleasures may thee move, 
Then live with me and be my love. 

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing 
For thy delight each May morning : 
If these delights thy mind may move, 
Then live with me, and be my love. 


If that the World and Love were young, 
And truth in every shepherd's toung, 
These pretty pleasures might me move 
To live with thee, and be thy love. 

But time drives flocks from field to fold, 
When rivers rage, and rocks grow cold, 
And Philomel becomcth dumb, 
And all complain of cares to come. 

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields 
To wayward winter reckoning yield : 
A honey tongue, a hart of gall, 
Is fancies spring, but sorrows fall. 

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses, 
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies, 
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten, 
In folly ripe, in reason rotten. 

Thy belt of straw, and ivie buds, 
Thy coral clasps, and amber studs ; 
All these in me no means can move 
To come to thee, and be thy love. 

But could youth last, and love still breed, 
Had joyes no date, nor age no need ; 
Then those delights my mind might move 
To live with thee, and be thy love. 


The same question arises with this ballad as with that of Gernutus, as to whether 
Shakespeare took his play from the ballad, or whether the ballad was written from the 
play. In both cases there are marked differences. But there is good reason to 
believe that Shakespeare did not write, but simply improved the play of Titus 
Andronicus, which is much inferior to any of his other works. 

You noble minds, and famous martiall 

That in defence of native country fights, 
Give eare to me, that ten yeeres fought for 

Yet reapt disgrace at my returning home. 

In Rome I lived in fame fulle threescore 

My name beloved was of all my peeres ; 
Full five and twenty valiant sonnes I had, 
Whose forwarde vertues made their 

father glad. 

For when Romes foes their warlike forces 

Against them stille my sonnes and I were 

sent ; 
Against theGoths full ten yeeres weary warre 
We spent, receiving many a bloudy scarre. 

Just two and twenty of my sonnes were 

Before we did returne to Rome againe : 
Of five and twenty sonnes, I brought but 

Alive, the stately towers of Eome to see. 



When wars were done, I conquest home 

did bring, 
And did present my prisoners to the king, 
The queene of Goths, her sons, and 

eke a moore, 
Which did such murders, like was nere 


The emperour did make this queene his 

Which bred in Rome debate and deadlie 

strife ; 
The moore, with her two sonnes did growe 

soe proud, 
That none like them in Rome might bee 


The moore soe pleas'd this new-made 

empress' eie, 
That she consented to him secretlye 
For to abuse her husband's marriage bed, 
And soe in time a blackamore she bred. 

Then she, whose thoughts to murder were 

Consented with the moore of bloody 

Against myselfe, my kin, and all my 

In cruell sort to bring them to their endes. 

Soe when in age I thought to live in peace, 
Both care and griefe began then to increase : 
Amongst my sonnes I had one daughter 

Which joy'd, and pleased best my aged 

sight ; 

My deere Lavinia was betrothed than 
To Cesars sonne, a young and noble man : 
Who in a hunting by the emperours wife, 
And her two sonnes, bereaved was of life. 

He being slaine, was cast in cruel wise, 
Into a darksome den from light of skies : 
Tlie cruell Moore did come that way as 

With my three sonnes, who fell into the 


The moore then fetcht the emperour with 

For to accuse them of that murderous 

deed ; 
And when my sonnes within the den were 

In wrongfull prison thy were cast and 


But nowe, behold ! what wounded most 

my mind, 
The empresses two sonnes of savage kind 
My daughter ravished without remorse, 
And took away her honour, quite perforce. 

When they had tasted of soe swete a flowre, 
Fearing this swete should shortly turne to 

They cutt her tongue, whereby she could 

not tell 
How that dishonoure unto her befell. 

Then both her hands they basely cutt off 

Whereby their wickednesse she could not 

write ; 
Nor with her needle on her sampler sowe 
The bloudye workers of her direful! woe. 

My brother Marcus found her in the wood, 
Staining the grassie ground with purple 

That trickled from her stumpes, and 

bloudlesse armes : 
Noe tongue at all she had to tell her 


But when I sawe her in that woefull case, 
With teares of bloud I wet mine aged face : 
For my Lavinia I lamented more 
Then for my two and twenty sonnes before. 

When as I sawe she could not write nor 

With grief mine aged heart began to breake ; 
We spred an heape of sand upon the 

Whereby those bloudy tyrants out we 




For with astaffe, without the helpe of hand, 
She writt these wordes upon the plat of 

sand : 
"The lustfull sonnes of the proud em- 

Are doers of this hateful wickednesse." 

I tore the milk-white hairs from off 

I curst the houre, wherein I first was 

I wisht this hand, that fought for countries 

In cradle rockt, had first been stro ken lame. 

The moore delighting still in villainy- 
Did say, to sett my sonnes from prison free 
I should unto the king my right hand give, 
And then my three imprisoned sonnes 
should live. 

The moore I caus'd to strike it off with 

Whereat I grieved not to see it bleed, 
But for my sonnes would willingly impart, 
And for their ransome send my bleeding 


But as my life did linger thus in paine, 
They sent to me my bootlesse hand againe, 
And therewithal the heades of my three 

Which filld my dying heart with fresher 


Then past rcliefe I upp and downe did goe, 
And with my tears writ in the dust my woe : 
I shot my arrowes towards heaven hie, 
And for revenge to hell did often crye. 

The empresse then, thinking that I was 

Like Furies she and both her sonnes were 


(She nam'd Revenge, and Rape and 

Murder they), 
To undermine and heare what I would say. 

I fed their foolish veines * a certaine space, 
Until my friendes did find a secret place, 
Where both her sonnes unto a post were 

And just revenge in cruell sort was found. 

I cut their throates, my daughter held the 

Betwixt her stumpes, wherein the bloud it 

ran : 
And then I ground their bones to powder 

And made a paste for pyes streight there- 


Then with their fleshe I made two mighty 

And at a banquet served in stately wise : 
Before the empresse set this loathsome 

meat ; 
So of her sonnes own flesh she well did eat. 

Myselfe bereav'd my daughter then of life, 
The empresse then I slewe with bloudy 

And stabb'd the emperour immediatelie, 
And then myself : even soe did Titus die. 

Then this revenge against the moore was 

Alive they sett him halfe into the ground, 
Whereas he stood untill such time he 

And soe God send all murderers may be 


* i.e. encouraged them in their foolish 
humours or fancies. 




The first stanza of this little sonnet is found in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, 
Act iv. Sc. i, Both the stanzas are preserved in Beaum. and Fletcher's Bloody 
Brother, Act v. Sc. ii. It is not found in Jaggard's old edition of Shakespeare's 
Passionate Pilgrim, and there is some doubt as to the authorship of it. 

Take, oh take those lips away, 
That so sweetlye were forsworne ; 

And those eyes, the breake of day, 
Lights, that do misleade the morne 

But my kisses bring againe, 

Seales of love, but seal'd in vaine. 

Hide, oh hide those hills of snowe, 
Which thy frozen bosom beares, 

On whose tops the pinkes that growe 
Are of those that April wears : 

But first set my poor heart free, 

Bound in those icy chains by thee. 


The reader has here an ancient ballad on the subject of King Lear, which (as a 
sensible female critic has well observed) bears so exact an analog)' to the argument of 
Shakespeare's play, that his having copied it could not be doubted, if it were certain 
that it was written before" the tragedy. Here is found the hint of Lear's madness, 
which the old chronicles do not mention, as also the extravagant cruelty exercised on 
him by his daughters. In the death of Lear they likewise very exactly coincide. The 
misfortune is, that there is nothing to assist us in ascertaining the date of the ballad 
but what little evidence arises from within ; this the reader must weigh, and judge for 

King Leir once ruled in this land 

With princely power and peace ; 
And had all things with hearts content, 

That might his joys increase. 
Amongst those things that nature gave, 

Three daughters fair had he, 
So princely seeming beautiful, 

As fairer could not be. 

So on a time it pleas'd the king 

A question thus to move, 
Which of his daughters to his grace 

Could shew the dearest love : 
For to my age you bring content, 

Quoth he, then let me hear, 
Which of you three in plighted troth 

The kindest will appear. 

To whom the eldest thus began ; 

Dear father, mind, quoth she, 
Before your face, to do you good, 

My blood shall render'd be : 
And for your sake my bleeding heart 

Shall here be cut in twain, 
Ere that I see your reverend age 
The smallest grief sustain. 

And so will I, the second said ; 

Dear father, for your sake, 
The worst of all extremities 

I'll gently undertake : 
And serve your highness night and day 

With diligence and love ; 
That sweet content and quietness 

Discomforts may remove. 



In doing so, you glad my soul, 

The aged king reply'd ; 
But what sayst thou, my youngest girl, 

I low is thy love ally'd? 
My love (quoth young Cordelia then) 

Which to your grace I owe, 
Shall be the duty of a child, 

And that is all I'll show. 

And wilt thou shew no more, quoth he, 

Than doth thy duty bind ? 
I well perceive thy love is small, 

When as no more I find. 
Henceforth I banish thee my court, 

Thou art no child of mine ; 
Nor any part of this my realm 

By favour shall be thine. 

Thy elder sisters loves are more 

Than well I can demand, 
To whom I equally bestow 

My kingdome and my land, 
My pompal state and all my goods, 

That lovingly I may 
With those thy sisters be maintain'd 

Until my dying day. 

Thus flattering speeches won renown, 

By these two sisters here ; 
The third had causeless banishment, 

Yet was her love more dear : 
For poor Cordelia patiently 

Went wandering up and down, 
Unhelp'd, unpity'd, gentle maid, 

Through many an English town : 

Untill at last in famous France 

She gentler fortunes found ; 
Though poor and bare, yet was she deem'd 

The fairest on the ground : 
Where when the king her virtues heard, 

And this fair lady seen, 
With full consent of all his court 

He made his wife and queen. 

Her father king Lcir this while 
With his two daughters staid : 

Forgetful of their promis'd loves, 
Full soon the same decay'd ; 

And living in queen Ragan's court, 

The eldest of the twain, 
She took from him his chiefest means, 

And most of all his train. 

For whereas twenty men were wont 

To wait with bended knee : 
She gave allowance but to ten, 

And after scarce to three ; 
Nay, one she thought too much for him ; 

So took she all away, 
In hope that in her court, good king, 

He would no longer stay. 

Am I rewarded thus, quoth he, 

In giving all I have 
Unto my children, and to beg 

For what I lately gave ? 
I'll go unto my Gonorell : 

My second child, I know, 
Will be more kind and pitiful, 

And will relieve my woe. 

Full fast he hies then to her court ; 

Where when she heard his moan 
Return'd him answer, That she griev'd, 

That all his means were gone : 
But no way could relieve his wants ; 

Yet if that he would stay 
Within her kitchen, he should have 

What scullions gave away. 

When he had heard, with bitter tears, 

He made his answer then ; 
In what I did let me be made 

Example to all men. 
I will return again, quoth he, 

Unto my Ragan's court ; 
She will not use me thus, I hope, 

But in a kinder sort. 

Where when he came, she gave command 

To drive him thence away : 
When he was well within her court 

(She said) he would not stay. 
Then back again to Gonorell 

The woeful king did hie, 
That in her kitchen he might have 

What scullion boys set by. 



But there of that he was deny'd 

Which she had promis'd late : 
For once refusing, he should not 

Come after to her gate. 
Thus twixt his daughters, for relief 

He wandred up and down ; 
Being glad to feed on beggars food, 

That lately wore a crown. 

And calling to remembrance then 

His youngest daughter's words, 
That said the duty of a child 

Was all that love affords : 
But doubting to repair to her, 

Whom he had banish'd so, 
Grew frantick mad ; for in his mind 

He bore the wounds of woe : 

Which made him rend his milk-white 

And tresses from his head, 
And all with blood bestain his cheeks, 

With age and honour spread. 
To hills and woods and watry founts 

He made his hourly moan, 
Till hills and woods, and sensless things, 

Did seem to sigh and groan. 

Even thus possest with discontents, 

He passed o're to France, 
In hopes from fair Cordelia there, 

To find some gentler chance ; 
Most virtuous dame ! which when she 

Of this her father's grief, 
As duty bound, she quickly sent 

Him comfort and relief: 

And by a train of noble peers, 

In brave and gallant sort, 
She gave in charge he should be brought 

To Aganippus' court ; 
Whose royal king, with noble mind 

So freely gave consent, 
To muster up his knights at arms, 

To fame and courage bent. 

And so to England came with speed, 

To repossesse king Leir, 
And drive his daughters from their 

By his Cordelia dear. 
Where she, true-hearted noble queen, 

Was in the battel slain ; 
Yet he good king, in his old days, 

Possest his crown again. 

But when he heard Cordelia's death, 

Who died indeed for love 
Of her dear father, in whose cause 

She did this battle move ; 
He swooning fell upon her breast, 

From whence he never parted : 
But on her bosom left his life, 

That was so truly hearted. 

The lords and nobles when they saw 

The end of these events, 
The other sisters unto death 

They doomed by consents ; 
And being dead, their crowns they left 

Unto the next of kin : 
Thus have you seen the fall of pride, 

And disobedient sin. 




Is found in the little collection of Shakespeare's sonnets, entitled the Passionate Pil- 
grime, the greatest part of which seems to relate to the amours of Venus and Adonis. 
The following seems intended for the mouth of Venus, weighing the comparative 
merits of youthful Adonis and aged Vulcan. 

Crabbed Age and Youth 

Cannot live together ; 
Youth is full of pleasance, 

Age is full of care : 
Youth like summer morn, 

Age like winter weather, 
Youth like summer brave, 

Age like winter bare : 
Youth is full of sport, 

Ages breath is short ; 

Youth is nimble, Age is lame : 
Youth is hot and bold, 
Age is weak and cold ; 

Youth is wild, and Age is tame. 
Age, I do abhor thee, 
Youth, I do adore thee ; 

O, my love, my love is young : 
Age, I do defie thee ; 
Oh sweet shepheard, hie thee, 

For methinks thou stayst too long. 


The following ballad is upon the same subject as the Introduction to Shakespeare's 
Taming of the Shrew : whether it may be thought to have suggested the hint to the 
dramatic poet, or is not rather of later date, the reader must determine. 

The story is told of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, "that when at Bruges in 
Flanders, he would in the evening walke disguised all about the towne. It so fortuned, 
as he was walking late one night, he found a countrey fellow dead drunke, snorting on 
a bulke ; he caused his followers to bring him to his palace, and there stripping him 
of his old clothes, and attyring him after the court fashion, when he wakened, he and 
they were all ready to attend upon his excellency and persuade him that he was some 
great duke. The poor fellow admiring how he came there, was served in state all day 
long : after supper he saw them dance, heard musicke, and all the rest of those court- 
like pleasures ; but late at night, when he was well tipled, and again fast asleepe, they 
put on his old robes, and so conveyed him to the place where they first found him. 
Now the fellow had not made them so good sport the day before, as he did now, 
when he returned to himself : all the jest was to see how he looked upon it. In con- 
clusion, after some little admiration, the poore man told his friends he had seen a 
vision ; constantly believed it ; would not otherwise be persuaded, and so the jest 
ended." — Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. 



Now as fame does report a young duke 

keeps a court, 
One that pleases his fancy with frolicksome 

sport : 
But amongst all the rest, here is one I 

Which will make you to smile when you 

hear the true jest : 
A poor tinker he found, lying drunk on 

the ground, 
As secure in a sleep as if laid in a 


The duke said to his men, William, 

Richard, and Ben, 
Take him home to my palace, we'll sport 

with him then. 
O'er a horse he was laid, and with care 

soon convey'd 
To the palace, altho' he was poorly 

arrai'd : 
Then they stript off his cloaths, both his 

shirt, shoes and hose, 
And they put him to bed for to take his 


Having pull'd off his shirt, which was all 

over durt, 
They did give him clean holland, this was 

no great hurt : 
On a bed of soft down, like a lord of 

They did lay him to sleep the drink out of 

his crown. 
In the morning when day, then admiring 

he lay, 
For to see the rich chamber both gaudy 

and gay. 

Now he lay something late, in his rich 
bed of state, 

Till at last knights and squires they on 
him did wait ; 

And the chamberling bare, then did like- 
wise declare, 

He desired to know what apparel he'd 
ware : 

The poor tinker amaz'd, on the gentleman 

And admired how he to this honour was 


Tho' he seem'd something mute, yet he 

chose a rich suit, 
Which he straightways put on without 

longer dispute ; 
With a star on his side, which the tinker 

offt ey'd, 
And it seem'd for to swell him " no " little 

with pride ; 
For he said to himself, Where is Joan my 

sweet wife ? 
Sure she never did see me so fine in her life. 

From a convenient place, the right duke 

his good grace 
Did observe his behaviour in every case. 
To a garden of state, on the tinker they 

Trumpets sounding before him : thought 

he, this is great : 
Where an hour or two, pleasant walks he 

did view, 
With commanders and squires in scarlet 

and blew. 

A fine dinner was drest, both for him and 

his guests, 
He was plac'd at the table above all the 

In a rich chair "or bed," lin'd with fine 

crimson red, 
With a rich golden canopy over his head : 
As he sat at his meat, the musick play'd 

With the choicest of singing his joys to 


While the tinker did dine, he had plenty 

of wine, 
Rich canary with sherry and tent superfine. 
Like a right honest soul, faith, he took off 

his bowl, 
Till at last he began lor to tumble and 




From his chair to the floor, where he 

sleeping did snore, 
Being seven times drunker than ever 


Then the duke did ordain, they should 
strip him amain, 

And restore him his old leather garments 
again : 

'Twas a point next the worst, yet per- 
form it they must, 

And they carry 'd him strait, where they 
found him at first ; 

Then he slept all the night, as indeed well 
he might ; 

But when he did waken, his joys took 
their flight. 

For his glory "to him" so pleasant did 

That he thought it to be but a meer 

golden, dream ; 
Till at length he was brought to the duke, 

where he sought 
For a pardon, as fearing he had set him 

at nought ; 

But his highness he said, Thou 'rt a jolly 

bold blade, 
Such afrolickbeforelthinkneverwas plaid. 

Then his highness bespoke him a new 

suit and cloak, 
Which he gave for the sake of this frolick- 

some joak ; 
Nay, and five-hundred pound, with ten 

acres of ground, 
Thou shalt never, said he, range the 

counteries round, 
Crying old brass to mend, for I'll be thy 

good friend, 
Nay, and Joan thy sweet wife shall my 

duchess attend. 

Then the tinker reply'd, What ! must Joan 
my sweet bride 

Be a lady in chariots of pleasure to ride? 

Must we have gold and land ev'ry day at 
command ? 

Then I shall be a squire I well under- 
stand : 

Well I thank your good grace, and your 
love I embrace, 

I was never before in so happy a case. 

Dispersed through Shakespeare's plays are innumerable little fragments of ancient 
ballads, the entire copies of which could not be recovered. Many of these being of 
the most beautiful and pathetic simplicity, the editor was tempted to select some of 
them, and with a few supplemental stanzas to connect them together, and form them 
into a little tale, which is here submitted to the reader's candour. 
One small fragment was taken from Beaumont and Fletcher. 

It was a friar of orders gray 

Walkt forth to tell his beades ; 
And he met with a lady faire 

O by his cockle hat, and staff, 
And by his sandal shoone.* 

Clad in a pilgrime's weedes. 

Now Christ thee save, thou reverend friar, 

I pray thee tell to me, 
If ever at yon holy shrine 

My true love thou didst see. 

And how should I know your true love 
From many another one ? 

But chiefly by his face and mien, 
That were so fair to view ; 

* These are the distinguishing marks ot a 
pilgrim. The chief places of devotion being 
beyond sea, the pilgrims were wont to put 
cockle shells in their hats to denote the in- 
tention or performance of their devotion. — 
Warburton's Sliakespeare, vol. viii. p. 224. 



His flaxen locks that sweetly curl'd, 
And eyne of lovely blue. 

lady, he is dead and gone ! 

Lady, he's dead and gone ! 
And at his head a green grass turfe, 

And at his heels a stone. 

Within these holy cloysters long 
He languisht, and he dyed, 

Lamenting of a ladyes love, 
And 'playning of her pride. 

Here bore him barefae'd on his bier 

Six proper youths and tall, 
And many a tear bedew'd his grave 

Within yon kirk-yard wall. 

And art thou dead, thou gentle youth ! 

And art thou dead and gone ! 
And didst thou dye for love of me ! 

Break, cruel heart of stone ! 

O weep not, lady, weep not soe ; 

Some ghostly comfort seek : 
Let not vain sorrow rive thy heart, 

Ne teares bedew thy cheek. 

O do not, do not, holy friar, 

My sorrow now reprove ; 
For I have lost the sweetest youth, 

That e'er wan ladyes love. 

And nowe, alas ! for thy sad losse, 
I'll evermore weep and sigh ; 

For thee I only wisht to live, 
For thee I wish to dye. 

Weep no more, lady, weep no more, 

Thy sorrowe is in vaine : 
For violets pluckt the sweetest showers 

Will ne'er make grow againe. 

Our joys as winged dreams doe flye, 
Why then should sorrow last ? 

Since grief but aggravates thy losse, 
Grieve not for what is past. 

O say not soe, thou holy friar ; 
I pray thee, say not soe : 

For since my true-love dyed for mee, 
'Tis meet my tears should flow. 

And will he ne'er come again ? 

Will he ne'er come again? 
Ah ! no, he is dead and laid in his grave, 

For ever to remain. 

His cheek was redder than the rose ; 

The comliest youth was he ! 
But he is dead and laid in his grave ; 

Alas, and woe is me ! 

Sigh no more, lady, sigh no more, 

Men were deceivers ever : 
One foot on sea and one on land, 

To one thing constant never. 

Hadst thou been fond, he had been false, 

And left thee sad and heavy ; 
For young men ever were fickle found, 

Since summer trees were leafy. 

Now say not so, thou holy friar, 

I pray thee say not soe ; 
My love he had the truest heart : 

O he was ever true ! 

And art thou dead, thou much-lov'd 

And didst thou dye for mee? 
Then farewell home ; for ever-more 

A pilgrim I will bee. 

But first upon my true-loves grave 

My weary limbs I'll lay, 
And thrice I'll kiss the green-grass turf, 

That wraps his breathless clay. 

Yet stay, fair lady ; rest awhile 

Beneath this cloyster wall : 
See through the hawthorn blows the cold 

And drizzly rain doth fall. 

O stay me not, thou holy friar ; 

O stay me not, I pray ; 
No drizzly rain that falls on me, 

Can wash my fault away. 



Yet stay, fair lady, turn again, 
And dry those pearly tears ; 

For see beneath this gown of gray 
Thy owne true-love appears. 

Here fore'd by grief, and hopeless love, 
These holy weeds I sought ; 

And here amid these lonely walls 
To end my days I thought. 

But haply for my year of grace* 

Is not yet past away, 
Might I still hope to win thy love, 

No longer would I stay. 

* The year of probation or noviciate. 

Now farewell grief, and welcome joy 

Once more unto my heart ; 
For since I have found thee, lovely youth, 

We never more will part. 

%* As the foregoing song has been 
thought to have suggested to Goldsmith 
the plan of his beautiful ballad of Edzviii 
and Emtna (first printed in his Vicar 
of Wakefield), it is but justice to his 
memory to declare that his poem was 
written first, and that if there is any imita- 
tion in the case, they will be found both 
to be indebted to the beautiful old ballad 
Gentle Herdsman. 




At the beginning of this volume we gave the old original song of Chevy-Chase. The 

reader has here the more improved edition of that fine heroic ballad. It will afford an 
agreeable entertainment to the curious to compare them together, and to see how far 
the latter bard has excelled his predecessor, and where he has fallen short of him. 
Some few passages retain more dignity in the ancient copy ; for instance, the catas- 
trophe of the gallant Witherington is in the modern copy exprest in terms which never 
fail at present to excite ridicule : whereas in the original it is related with a plain and 
pathetic simplicity that is liable to no such unlucky effect. 

"The old song of Chevy-Chase," says Addison, "is the favourite ballad of the 
common people of England ; " and Ben Jonson used to say he had rather have been 
the author of it than of all his works. Sir Philip Sydney, in his Discourse of Poetry, 
speaks of it in the following words : " I never heard the old song of Piercy and Douglas 
that I found not my heart more stirred than with a trumpet." 

"An heroic poem should be founded upon some important precept of morality 
adapted to the constitution of the country in which the poet writes ; " and this keynote 
of the poem Addison tells us that we have in the first verse, where the author of the 
ballad desires an ending of the unnatural strife that brought about so many disasters. 

Prof. Henry Morley says "that the ballad that moved Sir Philip Sydney was 
written in the fifteenth century, and that this version before us was not composed until 
after Sydney's death, and after the best of Shakespeare's plays had been written." 
However, Addison's criticism concerns the present ballad, and we shall append foot- 
notes to some of the verses he particularly admires. 

From a passage in the Memoirs of Carey, Earl of Monmouth, we learn that it was an 
ancient custom with the Borderers of the two kingdoms, when they were at peace, to 
send to the lord wardens of the opposite marches for leave to hunt within their 
districts. If leave was granted, then towards the end of summer they would come 
and hunt for several days together " with their greyhounds for deer : " but if they took 
this liberty unpermitted, then the lord warden of the border so invaded would not 
fail to interrupt their sport and chastise their boldness. He mentions a remarkable 
instance that happened while he was warden, when some Scotch gentlemen coming 
to hunt in defiance of him, there must have ensued such an action as this of Chevy- 
Chase, if the intruders had been proportionably numerous and well-armed : for, upon 
their being attacked by his men-at-arms, he tells us, "some hurt was done, tho' he 
had given especiall order that they should shed as little blood as possible. " They 
were in effect overpowered and taken prisoners, and only released on their promise to 
abstain from such licentious sporting for the future. 

The following text is given from a copy in the Editor's folio MS. compared with 
two or three others printed in black letter. 


13 1 

God prosper long our noble king, 

Our lives and safetyes all ; 
A woefull hunting once there did 

In Chevy-Chace befall ; 

To drive the deere with hound and home, 

Erie Percy took his way ; 
The child may rue* that is unborne, 

The hunting of that day. 

The stout Erie of Northumberland 

A vow to God did make, 
His pleasure in the Scottish woods 

Three summers days to take ; 

The cheefest harts in Chevy-Chace 

To kill and beare away. 
These tydings to Erie Douglas came, 

In Scottland where he lay : 

Who sent Erie Percy present word, 

He wold prevent his sport. 
The English Erie, not fearing that, 

Did to the woods resort 

With fifteen hundred bow-men bold ; 

All chosen men of might, 
Who knew full well in time of neede 

To ayme their shafts arright. 

The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran, 

To chase the fallow deere : 
On munday they began to hunt, 

Ere daylight did appeare ; 

Ami long before high noone they had 
An hundred fat buckes slaine ; 

Then having dined, the drovycrs went 
To rouze the dcare againe. 

The bow-men mustered on the hills, 

Well able to endure ;' 
Theire backsides all, with speciall care, 

That day were guarded sure. 

* The way of considering the misfortune 
which this battle would biing upon posterity 
... is wonderfully beautiful and conformable 
to the way of thinking among the ancient 
poets. — Addison. 

The hounds ran swiftly through the 

The nimble deere to take,* 
That with their cryes the hills and dales 

An eccho shrill did make. 

Lord Percy to the quarry went, 
To view the slaughter' d deere ; 

Quoth he, Erie Douglas promised 
This day to meet me heere : 

But if I thought he wold not come, 

Noe longer wold I stay. 
With that, a brave younge gentleman 

Thus to the Erie did say : 

Loe, yonder doth Erie Douglas come, 

His men in armour bright ; 
Full twenty hundred Scottish speres 

All marching in our sight ; 

All men of pleasant Tivydale, 
Fast by the river Tweede : 

cease your sports, Erie Percy said, 
And take your bowes with speede : 

And now with me, my countrymen, 

Your courage forth advance ; 
For there was never champion yett, 

In Scotland or in France, 

That ever did on horsebacke come, 
But if my hap it were, 

1 durst encounter man for man, 
With him to break a spere. 

Erie Douglas on his milke-white steede 

Most like a baron bold, 
Rode formost of his company, 

Whose armour shone like gold. 

* Leyland, in the reign of Henry VIII., 
thus describes this county : " In Northumber* 
land, as I heare say, be no forests, except 
Chivet Hills ; where is much brushe-wood, 
and some okke ; grownde ovargrowne with 
linge, and some with mosse. I have harde 
say that Chivet Hills stretchethe xx miles. 
There is greate plente of redde-dere, and 
roo bukkes." 



Show me, sayd hee, whose men you bee, 

That hunt soe boldly heere, 
That, without my consent, doe chase 

And kill my fallow-deere. 

The first man that did answer make, 

Was noble Percy hee ; 
Who sayd, Wee list not to declare, 

Nor shew whose men wee bee : 

Yet wee will spend our deerest blood, 

Thy cheefest harts to slay. 
Then Douglas swore a solempne oathe, 

And thus in rage did say, 

Ere thus I will out-braved bee, 

One of us two shall dye : 
I know thee well, an erle thou art ; 

Lord Percy, soe am I. 

But trust me, Percy, pittye it were, 

And great offence to kill 
Any of these our guiltlesse men, 

For they have done no ill. 

Let thou and I the battell trye, 

And set our men aside. 
Accurst bee he, Erie Percy sayd, 

By whome this is denyed. 

Then stept a gallant squier forth, 
Witherington was his name, 

Who said, I wold not have it told 
To Henry our king for shame, 

That ere my captaine fought on foote, 

And I stood looking on. 
You bee two erles, sayd Witherington, 

And I a squier alone ; 

He doe the best that doe I may, 
While I have power to stand : 

While I have power to weeld my sword, 
He fight with hart and hand. 

Our English archers bent their bowes, 
Their harts were good and trew ; 

Att the first flight of arrowes sent, 
Full four-score Scots they slew. 

[Yet bides Earl Douglas on the bent, 

As chieftain stout and good. 
As valiant captain, all unmov'd, 

The shock he firmly stood. 

His host he parted had in three, 

As leader ware and try'd, 
And soon his spearmen on their foes 

Bare down on every side. 

To drive the deere with hound and home, 

Douglas bade on the bent ; 
Two captaines moved with mickle might 

Their speres to shivers went. 

Throughout the English archery 
They dealt full many a wound : 

But still our valiant Englishmen 
All firmly kept their ground : 

And throwing strait their bows away, 
They grasp'd their swords so bright : 

And now sharp blows, a heavy shower, 
On shields and helmets light.]* 

They closed full fast on everye side, 
Noe slacknes there was found ; 

And many a gallant gentleman 
Lay gasping on the ground. 

O Christ ! it was a griefe to see, 

And likewise for to heare, 
The cries of men lying in their gore, 

And scattered here and there. 

At last these two stout erles did meet, 
Like captaines of great might : 

Like lyons wood, they layd on lode, 
And made a cruell fight : 

They fought untill they both did sweat, 
With swords of tempered Steele ; 

* The five stanzas here inclosed in brackets, 
which are borrowed chiefly from the ancient 
copy, are offered to the reader instead of the 
following lines., which occur in the Editor's 
folio MS, 


Until the blood, like drops of rain, 
They trickling downe did feele. 

Yeeld thee, Lord Percy, Douglas sayd ; 

In faith I will thee bringe, 
Where thou shalt high advanced bee 

By James our Scottish king : 

Thy ransome I will freely give, 

And this report of thee, 
Thou art the most couragious knight, 

That ever I did see. 

Noe, Douglas, quoth Erie Percy then, 

Thy proffer I doe scorne ; 
I will not yeelde to any Scott, 

That ever yett was borne. 

With that, there came an arrow keene 

Out of an English bow, 
Which struck Erie Douglas to the heart, 

A deepe and deadlye blow : 

Who never spake more words than these, 
Fight on, my merry men all ; 

For why, my life is at an end ; 
Lord Percy sees my fall. 

Then leaving liffe, Erie Percy tooke 
The dead man by the hand ;* 

And said, Erie Douglas, for thy life 
Wold I had lost my land. 

O Christ ! my verry hart doth bleed 

With sorrow for thy sake ; 
For sure, a more redoubted knight 

Mischance cold never take. 

A knight amongst the Scots there was, 
Which saw Erie Douglas dye, 

Who streight in wrath did vow revenge 
Upon the Lord Percy e : 

Sir Hugh Mountgomery was he call'd, 
Who, with a spere most bright, 

Well-mounted on a gallant steed, 
Ran fiercely through the fight ; 

* Addison praises this line as wonderfully 
beautiful and pathetic. 

And past the English archers all, 

Without all dread or feare ; 
And through Earl Percyes body then 

He thrust his hatefull spere ; 

With such a vehement force and might 

He did his body gore, 
The staff ran through the other side 

A large cloth-yard, and more. 

So thus did both these nobles dye, 
Whose courage none could staine : 

An English archer then perceiv'd 
The noble erle was slaine ; 

He had a bow bent in his hand, 

Made of a trusty tree ; 
An arrow of a cloth-yard long 

Up to the head drew hee : 

Against Sir Hugh Mountgomerye, 

So right the shaft he sett, 
The grey goose-winge that was thereon, 

In his harts bloode was wett. 

This fight did last from breake of day, 

Till setting of the sun ; 
For when they rung the evening-bell,* 

The battel scarce was done. 

With stout Erie Percy, there was slaine 

Sir John of Egerton, 
Sir Robert Ratcliff, and Sir John, 

Sir James that bold barron : 

And with Sir George and stout Sir James, 
Both knights of good account, 

Good Sir Ralph Raby there was slaine. 
Whose prowesse did surmount. 

For Witherington needs must I wayle, 
As one in doleful dumpes /f 

* Sc. the Curfew bell, usually rung at 8 
o'clock, to which the modernizer apparently 
alludes, instead of the " Evensong bell," a 
bell for vespers of the original author, before 
the Reformation. 

\ i.e. "I, as one in deep concern, must 
lament." The construction here has generally 
been misunderstood. The old MS. reads 
" wofull dumpes." 



For when his leggs were smitten off, 
He fought upon his stuinpes. 

And with Erie Douglas, there was slaine 

Sir Hugh Mountgomerye, 
Sir Charles Murray, that from the feeld 

One foots wold never flee. 

Sir Charles Murray, of Ratcliff, too, 

His sisters sonne was hee ; 
Sir David Lamb, so well esteem'd, 

Yet saved cold not bee. 

And the Lord Maxwell in like case 

Did with Erie Douglas dye : 
Of twenty hundred Scottish speres, 

Scarce fifty-five did flye. 

Of fifteen hundred Englishmen, 

Went home but fifty-three ; 
The rest were slaine in Chevy-Chase, 

Under the greene woode tree. 

Next day did many widowes come, 

Their husbands to bewayle ; 
They washt their wounds in brinish teares, 

But all wold not prevayle. 

Tlieyr bodyes, bathed in purple gore, 

They bare with them away : 
They kist them dead a thousand times, 

Ere they were cladd in clay.* 

* "What can be more natural or more moving 
than the circumstances in which the author 
describes the behaviour of those women who 
had lost their husbands on the fatal day?"— 

The newes was brought to Eddenborrow, 
Where Scottlands king did raigne, 

That brave Erie Douglas suddenlye 
Was with an arrow slaine : 

heavy newes, King James did say, 
Scottland may witnesse bee, 

1 have not any captaine more 
Of such account as hee. 

Like tydings to King Henry came, 

Within as short a space, 
That Percy of Northumberland 

Was slaine in Chevy-Chase : 

Now God be with him, said our king, 

Sith it will noe better bee ; 
I trust I have, within my realme, 

Five hundred as good as hee : 

Yett shall not Scotts nor Scotland say, 

But I will vengeance take : 
I'll be revenged on them all, 

For brave Erie Percyes sake. 

This vow full well the king perform'd 

After, at Humbledowne ; 
In one day, fifty knights were slayne, 

With lords of great renowne : 

And of the rest, of small account, 

Did many thousands dye : 
Thus endeth the hunting of Chevy-Chase, 

Made by the Erie Percy. 

God save our king, and bless this land 
With plentye, joy, and peace ; 

And grant henceforth, that foule debate 
'Twixt noblemen may cease. 


II.— DEATH'S FINAL CONQUEST. fine moral stanzas were originally intended for a solemn funeral song, in a play 
of James Shirley's, entitled The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses, no date, 8vo. 
Shirley flourished as a dramatic writer early in the reign of Charles I. ; but he out- 
lived the Restoration. His death happened October 29, 1666, aet. 72. 

This little poem was written long after many of those that follow, but is inserted 
here as a kind of dirge to the foregoing piece. It is said to have been a favourite song 
with King Charles II. 

The glories of our birth and state 

Are shadows, not substantial things ; 
There is no armour against fate : 
Death lays his icy hands on kings : 
Scepter and crown 
Must tumble down, 
And in the dust be equal made 
With the poor crooked scythe and spade. 

Some men with swords may reap the field, 
And plant fresh laurels where they kill ; 

But their strong nerves at last must yield ; 
They tame but one another still. 

Early or late 

They stoop to fate, 
And must give up their murmuring breath, 
When they pale captives creep to death. 

The garlands wither on your brow, 

Then boast no more your mighty deeds ; 
Upon death's purple altar now 
See where the victor victim bleeds : 
All heads must come 
To the cold tomb, 
Only the actions of the just 
Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust. 


The subject of this ballad is the great northern insurrection in the 12th year of 
Elizabeth, 1569 ; which proved so fatal to Thomas Percy, the Seventh Earl of 

A secret negotiation had been entered into to bring about the marriage of Mary 
Queen of Scots and the Duke of Norfolk ; Mary was at that time a prisoner in 
England. The report reaching the ears of Queen Elizabeth, made her furiously angry ; 
the Duke of Norfolk was committed to the Tower, and the northern earls were 
commanded to appear at court. The Earl of Northumberland was making up his 
mind to obey, when on the night of 14th Nov. there was an alarm that a party of his 
enemies had come to seize him. He rose from his bed in haste and withdrew to the 
Earl of Westmoreland, at Brancepeth, where the country round fell into excitement 
and begged the Earls to take up arms. They accordingly set up their standards, but 
met with but little success ; and the Earl of Sussex with Lord Hunsdon, followed by 
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and a large army, caused the insurgents to retreat 
towards the borders ; there dismissing their followers, the leaders escaped to Scotland. 
The Earl of Sussex and Sir George Bowes caused vast numbers of the army to be put 
to death. Sixty-three constables were hanged, and Sir George Bowes boasted that 
for sixty miles in length and forty in breadth between Newcastle and Wetherby there 
was hardly a village or town where some of the inhabitants had not been executed. 



Listen, lively lordings all, 

Lithe and listen unto mee, 
And I will sing of a noble earle, 

The noblest earle in the north countrie. 

Earle Percy is into his garden gone, 
And after him walkes his faire ladle : * 

I heard a bird sing in mine eare, 
That I must either fight, or flee. 

Now heaven forefend, my dearest lord, 
That ever such harm should hap to 
thee : 

But goe to London to the court, 
And faire fall truth and honestle. 

Now nay, now nay, my ladye gay, 
Alas ! thy counsell suits not mee ; 

Mine enemies prevail so fast, 
That at the court I may not bee. 

O goe to the court yet, good my lord, 
And take thy gallant men with thee : 

If any dare to doe you wrong, 
Then your warrant they may bee. 

Now nay, now nay, thou lady faire, 

The court is full of subtiltie ; 
And if I goe to the court, lady, 

Never more I may thee see. 

Yet goe to the court, my lord, she sayes, 
And I myselfe will ryde wi' thee : 

At court then for my dearest lord, 
His faithful! borrowe I will bee. 

Now nay, now nay, my lady deare ; 

Far lever had I lose my life, 
Than leave among my cruell foes 

My love in jeopardy and strife. 

But come thou hither, my little foot-page, 
Come thou hither unto mee, 

* This lady was Anne, daughter of Henry 
Somerset, Earl of Worcester. 

To maister Norton * thou must goe 
In all the haste that ever may bee. 

Commend me to that gentleman, 
And beare this letter here fro mee ; 

And say that earnestly I praye, 
He will ryde in my companie. 

One while the little foot-page went, 

And another while he ran ; 
Untill he came to his journeys end, 

The little foot-page never Man. 

When to that gentleman he came, 
Down he kneeled on his knee ; 

And tooke the letter betwixt his hands, 
And lett the gentleman it see. 

And when the letter it was redd 
Affore that goodlye companye, 

I wis, ii you the truthe wold know, 
There was many a weeping eye. 

He sayd, Come thither, Christopher 

A gallant youth thou seemst to bee ; 
What doest thou counsell me, my sonne, 

Now that good erle's in jeopardy? 

Father, my counselled fair and free ; 

That erle he is a noble lord, 
And whatsoever to him you hight, 

I wold not have you breake your word, 

Gramercy, Christopher, my sonne, 
Thy counsell well it liketh mee ; 

And if we speed and scape with life, 
Well advanced shalt thou bee. 

Come you hither, my nine good sonnes, 
Gallant men I trowe you bee : 

How many of you, my children deare, 
Will stand by that good erle and mee ? 

* Richard Norton of Norton Conyers, \. ho 
with his sons Francis, Christopher, Marma- 
duke, and Thomas, specially distinguished 
himself. There were five other sons whose 
names are not given. 



Eight of them did answer make, 

Eight of them spake hastilie, 
O father, till the daye we dye 

We'll stand by that good erle and thee. 

Gramercy now, my children deare, 
You showe yourselves right bold and 
brave ; 

And whethersoe'er I live or dye, 
A fathers blessing you shal have. 

But what sayst thou, O Francis Norton, 
Thou art mine eldest sonn and heire : 

Somewhat lyes brooding in thy breast ; 
Whatever it bee, to mee declare. 

Father, you are an aged man, 

Your head is white, your bearde is 
It were a shame at these your yeares 

For you to ryse in such a fray. 

Now fye upon thee, coward Francis, 
Thou never learnedst this of mee : 

When thou wert yong and tender of age, 
Why did I make soe much of thee ? 

But, father, I will wend with you, 
Unarm'd and naked will I bee ; 

And he that strikes against the crowne, 
Ever an ill death may he dee. 

Then rose that reverend gentleman, 
And with him came a goodlye band 

To join with the brave Erie Percy, 

And all the flower o' Northumberland. 

With them the noble Nevill came, 
The erle of Westmorland was hee : 

At Wethcrbye they mustred their host, 
Thirteen thousand faire to see. 

Lord Westmorland his ancyent raisde, 
The Dun Bull he rays'd on hye, 

And three Dogs with golden collars 
Were there sett out most royallye.* 

• The supporters of the Nevilles, Earls of 
Westmoreland, were two bulls argent, ducally 

Erie Percy there his ancyent spred, 
The Halfe-Moone shining all so faire : * 

The Nortons ancyent had the crosse, 
And the five wounds our Lord did beare. 

Then Sir George Bowes he straitwayerose, 
After them some spoyle to make : 

Those noble erles turn'd backe againe, 
And aye they vowed that knight to take. 

That baron he to his castle fled, 
To Barnard Castle then fled hee. 

The uttermost walles were cathe to win, 
The earles have wonne them presentlie. 

The uttermost walles were lime and bricke ; 

But thoughe they won them soon anone, 
Long e'er they wan the innermost walles, 

For they were cut in rocke of stone. 

Then newes unto leeve London came 
In all the speede that ever might bee, 

And word is brought to our royall queene 
Of the rysing in the north countrie. 

Her grace she turned her round about, 
And like a royall queene shee swore, f 

I will ordayne them such a breakfast; 
As never was in the north before. 

Shee caus'd thirty thousand men be rays'd, 
With horse and harncis faire to see ; 

collared gold, armed or, etc. But I have not 
discovered the device mentioned in the ballad, 
among the badges, etc., given by that house 
This, however, is certain, that among those 
of the Nevilles, Lords Abergavenny (who were 
of the same family), is a dun cow with a golden 
collar; and the Nevilles of Chyte in Yorkshire 
(of the Westmoreland branch) gave for their 
crest, in 1513, a greyhound's head erased. 

* The silver crescent is a well-known crest or 
badge of the Northumberland family. It was 
probably brought home from some of the 
crusades against the Saracens. 

t This is quite in character ; her Majesty 
would sometimes swear at her nobles, as well 
as box their ears. 



She caused thirty thousand men be raised, 
To take the earles i' th' north countrie. 

Wi' ihem the false Erie Warwick went, 
Th' Erie Sussex and the Lord Hunsden; 

Untill they to Yorke castle came 
I wiss, they never stint ne blan. 

Now spred thy ancyent, Westmorland, 
Thy dun bull faine would we spye : 

And thou, the Erie o' Northumberland, 
Now rayse thy half moone up on hye. 

But the dun bulle is fled and gone, 
And the halfe moone vanished away : 

The Erles, though they were brave and 
Against soe many could not stay. 

Thee, Norton, wi' thine eight good sonnes, 
They doom'd to dye, alas ! for ruth ! 

Thy reverend lockes thee could not save, 
Nor them their faire and blooming 

Wi' them full many a gallant wight 
They cruellye bereav'd of life : 

And many a childe made fatherlesse, 
And widowed many a tender wife. 


This ballad may be considered as the sequel of the preceding. After the unfortunate 
Earl of Northumberland had seen himself forsaken of his followers, he endeavoured 
to withdraw into Scotland, but falling into the hands of the thievish Borderers, was 
stript and otherwise ill-treated by them. He took refuge in the house of Hector of 
Harlaw, who basely betrayed him to the Regent Murray, who sent him to the Castle 
of Loch Leven, then belonging to William Douglas. 

Northumberland continued at Loch Leven until 1572, when James Douglas, Earl 
of Morton, being elected Regent, he was given up to Lord Hunsden at Berwick, and 
suffered death at York. 

The witch lady alluded to in v. 133 is supposed to be Lady Jane Douglas, Lady 
Glamis, who was put to death for the supposed crime of witchcraft. 

Hector of Harlaw, according to the folio, was a Graham and not an Armstrong, as 
spoken of in the ballad. 

How long shall fortune faile me nowe, 
And harrowe me with fear and dread ? 

How long shall I in bale abide, 
In misery my life to lead? 

To fall from my bliss, alas the while ! 

It was my sore and heavye lott : 
And I must leave my native land, 

And I must live a man forgot. 

One gentle Armstrong I doe ken, 
A Scott he is much bound to mee : 

He dwelleth on the border side, 
To him I'll goe right priville. 

Thus did the noble Percy 'plaine, 
With a heavy heart and wel-away, 

When he with all his gallant men 
On Bramham moor had lost the day. 

But when he to the Armstrongs came, 
They dealt with him all treacherouslye ; 

For they did strip that noble earle : 
And ever an ill death may they dye. 

False Hector to Earl Murray sent, 
To shew him where his guest did hide : 

Who sent him to the Lough-leven, 
With William Douglas to abide. 



And when he to the Douglas came, 
He halched him right curtcouslie : 

Say'd, Welcome, welcome, noble earle, 
Here thou shalt safelye bide with mee. 

When he had in Lough-leven been 
Many a month and many a day ; 

To the regent * the lord warden \ sent, 
That bannisht earle for to betray. 

He offered him great store of gold, 
And wrote a letter fair to see : 

Saying, Good my lord, grant me my boon, 
And yield that banisht man to mee. 

Earle Percy at the supper sate 
With many a goodly gentleman : 

The wylie Douglas then bespake, 
And thus tojlyte with him began : 

What makes you be so sad, my lord, 
And in your mind so sorrowfullye ? 

To-morrow a shootinge will bee held 
Among the lords of the north countrye. 

The butts are sett, the shooting's made, 
And there will be great royaltye : 

And I am sworne into my bille, 
Thither to bring my lord Percye. 

I'll give thee my hand, thou gentle 

And here by my true faith, quoth hee, 
If thou wilt ryde to the worldes end, 

I will ryde in thy companye. 

And then bespake a lady faire, 
Mary k Douglas was her name : 

You shall byde here, good English lord, 
My brother is a traiterous man. 

He is a traitor stout and stronge, 
As I tell you in privitie : 

* James Douglas, Earl of Morton, elected 
regent of Scotland, November 24, 1572. 

t Of one of the English marches. Lord 

For he hath tane liverance of the earle,* 
Into England nowe to 'liver thee. 

Now nay, now nay, thou goodly lady, 

The regent is a noble lord : 
Ne for the gold in all England 

The Douglas wold not break his word. 

When the regent was a banisht man, 
With me he did faire welcome find ; 

And whether weal or woe betide, 
I still shall find him true and kind. 

Betweene England and Scotland it wold 
breake truce, 

And friends againe they wold never bee, 
If they shold liver a banisht erle 

Was driven out of his own countrie. 

Alas ! alas ! my lord, she sayes, 
Nowe mickle is their traitorie ; 

Then lett my brother ryde his wayes, 
And tell those English lords from thee, 

How that you cannot with him ryde, 
Because you are in an ile of the sea,f 

Then ere my brother come againe 
To Edenborow castle J Ile carry thee. 

To the Lord Hume I will thee bring, 
He is well knowne a true Scots lord, 

And he will lose both land and life, 
Ere he with thee will break his word. 

Much is my woe, Lord Percy sayd, 
When I thinke on my own countrie, 

When I thinke on the heavye happe 
My friends have suffered there for mee. 

Much is my woe, Lord Percy sayd, 
And sore those wars my minde distresse ; 

Where many a widow lost her mate, 
And many a child was fatherlcsse. 

* Of the Earl of Morton, the regent. 

t i.e. Lake of Leven, which hath communi- 
cation with the sea. 

X At that time in the hands of the opposite 



And now that I a banisht man 
Shold bring such evil happe with mee, 

To cause my faire and noble friends 
To be suspect of treacherie : 

This rives my heart with double woe ; 

And lever had I dye this day, 
Than thinke a Douglas can be false, 

Or ever he will his guest betray. 

If you'll give me no trust, my lord, 
Nor unto mee no credence yield ; 

Yet step one moment here aside, 
He showe you all your foes in field. 

Lady, I never loved witchcraft, 

Never dealt in privy wyle ; 
But evermore held the high-waye 

Of truth and honour, free from guile. 

If you'll not come yourselfe, my lorde, 
Yet send your chamberlaine with mee ; 

Let me but speak three words with him, 
And he shall come again to thee. 

James Swynard with that lady went, 
She showed him through the wemc of 
her ring 

How many English lords there were 
Waiting for his master and him. 

And who walkes yonder, my good lady, 
So royallye on yonder greene ? 

O yonder is the lord Hunsden r* 
Alas ! he'll doe you drie and teene. 

And who beth yonder, thou gay ladye, 
That walkes so proudly him beside ? 

That is Sir William Drury.f shee sayd, 
A keene captaine hee is and tryde. 

How many miles is itt, madame. 

Betwixt yond English lords and mee ? 

Marry it is thrice fifty miles, 
To saile to them upon the sea. 

* The lord warden of the east marches. 
t Governor of Berwick. 

I never was on English ground, 
Ne never saw it with mine eye, 

But as my book it sheweth mee, 
And through my ring I may descrye. 

My mother shee was a witch ladye, 
And of her skille she learned mee ; 

She wold let me see out of Lough-leven 
What they did in London citie. 

But who is yond, thou lady faire, 
That looketh with sic an auslernc face? 

Yonder is Sir John Foster,* quoth shee, 
Alas ! he'll do ye sore disgrace. 

He pulled his hatt down over his browe ; 

He wept ; in his heart he was full of woe : 
And he is gone to his noble Lord, 

Those sorrowful tidings him to show. 

Now nay, now nay, good James Swynard, 
I may not believe that witch ladle : 

The Douglasses were ever true, 
And they can ne'er prove false to mee. 

I have now in Lough-leven been 
The most part of these years three, 

Yett have I never had noe outrake, 
Ne no good games that I cold see. 

Therefore I'll to yond shooting wend, 
As to the Douglas I have hight : 

Betide me weale, betide me woe, 
He ne'er shall find my promise light. 

He writhe a gold ring from his finger, 
And gave itt to that gay ladie : 

Sayes, It was all that I cold save, 
In Harley woods where I cold bee.f 

And wilt thou goe, thou noble lord, 
Then farewell truth and honestie ; 

And farewell heart and farewell hand ; 
For never more I shall thee see. 

The wind was faire, the boatmen call'd, 
And all the saylors were on borde ; 

* Warden of the middle march. 

t i.e. where I was, an ancient idiom. 



Then William Douglas took to his boat, 
And with him went that noble lord. 

Then he cast up a silver wand, 
Says, Gentle lady, fare thee well ! 

The lady fett a sigh soe deep, 
And in a dead swoone down shee fell. 

Now let us goe back, Douglas, he sayd, 
A sickness hath taken yond faire ladle ; 

If ought befall yond lady but good, 
Then blamed for ever shall bee. 

Come on, come on, my lord, he sayes ; 

Come on, come on, and let her bee : 
There's ladyes enow in Lough-leven 

For to cheere that gay ladie. 

If you'll not turne yourself, my lord, 
Let me goe with my chamberlaine ; 

We will but comfort that faire lady, 
And wee will return to you againe. 

Come on, come on, my lord, he sayes, 
Come on, come on, and let her bee : 

My sister is craftye, and wold beguile 
A thousand such as you and mee. 

When they had sayled * fifty myle, 

Now fifty mile upon the sea ; 
Hee sent his man to ask the Douglas, 

When" they shold that shooting see. 

Faire words, quoth he, they make fooles 

And that by thee and thy lord is seen : 
You may hap to thinke itt soone enough, 

Ere you that shooting reach, I ween. 

* There is no navigable stream between 
Loch Leven and the sea ; but a ballad-maker 
is not obliged to understand geography. 

Janrye his hatt pulled over his browe, 
He thought his lord then was betray'd ; 

And he is to Erie Percy againe, 

To tell him what the Douglas sayd. 

Hold upp thy head, man, quoth his lord ; 

Nor therefore lett thy courage fayle, 
He did it but to prove thy heart, 

To see if he cold make it quail. 

When they had other fifty sayld, 
Other fifty mile upon the sea, 

Lord Percy called to Douglas himselfe, 
Sayd, What wilt thou nowe doe with mce? 

Looke that your brydle be wight, my lord, 

And your horse goe swift as shippatt sea: 

Looke that your spurres be bright and 


That you may pricke her while she'll 


What needeth this, Douglas ? he sayth ; 

What necdest thou Xoflyte with mee? 
For I was counted a horseman good 

Before that ever I mett with thee. 

A false Hector hath my horse, 

Who dealt with mee so treacherouslie : 
A false Armstrong hath my spurres, 

And all the geere belongs to mee. 

When they had sayled other fifty mile, 
Other fifty mile upon the sea ; 

They landed low by Berwicke side, 

A deputed "laird" landed Lord Percye. 

Then he at Yorke was doomde to dye, 
It was, alas ! a sorrowful sight : 

Thus they betrayed that noble earle, 
Who ever was a gallant wight. 

r 4 2 



This excellent philosophical song appears to have been famous in the sixteenth 
century. It is quoted by Ben Jonson in his play of Every Man out of his Humour, 
first acted in 1599, Act i. Sc. i. 

My minde to me a kingdome is ; 

Such perfect joy therein I fmde 
As farre exceeds all earthly blisse, 

That God or Nature hath assignde : 
Though much I want, that most would 

Yet still my mind forbids to crave. 

Content I live, this is my stay ; 

I seek no more than may suffice : 
I presse to beare no haughtie sway ; 

Look what I lack my mind supplies. 
Loe ! thus I triumph like a king, 
Content with that my mind doth bring. 

I see how plentie surfets oft, 
And hastie clymbers soonest fall : 

I see that such as sit aloft 

Mishap doth threaten most of all : 

These get with toile, and keep with feare : 

Such cares my mind could never beare. 

No princely pompe, nor welthie store, 
No force to winne the victorie, 

No wylie wit to salve a sore, 
No shape to winne a lovers eye ; 

To none of these I yeeld as thrall, 

For why my mind despiseth all. 

Some have too much, yet still they crave, 
I little have, yet seek no more : 

They are but poore, tho' much they have ; 
And I am rich with little store : 

They poor, I rich ; they beg, I give ; 

They iicke, I lend ; they pine, I live. 

I laugh not at anothers losse, 
I grudge not at anothers gaine ; 

No worldly wave my mind can tosse, 
I brooke that is anothers bane : 

I feare no foe, nor fawne on friend ; 
I loth not life, nor dread mine end. 

I joy not in no earthly blisse, 

I weigh not Cresus' welth a straw ; 

For care, I care not what it is ; 
I feare not fortunes fatall law : 

My mind is such as may not move 

For beautie bright or force of love. 

I wish but what I have at will ; 

I wander not to seeke for more ; 
I like the plaine, I clime no hill ; 

In greatest stormes I sitte on shore, 
And laugh at them that toile in vaine 
To get what must be lost againe. 

I kisse not where I wish to kill ; 

I feigne not love where most I hate ; 
I brcake no sleep to winne my will ; 

I wayte not at the mighties gate ; 
I scorne no poore, I feare no rich ; 
I feele no want, nor have too much. 

The court, ne cart, I like, ne loath ; 

Extreames are counted worst of all : 
The golden meane betwixt them both 

Doth surest sit, and fears no fall : 
This is my choyce, for why I finde, 
No wealth is like a quiet minde. 

My welth is health, and perfect case ; 

My conscience clere my chiefe de- 
fence : 
I never seeke by brybes to please, 

Nor by desert to give offence : 
Thus do I live, thus will I die ; 
Would all did so as well as 1 1 




The subject of this tale is taken from an entertaining colloquy of Erasmus. The 
following stanzas are extracted from William Warner's poem, entitled Albiati! 
England. Warner is said to have been a Warwickshire man, and to have been 
educated in Oxford at Magdalen Hall. He died in 1608-1609, at Amwell in Hert- 
fordshire. He held a fair rank as poet in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and was by 
profession an " attorney of the Common Pleas." 

Impatience chaungeth smoke to flame, 

But jelousie is hell ; 
Some wives by patience have redue'd 

111 husbands to live well : 
As did the ladie of an earle, 

Of whom I now shall tell. 

An earle " there was " had wedded, lov'd ; 

Was lov'd, and lived long 
Full true to his fayre countesse ; yet 

At last he did her wrong. 

Once hunted he untill the chace, 

Long fasting, and the heat 
Did house him in a peakish graunge 

Within a forest great. 

Where knowne and welcom'd (as the place 

And persons might afforde) 
Browne bread, whig, bacon, curds and 

Were set him on the bordc. 

A cushion made of lists, a stoole 

Halfe backed with a hoope 
Were brought him, and he sitteth down 

Besides a sorry coupe. 

The poore old couple wisht their bread 
Were wheat, their whig were perry, 

Their bacon bcefe, their milke and curds 
Were creame, to make him merry. 

Mean while (in russet neatly clad, 

With linen white as swanne, 
Herselfe more white, save rosie where 

The ruddy colour ranne : 

Whome naked nature, not the aydes 

Of arte made to exccll), 
The good man's daughter sturres to see 

That all were feat and well ; 
The earle did marke her, and admire 

Such beautie there to dwell. 

Yet fals he to their homely fare, 

And held him at a feast : 
But as his hunger slaked, so 

An amorous heat increast. 

When this repast was past, and thanks, 

And welcome too ; he saya 
Unto his host and hostesse, in 

The hearing of the mayd : 

Yee know, quoth he, that I am lord 

Of this, and many townes ; 
I also know that you be poore, 

And I can spare you pownes. 

Soe will I, so yee will consent, 

That yonder lasse and I 
May bargaine for her love ; at least, 

Doe give me leave to trye. 
Who needs to know it ? nay who dares 

Into my doings pry ? 

First they mislike, yet at the length 

For lucre were misled ; 
And then the gamesome earle did wowe 

The damsell for his bed. 

He took her in his armes, as yet 

So coyish to be kist, 
As mayds that know themselves belov'd, 

And yieldingly resist. 



In few, his offers were so large 

She lastly did consent ; 
With whom he lodged all that night, 

And early home he went. 

He tooke occasion oftentimes 

In such a sort to hunt. 
Whom when his lady often mist, 

Contrary to his wont, 

And lastly was informed of 
His amorous haunt elsewhere ; 

It greev'd her not a little, though 
She seem'd it well to beare. 

And thus she reasons with herselfe, 

Some fault perhaps in me ; 
Somewhat is done, that soe he doth : 

Alas ! what may it be ? 

How may I winne him to myself? 

He is a man, and men 
Have imperfections ; it behooves 

Me pardon nature then. 

To checke him were to make him checke,* 
Although hee now were chaste ; 

A man controuled of his wife, 
To her makes lesser haste. 

If duty then, or daliance may 

Prevayle to alter him ; 
I will be dutifull, and make 

My selfe for daliance trim. 

So was she, and so lovingly 

Did entertaine her lord, 
As fairer, or more faultles none 

Could be for bed or bord. 

Yet still he loves his leiman, and 

Did still pursue that game, 
Suspecting nothing less, than that 

His lady knew the same : 

* To check is a term in falconry, applied 
when a hawk stops and turns away from his 
proper pursuit ; to check also signifies to 
reprove or chide. It is in this verse used in 
both senses. 

Wherefore to make him know she knew, 
She this devise did frame : 

When long she had been wrong'd, and 

The foresayd meanes in vaine, 
She rideth to the simple graunge 

But with a slender traine. 

She lighteth, entreth, greets them well, 
And then did looke about her : 

The guiltie houshold knowing her, 
Did wish themselves without her ; 

Yet, for she looked merily, 

The lesse they did misdoubt her. 

When she had seen the beauteous wench 
(Then blushing fairnes fairer), 

Such beauty made the countesse hold 
Them both excus'd the rather. 

Who would not bite at such a bait ? 

Thought she ; and who (though loth) 
So poore a wench, but gold might tempt? 

Sweet errors lead them both. 

Scarse one in twenty that had bragg'd 

Of proffer'd gold denied, 
Or of such yeelding beautie baulkt, 

But, tenne to one, had lied. 

Thus thought she : and she thus declares 
Her cause of coming thether ; 

My lord, oft hunting in these partes, 
Through travel, night or wether, 

Hath often lodged in your house • 

I thanke you for the same ; 
For why? it doth him jolly ease 

To lie so neare his game. 

But, for you have not furniture 

Beseeming such a guest, 
I bring his owne, and come myselfe 

To see his lodging drest. 

With that two sumpters were discharg'd, 
In which were hangings brave, 

Silke coverings, curtens, carpets, plate. 
And al such turn should have. 



When all was handsomly dispos'd, 
She prayes them to have care 

That nothing hap in their default, 
That might his health impair : 

And, Damsell, quoth shee, for it seemes 

This houshold is but three, 
And for thy parents age, that this 

Shall chiefely rest on thee ; 

Do me that good, else would to God 

He hither come no more. 
So tooke she horse, and ere she went 

Bestowed gould good store. 

Full little thought the countie that 
His countesse had done so ; 

Who now return'd from far affaires 
Did to his sweet-heart go. 

No sooner sat he foote within 

The late deformed cote, 
But that the formall change of things 

His wondring eies did note. 

But when he knew those goods to be 
His proper goods ; though late, 

Scarce taking leave, he home returnes 
The matter to debate. 

The countesse was a-bed, and he 
With her his lodging tooke ; 

Sir, welcome home (quoth shee) ; this 
For you I did not looke. 

Then did he question her of such 

His stuffe bestowed soe. 
Forsooth, quoth she, because I did 

Your love and lodging knowe : 

Your love to be a proper wench, 

Your lodging nothing lesse ; 
I held it for your health, the house 

More decently to dresse. 

Well wot I, notwithstanding her, 

Your lordship loveth me ; 
And greater hope to hold you such 

By quiet, then brawles, you see. 

Then for my duty, your delight, 

And to retaine your favour, 
All done I did, and patiently 

Expect your wonted 'haviour. 

Her patience, witte and answer wrought 

His gentle teares to fall : 
When (kissing her a score of times) 

Amend, sweet wife, I shall : 
He said, and did it ; "so each wife 

Her husband may " recall. 


The following stanzas were written by Michael Drayton,* a poet of some eminence 
in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I. They are inserted in one 
of his pastorals, and are inscribed with the author's name at length, ' ' To the noble 
and valerous gentleman master Robert Dudley," etc. 

Farre in the countrey of Arden, 
There won'd a knight, hight Cassemen, 

As bolde as Isenbras : 
Fell was he, and eger bent, 
In battell and in tournament, 

As was the good Sir Topas. 

He had, as antique stories tell, 
A daughter cleapcd Dowsabel, 

A mayden fayre and free : 
And for she was her fathers heire, 
Full well she was y-cond the Icyre 

Of mickle curtesie. 

* Drayton was born in 1563, and died in 1631. 



The silke well couth she twist and twine, 
And make the fine march-pine, 

And with the needle werke : 
And she couth helpe the priest to say 
His mattins on a holy-day, 

And sing a psalme in kirke. 

She ware a frock of frolicke greene, 
Might well beseeme a mayden queene, 

Which seemly was to see ; 
A hood to that so neat and fine, 
In colour like the colombine, 

Y- wrought iviW. feat ou sly. 

Her features all as fresh above, 

As is the grasse that growes by Dove ; 

And lyth as lasse of Kent. 
Her skin as soft as Lemster wooll, 
As white as snow on Peakish Hull, 

Or swanne that swims in Trent. 

This mayden in a morne betime 

Went forth, when May was in her prime, 

To get sweete cetywall, 
The honey-suckle, the harlocke, 
The lilly and the lady-smocke, 

To deck her summer hall. 

Thus, as she wandred here and there, 
Y-picking of the bloomed breere, 

She chanced to espie 
A shepheard sitting on a bancke, 
Like chanteclere he crowed crancke, 

And pip'd full merrilie. 

He lear'd his shcepe as he him list, 
When he would whistle in his fist, 

To feede about him round ; 
Whilst he full many a carroll sung, 
Untill the fields and medowes rung, 

And all the woods did sound. 

In favour this same shepheards swayne 
Was like the bedlam Tamburlayne, * 
Which helde prowd kings in awe : 

* Alluding to Tamburlaitte the Great, or the 
Scythian Shepheard, 1590, 8vo, an old ranting 
play ascribed to Marlowe. 

But meeke he was as lamb mought be ; 
An innocent of ill as he 

Whom his lewd brother slaw. 

The shepheard ware a sheepe-gray cloke, 
Which was of the finest loke, 

That could be cut with sheere : 
His mittens were of bauzens skinne, 
His cockers were of cordiwin, 

His hood of meniveere. 

His aide and lingell in a thong, 
His tar-boxe on his broad belt hong, 

His breech of coyntrie blewe : 
Full crispe and curled were his lockes, 
His browes as white as Albion rocks : 

So like a lover true, 

And pyping still he spent the day, 
So merry as the popiiigay ; 

Which liked Dowsabel : 
That would she ought, or would she nought, 
This lad would never from her thought ; 

She in love-longing fell. 

At length she tucked up her frocke, 
White as a lilly was her smocke, 

She drew the shepheard nye ; 
But then the shepheard pyp'd a good, 
That all his sheepe forsooke their foode, 

To hear his melodye. 

Thy sheepe, quoth she, cannot be leane, 
That have a jolly shepheards swayne, 

The which can pipe so well : 
Yea but, sayth he, their shepheard may, 
If pyping thus he pine away 

In love of Dowsabel. 

Of love, fond boy, take thou no keepe, 
Quoth she ; looke thou unto thy sheepe, 

Lest they should hap to stray. 
Quoth he, So had I done full well, 
Had I not seen fayre Dowsabell 

Come forth to gather maye. 

With that she gan to vaile her head, 
Her cheeks were like the roses red, 
But not a word she sayd : 


With that the shepheard gan to frowne, 
He threw his pretie pypes adowne, 
And on the ground him layd. 

Sayth she, I may not stay till night, 
And leave my summer-hall undight, 

And all for long of thee. 
My coate, sayth he, nor yet my foulde 
Shall neither sheepe nor shepheard hould, 

Except thou favour mee. 

Sayth she, Yet lever were I dead, 
Then I should lose my mayden-head, 

And all for love of men. 
Sayth he, Yet are you too unkind, 
If in your heart you cannot finde 

To love us now and then. 

And I to thee will be as kinde 
As Colin was to Rosalinde,_ 

Of curtesie the flower. 
Then will I be as true, quoth she, 
As ever mayden yet might be 

Unto her paramour. 

With that she bent her snow-white 

Downe by the shepheard kneeled shce, 

And him she sweetely kist : 
With that the shepheard whoop'd for 

Quoth he, Ther's never shepheards 
That ever was so blist. 

From Beaumont and Fletcher's play, entitled The Lovers Progress, Act iii. Sc. i. 

Adieu, fond love, farewell you wanton 
powers ; 

I am free again. 
Thou dull disease of bloud and idle hours, 
Bewitching pain, 
Fly to fools, that sigh away their time : 
My nobler love to heaven doth climb, 
And there behold beauty still young, 

That time can ne'er corrupt, nor death 
Immortal sweetness by fair angels sung, 

And honoured by eternity and joy : 
There lies my love, thither my hopes 

Fond love declines, this heavenly love 
grows higher. 


AFFORDS a pretty poetical contest between Pleasure and Honour. It is found at the 
end of Hymen's Triumph ; A Pastoral Tragicomcdie, written by Daniel, and printed 
among his works, 410, 1623. — Daniel, who was a contemporary of Drayton's, and is 
said to have been poet laureate to Queen Elizabeth, was bom in 1562, and died in 1619. 
Anne, Countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery (to whom Daniel had been 
tutor), has inserted a small portrait of him in a full-length picture of herself, pre* 
served at Appleby Castle, in Cumberland. 


Come, worthy Greeke, Ulysses come, 
Possesse these shores with me, 

The windes and seas are troublesome, 
An here we may be free. 

Here may we sit and view their toyle, 
That travaile in the deepe, 

Enjoy the day in mirth the while, 
And spend the night in sleepe. 





Faire nymph, if fame or honour were 

But natures of the noblest frame 

To be attain'd with ease, 

These toyles and dangers please ; 

Then would I come and rest with thee, 

And they take comfort in the same, 

And leave such toiles as these : 

As much as you in ease : 

But here it dwels, and here must I 

And with the thought of actions past 

With danger seek it forth ; 

Are recreated still : 

To spend the time luxuriously 

When pleasure leaves a touch at last 

Becomes not men of worth. 

To shew that it was ill. 



Ulysses, be not deceiv'd 

That doth opinion only cause, 

With that unreall name : 

That's out of custom bred ; 

This honour is a thing conceiv'd, 

Which makes us many other laws 

And rests on others' fame. 

Than ever nature did. 

Begotten only to molest 

No widdowes waile for our delights, 

Our peace, and to beguile 

Our sports are without blood ; 

(The best thing of our life) our rest, 

The world we see by warlike wights 

And give us up to toyle 1 

Receives more hurt than good. 



Delicious nymph, suppose there were 

But yet the state of things require 

Nor honor, nor report, 

These motions of unrest, 

Yet manlinesse would scorne to weare 

And these great spirits of high desire 

The time in idle sport : 

Seem borne to turne them best : 

For toyle doth give a better touch 

To purge the mischiefes, that increase 

To make us feele our joy ; 

And all good order mar : 

And ease findes tediousnes, as much 

For oft we see a wicked peace 

As labour yeelds annoy. 

To be well chang'd for wax. 



Thon pleasure likewise seemes the shore, 

Well, well, Ulysses, then I see 

Whereto tendes all your toyle ; 

I shall not have thee here ; 

Which you forego to make it more, 

And therefore I will come to thee, 

And perish oft the while. 

And take my fortune there. 

Who may disport them diversly, 

I must be wonne that cannot win, 

Find never tedious day ; 

Yet lost were I not woone : 

And ease may have variety, 

For beauty hath created bin 

As well as action may. 

T' undoo or be undone. 




This beautiful poem, which possesses a classical elegance hardly to be expected in 
the age of James I., is printed from the 4th edition of Davidson's Poems,* etc, 1621. 
It is also found in a later miscellany, entitled Le Prince d' Amour, 1660, 8vo. — 
Francis Davison, editor of the poems above referred to, was son of that unfortunate 
secretary of state who suffered so much from the affair of Mary Queen of Scots. 
These poems, he tells us in his preface, were written by himself, by his brother 
[Walter], who was a soldier in the wars of the Low Countries, and by some dear 
friends "anonymoi." 

It chanc'd of late a shepherd swain, 
That went to seek his straying sheep, 

Within a thicket on a plain 
Espied a dainty nymph asleep. 

Her golden hair o'erspred her face ; 

Her careless arms abroad were cast ; 
Her quiver had her pillows place ; 

Her breast lay bare to every blast. 

The shepherd stood and gaz'd his fill ; 

Nought durst he do ; nought durst he 
Whilst chance, or else perhaps his will, 

Did guide the god of love that way. 

The crafty boy that sees her sleep, 
Whom if she wak'd he durst not see ; 

Behind- her closely seeks to creep, 
Before her nap should ended bee. 

There come, he steals her shafts away, 
And puts his own into their place ; 

Nor dares he any longer stay, 
But, ere she wakes, hies thence apace. 

Scarce was he gone, but she awakes, 
And spies the shepherd standing by : 

Her bended bow in haste she takes, 
And at the simple swain lets flye. 

Forth flew the shaft, and pierc'd his heart, 
That to the ground he fell with pain : 

Yet up again forthwith he start, 
And to the nymph he ran amain. 

Amazed to see so strange a sight, 
She shot, and shot, but all in vain ; 

The more his wounds, the more his might, 
Love yielded strength amidst his pain. 

Her angry eyes were great with tears, 
She blames her hand, she blames her 
skill ; 

The bluntness of her shafts she fears, 
And try them on herself she will. 

Take heed,sweet nymph, trye not thy shaft, 
Each little touch will pierce thy heart : 

Alas ! thou know'st not Cupids craft ; 
Revenge is joy ; the end is smart. 

Yet try she will, and pierce some bare ; 

Her hands were glov'd, but next to hand 
Was that fair breast, that breast so rare, 

That made the shepherd senseless stand. 

That breast she pierc'd ; and through 
that breast 

Love found an entry to her heart ; 
At feeling of this new-come guest, 

Lord ! how this gentle nymph did start ? 

She runs not now ; she shoots no more ; 

Away she throws both shaft and bow : 
She seeks for what she shunn'd before, 

She thinks the shepherds haste too slow. 

Though mountains meet not, lovers may : 
What other lovers do, did they : 
The god of love sate on a tree, 
And laught that pleasant sight to see. 

,* See the full title in vol. ii. Book iii. No. iv. 



This little moral poem was writ by Sir Henry Wotton, who died Provost of Eaton 
in 1639, set. 72. It is printed from a little collection of his pieces, entitled 
Reliquice Wottonian<e, 1651, i2mo ; compared with one or two other copies. 

How happy is he born or taught, 
That serveth not anothers will ; 

Whose armour is his honest thought, 
And simple truth his highest skill : 

Whose passions not his masters are ; 

Whose soul is still prepar'd for death ; 
Not ty'd unto the world with care 

Of princes ear, or vulgar breath : 

Who hath his life from rumours freed ; 

Whose conscience is his strong retreat : 
Whose state can neither flatterers feed, 

Nor mine make oppressors great : 

Who envies none, whom chance doth raise, 
Or vice : Who never understood 

How deepest wounds are given with praise; 
Nor rules of state, but rules of good ; 

Who God doth late and early pray 
More of his grace and gifts to lend ; 

And entertaines the harmless day 
With a well-chosen book or friend. 

This man is freed from servile bands 
Of hope to rise, or feare to fall ; 

Lord of himselfe, though not of lands ; 
And having nothing, yet hath all. 


A FAMOUS Scotch robber, who for daring acts of violence was executed at Edin- 
burgh in 1638, with five of his followers. In Thompson's Orpheus Cahdonius is a 
copy of this ballad, which though corrupt and interpolated, contains the following 
lines, which appear to be of genuine antiquity : — 

" The Queen of Scots possessed nought, 
That my love let me want : 
For cow and ew to me he brought, 
And ein whan they were scant." 

The version of " Gilderoy " here given to the reader is printed from a written copy. 

Gilderoy was a bonnie boy, 

Had roses tull his shoone, 
His stockings were of silken soy, 

Wi' garters hanging doune : 
It was, I weene, a comelie sight, 

To see sae trim a boy ; 
He was my jo and hearts delight, 

My handsome Gilderoy. 

Oh ! sike twa charming een he had, 
A breath as sweet as rose, 

He never ware a Highland plaid, 
But costly silken clothes ; 

He gain'd the luve of ladies gay, 
Nane eir tull him was coy : 

Ah ! wae is mee ! I mourn the day 
For my dear Gilderoy. 

My Gilderoy and I were born, 

Baith in one toun together, 
We scant were seven years beforn, 

We gan to luve each other ; 
Our dadies and our mammies thay, 

Were fill'd wi mickle joy, 
To think upon the bridal day, 

Twixt me and Gilderoy. 



For Gilderoy that luve of mine, 

Gude faith, I freely bought 
A wedding sark of holland fine, 

Wi' silken flowers wrought : 
And he gied me a wedding ring, 

Which I receiv'd wi' joy, 
Nae lad nor lassie eir could sing, 

Like me and Gilderoy. 

Wi' mickle joy we spent our prime, 

Till we were baith sixteen, 
And aft we past the langsome time, 

Among the leaves sae green ; 
Aft on the banks we'd sit us thair, 

And sweetly kiss and toy, 
Wi' garlands gay wad deck my hair 

My handsome Gilderoy. 

Oh ! that he still had been content, 

Wi' me to lead his life ; 
But, ah ! his manfu' heart was bent, 

To stir in feates of strife : 
And he in many a venturous deed, 

His courage bauld would try ; 
And now this gars mine heart to bleed, 

For my dear Gilderoy. 

And when of me his leave he tuik, 

The tears they wat mine ee, 
I gave tull him a parting luik, 

" My benison gang wi' thee ; 
God speed thee weil, mine ain dear heart, 

For gane is all my joy ; 
My heart is rent sith we maun part, 

My handsome Gilderoy." 

My Gilderoy baith far and near, 

Was fear'd in every toun, 
And bauldly bare away the gear, 

Of many a lawland loun : 

Nane eir durst meet him man to man, 

He was sae brave a boy ; 
At length wi' numbers he was tane, 

My winsome Gilderoy. 

Wae worth the loun that made the laws, 

To hang a man for gear, 
To 'reave of life for ox or ass, 

For sheep, or horse, or mare : 
Had not their laws been made sae strick, 

I neir had lost my joy, 
Wi' sorrow neir had wat my cheek, 

For my dear Gilderoy. 

Giff Gilderoy had done amisse, 

He mought hae banisht been ; 
Ah ! what sair cruelty is this, 

To hang sike handsome men : 
To hang the flower o' Scottish land, 

Sae sweet and fair a boy ; 
Nae lady had sae white a hand, 

As thee, my Gilderoy. 

Of Gilderoy sae fraid they were, 

They bound him mickle strong, 
Tull Edenburrow they led him thair, 

And on a gallows hung : 
They hung him high aboon the rest, 

He was sae trim a boy ; 
Thair dyed the youth whom I lued best, 

My handsome Gilderoy. 

Thus having yielded up his breath, 

I bare his corpse away, 
Wi' tears, that trickled for his death, 

I washt his comelye clay ; 
And siker in a grave sae deep, 

I laid the dear-lued boy, 
And now for evir maun I weep, 

My winsome Gilderoy. 


This b?autiful address to conjugal love, a subject too much neglected by the libertine 
Muses, was first printed in a volume of Miscellaneous Poems, by several hands, 
published by D. Lewis, 1726, 8vo. It is there said, how truly I know not, to be a 
translation "from the ancient British language." 



Away ; let nought to love displeasing, 
My Winifreda, move your care ; 

Let nought delay the heavenly blessing, 
Nor squeamish pride, nor gloomy fear. 

What tho' no grants of royal donors 
With pompous titles grace our blood ; 

We'll shine in more substantial honors, 
And to be noble we'll be good. 

Our name, while virtue thus we tender, 
Will sweetly sound where-e'er 'tis 
spoke : 

And all the great ones, they shall wonder 
How they respect such little folk. 

What though from fortune's lavish bounty 
No mighty treasures we possess ; 

We'll find within our pittance plenty, 
And be content without excess. 

Still shall each returning season 
Sufficient for our wishes give ; 

For we will live a life of reason, 
And that's the only life to live. 

Through youth and age in love excelling, 
We'll hand in hand together tread ; 

Sweet-smiling peace shall crown our 
And babes, sweet-smiling babes, our bed. 

How should I love the pretty creatures, 
While round my knees they fondly clung; 

To see them look their mothers features, 
To hear them lisp their mothers tongue. 

And when with envy time transported 
Shall think to rob us of our joys, 

You'll in your girls again be courted, 
And I'll go a wooing in my boys. 


Was published in a small collection of poems, entitled Euthemia, or the Power of 
Harmony, etc., 1756, written, in 1748, by the ingenious Dr. Harrington, of Bath, who 
never allowed them to be published, and withheld his name till it could no longer be 
concealed. The following copy was furnished by the late Mr. Shenstone, with some 
variations and corrections of his own, which he had taken the liberty to propose, and 
for which the author's indulgence was entreated. 

Wokey-hole is a noted cavern near Wells, in Somersetshire, which has given birth 
to as many wild fanciful stories as the Sybils Cave, in Italy. It goes winding a great 
way underground, is crossed by a stream of very cold water, and is all horrid with 
broken pieces of rock : many of these are evident petrifactions ; which, on account 
of their singular forms, have given rise to the fables alluded to in this poem. 

In aunciente days tradition showes 
A base and wicked elfe arose, 

The Witch of Wokey hight : 
Oft have I heard the fearfull tale 
From Sue, and Roger of the vale, 

On some long winter's night. 

Deep in the dreary dismall cell, 
Which seem'd and was ycleped hell, 

This blear-eyed hag did hide : 
Nine wicked elves, as legends sayne, 
She chose to form her guardian trayne, 

And kennel near her side. 

Here screeching owls oft made their nest, 
While wolves its craggy sides possest, 

Night-howling thro' the rock : 
No wholesome herb could here be found ; 
She blasted every plant around, 

And blister'd every flock. 

Her haggard face was foull to see ; 
Her mouth unmeet a mouth to bee ; 

Her eyne of deadly leer, 
She nought devis'd, but neighbour's ill ; 
She wreak'd on all her wayward will, 

And marr'd all goodly chear. 



All in her prime, have poets sung, 
No gaudy youth, gallant and young, 

E'er blest her longing armes ; 
And hence arose her spight to vex. 
And blast the youth of either sex, 

By dint of hellish charms. 

From Glaston came a lerned wight, 
Full bent to marr her fell despight, 

And well he did, I ween : 
Sich mischief never had been known, 
And, since his mickle lerninge shown, 

Sich mischief ne'er has been. 

He chauntede out his godlie booke, 
He crost the water, blest the brooke, 

Then — pater noster done, — 
The ghastly hag he sprinkled o'er ; 
When lo ! where stood a hag before, 

Now stood a ghastly stone. 

Full well 'tis known adown the dale : 
Tho' passing strange indeed the tale, 

And doubtfull may appear, 
I'm bold to say, there's never a one, 
That has not seen the witch in stone, 

With all her household gear. 

But tho' this lernede clerke did well ; 
With grieved heart, alas ! I tell, 

She left this curse behind : 
That Wokey nymphs forsaken quite, 
Tho' sense and beauty both unite, 

Should find no leman kind. 

For lo ! even, as the fiend did say, 
The sex have found it to this day, 

That men are wondrous scant : 
Here's beauty, wit, and sense combin'd, 
With all that's good and virtuous join'd, 

Yet hardly one gallant. 

Shall then sich maids unpitied moane ? 
They might as well, like her, be stone, 

As thus forsaken dwell. 
Since Glaston now can boast no clerks ; 
Come down from Oxenford, ye sparks, 

And, oh ! revoke the spell. 

Yet stay — nor thus despond, ye fair ; 
Virtue's the gods' peculiar care ; 

I hear the gracious voice : 
Your sex shall soon be blest agen, 
We only wait to find sich men, 

As best deserve your choice. 



Is founded on a real fact, that happened in the island of St. Christophers about the 
beginning of the reign of George III. The editor owes the following stanzas to the 
friendship of Dr. James Grainger, physician in that island when this tragical incident 
happened, and died there much honoured and lamented in 1767. 

The north-east wind did briskly blow, 

The ship was safely moor'd ; 
Young Bryan thought the boat's-crew slow, 

And so leapt over-board. 

Pereene, the pride of Indian dames, 
His heart long held in thrall ; 

And whoso his impatience blames, 
I wot, ne'er lov'd at all. 

A long long year, one month and day, 

He dwelt on English land, 
Nor once in thought or deed would stray, 

Tho' ladies sought his hand. 

For Bryan he was tall and strong, 
Right blythsome roll'd his een, 

Sweet was his voice whene'er he sung, 
He scant had twenty seen. 



But who the countless charms can draw, 

Her fair companions one and all, 

That grac'd his mistress true ; 

Rejoicing crowd the strand ; 

Such charms the old world seldom saw, 

For now her lover swam in call, 

Nor oft I ween the new. 

And almost touch'd the land. 

Her raven hair plays round her neck, 

Then through the white surf did she haste, 

Like tendrils of the vine ; 

To clasp her lovely swain ; 

Her cheeks red dewy rose buds deck, 

When, ah ! a shark bit through his waste : 

Her eyes like diamonds shine. 

His heart's blood dy'd the main ! 

Soon as his well-known ship she spied, 

He shriek'd ! his half sprangfrom the wave, 

She cast her weeds away, 

Streaming with purple gore, 

And to the palmy shore she hied, 

And soon it found a living grave, 

All in her best array. 

And ah ! was seen no more. 

In sea-green silk so neatly clad, 

Now haste, now haste, ye maids, I pray, 

She there impatient stood ; 

Fetch water from the spring : 

The crew with wonder saw the lad 

She falls, she swoons, she dies away, 

Repell the foaming flood, 

And soon her knell they ring. 

Her hands a handkerchief display'd, 

Now each May morning round her tomb, 

Which he at parting gave ; 

Ye fair, fresh flowerets strew, 

Well pleas'd the token he survey'd, 

So may your lovers scape his doom, 

And manlier beat the wave. 

Her hapless fate scape you. 


Gentle river, gentle river, 

Lo, thy streams are stain'd with gore, 
Many a brave and noble captain 

Floats along thy willow'd shore. 

All beside thy limpid waters, 
All beside thy sands so bright, 

Moorish Chiefs and Christian Warriors 
Join'd in fierce and mortal fight. 

Lords, and dukes, and noble princes 
On thy fatal banks were slain : 

Fatal banks that gave to slaughter 
All the pride and flower of Spain. 

There the hero, brave Alonzo, 
Full of wounds and glory died : 

There the fearless Urdiales 
Fell a victim by his side. 

Lo ! where yonder Don Saavedra 
Thro' their squadrons slow retires ; 

Proud Seville, his native city, 
Proud Seville his worth admires. 

Close behind a renegado 

Loudly shouts with taunting cry ; 
Yield thee, yield thee, Don Saavedra, 

Dost thou from the battle fly ? 

Well I know thee, haughty Christian, 
Long I liv'd beneath thy roof ; 

Oft I've in the lists of glory 
Seen thee win the prize of proof. 

Well I know thy aged parents, 
Well thy blooming bride I ki 

Seven years I was thy captive, 
Seven years of pain and woe. 

:now ; 



May our prophet grant my wishes, 
Haughty chief, thou shalt be mine : 

Thou shalt drink that cup of sorrow, 
Which I drank when I was thine. 

Like a lion turns the warrior, 
Back he sends an angry glare : 

Whizzing came the Moorish javelin, 
Vainly whizzing thro' the air. 

Back the hero full of fury 
Sent a deep and mortal wound : 

Instant sunk the Renegado, 
Mute and lifeless on the ground. 

With a thousand Moors surrounded, 
Brave Saavedra stands at bay : 

Wearied out but never daunted, 
Cold at length the warrior lay. 

Near him fighting great Alonzo 
Stout resists the Paynim bands ; 

From his slaughter'd steed dismounted 
Firm intrench'd behind him stands. 

Furious press the hostile squadron, 
Furious he repels their rage : 

Loss of blood at length enfeebles : 
Who can war with thousands wage ! 

Where yon rock the plain o'ershadows, 
Close beneath its foot retir'd, 

Fainting sunk the bleeding hero, 
And without a groan expir'd. 



Softly blow the evening breezes, 
Softly fall the dews of night ; 

Yonder walks the Moor Alcanzor, 
Shunning every glare of light. 

In yon palace lives fair Zaida, 
Whom he loves with flame so pure : 

Loveliest she of Moorish ladies ; 
He a young and noble Moor. 

Waiting for the appointed minute, 

Oft he paces to and fro ; 
Stopping now, now moving forwards, 

Sometimes quick, and sometimes slow. 

Hope and fear alternate teize him, 
Oft he sighs with heart-felt care. — 

See, fond youth, to yonder window 
Softly steps the timorous fair. 

Lovely seems the moon's fair lustre 

To the lost benighted swain, 
When all silvery bright she rises, 

Gilding mountain, grove, and plain. 

Lovely seems the sun's full glory 
To the fainting seaman's eyes, 

When some horrid storm dispersing 
O'er the wave his radiance flies. 

But a thousand times more lovely 
To her longing lover's sight 

Steals half-seen the beauteous maiden 
Thro' the glimmerings of the night. 

Tip-toe stands the anxious lover, 
Whispering forth a gentle sigh : 

Allah keep thee, lovely lady ; 
Tell me, am I doom'd to die ? 

Is it true the dreadful story, 
Which thy damsel tells my page, 

That seduc'd by sordid riches 
Thou wilt sell thy bloom to age ? 

An old lord from Antiquera 
Thy stern father brings along ; 

But canst thou, inconstant Zaida, 
Thus consent my love to wrong? 

If 'tis true now plainly tell me, 
Nor thus trifle with my woes ; 

Hide not then from me the secret, 
Which the world so clearly knows. 



Deeply sigh'd the conscious maiden, 
While the pearly tears descend : 

Ah ! my lord, too true the story ; 
Here our tender loves must end. 

Our fond friendship is discover'd, 
Well are known our mutual vows : 

All my friends are full of fury ; 

Storms of passion shake the house. 

Threats, reproaches, fears surround me ; 

My stern father breaks my heart : 
Allah knows how dear it costs me, 

Generous youth, from thee to part. 

Ancient wounds of hostile fury 

Long have rent our house and thine ; 

Why then did thy shining merit 
Win this tender heart of mine ? 

Well thou know'st how dear I lov'd thee 
Spite of all their hateful pride, 

Tho' I fear'd my haughty father 
Ne'er would let me be thy bride. 

Well thou know'st what cruel chidings 
Oft I've from my mother borne ; 

What I've suffer'd here to meet thee 
Still at eve and early morn. 

I no longer may resist them ; 

AU, to force my hand combine ; 
And to-morrow to thy rival 

This weak frame I must resign. 

Yet think not thy faithful Zaida 
Can survive so great a wrong ; 

Well my breaking heart assures me 
That my woes will not be long. 

Farewell then, my dear Alcanzor ! 

Farewell too my life with thee ! 
Take this scarf a parting token ; 

When thou wear'st it think on me. 

Soon, lov'd youth, some worthier maiden 
Shall reward thy generous truth ; 

Sometimes tell her how thy Zaida 
Died for thee in prime of youth. 

— To him all amaz'd, confounded, 
Thus she did her woes impart : 

Deep he sigh'd, then cry'd, — O Zaida ! 
Do not, do not break my heart. 

Canst thou think I thus will lose thee ? 

Canst thou hold my love so small ? 
No ! a thousand times I'll perish ! — 

My curst rival too shall fall. 

Canst thou, wilt thou yield thus to them? 

O break forth, and fly to me ! 
This fond heart shall bleed to save thee, 

These fond arms shall shelter thee. 

'Tis in vain, in vain, Alcanzor, 
Spies surround me, bars secure : 

Scarce I steal this last dear moment, 
While my damsel keeps the door. 

Hark, I hear my father storming ! 

Hark, I hear my mother chide I 
I must go : farewell for ever ! 

Gracious Allah be thy guide 1 






A BALLAD male by one of the adherents of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, 
soon after the battle of Lewes, which was fought May 14, 1264, affords a curious 
specimen of ancient satire, and shows that the liberty assumed by the good people of 
this realm, of abusing their kings and princes at pleasure, is a privilege of very long 

The reader to understand the libel must know that just before the battle of Lewes, 
which proved so fatal to the interests of Henry III., the barons had offered his brother 
Richard, king of the Romans, ^30,000 to promise peace upon such terms as would 
have divested Henry of all regal power. The treaty proved abortive, the battle was the 
sequence, and the royal party fell into the hands of the Barons, whilst the Earl of 
Warren and Hugh Bigot, who had remained faithful to the king, fled to France. 

The satire points at the supposed rapacity and greediness of Richard, thirty 
thousand pounds being in those days an exorbitant sum ; but this sum is a malevolent 
exaggeration of the libeller. 

The ballad is said to have occasioned a law in our statute book against slanderous 
reports or tales to cause discord between king and people (Westm. Primer, c. 34, 
anno 3, Edw. /.). 

The ballad is copied from a very ancient MS. in the British Museum (Harl. 
MSS. 2253, § 23). 

Sitteth alle stille, ant herkneth to me ; 
The kyng of Alcmaigne, bi mi haute, 
Thritti thousent pound askede he 
For te make the pees in the countre, 
Ant so he dude more. 
Richard, thah thou be evertrickard, 
Tricthen shalt thou never more. 

Richard of Alemaigne, whil that he wes 

He spende al is tresour upon swyvyng, 
Haveth he nout of Walingford * ofcrlyng, 
Let him habbe, ase he brew, bale to dryng, 
Alaugre Wyndesore.f 
Richard, thah thou be ever, etc. 

* Richard, as well as the earldom of Corn- 
wall, had the honours of Wallingford and Eyre 
conferred upon him. 

t Windsor Castle was the chief fortress 
belonging to the king, and had been garrisoned 
by foreigners, which circumstance furnishes 
out the burden of each stanza. 

The kyng of Alemaigne wende do ful wel, 

He saisede the mulne for a castel, 

With hare sharpe swerdes he grounde the 

He wende that the sayles were mangonel 
To helpe Wyndesore. 
Richard, thah thou be ever, etc. 

The kyng of Alemaigne gedercde ys host, 
Makede him a castel of a mulne post,* 
Wende with is prude, ant is muchcle 

Brohtef from Alemayne mony sori gost 
To store Wyndesore. 
Richard, thah thou be ever, etc. 

* Richard, after the battle was lost, took 
refuge in a windmill, which he defended for 
some time against the Barons, but was in the 
evening obliged to surrender. 

t Richard was accused of bringing over 
foreigners to overrun the kingdom. 



By God, that is above ous, he dude muche 

That lette passen over see the erl of 

Warynne : 
He hath robbed Engelond, the mores, ant 

th ferine, 
The gold, ant the selver, and y-borcn 


For love of Wyndesore. 
Richard, thah thou be ever, etc. 

Sire Simond de Mountfort hath snore bi 

ys chyn, 
Hcvcde he nou here the erl of Waryn, 
Shuld he never more come to is yn, 
Ne with sheld, ne with spere, ne with 
other gyn. 

To help of Wyndesore. 
Richard, thah thou be ever, etc. 

Sire Simond de Montfort hath snore bi ys 

Hevede he nou here Sire Hue de Bigot : 
Al he shulde grante here twelfmoneth scot 
Shulde he never more with his sot pot 
To helpe Wyndesore. 
Richard, thah thou be ever, etc. 

Be the lucf, be the loht, sire Edward, 
Thou shalt ride sporeles o thy lyard 
Al the ryhte way to Doveve-ward, 
Shalt thou never more breke foreward ; 
Ant that rcweth sore 
Edward, thou dudest as a skrcward, 

Forsoke thyn ones lore 
Richard, etc. 

%* This ballad will rise in its impor- 
tance with the reader, when he finds 
that it is even believed to have occasioned 
a law in our statute book, viz. ' ' Against 
slanderous reports or tales, to cause dis- 
cord betwixt king and people." (Westm. 
Primer, c. 34, anno 3, Ediu, I.) That it 
had this effect, is the opinion of an 
eminent writer. See Observations upon 
the Statutes, etc., 4to, 2d ed. 1766, p. 


However, in the Harl. Collection may 
be found other satirical and defamatory 
rhymes of the same age, that might have 
their share in contributing to this first 
law against libels. 


We have here an early attempt at elegy. Edward I. died July 7, 1307, in the 35th 
year of his reign and 69th of his age. The writer dwells more upon his devotion 
than his skill in government, and pays less attention to the martial and political 
abilities of this great monarch, in which he had no equal, than to some little weak- 
nesses of superstition which he had in common with all his contemporaries. The 
king had in the decline of life vowed an expedition to the Holy Land ; but finding 
his end approach, he dedicated the sum of ,£32,000 to the maintenance of a large 
body of knights (140 say historians, 80 says our poet), who were to carry his heart 
with them into Palestine. This dying command of the king was never performed. 
Our poet, with the honest prejudices of an Englishman, attributes this failure to the 
advice of the king of France, whose daughter Isabel the young monarch who suc^ 
ceeded immediately married. But the truth is, Edward and his destructive favourite 
Piers Gaveston spent the money upon their pleasures. — To do the greater honour to 
the memory of his hero, our poet puts his eloge in the mouth of the Pope, with the 
same poetic licence as a more modern bard would have introduced Britannia, or the 
Genius of Europe, pouring forth his praises. 



Ali.e, that beoth of hucrte trewe, 

A stounde herkneth to my song 
Of duel, that Deth hath diht us newe, 

That maketh me syke, ant sorewe 
among ; 
Of a knyht, that wes so strong, 

Of wham God hath don ys wille ; 
Me-thunchcth that deth has don us wrong, 

That he so sone shall liggc stille. 

Al Englond ahte for te knowe 

Of wham that song is, that y synge ; 
Of Edward kyng, that lith so lowe, 

Zent al this world is nomc con springe : 
Trewest mon of alle thingc, 

Ant in werre war ant 7uys, 
For him we ahte oure honden wrynge, 

Of Christendome he ber the prys. 

Byfore that oure kyng was ded, 

He spek ase mon that wes in care, 
"Clerkes, knyhtes, barons, he sayde, 

Y charge ou by dure sware, 
That ye to Engelonde be trewe. 

Y deze, y ne may lyven na more ; 
Helpeth mi sone, ant crouneth him newe, 

For he is nest to buen y-core. 

" Ich biqueth myn herte arhyt, 

That hit be write at my devys, 
Over the see that Hue * be diht, 

With fourscore knyhtes al of prys, 
In werre that buen war ant wys, 

Azein the hethene for te fyhte, 
To wynne the croiz that lowe lys, 

Myself ycholde ze/lhat y myhte." 

Kyng of Fraunce, thou hevedest "sinne," 

That thou the counsail woldestyi>M<fc, 
To latte the wille of " Edward kyng " 

To wende to the holy Ionde : 
That oure kyng hede take on honde 

All Engelonde to zemc ant wysse, 
To wenden in to the holy londe 

To wynnen us hevcriche blisse. 

* The name of the person who was to preside 
over this business. 

The messager to the pope com, 

And seyde that our kynge was ded : 
Ys oune hond the lettre he nom, 

Ywis his herte was full gret : 
The Pope him self the lettre redde, 

Ant spec a word of gret honour. 
" Alas ! he seid, is Edward ded? 

Of Christendome he ber the flour. " 

The Pope to is chaumbre wende, 

For dot ne mihte he speke na more ; 
Ant after cardinals he sende, 

That muche couthen of Cristes lore, 
Bothe the lasse, ant eke the more, 

Bed hem bothe rede ant synge : 
Gret deol me myhte se thore, 

Mony mon is honde wrynge. 

The Pope of Peyters stod at is masse 

With ful gret solempnete, 
Ther me con the soule blesse : 

' ' Kyng Edward honoured thou be 
God love thi sone come after the, 

Bringe to ende that thou hast Ly- 
The holy crois y-mad of tie, 

So fain thou woldest hit have y-wonne. 

"Jerusalem, thou hast i-lore 

The flour of al chivalrie 
Now kyng Edward liveth na more : 

Alas ! that he zet shulde deye ! 
He wolde ha rered up ful heyze 

Oure banners, that bueth broht to 
grounde ; 
Wei ! longe we mowe clepe and crie 

Er we a such kyng han y-founde." 

Nou is Edward of Camarvan 

King of Engelond al aplyht, 
God lete him ner be worse man 

Then his fader, ne lasse of myht, 
To holden is pore men to ryht, 

And understonde good counsail, 
Al Engelond for to wysse ant dyht ; 

Of gode knyhtes dark him nout 



Thah mi tonge were mad of stel, 
Ant min herte yzote of bras, 

The godness myht y never telle, 
That with kyng Edward was : 

Kyng, as thou art cleped conquerour, 
In uch bataille thou hadest prys ; 

God bringe thi soule to the honour, 

That ever wes, ant ever ys. 
That lasteth ay withouten ende, 

Bidde we God, ant oure Ledy to thilke 
Jesus us sende. Amen. 


This little sonnet, which hath escaped all the editors of Chaucer's works, is from an 
ancient MS. in the Pepysian Library, that contains many other poems of its venerable 
author. The versification is of that species which the French call Rondeau. 
Geoffrey Chaucer died Oct. 25, 1400, aged 72. 

YouRE two eyn will sle me sodenly, 
I may the beaute of them not sustene, 
So wendeth it thorowout my herte kene. 

And but your words will hclen hastely 
My hertis wound, while that it is grene, 
Youre two eyn will sle me sodenly. 

Upon my trouth I sey yow feithfully, 
That ye ben of my liffe and deth the 

quene ; 
For with my deth the trouth shal be 


Youre two eyn, etc. 


So hath youre beauty fro your herte chased 
Pitee, that me n' availeth not to pleyn ; 
For daunger halt your mercy in his 

Giltless my deth thus have ye purchased ; 
I sey yow soth, me nedeth not to fayn : 
So hath your beaute fro your herte chased. 

Alas, that nature hath in yow compassed 
So grete beaute, that no man may atteyn 
To mercy, though he sterve for the peyn. 
So hath youre beaute, etc, 

Syn I fro love escaped am so fat, 
I nere thinke to ben in his prison lene ; 
Syn I am fre, I counte hym not a bene. 

He may answere, and sey this and that, 
I do no fors, I speak ryght as I mene ; 
Syn I fro love escaped am so fat. 

Love hath my name i-strike out of his sclat, 
And he is strike out of my bokes clene : 
For ever mo ' ' ther " is non other mene, 
Syn I fro love escaped, etc 



OR, "the wooeing, winning, and wedding of tibbe, the reev's 


Written, it is supposed, by Gilbert Pilkington, who is said to have been parson of 
the parish of Tottenham in the 15th century. It was first printed in 1631, through the 
assistance of the Rev. Wilhelm Bedwell, rector of Tottenham, and afterwards bishop of 
Kilmore, and one of the translators of the Bible. 

Bedwell believed it to be the true account of a tournament that took place before 
the reign of Edward III., and failed to see the humour and the satire of the produc- 
tion. Romance and chivalry were bewitching the eyes of Europe when Chaucer 
wrote his Sir Thopas in ridicule of the former ; and the poem before us is a humorous 
burlesque upon the latter. In it we have all the solemnities of the Tourney. 

Here we have the regular challenge— the appointed day — the lady for the prize— 
the formal preparations — the display of armour — the scutcheons and devices — the oaths 
taken on entering the lists — the various accidents of the encounter — the victor leading 
off the prize — and the magnificent feasting— with all the other solemn fopperies that 
usually attended the pompous tournament. And how acutely the sharpness of the 
author's humour must have been felt in those days, we may learn from what we can 
perceive of its keenness now, when time has so much blunted the edge of his 

Of all thes kene conquerours to carpe 

it were kynde ; 
Of fete fey 'ztyng folk ferly we fynde, 
The Turnament of Totenham have we in 

myhde ; 
It were harme sych hardynes were holden 
In story as we rede 
Of Hawkyn, of Herry, 
OfTomkyn, of Terry, 
Of them that were dughty 
And stalworth in dede. 

It befel in Totenham on a dere day, 

Ther was mad a shurtyng be the hy- 
way : 

Theder come al the men of the con- 

Of Hyssylton, of Hy-gate, and of 

* Islington, Highgate, Hackney. 

And all the swete swyniers. 
Ther hopped Hawkyn, 
Ther daunsed Dawkyn, 
Ther trumped Tomkyn, 

And all were trewe drynkers. 

Tyl the day was gon and evyn-song past, 
That thay schuld reckyn ther scot and ther 

counts cast ; 
Perkyn the potter into the press past, 
And sayd Randol the refe, a dozter thou 

Tyb the dere : 

Therfor faine wyt wold I, 
Whych of all thys bachelery 
Were best worthye 

To wed hur to hysf re. 

Upstyrt thos gadelyngys wyth ther Iang 

And sayd, Randol the refe, lo ! thys lad 

raves ; 



Boldely amang us thy dozter he craves ; 
We er rycher men than he, and mor gode 
Of cattell and corn ; 
Then sayd Perkyn, to Tybbe I 

have hyzt 
That I schal be alway redy in my 

If that it schuld be thys day 
Or elles zet to morn. 

Then sayd Randolfe the refe, Ever be he 

That about thys carpyng lenger wold be 

taryd : 
I wold not my dozter, that scho were 

But at hur most worschip I wold scho 
were maryd ; 
Therfor a Turnament schal begynne 
Thys day sevenyzt, — 
Wyth a flayl for to fyzt : 
And he that is most of myght 
Schal broukehvaviyihivynne. 

Whoso berys hym best in the turnament, 
Hym schal be granted the gre be the 

comon assent, 
For to wynne my dozter wyth ' ' dughty- 

nesse " of dent, 
And "coppell"* my brode-henne " that " 
was brozt out of Kent : 
And my dunnyd kowe 
For no spens wyl I spare, 
For no cattell wyl I care, 
He schal have my gray mare, 
And my spottyd sowe. 

Ther was many " a " bold lad ther bodyes 

to bede : 
Than thay toke thayr leve, and faomward 

they zede ; 

* We still use the phrase "a copple-crowned 

And all the weke afterward graythed ther 

Tyll it come to the day, that thay suld do 
ther dede. 

They armed ham in matts ; 
Thay set on ther ttollys, 
For to kepe ther pollys, 
Gode blake bollys. 

For batryng of bats. 

Thay sowed tham in schepeskynnes, for 

thay schuld not brest : 
Ilk • on toke a blak hat, insted of a 

crest : 
"A basket or a panyer before on ther 

And a flayle in ther hande ; for to fyght 

Furth gon thay fare : 
Ther was kyd mekyl fors, 
Who schuld best fend hys cors : 
He that had no gode hors. 
He gat hym a mare. 

Sych another gadryng have I not sene 

When all the gret company com rydand 

to the croft : 
Tyb on a gray mare was set up on 

On a sek ful of fedyrs, for scho schuld syt 

And led "till the gap." 
For cryeng of the men 
Forther wold not Tyb then, 
Tyl scho had hur brode hen 
Set in hur Lap. 

A gay gyrdyl Tyb had on, borowed for 

the nonys, 
And a garland on hur hed ful of rounde 

And a broche on hur brest ful of "sap- 

phyre" stonys, 
Wyth the holy-rode tokenyng, was wrotyn 

for the nonys ; 



For no "spendings" thay had 
When joly Gyb saw hur thare, 
He gyrd so hys gray mare, 
" That scho lete a fowkin " fare 
At the rereward. 

I wow to God, quoth Herry, I schal not 

lefe behynde, 
May I mete wyth Bernard on Bayard the 

Ich man kepe hym out of my wynde, 
For whatsoever that he be, before me I 
I wot I schall hyme greve. 
Wele sayd, quoth Hawkyn, 
And I wow, quoth Dawkyn, 
May I mete wyth Tomkyn, 

Hys flayle I schal hym reve. 

I make a vow, quoth Hud, Tyb, son schal 

thou se, 
Whych of all thys bachelery "granted" 

is the gre : 
I schal scomfet thaym all, for the love of 

In what place so I come thay schal have 
dout of me, 

Myn armes ar so clere : 
' I bere a reddyl, and a rake, 
Poudred wyth a brenaud drake, 
And three can tells of a cake 
In ycha cornere. 

I vow to God, quoth Hawkyn, yf "I" 

have the gowt, 
Al that I fynde in the felde "thrustand" 

here aboute, 
Have I twycs or thryes redyn thurgh the 

In ycha stede ther thay me se, of me thay 
schal have doute, 

When I begyn to play. 

I make avowe that I ne schall, 
But yf Tybbe wyl me call, 
Or I be thryes don fall, 
Ryzt onys com away. 

Then sayd Terry, and swore be hys crede ; 
Saw thou never yong boy forther hys body 

For when thay fyzt fastest and most ar in 

I schall take Tyb by the hand, and hur 
away lede : 

I am armed at the full ; 
In myn armys I bere wele 
A dozt rogk, and a pele, 
A sadyll wythout a panell, 
Wyth a.Jles of woll, 

I make a vow, quoth Dudman, and swor 

be the stra, 
Whyls me ys left my "mare," thou gets 

hurr not swa ; 
For scho ys wele schapen, and lizt as the 

Ther is no capul in thys myle befor hur 
schal ga ; 

Sche wul ne nozt begyle : 
Sche wyl me bere, I dar say, 
On a lang somerys day, 
Fro Hyssylton to Hakenay, 
Nozt other half myle. 

I make a vow, quoth Perkyn, thow speks 

of cold rost, 
I schal wyrc/i "wyselyer" withouten any 

bost : 
Five of the best capulys, that ar in thys 

I wot I schal thaym wynne, and bryng 
thaym to my cost, 
And here I grant thaym Tybbe. 
Wele boyes here ys he, 
That wyl fyzt, and not fie, 
For I am in my jolyte, 

Wyth so forth, Gybbe. 

When thay had ther vowes made, furth 

can thay hie, 
Wyth flayles, and homes, and trumpes 

mad of Ire:* 

* Probably wooden trumpets. 



Ther were all the bachelerys of that 

contre ; 
Thay were dyzt in aray, as thaymselfes 
wold be : 
Thayr baners were ful bryzt 
Of an old rotten fell ; 
The cheveron of a plow-mell; 
And the schadow of a bell, 

Poudred wyth the mone lyzt. 

I wot yt "was" no chylder game, whan 

thay togedyr met, 
When ichafreke in the feld on hys fcloy 

And layd on styfly, for nothyng wold thay 

And foght ferly fast, tyll ther horses swet, 
And few wordys spoken. 

Ther were flayles al to slatred, 
Ther were scheldys al to faired, 
Bollys and dysches al to schatred, 
And many hedys brokyn. 

Tnere was clynkyng of cart-sade-lys, and 

clatteryng of Cannes ; 
Qifelefrekys in the feld brokyn were their 

fannes ; 
Of sum were the hedys brokyn, of sum 

the brayn-pannes, 
And yll were thay besene, or thay went 
Wyth swyppyng of swcpyls : 
Thay were so wery for-foght, 
Thay myzt not fyzt mare oloft, 
Butcreped about in the "croft." 
As thay were croked crepyls. 

Perkyn was so wery, that he began to 

loute ; 
Help, Hud, I am ded in thys ylk rowte : 
An hors for forty pens, a gode and a 

stoute ! 
That I may lyztly come of my noye oute, 
For no cost wyl I spare. 
He styrt up as a snayle, 
And hent a capul be the tayle, 
And " reft" Dawkin hys fiayle, 
And wan there a mare. 

Perkyn wan five, and Hud wan twa : 
Glad and blythe thay ware, that they had 

don sa ; 
They wold have tham to Tyb, and pre- 
sent hur with tha : 
The Capulls were so wery, that thay myzt 
not ga, 

But styl gon they stond. 
Alas ! quoth Hudde, my joye I 

lese ; 
Mee had lever then a ston of 

That dere Tyb had al these, 
And wyst it were my sond. 

Perkyn turnyd hym about in that ych 

Among thos wery boyes he wrest and he 

wrang ; 
He threw tham doun to the erth, and 

thrast tham amang, 
When he saw Tyrry away wyth Tyb fang, 
And after hym ran ; 

Off his horse he hym drogh, 
And gaf hym of hys flayl inogh : 
We te he I quoth Tyb, and lugk, 
Ye er a dughty man. 

"Thus" they tugged, and rugged, tyl yt 

was nere nyzt : 
All the wyves of Tottenham came to se 

that syzt 
Wyth wyspes, and kexis, and ryschys there 

To fetch horn ther husbandes, that were 
tham trouth plyzt ; 
And sum brozt gret harwos, 
Ther husbandes hom to fetch. 
Sum on dores, and sum on keck, 
Sum on hyrdyllys, and som on 
And sum on whele-barows, 

Thay gaderyd Perkyn about, " on '' 

everych syde, 
And grant hym ther " the gre," the more 

was hys pryde : 


Tyb and he, wyth gret " mirth," homward 

With sorrow come thay thedyr. 

con thay ryde, 

Wo was Hawkyn, wo was Herry, 

And were al nyzt togedyr, tyl the morn 

Wo was Tomkyn, wo was Terry, 

tyde ; 

And so was all the bachelary, 

And thay " to church went : " 

When they met togedyr. 

So wele hys nedys he has sped, 
That dere Tyb he ' ' hath " wed ; 


that fest thay wer servyd with a 

The prayse-folk, * that hur led, 
Were of the Turnament. 

ryche aray, 
Every fyve and fyve had a cokenay ; 
And so thay sat in jolyte al the lung day ; 

To that ylk fest com many for the nones ; 

And at the last thay went to bed with ful 

Some come hyphalte, and some trippand 

gret deray : 

' ' thither " on the stonys : 

Mekyl myrth was them among ; 

Sum a staf in hys hand, and sum two at 

In every corner of the hous 

onys ; 

Was melody delycyous 

Of sum where the hedes broken, of some 

For to here precyus 

the schulder bonys ; 

Of six menys song. 


That our plain and martial ancestors could wield their swords much better than 
their pens, will appear from the following homely rhymes, which were drawn up by 
some poet laureate of those days to celebrate the immortal victory gained at Agincourt, 
Oct. 25, 1415. This song or hymn is given merely as a curiosity, and is printed from 
a MS. copy in the Pepys Collection, vol. I. folio. It is there accompanied with the 
musical notes, which are copied in a small plate at the end of this volume. 

He spared " for " drede of leste, ne most, 

Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria! 

Ovvre kynge went forth to Normandy, 
With grace and myzt of chivalry ; 
The God for hym wrouzt marvelously, 
Wherefore Englonde may calle, and cry 
Deo gratias : 
Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria. 

He sette a sege, the sothe for to say, 
To Harflue toune with ryal aray ; 
That toune he wan, and made a fray, 
That Fraunce shall rywe tyl domes day. 
Deo gratias, etc. 

Then went owre kynge, with alle his 

Thorowe Fraunce for all the Frenshe 

boste ; 

* Chief men. 

Tyl ne come to Agincourt coste. 

Deo gratias, etc. 

Than for sothe that knyzt comely 
In Agincourt feld he fauzt manly, 
Thorow grace of God most myzty 
He had bothe the felde, and the victory : 
Deo gratias, etc. 

Ther dukys, and erlys, lorde and barone, 
Were take, and slayne, and that wel sone, 
And some were ledde in to Lundone 
With joye, and merthe, and grete renone. 
Deo gratias, etc. 

Now gracious God he save owre kynge, 
His peple, and all his wel wyllynge, 
Gef him gode lyfe, and gode endynge, 
That we with merth mowe savely synge 
Deo gratias : 
Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria. 

1 66 



The sentimental beauties of this ancient ballad have always recommended it to 
readers of taste, notwithstanding the rust of antiquity which obscures the style and 
expression. The text is formed from two copies found in two different editions of 
Arnolde's Chronicle, a book supposed to be first printed about 1521. 

The ballad of the " Nutbrowne Mayd " was first revived in The Muses' Mercury for 
June 1707, 4to, being prefaced with a little "Essay on the old English Poets and 
Poetry," in which this poem is concluded to be "near 300 years old," upon reasons 
which, though they appear inconclusive to us now, were sufficient to determine Prior, 
who there first met with it. However, this opinion had the approbation of the learned 
Wanley, an excellent judge of ancient books. For that whatever related to the 
reprinting of this old piece was referred to Wanley, appears from two letters of Prior's 
preserved in the British Museum [Harl. MSS. No. 3777]. 

Be it ryght, or wrong, these men among 

On women do complayne ; 
Affyrmynge this, how that it is 

A labour spent in vayne, 
To love them wele ; for never a dele 

They love a man agayne : 
For late a man do what he can, 

Theyr favour to attayne, 
Yet, yf a newe do them persue, 

Theyr first true lover than 
Laboureth for nought ; for from her 

He is a banyshed man. 

I say nat nay, but that all day 

It is bothe writ and sayd 
That womans faith is, as who sayth, 

All utterly decayd ; 
But, neverthelesse, ryght good wytnesse 

In this case might be layd, 
That they love true, and continue : 

Recorde the Not-browne Mayde : 
Which, when her love came, her to prove, 

To her to make his mone, 
Wolde nat depart ; for in her hart 

She loved but hym alone. 

Than betwaine us late us dyscus 

What was all the manere 
Betwayne them two : we wyll also 

Tell all the payne, and/ivv, 

That she was in. Nowe I begyn, 

So that ye me answere ; 
Wherfore, all ye that present be, 

I pray you, gyve an ere. 
"lam the knyght ; I come by nyght, 

As secret as I can ; 
Sayinge, Alas ! thus standeth the case, 

I am a banyshed man." 


And I your wyll for to fulfyll 

In this wyll nat refuse ; 
Trustying to shewe, in wordes fewe, 

That men have an yll use 
(To theyr own shame) women to blame, 

And causelesse them accuse ; 
Therfore to you I answere nowe, 

All women to excuse,— 
Myne owne hart dere, with you what chere ? 

I pray you, tell anone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 


It standeth so ; a dede is do 
Wherof grete harme shall growe : 

My destiny is for to dy 
A shamefull deth, I trowe ; 

Or elles to fie : the one must be. 
None other way I knowe, 



But to withdrawe as an outlawe, 

And take me to my bowe. 
Wherfore, adue, my owne hart true ! 

None other rede I can : 
For I must to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Lord, what is thys worldys blysse, 
That changeth as the mone ! 

My somers day in lusty may 
Is derked before the none. 

1 here you say, farewell : Nay, nay, 
We depart nat so sone. 

Why say ye so ? wheder wyll ye go ? 

Alas ! what have ye done ? 
All my welfare to sorrowe and care 

Sholde chaunge, yf ye were gone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

I can beleve, it shall you greve, 

And somewhat you dystrayne ; 
But, aftyrwarde, your paynes harde 

Within a day or twayne 
Shall sone aslake ; and ye shall take 

Comfort to you agayne. 
Why sholde ye ought? for, to make 

Your labour were in vayne. 
And thus I do ; and pray you to, 

As hartely, as I can ; 
For I must to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Now, syth that ye have shewed to me 

The secret of your mynde, 
I shall be playne to you agayne, 

Lyke as ye shall me fynde. 
Syth it is so, that ye wyll go, 

I wolle not leve behynde ; 
Shall never be sayd, the Not-browne 

Was to her love unkynde : 

Make you redy, for so am I, 

Allthough it were anone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

Yet I you rede to take good hede 

What men wyll thynke, and say : 
Of yonge, and olde, it shall be tolde, 

That ye be gone away, 
Your wanton wyll for to fulfill, 

In grene wode you to play ; 
And that ye myght from your delyght 

No lenger make delay. 
Rather than ye sholde thus for me 

Be called an yll woman, 
Yet wolde I to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Though it be songe of old and yonge, 

That I sholde be to blame, 
Theyrs be the charge, that speke so largo 

In hurtynge of my name : 
For I wyll prove, that faythfulle love 

It is devoyd of shame ; 
In your dystresse, and hevynesse, 

To part with you, the same : 
And sure all tho, that do not so, 

True lovers are they none ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 


I counceyle you, remember howe, 

It is no maydens lawe, 
Nothynge to dout, but to renne out 

To wode with an outlawe : 
For ye must there in your hand bere 

A bowe, redy to drawe ; 
And, as a thefe, thus must you lyve, 

Ever in drede and awe ; 
Wherby to you grete harme myght 
growe : 

Yet had I lever than, 
That I had to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 

1 68 



I thinke nat nay, but as ye say, 

It is no maydens lore : 
But love may make me for your sake, 

As I have sayd before, 
To come on fote, to hunt, and shote 

To gete us mete in store ; 
For so that I your company 

May have, I aske no more : 
From which to part, it maketh my hart 

As colde as ony stone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 


For an outlawe this is the lawe, 

That men hym take and bynde ; 
Without pyte, hanged to be, 

And waver with the wynde. 
If I had nede (as God forbede !), 

What rescous coude ye fynde ? 
Forsoth, I trowe, ye and your bowe 

For fere wolde drawe behynde : 
And no mcrvayle; for lytell avayle 

Were in your counceyle than : 
Wherfore I wyll to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Ryght wele knowe ye, that women be 

But feble for to fyght ; 
No womanhede it is indede 

To be bolde as a knyght : 
Yet, in such fere yf that ye were 

With enemyes day or nyght, 
I wolde withstande, with bowe in hande, 

To greve them as I myght, 
And you to save ; as women have 

From deth "men " many one : 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 


Yet take good hede ; for ever I drede 

That ye coude nat sustayne 
The thornie wayes, the depe valeies, 

The snowe, the frost, the rayne, 

The colde, the hete : for dry, or wete, 

We must lodge on the playne ; 
And, us above, none other rofe 

But a brake bush, or twayne : 
Which sone sholde greve you, I beleve ; 

And ye wolde gladly than 
That I had to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Syth I have here bene partynere 

With you of joy and blysse, 
I must also parte of your wo 

Endure, as reson is : 
Yet am I sure of one plesure ; 

And, shortely, it is this : 
That, where ye be, me semeth, pardi, 

I coude nat fare amysse. 
Without more speche, I you beseche 

That we were sone agone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 


If ye go thyder, ye must consyder, 

Whan ye have lust to dyne, 
There shall no mete be for you gete, 

Nor drinke, bere, ale, ne wyne. 
No shetes clene, to lye betwene, 

Made of threde and twyne ; 
None other house, but leves and bowes, 

To cover your hed and myne, 
O myne harte swete, this evyll dyete 

Sholde make you pale and wan ; 
Wherfore I wyll to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Amonge the wylde dere, such an archere, 

As men say that ye be, 
Ne may nat fayle of good vitayle, 

Where is so grete plente : 
And water clere of the ryvere 

Shall be full swete to me ; 
With which in hcle I shall ryght wele 

Endure, as ye shall see ; 



And, or we go, a bedde or two 

I can provyde anone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

Lo yet, before, ye must do more, 

Yf ye wyll go with me : 
As cut your here up by your ere, 

Your kyrtel by the kne ; 
With bowe in hande, for to withstande 

Your enemyes, yf nede be : 
And this same nyght before day-lyght, 

To wode-warde wyll I fie. 
Yf that ye wyll all this fulfill, 

Do it shortely as ye can : 
Els wyll I to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


I shall as nowe do more for you 

Than longeth to womanhede ; 
To shote my here, a bowe to bere, 

To shote in tyme of nede. 
O my swete mother, before all other 

For you I have most drede : 
But nowe, adue ! I must ensue, 

Where fortune doth me lede. 
All this make ye : Now let us fle ; 

The day cometh fast upon ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 


Nay, nay, nat so ; ye shall nat go, 

And I shall tell ye why, — 
Your appetyght is to be lyght 

Of love, I wele espy : 
For, lyke as ye have sayed to me, 

In lyke wyse hardely 
Ye wolde answere whosoever it were, 

In way of company. 
It is sayd of olde, Sone hote, sone colde 

And so is a woman. 
Wherfore I to the wode wyll go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Yf ye take hede, it is no nede 

Such wordes to say by me ; 
For oft ye prayed, and longe assayed, 

Or I you loved, parde : 
And though that I of auncestry 

A barons daughter be, 
Yet have you proved howe I you loved 

A squyer of lowe degre ; 
And ever shall, whatso befall ; 

To dy therfore* anone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 


A barons chylde to be begylde ! 

It were a cursed dede ; 
To be felawe with an outlawe ! 

Almighty God forbede ! 
Yet beter were, the pore squyere 

Alone to forest yede, 
Than ye sholde say another day, 

That, by my cursed dede, 
Ye were betray'd : Wherfore, good 

The best rede that I can, 
Is, that I to the grene wode go. 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Whatever befall, I never shall 

Of this thyng you upbrayd : 
But yf ye go, and leve me so, 

Than have ye me betrayd. 
Remember you wele, how that ye dele ; 

For, yf ye, as ye sayd, 
Be so unkynde, to leve behynde, 

Your love, the Not-browne Mayd, 
Trust me truly, that I shall dy 

Sone after ye be gone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

* i.e. for this cause ; though I were to die 
for having loved you. 




Yf that ye went, ye sholde repent ; 

For in the forest nowe 
I have purvayed me of a mayd, 

Whom I love more than you ; 
Another fayrere, than ever ye were, 

I dare it wele avowe ; 
And of you bothe eche sholde be wrothe 

With other, as I trowe : 
It were myne ese, to lyve in pese ; 

So wyll I, yf I can ; 
Wherfore I to the wode wyll go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 


Though in the wode I undyrstode 

Ye had a paramour, 
All this may nought remove my thought, 

But that I wyll be your : 
And she shall fynde me soft, and kynde, 

And courteys every hour ; 
Glad to fulfyll all that she wyll 

Commaunde me to my power : 
For had ye, lo, an hundred mo, 

"Of them I wolde be one ; "* 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 


Myne owne dere love, I se the prove 

That ye be kynde, and true ; 
Of mayde, and wyfe, in all my lyfe, 

The best that ever I knewe. 
Be mery and glad, be no more sad, 

The case is chaunged newe ; 
For it were ruthe, that, for your truthe, 

Ye sholde have cause to reive. 
Be nat dismayed ; whatsoever I sayd 

To you, whan I began ; 
I wyll nat to the grene wode go, 

I am no banyshed man. 

* So the Editor's MS. All the printed copies 
read, " Yet wold I be that one." 

These tydings be more gladd to me, 

Than to be made a quene, 
Yf I were sure they sholde endure : 

But it is often sene, 
Whan men wyll breke promyse, they speke 

The wordes on the splene.* 
Ye shape some wyle me to begyle, 

And stele from me, I wene : 
Than were the case worse than it was. 

And I more wo-begone : 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

Ye shall nat nede further to drede ; 

I wyll nat dysparige 
You (God defend !), syth ye descend 

Of so grete a lynage. 
Nowe undyrstande ; to Westmarlande, 

Which is myne herytage, 
I wyll you brynge ; and with a rynge, 

By way of maryage 
I wyll you take, and lady make, 

As shortely as I can : 
Thus have you won an erlys son, 

And not a banyshed man. 


Here may ye se, that women be 

In love, meke, kynde, and stable 
Late never man reprove them than, 

Or call them variable ; 
But, rather, pray God, that we may 

To them be comfortable ; 
Which sometyme proveth such, as he 

Yf they be charytable. 
For syth men wolde that women sholde 

Be meke to them each one ; 
Moche more ought they to God obey, 

And serve but hym alone. 

*" On a sudden." C.Bell. 



The amiable light in which the character of Anthony Widville, the gallant Earl 
Rivers, has been placed by the elegant author of the Catalogue of Noble Writers, 
interests us in whatever fell from his pen. It is presumed, therefore, that the insertion 
of this little sonnet will be pardoned, though it should not be found to have much 
poetical merit. It is the only original poem known of that nobleman's, his more 
voluminous works being only translations. And if we consider that it was written 
during his cruel confinement in Pomfret Castle, a short time before his execution in 
!4 8 3. Jt gives us a fine picture of the composure and steadiness with which this stout 
earl beheld his approaching fate. 

Sumwhat musyng, And more mornyng, 
In remembring The unstydfastnes ; 

This world being Of such tohelyng, 
Me contrarieng, What may I gesse ? 

I fere dowtles, Remediles, 

Is now to sese My wofull chaunce. 
[For unkyndness, Withouten less, 

And no redress, Me doth avaunce, 

With displesaunce, To my grevaunce, 
And no suraunce Of remedy.] 

Lo in this traunce, Now in substaunce, 
Such is my dawnce, Wyllyng to dye. 

Me thynkys truly, Bowndyn am I, 
And that gretly, To be content : 

Seyng playnly, Fortune doth wry 
All contrary From myn entent. 

My lyff was lent Me to on intent, 

Hytt is ny spent. Welcome fortune ! 

But I ne went Thus to be shcnt, 
But sho hit ment ; such is hur won. 


It is supposed with much reason that this poem was not written by Sir Nicholas 
Vaux, who died 1523, as some have believed, but by a Lord Vaux mentioned by 
the old writers as a poet contemporary with or rather posterior to Sir Thomas Wyatt 
and the Earl of Surrey, who neither of them made any figure until after the death of 
the first Lord Nicholas Vaux. 

Thomas Lord Vaux of Harrowden in Northamptonshire was summoned to Parlia- 
ment in 1531. When he died, does not appear, but he probably lived to the latter end 
of Queen Mary's reign, and is most likely the poet who wrote the following ballad. 

When Cupide scaled first the fort, 
Wherein my hart lay wounded sore ; 

The batry was of such a sort, 

That I must yelde or die thcrfore. 

There sawe I Love upon the wall, 
How he his banner did display : 

Alarme, alarme, he gan to call : 
And bad his souldiours kcpc aray. 

The armes, the which that Cupide bare, 
Were pearced hartes with tcares 

In silver and sable to declare 
The stedfast love, he alwayes ment. 

There might you se his band all drest 
In colours like to white and blacke, 

With powder and with pelletes prest 
To bring the fort to spoile and sacke. 

Good-wyll, the maister of the shot, 
Stode in the rampire brave and proude. 

For spence of pouder he spared not 
Assault ! assault ! to crye aloude. 



There might you heare the cannons rore ; 

Eche pece discharged a lovers loke ; 
Which had the power to rent, and tore 

In any place whereas they toke. 

And even with the trumpettes sowne 
The scaling ladders were up set, 

And Beautie walked up and downe, 
With bow in hand, and arrowes whet. 

Then first Desire began to scale, 
And shrouded him under "his" targe ; 

As one the worthiest of them all, 
And aptest for to geve the charge. 

Then pushed souldiers with their pikes, 
And halberdes with handy strokes ; 

The argabushe in fleshe it lightes, 
And duns the ayre with misty smokes. 

And, as it is the souldiers use 

When shot and powder gins to want, 

I hanged up my flagge of truce, 
And pleaded up for my lives grant. 

When Fansy thus had made her breche, 
And Beauty entred with her band, 

With bagge and baggage, sely wretch, 
I yelded into Beauties hand. 

Then Beautie bad to blow retrete, 

And every souldier to retire, 
And mercy wyll'd with spede to fet 

Me captive bound as prisoner. 

Madame, quoth I, sith that this day 
Hath served you at all assayes, 

I yeld to you without delay 
Here of the fortresse all the kayes. 

And sith that I have ben the marke, 
At whom you shot at with your eye ; 

Nedes must you with your handy warke, 
Or salve my sore, or let me die. 


This old fabulous legend is given from the Editor's folio MS. with conjectural 
emendations, and the insertion of some additional stanzas to supply and complete the 

It has been suggested that the author of this poem seems to have had in his eye the 
story of Gunhilda, who is sometimes called Eleanor, and who was married to the 
Emperor (here called King) Henry. 

Sir Walter Scott regards Sir Aldingar as founded on the kindred ballad of Sir 
Hugh le Blond. ' ' The incidents, " he says, ' ' are nearly the same in both ballads, except- 
ing that in Aldingar an angel combats for the queen instead of a mortal champion." 

But it appears that it was not simply an angel who fought for Queen Elinor, but 
that the author has intended the relief to come from the " Christchild, " the legends 
of whom were in those days very prevalent among the mediaeval Christians. And 
this supposition is greatly favoured by the last act of the child-champion being to 
touch the lazar or leper, who is immediately healed of his leprosy. 

Our king he kept a false stewarde, 

Sir Aldingar they him call ; 
A falser steward than he was one, 

Servde not in bower nor hall. 

He wolde have taken our comelye queene, 
Her deere worshippe to betraye : 

Our queene she was a good woman, 
And evermore said him naye. 

Sir Aldingar was wrothe in his mind, 
With her hee was never content, 

Till traiterous meanes he colde devyse, 
In a fyer to have her brent. 



There came a lazar to the kings gate, 
A lazar both blinde and lame : 

He tooke the lazar upon his backe, 
Him on the queenes bed has layne. 

" Lye still, lazar wheras thou lyest, 
Looke thou goe not hence away ; 

He make thee a whole man and a sound 
In two howers of the day."* 

Then went him forth sir Aldingar, 

And hyed him to our king : 
" If I might have grace, as I have space, 

Sad ty dings I could bring." 

Say on, say on, sir Aldingar, 

Saye on the soothe to mee. 
" Our queene hath chosen a new new love, 

And shee will have none of thee. 

" If shee had chosen a right good knight, 
The lesse had beene her shame ; 

But she hath chose her a lazar man, 
A lazar both blinde and lame." 

If this be true, thou Aldingar, 
The tyding thou tellest to me, 

Then will I make thee a rich rich knight, 
Rich both of golde and fee. 

But if it be false, sir Aldingar, 

As God nowe grant it bee ! 
Thy body, I sweare by the holye rood, 

Shall hang on the gallows tree. 

He brought our king to the queenes 

And opend to him the dore. 
A lodlye love, king Harry says, 

For our queene dame Elinore t 

If thou were a man, as thou art none, 
Here on my sword thoust dye ; 

But a payre of new gallowes shall 
And there shalt thou hang on hye. 


* He probably insinuates that the king should 
heal him by his power ot touching for the king's 

Forth then hyed our king, I wysse, 

And an angry man was hee ; 
And soone he found queene Elinore, 

That bride so bright of blee. 

Now God you save, our queene, madame, 
And Christ you save and see ; 

Heere you have chosen a newe newe love, 
And you will have none of mee. 

If you had chosen a right good knight, 
The lesse had been your shame : 

But you have chose you a lazar man, 
A lazar both blinde and lame. 

Therfore a fyer there shall be built, 
And brent all shalt thou bee, — 

" Now out alacke ! said our comly queene, 
Sir Aldingar's false to mee. 

Now out alacke ! sayd our comlye queene, 
My heart with griefe will brast. 

I had thought sivevens had never been 
true ; 
I had proved them true at last. 

I dreamt in my sweven on thursday eve, 

In my bed whereas I laye, 
I dreamt a grype and a grimlic beast 

Had carryed my crowne awaye ; 

My gorged and my kirtle of golde, 

And all my faire head-geere : 
And he wold worrye me with his tush 

And to his nest y-beare : 

Saving there came a little 'gray* hawke, 

A merlin him they call, 
Which untill the grounde did strike the 

That dead he downe did fall. 

Giffe I were a man, as now I am none, 

A battell wold I prove, 
To fight with that traitor Aldingar ; 

Att him I cast my glove. 

But seeing Ime able noe battell to make, 
My liege, grant me a knight 



To fight with that traitor Sir Aldingar, 
To maintaine me in my right." 

" Now forty dayes I will give thee 
To seeke thee a knight therin : 

If thou find not a knight in forty dayes, 
Thy bodye it must brenn." 

Then shee sent east, and shee sent west, 

By north and south bedcene : 
But never a champion colde she find, 

Wolde fight with that knight soe keene. 

Now twenty dayes were spent and gone, 
Noe helpe there might be had ; 

Many a teare shed our comelye queene, 
And aye her hart was sad. 

Then came one of the queenes damselles, 

And knelt upon her knee, 
" Cheare up, cheare up, my gracious dame, 

I trust yet helpe may be : 

And here I will make mine avowe, 
And with the same me binde ; 

That never will I return to thee, 
Till I some helpe may finde." 

Then forth she rode on a faire palfraye 

Oer hill and dale about : 
But never a champion colde she finde, 

Wolde fighte with that knight so stout. 

And nowe the daye drewe on a pace, 
When our good queene must dye ; 

All woe-begone was that faire damselle, 
When she found no helpe was nye. 

All woe-begone was that faire damselle, 
And the salt teares fell from her eye : 

When lo ! as she rode by a rivers side, 
She met with a tinye boye. 

A tinye boye she mette, God wot, 

All clad in mantle of golde ; 
He seemed noe more in mans likenesse, 

Then a childe of four yeere olde. 

Why grieve you, damselle faire, he sayd, 
And what doth cause you moane ? 

The damsell scant wolde deigne a looke, 
But fast she pricked on. 

Yet turn againe, thou faire damselle, 
And greete thy queene from mee : 

When bale is att hyest, boote is nyest, 
Nowe helpe enoughe may bee. 

Bid her remember what she dreamt 
In her bedd, wheras shee laye ; 

How when the grype and the grimly beast 
Wolde have carried her crowne awaye, 

Even then there came the little gray hawke, 
And saved her from his clawes : 

Then bidd the queene be merry at hart, 
For heaven will fende her cause. 

Back then rode that faire damselle, 

And her hart it lept for glee : 
And when she told her gracious dame, 

A gladd woman then was shee. 

But when the appointed day was coma 

No helpe appeared nye : 
Then woeful, woeful was her hart, 

And the teares stood in her eye. 

And nowe a fyer was built of wood ; 

And a stake was made of tree ; 
And now queene Elinor forth was led, 

A sorrowful'sight to see. 

Three times the herault he waved his hand, 
And three times spake on hye : 

Giff 'any good knight will fende this dame, 
Come forth, or shee must dye. 

No knight stood forth, no knight there 

No helpe appeared nye : 
And now the fyer was lighted up, 

Queen Elinor she must dye. 



And now the fyer was lighted up, 

As hot as hot might bee ; 
When riding upon a little white steed, 

The tinye boy they see. 

'Away with that stake, away with those 

And loose our comelye queene : 
I am come to fight with sir Aldingar, 

And prove him a traitor keene." 

Forthe then stood sir Aldingar, 

But when he saw the chylde, 
He laughed, and scoffed, and turned his 

And weened he had been beguylde. 

"Now turne, now turne thee, Aldingar, 

And eyther fighte or flee ; 
I trust that I shall avenge the wronge, 

Thoughe I am so small to see." 

The boye pulld forth a well good sworde 

So gilt it dazzled the ee ; 
The first stroke stricken at Aldingar 

Smote off his leggs by the knee. 

"Stand up, stand up, thou false trait6r, 

And fight upon thy feete, 
For and thou thrive, as thou begin'st, 

Of height wee shall be meete." 

A priest, a priest, sayes Aldingar, 

While I am a man alive. 
A priest, a priest, sayes Aldingar, 

Me for to houzle and shrive. 

I wolde have taken our comlie queene, 
Bot slice wolde never consent 

Then I thought to betraye her unto our 
In a fyer to have her brent. 

There came a lazar to the kings gates, 
A lazar both blind and lame ; 

I tooke the lazar upon my backe, 
And on her bedd had him layne. 

Then ranne I to our comlye king, 

These tidings sore to tell. 
But ever alacke ! sayes Aldingar, 

Falsing never doth well. 

Forgive, forgive me, queene, madame, 

The short time I must live. 
" Novve Christ forgive thee, Aldingar, 

As freely I forgive." 

Here take thy queene, our king Harrye, 

And love her as thy life, 
For never had a king in Christentye 

A truer and fairer wife. 

King Henrye ran to claspe his queene, 

And loosed her full sone : 
Then turnd to look for the tinye boye ; 

The boye was vanisht and gone. 

But first he had touchd the lazar man, 
And stroakt him with his hand : 

The lazar under the gallowes tree 
All whole and sounde did stand. 

The lazar under the gallowes tree 
Was comelye, straight, and tall ; 

King Henrye made him his head stew&rde, 
To wayte withinn his hall. 




Tradition informs us that the author of this song was King James V. of 
Scotland. This prince (whose character for wit and libertinism bears a great 
resemblance to that of his gay successor Charles II.) was noted for strolling about 
his dominions in disguise, and for his frequent gallantries with country girls. Two 
adventures of this kind he hath celebrated with his own pen, viz. in the ballad of 
The Gabcrlnnzie Man ; and in another, entitled The Jolly Beggar. 

Sir Walter Scott says of James V. that " he was a monarch whose good and 
benevolent intentions often rendered his romantic freaks venial if not respectable, 
since from his anxious attention to the interests of the lower and most oppressed 
class of his subjects, he was popularly termed the King of the Commons. For the 
purpose of seeing that justice was regularly administered, and frequently from the 
less justifiable motive of gallantry, he used to traverse the vicinage of his several palaces 
in various disguises. The two excellent comic songs, entitled The Gaberlunzie Man, 
and We'll gae nae mair a-roving, are said to have been founded upon the success of 
his amorous adventures when travelling in the disguise of a beggar. The latter is 
perhaps the best comic ballad in any language." 

The panky auld Carle came ovir the lee 
Wi' mony good-eens and days to mee, 
Saying, Goodwife, for zour courtesie, 

Will ze lodge a silly poor man ? 
The night was cauld, the carle was wat, 
And down azont the ingle he sat ; * 
My dochters shoulders he gan to clap, 

And cadgily ranted and sang. 

O wow ! quo he, were I as free, 
As first when I saw this countrie, 
How blyth and merry wad I bee ! 

And I wad nevir think lang.f 
He grew canty, and she grew fain ; 
But little did her auld minny ken 
What thir slee twa togither were say'n, 

When wooing they were sa thrang. 

* Beyond the fire ; the fire was in the middle 
of the room. 

t An expression meaning to grieve. " You'll 
not think long" is constantly used in the north 
of Ireland for "You won't distress yourself," 
"You won't grieve." 

And O ! quo he, ann ze were as black, 
As evir the crown of your dadyes hat, 
Tis I wad lay thee by my back, 

And awa wi' me thou sould gang. 
And O ! quoth she, ann I were as white, 
As evir the snaw lay on the dike, 
lid dead me braw, and lady-like, 

And awa with thee lid gang. 

Between the twa was made a plot ; 
They raise a wee before the cock. 
And wyliely they shot the lock, 

And fast to the bent are they gane. 
Up the morn the auld wife raise, 
And at her leisure put on her claiths, 
Syne to the servants bed she gaes 

To speir for the silly poor man. 

She gaed to the bed, whair the beggar 

The strae was cauld, he was away, 
She clapt her hands, cryd, Dulefu' day ! 
For some of our gtir will be gane. 



Some ran to coffer, and some to kist, 
But nought was stown that could be mist. 
She dancid her lane, cryd, Praise be blest, 
I have lodgd a leal poor man. 

Since naithings awa, as we can learn, 
The kirns to kirn, and milk to earn, 
Gae butt the house, lass, and waken my 

And bid her come quickly ben. 
The servant gaed where the dochter lay, 
The sheets was cauld, she was away, 
And fast to her goodwife can say, 

Shes aff with the gaberlunzie-man. 

O fy gar ride, and fy gar rin, 

And hast ze, find these traitors agen ; 

For shees be burnt, and hees be slein, 

The wearyfou gaberlunzie-man. 
Some rade upo horse, some ran a fit, 
The wife was wood, and out o' her wit ; 
She could na gang, nor yet could she sit, 

But ay did curse and did ban. 

Mean time far hind out oivre the lee, 
For snug in a glen, where nane could see, 

The twa, with kindlie sport and glee, 
Cut frae a new cheese a ivhang. 

The privitig was gude, it pleas'd them 

To lo'e her for ay, he gae her his aith. 

Quo she, to leave thee, I will be laith, 
My winsome gaberlunzie-man. 

O kend my minny I were wi' zou, 
Illfardly wad she crook her mou, 
Sic a poor man sheld nevir trow, 

Aftir the gaberlunzie-mon. 
My dear, quo he, zee're zet owre zonge ; 
And hae na learnt the beggars tonge, 
To follow me frae toun to toun, 

And carrie the gaberlunzie on. 

Wi' kauk and keel, I'll win zour bread, 
And spindles and whorles for them wha 

Whilk is a gentil trade indeed 

The gaberlunzie to carrie — o. 
Ill bow my leg and crook my knee, 
And draw a black clout owre my ee, 
A criple or blind they will cau me : 

While we sail sing and be merrie— o. 


The ballad seems to have been composed between the time of Cromwell's commit- 
ment to the Tower, June n, 1540, and that of his being beheaded July 28 following. 
Notwithstanding our libeller, Cromwell had many excellent qualities : his great 
fault was too much obsequiousness to the arbitrary will of his master. The original 
copy, printed at London in 1540, is entitled, "A newe ballade made of Thomas 
Crumwel, called Trolle on away. " To it is prefixed this distich by way of burthen : 

" Trolle on away, trolle on awaye. 
Synge heave and howe rombelowc trolle on away." 

Both man and chylde is glad to here 

Of that false traytoure Thomas Crumwell, 
Now that he is set to learne to spell. 

Synge trolle on away. 

When fortune lokyd the in thy face, 
Thou haddyst fayre tyme, but thou 

lackydyst grace ; 
Thy cofers with golde thou fyllydst a pace. 

Synge, etc. 


i 7 8 


Both plate and chalys came to thy fyst, 
Thou lockydst them vp where no man wyst, 
Tyll in the kynges treasoure suche thinges 
were myst. 

Synge, etc. 

Both crust and crumme came thorowe thy 

Thy marchaundysesayled over the sandes, 
Therfore nowe thou art layde fast in 


Synge, etc. 

Fyrste when kynge Henry, God saue his 

grace ! 
Perceyud myschefe kyndlyd in thy face, 
Then it was tyme to purchase the a place. 

Synge, etc. 

Hys grace was euer of gentyll nature, 
Mouyd with petye, and made the hys 

seruyture ; ' 
But thou, as a wretche, suche thinges dyd 


Synge, etc. 

Thou dyd not remembre, false heretyke, 
One God, one fayth, and one kynge 

For thou hast bene so long a scysmatyke. 

Synge, etc. 

Thou woldyst not learne to knowe these 

thre ; 
But euer was full of iniquite : 
Wherfore all this lande hathe ben 

troubled with the. 

Synge, etc. 

All they, that were of the new trycke, 
Agaynst the churche thou baddest them 

stycke ; 
Wherfore nowe thou haste touchyd the 


Synge, etc. 

Bothe sacramentes and sacramentalles 
Thou woldyst not suffre within thy walles ; 
Nor let vs praye for all chrysten soules. 

Synge, etc. 

Of what generacyon thou were no tonge 

can tell, 
Whyther of Chayme, or Syschemell, 
Or else sent vs frome the deuyll of hell. 

Synge, etc. 

Thou woldest neuer to vertue applye, 
But couetyd euer to clymme to hye, 
And nowe haste thou trodden thy shoo 

Synge, etc. 

Who-so-euer dyd winne thou wolde not 

lose ; 
Wherfore all Englande doth hate the, 

as I suppose, 
Bycause thou wast false to the redolent 


Synge, etc. 

Thou myghtest have learned thy cloth to 

Upon thy gresy fullers* stocke ; 
Wherfore lay downe thy heade vpon this 


Synge, etc. 

Yet saue that soule, that God hath bought, 
And for thy carcas care thou nought, 
Let it suffre payne, as it hath wrought. 

Synge, etc. 

God saue kyng Henry with all his power. 
And prynce Edwarde that goodly flowre, 
With al hys lordes of great honoure. 

Synge trolle on awaye, syng trolle 

on away. 
Hevye and how rombelowe trolle on 

The foregoing piece gave rise to a 
poetic controversy, which was carried on 
through a succession of seven or eight 
ballads written for and against Lord 
Cromwell. These are all preserved in the 
archives of the Antiquarian Society. 

* Cromwell's father is generally said to have 
been a blacksmith at Putney ; but the author 
of this ballad would insinuate that either he 
himself or some of his ancestors were fullers 
by trade. 





This beautiful poem, which is perhaps the first attempt at pastoral writing in our 
language, is preserved among the Songs and Sonnettes of the Earl of Surrey, etc., 4to, 
in that part of the collection which consists of pieces by uncertain auctours. These 
poems were first published in 1557, ten years after that accomplished nobleman fell a 
victim to the tyranny of Henry VIII. ; but it is presumed most of them were composed 
before the death of Sir Thomas Wyatt in 1541. 

Though written perhaps near half a century before the Shepherd's Calendar,* this 
will be found far superior to any of those eclogues, in natural unaffected sentiments, 
in simplicity of style, in easy flow of versification, and all other beauties of pastoral 
poetry. Spenser ought to have profited more by so excellent a model. 

Phylida was a faire mayde, 

As fresh as any flowre ; 
Whom Harpalus the herdman prayde 

To be his paramour. 

Harpalus, and eke Corin, 
Were herdmen both yfere : 

And Phylida could twist and spinne, 
And thereto sing full clere. 

But Phylida was all t6 coye, 

For Harpalus to winne : 
For Corin was her onely joye, 

Who forst her not a pinne. 

How often would she flowers twine ? 

How often garlandes make 
Of couslips and of colombine? 

And al for Corin's sake. 

But Corin, he had haukes to lure, 
And forced more the field : 

Of lovers lawe he toke no cure ; 
For once he was begilde. 

Harpalus prevailed nought, 

His labour all was lost ; 
For he was fardest from her thought, 

And yet he loved her most. 

Therefore waxt he both pale and leane, 

And drye as clot of clay : 
His fleshe it was consumed cleane ; 

His colour gone away. 

His beard it had not long be shave ; 

His heare hong all unkempt : 
A man most fit even for the grave, 

Whom spitefull love had spent. 

His eyes were red, and all " forewacht ; " 
His face besprent with teares : 

It semde unhap had him long "hatcht," 
In mids of his dispaires. 

His clothes were blacke, and also bare ; 

As one forlorne was he ; 
Upon his head alwayes he ware 

A wreath of wyllow tree. 

His beastes he kept upon the hyll, 

And he sate in the dale ; 
And thus with sighes and sorrowes shril, 

He gan to tell his tale. 

On Harpalus ! (thus would he say) 

Unhappiest under sunne ! 
The cause of thine unhappy day, 

By love was first begunne. 

* First published in 1579. 



For thou wentest first by sute to seeke 

A tigre to make tame, 
That settes not by thy love a lecke ; 

But makes thy griefe her game. 

As easy it were for to convert 

The frost into " a " flame ; 
As for to turne a frowarde hert, 

Whom thou so faine wouldst frame. 

Corin he liveth carelesse : 
He leapes among the leaves : 

He eates the frutes of thy redresse : 
Thou "reapst," he takes the sheaves. 

My beastes, a whyle your foode refraine, 
And harke your herdmans sounde ; 

Whom spitefull love, alas ! hath slaine, 
Through-^W with many a wounde. 

happy be ye, beastes wilde, 
That here your pasture takes : 

1 se that ye be not begilde 

Of these your faithfull makes. 

The hart he feedeth by the hinde : 
The bucke harde by the do : 

The turtle dove is not unkinde 
To him that loves her so. 

The ewe she hath by her the ramme : 
The yong cow hath the bull : 

The calfe with many a lusty lambe 
Do fede their hunger full. 

But, wel-away ! that nature wrought 

The, Phylida, so faire : 
For I may say that I have bought 

Thy beauty all to deare. 

What reason is that crueltie 
With beautie should have part ? 

Or els that such great tyranny 
Should dwell in womans hart ? 

I see therefore to shape my death 

She cruelly is prest ; 
To th' ende that I may want my breath : 

My dayes been at the best. 

O Cupide, graunt this my request, 
And do not stoppe thine eares, 

That she may feele within her brest 
The paines of my dispaires : 

Of Corin " who " is carelesse, 
That she may crave her fee : 

As I have done in great distresse, 
That loved her faithfully. 

But since that I shal die her slave ; 

Her slave, and eke her thrall : 
Write you, my frendes, upon my grave 

This chaunce that is befall. 

" Here lieth unhappy Harpalus 

By cruell love now slaine : 
Whom Phylida unjustly thus 

Hath murdred with disdaine." 





Mr. Robert Henryson (to whom we are indebted for this poem) appears to so 
much advantage among the writers of eclogue, that we are sorry we can give little 
other account of him besides what is contained in the following eloge, written by 
W. Dunbar, a Scottish poet, who lived about the middle of the 16th century : 

'• In Dumferling, he [Death] hath tane Broun, 
With gude Mr. Robert Henryson." 

Indeed, some little further insight into the history of this Scottish bard is gained 
from the title prefixed to some of his poems preserved in the British Museum, viz. : 
" The 7norall Fabillis of Esop, compylit be Maister Robert Henrisoun, scolmaister 
of Dunfermling, 1571." Harleian MSS. 3865, § 1. 

The poem as it here stands has been revised and amended by Allan Ramsay, from 
whose Ever-green it is chiefly printed. 

Robin sat on the gude grene hill, 

Keipand a flock olfie, 
Quhen mirry Makyne said him till, 

" O Robin rew on me : 
I haif thee luivt baith loud and still, 

Thir towmonds twa or thre ; 
My dale in dern bot^/^thou dill, 

Doubtless but dreid 111 die. " 

Robin replied, Now by the rude, 

Naithing of luve I knaw, 
But keip my sheip undir yon wod : 

Lo quhair they raik on raw. 
Quhat can have mart thee in thy mude, 

Thou Makyne to me schaw ; 
Or quhat is luve, or to be lude? 

Fain wald I leir that law. 

"The law of luve gin thou wald leir, 

Tak thair an A, B, C ; 
Be heynd, courtas, and fair of feir, 

Wyse, hardy, kind, and frie, 
Sac that nae danger do the deir, 

Quhat dule in dern thou drie ; 
Press ay to pleis, and blyth appeir, 

Be patient and privie." 

Robin, he answert her againe, 

I wat not quhat is luve ; 
But I haif marvel in certaine 

Quhat makes thee thus wanrufe. 
The wedder is fair, and I am fain ; 

My sheep gais hail abuve ; 
And sould we pley us on the plain, 

They wald us baith repruve. 

' ' Robin, tak tent unto my tale, 

And wirk all as I reid ; 
And thou sail haif my heart all hale, 

Eik and my maiden-heid : 
Sen God, he sendis bute for bale, 

And for murning remeid, 
/'dern with thee bot gif I dale. 

Doubtless I am but deid.' 

Makyne, to-morn be this ilk tyde, 

Gif ye will meit me heir, 
Maybe my sheip may gang besyde, 

Quhyle we have liggd full neir ; 
But maugre haif I, gi/l byde, 

Frae thay begin to steir, 
Quhat lyes on heart I will nocht hyd, 

Then Makyne mak gude cheir. 



' ' Robin, thou reivs me of my rest ; 

' ' Robin, thou hast heard sung and say, 

I hive bot thee alane." 

In gests and storys auld, 

Makyne, adieu ! the sun goes west, 

The man that will not when he may, 

The day is neir-hand gane. 

Sail have nocht when he wald. 

" Robin, in dule I am so drest, 

I pray to heaven baith nicht and day, 

That luve will be my bane." 

Be eiked their cares sae cauld, 

Makyn, gae luve quhair-eir ye list, 

That presses first with thee to play 

For leman I luid nane. 

Be forrest, firth, or fauld." 

' ' Robin, I stand in sic a style, 

Makyne, the nicht is soft and dry, 

I sich and that full sair." 

The wether warm and fair, 

Makyne, I have bene here this quyle ; 

And the grene wod richt neir-hand by, 

At hame I wish I were. 

To walk attowre all where : 

' ' Robin, my hinny, talk and smyle, 

There may nae janglers us espy, 

Gif thou will do nae mair." 

That is in luve contrair ; 

Makyne, som other man beguyle, 

Therin, Makyne, baith you and I 

For hameward I will fare. 

Unseen may mak repair. 

Syne Robin on his ways he went, 

" Robin, that warld is now away, 

As light as leif on tree ; 

And quyt brocht till an end : 

But Makyne murnt and made lament, 

And nevir again thereto, f erf ay, 

Scho trow'd him neir to see. 

Sail it be as thou wend ; 

Robin he brayd attowre the bent : 

For of my pain thou made but play ; 

Then Makyne cried on hie, 

I words in vain did spend : 

" Now may thou sing, for I am shent ! 

As thou hast done, sae sail I say, 

Quhat ailis luve at me ? " 

Murn on, I think to mend." 

Makyne went hame withouten fail, 

Makyne, the hope of all my heil. 

And weirylie could weip ; 

My heart on thee is set ; 

Then Robin in a full fair dale 

I'll evermair to thee be leil, 

Assemblit all his sheip. 

Quhyle I may live but left, 

Be that some part of Makyne's ail, 

Never to fail as /ethers feill, 

Out-throw his heart could creip ; 

Quhat grace so eir I get. 

Hir fast he followt to assail, 

" Robin, with thee I will not dcill ; 

And till her tuke gude keip. 

Adieu, for this we met." 

Abyd, abyd, thou fair Makyne, 

Makyne went hameward blyth enough, 

A word for ony thing ; 

Outowre the holt is hair ; 

For all my luve, it sail be thyne, 

Pure Robin murnd, and Makyne lcugh •, 

Withouten departing. 

Scho sang, and he sicht sair : 

All hale thy heart for //// have myne, 

And so left him bayth wo and wrcucli, 

Is all my coveting ; 

In dolor and in care, 

My sheip to morn quhyle houris nyne, 

Keipand his herd under a heuch, 

Will need cf nae keiping. 

Amang the rushy gair. 





The scene of this beautiful old ballad is laid near Walsingham, in Norfolk, where was 
anciently an image of the Virgin Mary, famous over all Europe for the numerous 
pilgrimages made to it, and the great riches it possessed. Erasmus has given a very 
exact and humorous description of the devotions practised there in his time. 

This poem is printed from a copy in the Editor's folio MS. which had greatly suffered 
by the hand of time ; but vestiges of several of the lines remaining, some conjectural 
supplements have been attempted, which, for greater exactness, are in this one ballad 
distinguished by italics. 

Gentle heardsman, tell to me, 

Of curtesy I thee pray, 
Unto the towne of Walsingham 

Which is the right and ready way. 

'* Unto the towne of Walsingham 
The way is hard for to be gon ; 

And verry crooked are those pathes 
For you to find out all alone. " 

Weere the miles doubled thrise, 

And the way never soe ill, 
Itt were not enough for mine offence ; 

Itt is soe grievous and soe ill. 

"Thy yeeares are young, thy face is faire, 
Thy witts are weake, thy thoughts are 
greene ; 

Time hath not given thee leave, as yett, 
For to committ so great a sinne." 

Yes, heardsman , yes, soe woldest thou say, 
If thou knewest soe much as I ; 

My witts, and thoughts, and all the rest, 
Have well deserved for to dye. 

I am not what I secme to bee, 

My clothes and sexe doe differ farr : 

I am a woman, woe is me ! 
Born to greeffe and irksome care. 

For my beloved, and well-beloved, 
My wayward cruelty could kill: 

And though my teares will nought avail, 
Most dcarcly I bewail him still. 

He was the flower of noble wights, 
None ever more sincere colde bee ; 

Of comely mien and shape hee was, 
And tenderly e hee loved mee. 

When thus I saw he loved me well, 
I grewe so proudc his pains to see. 

That I, who did not know myselfe, 
Thought scome of such a youth as hee. 

And grew soe coy and nice to please, 
As women's lookes are often soe, 

He might not kisse, nor hand forsooth, 
Unlesse I willed him soe to doe. 

Thus being wearyed with delaye 
To see I pittyed not his greeffe, 

He gott him to a secrett place, 
And there he dyed without releeffe. 

And for his sake these weeds I weare, 
And sacriffice my tender age ; 

And every day He begg my bread, 
To undergoe this pilgrimage. 

Thus every day I fast and pray, 
And ever will doe till I dye ; 

And gett me to some secrett place, 
For soe did hee, and soe will I. 

1 84 


Now, gentle heardsman, aske no more, 
But keepe my secretts I thee pray ; 

Unto the towne of Walsingham 
Show me the right and readye way. 

' ' Now goe thy wayes, and God before 1 
For he must ever guide thee still : 

Turae downe that dale, the right hand path, 
And soe, faire pilgrim, fare thee well ! " 


Was a story of great fame among our ancestors. The author of the Art of English 
Poesic, 1589, 4to, seems to speak of it as a real fact. 

The following text is selected (with such other corrections as occurred) from two copies 
in black letter. The one in the Bodleyan Library, entitled, ' ' A merrie, pleasant, and 
delectable historie betweene Ki?tg Edward the Fourth and a Tanner of Tamworth, 
etc., printed at London by John Danter, 1596." This copy, ancient as it now is, 
appears to have been modernized and altered at the time it was published ; and many 
vestiges of the more ancient readings were recovered from another copy (though 
more recently printed), in one sheet folio, without date, in the Pepys Collection. 

In summer time, when leaves grow 

And blossoms bedecke the tree, 
King Edward wolde a hunting ryde, 

Some pastime for to see. 

With hawke and hounde he made him 

With home, and eke with bowe ; 
To Drayton Basset he tooke his waye, 

With all his lordes a rowe. 

And he had ridden ore dale and downe 
By eight of clocke in the day, 

When he was ware of a bold tanner, 
Come ryding along the waye. 

A fayre russet coat the tanner had on 
Fast buttoned under his chin, 

And under him a good cow-hide, 
And a mare of four shilling. * 

* In the reign of Edward IV., Dame Cecill, 
lady of Torboke, in her will dated March 7, 
a.d. 1466, among many other bequests, has 
this, " Also I will that my sonne Thomas of 
Torboke have 13s. 4d. to buy him an horse." 
Vide Harleian Catalogue, 2176, 27. Now if 
13s. 4d. would purchase a steed fit for a person 
of quality, a tanner's horse might reasonably 
be valued at four or five shillings. 

Nowe stand you still, my good lordes all, 
Under the grene wood spraye ; 

And I will wend to yonder fellowe, 
To weet what he will saye. 

God speede, God speede thee, said our 

Thou art welcome, sir, sayd hee. 
"The readyest waye to Drayton Basset 

I praye thee to shewe to mee." 

*' To Drayton Basset woldst thou goe, 
Fro the place where thou dost stand ? 

The next payre of gallowes thou comest 
Turne in upon thy right hand." 

That is an unreadye waye, sayd our king, 

Thou doest but jest I see ; 
Nowe shewe me out the nearest waye 

And I pray thee wend with mee. 

Awaye with a vengeance ! quoth the 
tanner : 

I hold thee out of thy witt : 
Alldaye have I rydden on Brocke my mare, 

And I am fasting yett. 

' ' Go with me downe to Drayton Basset, 
No daynties will we spare ; 


All daye shalt thou eate and drinke of the 
And I will paye thy fare." 

Gramercye for nothing, the tanner reply de, 
Thou payest no fare of mine : 

I trowe I've more nobles in my purse, 
Than thou hast pence in thine. 

God give thee joy of them, sayd the king, 
And send them well to priefe. 

The tanner wolde faine have beene away, 
For he weende he had beene a thiefe. 

What art thou, heesayde, thou finefellowe, 

Of thee I am in great feare, 
For the cloathes, thou wearest upon thy 

Might beseeme a lord to weare. 

I never stole them, quoth our king, 

I tell you, sir, by the roode. 
"Then thou playest, as many an un- 
thrift doth, 

And standest in midds ofthygoode."* 

What tydinges heareyou, sayd the kynge, 

As you ryde farre and neare ? 
" I heare no tydinges, sir, by the masse, 

But that cowe-hides are deare." 

"Cowe-hides! cowe-hides ! what things 
are those ? 

I marvell what they bee ? " 
What art thou a foole? the tanner reply 'd ; 

I carry one under mee. 

What craftsman art thou, said the king, 

I praye thee tell me trowe. 
" I am a barker, + sir, by my trade ; 

Nowe tell mc what art thou ? " 

I am a poore courtier, sir, quoth he, 
That am forth of service worne ; 

And faine I wolde thy prentise bee, 
Thy cunninge for to learne. 

* i.e. hast no other wealth but what thou 
earnest about thee. 
t i.e. a dealer in bark. 

Marrye heaven forfend, the tanner 
That thou my prentise were : 
Thou woldst spend more good than I 
shold winne 
By fortye shilling a yere. 

Yet one thinge wolde I, sayd our king, 
If thou wilt not seeme strange : 

Thoughe my horse be better than thy 
Yet with thee I faine wold change. 

' ' Why if with me thou faine wilt change, 
As change full well maye wee, 

By the faith of my bodye, thou proude 
I will have some boot of thee." 

That were against reason, sayd the king, 

I sweare, so mote I thee : 
My horse is better than thy mare, 

And that thou well mayst see. 

< Yea, sir, but Brocke is gentle and mild, 

And softly she will fare : 
Thy horse is unrulye and wild, I wiss ; 

Aye skipping here and theare." 

What boote wilt thou have? our king 
rcply'd ; 

Now tell me in this stound. 
" Noe pence, nor half pence, by my faye, 

But a noble in gold so round." 

" Here's twentye groates of white moneye, 
Sith thou will have it of mee." 

I would have sworne now, quoth the tanner, 
Thou hadst not had one pennie. 

But since we two have made a change, 

A change we must abide, 
Although thou hast got Brocke my mare, 

Thou gettest not my cowe-hide. 

I will not have it, sayd the kynge, 

I sweare, so mought I thee ; 
Thy foule cowe-hide I wolde not beare, 

If thou woldst give it to m<;e. 

1 86 


The tanner hee tookehis good cowe-hide, 

That of the cow was hilt ; 
And threwe it upon the king's sadelle, 

That was soe fayrelye gilte. 

" Now help me up, thou fine fell6we, 

'Tis time that I were gone : 
When I come home to Gyllian my wife, 

Sheel say I am a gentilmon." 

The king he tooke him up by the legge ; 

The tanner a f — lett fall. 
Nowe marrye, good fellowe, sayd the 

Thy courtesye is but small. 

When the tanner he was in the kinges 

And his foote in the stirrup was ; 
He marvelled greatlye in his minde, 

Whether it were golde or brass. 

But when his steede saw the cows taile 
And eke the blacke cowe-horne ; 
He stamped, and stared, and awaye he 
As the devill had him borne. 

The tanner he pulld, the tanner he sweat, 
And held by the pummil fast : 

At length the tanner came tumbling 
dow ne ; 
His necke he had well-nye brast. 

Take thy horse again with a vengeance, 
he sayd, 
With mee he shall not byde. 
"My hojse wolde have borne thee well 
But he knewe not of thy cowe-hide. 

Yet if againe thou faine woldst change, 

As change full well may wee, 
By the faith of my bodye, thou jolly 

I will have some boote of thee." 

What boote wilt thou have, the tanner 
Nowe tell me in this stounde ? 
' ' Noe pence nor halfpence, sir, by my 
But I will have twentye pound." 

' ' Here's twentye groates out of my purse ; 

And twentye I have of thine : 
And I have one more, which we will 

Together at the wine." 

The king set a bugle home to his 
And blewe both loude and shrille : 
And soone came lords, and soone came 
Fast ryding over the hille. 

Nowe, out alas ! the tanner he cryde, 

That ever I sawe this daye ! 
Thou art a strong thiefe, yon come thy 

Will beare my cowe-hide away. 

They are no thieves, the king replyde, 

I sweare, soe mote I thee : 
But they are the lords of the north 

Here come to hunt with mee. 

And soone before our king they came, 
And knelt downe on the grounde : 

Then might the tanner have beene awaye, 
He had lever than twentye pounde. 

A coller, a coller, here : sayd the kyng, 

A coller he loud gan crye : 
Then woulde he lever then twentye pound, 

He had not beene so nighe. 

A coller, a coller, the tanner he sayd, 
I trowe it will breed sorrowe : 

After a coller commeth a halter, 

I trow I shall be hang'd to-morrows. 



Be not afraid tanner, said our king ; 

I tell thee, so mought I thee, 
Lo here I make thee the best esquire 

That is in the North countrie.* 

Far Plumpton-parke I will give thee, 
With tenements faire beside : 

'Tis worth three hundred markes by the 
To maintaine thy good cowe-hide. 

Gramercye, my liege, the tanner replyde, 
For the favour thou hast me showne ; 

If ever thou comest to merry Tamworth, 
Neates leather shall clout thy shoen. 



The scene of this song is the same as in No. XIV. The pilgrimage to Walsingham 
suggested the plan of many popular pieces. 

The following ballad was once very popular ; it is quoted in Fletcher's Knight of 
the Burning Pestle, Act ii. Sc. ult., and in another old play called Hans Beer-pot, his 
Invisible Comedy, etc., 4to, 1618, Act i. The copy below was communicated to the 
Editor by the late Mr. Shenstone as corrected by him from an ancient copy, and 
supplied with a concluding stanza. 

As ye came from the holy land 

Of blessed Walsingham, 
O met you not with my true love 

As by the way ye came? 

"How should I know your true love, 

That have met many a one, 
As I came from the holy land, 

That have both come, and gone?" 

* This stanza is restored from a quotation of 
this ballad in Selden's Titles 0/ Honour, who 
produces it as a good authority to prove that 
one mode of creating esquires at that time was 
by the imposition of a collar. His words are : 
"Nor is that old pamphlet of the Tanner of 
Tamworth and King Edward the Fourth so 
contemptible, but that wee may thence note 
also an observable passage, wherein the use 
of making esquires, by giving collars, is ex- 
pressed." (sub tit. Esquire ; and vide in 
Spclmanni Glossar. Artniger.) This form of 
creating esquires actually exists at this day 
among the sergeants-at-arms, who are invested 
with a collar (which they wear on collar days) 
by the king himself. This information I owe 
to Samuel Pegge, Esq., to whom the public is 
indebted for that curious work the Curialia, 

My love is neither white,* nor browne, 

But as the heavens faire ; 
There is none hath her form divine, 

Either in earth, or ayre. 

"Such an one did I meet, good sir, 

With an angelicke face ; 
Who like a nymphe, a queene appeard 

Both in her gait, her grace." 

Yes : she hath cleane forsaken me, 

And left me all alone ; 
Who some time loved me as her life, 

And called me her owne. 

"What is the cause she leaves thee thus, 

And a new way doth take, 
That some times loved thee as her life, 

And thee her joy did make? " 

I that loved her all my youth, 

Growe old now as you see ; 
Love liketh not the falling fruite, 

Nor yet the withered tree. 

* Se. pale. 



For love is like a carelesse childe, 

Forgetting promise past : 
He is blind, or deaf, whenere he list ; 

His faith is never fast. 

His fond desire is fickle found, 
And yieldes a trustlesse joye ; 

Wonne with a world of toil and care, 
And lost ev'n with a toye. 

Such is the love of womankinde, 
Or Loves faire name abusde, 

Beneathe which many vaine desires, 
And follyes are excusde. 

" But true love is a lasting fire, 
Which viewless vestals * tend, 

That burnes for ever in the soule, 
And knowes nor change, nor end." 



Tins poem, which for some time passed for ancient, owes its existence to the pen of 
Mrs. Wardlaw, whose maiden name was Halket. She professed to have discovered 
it written on shreds of paper ; but a suspicion arose that it was her own. Some able 
judges pronounced it modern, and the lady in a manner acknowledged it to be so by 
producing the last two stanzas beginning "There's nae light." This lady was a 
sister of Sir Peter Halket of Pitferran, who was killed in America with General 
Bradock in 1755. 

The ballad is laid at the time when Haco or Haquin, king of Norway, demanded 
the delivering up of the islands of Bute, Arran, and others, in the Frith of Clyde, as 
belonging to the Western Isles promised to ! im by the usurper Donald Bain. 

Alexander III. would not comply with this demand, and Haco appeared with a 
fleet of 160 sail, having 20,000 troops on board, who landed and took the castle of 
Ayr. Haco made himself master of Bute and Arran, and passed over to Cunningham. 
Great resistance was made on the part of the Scots, and an engagement took place at 
Largs. Both parties fought with great resolution, and at last the Norwegians were 
defeated with great slaughter. 

Nae marrow had in all the land, 
Save Elenor the queen. 


Full thirteen sons to him she bare, 

All men of valour stout : 
In bloody fight with sword in hand 

Nine lost their lives bot doubt : 
Four yet remain, lang may they live 

To stand by liege and land ; 
High was their fame, high was their might, 

And high was their command. 


Great love they bare to Fairly fair, 
Their sister saft and dear, 

Stately stept he east the wa', 

And stately stept he west, 
Full seventy years he now had seen, 

Wi' scarce seven years of rest. 
He liv'd when Britons breach of faith 

Wrought Scotland mickle wae : 
And ay his sword tauld to their cost, 

He was their deadlye fae. 

High on a hill his castle stood, 

With ha's and tow'rs a height, 
And goodly chambers fair to se, 

Where he lodged mony a knight. 
His dame sae peerless anes and fair, 

For chast and beauty deem'd, 

* Sc. angels. 



Her girdle shaw'd her middle gimp, 
And govvden glist her hair. 

What waefu' wae her beauty bred ? 
Waefu' to young and auld, 

Waefu' I trow to kyth and kin, 
As story ever tauld. 

The king of Norse in summer tyde, 

Puff' d up with pow'r and might, 
Landed in fair Scotland the isle 

With mony a hardy knight. 
The tydings to our good Scots king 

Came, as he sat at dine, 
With noble chiefs in brave aray, 

Drinking the blood-red wine. 


"To horse, to horse, my royal liege, 

Your faes stand on the strand, 
Full twenty thousand glittering spears 

The king of Norse commands." 
Bring me my steed Mage dapple gray, 

Our good king rose and cry'd, 
A trustier beast in a' the land 

A Scots king nevir try'd. 


Go, little page, tell Hardyknute, 

That lives on hill sae hie, 
To draw his sword, the dread of faes, 

And haste and follow me. 
The little page flew swift as dart 

Flung by his master's arm, 
"Come down, come down, lord Hardy- 

And rid your king frae harm." 


Then red red grew his dark-brown cheeks, 

Sae did his dark-brown brow ; 
His looks grew keen, as they were wont 

In dangers great to do ; 
He's ta'en a horn as green as glass, 

And gi'en five sounds sae shill, 
That trees in green wood shook thereat, 

Sae loud rang ilka hill. 


His sons in manly sport and glee, 

Had past that summer's morn, 
When low down in a grassy dale, 

They heard their father's horn. 
That horn, quo' they, ne'er sounds in 

We've other sport to bide. 
And soon they hy'd them up the hill, 

And soon were at his side. 

" Late late the yestreen I ween'd in peace 

To end my lengthened life, 
My age might well excuse my arm 

Frae manly feats of strife, 
But now that Norse do's proudly boast 

Fair Scotland to inthrall, 
It's ne'er be said of Hardyknute, 

He fear'd to fight or fall. 


" Robin of Rothsay, bend thy bow, 

Thy arrows shoot sae leel, 
That mony a comely countenance 

They've turned to deadly pale. 
Brade Thomas take you but your lance, 

You need nae weapons mair, 
If you fight wi't as you did anes 

'Gainst Westmoreland's fierce heir. 


"And Malcolm, light of foot as stag 

That runs in forest wild, 
Get me my thousands three of men 

Well bred to sword and shield : 
Bring me my horse and harnisine, 

My blade of mettal clear. 
If faes but ken'd the hand it bare, 

They soon had fled for fear. 


"Farewell my dame sae peerless good 

(And took her by the hand), 
Fairer to me in age you seem, 

Than maids for beauty fam'd. 



My youngest son shall here remain 
To guard these stately towers, 

And shut the silver bolt that keeps 
Sae fast your painted bowers." 


And first she wet her comely cheiks, 

And then her boddice green, 
Her silken cords of twirtle twist, 

Well plett with silver sheen ; 
And apron set with mony a dice 

Of needle-wark sae rare, 
Wove by nae hand, as ye may. guess, 

Save that of Fairly fair. 


And he has ridden o'er muir and moss, 

O'er hills and mony a glen, 
When he came to a wounded knight 

Making a heavy mane ; 
" Here maun I lye, here maun I dye, 

By treacherie's false guiles ; 
Witless I was that e'er ga faith 

To wicked woman's smiles." 


"Sir knight, gin you were in my bower, 

To lean on silken seat, 
My lady's kindly care you'd prove, 

Who ne'er knew deadly hate : 
Herself wou'd watch you a" the day, 

Her maids a dead of night ; 
And Fairly fair your heart wou'd chear, 

As she stands in your sight. 


"Arise, young knight, and mount your 

Full /owns the shynand day : 
Choose frae my menzie whom ye please 

To lead you on the way." 
With smileless look, and visage wan, 

The wounded knight reply'd, 
"Kind chieftain, your intent pursue, 

For here I maun abyde. 


To me nae after day nor night 

Can e're be sweet or fair, 
But soon beneath some draping tree, 

Cauld death shall end my care." 
With him nae pleading might prevail ; 

Brave Hardyknute to gain 
With fairest words, and reason strong, 

Strave courteously in vain. 


Syne he has gane far hynd out o'er 

Lord Chattan's land sae wide ; 
That lord a worthy wight was ay, 

When faes his courage sey'd : 
Of Pictish race by mother's side, 

When Picts rul'd Caledon, 
Lord Chattan claim'd the princely maid, 

When he sav'd Pictish crown. 


Now with his fierce and stalwart train, 

He reach'd a rising hight, 
Quhair braid encampit on the dale, 

Norss menzie lay in sicht. 
' ' Yonder my valiant sons and feirs 

Our raging revers wait 
On the unconquert Scottish sward 

To try with us their fate. 


Make orisons to him that sav'd 

Our sauls upon the rude ; 
Syne bravely shaw your veins are fill'd 

With Caledonian blude." 
Then furth he drew his trusty glave, 

While thousands all around 
Drawn frae their sheaths glanc'd in the 
sun ; 

And loud the bougies sound. 


To joyn his king adoun the hill 

In hast his merch he made, 
While, playand pibrochs, minstralls meit 

Afore him stately strade. 



"Thrice welcome valiant sloup of weir, 
Thy nations shield and pride ; 

Thy king nae reason has to fear 
When thou art by his side." 


When bows were bent and darts were 
thrawn ; 

For thrang scarce could they flee ; 
The darts clove arrows as they met, 

The arrows dart the tree. 
Lang did they rage and fight fu' fierce, 

With little skaith to mon, 
But bloody bloody was the field, 

Ere that lang day was done. 


The king of Scots, that sindle brook'd 

The war that look'd like play, 
Drew his braid sword, and brake his bow, 

Sin bows seem'd but delay. 
Quoth noble Rothsay, "Mine I'll keep, 

I wat it's bled a score." 
Haste up, my merry men, cry'd the king, 

As he rode on before. 


The king of Norse he sought to find, 

With him to menu the f aught , 
But on his forehead there did light 

A sharp unsonsie shaft ; 
As he his hand put up to feel 

The wound, an arrow keen, 
O waefu' chance ! there pinn'd his hand 

In midst between his een. 


" Revenge, revenge, cry'd Rothsay 's heir, 

Your mail-coat sha' na bide 
The strength and sharpness of my dart : " 

Then sent it through his side. 
Another arrow well he mark'd, 

It piere'd his neck in twa, 
His hands then quat the silver reins, 

He low as earth did fa'. 


" Sair bleids my liege, sair, sairhe bleeds ! " 

Again wi' might he drew 
And gesture dread his sturdy bow, 

Fast the braid arrow flew : 
Wae to the knight he cttlcd at ; 

Lament now queen Elgreed ; 
High dames too wail your darling's fall, 

His youth and comely meed. 


"Take aff, take aff his costly jupe 

(Of gold well was it twin'd, 
Knit like the fowler's net, through quhilk 

His steelly harness shin'd), 
Take, Norse, that gift frae me, and bid 

Him venge the blood it bears ; 
Say, if he face my bended bow, 

He sure nae weapon fears." 


Proud Norse with giant body tall, 

Braid shoulders and arms strong, 
Cry'd, ' ' Where is Hardyknute sae fam'd, 

And fear'd at Britain's throne : 
Tho' Britons tremble at his name, 

I soon shall make him wail, 
That e'er my sword was made sae sharp, 

Sae saft his coat of mail." 


That brag his stout heart cou'd na bide, 

It lent him youthfu' micht : 
" I'm Hardyknute ; this day, he cry'd, 

To Scotland's king I heght 
To lay thee low, as horses hoof ; 

My word I mean to keep." 
Syne with the first stroke e'er he strake, 

He garr'd his body bleed. 


Norss' een like gray gosehawk's stair'd 

He sigh'd wi' shame- and spite ; 
" Disgrac'd is now my far-fam'd arm 

That left thee power to strike : " 



Then ga' his head a blow sae fell, 

It made him doun to stoup, 
As laigh as he to ladies us'd 

In courtly guise to lout. 


Fu' soon he rais'd his bent body, 

His bow he marvell'd sair, 
Sin blows till then on him but darr'd 

As touch of Fairly fair : 
Norse marvell'd too as sair as he 

To see his stately look ; 
Sae soon as e'er he strake a fae, 

Sae soon his life he took. 


Where like a fire to heather set, 

Bauld Thomas did advance, 
Ane sturdy fae with look enrag'd 

Up toward him did prance ; 
He spurr'd his steid through thickest 

The hardy youth to quell, 
Wha stood unmov'd at his approach 

His fury to repell. 


"That short brown shaft sae meanly 

Looks like poor Scotlands gear, 
But dreadfull seems the rusty point !" 

And loud he leugh in jear. 
"Oft Britons bood* has dimm'd its shine ; 

This point cut short their vaunt : " 
Syne pierc'd the boasters bearded cheek : 

Nae time he took to taunt. 

Short while he in his saddle swang, 

His stirrup was nae stay, 
Sae feeble hang his unbent knee 

Sure taiken he was fey : 
Sivith on the harden't clay he fell, 

Right far was heard the thud : 
But Thomas look't nae as he lay 

All waltering in his blud : 

* Blood <?). 


With careless gesture, mind unmov't, 

On rode he north the plain ; 
His seem in throng of fiercest strife, 

When winner ay the same : 
Not yet his heart dames dimplet cheek 

Could mease soft love to bruik, 
Till vengefu' Ann return'd his scorn, 

Then languid grew his luik. 


In thraws of death, with walowit cheik 

All panting on the plain, 
The fainting corps of warriours lay, 

Ne're to arise again ; 
Ne're to return to native land, 

Nae mair with blithsome sounds 
To boast the glories of the day, 

And shaw their shining wounds. 


On Norways coast the widowit dame 

May wash the rocks with tears, 
May lang luik ow'r the shipless seas 

Befor her mate appears. 
Cease, Emma, cease to hope in vain ; 

Thy lord lyes in the clay ; 
The valiant Scots nae revers thole 

To carry life away. 


Here on a lee, where stands a cross 

Set up for monument, 
Thousands fu' fierce that summer's day 

Fill'd keen war's black intent. 
Let Scots, while Scots, praise Hardyknute 

Let Norse the name ay dread, 
Ay how he faught, aft how he spar'd, 

Shall latest ages read. 


Now loud and chill blew th' westlin wind, 

Sair beat the heavy shower, 
Mirk grew the night ere Hardyknute 

Wan near his stately tower. 



His tow'r that us'd wi' torches blaze 

"Stand back, my sons, I'le be your 

To shine sae far at night, 


Seem'd now as black as mourning weed, 

But by they past with speed. 

Nac marvel sair he sigh'd. 



' ' As fast I've sped owre Scotlands faes, " — 

" There's nae light in my lady's bower, 

There ceas'd his brag of weir, 

There's nae light in my ha' ; 

Sair sham'd to mind ought but his dame, 

Nae blink shines round my Fairly fair, 

And maiden Fairly fair. 

Nor ward stands on my wa.' 

Black fear he felt, but what to fear 

What bodes it? Robert, Thomas, 

He wist nae yet ; wi' dread 

say ; "— 

Sair shook his body, sair his limbs, 

Nae answer fitts their dread. 

And a' the warrior fled. 







In the former book we brought down this second series of poems as low as about 
the middle of the sixteenth century. We now find the muses deeply engaged in 
religious controversy. The sudden revolution wrought in the opinions of mankind 
by the Reformation, is one of the most striking events in the history of the human 
mind. It could not but engross the attention of every individual in that age, and 
therefore no other writings would have any chance to be read, but such as related to 
this grand topic. The alterations made in the established religion by Henry VIII., 
the sudden changes it underwent in the three succeeding reigns within so short a 
space as eleven or twelve years, and the violent struggles between Catholicism 
and growing Protestantism, could not but interest all mankind. Accordingly every 
pen was engaged in the dispute. The followers of the old and new profession (as 
they were called) had their respective ballad-makers ; and every day produced some 
popular sonnet for or against the Reformation. The following ballad, and that entitled 
Little John Nobody, may serve for specimens of the writings of each party. Both 
were written in the reign of Edward VI., and are not the worst that were composed 
upon the occasion. Controversial divinity is no friend to poetic flights. Yet this 
ballad of Lvther and the Pope is not altogether devoid of spirit ; it is of the dramatic 
kind, and the characters are tolerably well sustained ; especially that of Luther, which 
is made to speak in a manner not unbecoming the spirit and courage of that vigorous 
reformer. It is printed from the original black-letter copy (in the Pepys Collection, 
vol. I. folio), to which is prefixed a large wooden cut, designed and executed by some 
eminent master. 


Let us lift up our hartes all, 

And prayse the Lordes magnificence, 
Which hath given the wolues a fall, 

And is become our strong defence : 

For they thorowe a false pretens 
From Christes bloude dyd all us leade,* 

Gettynge from every man his pence, 
^s satisfactours for the deade. 

For what we with our Flayles coukle 
To kepe our house, and servauntes ; 

* i.e. denied us the cup ; sec below. 

That did the Freers from us fet, 

And with our soules played the 

merchauntes : 
And thus they with theyr false warrantes 

Of our sweate have easelye lyved, 
That for fatnesse theyr belyes pantcs, 

So greatlye have they thus deceaued. 

They spared not the fatherlesse, 
The carefull, nor the pore wydowe ; 

They wolde have somewhat more or lesse, 
If it above the ground did growe : 
But now we Husbandmen do knowe 

Al their subtcltye, and their false caste ; 
For the Lorde hath them overthrowe 

With his swete worde now at the laste. 




Thou antichrist, with thy thre crownes, 

Hast usurped kyngcs powers, 
As having power over realmes and towncs, 

Whom thou oughtest to serve all 
houres : 

Thou thinkest by thy jugglyng colours 
Thou maist lykewise Gods word oppresse ; 

As do the deceatful foulers, 
When they theyr nettes craftelye dresse. 

Thou flatterest every prince, and lord, 
Thretening pooremen with swearde and 
fyre ; 

All those, that do followe Gods worde, 
To make them cleve to thy desire, 
Theyr bokes thou burnest in naming 
fire ; 

Cursing with boke, bell, and candcll, 
Such as to reade them have desyre, 

Or with them are wyllynge to meddell. 

Thy false power wyl I bryng down, 

Thou shalt not raygne many a yere, 
I shall dryve the from citye and towne, 
Even with this pen that thou seyste 

here : 
Thou fyghtest with swerd, shylde, and 
But I wyll fyght with Gods worde ; 

Which is now so open and cleare, 
That it shall brynge the under the 


Though I brought never so many to hel, 

And to utter dampnacion, 
Throughe myne ensample, and consel, 

Or thorow any abhominacion, 

Yet doth our lawe excuse my fashion. 
And thou, Luther, arte accursed ; 

For blamynge me, and my condicion, 
The holy decres have the condempned. 

Thou stryvest against my purgatory, 

Because thou findest it not in scripture ; 
As though I by myne auctorite 

Myght not make one for myne honoure. 

Knowest thou not, that I have power 
To make, and mar, in heaven and hell, 

In erth, and every creature? 
Whatsoever I do it must be well. 

As for scripture, I am above it ; 

Am not I Gods hye vicare ? 
Shulde I be bounde to folowe it, 

As the carpenter his ruler?* 

Nay, nay, hereticks ye are, 
That will not obey my auctoritie. 

With this sworde I wyll declare, 
That ye shal al accursed be. 


I am a Cardinall of Rome, 
Sent from Christes hye vicary, 

To graunt pardon to more, and sume, 
That wil Luther resist strongly : 
He is a greate hereticke treuly, 

And regardeth to much the scripture ; 
For he thinketh onely thereby 

To subdue the popes high honoure : 

Receive ye this pardon devoutely, 
And loke that ye agaynst him fight ; 

Plucke up youre herts, and be manlye, 
For the pope sayth ye do but ryght : 
And this be sure, that at one flyghte, 

Allthough ye be overcome by chaunce, 
Ye shall to heaven go with greate 
myghte ; 

God can make you no resistaunce. 

But these heretikes for their medlynge 
Shall go down to hel every one ; 

For they have not the popes blessynge, 
Nor regarde his holy pardon : 
They thinke from all destruction 

By Christes bloud to be saved, 

Fearynge not our excommunicacion, 

Therefore shall they al be dampned. 

! i.e. make thee knock under the table. 





While in England verse was made the vehicle of controversy, and Catholicism was 
attacked in it by logical argument or stinging satire, we may be sure the zeal of the 
Scottish Reformers would not suffer their pens to be idle, but many a pasquil was 
discharged at the priests, and their encroachments on property. 

It is a received tradition in Scotland, that at the time of the Reformation, ridiculous 
and obscene songs were composed to be sung by the rabble to the tunes of the most 
favourite hymns in the Latin service. Green Sleeves and Pudding Pics (designed to 
ridicule the Catholic clergy) is said to have been one of these metamorphosed hymns ; 
Maggy Lauder was another ; John Anderson my Jo was a third. The original music 
of all these burlesque sonnets was very fine. To give a specimen of their manner, we 
have inserted one of the least offensive. 

In the present edition this song is much improved by some new readings communi- 
cated by a friend, who thinks by the ' ' seven bairns " in the second stanza are meant the 
seven sacraments, five of which were the spurious offspring of mother Church, as the 
first stanza contains a satirical allusion to the luxury of the popish clergy. 


John Anderson my jo, cum in as zegae 

And ze sail get a sheips heid weel baken 

in a pye ; 
Weel baken in a pye, and the haggis in a 

John Anderson my jo, cum in, and ze's 

get that. 


And how doe ze, Cummer? and how hae 

ze threven ? 
And how mony bairns hae ze? WOM. 

Cummer, I hae seven. 
Man. Are they to zour awin gude man ? 

WOM. Na, Cummer, na ; 
For five of them were gotten, quhan he 

was awa'. 


We have here a witty libel on the Reformation under King Edward VI. , written about 
the year 1550, and preserved in the Pepys Collection, British Museum, and Strype's 
Memoirs of Cranmer, The author artfully declines entering into the merits of the 
cause, and wholly reflects on the lives and actions of many of the Reformed. 

The reader will remark the fondness of our satirist for alliteration : in this he was 
guilty of no affectation or singularity ; his versification is that of Pierce Plowman's 
Visions, in which a recurrence of similar letters is essential : to this he has only super- 
added rhyme, which in his time began to be the general practice. 

IN december, when the dayes draw to be As I past by a place privily at a 

short, port, 

After november, when the nights wax I saw one sit by himself making a 

noysome and long : song : 



His last talk of trifles, who told with his 

That few were fast i' th' faith. I freyned 

that freake, 
Whether he wanted wit, or some had 

done him wrong. 
He said, he was little John Nobody, 

that durst not speake. 

John Nobody, quoth I, what news? thou 

soon note and tell 
What maner men thou meane, thou are 

so mad. 
He said, These gay gallants, that wil 

construe the gospel, 
As Solomon the sage, with semblance full 

sad ; 
To discusse divinity they nought adread ; 
More meet it were for them to milk kyc at 

Thou lyest, quoth I, thou lose!, like a leud 

He said he was little John Nobody, that 

durst not speake. 

Its meet for every man on this matter to 

And the glorious gospel ghostly to have 
in mind ; 

It is sothe said, that sect but much un- 
seemly skalk, 

As boyes babble in books, that in scrip- 
ture are blind : 

Yet to their fancy soon a cause will find ; 

As to live in lust, in lechery to leyke: 

Such caitives count to be come of Cains 
kind ; * 
But that I little John Nobody durst not 

For our reverend father hath set forth an 

Our service to be said in our seignours 

tongue ; 

* So in Pierce the Plowman's Creed, the 
proud friars are said to be 

" Of Caymes kind." Vide sig. C ij. b. 

As Solomon the sage set forth the scrip- 
ture ; 

Our suffrages, and services, with many a 
sweet song, 

With homilies, and godly books us 

That no stiff, stubborn stomacks we 
should freyhe : 

But wretches nere worse to do poor men 
wrong ; 
But that I little John Nobody dare not 

For bribery was never so great, since born 

was our Lord, 
And whoredom was never les hated, sith 

Christ harrowed hel, 
And poor men are so sore punished 

commonly through the world, 
That it would grieve any one, that good 

is, to hear tel. 
For al the homilies and good books, yet 

their hearts be so quel, 
That if a man do amisse, with mischiefe 

they wil him wreake ; 
The fashion of these new fellowes it is so 

vile and fell : 
But that I little John Nobody dare not 


Thus to live after their lust, that life would 

they have, 
And in lechery to leyke al their long 

For al the preaching of Paul, yet many a 

proud knave 
Wil move mischiefe in their mind both to 

maid and wife 
To bring them in advoutry, or else they 

wil strife, 
And in brawling about baudery, Gods 

commandments breake : 
But of these frantic il fellowes, few of them 

do thrife ; 
Though I little John Nobody dare not 




If thou company with them, they wil 
currishly carp, and not care 

According to their foolish fantacy ; but 
fast wil they naught : 

Prayer with them is but prating ; there- 
fore they it forbear : 

Both almes deeds, and holiness, they hate 
it in their thought : 

Therefore pray we to that prince, that 
with his bloud us bought, 

That he wil mend that is amiss : for many 
a manful freyke 

Is sorry for these sects, though they say 
little or nought ; 
And that I little John Nobody dare not 
once speake. 

Thus in no place, this Nobody, in no time 

I met, 
Where no man, "ne" nought was, nor 

nothing did appear ; 
Through the sound of a synagogue for 

sorrow I swett, 
That "Aeolus" through the eccho did 

cause me to hear. 
Then I drew me down into a dale, where- 
as the dumb deer 
Did shiver for a shower ; but I shunted 

from a freyke : 
For I would no wight in this world wist 

who I were, 
But little John Nobody, that dare not 

once speake. 




ARE preserved by Hentzner, in that part of his Travels which has been reprinted in 
so elegant a manner at Strawberry Hill. The old orthography, and one or two 
ancient readings of Hentzner's copy, are here restored. 

Oh, Fortune ! how thy restless wavering state 

Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt ! 
Witnes this present prisonn, whither fate 

Could beare me, and the joys I quit. 
Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed 
From bandes, wherein are innocents inclosed : 

Causing the guiltles to be straite reserved, 

And freeing those that death hath well deserved. 
But by her envie can be nothing wroughte, 
So God send to my foes all they have thoughte. 


Elizabethe, Prisonner. 




The original of this ballad is found in the Editor's folio MS., the breaches and defects 
in which rendered the insertion of supplemental stanzas necessary. These it is 
hoped the reader will pardon, as indeed the completion of the story was suggested by 
a modern ballad on a similar subject. 

From the Scottish phrases here and there discernible in this poem, it should seem 
to have been originally composed beyond the Tweed. 

The Heir of Linne appears not to have been a Lord of Parliament, but a Laird, 
whose title went along with his estate. 


Lithe and listen, gentlemen, 
To sing a song I will beginne : 

It is of a lord of faire Scotland, 
Which was the unthrifty heire of Linne. 

His father was a right good lord, 
His mother a lady of high degree ; 

But they, alas ! were dead, him froe, 
And he lov'd keeping companie. 

To spend the daye with merry cheare, 
To drinke and revell every night, 

To card and dice from eve to mome, 
It was, I ween, his hearts delighte. 

To ride, to runne, to rant, to roare, 
To alwaye spend and never spare, 

I wott, an' it were the king himselfe, 
Of gold and fee he mote be bare. 

Soe fares the unthrifty lord of Linne 
Till all his gold is gone and spent ; 

And he maun sell his landes so broad, 
His house, and landes, and all his rent. 

His father had a keen stewarde, 
And John o' the Scales was called hee : 

But John is become a gentel-man, 
And John has gott both gold and fee. 

Saves, Welcome, welcome, lord of Linne, 
Let nought disturb thy merry cheere ; 

Iff thou wilt sell thy landes soe broad, 
Good store of sold He give thee heere. 

My gold is gone, my money is spent ; 

My lande nowe take it unto thee : 
Give me thegolde, good John o' the Scales, 

And thine for aye my lande shall bee. 

Then John he did him to record draw, 
And John he cast him a gods-pennie ; * 

But for every pounde that John agreed, 
The lande, I wis, was well worth three. 

He told him the gold upon the borde, 
He was right glad his land to winne ; 

The gold is thine, the land is mine, 
And now lie be the lord of Linne. 

Thus he hath sold his land soe broad, 
Both hill and holt, and moore and fenne, 

All but a poore and lonesome lodge, 
That stood far off in a lonely glenne. 

For soe he to his father hight. 

My sonne, when I am gonne, sayd hee, 
Then thou wilt spend thy lande so broad, 

And thou wilt spend thy gold so free : 

But sweare me nowe upon the roode, 
That lonesome lodge thou'lt never spend ; 

For when all the world doth frown on thee, 
Them there shalt find a faithful friend. 

* i.e. earnest - money ; from the French 
Denier a Dieu. At this day, when applica- 
tion is made to the Dean and Chapter of Car- 
lisle to accept an exchange of the tenant under 
one of their leases, a piece of silver is presented 
by the new tenant, which is still called a 



The heire of Linne is full of golde : 
And come with me, my friends, sayd 

Let's drinke, and rant, and merry make, 
And he that spares, ne'er ?note he thee. 

They ranted, drank, and merry made, 
Till all his gold it waxed thinne ; 

And then his friendes they slunk away ; 
They left the unthrifty heire of Linne. 

He had never a penny left in his purse, 

Never a penny left but three, 
And one was brass, another was lead, 

And another it was white money. 

Nowe well - aday, sayd the heire of 

Nowe well-aday, and woe is mee, 
For when I was the lord of Linne, 

I never wanted gold nor fee. 

But many a trustye friend have I, 
And why shold I feel dole or care ? 

He borrow of them all by turnes, 
Soe need I not be never bare. 

But one, I wis, was not at home ; 

Another had payd his gold away ; 
Another call'd him thriftless loone, 

And bade him sharpely wend his way. 

Now well-aday, sayd the heire of Linne, 
Now well-aday, and woe is me ; 

For when I had my landes so broad, 
On me they liv'd right merrilee. 

To beg my bread from door to door 
I wis, it were a brenning shame : 

To rob and steal it were a sinne : 
To worke my limbs I cannot frame. 

Now He away to lonesome lodge, 
For there my father bade me wend ; 

When all the world should frown on 
I there should find a trusty friend. 


Away then hyed the heire of Linne 
Oer hill and holt, and moore and fenne, 

Untill he came to lonesome lodge, 
That stood so lowe in a lonely glenne. 

He looked up, he looked downe, 
In hope some comfort for to winne : 

But bare and lothly were the walles, 
Here's sorry cheare, quo' the heire of 

The little windowe dim and darke 
Was hung with ivy, brere, and yewe ; 

No shimmering sunn here ever shone ; 
No halesome breeze here ever blew. 

No chair, ne table he mote spye, 
No chearful hearth, ne welcome bed, 

Nought save a rope with renning noose, 
That dangling hung up o'er his head. 

And over it in broad letters, 

These words were written so plain to 
"Ah ! gracelesse wretch, hast spent thine 
And brought thyselfe to penurie ? 

All this my boding mind misgave, 
I therefore left this trusty friend : 

Let it now sheeld thy foule disgrace, 
And all thy shame and sorrows end." 

Sorely shent wi' this rebuke, 

Sorely shent was the heire of Linne ; 
His heart, I wis, was near to brast 

With guilt and sorrowe, shame and 

Never a word spake the heire of Linne, 
Never a word he spake but three : 

' ' This is a trusty friend indeed, 
And is right welcome unto mee. " 

Then round his necke the corde he drewe, 
And sprang aloft with his bodie : 

When lo ! the ceiling burst in twaine, 
And to the ground came tumbling hee. 



Astonyed lay the heire of Linne, 
Ne knewe if he were live or dead : 

At length he looked, and sawe a bille, 
And in it a key of gold so redd. 

He took the bill, and lookt it on, 
Strait good comfort found he there : 

Itt told him of a hole in the wall, 

In which there stood three chests in- 

Two were full of the beaten golde, 
The third was full of white money ; 

And over them in broad letters 
These words were written so plaine to 
see : 

"Once more, my sonne, I sette thee 
clere ; 

Amend thy life and follies past ; 
For but thou amend thee of thy life, 

That rope must be thy end at last." 

And let it bee, sayd the heire of Linne ; 

And let it bee, but if I amend :\ 
For here I will make mine avow, 

This reade % shall guide me to the end. 

Away then went with a merry cheare, 
Away then went the heire of Linne ; 

I wis, he neither ceas'd ne blanne, 
Till John o' the Scales house he did 

And when he came to John o' the Scales, 
Upp at the speere§ then looked hee ; 

There sate three lords upon a rowe, 
Were drinking of the wine so free. 

And John himself sate at the bord-head, 
Because now lord of Linne was hee. 

* i.e. together. 

t i.e. unless I amend. 

X i.e. advice, counsel. 

§ Perhaps the hole in the door or window by 
which it was sheered, i.e. sparred, fastened, or 
shut. In Bale's second part of the Acts of 
English Votaries, we have this phrase (fol. 
38): *' Tlie dore thereof oft fytnes opened and 
speared agayne." 

I pray thee, he said, good John o' the 
One forty pence for to lend mee. 

Away, away, thou thriftless loone ; 

Away, away, this may not bee : 
For Christs curse on my head, he sayd, 

If ever I trust thee one pennle. 

Then bespake the heire of Linne, 
To John o' the Scales wife then spake 

Madame, some almes on me bestowe, 
I pray for sweet saint Charitie. 

Away, away, thou thriftless loone, 
I swear thou gettest no almes of mee ; 

For if we shold hang any losel heere, 
The first we wold begin with thee. 

Then bespake a good fellowe, 

Which sat at John o' the Scales his 
bord ; 
Sayd, Turn againe, thou heire of Linne ; 

Some time thou wast a well good lord : 

Some time a good fellow thou hast been, 
And sparedst not thy gold and fee ; 

Therefore He lend thee forty pence, 
And other forty if need bee. 

And ever, I praye thee, John o' the 

To let him sit in thy companie : 
For well I wot thou hadst his land, 

And a good bargain it was to thee. 

Up then spake him John o' the Scales, 
All wood he answer'd him againe : 

Now Christs curse on my head, he sayd, 
But I did lose by that bargains. 

And here I proffer thee, heire of Linne, 

Before these lords so faire and free, 
Thou shalt have it backe again better 
By a hundred markes, than I had it of 



I drawe you to record, lordes, he said. 

With that he cast him a gods pennie : 
Now by my fay, sayd the heire of Linne, 

And here, good John, is thy money. 



And he pull'd forth three 

And layd them down upon the bord : 
All woe begone was John o' the Scales, 

Soe shcnt he cold say never a word. 

He told him forth the good red gold, 
He told it forth mickle dinne. 

The gold is thine, the land is mine, 
And now Ime againe the lord of Linne. 

Sayes, Have thou here, thou good fellowe, 
Forty pence thou didst lend mee : 

Now I am againe the lord of Linne, 
And forty pounds I will give thee. 

He make the keeper of my forrest, 
Both of the wild deere and the tame ; 

For but I reward thy bounteous heart, 
I wis, good fellowe, I were to blame. 

Now welladay ! sayth Joan o' the Scales : 
Now welladay ! and woe is my life ! 

Yesterday I was lady of Linne, 

Now Ime but John o' the Scales his 

Now fare thee well, sayd the heire of Linne ; 

Farewell now, John o' the Scales, said 
hee : 
Christs curse light on me, if ever again 

I bring my lands in jeopardy. 



GEORGE GASCOIGNE was a celebrated poet in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's 
reign, and appears to great advantage among the miscellaneous writers of that age. 
He was author of three or four plays, and of many smaller poems, one of the most 
remarkable of which is a satire in blank verse, called the Steclc-glass, 1576, 4to. 

Mr. Thomas Warton thinks "Gascoigne has much exceeded all the poets of his 
age, in smoothness and harmony of versification." But the truth is, scarce any of the 
earlier poets of Queen Elizabeth's time are found deficient in harmony and smoothness, 
though those qualities appear so rare in the writings of their successors. 

No frowning cheere dare once presume 

In court whoso demaundes 
What dame doth most excell ; 

For my conceit I must needes say, 
Faire Bridges beares the bel. 

Upon whose lively cheeke, 
To prove my judgment true, 

The rose and lillie seeme to strive 
For equall change of hewe : 

And therewithall so well 
Hir graces all agree ; 

In hir sweet face to bee. 

Although some lavishe lippes. 
Which like some other best, 

Will say, the blemishe on hir browe 
Disgraceth all the rest. 

Thereto I thus replie ; 

God wotte, they little knowe 
The hidden cause of that mishap. 

Nor how the harm did growe l 


For when dame Nature first 

And sodeynly with mightie mace 

Had framde hir heavenly face, 

Gan rap hir on the pate. 

And thoroughly bedecked it 

With goodly gleames of grace ; 

It greeved Nature muche 

To see the cruell deede 

It lyked hir so well : 

Mee seemes I see hir, how she wept 

Lo here, quod she, a peece 

To see hir dearling bleede. 

For perfect shape, that passeth all 
Appelles' worke in Greece. 

Wei yet, quod she, this hurt 
Shal have some helpe I trowe : 

This bayt may chaunce to catche 

And quick with skin she coverd it, 

The greatest God of love, 

That whiter is than snowe. 

Or mightie thundring Jove himself, 

Whenvith Dan Cupide (led, 

That rules the roast above. 

For feare of further flame, 

But out, alas ! those wordes 

When angel-like he saw hir shine, 

Were vaunted all in vaync : 

Whome he had smit with shame. 

And some unseen wer present there, 

Lo, thus was Bridges hurt 

Pore Bridges, to thy pain. 

In cradel of hir kind. 

The coward Cupide brake hir browe 

For Cupide, crafty boy, 

To wreke his wounded mynd. 

Close in a corner stoode, 

Not blyndfold then, to gaze on hir : 

The skar still there remains ; 

I gesse it did him good. 

No force, there let it bee : 

There is no cloude that can eclipse 

Yet when he felte the flame 

So bright a sunne as she. 

Can kindle in his brest, 

And herd dame Nature boast by hir 

*** The lady here celebrated was 

To break him of his rest. 

Catharine, daughter of Edmond, Second 

Lord Chandos, wife of William, Lord 

His hot newe-chosen love 

Sandys. See Collins's Peerage, vol. ii. 

He chaunged into hate, 

p. 133, ed. 1779. 


Most of the circumstances in this popular story of King Henry II. and the beautiful 
Rosamond have been taken for fact by our English historians, who, unable to 
account for the unnatural conduct of Queen Eleanor in stimulating her sons to 
rebellion, have attributed it to jealousy, and supposed that Henry's amour with 
Rosamond was the object of that passion. 

Our old English annalists seem, most of them, to have followed Higden the monk 
of Chester, whose account, with some enlargements, is thus given by Stow : 
"Rosamond the fayre daughter of Walter lord Clifford, concubine to Henry II. 
(poisoned by queen Elianor, as some thought), dyed at Woodstocke [a.d. 1177], where 
king Henry had made for her a house of wonderful] working ; so that no man or 
Jvornan might come to her, but he that was instructed by the king, or such as were 


right secret with him touching the matter. This house after some was named 
Labyrinthus, or Dedalus worke, which was wrought like unto a knot in a garden, 
called a Maze ; but it was- commonly said, that lastly the queene came to her by a 
clue of thridde, or silke, and so dealt with her, that she lived not long after ; but 
when she was dead, she was buried at Godstow in an house of nunnes, beside 
Oxford, with these verses upon her tombe : 

"Hie jacet in tuniba, Rosa mundi, non Rosa munda: 
Non redolet, sed olet, quae redolere solet." 

How the queen gained admittance into Rosamond's bower is differently related. 
Holinshed speaks of it as "the common report of the people, that the queene . . . 
founde hir out by a silken thread, which the king had drawne after him out of hir 
chamber with his foot, and dealt with hir in such sharpe and cruell wise, that she 
lived not long after." Vol. iii. p. 115. On the other hand, in Speede's History we 
are told that the jealous queen found her out "by a clew of silke, fallen from 
Rosamund's lappe, as shee sate to take ayre, and suddenly fleeing from the sight of 
the searcher, the end of her silke fastened to her foot, and the clew still unwinding, 
remained behinde : which the queene followed, till shee had found what she sought, 
and upon Rosamund so vented her spleene, as the lady lived not long after." 3d ed. 
p. 509. Our ballad-maker with more ingenuity, and probably as much truth, tells us 
the clue was gained by surprise from the knight who was left to guard her bower. 

It is observable that none of the old writers attribute Rosamond's death to poison 
(Stowe, above, mentions it merely as a slight conjecture) ; they only give us to 
understand that the queen treated her harshly — with furious menaces, we may 
suppose, and sharp expostulations, which had such effect on her spirits that she did 
not long survive it. Indeed, on her tombstone, as we learn from a person of credit, 
among other fine sculptures was engraven the figure of a cup. This, which perhaps 
at first was an accidental ornament (perhaps only the chalice), might in after-times 
suggest the notion that she was poisoned ; at least this construction was put upon it, 
when the stone came to be demolished after the nunnery was dissolved. The 
account is, that ' ' the tombstone of Rosamund Clifford was taken up at Godstow, and 
broken in pieces, and that upon it were interchangeable weavings drawn out and 
decked with roses red and green, and the picture of the cup, out of which she drank 
the poison given her by the queen, carved in stone." 

Rosamond's father having been a great benefactor to the nunnery of Godstow, 
where she had also resided herself in the innocent part of her life, her body was 
conveyed there, and buried in the middle of the choir ; in which place it remained 
till the year 1191, when Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, caused it to be removed. 

History further informs us that King John repaired Godstow nunnery, and endo\i ed 
it with yearly revenues, " that these holy virgins might releeve with their prayers, the 
soules of his father king Henrie, and of lady Rosamund there interred."* ... In 
what situation her remains were found at the dissolution of the nunnery, we learn 
from Leland : " Rosamundes tumbe at Godstowe nunnery was taken up [of] late ; it 
is a stone with this inscription, Tumba Rosamundce. Her bones were closid in lede, 
and withyn that bones were closyd yn lether. When it was opened a very swete 

* Vide Reign of Henry II. in Speed's History, written by Dr. Barcham, Dean of Booking. 



smell came owt of it." See Hearne's discourse above quoted, written in 1718 ; at 
which time he tells us, were still seen by the pool at Woodstock the foundations of a 
very large building, which were believed to be the remains of Rosamond's labyrinth. 

Henry had two sons by Rosamond. These were William Longue-espe (or Long- 
sword), Earl of Salisbury, and Geoffrey, Bishop of Lincolne, afterwards Archbishop of 

The ballad of Fair Rosamond appears to have been first published in Strange 
Histories or Songs and Sonnets, of Kingcs, Princes, Dukes, Lords, Ladyes, Knights, 
and Gentlemen, etc., by Thomas Delone, Lond. 1612, 4to. It is now printed 
(with conjectural emendations) from four ancient copies in black letter, two of them 
in the Pepys Library. 

When as king Henry rulde this land, 

The second of that name, 
Besides the queene, he dearly lovde 

A faire and comely dame. 

Most pcerlesse was her beautye founde, 

Her favour, and her face ; 
A sweeter creature in this worlde 

Could never prince embrace. 

Her crisped lockes like threads of golde 
Appeard to each man's sight ; 

Her sparkling eyes, like Orient pearles, 
Did cast a heavenlye light. 

The blood within her crystal cheekes 

Did such a colour drive, 
As though the lillye and the rose 

For mastership did strive. 

Yea Rosamonde, fair Rosamonde, 

Her name was called so, 
To whom our queene, dame Ellinor, 

Was known a deadlye foe. 

The king therefore, for her defence 

Against the furious queene, 
At Woodstocke builded such a bower, 

The like was never seene. 

Most curiously that bower was built 
Of stone and timber strong, 

An hundered and fifty doors 
Did to this bower belong : 

And they so cunninglye contriv'd 
With turnings round about, 

That none but with a clue of thread, 
Could enter in or out. 

And for his love and ladyes sake, 
That was so faire and brighte, 

The keeping of this bower he gave 
Unto a valiant knighte. 

But fortune, that doth often frowne 
Where she before did smile. 

The kinges delighte and ladyes joy 
Full soon shee did beguile : 

For why, the kinges ungracious sonne, 
Whom he did high advance, 

Against his father raised warres 
Within the realme of France. 

But yet before our comelye king 
The English land forsooke, 

Of Rosamond, his lady faire, 
His farewelle thus he tooke : 

' ' My Rosamonde, my only Rose, 
That pleasest best mine eye : 

The fairest flower in all the worlde 
To feed my fantasye : 

The flower of mine affected heart, 
Whose sweetness doth excelle : 

My royal Rose, a thousand times 
I bid thee nowe farwelle ! 

For I must leave my fairest flower, 
My sweetest Rose, a space, 

And cross the seas to famous France, 
Proud rebelles to abase. 



But yet, my Rose, be sure thou shalt 

My coming shortlye see, 
And in my heart, when hence I am, 

lie beare my Rose with mce. " 

When Rosamond, that ladye brighte, 

Did heare the king saye soe, 
The sorrowe of her grieved heart 

Her outward lookes did showe ; 

And from her cleare and crystall eyes 

The teares gusht out apace, 
Which like the silver-pearled dewe 

Ranne downe her comely face. 

Her lippes, erst like the corall redde, 
Did waxe both wan and pale, 

And for the sorrow she conceivde 
Her vitall spirits faile ; 

And falling down all in a swoone 

Before king Henryes face, 
Full oft he in his princelye armes 

Her bodye did embrace : 

And twentye times, with watery eyes, 

He kist her tender cheeke, 
Untill he had revivde againe 

Her senses milde and meeke. 

Why grieves my Rose, my sweetest Rose? 

The king did often say. 
Because, quoth shee, to bloodye warres 

My lord must part awaye. 

But since your grace on forrayne coastes 

Anionge your foes unkinde 
Must goe to hazard life and limbe, 

Why should I staye behinde ? 

Nay rather, let me, like a page, 
Your sworde and target beare ; 

That on my breast the blowcs may lighte, 
Which would offend you there. 

Or lett mee, in your royal tent, 

Prepare your bed at niglite, 
And with sweete baths refresh your grace, 

At your returne from fighte. 

So I your presence may enjoye, 

No toil I will refuse ; 
But wanting you, my life is death; 

Nay, death lid rather chuse ! 

' ' Content thy self, my dearest love ; 

Thy rest at home shall bee 
In Englandes sweet and pleasant isle ; 

For travell fits not thee. 

Faire ladies brooke not bloodye warres ; 

Soft peace their sexe delightes ; 
' Not rugged campes, but courtlye 
bowers ; 

Gay feastes, not cruell fightes. ' 

My Rose shall safely here abide, 
With musicke passe the daye ; 

Whilst I, amonge the piercing pikes, 
My foes seeke far awaye. 

My Rose shall shine in pearle and golde, 
Whilst I'me in armour dighte ; 

Gay galliards here my love shall dance, 
Whilst I my foes goe fighte. 

And you, sir Thomas, whom I truste 

To bee my loves defence ; 
Be carefull of my gallant Rose 

When I am parted hence." 

And therewithal! he fetcht a sigh, 
As though his heart would breake : 

And Rosamonde, for very griefe, 
Not one plaine word could speake. 

And at their parting well they mighte 

In heart be grieved sore ; 
After that daye faire Rosamonde 

The king did see no more. 

For when his grace had past the seas, 

And into France was gone ; 
With envious heart, queene Ellinor 

To Woodstocke came anone. 

And forth she calls this trustye knighte, 

In an unhappy houre ; 
Who with his clue of twined thread, 

Came from this famous bower. 



A_-td when that they had wounded him, 
The queene this thread did gette, 

And went where ladye Rosamonde 
Was like an angell sette. 

But when the queene with steadfast eye 

Beheld her beauteous face, 
She was amazed in her minde 

At her exceeding grace. 

Cast off from thee those robes, she said, 

That riche and costlye bee ; 
And drinke thou up this deadlye draught, 

Which I have brought to thee. 

Then presentlye upon her knees 

Sweet Rosamonde did falle ; 
And pardon of the queene she crav'd 

For her offences all. 

"Take pitty on my youthful! yeares, 

Faire Rosamonde did crye ; 
And lett mee not with poison stronge 

Enforced bee to dye. 

I will renounce my sinfull life, 

And in some cloyster bide ; 
Or else be banisht, if you please, 

To range the world soe wide. 

And for the fault which I have done, 
Though I was fore'd theretoe, 

Preserve my life, and punish mee 
As you thinke meet to doe." 

And with these words, her lillic handes 

She wrunge full often there ; 
And downe along her lovely face 

Did trickle many a teare. 

But nothing could this furious queene 

Therewith appeased bee ; 
The cup of deadlye poyson stronge, 

As she knelt on her knee, 

Shee gave this comelye dame to drinke ; 

Who tooke it in her hand, 
And from her bended knee arose, 

And on her feet did stand : 

And casting up her eyes to heaven, 

Shee did for mercye calle ; 
And drinking up the poison stronge, 

Her life she lost withalle. 

And when that death through everye limbe 
Had showde its greatest spite, 

Her chiefest foes did plaine confesse 
Shee was a glorious wight. 

Her body then they did entomb, 

When life was fled away, 
At Godstowe, neare to Oxford towne, 

As may be seene this day. 


"ELEANOR, the daughter and heiress of William, Duke of Guienne and Count of 
Poictou, had been married sixteen years to Louis VII., King of France, and had 
attended him in a croisade, which that monarch commanded against the infidels : but 
having lost the affections of her husband, and even fallen under some suspicions of 
gallantry with a handsome Saracen, Louis, more delicate than politic, procured a 
divorce from her, and restored her those rich provinces which by her marriage she had 
annexed to the crown of France. The young Count of Anjou, afterwards Henry II., 
King of England, though at that time but in his nineteenth year, neither dis- 
couraged by the disparity of age, nor by the report of Eleanor's gallantry, made such 
successful courtship to that princess, that he married her six weeks after her divorce, 
and got possession of all her dominions as a dowery. A marriage thus founded upon 
interest was not likely to be very happy : it happened accordingly. Eleanor, who 



had disgusted her first husband by her gallantries, was no less offensive to her second 
by her jealousy ; thus carrying to extremity, in the different parts of her life, every 
circumstance of female weakness. She had several sons by Henry, whom she spirited 
up to rebel against him ; and endeavouring to escape to them disguised in man's 
apparel in 1173, she was discovered and thrown into a confinement which seems to 
have continued till the death of her husband in 1189. She however survived him 
many years : dying in 1204, in the sixth year of the reign of her youngest son, John." 
See Hume's History, 410, vol. i. pp. 260, 307 ; Speed, Stowe, etc. 

It is needless to observe, that the following ballad (given, with some corrections, 
from an old printed copy) is altogether fabulous; whatever gallantries Eleanor 
encouraged in the time of her first husband, none are imputed to her in that of her 

Queene Elianor was a sicke woman, 
And afraid that she should dye : 

Then she sent for two fryars of France 
To speke with her speedilye. 

The king calld downe his nobles all, 

By one, by two, by three ; 
' ' Earl marshall, He goe shrive the queene, 

And thou shalt wend with mee." 

A boone, a boone ; quoth earl marshall, 
And fell on his bended knee ; 

That whatsoever queene Elianor saye, 
No harme thereof may bee. 

He pawne my landes, the king then cryd, 

My sceptre, crowne, and all, 
That whatsoere queen Elianor sayes 

No harme thereof shall fall. 

Do thou put on a fryars coat, 

And He put on another ; 
And we will to queen Elianor goe 

Like fryar and his brother. 

Thus both attired then they goe : 
When they came to Whitehall, 

The bells did ring, and the quiristers sing, 
And the torches did lighte them all. 

When that they came before the queene 
They fell on their bended knee ; 

A boone, a boone, our gracious queene, 
That you sent so hastilee. 

Are you two fryars of France, she sayd, 
As I suppose you bee ? 

But if you are two Englishe fryars, 
You shall hang on the gallowes tree. 

We are two fryars of France, they sayd, 

As you suppose we bee, 
We have not been at any masse 

Sith we came from the sea. 

The first vile thing that ever I did 

I will to you unfolde ; 
Earl marshall had my maidenhed, 

Beneath this cloth of golde. 

Thats a vile sinne, then sayd the king ; 

May God forgive it thee ! 
Amen, amen, quoth earl marshall ; 

With a heavye heart spake hee. 

The next vile thing that ever I did, 

To you He not denye, 
I made a boxe of poyson strong, 

To poison king Henrye. 

Thats a vile sinne, then sayd the king, 

May God forgive it thee ! 
Amen, amen, quoth earl marshall ; 

And I wish it so may bee. 

The next vile thing that ever I did, 

To you I will discover ; 
I poysoned fair Rosamonde, 

All in fair Woodstocke bower. 

Thats a vile sinne, then sayd the king ; 

May God forgive it thee ! 
Amen, amen, quoth earl marshall ; 

And I wish it so may bee. 



Do you see yonders little boye, 

A tossing of the balle ? 
That is earl marshalls eldest Sonne, 

And I love him the best of all. 

Do you see yonders little boye, 

A catching of the balle? 
That is king Henryes youngest sonne,* 

And I love him the worst of all. 

His head is fashyon'd like a bull ; 
His nose is like a boare. 

No matter for that, king Henrye cryd, 
I love him the better therfore. 

The king pulled off his fryars coate, 

And appeared all in redde : 
She shrieked, and cryd, and wrung her 

And sayd she was betrayde. 

The king lookt over his left shoulder, 
And a grimme look looked hee, 

Earl marshall, he sayd, but for my oathe, 
Or hanged thou shouldst bee. 


This poem, subscribed M. T. [perhaps invertedly for T. Marshall], is preserved in 
The Paradise of Daintie Devises. The two first stanzas may be found accompanied 
with musical notes in An howres recreation in musicke, etc., by Richard Alison, 
Lond. 1606, 4to : usually bound up with three or four sets of Madrigals set to 
music, by Tho. Weelkes, Lond. 1597, 1600, 1608, 4to. One of these madrigals is so 
complete an example of the bathos, that I cannot forbear presenting it to the reader. 

" Thule,\ the period of cosmographie, 

Doth vaunt of Hecla, whose sulphureous fire 
Doth melt the frozen clime, and thaw the skie, 

Trinacrian % ./Etna's flames ascend not hier : 
These things seeme wondrous, yet more wondrous I, 
Whose heart with feare doth freeze, with love doth fry. 

"The Andalusian merchant, that returnes 

Laden with cutchinele § and china dishes, 
Reports in Spaine how strangely Fogo II burnes 

Amidst an ocean full of flying fishes : 
These things seeme wondrous, yet more wondrous I, 
Whose heart with feare doth freeze, with love doth fry.'' 

Mr. Wcelkcs seems to have been of opinion with many of his brethren of later times, 
that nonsense was best adapted to display the powers of musical composure. 

The stately stagge, that seemes so stout, 
By yalping hounds at bay is set : 

The swiftest bird, that flies about, 
Is caught at length in fowlers net : 

The greatest fish, in deepest brooke, 

Is soon deceived by subtill hooke. 

The sturdy rock for all his strength 
By raging seas is rent in twaine : 

The marble stone is pearst at length, 
With little drops of drizling rain : 

The oxe doth yecld unto the yoke, 

The Steele obeyeth the hammer stroke. 

* She means that the eldest of these two was 
by the earl marshall, the youngest by the 

t Here meant for Iceland. 

X Sicilian. § Cochineal. 

II Terra del Fuego. 



Yea man himselfe, unto whose will 
All things are bounden to obey, 

For all his wit and worthie skill, 
Doth fade at length, and fall away. 

There is nothing but time doeth waste ; 

The heavens, the earth consume at last. 

But vertue sits triumphing still 
Upon the throne of glorious fame : 

Though spiteful death man's body kill, 
Yet hurts he not his vertuous name : 

By life or death what so betides, 

The state of vertue never slides.* 


This popular old ballad was written in the reign of Elizabeth, as appears not only 
from the verse where the arms of England are called the " Queenes armes," but from 
its tunes being quoted in other old pieces written in her time. 

It is chiefly given from the Editor's folio MS. compared with two ancient printed 
copies : the concluding stanzas, which contain the old beggar's discovery of himself, 
are not, however, given from any of these, being very different from those of the vulgar 
ballad, which informs us, that at the battle of Evesham (fought August 4, 1265), 
when Simon de Montfort, the great Earl of Leicester, was slain at the head of the 
barons, his eldest son Henry fell by his side, and, in consequence of that defeat, 
his whole family sunk for ever, the king bestowing their great honours and posses- 
sions on his second son Edmund, Earl of Lancaster. 

".It was an extremely popular ballad, and no wonder. This very house," writes 
Pepys in his diary, June 25, 1663, of Sir W. Rider's place at Bethnall Green, "was 
built by the blind beggar of Bednall Green so much talked of and sung in ballads ; 
but they say it was only some outhouses of it (apud Mr. Chappell's Popular Music 
of the Olden Time, where the tune is given"). 

' ' The story is pretty, and is told unaffectedly. Each part has its own surprise : the 
one revealing the wealth, the other the high birth of the beggar. These denouements 
are not supremely noble ; but they are such as please the crowd. Such reverses are 
always delightful." 


Itt was a blind beggar, had long lost his 

He had a faire daughter of bewty most 

bright ; 
And many a gallant brave suiter had shee, 
For none was soe comelye as pretty 


And though shee was of favor most faire, 
Yett seeing shee was but a poor beggars 

Of ancyent housekeepers despised was 

Whose sonnes came as suitors to prettye 


Wherefore in great sorrow faire Bessy 

did say, 
Good father, and mother, let me goe a\\ ay 
To seeke out my fortune, whatever itt bee. 
This suite then they granted to prettye 


Then Bessy, that was of bewtye see bright, 
All cladd in gray russett, and late in the 

From father and mother alone parted shee ; 
Who sighed and sobbed for prettye Bessee. 

* Passes away, goes by. This expression, 
which has of late years passed into a slang 
term, is used also by Shakespeare, "Let the 
world slide" 


Shee went till shee came to Stratford-Ie- 

Bow ; 
Then knew shee not whither, nor which 

way to goe : 
With teares shee lamented her hard 

So uadd and soe heavy was pretty Bessee. 

Shee kept on her journey untill it was 

And went unto Rumford along the hye 

way ; 
Where at the Queenes armes entertained 

was shee : 
Soe faire and wel favoured was pretty 


Shee had not beene there a month to an 

But master and mistres and all was her 

friend : 
And every brave gallant, that once did 

her see, 
Was straight-way enamourd of pretty 


Great gifts they did send her of silver and 

And in their songs daylye her love was 

.extold ; 
Her beawtye was blazed in every degree ; 
Soe faire and soe comelye was pretty 


The young men of Rumford in her had 

their joy ; 
Shee shewed herself curteous, and 

modestlye coye ; 
And at her commandment still wold 

they bee ; 
Soe fayre arid soe comlye was pretty 


Foure suitors att once unto her did goe ; 
They craved her favor, but still she sayd 

noe ; 
I wold not wish gentles to marry with mee. 
Yett ever they honored prettye Bessee. 

The first of them was a gallant young 

And he came unto her disguisde in the 

The second a gentleman of good degree, 
Who wooed and sued for prettye Bessee. 

A merchant of London, whose wealth was 

not small, 
He was the third suiter, and proper 

withall : 
Her masters own sonne the fourth man 

must bee, 
Who swore he would dye for pretty 


And, if thou wilt marry with mee, quoth 

the knight, 
He make thee a ladye with joy and 

delight ; 
My hart's so inthralled by thy bewtie, 
That soone I shall dye for prettye Bessee. 

The gentleman sayd, Come, many with 

As fine as a ladye my Bessy shal bee : 
My life is distressed : O heare me, quoth 

hee ; 
And grant me thy love, my prettye Bessee. 

Let me bee thy husband, the merchant 

cold say, 
Thou shalt live in London both gallant 

and gay ; 
My shippes shall bring home rych Jewells 

for thee, 
And I will for ever love pretty Bessee. 

Then Bessy shee sighed, and thus slice 

did say, 
My father and mother I meane to obey ; 
First gett their good will, and be faitlifull 

to mee, 
And you shall enjoye your prettye Bessee. 

To every one this answer shee made, 
Wherfore unto her they joyfullye sayd, 



This thing to fulfill wee all doe agree ; 
But where dwells thy father, my prettye 
Bessee ? 

My father, shee said, is soone to be seene : 
The seely blind beggar of Bednall-greene, 
That daylye sits begging for charitle, 
He is the good father of pretty Bessee. 

His markes and his tokens are knowen 

very well ; 
He alwayes is led with a dogg and a bell : 
A seely olde man, God knoweth, is hee, 
Yett hee is the father of pretty Bessee. 

Nay then, quoth the merchant, thou art 

not for mee : 
Nor, quoth the innholder, my wiffe thou 

shalt bee : 
I lothe, sayd the gentle, a beggars degree, 
And therefore, adewe, my pretty Bessee ! 

Why then, quoth the knight, hap better 

or worse, 
I waighe not true love by the waight of 

the pursse, 
And bewtye is bewtye in every degree ; 
Then welcome unto me, my pretty Bessee. 

With thee to thy father forthwith I will 

Nay soft, quoth his kinsmen, it must not 

be soe ; 
A poor beggars daughter noe ladye shal 

Then take thy adew of pretty Bessee. 

But soone after this, by breake of the day 
The knight had from Rumford stole 

Bessy away. 
The younge men of Rumford, as thickc 

might bee, 
Rode after to feitch againe pretty Bessee. 

As swifte as the winde to ryde they were 

Untill they came neare unto Bednall- 
greene ; 

And as the knight lighted most courte- 

They all fought against him for pretty 


But rescew came speedilye over the plaine, 
Or else the young knight for his love had 

been slaine. 
This fray being ended, then straitway he 

His kinsmen come rayling at pretty Bessee. 

Then spake the blind beggar, Although I 

bee poore, 
Yett rayle not against my child at my 

own doore : 
Though shee be not decked in velvett and 

Yett will I dropp angells with you for my 


And then, if my gold may better her 

And equall the gold that you lay on the 

Then neyther rayle nor grudge you to see 
The blind beggars daughter a lady to bee. 

But first you shall promise, and have itt 

well knowne, 
The gold that you drop shall all be your 

With that they replyed, Contented bee wee. 
Then here's, quoth the beggar, for pretty 


With that an angell he cast on the ground, 
And dropped in angels full three thousand 

pound ; * 
And oftentimes itt was proved most plaine, 
For the gentlemens one the beggar droppt 

twayne : 

Soe that the place, wherin they did sitt, 
With gold it was covered every whitt. 

* In the Editor's folio MS. it is ,6500. 


The gentlemen then having dropt all their 

Sayd, Now, beggar, hold, for wee have 

noe more. 

Thou hast fulfilled thy promise arright. 
Then marry, quoth he, my girle to this 

knight ; 
And heere, added hee, I will now throwe 

you downe 
A hundred pounds more to buy her a 


The gentlemen all, that this treasure had 

Admired the beggar of Bednall-greene : 
And all those, that were her suitors before, 
Their fleshe for very anger they tore. 

Thus was faire Besse matched to the 

And then made a ladye in others despite : 
A fairer ladye there never was seene, 
Than the blind beggars daughter of 


But of their sumptuous marriage and feast, 
What brave lords and knights thither 

were prest, 
The second fitt shall set forth to your 

With marveilous pleasure, and wished 



Off a blind beggars daughter most bright, 
That late was betrothed unto a younge 

knight ; 
All the discourse therof you did see ; 
But now comes the wedding of pretty 


Within a gorgeous palace most brave, 
Adorned with all the cost they cold have, 
This wedding was kept most sumptuous- 
And all for the credit of pretty Bessee. 

All kind of dainties, and delicates sweete, 
Were bought for the banquet, as it was 

most meete ; 
Partridge, and plover, and venison most 

Against the brave wedding of pretty 


This marriage through England was 

spread by report,  
Soe that a great number therto did 

Of nobles and gentles in every degree ; 
And all for the fame of prettye Bessee. 

To church then went this gallant younge 
knight ; 

His bride followed after, an angell most 

With troopes of ladyes, the like nere was 

As went with sweete Bessy of Bednall- 

This marryage being solempnized then. 
With musicke performed by the skilfullest 

The nobles and gentles sate downe at that 

Each one admiring the beautifull bryde. 

Now, after the sumptuous dinner was 

To talke and to reason a number begunn : 
They talkt of the blind beggars daughter 

most bright, 
And what with his daughter he gave to 

the knight. 

Then spake the nobles, "Much marveil 

have wee, 
This jolly blind beggar wee cannot here 

My lords, quoth the bride, my father's so 

He is loth with his presence these states 

to disgrace. 



"The prayse of a woman in questyon to 

Before her own face, were a flattering 

thinge ; 
But wee thinke thy father's baseness, quoth 

Might by thy bewtye be cleane put 


They had noe sooner these pleasant 

words spoke, 
But in comes the beggar cladd in a silke 

cloke ; 
A faire velvet capp, and a fether had hee, 
And now a musicyan forsooth he wold bee. 

He had a daintye lute under his arme, 
He touched the strings, which made such 

a charme, 
Saies, Please you to heare any musicke of 

He sing you a song of pretty Bessee. 

With that his lute he twanged straightway, 
And thereon begann most sweetlye to 

And after that lessons were playd two or 

He strayn'd out this song most delicatelle. 

' ' A poore beggars daughter did dwell on 

a greene, 
Who for her fairenesse might well be a 

queene : 
A blithe bonny lasse, and a daintye was 

And many one called her pretty Bessee. 

" Her father hee had noe goods, nor noe 

But beggd for a penny all day with his 

hand ; 
And yett to her marriage hee gave 

thousands three, * 
And still he hath somewhat for pretty 


* So the folio MS. 

"And if any one here her birth doe 

Her father is ready, with might and with 

To proove shee is come of noble degree : 
Therfore never flout att prettye Bessee. " 

With that the lords and the company^ 

With harty laughter were readye to 

swound ; 
Att last said the lords, Full well wee may 

The bride and the beggar's behoulden to 


On this the bride all blushing did rise, 
The pearlie dropps standing within hei 

faire eyes, 
O pardon my father, grave nobles, quoth 

That throughe blind affection thus dotet 

on mee. 

If this be thy father, the nobles did say, 
Well may he be proud of this happy 

Yett by his countenance well may wee 

His birth and his fortune did never agree : 

And therfore, blind man, we pray thee 

(And looke that the truth thou to us doe 

Thy birth and thy parentage, what itt 

may bee ; 
For the love that thou bearest to pretty 


' ' Then give me leave, nobles and gentles, 

each one, 
One song more to sing, and then I have 

done ; 
And if that itt may not winn good report, 
Then doe not give me a groat for my 



"[Sir Simon de Montfort my subject shal 

bee ; 
Once chiefe of all the great barons was 

Yet fortune so cruelle this lorde did abase. 
Now loste and forgotten are hee and his 


"When the barons in armes did king 

Henrye oppose, 
Bir Simon de Montfort their leader they 

chose ; 
A leader of courage undaunted was hee, 
And oft - times he made their enemyes 


"At length in the battle on Eveshame 

The barons were routed, and Montfort 

was slaine ; 
Moste fatall that battel did prove unto 

Thoughe thou wast not borne then, my 

prettye Bessee ! 

"Along with the nobles, that fell at that 

His eldest son Henrye, who fought by his 

Was jellde by a blowe he receivde in the 

A blowe that deprivde him for ever of 


"Among the dead bodyes all lifelesse he 

Till evening drewe on of the following 

When by a yong ladye discoverd was 

hee ; 
And this was thy mother, my prettye 

Bessee ! 

"A barons faire daughter stept forthe in 

the nighte 
To search for her father, who fell in the 


And seeing yong Montfort, where gasping 

he laye, 
Was moved with pitye, and brought him 


" In secrette she nurst him, and swaged 

While he throughe the realme was beleevd 

to be slaine : 
At lengthe his faire bride she consented 

to bee, 
And made him glad father of prettye 


"And nowe lest oure foes our lives sholde 

We clothed ourselves in beggars arraye ; 
Her jewelles shee solde, and hither came 

wee : 
All our comfort and care was our prettye 


"And here have wee lived in fortunes 

Thoughe poore, yet contented with 

humble delighte : 
Full forty winters thus have I beene 
A silly blind beggar of Bednall-greene. 

"And here, noble lordes, is ended the 

Of one, that once to your own ranke did 

belong : 
And thus have you learned a secrette 

from mee, 
That ne'er had beene knowne, but for 

prettye Bessee." 

Now when the faire companye everye 

Had heard the strange tale in the song 

he had showne, 
They all were amazed, as well they might 

Both at the blinde beggar and preUv 




With that the faire bride they all did 

Saying, Sure thou art come of an honour- 
able race, 

Thy father likewise is of noble degree, 

And thou art well worthy a lady to bee. 

Thus was the feast ended with joye and 

A bridegroome most happy then was the 

young knighte, 
In joy and felicitie long lived hee, 
All with his faire ladye, the pretty Bessee. 



Edward Vere, Earl of Oxford, was in high fame for his poetical talents in the reign 
of Elizabeth. We have inserted a sonnet of his, which is quoted with great encomiums 
for its "excellencie and wit," in Puttenham's Arte of Eng. Poesie* and found entire 
in the Garland of Goodwill. 

Edward, who was the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, of the family of Vere, succeeded 
his father in his title and honours in 1562, and died an aged man in 1604. 

Come hither shepherd's swayne : 
" Sir, what do you require ?' " 

I praye thee, shewe to me thy name. 
' ' My name is Fond Desire." 

When wert thou borne, Desire ? 

" In pompe and pryme of may." 
By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot ? 

' ' By fond Conceit, men say. " 

Tell me, who was thy nurse ? 

" Fresh Youth in sugred joy." 
What was thy meate and dayly foode ? 

"Sad sighes with great annoy." 

What hadst thou then to drinke ? 

" Unsavoury lovers teares." 
What cradle wert thou rocked in ? 

" In hope devoyde of feares." 

What lulld thee then asleepe ? 

" Sweete speech, which likes me best." 

Tell me, where is thy dwelling place ? 
** In gentle hartes I rest." 

What thing doth please thee most ? 

' ' To gaze on beautye stille. " 
Whom dost thou thinke to be thy foe ? 

" Disdayn of my good wille." 

Doth company e displease? 

"Yes, surelye, many one." 
Where doth Desire delighte to live? 

' ' He loves to live alone. " 

Doth either tyme or age 

Bringe him into decaye ? 
" No, no, Desire both lives and dyes 

Ten thousand times a daye." 

Then, fond Desire, farewelle, 
Thou art no mate for mee ; 

I sholde be lothe, methinkes, to dwelle 
With such a one as thee. 

* London 1589, p. 172. 



The father of Sir Andrew Barton having suffered by sea from the Portuguese, he had 
obtained letters of marque for his two sons to make reprisals upon the subjects of 
Portugal. It is extremely probable that the court of Scotland granted these letters 
with no very honest intention. The council board of England, at which the Earl of 
Surrey held the chief place, was daily pestered with complaints from the sailors and 
merchants, that Barton, who was called Sir Andrew Barton, under pretence of 
searching for Portuguese goods, interrupted the English navigation. Henry's 
situation at that time rendered him backward from breaking with Scotland, so that 
their complaints were but coldly received. The Earl of Surrey,* however, could not 
smother his indignation, but gallantly declared at the council board, that while he 
had an estate that could furnish out a ship, or a son that was capable of commanding 
one, the narrow seas should not be infested. 

"Sir Andrew Barton, who commanded the two Scotch ships, had the reputation of 
being one of the ablest sea officers of his time. By his depredations, he had amassed 
great wealth, and his ships were very richly laden. Henry, notwithstanding his 
situation, could not refuse the generous offer made by the Earl of Surrey. Two ships 
were immediately fitted out, and put to sea with letters of marque, under his two 
sons, Sir Thomas \ and Sir Edward Howard. After encountering a great deal of 
foul weather, Sir Thomas came up with the Lion, which was commanded by Sir 
Andrew Barton in person ; and Sir Edward came up with the Union, Barton's other 
ship [called by Hall the Bark of Scotland]. The engagement which ensued was 
extremely obstinate on both sides, but at last the fortune of the Howards prevailed. 
Sir Andrew was killed fighting bravely, and encouraging his men with his whistle, 
to hold out to the last ; and the two Scotch ships, with their crews, were carried into 
the river Thames [Aug. 2, 1511]. 

' ' This exploit had the more merit, as the two English commanders were in a 
manner volunteers in the service, by their father's order. But it seems to have laid 
the foundation of Sir Edward's fortune ; for, on the 7th of April 1512, the king 
constituted him (according to Dugdale) Admiral of England, Wales, etc. 

" King James 'insisted' upon satisfaction for the death of Barton, and capture of 
his ship ; ' though ' Henry had generously dismissed the crews, and even agreed that 
the parties accused might appear in his courts of admiralty by their attornies, to 
vindicate themselves." This affair was in a great measure the cause of the battle of 
Flodden, in which James IV. lost his life. 

In the following ballad will be found perhaps some few deviations from the truth 
of history, to atone for which it has probably recorded many lesser facts which 
history hath not condescended to relate. I take many of the little circumstances of 
ihe story to be real, because I find one of the most unlikely to be not very remote 
from the truth. In Part ii. v. 156, it is said that England had before "but two ships 

* Thomas Howard, afterwards created Duke of Norfolk. 

t Called by old historians Lord Howard, afterwards created Earl of Surrey in his father's 
lifetime. He was father of the poet Earl of Surrey. 



of war." Now the Great Harry had been built only seven years before, viz. in 1504, 
which ' ' was properly speaking the first ship in the English navy. Before this period, 
when the prince wanted a fleet, he had no other expedient but hiring ships from the 
merchants." — Hume. 
This ballad appears to have been written in the reign of Elizabeth. 


' ' When Flora with her fragrant flowers 

Bedeckt the earth so trim and gaye, 
And Neptune with his daintye showers 

Came to present the monthe of Maye ; " 
King Henrye rode to take the ayre, 

Over the river of Thames past hee ; 
When eighty merchants of London came, 

And downe they knelt upon their knee. 

" O yee are welcome, rich merchants ; 

Good saylors, welcome unto mee." 
They swore by the rood, they were saylors 

But rich merchants they cold not bee : 
" To France nor Flanders dare we pass : 

Nor Bourdeaux voyage dare we fare ; 
And all for a rover that lyes on the seas, 

Who robbs us of our merchant ware." 

King Henrye frownd and turned him 
And swore by the Lord, that was mickle 
of might, 
' ' I thought he had not beene in the world, 
Durst have wrought England such 
The merchants sighed, and said, alas ! 

And thus they did their answer frame, 
He is a proud Scott, that robbs on the 
And Sir Andrewe Barton is his name. 

The king lookt over his left shoulder, 

And an angrye look then looked hee : 
' ' Have I never a lorde in all my realme, 

Will feitch yond traytor unto mee?" 
Yea, that dare I ; lord Howard sayes ; 

Yea, that dare I with heart and hand ; 
If it please your grace to give me leave, 

Myselfe wil be the only man. 

Thou art but yong ; the kyng replyed : 
Yond Scott hath numbred manye a 
" Trust me, my liege, He make him quail, 
Or before my prince I will never ap- 
Then bowemen and gunners thou shalt 
And chuse them over my realme so free ; 
Besides good mariners, and shipp-boyes, 
To guide the great shipp on the sea. 

The first man, that lord Howard chose, 

Was the ablest gunner in all the realm, 
Thoughe he was threescore yeeres and ten ; 

Good Peter Simon was his name. 
Peter, sais hee, I must to the sea, 

To bring home a traytor live or dead : 
Before all others I have chosen thee, 

Of a hundred gunners to be the head. 

If you, my lord, have chosen mee 

Of a hundred gunners to be the head, 
Then hang me up on your maine-mast 

If I misse my marke one shilling bread. * 
My lord then chose a boweman rare, 

Whose active hands had gained fame. 
In Yorkshire was this gentleman borne, 

And William Horseley was his name. 

Horseley, sayd he, I must with speede 

Go seeke a traytor on the sea, 
And now of a hundred bowemen brave 

To be the head I have chosen thee. 
If you, quoth hee, have chosen mee 

Of a hundred bowemen to be the head, 
On your main-mast He hanged bee, 

If I miss twelvescore one penny bread. 

* An old English word for breadth. 



With pikes and gunnes, and bowemen 

This noble Howard is gone to the sea ; 
Witli a valyant heart and a pleasant 

Out at Thames mouth sayled he. 
And days he scant had sayled three, 

Upon the "voyage," he tooke in hand, 
But there he mett with a noble shipp, 

And stoutely made itt stay and stand. 

Thou must tell me, lord Howard said, 
Now who thou art, and what's thy 
name ; 
And shewe me where thy dwelling is : 
And whither bound, and whence thou 
My name is Henry Hunt, quoth hee 
With a heavye heart, and a carefull 
mind ; 
I and my shipp doe both belong 
To the Newcastle, that stands upon 

Hast thou not heard, nowe, Henrye Hunt, 

As thou hast sayled by daye and by 
Of a Scottish rover on the seas ; 

Men call him sir Andrew Barton, knight? 
Then ever he sighed, and sayd alas ! 

With a grieved mind, and well away ! 
But over-well I knowe that wight, 

I was his prisoner yesterday. 

As I was sayling uppon the sea, 

A Burdeaux voyage for to fare ; 
To his hach-borde he clasped me, 

And robd me of all my merchant ware : 
And mickle debts, God wot, I owe, 

And every man will have his owne ; 
And I am nowe to London bounde, 

Of our gracious king to beg a boone. 

That shall not need, lord Howard sais ; 

Lett me but once that robber see, 
For every penny tane thee froe 

It shall be doubled shillings three. 

Nowe God forefend, the merchant said, 
That you shold seek soe'far amisse ! 

God keepe you out of that traitors hands ! 
Full litle ye wott what a man hee is. 

Hee is brasse within, and Steele without, 

With beames on his topcastle stronge ; 
And eighteen pieces of ordinance 

He carries on each side along : 
And he hath a pinnace deerlye dight, 

St. Andrewes crosse that is his guide ; 
His pinnace beareth ninescore men, 

And fifteen canons on each side. 

Were ye twentye shippes, and he but 
one ; 

I sweare by kirke, and bower, and hall ; 
He wold overcome them everye one, 

If once his beames they doe downe fall. * 
This is cold comfort, sais my lord, 

To wellcome a stranger thus to the sea : 
Yet He bring him and his shipp to shore, 

Or to Scottland hee shall carrye mee. 

Then a noble gunner you must have, 

And he must aim well with his ee, 
And sinke his pinnace into the sea, 

Or else hee never orecome will bee : 
And if you chance his shipp to borde, 

This counsel I must give withall, 
Let no man to his topcastle goe 

To strive to let his beams downe fall. 

* It should seem from hence, that before 
our marine artillery was brought to its present 
perfection, some naval commanders had 
recourse to instruments or machines, similar 
in use, though perhaps unlike in construction, 
to the heavy dolphins made of lead or iron 
used by the ancient Greeks, which they sus- 
pended from beams or yards fastened to the 
mast, and which they precipitately let fall on 
the enemy's ships, in order to sink them by 
beating holes through the bottoms of their 
undecked Triremes, or otherwise damaging 
them. These are mentioned by Thucydides, 
lib. vii. p. 256, ed. 1564, folio, and are more 
fully explained in Scheffcri de Militid Navali, 
lib. ii. cap. 5, p. 136, ed. 1653, 4to. 



And seven pieces of ordinance, 

I pray your honour lend to mee, 
On each side of my shipp along, 

And I will lead you on the sea. 
A glasse He sett, that may be seene, 

Whether you sayle by day or night ; 
And to-morro\ve, I sweare, by nine of the 

You shall meet with Sir Andrewe 
Barton knischt. 


The merchant sett my lorde a glasse 

Soe well apparent in his sight, 
And on the morrowe, by nine of the clocke, 

He shewed him Sir Andrewe Barton 
His hachebord it was "gilt" with gold, 

Soe deerlye dig/it it dazzled the ee : 
Nowe by my faith, lord Howarde sais, 

This is a gallant sight to see. 

Take in your ancyents, standards eke, 

So close that no man may them see ; 
And put me forth a white willowe wand, 

As merchants use to sayle the sea. 
But they stirred neither top, nor mast ; * 

Stoutly they past Sir Andrew by. 
What English churles are yonder, he sayd, 

That can soe litle curtesye ? 

Now by the roode, three yeares and more 

I have beene admirall over the sea ; 
And never an English nor Portingall 

Without my leave can passe this way. 
Then called he forth his stout pinnace ; 

' ' Fetch backe yond pedlars nowe to 
mee : 
I sweare by the masse, yon English churles 

Shall all hang att my maine-mast tree." 

With that the pinnace itt shott off, 
Full well lord Howard might it ken ; 

For itt stroke down my lord's fore mast, 
And killed fourteen of his men. 

* i.e. did not salute. 

Come hither, Simon, saycs my lord, 
Looke that thy word be true, thou said ; 

For at my maine-mast thou shalt hang, 
If thou misse thy marke one shilling 

Simon was old, but his heart itt was bold. 

His ordinance he laid right lowe ; 
He put in chaine full nine yardes long,* 

With other great shott lesse, and moe ; 
And he lette goe his great gunnes shott : 

Soe well he settled itt with his ee, 
The first sight that Sir Andrew sawe, 

He see his pinnace sunke in the sea. 

And when he saw his pinnace sunke, 

Lord, how his heart with rage did swell ! 
"Nowe cutt my ropes, itt is time to be 

He fetch yond pedlars backe mysell." 
When my Lord sawe Sir Andrewe loose, 

Within his heart hee was {\x\\faine : 
"Nowe spread your ancyents, strike up 

Sound all your trumpetts out amaine." 

Fight on, my men, Sir Andrewe sais, 

Weale howsoever this geerc will sway ; 
Itt is my lord admirall of England, 

Is come to seeke mee on the sea. 
Simon had a sonne, who shott right 

That did Sir Andrewe mickle scare ; 
In att his decke he gave a shott, 

Killed threescore of his men of warre. 

Then Henrye Hunt with rigour hott 

Came bravely on the other side, 
Soone he drove downe his fore-mast tree, 

And killed fourscore men beside. 
Nowe, out alas ! Sir Andrewe cryed, 

What may a man now thinke, or say ? 
Yonder merchant theefe, that pierceth 

He was my prisoner yesterday. 

* i.e. discharged chain shot. 



Come hither to me, thou Gordon good, 

That aye wast readye att my call ; 
I will give thee three hundred markes, 

If thou wilt let my beames downe fall. 
Lord Howard hee then calld in haste, 

" Horseley, see thou be true in stead ; 
For thou shalt at the maine-mast hang, 

If thou misse twelvescore one penny 

Then Gordon swarved the maine-mast 
He swarved it with might and maine ; 
But Horseley with a bearing * arrowe, 

Stroke the Gordon through the braine ; 
And he fell unto the haches again, 
And sore his deadlye wounde did 
bleed : 
Then word went through Sir Andrews 
How that the Gordon hee was dead. 

Come hither to mee, James Hambilton, 

Thou art my only sisters sonne, 
If thou wilt let my beames down fall, 

Six hundred nobles thou hast wonne. 
With that he swarved the maine-mast tree, 

He swarved it with nimble art ; 
But Horseley with a broad arr6we 

Pierced the Hambilton through the 
heart : 

And downe he fell upon the deck, 

That with hisblooddid streame amaine : 
Then every Scott cryed, Well-away ! 

Alas a comelye youth is slaine ! 
All woe begone was Sir Andrew then, 
With griefe and rage his heart did 
swell : 
' Go fetch me forth my armour of proofe, 
For I will to the topcastle mysell. " 

" Goe fetch mc forth my armour of 
proofe ; 
That gilded is with gold soe cleare : 

* Sc. that carries well, etc. 

God be with my brother John of Barton ! 

Against the Portingalls hee it ware ; 
And when he had on his armour of 
He was a gallant sight to see : 
Ah ! nere didst thou meet with living 
My deere brother, could cope with 
thee." , 

Come hither Horseley, sayes my lord, 

And looke your shaft that itt goe right, 
Shoot a good shoote in time of need, 

And for it thou shalt be made a knight. 
He shoot my best, quoth Horseley then, 

Your honour shall see, with might and 
maine ; 
But if I were hanged at your maine-mast, 

I have now left but arrowes twaine. 

Sir Andrew he did swarve the tree, 

With right good will he swarved then : 
Upon his breast did Horseley hitt, 

But the arrow bounded back agen. 
Then Horseley spyed a privye place 

With a perfect eye in a secrette part ; 
Under the spole of his right arme 

He smote Sir Andrew to the heart. 

" Fight on, my men, Sir Andrew sayes, 

A little Ime hurt, but yett not slaine ; 
lie but lye downe and bleede a while, - 

And then He rise and fight againe. 
Fight on, my men, Sir Andrew sayes, 

And never flinche before the foe ; 
And stand fast by St. Andrewes crosse 

Untill you heare my whistle blowc." 

They never heard his whistle blow, — 

Which made their hearts waxe sore 
adrcad : 
Then Horseley sayd, Aboard, my lord, 

For well I wott Sir Andrew's dead. 
They boarded then his noble shipp, 

They boarded it with might and maine 
Eighteen score Scots alive they found, 

The rest were either maimed or slaine. 



Lord Howard tooke a sword in hand, 

And off he smote Sir Andrewes head, 
" I must have left England many a daye, 

If thou wert alive as thou art dead." 
He caused his body to be cast 

Over the hatchbord into the sea, 
And about his middle three hundred 
crownes : 

"Wherever thou land this will bury 

Thus from the warres lord Howard came, 

And backe he sayled ore the maine, 
With mickle joy and triumphing 

Into Thames mouth he came againe. 
Lord Howard then a letter wrote, 

And sealed it with seale and ring ; 
' ' Such a noble prize have I brought to 
your grace, 

As never did subject to a king : 

"Sir Andrewes shipp I bring with mee ; 

A braver shipp was never none : 
Nowe hath your grace two shipps of warr, 

Before in England was but one." 
King Henryes grace with royall cheere 

Welcomed the noble Howard home, 
And where, said he, is this rover stout, 

That I myselfe may give the doome? 

' ' The rover, he is safe, my liege, 
Full many a fadom in the sea ; 

If he were alive as he is dead, 

I must have left England many a day : 

And your grace may thank four men i' 
the ship 
For the victory wee have wonne, 

These are William Horseley, Henry Hunt, 
And Peter Simon, and his sonne." 

To Henry Hunt, the king then sayd, 

In lieu of what was from thee tane, 
A noble a day now thou shalt have, 

Sir Andrewes jewels and his chayne. 
And Horseley thou shalt be a knight, 

And lands and livings shalt have store ; 
Howard shall be erle Surrye hight, 

As Howards erst have been before. 

Nowe, Peter Simon, thou art old, 

I will maintaine thee and thy sonne : 
And the men shall have five hundred 
For the good service they have done. 
Then in came the queene with ladyes 
To see Sir Andrewe Barton knight : 
They weend that hee were brought on 
And thought to have seen a gallant 

But when they see his dcadlye face, 
And eyes soe hollow in his head, 
I wold give, quoth the king, a thousand 
This man were alive as hee is dead : 
Yett for the manfull part hee playd, 
Which fought soe well with heart and 
His men shall have twelvepence a day, 
Till they come to my brother kings 
high land. 





The subject of this pathetic ballad the Editor once thought might possibly relate to 
the Earl of Bothwell and his desertion of his wife, Lady Jean Gordon, to make room 
for his marriage with the Queen of Scots. But this opinion he now believes to be 
groundless ; indeed, Earl Bothwell's age, who was upwards of sixty at the time of that 
marriage, renders it unlikely that he should be the object of so warm a passion as 
this elegy supposes. He has been since informed, that it entirely refers to a private 
story : A young lady of the name of Bothwell, or rather Boswell, having been 
together with her child deserted by her husband or lover, composed these affecting 
lines herself, which here are given from a copy in the Editor's folio MS. corrected b/ 
another in Allan Ramsay's Miscellany. 

Balow, my babe, lye still and sleipe ! 
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe : 
If thoust be silent, Ise be glad, 
Thy maining maks my heart ful sad. 
Balow, my boy, thy mothers joy, 
Thy father breides me great annoy. 
Balow, my babe, ly stil and sleipe, 
It grieves me sair to see thee weepe. 

Whan he began to court my luve, 
And with his sugred wordes * to muve, 
His faynings fals, and flattering cheire 
To me that time did not appeire : 
But now I see, most cruell hee 
Cares neither for my babe nor mee. 

Balow, etc. 

Lye still, lay darling, sleipe a while, 
And when thou wakest, sweitly smile : 
But smile not, as thy father did, 
To cozen maids : nay God forbid ! 
Bot yett I feire, thou wilt gae neire 
Thy fatheris hart, and face to beire. 

Balow, etc. 

* When sugar was first imported into 
Europe, it was a very great dainty ; and 
therefore the epithet sugred is used by all our 
old writers metaphorically to express extreme 
and delicate sweetness. (See above, No. XI. 
v. 10.) Sugar &t present is cheap and com- 
mon, and therefore suggests now a coarse and 
vulgar idea. 

I cannae chuse, but ever will 
Be luving to thy father still : 
Whair-eir he gae, whair-eir he ryde. 
My luve with him doth still abyde : 
In weil or wae, whair-eir he gae, 
Mine hart can neire depart him frae. 

Balow, etc. 

But doe not, doe not, prettie mine, 
To faynings fals thine hart incline ; 
Be loyal to thy luver trew, 
And nevir change hir for a new : 
If gude or faire, of hir have care, 
For womens banning's wonderous sair. 

Balow, etc. 

Bairne, sin thy cruel father is gane, 

Thy winsome smiles maun eise my paine; 

My babe and I'll together live, 

He'll comfort me when cares doe grieve : 

My babe and I right saft will ly, 

And quite forgeit man's cruelty. 

Balow, etc. 

Fareweil, fareweil, thou falsest youth, 
That evir kist a womans mouth 1 
I wish all maides be warnd by mee 
Nevir to trust mans curtesy ; 
For if we doe bot chance to bow, 
They'le use us then they care not how. 

Balow, my babe, ly stil, and sleipe, 
It grives me sair to see thee weipe. 




The catastrophe of Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, the unfortunate husband of Mary 
Queen of Scots, is the subject of this ballad. It is here related in that partial 
imperfect manner, in which such an event would naturally strike the subjects of 
another kingdom, of which he was a native. 

Henry, Lord Darnley, was eldest son of the Earl of Lennox, by the Lady Margaret 
Douglas, niece of Henry VIII. and daughter of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, by the 
Earl of Angus, whom that princess married after the death of James IV. Darnley, 
who had been born and educated in England, was but in his twenty-first year, when 
he was murdered Feb. 9, 1567-8. This crime was perpetrated by the Earl of Bothwell, 
not out of respect to the memory of Rizzio, but in order to pave the way for his 
own marriage with the queen. 

This ballad (printed, with a few corrections, from the Editor's folio MS. ) seems to 
have been written soon after Mary's escape into England in 1568, see v. 65. 

Woe worth, woe worth thee, false Scot- 
lande ! 
For thou hast ever wrought by sleight ; 
The worthyest prince that ever was borne, 
You hanged under a cloud by night. 

The queene of France a letter wrote, 
And sealed itt with harte and ringe ; 

And bade him come Scotland within, 
And shee wold marry and crowne him 

To be a king is a pleasant thing, 
To bee a prince unto a peere : 

But you have heard, and soe have I too, 
A man may well buy gold too deare. 

There was an Italyan in that place, 
Was as well beloved as ever was hee, 

Lord David was his name, 
Chamberlaine to the queene was hee. 

If the king had risen forth of his place, 
He wold have sate him downe in the 

And tho itt beseemed him not so well, 
Altho the kinge had beene present there. 

Some lords in Scotlande waxed wroth, 
And quarrelled with him for the nonce ; 

I shall you tell how it befell, 
Twelve daggers were in him att once. 

When the queene saw her chamberlaine 
was slaine, 
For him her faire cheeks shee did weete, 
And made a vowe for a yeare and a day 
The king and shee wold not come in 
one sheete. 

Then some of the lords they waxed 
And made their vow all vehementlye ; 
For the death of the queenes chamber- 
The king himselfe, how he shall dye. 

With gun-powder they strewed his roomc, 
And layd greene rushes in his way : 

For the traitors thought that very night 
Thisworthye king for to betray. 

To bedd the king he made him bowne ; 

To take his rest was his desire ; 
He was noe sooner caste on sleepe, 

But his chamber was on a biasing fire. 

Up he lope, and the window brake, 
And hee had thirtye foote to fall ; 

* Given in folio as " Earle Bodwe'l 



Lord Bodvvell kept a privy watch, 
Underneath his castle wall. 

Who have wee here? lord Bodvvell sayd : 
Now answer me, that I may know. 

" King Henry the eighth my uncle was ; 
For his sweete sake some pitty show." 

Who have we here ? lord Bodvvell sayd, 
Now answer me when I doe speake. 

"Ah, lord Bod well, I know thee well ; 
Some pitty on me I pray thee take." 

He pitty thee as much, he sayd, 
And as much favor show to thee, 

As thou didst to the queenes chamber- 
That day thou deemedst him to die.* 

Through halls and towers the king they 
Through towers and castles that were 
Through an arbor into an orchard, 
There on a peare-tree hanged him hye. 

When the governor of Scotland heard 
How that the worthye king was slaine ; 

He persued the queen so bitterlye, 
That in Scotland shee dare not remaine. 

But she is fledd into merry England, 
And here her residence hath taine ; 

And through the queene of Englands 
In England now shee doth remaine. 


The following lines, if they display no rich vein of poetry, are yet so strongly 
characteristic of their great and spirited authoress, that the insertion of them will be 
pardoned. They are preserved in Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, a book in 
which are many sly addresses to the queen's foible of shining as a poetess. 

The doubt of future foes 

Exiles my present joy ; 
And wit me warnes to shun such snares, 

As threaten mine annoy. 

For falshood now doth flow, 
And subjects faith doth ebbe : 

Which would not be, if reason rul'd, 
Or wisdome wove the webbe. 

But clowdes of joyes untried 

Do cloake aspiring mindes ; 
Which turn to raine of late repent, 

By course of changed windes. 

The toppe of hope supposed 

The roote of ruthe will be ; 
And frutelesse all their graffed guiles, 

As shortly all shall see. 

* Pronounced, after ihe northern manner, dee. 

Then dazeld eyes with pride, 
Which great ambition blindes, 

Shal be unseeld by worthy wights, 
Whose foresight falshood finds. 

The daughter of debate,* 

That discord ay doth sowe, 
Shal reape no gaine where former rule 

Hath taught stil peace to growe. 

No forreine bannisht wight 

Shall ancre in this port ; 
Our realme it brookes no strangers force, 

Let them elsewhere resort. 

Our rusty sworde with rest 

Shall first his edge employ, 
To poll the toppes, that seeke such change, 

Or gape for such like joy. 

* She evidently means here the Queen of 




This ballad is a proof of the little intercourse that subsisted between the Scots and 
English, before the accession of James I. to the crown of England. The tale which 
is here so circumstantially related does not appear to have had the least foundation 
in history, but was probably built upon some confused hearsay report of the tumults 
in Scotland during the minority of that prince, and of the conspiracies formed by 
different factions to get possession of his person. It should seem from ver. 97 to 
have been written during the regency, or at least before the death of the Earl of 
Morton, who was condemned and executed June 2, 1581, when James was in his 
fifteenth year. 

The author, W. Elderton, who had been originally an attorney in the Sheriffs 
Courts of London, and afterwards (if we may believe Oldys) a comedian, was a 
facetious companion, whose tippling and rhymes rendered him famous among his 
contemporaries. He was author of many popular songs and ballads, and is believed 
to have fallen a victim to his bottle before the year 1592. 

" Out alas ! " what a griefe is this 

That princes subjects cannot be true, 
But still the devill hath some of his, 

Will play their parts whatsoever ensue 
Forgetting what a grievous thing 
It is to offend the anointed king ? 

Alas for woe, why should it be so, 
This makes a sorrowful heigh ho. 

In Scotland is a bonnie kinge, 
As proper a youth as neede to be, 

Well given to every happy thing, 
That can be in a kinge to see : 

Yet that unluckie country still, 

Hath people given to craftie will. 
Alas for woe, etc. 

On Whitsun eve it so befell, 

A posset was made to give the king, 
Whereof his ladie nurse hard tell, 

And that it was a poysoned thing : 
She cryed, and called piteouslie ; 
Now help, or els the king shall die ! 
Alas for woe, etc. 

One Browne, that was an English man, 
And hard the ladies piteous crye, 

Out with his sword, and bestir'd him than, 

Out of the doores in haste to flie ; 
But all the doores were made so fast, 
Out of a window he got at last. 
Alas for woe, etc. 

He met the bishop coming fast, 
Having the posset in his hande : 

The sight of Browne made him aghast, 
Who bad him stoutly staie and stand. 

With him were two that ranne awa, 

For feare that Browne would make a fray. 
Alas for woe, etc. 

Bishop, quoth Browne, what hast thou 

there ? 
Nothing at all, my friend, sayde he ; 
But a posset to make the king good 

Is it so ? sayd Browne, that will I see, 
First I will have thyself begin, 
Before thou go any further in ; 

Be it weale or woe, it shall be so, 

This makes a sorrowful heigh ho. 

The bishop sayde, Browne I doo know, 
Thou art a young man poore and bare ; 

* Given in folio as " King James and Browne.' 



Livings on thee I will bestowe : 
Let me go on, take thou no care. 

No, no, quoth Browne, I will not be 

A traitour for all Christiantie : 

Happe well or woe, it shall be so, 
Drink now with a sorrowfull, etc. 

The bishop dranke, and by and by 

His belly burst and he fell downe : 
A just rewarde for his traitery. 

This was a posset indeed, quoth Brown ! 
He serched the bishop, and found the 

To come to the kinge when he did please. 
Alas for woe, etc. 

As soon as the king got word of this, 
He humbly fell uppon his knee, 

And praysed God that he did misse 
To tast of that extremity : 

For that he did perceive and know, 

His clergie would betray him so : 
Alas for woe, etc. 

Alas, he said, unhappie realme, 

My father, and grandfather* slaine : 

My mother banished, O extreame ! 
Unhappy fate, and bitter bayne ! 

And now like treason wrought for me, 

What more unhappie realme can be ! 
Alas for woe, etc. 

The king did call his nurse to his grace, 
And gave her twenty poundes a yeere ; 

And trustie Browne too in like case, 
He knighted him with gallant geere : 

* His father was Henry, Lord Darnley. 
His grandfather, the old Earl of Lennox, 
regent of Scotland, and father of Lord Darnley, 
was murdered at Stirling, Sept. 5, 1571. 

And gave him "lands and livings great, 
For dooing such a manly feat, 

As he did showe, to the bishop's woe, 

Which made, etc. 

When all this treason done and past, 
Tooke not effect of traytery ; 

Another treason at the last, 

They sought against his majestie : 

How they might make their kinge away, 

By a privie banket on a daye. 
Alas for woe, etc. 

"Another time " to sell the king 

Beyonde the seas they had decreede : 
Three noble Earles heard of this thing, 

And did prevent the same with speede. 
For a letter came, with such a charme, 
That they should doo their king no harme : 
For further woe, if they did soe, 
Would make a sorrowful heigh hoe. 

The Earle Mourton told the Douglas then, 
Take heede you do not offend the king ; 
But shew yourselves like honest men 

Obediently in every thing : 
For his godmother* will not see 
Her noble childe misus'd to be 
With any woe ; for if it be so, 
She will make, etc. 

God graunt all subjects may be true, 

In England, Scotland, every where : 
That no such daunger may ensue, 

To put the prince or state in feare : 
That God the highest king may see 
Obedience as it ought to be, 

In wealth or woe, God graunt it be so 
To avoide the sorrowful heisrh ho. 

* Queen Elizabeth. 





In December 1591, Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, had made an attempt to seize 
on the person of his sovereign James VI. , but being disappointed, had retired towards 
the north. The king unadvisedly gave a commission to George Gordon, Earl of 
Huntley, to pursue Bothwell and his followers with fire and sword. Huntley, under 
cover of executing that commission, took occasion to revenge a private quarrel he had 
against James Stewart, Earl of Murray, a relation of Bothwell's. In the night of 
Feb. 7, 1592, he beset Murray's house, burnt it to the ground, and slew Murray him- 
self, a young nobleman of the most promising virtues, and the very darling of the 
people. See Robertson's History. 

Ye highlands, and ye lawlands, 
Oh 1 qtikair ha ye been ? 

They hae slaine the Earl of Murray, 
And hae laid him on the green. 

Now wae be to thee, Huntley ! 

And quhairfore did you sae ! 
I bade you bring him wi' you, 

But forbade you him to slay. 

He was a braw gallant, 

And he rid at the ring ; 
And the bonny Earl of Murray, 

Oh ! he might hae been a king. 

He was a braw gallant, 
And he playd at the ba' ; 

And the bonny Earl of Murray 
Was the flower among them a'. 

He was a braw gallant, 
And he playd at the gluve ; 

And the bonny Earl of Murray, 
Oh ! he was the Queenes luve. 

Oh ! lang will his lady 

Luke owre the castle Doune, * 
Ere she see the Earl of Murray 

Cum sounding throw the toune. 



It has been suggested to the Editor, that this ballad covertly alludes to the indiscreet 
partiality which Queen Anne of Denmark is said to have shown for the bonny Earl 
of Murray, and which is supposed to have influenced the fate of that unhappy 

About Zule, quhen the wind blew cule, 
And the round tables began, 

A'! there is cum to our kings court 
Mony a well-favourd man. 

The queen luikt owre the castle wa, 
Beheld baith dale and down, 

And then she saw zoung Waters 
Cum riding to the town. 

His footmen they did rin before, 
His horsemen rade behind, 

Ane mantel of the burning gowd 
Did keip him frae the wind. 

* Castle Doune here has been thought to 
mean the Castle of Doune, a seat belonging to 
the Earls of Murray or Moray, 



Gowdeii graith'd his horse before 

And siller shod behind, 
The horse zong Waters rade upon 

Was fleeter than the wind. 

But than spake a wylie lord, 

Unto the queen said he, 
O tell me qhua's the fairest face 

Rides in the company. 

I've sene lord, and I've sene laird, 
And knights of high degree ; 

Bot a fairer face than zoung Waters 
Mine eyne did never see. 

Out then spack the jealous king 
(And an angry man was he), 

O, if he had been twice as fair, 
Zou micht have excepted me. 

Zou're neither laird nor lord, she says, 
Bot the king that wears the crown ; 

Ther is not a knight in fair Scotland 
Bot to thee maun bow down. 

For a' that she could do or say, 
Appeasd he wad nae bee ; 

Bot for the words which she had said 
Zoung Waters he maun dee. 

They hae taen zoung Waters, and 

Put fetters to his feet ; 
They hae taen zoung Waters, and 

Thrown him in dungeon deep. 

Aft I have ridden thro' Stirling town 
In the wind both and the weit ; 

Bot I neir rade thro' Stirling town 
Wi fetters at my feet. 

Aft have I ridden thro' Stirling town 
In the wind both and the rain ; 

Bot I neir rade thro' Stirling town 
Neir to return again. 

They hae taen to the heiding-hill,* 
His zoung son in his craddle, 

And they hae taen to the heiding-hill, 
His horse both and his saddle. 

They hae taen to the heiding-hill 

His lady fair to see. 
And for the words the Queen had spoke 

Zoung Waters he did dee. 


In the year 1584, the Spaniards, under the command of Alexander Farnese, Prince of 
Parma, began to gain great advantages in Flanders and Brabant, by recovering many 
strongholds and cities from the Hollanders, as Ghent, Antwerp, Mechlin, etc. Some 
attempt made with the assistance of English volunteers to retrieve the former of those 
places probably gave occasion to this ballad. I can find no mention of our heroine 
in history, but the following rhymes rendered her famous among our poets. Ben 
Jonson often mentions her, and calls any remarkable virago by her name, and in the 
Fortunate Isles he quotes the words of the ballad itself : 

" Maty Ambree 
(Who marched so free 
To the siege of Gaunt, 
• And death could not daunt, 
As the ballad doth vaunt) 
Were a braver wi ht," e' ;. 

1 i.e. heading (beheading) hill. The place of execution was anciently an artificial hillock. 



It is likewise evident that she is the virago intended by Butler in Hudibras : 

"A bold virago, stout and tall 
As Joan of France or English Mall.'" 

This ballad is printed from a black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, improved 
from the Editor's folio MS. and by conjecture. The full title is : The valorous acts 
performed at Gaunt by the brave bonnie lass Mary Ambree, who in revenge of her 
lovers death did play her part most gallantly. The tune is ' ' The blind beggar, " etc. 

When captaines couragious, whom death 

cold not daunte, 
Did march to the siege of the citty of 

They mustred their souldiers by two and 

by three, 
And the formost in battle was Mary 


When brave Sir John Major* was slaine 

in her sight, 
Who was her true lover, her joy, and 

Because he was slaine most treacherouslie, 
Then vowd to revenge him Mary Ambree. 

She clothed herselfe from the top to the 

In buffe of the bravest, most seemelye to 

showe ; 
A faire shirt of male + then slipped on 

shee ; 
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary 

Ambree ? 

A heimett of proofe shee strait did provide, 
A strong arminge sword shee girt by her 

On her hand a goodly faire gauntlett put 

shee ; 
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary 

Ambree ? 

* So MS., sergeant-major in PC. 

t A peculiar kind of armour, composed of 
small rings of iron, and worn under the clothes. 
It is mentioned by Spencer, who speaks of the 
Irish gallowglass or foot-soldier as "armed in 
a long shirt of ma.yl"—,View of the Slate of 

Then tooke shee her sworde and her 

targett in hand, 
Bidding all such, as wold, bee of her band ; 
To wayte on her person came thousand 

and three : 
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary 

Ambree ? 

My soldiers, she saith, soe valiant and 

Nowe followe your captaine, whom you 

doe beholde ; 
Still formost in battel myselfe will I bee : 
Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary 

Ambree ? 

Then cryed out her souldiers, and loude 

they did say, 
Soe well thou becomest this gallant array, 
Thy harte and thy weapons soe well do 

There was none ever like Mary Ambree. 

Shee cheared her souldiers, that foughten 

for life, 
With ancyent and standard, with drum 

and with fife, 
With brave clanging trumpetts, that 

sounded so free ; 
Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary 

Ambree ? 

Before I will see the worst of you all 

To come into danger of death, or of thrall, 

This hand and this life I will venture so 

Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary 

Ambree ? 



Shee led upp her souldiers in battaile 

Gainst three times theyr number by breake 

of the daye ; 
Seven hovvers in skirmish continued shee : 
Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary 

Ambree ? 

She filled the skyes with the smoke of her 

And her enemyes bodyes with bullets soe 

For one of her owne men a score killed 

shee : 
Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary 

Ambree ? 

And when her false gunner, to spoyle her 

Away all her pellets and powder had sent, 
Straight with her keen weapon shee slasht 

him in three : 
Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary 

Ambree ? 

Being falselye betrayed for lucre of hyre, 
At length she was forced to make a retyre ; 
Then her souldiers into a strong castle 

drew shee : 
Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary 

Ambree ? 

Her foes they besett her on everye side, 
As thinking close siege shee cold never 

abide ; 
To beate down the walles they all did 

decree : 
But stoutlye deffyd them brave Mary 


Then tooke shee her sword and her targett 

in hand, 
And mounting the walls all undaunted 

did stand, 
There daring their captaines to match any 

three : 
O what a brave captaine was Mary Ambree ! 

Now saye, English captaine, what woldest 

thou give 
To ransome thy selfe, which else must not 

Come yield thy selfe quicklye, or slaine 

thou must bee. 
Then smiled sweetlye brave Mary Ambree. 

Ye captaines couragious, of valour so bold, 
Whom thinke you before you now you 

doe behold ? 
A knight, sir, of England, and captaine 

soe free, 
Who shortelye with us a prisoner must 


No captaine of England ; behold in your 

Two brests in my bosome, and therfore 

no knight : 
Noe knight, sirs, of England, nor captaine 

you see, 
But a poor simple lass, called Mary 


But art thou a woman, as thou dost declare, 
Whose valor hath proved so undaunted 

in wane ? 
If England doth yield such brave lasses 

as thee, 
Full well may they conquer, faire Mary 


The prince of Great Parma heard of her 

Who long had advanced for Englands 

faire crowne ; 
lice wooed her and sued her his mistress 

to bee, 
And offerd rich presents to Mary Ambree. 

But this virtuous mayden despised them 

He nere sell my honour lor purple nor 

pall : 
A mayden of England, sir, never will bee 
The fere of a monarcke, quoth Mary 




Then to her owne country shee backe did 

Still holding the foes of faire England in 

scorne : 

Therfore English captaines of every 

Sing forth the brave valours of Mary 



Peregrine Bertie, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, had, in the year 1586, distinguished 
himself at the siege of Zutphen, in the Low Countries. He was the year after made 
general of the English forces in the United Provinces, in the room of the Earl of 
Leicester, who was recalled. This gave him an opportunity for signalizing his courage 
and military skill in several actions against the Spaniards. One of these, greatly 
exaggerated by popular report, is probably the subject of this old ballad, which, on 
account of its flattering encomiums on English valour, hath always been a favourite 
with the people. 

Lord Willoughby died in 1601. Both Norris and Turner were famous among the 
military men of that age. 

The fifteenth day of July, 

With glistering spear and shield, 
A famous fight in Flanders 

Was foughten in the field : 
The most couragious officers 

Were English captains three ; 
But the bravest man in battel 

Was brave lord Willoughbey. 

The next was captain Norris, 

A valiant man was hee : 
The other captain Turner, 

From field would never flee. 
With fifteen hundred fighting men, 

Alas ! there were no more, 
They fought with fourteen thousand then, 

Upon the bloody shore. 

Stand to it noble pikemen, 

And look you round about : 
And shoot you right your bow-men, 

And we will keep them out : 
You musquet and calliver men, 

Do you prove true to me, 
I'le be the formost man in fight, 

Says brave lord Willoughbey. 

And then the bloody enemy 

They fiercely did assail, 
And fought it out most furiously, 

Not doubting to prevail : 
The wounded men on both sides fell 

Most pitious for to see, 
Yet nothing could the courage quell 

Of brave lord Willoughbey. 

For seven hours to all mens view 

This fight endured sore, 
Until our men so feeble grew 

That they could fight no more ; 
And then upon dead horses 

Full savourly they eat, 
And drank the puddle water, 

They could no better get. 

When they had fed so freely, 

They kneeled on the ground, 
And praised God devoutly 

For the favour they had found ; 
And beating up their colours, 

The fight they did renew, 
And turning tow'rds the Spaniard, 

A thousand more they slew. 



The sharp steel-pointed arrows. 

And bullets thick did fly ; 
Then did our valiant soldiers 

Charge on most furiously ; 
Which made the Spaniards waver, 

They thought it best to flee, 
They fear'd the stout behaviour 

Of brave lord Willoughbey. 

Then quoth the Spanish general, 

Come let us march away, 
I fear we shall be spoiled all 

If here we longer stay ; 
For yonder comes lord Willoughbey 

With courage fierce and fell, 
He will not give one inch of way 

For all the devils in hell. 

And then the fearful enemy 

Was quickly put to flight, 
Our men persued couragiously, 

And caught their forces quite ; 
But at last they gave a shout, 

Which ecchoed through the sky, 
God, and St. George for England I 

The conquerors did cry. 

This news was brought to England 

With all the speed might be, 
And soon our gracious queen was told 

Of this same victory. 
O this is brave lord Willoughbey, 

My love that ever won, 
Of all the lords of honour 

'Tis he great deeds hath done. 

To the souldiers that were maimed, 

And wounded in the fray, 
The queen allowed a pension 

Of fifteen pence a day ; 
And from all costs and charges 

She quit and set them free : 
And this she did all for the sake 

Of brave lord Willoughbey. 

Then courage, noble Englishmen, 

And never be dismaid ; 
If that we be but one to ten, 

We will not be afraid 
To fight with foraign enemies* 

And set our nation free. 
And thus I end the bloody bout 

Of brave lord Willoughbey. 


Tins little moral sonnet hath such a pointed application to the heroes of the fore- 
going and following ballads, that I cannot help placing it here, though the date of its 
composition is of a much later period. It is extracted from Cupid and Death, a 
masque, by J. S. [James Shirley], presented March 26, 1653. London, printed 
1653, 4to. 

Victorious men of earth, no more 

Proclaim how wide your empires are ; 
Though you binde in every shore, 
And your triumphs reach as far 

As night or day ; 
Yet you proud monarchs must obey, 
find mingle with forgotten ashes, when 
Death calls yee to the croud of common 

Devouring famine, plague, and war, 

Each able to undo mankind, 
Death's servile emissaries are : 
Nor to these alone confin'd. 

He hath at will 
More quaint and subtle wayes to kill ; 
A smile or kiss, as he will use the art, 
Shall have the cunning skill to break 




The subject of this ballad is the taking of the city of Cadiz (called by our sailors 
corruptly Cales) on June 21, 1596, in a descent made on the coast of Spain, under the 
command of the Lord Howard, admiral, and the Earl of Essex, general. 

The valour of Essex was not more distinguished on this occasion than his generosity : 
the town was carried sword in hand, but he stopped the slaughter as soon as possible, 
and treated his prisoners with the greatest humanity, and even affability and kindness. 
The English made a rich plunder in the city, but missed of a much richer, by the 
resolution which the Duke of Medina, the Spanish admiral, took, of setting fire to the 
ships, in order to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. It was computed 
that the loss which the Spaniards sustained from this enterprise amounted to twenty 
millions of ducats. See Hume's History. 

The Earl of Essex knighted on this occasion not fewer than sixty persons, which 
gave rise to the following sarcasm : 

"A gentleman of Wales, a knight of Cales, 
And a laird of the north country ; 
But a yeoman of Kent with his yearly rent 
Will buy them out all three." 

The ballad is printed, with some corrections, from the Editor's folio MS., and seems 
to have been composed by some person who was concerned in the expedition. Most 
of the circumstances related in it will be found supported by history. 

Long the proud Spaniards had vaunted 

to conquer us, 
Threatning our country with fyer and 
sword ; 
Often preparing their navy most sump- 
With as great plenty as Spain could 
Dub a dub, club a dub, thus strike 

their drums : 
Tantara, tantara, the Englishman 

To the seas presentlye went our lord 
With knights couragious and captains 
full good ; 
The brave Earl of Essex, a prosperous 
With him prepared to pass the salt 
Dub a dub, etc. 

At Plymouth speedilye, took they ship 
Braver ships never were seen undersayle, 
With their fair colours spread, and 
streamers ore their head, 
Now bragging Spaniards, take heed of 
your tayle, 
Dub a dub, etc. 

Unto Cales cunninglye, came we most 
Where the kinges navy securelye did 
ryde ; 
Being upon their backs, piercing their 
butts of sacks, 
Ere any Spaniards our coming descryde. 
Dub a dub, etc. 

Great was the crying, the running and 
Which at that season was made in that 
place ; 



The beacons were fyred, as need then 
required ; 
To hyde their great treasure they had 
little space. 
Dub a dub, etc. 

There you might see their ships, how they 
were fyred fast, 
And how their men drowned themselves 
in the sea ; 
There might you hear them cry, wayle 
and weep piteously, 
When they saw no shift to scape thence 
Dub a dub, etc. 

The great St. Phillip, the pryde of the 
Was burnt to the bottom, and sunk in 
the sea ; 
But the St. Andrew, and eke the St. 
Wee took in fight manfullyeand brought 
Dub a dub, etc. 

The Earl of Essex most valiant and hardye, 
With horsemen and footmen marched 
up to the town ; 
The Spanyards, which saw them, were 
greatly alarmed, 
Did fly for their savegard, and durst 
not come down. 
Dub a dub, etc. 

Now, quoth the noble Earl, courage my 
soldiers all, 
Fight and be valiant, the spoil you shall 
have ; 
And be well rewarded all from the great 
to the small ; 
But looke that the women and children 
you save. 
Dub a dub, etc. 

The Spaniards at that sight, thinking it 
vain to fight, 
Hung upp flags of truce and yielded 
the towne ; 

Wee marched in presentlye, decking the 
walls on hye, 
With English colours which purchased 
Dub a dub, etc. 

Entering the houses then, of the most 
richest men, 
For gold and treasure we searched eche 
In s6me places we did find, pycs baking 
left behind, 
Meate at fire rosting^and folkes run 
Dub a dub, etc. 

Full of rich merchandize, every shop 
catched our eyes, 
Damasks and sattens and velvets full 
fayre ; 
Which soldiers measur'd out by the length 
of their swords ; 
Of all commodities eche had a share. 
Dub a dub, etc. 

Thus Cales was taken, and our brave 
March'd to the market-place, where he 
did stand : 
There many prisoners fell to our several 
Many crav'd mercye, and mercye they 
Dub a dub, etc 

When our brave General saw they delayed 
And wold not ransome their towne as 
they said, 
With their fair wanscots, their presses 
and bedsteds, 
Their joint-stools and tables a fire we 
made ; 
And when the town burned all in 

With tara, tantara, away wee all 




This beautiful old ballad most probably took its rise from one of those descents made 
on the Spanish coasts in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and in all likelihood from that 
which is celebrated in the foregoing ballad. 

It was a tradition in the west of England, that the person admired by the Spanish 
lady was a gentleman of the Popham family, and that her picture, with the pearl 
necklace mentioned in the ballad, was not many years ago preserved at Littlecot, 
near Hungerford, Wilts, the seat of that respectable family. 

Another tradition hath pointed out Sir Richard Leveson, of Trentham, in Stafford- 
shire, as the subject of this ballad, who married Margaret, daughter of Charles, 
Earl of Nottingham, and was eminently distinguished as a naval officer and com- 
mander in all the expeditions against the Spaniards in the latter end of Queen 
Elizabeth's reign, particularly in that to Cadiz in 1596, when he was aged 27. He 
died in 1605, and has a monument, with his effigy in brass, in Wolverhampton church. 

It is printed from an ancient black-letter copy, corrected in part by the Editor's 
folio MS. 

Will you hear a Spanish lady. 
How shee wooed an English man ? 

Garments gay as rich as may be 
Decked with jewels she had on. 

Of a comely countenance and grace was 

And by birth and parentage of high degree. 

As his prisoner there he kept her, 

In his hands her life did lye ; 
Cupid's bands did tye them faster 

By the liking of an eye. 
In his courteous company was all her joy, 
To favour him in any thing she was not 

But at last there came commandment 

For to set the ladies free, 
With their jewels still adorned, 

None to do them injury. 
Then said this lady mild, Full woe is me ; 
O let me still sustain this kind captivity ! 

Dallant captain, shew some pity 

To a ladye in distresse ; 
leave me not within this city, 

For to dye in heavinesse ; 

Thou hast set this present day my body 

But my heart in prison still remains with 


" How should'st thou, fair lady, love me, 
Whom thou knowst thy country's foe? 
Thy fair wordes make me suspect thee : 

Serpents lie where flowers grow." 
All the harm I wishe to thee, most 

courteous knight, 
God grant the same upon my head may 
fully light. 

Blessed be the time and season, 

That you came on Spanish ground ; 
If our foes you may be termed, 

Gentle foes we have you found : 
With our city, you have won our hearts 

eche one, 
Then to your country bear away, that is 
your owne. 

' ' Rest you still, most gallant lady ; 

Rest you still, and weep no more ; 
Of fair lovers there is plenty, 

Spain doth yield a wonderous store," 



Spaniards fraught with jealousy we often 

But Englishmen through all the world are 

counted kind. 

Leave me not unto a Spaniard, 

You alone enjoy my heart ; 
I am lovely, young, and tender, 

Love is likewise my desert : 
Still to serve thee day and night my mind 

is prest ; 
The wife of every Englishman is counted 

" It wold be a shame, fair lady, 

For to bear a woman hence ; 
English soldiers never carry 

Any such without offence." 
I'll quickly change myself, if it be so, 
And like a page He follow thee, where'er 
thou go. 

" I have neither gold nor silver 
To maintain thee in this case, 
And to travel is great charges, 

As you know in every place." 
My chains and jewels every one shal be 

thy own, 
And eke five hundred pounds in gold that 
lies unknown. 

" On the seas are many dangers, 

Many storms do there arise, 
Which wil be to ladies dreadful, 

And force tears from watery eyes." 
Well in troth I shall endure extremity, 
For I could find in heart to lose my life 
for thee. 

"Courteous ladye, leave this fancy, 
Here comes all that breeds the strife ; 

I in England have already 

A sweet woman to my wife : 
I will not falsify my vow for gold nor 

Nor yet for all the fairest dames that live 

in Spain." 

how happy is that woman 
That enjoys so true a friend ! 

Many happy days God send her ; 

Of my suit I make an end : 
On my knees I pardon crave for my 

Which did from love and true affection 

first commence. 

Commend me to thy lovely lady, 
Bear to her this chain of gold ; 
And these bracelets for a token ; 

Grieving that I was so bold : 
All my jewels in like sort take thou with 

For they are fitting for thy wife, but not 
for me. 

1 will spend my days in prayer, 

Love and all her laws defye ; 
In a nunnery will I shroud mee 

Far from any companye : 
But ere my prayers have an end, be sure 

of this, 
To pray for thee and for thy love I will 
not miss. 

Thus farewell, most gallant captain ! 

Farewell too my heart's content ! 
Count not Spanish ladies wanton, 

Though to thee my love was bent : 
Joy and true prosperity goe still with thee ! 
"The like fall ever to thy share, most 
fair ladle." 

2 3 8 



Is extracted from an ancient historical poem in thirteen books, entitled, Albion's 
England, by William Warner. 

The story of Argentile and Curan is, I believe, the poet's own invention ; it is not 
mentioned in any of our chronicles. It was, however, so much admired, that not 
many years after he published it, came out a larger poem on the same subject in 
stanzas of six lines, entitled, The most pleasa/it and delightful historie of Curan, aprince 
of Danske, and the fayre princesse Argentile, daughter and heyre to Adelbright, some- 
time king of Northumberland, etc., by William Webster, London 1617, in eight sheets 
4to. An indifferent paraphrase of the following poem. 

Though here subdivided into stanzas, Warner's metre is the old-fashioned Alex- 
andrine of fourteen syllables. The reader therefore must not expect to find the close of 
the stanzas consulted in the pauses. 

The Bruton's "being " departed hence 
Seaven kingdoms here begonne, 

Where diversly in divers broyles 
The Saxons lost and wonne. 

King Edel and king Adelbright 

In Diria jointly raigne ; 
In loyal Concorde during life 

These kingly friends remaine. 

When Adelbright should leave his liio, 

To Edel thus he sayes ; 
By those same bondes of happie love, 

That held us friends alwaies ; 

By our by-parted crowne, of which 

The moyetie is mine ; 
By God, to whom my soule must passe, 

And so in time may thine ; 

I pray thee, nay I c6njure thee, 

To nourish, as thine owne, 
Thy niece, my daughter Argentile, 

Till she to age be growne ; 
And then, as thou receivest it, 

Resigne to her my throne. 

A promise had for his bequest, 

The testat6r he dies ; 
But all that Edel undertooke, 

He afterwards denies. 

Yet while he "fosters for" a time 
The damsell that was growne 

The fairest lady under heaven ; 
Whose beautie being knowne, 

A many princes seeke her love ; 

But none might her obtaine ; 
For grippell Edel to himselfe 

Her kingdome sought to gaine ; 
And for that cause from sight of such 

He did his ward restraine. 

By chance one Curan, sonne unto 
A prince in Danske, did see 

The maid, with whom he fell in love, 
As much as man might bee. 

Unhappie youth, what should he doe ? 

His saint was kept in mewe ; 
Nor he, nor any nobleman 

Admitted to her vewe. 

One while in melancholy fits 

He pines himselfe awaye ; 
Anon he thought by force of arms 

To win her if he maye : 

And still against the kings restraint 

Did secretly invay. 
At length the high controller Love, 

Whom none may disobay, 



Imiased him from lordlines 

Was more than much, and after her 

Into a kitchen drudge, 

From court he did depart ; 

That so at least of life or death 

She might become his judge. 

Forgetfull of himselfe, his birth, 

His country, friends, and all, 

Accesse so had to see and speake, 

And only minding (whom he mist) 

He did his love bewray, 

The foundresse of his thrall. 

And tells his birth : her answer was, 

She husbandles would stay. 

Nor meanes he after to frequent 
Or court, or stately townes, 

Meane while the king did beate his 

But solitarily to live 


Amongst the country grownes. 

His booty to atchieve, 

Nor caring what became of her, 

A brace of years he lived thus, 

So he by her might thrive ; 

Well pleased so to live, 

At last his resolution was 

And shepherd-like to feed a flocke 

Some pessant should her wive. 

Himselfe did wholly give. 

And (which was working to his wish) 

So wasting, love, by worke, and want. 

He did observe with joye 

Grew almost to the waine : 

How Curan, whom he thought a drudge, 

But then began a second love, 

Scapt many an amorous toye.* 

The worser of the twaine. 

The king, perceiving such his veine, 

A country wench, a neatherds maid, 

Promotes his vassal still, 

Where Curan kept his sheepe, 

Lest that the basenesse of the man 

Did feed her drove : and now on her 

Should lett, perhaps, his will. 

Was all the shepherds keepe. 

Assured therefore of his love, 

He borrowed on the working daies 

But not suspecting who 

His holy russets* oft, 

The lover was, the king himselfe 

And of the bacon's fat, to make 

In his behalf did woe. 

His startops blacke and soft. 

The lady resolute from love, 

And least his tarbox should offend, 

Unkindly takes that he 

He left it at the folde : 

Should barre the noble, and unto 

Sweete growte, or whig, his bottle had, 

So base a match agree : 

As much as it might holde. 

And therefore shifting out of doores, 

A sheeve of bread as browne as nut, 

Departed thence by stealth ; 

And cheese as white as snow, 

Preferring povertie before 

And wildings, or the seasons fruit 

A dangerous life in wealth. 

He did in scrip bestow. 

When Curan heard of her escape, 

And whilst his py-bald curre did sleepe, 

The anguish in his hart 

And sheep-hooke lay him by, 

On hollow quilles of oten straw 

* The construction is, " How that many an 

He piped melody. 

amorous toy, or foolery of love, 'scaped Curan," 
i.e. escaped from him, being off his guard. 

* i.e. holy-day russets. 



But when he spyed her his saint, 

He wip'd his greasie shooes, 
And clear'd the drivell from his beard, 

And thus the shepheard wooes. 

" I have, sweet wench, a peece of cheese, 
As good as tooth may chawe, 

And bread and wildings souling well, 
(And therewithall did drawe 

"His lardrie) and in ' yeaning ' see 
Yon crumpling ewe, quoth he, 

Did twinne this fall, and twin shouldst 
If I might tup with thee. 

" Thou art too elvish, faith thou art, 

Too elvish and too coy : 
Am I, I pray thee, beggarly, 

That such a flocke enjoy ? 

" I wis I am not : yet that thou 

Doest hold me in disdaine 
Is brimme abroad, and made a gybe 

To all that keepe this plaine. 

"There be as quaint (at least that thinke 
Themselves as quaint) that crave 

The match, that thou, I wot not why, 
Maist, but mislik'st to have. 

"How wouldst thou match? (for well I 

Thou art a female) I, 
Her know not here that willingly 

With maiden-head would die. 

"The plowmans labour hath no end, 

And he a churle will prove : 
The craftsman hath more worke in hand 

Then fitteth unto love : 

"The merchant, traffiquing abroad, 

Suspects his wife at home : 
A youth will play the wanton ; and 

An old man prove a mome. 

" Then chuse a shepheard : with the sun 
He doth his flocke unfold, 

And all the day on hill or plaine 
He merrie chat can hold ; 

' ' And with the sun doth folde againe ; 

Then jogging home betime, 
He turnes a crab, * or turnes a round, 

Or sings some merry ryme. 

' ' Nor lacks he gleefull tales, whilst round 
The nut-brown bowl doth trot ; 

And sitteth singing care away, 
Till he to bed be got : 

' ' Theare sleepes he soundly all the night, 

Forgetting morrow-cares : 
Nor feares he blasting of his corne, 

Nor uttering of his wares ; 

" Or stormes by seas, or stirres on land, 

Or cracke of credit lost : 
Not. spending franklier than his flocke 

Shall still defray the cost. 

" Well wot I, sooth they say, that say 

More quiet nights and daies 
The shepheard sleeps and wakes, than 

Whose cattel he doth graize. 

' ' Beleeve me, lasse, a king is but 

A man, and so am I : 
Content is worth a monarchie, 

And mischiefs hit the hie ; 

"As late it did a king and his 
Not dwelling far from hence, 

Who left a daughter, save thyselfe, 
For fair a matchless wench." — 

Here did he pause, as if his tongue 
Had done his heart offence. 

The neatresse, longing for the rest, 

Did egge him on to tell 
How faire she was, and who she was. 

"She bore, quoth he, the bell 

* i.e. roasts a crab or apple. 



" For beautie : though I clownish am, 

I know what beautie is ; 
Or did I not, at seeing thee, 

I senceles were to mis. 

" Her stature comely, tall ; her gate 

Well graced ; and her wit 
To marvell at, not meddle with, 

As matchless I omit. 

"A globe-like head, a gold-like haire, 

A forehead smooth, and hie, 
An even nose ; on either side 

Did shine a grayish eie : 

"Two rosie cheeks, round ruddy lips, 

White just-set teeth within ; 
A mouth in meane ; and underneathe 

A round and dimpled chin. 

"Her snowie necke, with blewish veines, 

Stood bolt upright upon 
Her portly shoulders : beating balles 

Her veined breasts, anon 

" Adde more to beautie. Wand-like was 

Her middle falling still, 
And rising whereas women rise : 

— Imagine nothing ill. 

"And more, her long, and limber armes 

Had white and azure wrists ; 
And slender fingers aunswere to 

Her smooth and lillie fists. 

"A legge in print, a pretie foot ; 

Conjecture of the rest : 
For amorous eies, observing forme, 

Think parts obscured best. 

"With these, O raretie ! with these 
Her tong of speech was spare ; 

But speaking, Venus seem'd to speake, 
The balle from Ide to bear. 

"With Phoebe, Juno, and with both 

Herselfe contends in face ; 
Wheare equall mixture did not want 

Of milde and stately grace. 

' ' Her smiles were sober, and her lookcs 

Were chearefull unto all : 
Even such as neither wanton seeme, 

Nor waiward ; mell, nor gall. 

"A quiet minde, a patient moode, 

And not disdaining any ; 
Not gybing, gadding, gawdy : and 

Sweete faculties had many. 

"A nimph, no tong, no heart, no eie, 
Might praise, might wish, might see ; 

For life, for love, for forme ; more good, 
More worth, more faire than shee. 

' ' Yea such an one, as such was none, 

Save only she was such : 
Of Argentile to say the most, 

Were to be silent much." 

I knew the lady very well, 

But worthies of such praise, 
The neatresse said : and muse I do, 

A shepheard thus should blaze 
The " coate " of beautie.* Credit me, 

Thy latter speech bewraies 

Thy clownish shape a coined shew. 

But wherefore dost thou weepe ? 
The shepheard wept, and she was woe, 

And both doe silence keepe. 

" In troth, quoth he, I am not such, 

As seeming I professe ; 
But then for her, and now for thee, 

I from myselfe digresse. 

"Her loved I (wretch that I am 

A recreant to be), 
I loved her, that hated love, 

Rut now I die for thee. 

"At Kirkland is my fathers court, 

And Curan is my name, 
In Edels court sometimes in pompe, 

Till love countrould the same : 

* r'.c. emblazon beauty's coat. 



" But now — what now ?— deare heart, how 

What ailest thou to weepe ? " 
The damsell wept, and he was woe, 

And both did silence keepe. 

I graunt, quoth she, it was too much, 

That you did love so much : 
But whom your former could not move, 

Your second love doth touch. 

Thy twice-beloved Argentile 

Submitteth her to thee, 
And for thy double love presents 

Herself a single fee, 
In passion not in person chang'd, 

And I, my lord, am she. 

They sweetly surfeiting in joy, 
And silent for a space, 

When as the extasie had end, 

Did tenderly imbrace ; 
And for their wedding, and their wish 

Got fitting time and place. 

Not England (for of Hengist then 

Was named so this land) 
Then Curan had an hardier knight ; 

His force could none withstand : 
Whose sheep-hooke laid apart, he then 

Had higher things in hand. 

First, making knowne his lawfull claime 

In Argentile her right, 
He warr'd in Diria,* and he wonne 

Bernicia* too in fight : 

And so from trecherous Edel tooke 
At once his life and crowne, 

And of Northumberland was king, 
Long raigning in renowne. 


Only the three first stanzas of this song are ancient ; these are extracted from a small 
quarto MS. in the Editor's possession, written in the time of Queen Elizabeth. As 
they seem to want application, this has been attempted by a modem hand. 

Spare to speke, and spare to speed ; 

Corin, most unhappie swaine, 
Whither wilt thou drive thy flocke ? 

Little foode is on the plaine ; 
Full of danger is the rocke : 

Wolfes and beares doe kepe the woodes ; 

Forests tangled are with brakes : 
Meadowes, subject are to floodes ; 

Moores are full of miry lakes. 

Yet to shun all plaine, and hill, 

Forest, moore, and meadow-ground, 

Hunger will as surely kill : 

How may then reliefe be found? 

Such is hapless Corins fate : 

Since my waywarde love begunne, 

Equall doubts begett debate 
What to seeke, and what to shunne. 

Yet to speke will move disdaine : 
If I see her not I bleed, 
Yet her sight augments my paine. 

What may then poor Corin doe? 

Tell me, shepherdes, quicklye tell ; 
For to linger thus in woe 

Is the lover's sharpest hell. 

* During the Saxon heptarchy, the king- 
dom of Northumberland (consisting of six 
northern counties, besides part of Scotland) 
was for a long time divided into two lesser 
sovereignties, viz. Deira (called here Diria), 
which contained the southern parts, and 
Bernicia, comprehending tho6e which lay 




The wife of one Shore, a goldsmith in Lombard Street, and the beautiful mistress of 
Edward the Fourth, of whom Sir Thomas More says: "Proper she was and faire, 
nothing in her body that you would have changed, but if you would have 
wished her somewhat higher. Yet delighted not men so much in her bewty as in her 
pleasant behaviour. For a proper wit had she, and could both rede wel and write ; 
mery in company, ready and wick of answer, neither mute nor ful of bable ; some- 
times taunting without displeasure, and not without disport." The king said of all 
his favourites ' ' the meriest was the Shore's wife, in whom the king therefore toke 
special pleasure." "For many," goes on More, "he had, but her he loved whose 
favour, to sai the trouth (for sinne it were to belie the devil), she never abused to any 
man's hurt, but to many a man's comfort and relief. Where the king toke displeasure, 
she would mitigate and appease his mind : where men were out of favour she would 
bring them in his grace : for many that had highly offended shee obtained pardon." 

In fact, though sinful and erring herself, she was of kind and generous spirit, and 
extended her charity to all who stood in need of it. 

All this More wrote thirty years after the death of Edward the Fourth, and long after 
Jane Shore had done open penance in St. Paul's Churchyard by command of Richard 
the Third, whose anger against her was not so much aroused by her sins as by the 
kindness and partiality she and Lord Hastings — to whom she became attached after 
the death of her royal lover — entertained for the young princes. Hastings was be- 
headed and Jane did penance, but by her beauty won more compassion than Richard 
won commendation, though none dared to bestow any charity upon her. 

Drayton describes her as meane (short) of stature, " her haire of a dark yellow, her 
face round and full, her eye gray, delicate harmony being betwixt each parts propor- 
tion and each proportion's colour, her body fat, white, and smooth, her countenance 
chcerfull and like to her condition." But the days of her youth and pleasure passed 
away, and in the reign of Henry the Eighth, More says she was ' ' lene, withered, and 
dried up, and nothing left but ryvilde skin and bone " — that ' ' at this daye shee beggeth 
of many at this daye living." 

There is an original picture of Jane Shore at the Provost's Lodgings at Eton, and 
another is in the Provost's Lodge at King's College, Cambridge, to both of which 
foundations she is supposed to have done friendly offices with Edward the Fourth. 
To every stanza is annexed the following burthen : 

"Then maids and wives in time amend, 
For love and beauty will have end." 

If Rosamonde that was so faire, 
Had cause her sorrowes to declare. 
Then let Jane Shore with sorrowe sing, 
That was beloved of a king. 

In maiden yeares my beautye bright 
Was loved dear of lord and knight ; 

But yet the love that they requir'd, 
It was not as my friends desir'd. 

My parents they, for thirst of gaine, 
A husband for me did obtaine ; 
And I, their pleasure to fulfille, 
Was fore'd to wedd against my wille. 



To Matthew Shore I was a wife, 
Till lust brought ruin to my life ; 
And then my life I lewdlye spent, 
Which makes my soul for to lament. 

In Lombard-street I once did dwelle, 
As London yet can witness welle ; 
Where many gallants did beholde 
My beautye in a shop of golde. 

I spred my plumes, as wantons doe, 
Some sweet and secret friende to wooe, 
Because chast love I did not finde 
Agreeing to my wanton minde. 

At last my name in court did ring 
Into the eares of Englandes king, 
Who came and lik'd, and love requir'd, 
But I made coye what he desir'd : 

Yet Mistress Blague, a neighbour neare, 
Whose friendship I esteemed deare, 
Did saye, It was a gallant thing 
To be beloved of a king. 

By her persuasions I was led 

For to defile my marriage-bed, 

And wronge my wedded husband Shore, 

Whom I had married yeares before. 

In heart and mind I did rejoyce. 
That I had made so sweet a choice ; 
And therefore did my state resigne, 
To be king Edward's concubine. 

From city then to court I went, 
To reape the pleasures of content ; 
There had the joyes that love could bring, 
And knew the secrets of a king. 

When I was thus advanc'd on highe, 
Commanding Edward with mine eye, 
For Mrs. Blague I in short space 
Obtainde a livinge from his grace. 

No friende I had but in short time 
I made unto a promotion climbe ; 
But yet for all this costlye pride, 
My husbande could not mee abide. 

His bed, though wronged by a king, 
His heart with deadlye griefe did sting ; 
From England then he goes away 
To end his life beyond the sea. 

He could not live to see his name 
Impaired by my wanton shame ; 
Although a prince of peerlesse might 
Did reape the pleasure of his right. 

Long time I lived in the courte, 
With lords and ladies of great sorte ; 
And when I smil'd all men were glad, 
But when I frown'd my prince grewe sad. 

But yet a gentle minde I bore 

To helplesse people, that were poore ; 

I still redrest the orphans crye, 

And sav'd their lives condemnd to dye. 

I still had ruth on widowes tears, 
I succour'd babes of tender yeares ; 
And never look'd for other gaine 
But love and thankes for all my paine. 

At last my royall king did dye, 
And then my dayes of woe grew nighe ; 
When crook-back Richard got the crowne, 
King Edwards friends were soon put 

I then was punisht for my sin, 
That I so long had lived in ; 
Yea, every one that was his friend, 
This tyrant brought to shamefull end. 

Then for my lewd and wanton life, 
That made a strumpet of a wife, 
I penance did in Lombard-street, 
In shamefull manner in a sheet. 

VvHiere many thousands did me viewe, 
Who late in court my credit knewe ; 
Which made the teares run down my face, 
To thinke upon my foul disgrace. 

Not thus content, they took from mee 
My goodes, my livings, and my fee, 
And charg'd that none should me relieve. 
Nor any succour to me give. 



Then unto Mrs. Blague I went, 
To whom my jewels I had sent, 
In hope therebye to ease my want, 
When riches fail'd, and love grew scant 

But she denyed to me the same, 
When in my need for them I came ; 
To recompence my former love, 
Out of her doores shee did me shove. 

So love did vanish with my state, 
Which now my soul repents too late ; 
Therefore example take by mee, 
For friendship parts in povertie. 

But yet one friend among the rest, 
Whom I before had seen distrest, 
And sav'd his life, condemn'd to die, 
Did give me food to succour me : 

For which, by lawc, it was decreed 
That he was hanged for that deed ; 
His death did grieve me so much more, 
Than had I dyed myself therefore. 

Then those to whom I had done good, 
Durst not afford mee any food ; 
Whereby I begged all the day, 
And still in streets by night I lay. 

My gowns beset with pearl and gold, 
Were turn'd to simple garments old ; 
My chains and gems and golden rings, 
To filthy rags and loathsome things. 

Thus was I scorn'd of maid and wife, 
For leading such a wicked life ; 

Both sucking babes and children small, 
Did make their pastime at my fall. 

I could not get one bit of bread, 
Whereby my hunger might he fed : 
Nor drink, but such as channels yield, 
Or stinking ditches in the field. 

Thus, weary of my life, at lengthe 
I yielded up my vital strength 
Within a ditch of loathsome scent, 
Where carrion dogs did much frequent : 

The which now since my dying daye, 
Is Shoreditch call'd, as writers saye ;* 
Which is a witness of my sinne, 
For being concubine to a king. 

You wanton wives, that fall to lust, 
Be you assur'd that God is just ; 
Whoredome shall not escape his hand, 
Nor pride unpunish'd in this land. 

If God to me such shame did bring, 
That yielded only to a king, 
How shall they scape that daily run 
To practise sin with every one ? 

You husbands, match not but for love, 
Lest some disliking after prove ; 
Women, be warn'd when you are wives, 
What plagues are due to sinful lives : 

Then, maids and wives, in time 

For love and beauty will have end. 

* But it had this name long before, being so 
called from its being a common sewer (vulgarly 
shore) or drain. See Stow. 




This little simple elegy is given, with some corrections, from two copies, one of which 
is in The golden garland of princely delights. 

My Phillida, adieu love ! 
For evermore farewel ! 
Ay me ! I've lost my true love, 
And thus I ring her knell, 

Ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, 

My Phillida is dead ! 
I'll stick a branch of willow 
At my fair Phillis' head. 

For my fair Phillida 
Our bridal bed was made : 

But 'stead of silkes so gay, 
She in her shroud is laid. 
Ding, etc. 

Her corpse shall be attended 

By maides in fair array, 
Till the obsequies are ended, 

And she is wrapt in clay. 
Ding, etc. 

Her herse it shall be carried 

By youths, that do excell ; 
And when that she is buried, 

I thus will ring her knell, 
Ding, etc. 

A garland shall be framed 

By art and natures skill, 
Of sundry-colour'd flowers, 

In token of good-will.* 
Ding, etc. 

* It is a custom in many parts of England to 
carry a flowery garland before the corpse of a 
woman who dies unmarried. 

And sundry-colour'd ribbands 

On it I will bestow ; 
But chiefly black and yellowe : 

With her to grave shall go. 
Ding, etc. 

I'll decke her tomb with flowers, 

The rarest ever seen, 
And with my tears, as showers, 

I'll keepe them fresh and green. 
Ding, etc. 

Instead of fairest colours, 
Set forth with curious art,* 

Her image shall be painted 
On my distressed heart. 
Ding, etc. 

And thereon shall be graven 

Her epitaph so faire, 
" Here lies the loveliest maiden, 

That e'er gave shepheard care. " 
Ding, etc. 

In sable will I mourne ; 

Blacke shall be all my weede : 
Ay me ! I am forlorne, 
Now Phillida is dead ! 
Ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, 

My Phillida is dead ! 
I'll stick a branch of willow 
At my fair Phillis' head. 

* This alludes to the painted effigies of 
alabaster, anciently erected upon tombs and 






I SHALL begin this Third Book with an old allegoric satire, entitled The Complaint of 
Conscience — a manner of moralizing which, if it was not first introduced by the 
author of Pierce Plowman's Visions, was at least chiefly brought into repute by that 
ancient satirist. The kind of verse used in this ballad has a strong affinity with the 
peculiar metre of that writer. 

The following song, entitled The Complaint of Conscience, is printed from the 
Editor's folio manuscript. Some corruptions in the old copy are here corrected ; the 
corrections are placed between inverted "commas." 

As I walked of late by "an " wood side, 
To God for to meditate was my entent ; 
Where under a hawthorne I suddenlye 

A silly poor creature ragged and rent, 
With bloody teares his face was besprent. 
His fleshe and his color consumed 

And his garments they were all mire, 

mucke, and clay. 

This made me muse, and much "to" 

To know what kind of man hee shold bee ; 
I stept to him straight, and did him 

His name and his secretts to shew unto 

His head he cast up, and wooful was hee, 
My name, quoth he, is the cause of my 

And makes me scorned, and left here 

so bare. 

Then straightway he turnd him, and 

prayd "me" sit downe, 
And I will, saithe he, declare my whole 

greefe ; 
My name is called Conscience : — wheratt 

he did frowne, 

He pined to repeate it, and grinded his 

" Thoughe now, silly wretche, I'm denyed 
all releef," 
"Yet" while I was young, and tender 

of yeeres, 
I was entertained with lunges, and with 

There was none in the court that lived in 
such fame, 

For with the kings councell "I" sate in 
commission ; 

Dukes, earles, and barrons esteem'd of 
my name ; 

And how that I liv'd there needs no re- 
petition : 

I was ever holden in honest condition, 
For howsoever the lawes went in West- 
When sentence was given, for me they 
wold call. 

No incomes at all the landlords wold take, 
But one pore peny, that was their fine ; 
And that they acknowledged to be for 

my sake. 
The poore wold doe nothing without 

councell mine : 
I ruled the world with the right line : 



For nothing was passed betweene foe 

Then went I to London, where once I did 

and friend, 


But Conscience was called to bee at 

But they bade away with me, when they 

"the" end. 

knew my name ; 

For he will undoe us to bye and to sell ! 

Noe bargaines, nor merchandize mer- 

They bade me goe packe me, and hye 

chants wold make 

me for shame : 

But I was called a witnesse therto : 

They lought at my raggs, and there had 

No use for noe money, nor forfett wold 

good game ; 


This is old threed-bare Conscience, 

But I wold controule them, if that they 

that dwelt with saint Peter : 

did soe : 

But they wold not admitt me to be a 

' * And ' ' that makes me live now in great 


For then came in Pride, Sathan's 

Not one wold receive me, the Lord ' ' he " 


doth know ; 

That is now entertained with all kind 

I having but one poor pennye in my 

of people. 


On an awle and some patches I did it 

He brought with him three, whose names 

bestow ; 

' ' thus they call, " 

"For" I thought better cobble shooes 

That is Covetousnes, Lecherye, Usury, 

than doe worse; 

beside : 

Straight then all the coblers began for to 

They never prevail'd, till they had wrought 


my downe-fall ; 

And by statute wold prove me a rogue, 

Soe Pride was entertained, but Conscience 

and forlorne, 


And whipp me out of towne to 

And "now ever since" abroad have I 

"seeke " where I was borne. 


To have had entertainment with some 

Then did I remember, and call to my 

one or other ; 


But I am rejected, and scorned of my 

The Court of Conscience where once I 


did sit : 

Not doubting but there I some favor 

Then went I to the Court the gallants to 

shold find, 


For my name and the place agreed soe 

But the porter kept me out of the gate : 


To Bartlemew Spittle to pray for my 

But there of my purpose I fayled a whit, 


For " thoughe " the judge us'd my 

They bade me goe packe, it was fitt for 

name in everye "commission," 

my state ; 

The lawyers with their quillets wold 

Goe, goe, threed-bare Conscience, and 

get "my" dismission. 

seeke thee a mate. 

Good Lord, long preserve my king, 

Then Westminster-hall was noe place for 

prince, and queene, 

me ; 

With whom evermore I esteemed have 

Good Lord ! how the lawyers began to 





And fearfull they were, lest there I shold 

bee ! 
The silly poore clarkes began for to 

tremble ; 
I showed them my cause, and did not 

dissemble ; 
Soe they gave me some money my 

charges to beare, 
But swore me on a booke I must never 

come there. 

Next the Merchants said, Counterfeite 

get thee away, 
Dost thou remember how wee thee fond ? 
We banisht thee the country beyond the 

salt sea, 
And sett thee on shore in the New-found 

land ; 
And there thou and wee most friendly 

shook hand, 
And we were right glad when thou 

didst refuse us ; 
For when we wold reape profitt here 

thou woldst accuse us. 

Then had I noe way, but for to goe on 
To Gentlemens houses of an ancyent 

name ; 
Declaring my greeffes, and there I made 

" Telling " how their forefathers held me 

in fame : 
And at letting their farmes ' ' how always 

I came." 
They sayd, Fye upon thee ! we may 

thee curse : 
"Theire" leases continue, and we fare 

the worse. 

And then I was forced a begging to goe 
To husbandmens houses who greeved 

right sore, 
And sware that their landlords had 

plagued them so, 
That they were not able to keepe open 

Nor nothing had left to give to the poore ; 

Therefore to this wood I doe me 

Where hepps and hawes, that is my 

best fare. 

Yet within this same desert some comfort 

I have 
Of Mercy, of Pittye, and of Almes-deeds ; 
Who have vowed to company me to my 

Wee are " all " put to silence, and live 

upon weeds, 
"And hence such cold house-keeping 

proceeds ; " 
Our banishment is its utter decay, 
The which the riche glutton will answer 

one day. 

Why then, I said to him, methinks it 

were best 
To goe to the Clergie ; for dailye they 

Eche man to love you above all the rest ; 
Of Mercye, and Pittie, and Almes- 

" deeds," they teach. 
O, said he, noe matter of a pin what they 

For their wives and their children soe 

hange them upon, 
That whosoever gives almes they will * 

give none. 

Then laid he him down, and turned him 

And prayd me to goe, and leave him to rest. 
I told him, I haplie might yet see the day 
For him and his fellowes to live with the 

First, said he, banish Pride, then all 

England were blest ; 
For then those wold love us, that now 

sell their land, 
And then good "house-keeping wold 

revive " out of hand. 

' We ought in justice and truth to read 





This excellent old ballad is preserved in the little ancient miscellany, entitled The 
Garland of Goodwill. Ignorance is here made to speak in the broad Somersetshire 
dialect. The scene we may suppose to be Glastonbury Abbey. 


God speed you, ancient father, 

And give you a good daye ; 
What is the cause, I praye you, 

So sadly here you staye ? 
And that you keep such gazing 

On this decayed place, 
The which, for superstition, 

Good princes down did raze ? 


Chill tell thee, by my vazen* 

That zometimes che have knowne 
A vair and goodly abbey 

Stand here of bricke and stone ; 
And many a holy vrier, 

As ich may say to thee, 
Within these goodly cloysters 

Che did full often zee. 


Then I must tell thee, father, 

In truthe and veritie, 
A sorte of greater hypocrites 

Thou couldst not likely see ; 
Deceiving of the simple 

With false and feigned lies : 
But such an order truly 

Christ never did devisa 


Ah ! ah ! che zmell thee now, man ; 

Che know well what thou art ; 
A vellow of mean learning, 

Thee was not worth a vart : 

* i.e. faithen ; as in the Midland counties 
they say houscn, closen, for houses, closes. 

Vor when we had the old lawe, 

A merry world was then ; 
And every thing was plenty 

Among all zorts of men. 


Thou givest me an answer, 

As did the Jewes sometimes 
Unto the prophet Jeremye, 

When he accused their crimes : 
'Twas merry, sayd the people, 

And joyfull in our realme, 
When we did offer spice-cakes 

Unto the queen of heav'n. 


Chill tell thee what, good'vellowe, 

Before the vriers went hence, 
A bushell of the best wheate 

Was zold vor vourteen pence ; 
And vorty egges a penny, 

That were both good and newe ; 
And this che zay my zelf have zeene, 

And yet ich am no Jewe. 


Within the sacred bible 

We find it written plain, 
The latter days should troublesome 

And dangerous be, certaine ; 
That we should be self-lovers, 

And charity wax colde ; 
Then 'tis not true religion 

That makes thee grief to holde. 


Chill tell thee my opinion plaine, 
And choul'd that well ye knewe, 



Ich care not for the bible booke ; 

Tis too big to be true. 
Our blessed ladyes psalter 

Zhall for my money goe ; 
Zuch pretty prayers, as there bee,* 

The bible cannot zhowe. 


Nowe hast thou spoken trulye, 

For in that book indeede 
No mention of our lady 

Or Romish saint we read : 
For by the blessed Spirit 

That book indited was, 
And not by simple persons, 

As was the foolish masse. 

Cham zure they were not voolishe 

That made the masse, che trowe ; 
Why, man, 'tis all in Latine, 

And vools no Latine knowe. 
Were not our fathers wise men, 

And they did like it well ; 
Who very much rejoyced 

To heare the zacrinz bell ? 


But many kinges and prophets, 

As I may say to thee, 
Have wisht the light that you have, 

And could it never see : 
For what art thou the better 

A Latin song to heare, 
And understandest nothing, 

That they sing in the quiere ? 


O hold thy peace, che praye thee, 
The noise was passing trim 

To heare the vriers zinging, 
As we did enter in : 

* Probably alluding to the illuminated 
psalters, missals, etc. 

And then to zee the rood-loft 
Zo bravely zet with zaints ; — 

But now to zee them wandring 
My heart with zorrow vaints. 


The Lord did give commandment, 

No image thou shouldst make, 
Nor that unto idolatry 

You should your self betake : 
The golden calf of Israel 

Moses did therefore spoile. ; 
And Baal's priests and temple 

Were brought to utter foile. 

But our lady of Walsinghame 

Was a pure and holy zaint, 
And many men in pilgrimage 

Did shew to her complaint. 
Yea with zweet Thomas Becket, 

And many other moe : 
The holy maid of Kent * likewise 

Did many wonders zhowe. 


Such saints are well agreeing 

To your profession sure ; 
And to the men that made them 

So precious and so pure ; 
The one for being a traytoure, 

Met an untimely death ; 
The other eke for treason 

Did end her hateful breath. 


Yea, yea, it is no matter, 

Dispraise them how you wille : 
But zure they did much goodr.esse 

Would they were with us stillc ! 
We had our holy water, 

And holy bread likewise, 
And many holy reliques 

We zaw before our eyes. 

* By name Eliz. Barton, executed April 3:, 
1534. Stow, p. 570. 





And all this while they fed you 

If it be true, good vellowe, 

With vain and empty showe, 

As thou dost zay to mee, 

Which never Christ commanded, 

Unto my heavenly fader 

As learned doctors knowe : 

Alone then will I flee : 

Search then the holy Scriptures, 

Believing in the Gospel, 

And thou shalt plainly see 

And passion of his Zon, 

That headlong to damnation 

And with the zubtil papistes 

They alway trained thee. 

Ich have for ever done. 


The story of the Wandering Jew is of considerable antiquity ; it had obtained full 
credit in this part of the world before the year 1228, as we learn from Matthew Paris. 
For in that year, it seems, there came an Armenian archbishop into England, to 
visit the shrines and reliques preserved in our churches ; who, being entertained at the 
monastery of St. Albans, was asked several questions relating to his country, etc. 
Among the rest a monk, who sat near him, inquired "if he had ever seen or heard of 
the famous person named Joseph, that was so much talked of ; who was present at 
our Lord's crucifixion and conversed with Him, and who was still alive in confirmation 
of the Christian faith." The archbishop answered, that the fact was true. And 
afterwards one of his train, who was well known to a servant of the abbot's, inter- 
preting his master's words, told them in French, " that his lord knew the person 
they spoke of very well ; that he had dined at his table but a little time before he left 
the East ; that he had been Pontius Pilate's porter, by name Cartaphilus ; who, when 
they were dragging Jesus out of the door of the judgment-hall, struck him with his 
fist on the back, saying, 'Go faster, Jesus, go faster; why dost Thou linger?' Upon 
which Jesus looked at him with a frown, and said, 'I indeed am going, but thou 
shalt tarry till I come.' Soon after he was converted, and baptized by the name of 
Joseph. He lives for ever, but at the end of every hundred years falls into an 
incurable illness, and at length into a fit or ecstasy, out of which when he recovers, 
he returns to the same state of youth he was in when Jesus suffered, being then about 
thirty years of age. He remembers all the circumstances of the death and resurrection 
of Christ, the saints that arose with him, the composing of the apostles' creed, their 
preaching, and dispersion; and is himself a very grave and holy person." This is 
the substance of Matthew Paris's account, who was himself a monk of St. Albans, 
and was living at the time when this Armenian archbishop made the above relation. 

Since his time several impostors have appeared at intervals under the name and 
character of the Wandering Jew, whose several histories may be seen in Calmet's 
Dictionary of the Bible. See also the Turkish Spy, vol. ii. Book iii. Let. 1. The 
story that is copied in the following ballad is of one who appeared at Hamburgh in 
1547, and pretended he had been a Jewish shoemaker at the time of Christ's cruci- 
fixion. — The ballad, however, seems to be of later date. It is preserved in black 
letter in the Pepys Collection. 



When as in faire Jerusalem 

Our Saviour Christ did live, 
And for the sins of all the worlde 

His own deare life did give ; 
The wicked Jevves with scoffes and scornes 

Did dailye him molest, 
That never till he left his life, 

Our Saviour could not rest. 

When they had crown'd his head with 

And scourg'd him to disgrace, 
In scornfull sort they led him forthe 

Unto his dying place, 
Where thousand thousands in the streete 

Beheld him passe along, 
Yet not one gentle heart was there, 

That pityed this his wrong. 

Both old and young reviled him, 

As in the streete he wente, 
And nought he found but churlish tauntes, 

By every ones consente : 
His owne deare crosse he bore himselfe, 

A burthen far too great. 
Which made him in the street to fainte, 

With blood and water sweat. 

Being weary thus, he sought for rest, 

To ease his burthened soule, 
Upon a stone ; the which a wretch 

Did churlishly controule ; 
And sayd, Awaye, thou king of Jewes, 

Thou shalt not rest thee here ; 
Pass on ; thy execution place 

Thou seest nowe draweth neare. 

And thereupon he thrust him thence ; 

At which our Saviour sayd, 
I sure will rest, but thou shalt walke, 

And have no journey stayed. 
With that this cursed shoemaker, 

For offering Christ this wrong, 
Left wife and children, house and all, 

And went from thence along. 

Where after he had seene the bloude 
Of Jesus Christ thus shed, 

And to the crosse his bodye nail'd, 

Awaye with speed he fled, 
Without returning backe againe 

Unto his dwelling place, 
And wandred up and downe the worlde, 

A runnagate most base. 

No resting could he finde at all, 

No ease, nor hearts content ; 
No house, nor home, nor biding place : 

But wandring forth he went 
From towne to towne in foreigne landes, 

With grieved conscience still, 
Repenting for the heinous guilt 

Of his fore-passed ill. 

Thus after some fewe ages past 

In wandring up and downe ; 
He much again desired to see 

Jerusalems renowne, 
But finding it all quite destroyd, 

He wandred thence with woe, 
Our Saviours wordes, which he had spoke, 

To verifie and showe. 

'* I'll rest, sayd hee, but thou shalt walke," 

So doth this wandring Jew 
From place to place, but cannot rest 

For seeing countries newe ; 
Declaring still the power of him, 

Whereas he comes or goes, 
And of all things done in the east. 

Since Christ his death, he showes. 

The world he hath still compast round 

And seene those nations strange, 
That hearing of the name of Christ, 

Their idol gods doe change : 
To whom he hath told wondrous thinges 

Of time forepast, and gone. 
And to the princes of the worlde 

Declares his cause of moane : 

Desiring still to be dissolv'd, 

And yeild his mortal breath ; 
But, if the Lord hath thus decreed, 

He shall not yet see death. 



For neither lookes he old nor young, 

But as he did those times, 
When Christ did suffer on the crosse 

For mortall sinners crimes. 

He hath past through many a foreigne 

Arabia, Egypt, Africa, 
Grecia, Syria, and great Thrace, 

And throughout all Hungaria. 
Where Paul and Peter preached Christ, 

Those blest apostles deare ; 
There he hath told our Saviours wordes, 

In countries far and neare. 

And lately in Bohemia, 

With many a German towne ; 
And now in Flanders, as tis thought, 

He wandreth up and downe : 
Where learned men with him conferre 

Of those his lingering dayes, 
And wonder much to heare him tell 

His journeyes, and his wayes. 

If people give this Jew an almes, 
The most that he will take 

Is not above a groat a time : 

Which he, for Jesus' sake, 
Will kindlye give unto the poore, 

And thereof make no spare, 
Affirming still that Jesus Christ 

Of him hath dailye care. 

He ne'er was seene to laugh nor smile, 

But weepe and make great moane ; 
Lamenting still his miseries, 

And dayes forepast and gone : 
If he heare any one blaspheme, 

Or take God's name in vaine, 
He telles them that they crucifie 

Their Saviour Christe againe. 

If you had seene his death, saith he, 

As these mine eyes have done, 
Ten thousand thousand times would 

His torments think upon ; 
And suffer for his sake all paine 

Of torments, and all woes. 
These are his wordes and eke his life 

Whereas he comes or goes. 



Is found in a very scarce miscellany, entitled "Davidson's Poems, or a poetical rhapsodie 
divided into sixe books. .... The 4th impression newly corrected and augmented, 
and put into a forme more pleasing to the reader. Lond. 1621, i2mo." This poem 
is reported to have been written by its celebrated author the night before his execution, 
Oct. 29, 1618. But this must be a mistake, for there were at least two editions of 
Davidson's poems before that time, one in 1608, the other in 1611. So that unless 
this poem was an after-insertion in the fourth edition, it must have been written long 
before the death of Sir Walter : perhaps it was composed soon after his condemnation 
in 1603. See Oldys' Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, p. 173, folio. 

Goe tell the court, it glowes 
And shines like rotten wood ; 

GOE, soule, the bodies guest, 
Upon a thankelesse arrant ; 
Feare not to touche the best, 
The truth shall be thy warrant : 
Goe, since I needs must dye, 
And give the world the lye. 

Goe tell the church it showes 

What's good, and doth no good ; 
If church and court reply, 
Then give them both the lye. 



Tell potentates they live 

Acting by others actions ; 
Not lov'd unlesse they give, 

Not strong but by their factions 
If potentates reply, 
Give potentates the lye. 

Tell men of high condition, 
That rule affairs of state, 
Their purpose is ambition, 
Their practise onely hate ; 
And if they once reply, 
Then give them all the lye. 

Tell them that brave it most, 

They beg for more by spending, 
Who in their greatest cost 
Seek nothing but commending ; 
And if they make reply, 
Spare not to give the lye. 

Tell zeale, it lacks devotion ; 

Tell love, it is but lust ; 
Tell time, it is but motion ; 
Tell flesh, it is but dust ; 
And wish them not reply, 
For thou must give the lye. 

Tell age, it daily wasteth ; 

Tell honour, how it alters ; 
Tell beauty, how she blasteth ; 
Tell favour, how she falters ; 
And as they shall reply, 
Give each of them the lye. 

Tell wit, how much it wrangles 
In tickle points of nicenesse ; 

Tell wisedome, she entangles 
Herselfe in over-wisenesse ; 
And if they do reply, 
Straight give them both the lye. 

Tell physicke of her boldnesse ; 

Tell skill, it is pretension ; 
Tell charity of coldness ; 
Tell law, it is contention ; 
And as they yield reply, 
So give them still the lye. 

Tell fortune of her blindnesse ; 

Tell nature of decay ; 
Tell friendship of unkindnesse ; 
Tell justice of delay : 
And if they dare reply, 
Then give them all the lye. 

Tell arts, they have no soundnesse, 

But vary by esteeming ; 
Tell schooles, they want profoundnesse. 
And stand too much on seeming : 
If arts and schooles reply, 
Give arts and schooles the lye. 

Tell faith, it's fled the citie ; 

Tell how the countrey erreth ; 
Tell, manhood shakes off pitie ; 
Tell, vertue least preferreth : 
And, if they doe reply, 
Spare not to give the lye. 

So, when thou hast, as I 

Commanded thee, done blabbing, 
Although to give the lye 

Deserves no less than stabbing, 
Yet stab at thee who will, 
No stab the soule can ki 1 '- 




James was a great versifier, and therefore out of the multitude of his poems we have 
here selected two, which (to show our impartiality) are written in his best and his 
worst manner. The first would not dishonour any writer of that time ; the second is 
a most complete example of the bathos. 


God gives not kings the stile of Gods in 
For on his throne his scepter do they 

swey : 
And as their subjects ought them to 
So kings should feare and serve their 
God againe. 

If then ye would enjoy a happie reigne, 
Observe the statutes of our heavenly 

King ; 
And from his law make all your laws to 
spring ; 
Since his lieutenant here ye should re- 

Rewarde the just, be stedfast, true and 
plaine ; 
Represse the proud, maintayning aye 

the right ; 
Walke always so, as ever in His sight, 
Who guardes the godly, plaguing the 
And so ye shall in princely vertues 

Resembling right your mightie King 


This is printed from Drummond of 
Hawthornden's works, folio. 

How cruelly these catives do conspire? 

What loathsome love breeds such a 
baleful band 

Betwixt the cankred king of Creta land, * 
That melancholy old and angry sire, 

And him, who wont to quench debate 
and ire 
Among the Romans, when his ports 

were clos'd ? \ 
But now his double face is still dispos'd, 
With Saturn's help, to freeze us at the fire. 

The earth ore-covered with a sheet of 
Refuses food to fowl, to bird, and beast : 

The chilling cold lets every thing to 
And surfeits cattle with a starving feast. 

Curs'd be that love and mought con- 
tinue short, 

Which kills all creatures, and doth 
spoil our sport. 

* Saturn 

t Janus. 



The common popular ballad of King John and the Abbot seems to have been 
abridged and modernized about the time of James I. from one much older, entitled 
King John and the Bishop of Canterbury. The Editor's folio MS. contains a copy 
of this last, but in too corrupt a state to be reprinted ; it however afforded many lines 
worth reviving, which will be found inserted in the ensuing stanzas, which are chiefly 
printed from an ancient black-letter copy to the tune of "Derrydown." Both the 
King and the Abbot and the King and the Bishop are in the catalogue of ballads 
printed by Thackeray in the reign of Charles II. " The story upon which these ballads 
are founded can be traced back to the fifteenth century," so says Mr. Chappell. It 
was known in the lower Saxon dialect in 1483, and in Spanish literature in 1576. 
The German poet Burger in 1784 gave an excellent version of it. 

And I trust your grace will doe me no 

For spending of my owne true-gotten geere. 

An ancient story He tell you anon 

Of a notable prince, that was called King 

John ; 
And he ruled England with maine and 

with might, 
For h; did great wrong, and maintein'd 

little right. 

And He tell you a story, a story so merrye, 
Concerning the Abbot of Canterbiirye ; 
How for his house-keeping, and high 

They rode poste for him to fair London 


An hundred men, the king did heare say, 
The abbot kept in his house every day ; 
And fifty goldechaynes, without any doubt, 
In velvet coates waited the abbot about. 

How now, father abbot, I heare it of thee, 
Thou keepest a farre better house than 

And for thy house-keeping and high 

I feare thou work'st treason against my 


My liege, quo' the abbot, I would it were 

I never spend nothing, but what is my 

owne : 

Yes, yes, father abbot, thy fault it is highe, 
And now for the same thou needest must 

For except thou canst answer me questions 

Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie. 

And first, quo' the king, when I'm in this 

With my crowne of golde so faire on my 

Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe, 
Thou must tell me to one penny what I 

am worthe. 

Secondlye, tell me, without any doubt, 
How soone I may ride the whole world 

And at the third question thou must not 

But tell me here truly what I do think. 

O, these are hard questions for my shallow 

Nor I cannot answer your grace as yet : 
But if you will give me but three weekes 

He do my endeavour to answer your grace. 

2 5 8 


Now three weeks space to thee will I give, 
And that is the longest time thou hast to 

live ; 
For if thou dost not answer my questions 

Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to 


Away rode the abbot all sad at that 

And he rode to Cambridge, and Oxenford ; 
But never a doctor there was so wise, 
That could with his learning an answer 


Then home rode the abbot of comfort so 

And he mett his shepheard a going to 

How now, my lord abbot, you are welcome 

home ; 
What newes do you bring us from good 

king John ? 

"Sad newes, sad newes, shepheard, I 

must give ; 
That I have but three days more to live : 
For if I do not answer him questions 

My head will be smitten from my bodie. 

"The first is to tell him there in that 

With his crowne of golde so fair on his 

Among all his liege men so noble of 

To within one penny of what he is worth. 

"The seconde, to tell him, without any 

How soone he may ride this whole world 

about : 
And at the third question I must not 

But tell him there truly what he does 


Now cheare up, sire abbot, did you never 

hear yet, 
That a fool he may learn a wise man witt ? 
Lend me horse, and serving men, and 

your apparel, 
And I'll ride to London to answere your 


Nay frowne not, if it hath bin told unto 

I am like your lordship, as ever may 

bee : 
And if you will but lend me your gowne, 
There is none shall knowe us at fair 

London towne. 

Now horses, and serving-men thou shalt 

With sumptuous array most gallant and 

brave ; 
With crozier, and miter, and rochet, and 

Fit to appeare 'fore our fader the pope. 

Now welcome, sire abbot, the king he 

did say, 
Tis well thou'f t come back to keepe thy 

For and if thou canst answer my questions 

Thy life and thy living both saved shall 


And first, when thou seest me here in this 

With my crown of golde sd fair on my 

Among all my liege-men so noble of 

Tell me to one penny what I am worth. 

' ' For thirty pence our Saivour was sold 
Amonge the false Jewes, as I have bin 

And twenty nine is the worth of thee, 
For I thinke, thou art one penny worser 

than hee." 



The king he laughed, and swore by St. 

I did not think I had been worth so 

littel ! 
— Now secondly tell me, without any doubt, 
How soone I may ride this whole world 


"You must rise with the sun, and ride 

with the same, 
Until the next morning he riseth againe ; 
And then your grace need not make any 

But in twenty-four hours you'll ride it 

about. " 

The king he laughed, and swore by St. 

J one, 
I did not think, it could be gone so soone ! 
• — Now from the third question thou must 

not shrinke, 
But tell me here truly what I do thinke. 

"Yea, that shall I do, and make your 

grace merry : 
You thinke I'm the abbot of Canterbury ; 
But I'm his poor shepheard, as plain you 

may see, 
That am come to beg pardon for him and 

for mee." 

The king he laughed, and swore by the 

He make thee lord abbot this day in his 

place ! 
"Now naye, my 1 iege, be no t in such speede, 
For alacke I can neither write ne reade." 

Four nobles a weeke, then I will give thee, 
For this merry jest thou hast showne unto 

mee ; 
And tell the old abbot when thou comes t 

Thou hast brought him a pardon from 

good king John. 


This little sonnet was written by Sir Henry Wotton, Knight, on that amiable princess, 
Elizabeth, daughter of James I. and wife of the Elector Palatine, who was chosen King 
of Bohemia, Sept. 5, 1619. The consequences of this fatal election are well known : 
Sir Henry Wotton, who in that and the following year was employed in several 
embassies in Germany on behalf of this unfortunate lady, seems to have had an un- 
common attachment to her merit and fortunes, for he gave away a jewel worth a 
thousand pounds, that was presented to him by the emperor, "because it came from 
an enemy to his royal mistress the Queen of Bohemia." See Biog. Britain. 

This song is printed from the Reliquics Wottonianm, 1651, with some corrections 
from an old MS. copy. 

You meaner beauties of the night, 
That poorly satisfie our eies 

More by your number than your light ; 
You common people of the skies, 
What are you when the Moon shall rise? 

Ye violets that first appeare, 

By your pure purple mantles known, 
Like the proud virgins of the yearc, 

As if the Spring were all your own ; 

What are you when the Rose is blown ? 

* Meaning probably St. Botolph. 

Ye curious chaunters of the wood, 

That warble forth dame Nature's layes, 

Thinking your passions understood 
By your weak accents : what's your 

When Philomell her voyce shall raise ? 

So when my mistris shal be seene 

In sweetnesse of her looks and minde ; 

By virtue first, then choyce a queen ; 
Tell me, if she was not design'd 
Th' eclypsc and glory of her kind? 




Tins excellent old song, the subject of which is a comparison between the manners 
of the old gentry, as still subsisting in the times of Elizabeth, and the modern refine- 
ments affected by their sons in the reigns of her successors, is given, with corrections, 
from an ancient black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, compared with another 
printed among some miscellaneous "poems and songs" in a book entitled, Le Prince 
d' Amour, 1660, 8vo. 

An old song made by an aged old 

Of an old worshipful gentleman, who had 

a greate estate, 
That kept a brave old house at a bountiful 

And an old porter to relieve the poor at his 


Like an old courtier of the queen's, 
And the queen's old courtier. 

With an old lady, whose anger one word 
asswages ; 

They every quarter paid their old servants 
their wages, 

And never knew what belong'd to coach- 
men, footmen, nor pages, 

But kept twenty old fellows with blue 
coats and badges ; 

Like an old courtier, etc. 

With an old study fill'd full of learned old 

With an old reverend chaplain, you might 

know him by his looks. 
With an old buttery hatch worn quite off 

the hooks, 
And an old kitchen, that maintain'd half 

a dozen old cooks ; 

Like an old courtier, etc. 

With an old hall, hung about with pikes, 

guns, and bows. 
With old swords, and bucklers, that had 

borne many shrewde blows, 

And an old frize coat, to cover his worship's 

trunk hose, 
And a cup of old sherry, to comfoi 4^4 

copper nose ; 

Like an old courtier, etc. 

With a good old fashion, when Christmasse 
was come, 

To call in all his old neighbours with bag- 
pipe and drum, 

With good chear enough to furnish every 
old room, 

And old liquor able to make a cat speak, 
and man dumb ; 

Like an old courtier, etc. 

With an old falconer, -huntsman, and a 

kennel of hounds, 
That never hawked, nor hunted, but in 

his own grounds, 
Who, like a wise man, kept himself within 

his own bounds, 
And when he dyed gave every child a 

thousand good pounds ; 
Like an old courtier, etc. 

But to his eldest son his house and land 

he assign'd, 
Charging him in his will to keep the old 

bountifull mind, 
To be good to his old tenants, and to his 

neighbours be kind : 
But in the ensuing ditty you shall hear 

how he was inclin'd ; 

Like a young courtier of the king's, 
And the king's young courtier. 



Like a flourishing young gallant, newly 

come to his land, 
Who keeps a brace of painted madams at 

his command, 
And takes up a thousand pound upon his 

father's land, 
And gets dnmk in a tavern, till he can 

neither go nor stand ; 

Like a young courtier, etc. 

With a new-fangled lady, that is dainty, 

nice, and spare, 
Who never knew what belong'd to good 

house-keeping, or care, 
Who buyes gaudy-color'd fans to play 

with wanton air, 
And seven or eight different dressings of 

other womens hair ; 

Like a young courtier, etc. 

With a new-fashion'd hall, built where the 

old one stood, 
Hung round with new pictures, that do 

the poor no good, 
With a fine marble chimney, wherein 

burns neither coal nor wood, 
And a new smooth shovelboard, whereon 

no victuals ne'er stood ; 
Like a young courtier, etc. 

With a new study, stuft full of pamphlets 

and plays, 
And a new chaplain, that swears faster 

than he prays, 

With a new buttery hatch, that opens 

once in four or five days, 
And a new French cook, to devise fine 

kickshaws, and toys ; 

Like a young courtier, etc. 

With a new fashion, when Christmas is 

drawing on, 
On a new journey to London straight we 

all must begone, 
And leave none to keep house, but our 

new porter John, 
Who relieves the poor with a thump on 

the back with a stone ; 
Like a young courtier, etc. 

With a new gentleman -usher, whose 

carriage is compleat, 
With a new coachman, footmen, and 

pages to carry up the meat, 
With a waiting - gentlewoman, whose 

dressing is very neat, 
Who when her lady has din'd, lets the 

servants not eat ; 

Like a young courtier, etc. 

With new titles of honour bought with 

his father's old gold, 
For which sundry of his ancestors old 

manors are sold ; 
And this is the course most of our new 

gallants hold, 
Which makes that good house-keeping 
is now grown so cold, 
Among the young courtiers of the 

Or the king's young courtiers, 




When the Scottish covenanters rose up in arms, and advanced to the English borders 
in 1639, many of the courtiers complimented the king by raising forces at their own 
expense. Among these none were more distinguished than the gallant Sir John 
Suckling, who raised a troop of horse, so richly accoutred that it cost him ^12,000. 
The like expensive equipment of other parts of the army made the king remark, that 
"the Scots would fight stoutly, if it were but for the Englishmen's fine cloaths." — 
Lloyd's Memoirs. When they came to action, the rugged Scots proved more than 
a match for the fine showy English, many of whom behaved remarkably ill, and 
among the rest this splendid troop of Sir John Suckling's. 

This humorous pasquil has been generally supposed to have been written by Sir John 
as a banter upon himself, though some of his contemporaries, however, attributed it 
to Sir John Mennis, a wit of those times. 

Sir John he got him an ambling nag, 

To Scotland for to ride-a, 
With a hundred horse more, all his own 
he swore, 

To guard him on every side-a. 

No Errant-knight ever went to fight 
With halfe so gay a bravada, 

Had you seen but his look, you'ld have 
sworn on a book, 
Hee'ld have conquer'd a whole armada. 

The ladies ran all to the windows to see 
So gallant and warlike a sight-a, 

And as he pass'd by, they said with a sigh, 
Sir John, why will you go fight-a ? 

But he, like a cruel knight, spurr'd on ; 

His heart would not relent-a, 
For, till he came there, what had he to 

Or why should he repent-a ? 

The king (God bless him !) had singular 
Of him and all his troop-a: 
The borderers they, as they met him on 
the way, 
For joy did hollow, and whoop-a. 

None lik'd him so well, as his own colonell, 
Who took him for John de Wert-a ;* 

But when there were shows of gunning 
and blows, 
My gallant was nothing so pert-a. 

For when the Scots army came within 
And all prepared to fight-a, 
He ran to his tent, they ask'd what he 
He swore he must needs goe sh'te-a. 

The colonell sent for him back agen, 
To quarter him in the van-a ; 

But Sir John did swear, he would no f 
come there, 
To be kill'd the very first man-a. 

To cure his fear, he was sent to the reare, 
Some ten miles back, and more-a ; 

Where Sir John did play at trip and away, 
And ne'er saw the enemy more-a. 

* John de Wert was a German general of 
great reputation, and the terror of the French 
in the reign of Louis XIII. Hence his name 
became proverbial in France, where he was 
called De Vert. See Bayle's Dictionary. 



Tins excellent sonnet, which possessed a high degree of fame among the old cavaliers, 
was written by Colonel Richard Lovelace during his confinement in the gate-house, 
Westminster, to which he was committed by the House of Commons in April 1642, 
for presenting a petition from the county of Kent, requesting them to restore the king 
to his rights, and to settle the government. 

This song is printed from a scarce volume of his poems, entitled Lvcasta, 1649, 
i2mo, collated with a copy in the Editor's folio MS. 

When love with unconfined wings 

Hovers within my gates, 
And my divine Althea brings 

To whisper at my grates ; 
When I lye tangled in her haire, 

And fetter'd with her eye, 
The birds that wanton in the aire, 

Know no such libertye. 

When flowing cups run swiftly round 

With no allaying Thames,* 
Our carelesse heads with roses crown'd, 

Our hearts with loyal flames ; 
When thirsty griefe in wine we steepe, 

When healths and draughts goe free, 
Fishes, that tipple in the deepe, 

Know no such libertle. 

When, linnet-like, confined I 

With shriller note shall sing 
The mercye, sweetness, majestye, 

And glories of my king ; 
When I shall voyce aloud how good 

He is, how great should be, 
Th' enlarged windes, that curie the flood, 

Know no such libertie. 

Stone walls doe not a prison make, 

Nor iron barres a cage, 
Mindes, innocent, and quiet, take 

That for an hermitage : 
If I have freedom in my love, 

And in my soule am free, 
Angels alone, that soare above, 

Enjoy such libertie. 


CHARING Cross, as it stood before the civil wars, was one of those beautiful Gothic 
obelisks erected to conjugal affection by Edward I., who built such a one wherever the 
hearse of his beloved Eleanor rested on its way from Lincolnshire to Westminster. 
But neither its ornamental situation, the beauty of its structure, nor the noble design 
of its erection (which did honour to humanity), could preserve it from the merciless 
zeal of the times : for, in 1647, it was demolished by order of the House of Commons 
as popish and superstitious. This occasioned the following not unhumorous sarcasm, 
which has been often printed among the popular sonnets of those times. 

The plot referred to in ver. 17 was that entered into by Mr. Waller the poet, and 
others, with a view to reduce the city and tower to the service of the king ; for which 
two of them, Nathaniel Tomkins and Richard Chaloner, suffered death, July 5, 1643. 
Vid. Athcn. Ox. II. 24. 

Undone, undone the lawyers are, 
They wander about the towne, 

* Thames is here used for water in general. 

Nor can find the way to Westminster, 
Now Charing Cross is downe : 

At the end of the Strand they make a stand, 
Swearing they are at a loss, 



And chaffing say, that's not the way, 
They must go by Charing Cross. 

The parliament to vote it down 

Conceived it very fitting, 
For fear it should fall, and kill them all, 

In the house, as they were sitting. 
They were told, god-wot, it had a plot, 

Which made them so hard-hearted, 
To give command, it should not stand, 

But be taken down and carted. 

Men talk of plots, this might have been 

For any thing I know, 
Than that Tomkins, and Cbaloner, 

Were hang'd for long agoe. 
Our parliament did that prevent, 

And wisely them defended, 
For plots they will discover still, 

Before they were intended. 

But neither man, woman, nor child, 
Will say, I'm confident, 

They ever heard it speak one word 

Against the parliament. 
An informer swore, it letters bore, 

Or else it had been freed ; 
I'll take, in troth, my Bible oath, 

It could neither write nor read. 

The committee said, that verily 

To popery it was bent ; 
For ought I know, it might be so, 

For to church it never went. 
What with excise, and such device, 

The kingdom doth begin 
To think you'll leave them ne'er a cross, 

Without doors nor within. 

Methinks the common-council shou'd 

Of it have taken pity, 
'Cause, good old cross, it always stood 

So firmly to the city. 
Since crosses you so much disdain, 

Faith, if I were as you, 
For fear the king should rule again, 

I'd pull down Tiburn too. 


This excellent old song is preserved in David Lloyd's Memoires of those that suffered 
in the cause of Charles I., London 1668. The author's name he has not mentioned, 
but, if tradition may be credited, this song was written by Sir Roger LEstrange. 

I, whilst I wisht to be retir'd, 

Into this private room was turn'd ; 
As if their wisdoms had conspir'd 
The salamander should be burn'd ; 
Or like those sophists, that would drown 

a fish, 
I am constrain'd to suffer what I wish. 

Beat on, proud billows ; Boreas blow ; 
Swell, curled waves, high as Jove's roof; 
Your incivility doth show, 
That innocence is tempest proof ; 
Though surly Nereus frown, my thoughts 

are calm ; 
Then strike, Affliction, for thy wounds 
are balm. 

That which the world miscalls a jail, 

A private closet is to me : 
Whilst a good conscience is my bail, 
And innocence my liberty : 
Locks, bars, and solitude, together met, 
Make me no prisoner, but an anchoret. 

The cynick loves his poverty ; 

The pelican her wilderness ; 

And 'tis the Indian's pride to be 

Naked on frozen Caucasus : 

Contentment cannot smart, Stoicks 

Make torments easie to their apathy. 




These manacles upon my arm 

I, as my mistress' favours, wear ; 
And for to keep my ancles warm, 
I have some iron shackles there : 
These walls are but my garrison; this 

Which men call jail, doth prove my 

I'm in the cabinet lockt up, 

Like some high-prized margarite, 
Or, like the great mogul or pope, 
Am cloyster'd up from publick sight : 
Retiredness is a piece of majesty, 
And thus, proud sultan, I'm as great as 

Here sin for want of food must 
Where tempting objects are not seen ; 
And these strong walls do only serve 
To keep vice out, and keep me in : 
Malice of late's grown charitable sure, 
I'm not committed, but am kept secure. 

So he that struck at Jason's life, * 
Thinking t' have made his purpose 
By a malicious friendly knife 
Did- only wound him to a cure : 
Malice, I see, wants wit ; for what is 

Mischief, oft-times proves favour by th' 

* See this remarkable story in Cicero, de 
Nat. Deorutn, Lib. iii. c. 28 ; Cic. de Offic. 
Lib. i. c. 30. See also Val. Max. i. 8. 

When once my prince affliction hath, 

Prosperity doth treason seem ; 
And to make smooth so rough a path, 
I can learn patience from him : 
Now not to suffer shews no loyal heart, 
When kings want ease subjects must bear 
a part. 

What though I cannot see my king 

Neither in person or in coin ; 
Yet contemplation is a thing 

That renders what I have not, mine : 
My king from me what adamant can part, 
Whom I do wear engraven on my heart? 

Have you not seen the nightingale, 
A prisoner like, coopt in a cage, 
How doth she chaunt her wonted tale 
In that her narrow hermitage ? 
Even then her charming melody doth 

That all her bars are trees, her cage a 

I am that bird, whom they combine 

Thus to deprive of liberty ; 
But though they do my corps confine, 
Yet maugre hate, my soul is free : 
And though immur'd, yet can I chirp, and 

Disgrace to rebels, glory to my king. 

My soul is free, as ambient air, 

Although my baser part's immew'd, 
Whilst loyal thoughts do still repair 
T' accompany my solitude : 
Although rebellion do my body binde, 
My king alone can captivate my minde. 



"This prince, like his father, did not confine himself to prose. Bishop Burnett has 
given us a pathetic elegy, said to be written by Charles in Carisbrook Castle [in 1648]. 
The poetry is most uncouth and unharmonious, but there are strong thoughts in it, 
some good sense, and a strain of majestic piety."— Mr. Walpole's Royal and Noble 
Authors, vol. i. And Hume hath remarked of these stanzas, "that the truth of the 
sentiment, rather than the elegance of the expression, renders them very pathetic." 

Next at the clergy do their furies frown, 
Pious episcopacy must go down, 
They will destroy the crosier and the 

Great monarch of the world, from whose 

power springs 
The potency and power of kings, 
Record the royal woe my suffering sings ; 

And teach my tongue, that ever did confine 
Its faculties in truth's seraphick line, 
To track the treasons of thy foes and mine. 

Nature and law, by thy divine decree 
(The only root of righteous royaltie), 
With this dim diadem invested me : 

With it, the sacred scepter, purple robe, 
The holy unction, and the royal globe : 
Yet am I levell'd with the life of Job. 

The fiercest furies, that do daily tread 
Upon my grief, my grey discrowned head, 
Are those that owe my bounty for their 

They raise a war, and christen it The 

While sacrilegious hands have best ap- 

Plunder and murder are the kingdom's 

Tyranny bears the title of taxation, 
Revenge and robbery are reformation, 
Oppression gains the name of sequestra- 

My loyal subjects, who in this bad season 
Attend me (by the law of God and reason), 
They dare impeach, and punish for high 

Churchmen are chain' d, and schismaticks 

are freed, 
Mechanicks preach, and holy fathers bleed, 
The crown is crucified with the creed. 

The church of England doth all factions 

The pulpit is usurpt by each impostor, 
Extempore excludes the Paternoster. 

The Presbyter, and Independent seed 
Springs with broad blades. To make 

religion bleed, 
Herod and Pontius Pilate are agreed. 

The corner stone's misplac'd by every 

pavier : 
With such a bloody method and behaviour 
Their ancestors did crucifie our Saviour. 

My royal consort, from whose fruitful womb 
So many princes legally have come, 
Is forc'd in pilgrimage to seek a tomb. 

Great Britain's heir is forced into France, 
Whilst on his father's head his foes ad- 
vance : 
Poor child ! he weeps out his inheritance. 

With my own power my majesty they 

In the king's name the king himself's un- 

crown'd : 
So doth the dust destroy the diamond. 



With propositions daily they enchant 
My people's ears, such as do reason daunt, 
And the Almighty will not let me grant. 

They promise to erect my royal stem, 
To make me great, t' advance my diadem, 
If I will first fall down, and worship them ! 

But for refusal they devour my thrones, 
Distress my children, and destroy my 

bones ; 
I fear they'll force me to make bread of 


My life they prize at such a slender 

That in my absence they draw bills of 

To prove the king a traytor to the state. 

Felons obtain more privilege than I, 
They are allow'd to answer ere they die ; 
'Tis death for me to ask the reason, why. 

But, sacred Saviour, with thy words I woo 
Thee to forgive, and not be bitter to 
Such, as thou know'st do not know what 
they do. 

For since they from their lord are so dis- 
As to contemn those edicts he appointed, 
How can they prize the power of his 

Augment my patience, nullifie my hate, 
Preserve my issue, and inspire my mate ; 
Yet, though we perish, bless this Church 
and State. 


This sarcastic exultation of triumphant loyalty is printed from an old black-letter copy 
in the Pepys Collection, corrected by two others, one of which is preserved in A 
choice collection of one hundred and twenty loyal songs, etc., 1684, i2mo. — To the 
tune of " Old Simon the king." 

Rebellion hath broken up house, 

And hath left me old lumber to sell ; 
Come hither, and take your choice, 

I'll promise to use you well : 
Will you buy the old speaker's chair? 

Which was warm and easie to sit in, 
And oft hath been clean'd I declare, 

When as it was fouler than fitting. 
Says old Simon the king, etc. 

Will you buy any bacon-flitches, 

The fattest, that ever were spent ? 
They're the sides of the old committees, 

Fed up in the long parliament. 
Here's a pair of bellows, and tongs, 

And for a small matter I'll sell ye 'urn ; 
They are made of the presbyters lungs, 

To blow up the coals of rebellion. 
Says old Simon, etc, 

I had thought to have given them once 

To some black-smith for his forge ; 
But now I have considered on't, 

They are consecrate to the church : 
So I'll give them unto some quire, 

They will make the big organs roar, 
And the little pipes to squeeke higher 

Than ever they could before. 
Says old Simon, etc. 

Here's a couple of stools for sale, 

One's square, and t'other is round ; 
Betwixt them both the tail 

Of the Rump fell down to the ground. 
Will you buy the states council-table, 

Which was made of the good wain Scot? 
The frame was a tottering Babel 

To uphold the Independent plot. 
Says old Simon, etc. 



Here's the beesom of Reformation, 

Which should have made clean the floor, 
But it swept the wealth out of the nation, 

And left us dirt good store. 
Will you buy the- states spinning-wheel, 

Which spun for the roper's trade ? 
But better it had stood still, 

For now it has spun a fair thread. 
Says old Simon, etc. 

Here's a glyster-pipe well try'd, 

Which was made of a butcher's stump,* 
And has been safely apply'd, 

To cure the colds of the Rump. 
Here's a lump of Pilgrims-Salve, 

Which once was a justice of peace, 
Who Noll and the Devil did serve ; 

But now it is come to this. 
Says old Simon, etc. 

Here's a roll of the states tobacco, 

If any good fellow will take it ; 
No Virginia had e'er such a smack-o, 

And I'll tell you how they did make it : 
Tis th' Engagement, and Covenant cookt 

Up with the Abjuration oath ; 
And many of them, that have took't, 

Complain it was foul in the mouth. 
Says old Simon, etc. 

Yet the ashes may happily serve 

To cure the scab of the nation, 
Whene'er 't has an itch to swerve 

To Rebellion by innovation. 
A Lanthorn here is to be bought, 

The like was scarce ever gotten, 
For many plots k has found out 

Before they ever were thought on. 
Says old Simon, etc. 

Will you buy the Rump's great saddle, 
With which it jocky'd the nation ? 

* Alluding probably to Major-General Har- 
rison, a butcher's son, who assisted Cromwell 
in turning out the Long Parliament, April 20, 

And here is the bitt, and the bridle, 

And curb of Dissimulation : 
And here's the trunk-hose of the Rump, 

And their fair dissembling cloak, 
And a Presbyterian jump, 

With an Independent smock. 
Says old Simon, etc. 

Will you buy a Conscience oft turn'd, 

Which serv'd the high-court of justice, 
And stretch'd until England it mourn'd : 

But Hell will buy that if the worst is. 
Here's Joan Cromwell's* kitching-stuff tub, 

Wherein is the fat of the Rumpers, 
With which old Noll's horns she did rub, 

When he was got drunk with false 
Says old Simon, etc. 

Here's the purse of the public faith ; 

Here's the model of the Sequestration, 
When the old wives upon their good troth, 

Lent thimbles to mine the nation. 
Here's Dick Cromwell's Protectorship, 

And here are Lambert's commissions, 
And here is Hugh Peters his scrip 

Cramm'd with the tumultuous Petitions. 
Says old Simon, etc. 

And here are old Noll's brewing vessels, f 

And here are his dray, and his slings ; 
Here are Hewson's awl, and his bristles ;£ 

With diverse other odd things : 
And what is the price doth belong 

To all these matters before ye ? 
I'll sell them all for an old song, 

And so I do end my story. 
Says old Simon, etc. 

* This was a cant name given to Cromwell's 
wife by the Royalists, though her name was 
Elizabeth. She was taxed with exchanging 
the kitchen stuff for the candles used in the 
Protector's household, etc. See Gentleman 's 
Magazine for March 1788, p. 242. 

t Cromwell had in his younger years fol- 
lowed the brewing trade at Huntingdon. 

X Colonel Hewson is said to have been 
originally a cobbler. 




Given (with some corrections) from a MS. copy, and collated with two printed ones 
in Roman character in the Pepys Collection. 

There was a knight was drank with wine, 

A riding along the way, sir ; 
And there he met with a lady fine, 

Among the cocks of hay, sir. 

Shall you and I, O lady faire, 
Among the grass sit down-a? 

And I will have a special care 
Of rumpling of your gowne-a. 

Upon the grass there is a dewe, 
Will spoil my damask gowne, sir : 

My gowne and kirtle they are newe, 
And cost me many a crowne, sir. 

I have a cloak of scarlet red, 
Upon the ground I'll throwe it ; 

Then, lady faire, come lay thy head ; 
We'll play, and none shall knowe it. 

O yonder stands my steed so free 
Among the cocks of hay, sir ; 

And if the pinner should chance to see, 
He'll take my steed away, sir. 

Upon my finger I have a ring, 

It's made of finest gold-a, 
And, lady, it thy steed shall bring 

Out of the pinner's fold-a. 

O go with me to my father's hall ; 

Fair chambers there are three, sir : 
And you shall have the best of all, 

And I'll your chamberlainc bee, sir. 

He mounted himself on his steed so tall, 
And her on her dapple gray, sir : 

And there they rode to her father's hall, 
Fast pricking along the way, sir. 

To her father's hall they arrived strait ; 

'Twas moated round about-a ; 
She slipped herself within the gate, 

And lockt the knight without-a. 

Here is a silver penny to spend, 
And take it for your pain, sir ; 

Aid two of my father's men I'll send 
To wait on you back again, sir. 

He from his scabbard drew his brand, 
And wiped it upon his sleeve-a : 

And cursed, he said, be every man, 
That will a maid believe-a ! 

She drew a bodkin from her haire, 
And whip'd it upon her gown-a ; 

And curs'd be every maiden faire, 
That will with men lye down-a 1 

A herb there is, that lowly grows, 
And some do call it rue, sir : 

The smallest dunghill cock that crows, 
Would make a capon of you, sir. 

A flower there is, that shineth brij 
Some call it mary-gold-a : 

He that wold not when he might, 
He shall not when he wold-a. 


The knight was riding another day, 
With cloak and hat and feather : 

He met again with that lady gay, 
Who was angling in the river. 

Now, lady faire, I've met with you, 
You shall no more escape me ; 

Remember, how not long agoe 
You falsely did intrap me. 



The lady blushed scarlet red, 
And trembled at the stranger : 

How shall I guard my maidenhead 
From this approaching danger ? 

He from his saddle down did light, 

In all his riche attyer ; 
And cryed, As I am a noble knight, 

I do thy charms admyer. 

He took the lady by the hand, 
Who seemingly consented ; 

And would no more disputing stand : 
She had a plot invented. 

Looke yonder, good sir knight, I pray, 

Methinks I now discover 
A riding upon his dapple gray, 

My former constant lover. 

On tip-toe peering stood the knight, 

Fast by the rivers brink-a ; 
The lady pusht with all her might : 

Sir knight, now swim or sink-a. 

O'er head and ears he plunged in, 
The bottom faire he sounded ; 

Then rising up, he cried amain, 
Help, helpe, or else I'm drowndcd ! 

Now, fare-you-well, sir knight, adieu ! 

You see what comes of fooling : 
That is the fittest place for you ; 

Your courage wanted cooling. 

Ere many days, in her fathers park, 

Just at the close of eve-a, 
Again she met with her angry sparke ; 

Which made this lady grieve-a. 

False lady, here thou'rt in my powre, 
And no one now can hear thee : 

And thou shalt sorely rue the hour, 
That e'er thou dar'dst to jeer me. 

I pray, sir knight, be not so warm 
With a young silly maid-a : 

I vow and swear I thought no harm, 
'Twas a gentle jest I played-a. 

A gentle jest, in soothe, he cry'd, 
To tumble me in and leave me ! 

What if I had in the river dy'd ? — 
That fetch will not deceive me. 

Once more I'll pardon thee this day, 
Tho' injur'd out of measure ; 

But then prepare without delay 
To yield thee to my pleasure. 

Well then, if I must grant your suit, 
Yet think of your boots and spurs, sis : 

Let me pull off both spur and boot, 
Or else you cannot stir, sir. 

He set him down upon the grass, 
And begg'd her kind assistance ; 

Now, smiling thought this lovely lass, 
I'll make you keep your distance. 

Then pulling off his boots half-way ; 

Sir knight, now I'm your betters : 
You shall not make of me your prey ; 

Sit there like a knave in fetters. 

The knight when she had served soe, 
He fretted, fum'd, and grumbled : 

For he could neither stand nor goe, 
But like a cripple tumbled. 

Farewell, sir knight, the clock strikes ten, 
Yet do not move nor stir, sir : 

I'll send you my father's serving men, 
To pull off your boots and spurs, sir. 

This merry jest you must excuse, 
You are but a stingless nettle : 

You'd never have stood for boots or shoes, 
Had you been a man of mettle. 

AH night in grievous rage he lay, 

Rolling upon the plain-a ; 
Next morning a shepherd past that way, 

Who set him right again-a. 



Then mounting upon his steed so tall, 

By hill and dale he swore-a : 
I'll ride at once to her father's hall ; 

She shall escape no more-a. 

I'll take her father by the beard, 
I'll challenge all her kindred ; 

Each dastard soul shall stand affeard ; 
My wrath shall no more be hindred. 

He rode unto her father's house, 
Which every side was moated : 

The lady heard his furious vows, 
And all his vengeance noted. 

Thought shee, sir knight, to quench your 

Once more I will endeavour : 
This water shall your fury 'swage, 

Or else it shall burn for ever. 

Then faining penitence and feare, 

She. did invite a parley : 
Sir knight, if you'll forgive me heare, 

Henceforth I'll love you dearly. 

My father he is now from home, 

And I am all alone, sir : 
Therefore a-cross the water come ; 

And I am all your own, sir. 

False maid, thou canst no more de- 
ceive ; 

I scorn the treacherous bait-a : 
If thou would'st have me thee believe, 

Now open me the gate-a. 

The bridge is drawn, the gate is barr'd, 
My father he has the keys, sir ; 

But I have for my love prepar'd 
A shorter way and easier. 

Over the moate I've laid a plank 
Full seventeen feet in measure : 

Then step a-cross to the other bank, 
And there we'll take our pleasure. 

These words she had no sooner spoke, 
But strait he came tripping over : 

The plank was saw'd, it snapping broke ; 
And sous'd the unhappy lover. 


FROM Sir John Suckling's Poems. This sprightly knight was born in 1613, and cut off 
by a fever about the twenty-ninth year of his age. See above, Song IX. of this book. 

Why so pale and wan, fond lover? 

Prethee, why so pale ? 
Will, when looking well can't move her, 

Looking ill prevail? 

Prethee why so pale ? 

Why so dull and mute, young sinner ? 

Prethee why so mute ? 
Will, when speaking well can't win her, 

Saying nothing doe't? 
Prethee why so mute ? 

Quit, quit for shame ; this will not 

This cannot take her ; 
If of herself she will not love, 

Nothing can make her. 

The devil take her I 





It is worth attention, that the English have more songs and ballads on the subject 
of madness than any of their neighbours. Whether there be any truth in the insinua- 
tion, that we are more liable to this calamity than other nations, or that our native 
gloominess hath peculiarly recommended subjects of this cast to our writers, we 
certainly do not find the same in the printed collections of French, Italian songs, etc. 
This is given from the Editor's folio MS. compared with two or three old printed 
copies. With regard to the author of this old rhapsody, in Walton's Complete 
Angler, cap. 3, is a song in praise of angling, which the author says was made at 
his request "by Mr. William Basse, one that has made the choice songs of the 
Hunter in his Career and of Tom of Bedlam, and many others of note," p. 84. See 
Sir John Hawkins' curious edition, 8vo, of that excellent old book. 

Forth from my sad and darksome cell, 
Or from the deepe abysse of hell, 
Mad Tom is come into the world againe 
To see if he can cure his distempered 

Feares and cares oppresse my soule ; 
Harke, howe the angrye Fureys houle ! 
Pluto laughes, and Proserpine is gladd 
To see poore naked Tom of Bedlam 

Through the world I wander night and 

To seeke my straggling senses, 
In an angrye moode I mett old Time, 

With his pentarchye of tenses : 

When me he spyed, 

Away he hyed, 
For time will stay for no man : 

In vaine with cryes 

I rent the skyes, 
For pity is not common. 

Cold and comfortless I lye : 

Hclpe, oh helpe ! or else I dye ! 
Harke ! I heare Apollo's teame, 

The carman 'gins to whistle ; 
Chast Diana bends her bowe, 

The boare besrins to bristle. 

Come, Vulcan, with tools and with 

To knocke off my troublesome shackles ; 
Bid Charles make ready his waine 
To fetch me my senses againe. 

Last night I heard the dog-star bark ; 
Mars met Venus in the darke ; 
Limping Vulcan het an iron barr, 
And furiouslye made at the god of war : 

Mars with his weapon laid about, 
But Vulcan's temples had the gout, 
For his broad horns did so hang in his 

He could not see to aim his blowes aright : 

Mercurye, the nimble post of heaven, 
Stood still to see the quarrell ; 

Gorrel-bellyed Bacchus, gyant-like, 
Bestryd a strong-beere barrell. 

To mee he dranke, 

I did him thanke, 
But I could get no cyder ; 

He dranke whole butts 

Till he burst his gutts, 
But mine were ne'er the wyder. 

Poore naked Tom is very drye : 
A little drinke for charitye I 



Harke, I hear Acteon's home ! 

The huntsmen whoop and hallowe : 
Ringwood, Royster, Bowman, Jowler, 

All the chase do followe. 

The man in the moone drinkes clarret, 
Eatcs powder'd beef, turnip, and carret, 
But a cup of old Malaga sack 
Will fire the bushe at his backe. 



Was written about the beginning of the seventeenth century by the witty Bishop 
Corbet, and is printed from his Poems, i2mo, 1672, compared with a more ancient 
copy in the Editor's folio MS. 

Am I mad, O noble Festus, 
When zeal and godly knowledge 
Have put me in hope 
To deal with the pope, 
As well as the best in the college? 

Boldly I preach, hate a cross, hate a 
Mitres, copes, and rochets ; 
Come hear me pray nine times a 
And fill your heads with crotchets. 

In the house of pure Emanuel * 
I had my education, 

Where my friends surmise 

I dazel'd my eyes 
With the sight of revelation. 
Boldly I preach, etc. 

They bound me like a bedlam, 
They lash'd my four poor quarters ; 

Whilst this I endure, 

Faith makes me sure 
To be one of Foxes martyrs. 
Boldly I preach, etc. 

These injuries I suffer 

Through antichrist's pcrswasion : 

* Emmanuel College, Cambridge, was 
originally a seminary of Puritans. 

Take off this chain, 
Neither Rome nor Spain 
Can resist my strong invasion. 
Boldly I preach, etc. 

Of the beast's ten horns (God bless us .) 
I have knock'd off three already ; 

If they let me alone, 

I'll leave him none : 
But they say I am too heady. 
Boldly I preach, etc. 

When I sack'd the seven-hill'd city, 
I met the great red dragon ; 

I kept him aloof 

With the armour of proof, 
Though here I have never a rag on. 
Boldly I preach, etc. 

With a fiery sword and target, 
There fought I with this monster : 

But the sons of pride 

My zeal deride, 
And all my deeds misconster. 
Boldly I preach, etc. 

I un-hors'd the Whore of Babel, 
With the lance of Inspiration ; 

I made her stink, 

And spill the drink 
In her cup of abomination. 
Boldly I preach, etc. 



I have seen two in a vision 

Till I prick'd my foot 

With a flying book * between them. 

With an Hebrew root, 

I have been in despair 

That I bled beyond all measure. 

Five times in a year, 

Boldly I preach, etc. 

And been cur'd by reading Greenham.f 

Boldly I preach, etc. 

I appear'd before the Archbishop * 

And all the high commission ; 

I observ'd in Perkin's tables % 

I gave him no grace, 

The black line of damnation ; 

But told him to his face, 

Those crooked veins 

That he favour'd superstition. 

So stuck in my brains, 

Boldly I preach, hate a cross, hate a 

That I fear'd my reprobation. 


Boldly I preach, etc. 

Mitres, copes, and rochets : 

Come hear me pray nine times a 

In the holy tongue of Canaan 


I plac'd my chicfest pleasure : 

And fill your heads with crotchets. 



Is given from an old printed copy in the British Museum, compared with another in 
the Pepys Collection, both in black letter. 

Grim king of the ghosts, make haste, 
And bring hither all your train ; 

See how the pale moon does waste, 
And just now is in the wane. 

* Alluding to some visionary exposition of 
Zech. v. i ; or, if the date of this song would 
permit, one might suppose it aimed at one 
Ccppe, a strange enthusiast, author of a book 
entitled The Fiery Flying Roll. He after- 
wards published a recantation, part of whose 
title is, The F'iery Flying Fell's Wings dipt, 

t See Greenham's Works, fol. 1603, par- 
ticularly the tract entitle'', A sweet Comfort 
for an Afflicted Conscience. 

% See Perkin's Works, fol. 1616, vol. i. p. 11, 
where is a large half sheet folded, containing 
"A survey or table declaring the order of the 
causes of salvation and damnation," etc., the 
pedigree of damnation being distinguished by 
a broad black zig-zag line. 

Come, you night-hags, with all your 

And revelling witches away, 
And hug me close in your arms ; 

To you my respects I'll pay. 

1 11 court you, and think you fair, 

Since love does distract my brain :* 
I'll go, I'll wed the night-mare, 

And kiss her, and kiss her again : 
But if she prove peevish and proud, 

Then, a pise on her love ! let her go ; 
I'll seek me a winding shroud, 

And clown to the shades below. 

A lunacy sad I endure, 

Since reason departs away ; 
I call to those hags for a cure, 

As k nowing not what I say. 

' Archbishop Laud. 



The beauty, whom I do adore, 

Now slights me with scorn and disdain ; 
I never shall see her more : 

Ah ! how shall I bear my pain ! 

I ramble, and range about 

To find out my charming saint ; 
While she at my grief does flout, 

And smiles at my loud complaint. 
Distraction I see is my doom, 

Of this I am now too sure ; 
A rival is got in my room, 

While torments I do endure. 

Strange fancies do fill my head, 

While wandering in despair, 
I am to the desarts lead, 

Expecting to find her there. 
Methinks in a spangled cloud 

I see her enthroned on high ; 
Then to her I crie aloud, 

And labour to reach the sky. 

When thus I have raved awhile, 
And wearycd myself in vain, 

I lye on the barren soil, 
And bitterly do complain. 

Till slumber hath quieted me, 
In sorrow I sigh and weep ; 

The clouds are my canopy 
To cover me while I sleep. 

I dream that my charming fair 

Is then in my rival's bed, 
Whose tresses of golden hair 

Are on the fair pillow bespread. 
Then this doth my passion inflame, 

I start, and no longer can lie : 
Ah ! Sylvia, art thou not to blame 

To ruin a lover ? I cry. 

Grim king of the ghosts, be true, 

And hurry me hence away, 
My languishing life to you 

A tribute I freely pay. 
To the Elysian shades I post 

In hopes to be freed from care, 
Where many a bleeding ghost 

Is hovering in the air. 



Was originally sung in one of Tom D'Urfey's comedies of Don Quixote, acted in 1694 
and 1696, and probably composed by himself. 

From rosie bowers, where sleeps the god 
of love, 
Hither ye little wanton cupids fly ; 

Teach me in soft melodious strains to 
With tender passion my heart's darling 

Ah ! let the soul of musick tune my 

To v.'in dear Strephon, who my soul en- 

Or, if more influencing 
Is to be brisk and airy, 

With a step and a bound, 
With a frisk from the ground, 
I'll trip like any fairy. 

As once on Ida dancing 
Were three celestial bodies : 

With an air, and a face, 

And a shape, and a grace, 

I'll charm, like beauty's goddess. 

Ah ! 'tis in vain ! 'tis all, 'tis all in vain 1 
Death and despair must end the fatal 

pain : 
Cold, cold despair, disguis'd like snow 

and rain, 



Falls on my breast ; bleak winds in 

tempests blow ; 
My veins all shiver, and my ringers glow : 
My pulse beats a dead march for lost 

And to a solid lump of ice my poor fond 

heart is froze. 

Or say, ye powers, my peace to crown, 
Shall I thaw myself and drown 
Among the foaming billows ? 
Increasing all with tears I shed, 

On beds of ooze, and crystal pillows, 
Lay down, lay down my love-sick head ? 

No, no, I'll strait run mad, mad, mad ; 

That soon my heart will warm ; 
When once the sense is fled, is fled, 

Love has no power to charm. 
Wild thro' the woods I'll fly, I'll fly, 

Robes, locks — shall thus — be tore ! 
A thousand, thousand times I'll dye 
Ere thus, thus, in vain, — ere thus in 
vain adore. 



Was written by Henry Carey, a celebrated composer of music at the beginning of 
the eighteenth century, and author of several little theatrical entertainments, which the 
reader may find enumerated in the Companion to the Play-house, etc. The sprightli- 
ness of this songster's fancy could not preserve him from a very melancholy catastrophe, 
which was effected by his own hand. 

I go to the Elysian shade, 

Where sorrow ne'er shall wound me ; 
Where nothing shall my rest invade, 

But joy shall still surround me. 

I fly from Celia's cold disdain, 

From her disdain I fly ; 
She is the cause of all my pain, 

For her alone I die. 

"Her eyes are brighter than the mid-day 

When he but half his radiant course has 

When his meridian glories gaily shine, 
And gild all nature with a warmth 


See yonder river's flowing tide, 
Which now so full appears ; 

Those streams, that do so swiftly glide, 
Are nothing but my tears. 

There I have wept till I could weep no 

And curst mine eyes, when they have 

wept their store : 
Then, like the clouds, that rob the azure 

I've drain'd the flood to weep it back 


Pity my pains, 

Ye gentle swains ! 
Cover me with ice and snow, 
I scorch, I burn, I flame, I glow I 

Furies, tear me, 

Quickly bear me 
To the dismal shades below ! 

Where yelling, and howling, 

And grumbling, and growling, 
Strike the ear with horrid woe. 

Hissing snakes, 
Fiery lakes 



Would be a pleasure, and a cure : 

Not all the hells, 

Where Pluto dwells, 
Can give such pain as I endure. 

To some peaceful plain convey me, 
On a mossey carpet lay me, 
Fan me with ambrosial breeze, 
Let me die, and so have ease 1 



This, like No. XX., was originally sung in one of D'Urfey's comedies of Don 
Quixote (first acted about the year 1694), and was probably composed by that popular 
songster, who died Feb. 26, 1723. 

I burn, my brain consumes to ashes ! 
Each eye-ball too like lightning flashes ! 
Within my breast there glows a solid 

Which in a thousand ages can't expire ! 

Blow, blow, the winds' great ruler 1 

Bring the Po, and the Ganges hither, 

'Tis sultry weather ; 

Pour them all on my soul, 

It will hiss like a coal, 
But be never the cooler. 

'Twas pride hot as hell, 
That first made me rebell, 

From love's awful throne a curst angel I 
And mourn now my fate, 
Which myself did create : 
Fool, fool, that consider'd not when I was 
well ! 

Adieu ! ye vain transporting joys I 
Off, ye vain fantastic toys ! 
That dress this face — this body — to 
allure I 
Bring me daggers, poison, fire ! 
Since scorn is turn'd into desire. 
All hell feels not the rage, which I, poor 
I, endure. 


The following rhymes, slight and insignificant as they may now seem, had once a 
most powerful effect, and contributed not a little towards the great revolution in 1688. 

Burnet says: "A foolish ballad was made at that time, treating the Papists, and 
chiefly the Irish, in a very ridiculous manner, which had a burden said to be Irish 
words, ' Lero, lero, lilliburlero,' that made an impression on the [king's] army that 
cannot be imagined by those that saw it not. The whole army, and at last the people, 
both in city and country, were singing it perpetually. And perhaps never had so 
slight a thing so great an effect. " 

It was written, or at least republished, on the Earl of Tyrconnel's going a second 
time to Ireland, in October 1688. Perhaps it is unnecessary to mention that General 
Richard Talbot, newly created Earl of Tyrconnel, had been nominated by King 
James II. to the lieutenancy of Ireland in 1686, on account of his being a furious 
Papist, who had recommended himself to his bigoted master by his arbitrary treatmea 



of the Protestants in the preceding year, when only lieutenant-general, and whose 
Subsequent conduct fully justified his expectations and their fears. 

Lillitmrlero and Bullen-a-lah are said to have been the words of distinction used 
among the Irish Papists in their massacre of the Protestants in 1641. 

The song is attributed by some to Lord Wharton ; by others, to Lord Dorset. 

Ho ! broder Teague, dost hear de decree ? 

Lilli burlero, bullen a-la. 
Dat we shall have a new deputie, 
Lilli burlero, bullen a-la. 

Lero lero, lilli burlero, lero lero, 
bullen a-la, 
Lero lero, lilli burlero, lero lero, 
bullen a-la. 

Ho ! by shaint Tyburn,* it is de Talbote : 

Lilli, etc. 
And he will cut de Englishmen's troate. 

Lilli, etc. 

Dough by my shoul de English do praat, 

Lilli, etc. 
De law's on dare side, and Creish knows 

Lilli, etc. 

But if dispence do come from de pope, 

Lilli, etc. 
We'll hang Magna Charta and dem in a 

Lilli, eta 

For de good Talbot is made a lord, 

Lilli, etc. 
And with brave lads is coming aboard : 

Lilli, etc. 

Who all in France have taken a sware, 
Lilli, etc. 

• " Ho, by my shoul," another ed. 

Dat dey will have no protestant heir. 
Lilli, etc. 

Ara ! but why does he stay behind? 

Lilli, etc. 
Ho ! by my shoul 'tis a protestant wind. 

Lilli, etc. 

But see de Tyrconnel is now come ashore, 

Lilli, etc. 
And we shall have commissions gillore. 

Lilli, etc. 

And he dat will not go to de mass, 

Lilli, etc. 
Shall be turn out, and look like an ass. 

Lilli, etc. 

Now, now de hereticks all go down, 

Lilli, etc. 
By Chrish and shaint Patrick, de nation's 
our own. 

Lilli, etc. 

Dare was an old prophesy found in a 


Lilli, etc. 

" Ireland shall be rul'd by an ass and a 


Lilli, etc. 

And now dis prophesy is come to pass, 

Lilli, etc. 
For Talbot's de dog, and JA — S is de ass. 

Lilli, etc 





Was written by William Hamilton of Bangour, Esq., who died March 25, 1754, aged 
fifty. It is printed from an elegant edition of his poems, published at Edinburgh, 
1760, 121110. This song was written in imitation of an old Scottish ballad on a similar 
subject, with the same burden to each stanza. 

A. Dusk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny 
Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome mar- 
Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny 
And think nae mair on the Braes of 


B. Where gat ye that bonny bonny bride ? 

Where gat ye that winsome marrow ? 
A. I gat her where I dare na weil be seen, 

Puing the birks on the Braes of Yar- 

Weep not, weep not, my bonny bonny 
Weep not, weep not, my winsome 
marrow ; 
Nor let thy heart lament to leive 
Puing the birks on the Braes of Yar- 

P. Why does she weep, thy bonny bonny 
bride ? 
Why does she weep, thy winsome 
marrow ? 
And why dare ye nae mair weil be seen 
Puing the birks on the Braes of Yar- 

A. Lang maun she weep, lang maun she, 
maun she weep, 
Lang maun she weep with dule and 
sorrow ; 
And lang maun I nae mair weil be seen 
Puing the birks on the Braes of Yar- 

For she has tint her luver, luver dear, 
Her luver dear, the cause of sorrow ; 

And I hae slain the comliest swain 
That eir pu'd birks on the Braes of 

Why rins thy stream, O Yarrow, Yar- 
row, reid? 
Why on thy braes heard the voice of 
And why yon melancholious weids 
II ung on the bonny birks of Yarrow ? 

What's yonder floats on the rueful 
rueful flude ? 
What's yonder floats? O dule and 
sorrow ! 
O 'tis he the comely swain I slew 
Upon the duleful Braes of Yarrow. 

Wash, O wash his wounds, his wounds 

in tears, 

His wounds in tears with dule and 

sorrow ; 

And wrap his limbs in mourning weids, 

And lay him on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Then build, then build, ye sisters, 
sisters sad, 
Ye sisters sad, his tomb with sorrow ; 
And weep around in waeful wise 
His hapless fate on the Braes of Yar- 

Curse ye, curse ye, his useless, useless 
My arm that wrought the deed of 
sorrow : 



The fatal spear that pierc'd his breast, 
His comely breast on the Braes of 

Did I not warn thee, not to, not to luve? 
And warn from fight? but to my 
Too rashly bauld a stronger arm 
Thou mett'st and fell'st on the Braes 
of Yarrow. 

Sweet smells the birk, green grows, 
green grows the grass, 

Yellow on Yarrow'sbanksthegowan, 
Fair hangs the apple frae the rock. 

Sweet the wave of Yarrow flowan. 

Flows Yarrow sweet? as sweet, as 
sweet flows Tweed, 
As green its grass, its gowan as yel- 
As sweet smells on its braes the birk, 
The apple frae its rock as mellow. 

Fair was thy luve, fair fair indeed thy 

In flow'ry bands thou didst him fetter; 
Tho' he was fair, and weil beluv'd again, 

Than me he never luv'd thee better. 

Busk ye, then busk, my bonny bonny 
Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome mar- 
Busk ye, and luve me on the banks of 
And think nae mair on the Braes of 

C. How can I busk a bonny bonny bride ? 

How can I busk a winsome marrow ? 

How luve him upon the banks of Tweed, 

That slew my luve on the Braes of 

Yarrow ? 

O Yarrow fields, may never never rain 
Nor dew thy tender blossoms cover, 

For there was basely slain my luve, 
My luve, as he had not been a lover. 

The boy put on his robes, his robes of 
His purple vest, 'twas my awn sew- 
ing : 
Ah ! wretched me ! I little, little kenn'd 
He was in these to meet his ruin. 

The boy took out his milk-white, milk- 
white steed, 
Unheedful of my dule and sorrow : 
But ere the toofall of the night 
He lay a corps on the Braes of Yar- 

Much I rejoyc'd that waeful waeful day; 

Isang, my voice thewoods returning: 
But lang ere night the spear was flown, 

That slew my luve, and left me 

What can my barbarous barbarous 
father do, 
But with his cruel rage pursue me ? 
My luver's blood is on thy spear, 
How canst thou, barbarous man, 
then wooe me ? 

My happy sisters may be, may be 

With cruel and ungentle scoffin', 
May bid me seek on Yarrow's Braes 

My luver nailed in his coffin. 

My brother Douglas may upbraid, 
And strive with threatning words to 
muve me : 
My luver's blood is on thy spear, 
How canst thou ever bid me luve 
thee ? 

Yes, yes, prepare the bed, the bed of 
With bridal sheets my body cover, 



Unbar, ye bridal maids, the door, 
Let in the expected husband lover. 

But who the expected husband hus- 
band is? 
His hands, methinks, are bath'd in 
slaughter : 
Ah me ! what ghastly spectre's yon 
Comes in his pale shroud, bleeding 

Pale as he is, here lay him, lay him 
O lay his cold head on my 
pillow ; 
Take aff, take aff these bridal weids, 
And crown my careful head with 

Pale tho' thou art, yet best, yet best 
O could my warmth to life restore 
thee ! 
Yet lye all night between my breists, 
No youth lay ever there before thee. 

Pale, pale indeed, O luvely luvely 
youth ! 

Forgive, forgive so foul a slaughter : 
And lye all night between my breists ; 

No youth shall ever lye there after. 

A. Return, return, O mournful, mournful 
Return, and dry thy useless sorrow : 
Thy luver heeds none of thy sighs, 
He lyes a corps in the Braes of 


Was a party song written by the ingenious author of Leonidas, on the taking of 
Porto Bello from the Spaniards by Admiral Vernon, Nov. 22, 1739. The case of 
Hosier, which is here so pathetically represented, was briefly this : — In April 1726, 
that commander was sent with a strong fleet into the Spanish West Indies, to block 
up the galleons in the ports of that country, or, should they presume to come out, 
to seize and carry them into England ; he accordingly arrived at the Bastimentos 
near Porto Bello, but being employed rather to overawe than to attack the Spaniards, 
with whom it was probably not our interest to go to war, he continued long inactive 
on that station, to his own great regret. He afterwards removed to Carthagena, and 
remained cruising in these seas, till far the greater part of his men perished deplorably 
by the diseases of that unhealthy climate. This brave man, seeing his best officers 
and men thus daily swept away, his ships exposed to inevitable destruction, and 
himself made the sport of the enemy, is said to have died of a broken heart. Such is 
the account of Smollett, compared with that of other less partial writers. 

As near Porto-Bello lying 

On the gently swelling flood, 
At midnight with streamers flying 

Our triumphant navy rode ; 
There while Vernon sate all-glorious 

From the Spaniards' late defeat : 
And his crews, with shouts victorious, 

Drank success to England's fleet : 

On a sudden shrilly sounding, 

Hideous yells and shrieks were heard ; 
Then each heart with fear confounding, 

A sad troop of ghosts appear'd. 
All in dreary hammocks shrouded, 

Which for winding-sheets they wore, 
And with looks by sorrow clouded 

Frowning on that hostile shore. 



On them gleam'd the moon's wan lustre, 

When the shade of Hosier brave 
His pale bands were seen to muster 

Rising from their watry grave. 
O'er the glimmering wave he hy'd him, 

Where the Burford * rear'd her sail, 
With three thousand ghosts beside him, 

And in groans did Vernon hail. 

Heed, oh heed our fatal story, 

I am Hosier's injur'd ghost, 
You who now have purchas'd glory 

At this place where I was lost ! 
Tho' in Porto-Bello's ruin 

You now triumph free from fears, 
When you think on our undoing, 

You will mix your joy with tears. 

See these mournful spectres sweeping 

Ghastly o'er this hated wave, 
Whose wan cheeks are stain'd with 
weeping ; 

These were English captains brave. 
Mark those numbers pale and horrid, 

Those were once my sailors bold : 
Lo, each hangs his drooping forehead, 

While his dismal tale is told. 

I, by twenty sail attended, 

Did this Spanish town affright ; 
Nothing then its wealth defended 

But my orders not to fight. 
Oh ! that in this rolling ocean 

I had cast them with disdain, 
And obey'd my heart's warm motion 

To have quell'd the pride of Spain ! 

For resistance I could fear none, 
But with twenty ships had done 

* Admiral Vernon's ship. 

What thou, brave and happy Vernon, 
Hast achiev'd with six alone. 

Then the bastimentos never 
Had our foul dishonour seen, 

Nor the sea the sad receiver 
Of this gallant train had been. 

Thus, like thee, proud Spain dismaying, 

And her galleons leading home, 
Though condemn'd for disobeying, 

I had met a traitor's doom, 
To have fallen, my country crying 

He has play'd an English part, 
Had been better far than dying 

Of a griev'd and broken heart. 

Unrepining at thy glory, 

Thy successful arms we hail ; 
But remember our sad story, 

And let Hosier's wrongs prevail. 
Sent in this foul clime to languish, 

Think what thousands fell in vain, 
Wasted with disease and anguish, 

Not in glorious battle slain. 

Hence with all my train attending 

From their oozy tombs below, 
Thro' the hoary foam ascending, 

Here I feed my constant woe : 
Here the bastimentos viewing, 

We recal our shameful doom, 
And our plaintive cries renewing, 

Wander thro' the midnight gloom. 

O'er these waves for ever mourning 

Shall we roam depriv'd of jest, 
If to Britain's shores returning 

You neglect my just request ; 
After this proud foe subduing, 

When your patriot friends you see, 
Think on vengeance for my ruin, 

And for England sham'd in me. 




James DAWSON was one of the Manchester rebels, who was hanged, drawn, and 
quartered, on Kennington Common, in the county of Surrey, July 30, 1746. This 
ballad is founded on a remarkable fact which was reported to have happened at his 
execution. It was written by the late William Shenstone, Esq., soon after the event, 
and has been printed amongst his posthumous works, 2 vols. 8vo. It is here given 
from a MS. which contained some small variations from that printed copy. 

Come listen to my mournful tale, 
Ye tender hearts, and lovers dear ; 

Nor will you scorn to heave a sigh, 
Nor will you blush to shed a tear. 

And thou, dear Kitty, peerless maid, 
Do thou a pensive ear incline ; 

For thou canst weep at every woe, 
And pity every plaint, but mine. 

Young Dawson was a gallant youth, 
A brighter never trod the plain ; 

And well he lov'd one charming maid, 
And dearly was he lov'd again. 

One tender maid she lov'd him dear, 
Of gentle blood the damsel came, 

And faultless was her beauteous form, 
And spotless was her virgin fame. 

But curse on party's hateful strife, 
That led the faithful youth astray 

The day the rebel clans appear'd : 
O had he never seen that day 1 

Their colours and their sash he wore, 
And in the fatal dress was found ; 

And now he must that death endure, 
Which gives the brave the keenest 

How pale was then his true love's cheek, 
When Jemmy's sentence reach'd her 

For never yet did Alpine snows 
So pale, nor yet so chill appear. 

With faltering voice she weeping said, 
Oh, Dawson, monarch of my heart, 

Think not thy death shall end our 
For thou and I will never part. 

Yet might sweet mercy find a place, 
And bring relief to Jemmy's woes, 

O George, without a prayer for thee 
My orisons should never close. 

The gracious prince that gives him life 
Would crown a never-dying flame, 

And every tender babe I bore 

Should learn to lisp the giver's name. 

But though, dear youth, thou should'st be 

To yonder ignominious tree, 
Thou shalt not want a faithful friend 

To share thy bitter fate with thee. 

O then her mourning-coach was call'd, 
The sledge mov'd slowly on before ; 

Tho' borne in a triumphal car, 

She had not lov'd her favourite more. 

She followed him, prepar'd to view 

The terrible behests of law ; 
And the last scene of Jemmy's woes 

With calm and stedfast eye she saw. 

Distorted was that blooming face, 
Which she had fondly lov'd so long ; 

And stifled was that tuneful breath, 
Which in her praise had sweetly sung; 



And sever'd was that beauteous neck, 
Round which her arms had fondly clos'd: 

And mangled was that beauteous breast, 
On which her love-sick head repos'd : 

And ravish'd was that constant heart, 
She did to every heart prefer ; 

For though it could his king forget, 
'Twas true and loyal still to her. 

Amid those unrelenting flames 
She bore this constant heart to see ; 

But when 'twas moulder'd into dust, 
Now, now, she cried, I'll follow thee. 

My death, my death alone can show 
The pure and lasting love I bore : 

Accept, O heaven, of woes like ours, 
And let us, let us weep no more. 

The dismal scene was o'er and past, 
The lover's mournful hearse retir'd ; 

The maid drew back her languid head, 
And sighing forth his name expir'd. 

Tho' justice ever must prevail, 
The tear my Kitty sheds is due ; 

For seldom shall she hear a tale 
So sad, so tender, and so true. 





The third volume being chiefly devoted to romantic subjects, may not be impro- 
perly introduced with a few slight strictures on the old Metrical Romances : a subject 
the more worthy attention, as it seems not to have been known to such as have 
written on the nature and origin of books of chivalry, that the first compositions of 
this kind were in verse, and usually sung to the harp. 


I. The first attempts at composition among all barbarous nations are ever found to 
be poetry and song. The praises of their gods, and the achievements of their 
heroes, are usually chanted at their festival meetings. These are the first rudiments 
of history. It is in this manner that the savages of North America preserve the 
memory of past events, and the same method is known to have prevailed among our 
Saxon ancestors, before they quitted their German forests. The ancient Britons had 
their bards, and the Gothic nations their scalds or popular poets, whose business it 
was to record the victories of their warriors, and the genealogies of their princes, in a 
kind of narrative songs, which were committed to memory, and delivered down from 
one reciter to another. So long as poetry continued a distinct profession, and while 
the bard, or scald, was a regular and stated officer in the prince's court, these men 
are thought to have performed the functions of the historian pretty faithfully ; for 
though their narrations would be apt to receive a good deal of embellishment, they 
are supposed to have had at the bottom so much of truth as to serve for the basis of 
more regular annals. At least succeeding historians have taken up with the relations 
of these rude men, and, for want of more authentic records, have agreed to allow them 
the credit of true history. 

After letters began to prevail, and history assumed a more stable form, by being 
committed to plain simple prose, these songs of the scalds or bards began to be more 
amusing than useful ; and in proportion as it became their business chiefly to 
entertain and delight, they gave more and more into embellishment, and set off their 
recitals with such marvellous fictions as were calculated to captivate gross and 
ignorant minds. Thus began stories of adventures with giants and dragons, and 
witches and enchanters, and all the monstrous extravagances of wild imagination, 
unguided by judgment and uncorrected by art. 

This seems to be the true origin of that species of romance which so long celebrated 
feats of chivalry, and which, at first in metre and afterwards in prose, was the 
entertainment of our ancestors, in common with their contemporaries on the Continent, 
till the satire of Cervantes, or rather the increase of knowledge and classical literature, 


drove them off the stage, to make room for a more refined species of fiction, under 
the name of French Romances, copied from the Greek. 

That our old romances of chivalry may be derived in a lineal descent from the 
ancient historical songs of the Gothic bards and scalds, will be shown below, and 
indeed appears the more evident, as many of those songs are still preserved in the 
north, which exhibit all the seeds of chivalry before it became a solemn institution. 
"Chivalry, as a distinct military order, conferred in the way of investiture, and 
accompanied with the solemnity of an oath, and other ceremonies," was of later 
date, and sprung out of the feudal constitution. But the ideas of chivalry prevailed 
long before in all the Gothic nations, and may be discovered a sin embryo in the 
customs, manners, and opinions of every branch of that people. That fondness of 
going in quest of adventures, that spirit of challenging to single combat, and that 
respectful complaisance shown to the fair sex (so different from the manners of the 
Greeks and Romans), all are of Gothic origin, and may be traced up to the earliest 
times among all the northern nations. These existed long before the feudal ages, 
though they were called forth and strengthened in a peculiar manner under that 
constitution, and at length arrived to their full maturity in the times of the Crusades, 
so replete with romantic adventures.* 

Even the common arbitrary fictions of romance were (as is hinted above) most of 
them familiar to the ancient scalds of the north long before the time of the Crusades. 
They believed the existence of giants and dwarfs ; they entertained opinions not 
unlike the more modern notion of fairies ; they were strongly possessed with the 
belief of spells and enchantment ; and were fond of inventing combats with dragons 
and monsters. 

The opinion therefore seems very untenable, which some learned and ingenious men 
have entertained, that the turn for chivalry, and the taste for that species of romantic 
fiction were caught by the Spaniards from the Arabians or Moors after their invasion 
of Spain, and from the Spaniards transmitted to the bards of Armorica, and thus 
diffused through Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and the north. For it seems 
utterly incredible that one rude people should adopt a peculiar taste and manner of 
writing or thinking from another, without borrowing at the same time any of their 
particular stories and fables, without appearing to know anything of their heroes, 
history, laws, and religion. When the Romans began to adopt and imitate the 

* The seeds of chivalry sprung up so naturally out of the original manners and opinions of 
the northern nations, that it is not credible they arose so late as after the establishment of the 
feudal system, much less the Crusades ; nor, again, that the romances of chivalry were trans- 
mitted to other nations through the Spaniards from the Moors and Arabians. Had this been 
the case, the first French romances of chivalry would have been on Moorish or at least Spanish 
subjects ; whereas the most ancient stories of this kind, whether in prose or verse, whether in 
Italian, French, English, etc., are chiefly on the subjects of Charlemagne and the Paladins, or of 
our British Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, etc., being evidently borrowed from the 
fabulous chronicles of the supposed Archbishop Turpin, and of Jeffery of Monmouth. Not but 
some of the oldest and most popular French romances are also on Norman subjects, as 
Richard Sans-peur, Robert le Diable, etc.; whereas I do not recollect so much as one in which 
the scene is laid in Spain, much less among the Moors, or descriptive of Mahometan manners. 
Even in Amadis dc Gaul, said to have been the first romance printed in Spain, the scene is laid 
in Gaul and Britain ; and the manners are French, which plainly shows from what school this 
tpecies of fabling was learnt and transmitted to the southern nations of Europe. 


Grecian literature, they immediately naturalized all the Grecian fables, histories, and 
religious stories, which became as familiar to the poets of Rome as of Greece itself; 
whereas all the old writers of chivalry, and of that species of romance, whether in 
prose or verse, whether of the northern nations or of Britain, France, and Italy, not 
excepting Spain itself,* appear utterly unacquainted with whatever relates to the 
Mahometan nations. Thus with regard to their religion, they constantly represent 
them as worshipping idols, as paying adoration to a golden image of Mahomet, or 
else they confound them with the ancient pagans. And indeed in all other respects 
they are so grossly ignorant of the customs, manners, and opinions of every branch 
of that people, especially of their heroes, champions, and local stories, as almost 
amounts to a demonstration that they did not imitate them in their songs or romances : 
for as to dragons, serpents, necromancies, why should these be thought only derived 
from the Moors in Spain so late as after the eighth century, since notions of this 
kind appear too familiar to the northern scalds, and enter too deeply into all the 
northern mythology, to have been transmitted to the unlettered Scandinavians, from 
so distant a country, at so late a period? If they may not be allowed to have brought 
these opinions with them in their original migrations from the north of Asia, they 
will be far more likely to have borrowed them from the Latin poets after the Roman 
conquests in Gaul, Britain, Germany, etc. For I believe one may challenge the 
maintainers of this opinion to produce any Arabian poem or history that could 
possibly have been then known in Spain, which resembles the old Gothic romances 
of chivalry half so much as the Metamorphoses of Ovid.-" 

But we well know that the Scythian nations, situate in the countries about Pontus, 
Colchis, and the Euxine Sea, were in all times infamous for their magic arts : and as 
Odin and his followers are said to have come precisely from those parts of Asia, we 
 can readily account for the prevalence of fictions of this sort among the Gothic nations 
of the north, without fetching them from the Moors in Spain, who for many centuries 
after their irruption lived in a state of such constant hostility with the unsubdued 
Spanish Christians, whom they chiefly pent up in the mountains, as gave them no 
chance of learning their music, poetry, or stories ; and this, together with the religious 
hatred of the latter for their cruel invaders, will account for the utter ignorance of the 
old Spanish romancers in whatever relates to the Mahometan nations, although so 
nearly their own neighbours. 

On the other hand, from the local customs and situations, from the known manners 
and opinions of the Gothic nations in the north, we can easily account for all the 
ideas of chivalry and its peculiar fictions. For, not to mention their distinguished 
respect for the fair sex, so different from the manners of the Mahometan nations, 
their national and domestic history so naturally assumes all the wonders of this species 
of fabling, that almost all their historical narratives appear regular romances. One 

* The little narrative songs on Morisco subjects, which the Spaniards have in great abundance, 
and which they call peculiarly Romances, have nothing in common with their proper romances (or 
histories) of chivalry, which they call Historias de Cavalkrias. These are evidently imitations 
of the French, and show a great ignorance of Moorish manners ; and with regard to the Morisco 
or song romances, they do not seem of very great antiquity ; few of them appear, from their 
subjects, much earlier than the reduction of Granada, in the fifteenth century ; from which 
period, I believe, may be plainly traced among the Spanish writers a more perfect knowledge of 
Moorish customs, ttc 


might refer, in proof of this, to the old northern sagas in general ; but to give a par- 
ticular instance, it will be sufficient to produce the History of King Regner Lodbrog, 
a celebrated warrior and pirate, who reigned in Denmark about the year 800. This 
hero signalized his youth by an exploit of gallantry. A Swedish prince had a beauti- 
ful daughter, whom he intrusted (probably during some expedition) to the care of one 
of his officers, assigning a strong castle for their defence. The officer fell in love with 
his ward, and detained her in his castle, spite of all the efforts of her father. Upon 
this he published a proclamation through all the neighbouring countries, that whoever 
would conquer the ravisher and rescue the lady should have her in marriage. Of all 
that undertook the adventure, Regner alone was so happy as to achieve it : he 
delivered the fair captive, and obtained her for his prize. It happened that the name 
of this discourteous officer was Orme, which in the Icelandic language means 
serpent : wherefore the scalds, to give the more poetical turn to the adventure, 
represent the lady as detained from her father by a dreadful dragon, and that Regner 
slew the monster to set her at liberty. This fabulous account of the exploit is given 
in a poem still extant, which is even ascribed to Regner himself, who was a celebrated 
poet, and which records all the valiant achievements of his life. 

With marvellous embellishments of this kind the scalds early began to decorate 
their narratives ; and they were the more lavish of these in proportion as they departed 
from their original institution ; but it was a long time before they thought of delivering 
•a set of personages and adventures wholly feigned. Of the great multitude of 
romantic tales still preserved in the libraries of the north, most of them are supposed 
to have had some foundation in truth ; and the more ancient they are, the more they 
are believed to be connected with true history. 

It was not, probably, till after the historian and the bard had been long disunited, 
that the latter ventured at pure fiction. At length, when their business was no longer 
to instruct or inform, but merely to amuse, it was no longer needful for them to 
adhere to truth. Then succeeded fabulous songs and romances in verse, which for a 
long time prevailed in France and England, before they had books of chivalry in 
prose. Yet in both these countries the minstrels still retained so much of their 
original institution as frequently to make true events the subject of their songs ; and 
indeed, as during the barbarous ages the regular histories were almost all written in 
Latin by the monks, the memory of events was preserved and propagated among 
the ignorant laity by scarce any other means than the popular songs of the 

II. The inhabitants of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, being the latest converts 
to Christianity, retained their original manners and opinions longer than the other 
nations of Gothic race ; and therefore they have preserved more of the genuine com- 
positions of their ancient poets than their southern neighbours. Hence the progress, 
among them, from poetical history to poetical fiction is very discernible ; they have 
some old pieces, that are in effect complete romances of chivalry. They have also (as 
hath been observed) a multitude of sagas or histories on romantic subjects, contain- 
ing a mixture of prose and verse, of various dates, some of than written since the 
times of the Crusades, others long before ; but their narratives in verse only are 
esteemed the more ancient. 

Now, as the irruption of the Normans or Northmen into France under Rollo did 
not take place till towards the beginning of the tenth century, at which time the 


scaldic art was arrived at the highest perfection in Rollo's native country, we can 
easily trace the descent of the French and English romances of chivalry from the 
northern sagas. That conqueror doubtless carried many scalds with him from the 
north, who transmitted their skill to their children and successors. These, adopting 
the religion, opinions, and language of the new country, substituted the heroes of 
Christendom instead of those of their pagan ancestors, and began to celebrate the 
feats of Charlemagne, Roland, and Oliver, whose true history they set off and em- 
bellished with the scaldic figments of dwarfs, giants, dragons, and enchantments. 
The first mention we have in song of those heroes of chivalry is in the mouth of a 
Norman warrior at the conquest of England ; and this circumstance alone would 
sufficiently account for the propagation of this kind of romantic poems among the 
French and English. 

But this is not all ; it is very certain that both the Anglo-Saxons and the Franks 
had brought with them, at their first emigrations into Britain and Gaul, the same fond- 
ness for the ancient songs of their ancestors which prevailed among the other Gothic 
tribes, and that all their first annals were transmitted in these popular oral poems. 
This fondness they even retained long after their conversion to Christianity, as we 
learn from the examples of Charlemagne and Alfred. Now poetry, being thus the 
transmitter of facts, would as easily learn to blend them with fictions in France and 
England as she is known to have done in the north, and that much sooner, for the 
reasons before assigned. This, together with the example and influence of the 
Normans, will easily account to us why the first romances of chivalry that appeared 
both in England and France were composed in metre as a rude kind of epic songs. 
In both kingdoms, tales in verse were usually sung by minstrels to the harp on 
festival occasions ; and doubtless both nations derived their relish for this sort of 
entertainment from their Teutonic ancestors, without either of them borrowing it 
from the other. Among both peoples, narrative songs on true or fictitious subjects 
had evidently obtained from the earliest times. But the professed romances of 
chivalry seem to have been first composed in France, where also they had their 

The Latin tongue ceased to be spoken in France about the ninth century, and was 
succeeded by what was called the Romance tongue, a mixture of the language of the 
Franks and bad Latin. As the songs of chivalry became the most popular composi- 
tions in that language, they were emphatically called Romans or Romants, though 
this name was at first given to any piece of poetry. The romances of chivalry can be 
traced as early as the eleventh century. I know not if the Roman de Brut, written in 
1 155, was such. But if it was, it was by no means the first poem of the kind ; others 
more ancient are still extant. And we have already seen that, in the preceding 
century, when the Normans marched down to the battle of Hastings, they animated 
themselves by singing (in some popular romance or ballad) the exploits of Roland 
and the other heroes of chivalry. 

So early as this I cannot trace the songs of chivalry in English. The most ancient 
I have seen is that of Hornechild, described below, which seems not older than the 
twelfth century. However, as this rather resembles the Saxon poetry than the French, 
it is not certain that the first English romances were translated from that language. 
We have seen above, that a propensity to this kind of fiction prevailed among all the 
Gothic nations ; and though, after the Norman Conquest, this country abounded 



with French romances, or with translations from the French, there is good reason to 
believe that the English had original pieces of their own. 

The stories of King Arthur and his Round Table may be reasonably supposed of 
the growth of this island ; both the French and the Armoricans probably had 
them from Britain. The stories of Guy, and Bevis, with some others, were pro- 
bably the invention of English minstrels.* On the other hand, the English procured 
translations of such romances as were most current in France ; and in the list given 
at the conclusion of these remarks many are doubtless of French original. 

The first prose books of chivalry that appeared in our language were those printed 
by Caxton ; f at least, these are the first I have been able to discover, and these are 
all translations from the French. Whereas romances of this kind had been long 
current in metre, and were so generally admired in the time of Chaucer that his 
Rhyme of Sir Thopas was evidently written to ridicule and burlesque them. 

He expressly mentions several of them by name in a stanza, which I shall have 
occasion to quote more than once in this volume : 

"Men speken of Romaunces of pris, 
Of Horn-Child, and of Ipotis, 

Of Bevis, and Sire Guy, 
Of Sire Libeux, and Pleindamour, 
But Sire Thopas, he bereth the flour 

Of real chevalrie."t 

Most if not all of these are still extant in MS. in some or other of our libraries. 
As many of these contain a considerable portion of poetic merit, and throw great 
light on the manners and opinions of former times, it were to be wished that some 
of the best of them were rescued from oblivion. A judicious collection of them 
accurately published, with proper illustrations, would be an important accession to 
our stock of ancient English literature. Many of them exhibit no mean attempts 
at epic poetry, and though full of the exploded fictions of chivalry, frequently 
display great descriptive and inventive powers in the bards who composed them. 
They are at least generally equal to any other poetry of the same age. They 
cannot indeed be put in competition with the nervous productions of so universal 
and commanding a genius as Chaucer ; but they have a simplicity that makes them 
be read with less interruption, and be more easily understood ; and they are far more 

* It is most credible that these stories were originally of English invention, even if the only 
pieces now extant should be found to be translations from the French. What now pass for the 
French originals were probably only amplifications or enlargements of the old English story. 
That the French romancers borrowed some things from the English, appears from the word 
Termagant, which they took up from our minstrels, and corrupted into Tervagaunte. See vol 
i. p. 77, and Gloss. "Termagant." 

t Recuyel of the HystoryesofTroy, 1471 ; Godfroye of Bohyne, 1481 ; Le Morle de Arthur, 
1485; The Life of Charlemagne, 1485, etc. As the old minstrelsy wore out, prose books of 
chivalry became more admired, especially after the Spanish romances began to be translated 
into English towards the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign ; then the most popular metrical 
romances began to be reduced into prose, as Sir Guy, Bevis, etc. 

X Canterbury Tales (Tyrwhitt's edition), vol. ii. p. 238. In all the former editions which I 
have seen, the name at the end of the fourth line is Blandamoure. 


spirited and entertaining than the tedious allegories of Gower, or the dull and prolix 
legends of Lydgate. Yet, while so much stress was laid upon the writings of these 
last, by such as treat of English poetry, the old metrical romances, though far more 
popular in their time, were hardly known to exist. But it has happened, unluckily, 
that the antiquaries, who have revived the works of our ancient writers, have been, 
for the most part, men void of taste and genius, and therefore have always fastidi- 
ously rejected the old poetical romances, because founded on fictitious or popular 
subjects, while they have been careful to grab up every petty fragment of the most 
dull and insipid rhymist, whose merit it was to deform morality or obscure true 
history. Should the public encourage the revival of some of those ancient epic songs 
of chivalry, they would frequently see the rich ore of an Ariosto or a Tasso, though 
buried it may be among the rubbish and dross of barbarous times. 

Such a publication would answer many important uses : It would throw new light 
on the rise and progress of English poetry, the history of which can be but imperfectly 
understood if these are neglected : It would also serve to illustrate innumerable 
passages in our ancient classic poets, which, without their help, must be for ever 
obscure. For, not to mention Chaucer and Spenser, who abound with perpetual 
allusions to them, I shall give an instance or two from Shakespeare, by way of 
specimen of their use. 

In his play of King John our great dramatic poet alludes to an exploit of Richard I. 
which the reader will in vain look for in any true history. Faulconbridge says to his 
mother, Act i. Sc. i. : 

" Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose . . . 
Against whose furie and unmatched force, 
The awlesse lion could not wage the fight, 
Nor keeps his princely heart from Richard's hand : 
He that perforce robs Lions of their hearts 
May easily winne a woman's." 

The fact here referred to is to be traced to its source only in the old romance of Richard 
Ceur De Lyon, in which his encounter with a lion makes a very shining figure. I 
shall give a large extract from this poem, as a specimen of the manner of these old 
rhapsodists, and to show that they did not in their fictions neglect the proper means 
to produce the ends, as was afterwards so childishly done in the prose books of 

The poet tells us that Richard, in his return from the Holy Land, having been 
discovered in the habit of "a palmer in Almayne," and apprehended as a spy, was 
by the king thrown into prison. Wardrewe, the king's son, hearing of Richard's 
great strength, desires the jailor to let him have a sight of his prisoners. Richard 
being the foremost, Wardrewe asks him "if he dare stand a buffet from his hand," 
and that on the morrow he shall return him another. Richard consents, and 
receives a blow that staggers him. On the morrow, having previously waxed his 
hands, he waits his antagonist's arrival. Wardrewe accordingly, proceeds the story, 
"held forth as a trewe man," and Richard gave him such a blow on the cheek, as 
broke his jaw-bone, and killed him on the spot. The king, to revenge the death of 
his son, orders, by the advice of one Eldrede, that a lion, kept purposely from food, 
shall be turned loose upon Richard. But the king's daughter, having fallen in luvo 


with him, tells him of her father's resolution, and at his request procures him forty 
ells of white silk " kerchers ; " and here the description of the combat begins : 

• The kever-chiefs* he toke on honde, 
And aboute his arme he wonde ; 
And thought in that ylke while, 
To slee the lyon with some gyle. 
And syngle in a kyrtyll he stode, 
And abode the lyon fyers and wode, 
With that came the jaylere, 
And other men that wyth him were, 
And the lyon them amonge ; 
His pawes were stiffe and stronge. 
The chambre dore they undone, 
And the lyon to them is gone. 
Rycharde sayd, Helpe, lorde Jesu ! 
The lyon made to hym venu, 
And wolde hym have all to rente : 
Kynge Rycharde besyde hym glente.t 
The lyon on the breste hym spurned, 
That aboute he tourned. 
The lyon was hongry and megre, 
And bette his tayle to be egre ; 
He loked aboute as he were madde ; 
Abrode he all his pawes spradde. 
He cryed lowde, and yaned t wide, 
Kynge Rycharde bethought hym that tyde 
What hym was beste, and to hym sterte, 
In at the throte his honde he gerte, 
And hente out the herte with his honde, 
Lounge and all that he there fonde. 
The lyon fell deed to the grounde : 
Rycharde felte no wem,§ ne wounde. 
He fell on his knees on that place, 
And thanked Jesu of his grace." 

What follows is not so well, and therefore I shall extract no more of this poem. For 
the above feat, the author tells us, the king was deservedly called 

" Stronge Rycharde Cure de Lyowne." 

That distich which Shakespeare puts in the mouth of his madman in King Lear, 

Act. iii. Sc. iv., 

"Mice and rats and such small deere 
Have been Tom's food for seven long yeare," 

has excited the attention of the critics. Instead of cicere, one of them, Dr. Warburton, 
would subsitute geer ; and another, Dr. Grey, cheer. But the ancient reading is 
established by the old romance of Sir Bevis, which Shakespeare had doubtless oiten 

* i.e. handkerchiefs. Here we have the etymology of the word, viz. convre le chef, 
t i.e. slipped aside. % i.e. yawned. 5 i.e. hurt 


heard sung to the harp. This distich is part of a description there given of the hard- 
ships suffered by Bevis, when confined for seven years in a dungeon : 

" Rattes and myse and such small dere 
Was his meate that seven yere." 

III. In different parts of this work, the reader will find various extracts from these 
old poetical legends, to which I refer him for further examples of their style and 
metre. To complete this subject, it will be proper at least to give one specimen of 
their skill in distributing and conducting their fable, by which it will be seen that 
nature and common sense had supplied to these old simple bards the want of critical 
art, and taught them some of the most essential rules of epic poetry. — I shall select 
the romances of Libius Disconius* as being one of those mentioned by Chaucer, 
and either shorter or more intelligible than the others he has quoted. 

My copy is divided into nine parts or cantos, the several arguments of which are as 


Opens with a short exordium to bespeak attention : the hero is described ; a 
natural son of Sir Gawain, a celebrated knight of King Arthur's court, who being 
brought up in a forest by his mother, is kept ignorant of his name and descent. 
He early exhibits marks of his courage, by killing a knight in single combat, who 
encountered him as he was hunting. This inspires him with a desire of seeking 
adventures : therefore cloathing himself in his enemy's armour, he goes to King 
Arthur's court, to request the order of knighthood. His request granted, he obtains 
a promise of having the first adventure assigned him that shall offer. — A damsel 
named Ellen, attended by a dwarf, comes to implore King Arthur's assistance, to 
rescue a young princess, " the Lady of Sinadone " their mistress, who is detained from 
her rights, and confined in prison. The adventure is claimed by the young knight 
Sir Lybius : the king assents ; the messengers are dissatisfied, and object to his youth ; 
but are forced to acquiesce. And here the first book closes with a description of the 
ceremony "of equipping him forth. 


Sir Lybius sets out on the adventure : he is derided by the dwarf and the damsel 
on account of his youth : they come to the bridge of Perill, which none can pass 
without encountering a knight called William de la Braunch. Sir Lybius is challenged : 
they just with their spears : De la Braunch is dismounted : the battle is renewed on 
foot : Sir William's sword breaks : he yields. Sir Lybius makes him swear to go nnd 
present himself to King Arthur, as the first-fruits of his valour. The conquered 
knight sets out for King Arthur's court : is met by three knights, his kinsmen ; who, 
informed of his disgrace, vow revenge, and pursue the conqueror. The next day they 
overtake him : the eldest of the three attacks Sir Lybius ; but is overthrown to the 
ground. The two other brothers assault him : Sir Lybius is wounded ; yet cuts off 

* So it is entitled in the Editor's MS. But the true title is, Les beaux disconnus, or The fair 
unknown. See a note on the Canterbury Tales, vol. iv. p. 333. 


the second brother's arm : the third yields ; Sir Lybius sends them all to King Arthur. 
In the third evening he is awaked by the dwarf, who has discovered a fire in the 


Sir Lybius arms himself, and leaps on horseback : he finds two giants roasting a 
wild boar, who have a fair lady their captive. Sir Lybius, by favour of the night, 
runs one of them through with his spear : is assaulted by the other : a fierce battle 
ensues : he cuts off the giant's arm, and at length his head. The rescued lady (an 
earl's daughter) tells him her story ; and leads him to her father's castle ; who 
entertains him with a great feast ; and presents him at parting with a suit of armour 
and a steed. He sends the giant's head to King Arthur. 


Sir Lybius, maid Ellen, and the dwarf, renew their journey : they sec a castle stuck 
round with human heads ; and are informed it belongs to a knight called Sir Gefferon, 
who, in honour of his lemman or mistress, challenges all comers : he that can produce 
a fairer lady, is to be rewarded with a milk-white faulcon, but if overcome, to lose his 
head. Sir Lybius spends the night in the adjoining town : in the morning goes to 
challenge the faulcon. The knights exchange their gloves : they agree to just in the 
market place : the lady and maid Ellen are placed aloft in chairs : their dresses : the 
superior beauty of Sir Gefferon's mistress described : the ceremonies previous to the 
combat. They engage : the combat described at large : Sir Gefferon is incurably 
hurt ; and carried home on his shield. Sir Lybius sends the faulcon to King Arthur ; 
and receives back a large present in florins. He stays forty days to be cured of his 
wounds, which he spends in feasting with the neighbouring lords. 


Sir Lybius proceeds for Sinadone : in a forest he meets a knight hunting, called 
Sir Otes de Lisle : maid Ellen charmed with a very beautiful dog, begs Sir Lybius to 
bestow him upon her : Sir Otes meets them, and claims his dog : is refused : being 
unarmed he rides to his castle, and summons his followers : they go in quest of Sir 
Lybius : a battle ensues : he is still victorious, and forces Sir Otes to follow the other 
conquered knights to King Arthur. 


Sir Lybius comes to a fair city and castle by a riverside, beset round with pavilions 
or tents: he is informed, in the castle is a beautiful lady besieged by a giant named 
Maugys, who keeps the bridge, and will let none pass without doing him homage : 
this Lybius refuses : a battle ensues : the giant described : the several incidents of the 
battle ; which lasts a whole summer's day : the giant is wounded ; put to flight ; 
slain. The citizens come out in procession to meet their deliverer : the lady invites 
him into her castle : falls in love with him ; and seduces him to her embraces. He 
forgets the princess of Sinadone, and stays with this bewitching lady a twelvemonth. 


This fair sorceress, like another Alcina, intoxicates him with all kinds of sensual 
pleasure ; and detains him from the pursuit of honour. 


Maid Ellen by chance gets an opportunity of speaking to him ; and upbraids him 
with his vice and folly : he is filled with remorse, and escapes the same evening. At 
length he arrives at the city and castle of Sinadone : is given to understand that he 
must challenge the constable of the castle to single combat, before he can be received 
as a guest. They just : the constable is worsted : Sir Lybius is feasted in the castle : 
he declares his intention of delivering their lady ; and inquires the particulars of her 
history. "Two Necromancers have built a fine palace by sorcery, and there keep 
her inchanted, till she will surrender her duchy to them, and yield to such base con- 
ditions as they would impose." 


Early on the morning Sir Lybius sets out for the inchanted palace. He alights in 
the court : enters the hall : the wonders of which are described in strong Gothic 
painting. He sits down at the high table : on a sudden all the lights are quenched : 
it thunders, and lightens ; the palace shakes ; the walls fall in pieces about his ears. 
He is dismayed and confounded : but presently hears horses neigh, and is challenged 
to single combat by the sorcerers. He gets to his steed : a battle ensues, with various 
turns of fortune : he loses his weapon ; but gets a sword from one of the Necromancers, 
and wounds the other with it : the edge of the sword being secretly poisoned, the 
wound proves mortal. 


He goes up to the surviving sorcerer, who is carried away from him by inchantment : 
at length he finds him, and cuts off his head : he returns to the palace to deliver the 
lady ; but cannot find her : as he is lamenting, a window opens, through which 
enters a horrible serpent with wings and a woman's face : it coils round his neck and 
kisses him ; then is suddenly converted into a very beautiful lady. She tells him she 
is the lady of Sinadone, and was so enchanted, till she might kiss her Sir Gawain, or 
some one of his blood : that he has dissolved the charm, and that herself and her 
dominions may be his reward. The knight (whose descent is by this means discovered) 
joyfully accepts the offer ; makes her his bride, and then sets out with her for King 
Arthur's court. 

Such is the fable of this ancient piece : which, the reader may observe, is as regular 
in its conduct as any of the finest poems of classical antiquity. If the execution, 
particularly as to the diction and sentiments, were but equal to the plan, it would be 
a capital performance ; but this is such as might be expected in rude and ignorant 
times, and in a barbarous unpolished language. 




Tests of the purity of wives or ladye-loves have ever been a favourite subject with old 
romance writers. The mantle is not so common a test as others ; indeed, there are few 
ancient productions in which it is given. The Fabliau du Mantel Mantail/e, which 
is supposed to have appeared late in the thirteenth century, is one. But the horn is a 
more common ordeal ; and flowers, magic mirrors, a cup of tears, crowns, a girdle, as 
the famous girdle of Florinel in the Faerie Quecne, have all played their part. In the 
Morte d' Arthur, a horn is received by King Mark, who with it tries the faith of La 
Beale Isoud. This horn was intended for King Arthur, and was sent to him by 
Morgan le Fay, a sorceress, who, though sister of Arthur, had attempted to destroy 
him through the means of a magic mantle. However, he was saved from it by th e 
Lady of the Lake. 

Then we have the sword that was sent to Arthur's court, that none but a "passing 
good man " could draw from its sheath ; which sword was unsheathed by Balin, and 
was after his death re-won by Sir Galahad, the knight who was holy enough to 
achieve the Sangreal. Setting aside excalibar, which was the test of royalty, we have 
the mantle, the horn, and the sword, which will stand for the knife. 

And though Bishop Percy says that * ' we have just reason to suppose that the ballad 
was written before the romance was translated into English," yet there seems some 
grounds for suggesting that the ballad may have been compiled from fragments of the 
romance, as the author is acquainted with the personages of King Arthur's court. 
"The ballad is printed verbatim from the folio MS." 

Except you be the more surer 

In the third day of May, 
To Carleile did come 
A kind curteous child, 
That cold much of wisdome. 

A kirtle and a mantle 
This child had uppon, 
With "brouches" and ringes 
Full richelye bedone. 

He had a sute of silke 
About his middle drawne ; 
Without he cold of curtesye 
He thought itt much shame. 

God speed thee, king Arthur, 
Sitting at thy meate : 
And the goodly queene Guenever, 
I cannott her forgett. 

I tell you, lords, in this hall ; 
I hett you all to " heede ; " 

Is you for to dread. 

He plucked out of his " poterner," 
And longer wold not dwell, 
He pulled forth a pretty mantle, 
Betweene two nut-shells. 

Have thou here, king Arthur ; 
Have thou heere of mee : 
Give itt to thy comely queene 
Shapen as itt is alreadye. 

Itt shall never become that wiffe, 
That hath once done amisse. 
Then every knight in the kings court 
Began to care for "his." 

Forth came dame Guenever ; 
To the mantle shee her ' ' hied ; " 
The ladye shee was newfangle, 
But yett shee was affrayd. 



When shee had taken the mantle, 
She stoode as shee had beene madd : 
It was from the top to the toe 
As sheeres had itt shread. 

One while it was " gulc ;" 
Another while was itt greene ; 
Another while was it wadded : 
111 itt did her beseeme. 

Another while was it blacke 
And bore the worst hue : 
By my troth, quoth king Arthur, 
I thinke thou be not true. 

Shee threw downe the mantle, 
That bright was of blee ; 
Fast with a rudd redd, 
To her chamber can shee flee. 

She curst the weaver, and the walker. 
That clothe that had wrought ; 
And bade a vengeance on his crowne, 
That hither hath itt brought. 

I had rather be in a wood, 
Under a greene tree ; 
Then in king Arthurs court 
Shamed for to bee. 

Kay called forth his ladye, 
And bade her come neere ; 
Saies, Madam, and thou be guiltye, 
I pray thee hold thee there. 

Forth came his ladye 
Shortlye and anon ; 
Boldlye to the mantle 
Then is shee gone. 

When she had tane the mantle, 
And cast it her about ; 
Then was shee bare 
" Before all the rout." 

Then every knight, 
That was in the kings court, 
Talked, laughed, and showted 
Full oft att that sport. 

Shee threw downe the mantle, 
That bright was of blee ; 
Fast, with a red rudd, 
To her chamber can shee flee. 

Forth came an old knight 
Pattering ore a creede, 
And he proferred to this litle boy 
Twenty markes to his meede ; 

And all the time of the Christmasse 

Willinglye to ffeede ; 

For why this mantle might 

Doe his wiffe some need. 

When she had tane the mantle, 

Of cloth that was made, 

Shee had no more left on her, 

But a tassell and a threed : 

Then every knight in the kings court 

Bade evill might shee speed. 

Shee threw downe the mantle, 
That bright was of blee ; 
And fast, with a redd rudd, 
To her chamber can shee flee. 

Craddocke called forth his ladye, 
And bade her come in ; 
Saith, Winne this mantle, ladye. 
With a litle dinne. 

Winne this mantle, ladye, 
And it shal be thine, 
If thou never did amisse 
Since thou wast mine. 

Forth came Craddockcs ladye 
Shortlye and anon ; 
But boldlye to the mantle 
Then is shee gone. 

When she had tane the mantle, 

And cast it her about, 

Upp att her great toe 

It began to crinkle and crowt : 

Shee said, bowe downe, mantle, 

And shame me not for nought 



Once I did amisse, 

I tell you certainlye, 

When I kist Craddockes mouth 

Under a greene tree ; 

When I kist Craddockes mouth 

Before he marryed mce. 

When shee had her shreevcn, 
And her sines shee had tolde ; 
The mantle stoode about her 
Right as shee wold : 

Seemelye of coulour 

Glittering like gold : 

Then every knight in Arthurs court 

Did her behold. 

Then spake dame Guenever 
To Arthur our king ; 
She hath tane yonder mantle 
Not with right, but with wronge. 

See you not yonder woman, 
That maketh her self soe " cleane " ? 
I have seene tane out of her bedd 
Of men fiveteene ; 

Priests, clarkes, and wedded men 
From her bedeene : 
Yett shee taketh the mantle, 
And maketh her self cleane. 

Then spake the litle boy, 
That kept the mantle in hold ; 
Sayes, king, chasten thy wiffe, 
Of her words shee is to bold : 

Shee is a bitch and a witch, 
And a whore bold : 
King, in thine owne hall 
Thou art a cuckold. 

The litle boy stoode 
Looking out a dore ; 
' ' And there as he was lookinge 
He was ware of a wyld bore, " 

He was ware of a wyld bore, 
Wold have werryed a man : 
He pulld forth a wood knift'e, 
Fast thither that he ran : 
He brought in the bores head, 
And quitted him like a man. 

He brought in the bores head, 

And was wonderous bold : 

He said there was never a cuckolds kniffo 

Carve itt that cold. 

Some rubbed their knives 
Uppon a whetstone : 
Some threw them under the table, 
And said they had none. 

King Arthur and the child 
Stood looking upon them ; 
All their knives edges 
Turned backe againe. 

Craddocke had a litle knive 

Of iron and of Steele ; 

He britled the bores head 

Wonderous weele ; 

That every knight in the kings court 

Had a morssell. 

The litle boy had a horne, 
Of red gold that ronge : 
He said, there was noe cuckolde 
Shall drinke of my horne ; 
But he shold it sheede 
Either behind or beforne. 

Some shedd on their shoulder, 

And some on their knee ; 

He that cold not hitt his mouthe, 

Put it in his eye : 

And he that was a cuckold 

Every man might him see. 

Craddocke wan the horne, 

And the bores head : 

His ladie wan the mantle 

Unto her meede. 

Eve rye such a lovely ladye 

God send her well to speede. 




Is chiefly taken from the fragment of an old ballad in the Editor's MS. which he 
has reason to believe more ancient than the time of Chaucer, and which furnished that 
bard with his Wife of Bath's Tale. The original was so extremely mutilated, half of 
every leaf being torn away, that without large supplements, etc., it was deemed 
improper for this collection : these it has therefore received, such as they are. They 
are not here particularly pointed out, because the fragment itself will now be found 
printed at the end of this volume. 


King Arthur lives in merry Carleile, 

And seemely is to see ; 
And there with him queene Guenever, 

That bride soe bright of blee. 

And there with him queene Guenever, 
That bride so bright in bowre : 

And all his barons about him stoode, 
That were both stiffe and storurc. 

The king a royale Christmasse kept, 
With mirth and princelye cheare ; 

To him repaired many a knighte, 
That came both farre and neare. 

And when they were to dinner sette, 

And cups went freely round : 
Before them came a faire damselle, 

And knelt upon the ground. 

A boone, a boone, O kinge Arthure, 

I beg a boone of thee ; 
Avenge me of a carlish knighte, 

Who hath shent my love and mee. 

At Tearne-Wadling* his castle stands, 
Near to that lake so fair, 

* Tearne-Wadling is the name of a small lake 
near Hesketh in Cumberland, on the road 
from Penrith to Carlisle. There is a tradition 

And proudlye rise the battlements, 
And streamers deck the air. 

Noe gentle knighte, nor ladye gay. 

May pass that castle-walle : 
But from that foule discurteous knighte, 

Mishappe will them befalle. 

Hee's twyce the size of common men, 
Wi' thewes, and sinewes stronge, 

And on his backe he bears a clubbe, 
That is both thicke and longe. 

This grimme bar6ne 'twas our harde happe, 

But yester morne to see ; 
When to his bowre he bare my love, 

And sore misused mee. 

And when I told him, king Arthure 

As lyttle shold him spare ; 
Goe tell, sayd hee, that cuckold kinge, 

To meete mee if he dare. 

Upp then sterted king Arthure, 

And sware by hille and dale, 
He ne'er wolde quitt that grimme barine, 

Till he had made him quail. 

that an old castle once stood near the lake, 
the remains of which were, not long since, 
visible. Team, in the dialect of that country, 
signifies a small lake, and is still in use. 



Goe fetch my sword Excalibar : 

Goe saddle mee my steede ; 
Nowe, by my faye, that grimme bar6ne 

Shall rue this ruthfulle deede. 

And when he came to Tearne Wadlinge 

Benethe the castle walle : 
" Come forth ; come forth ; thou proude 

Or yielde thyself my thralle." 

On magicke grounde that castle stoode, 
And fenc'd with many a spelle : 

Noe valiant knighte could tread thereon, 
But straite his courage felle. 

Forth then rush'd that carlish knight, 
King Arthur felte the charme : 

His sturdy sinewes lost their strengthe, 
Downe sunke his feeble arme. 

Nowe yield thee, yield thee, kinge Arthure, 

Now yield thee unto mee : 
Or fighte with mee, or lose thy lande, 

Noe better termes maye bee, 

Unlesse thou sweare upon the rood, 

And promise on thy faye, 
Here to returne to Tearne-Wadling, 

Upon the new-yeare's daye : 

And bringe me worde what thing it is 

All women moste desyre : 
This is thy ransome, Arthur, he sayes, 

He have noe other hyre. 

King Arthur then helde up his hande, 

And sware upon his faye, 
Then tooke his leave of the grimme 

And faste hee rode awaye. 

And he rode east, and he rode west, 

And did of all inquyre, 
What thing it is all women crave, 

And what they most desyre, 

Some told him riches, pompe, or state ; 

Some rayment fine and brighte ; 
Some told him mirthe ; some flatterye, 

And some a jollye knighte. 

In letters all king Arthur wrote, 
And seal'd them with his ringe : 

But still his minde was helde in doubte, 
Each tolde a different thinge. 

As ruthfulle he rode over a more, 

He saw a ladye sette 
Betweene an oke, and a greene holleye, 

All clad in red * scarlette. 

Her nose was crookt and turnd outwarde, 

Her chin stoode all awrye ; 
And where as sholde have been her 
mouth e, 

Lo ! there was set her eye : 

Her haires, like serpents, clung aboute 
Her cheekes of deadlye hewe : 

A worse-form'd ladye than she was, 
No man mote ever viewe. 

To hail the king in seemelye sorte 

This ladye was fulle faine : 
But king Arthure, all sore amaz'd, 

No aunswere made againe. 

What wight art thou, the ladye sayd, 
That wilt not speake to mee ; 

Sir, I may chance to ease thy paine, 
Though I bee foule to see. 

If thou wilt ease my paine, he sayd, 

And helpe me in my neede ; 
Ask what thou wilt, thou grimme ladye, 

And it shall bee thy meede. 

O sweare mee this upon the roode, 
And promise on thy faye ; 

* This was a common phrase in our old 
writers ; so Chaucer, in his Prologue to the 
Canterbury Tales, says of the wife ot Bath : 
*' Her hosen were of fyne scarlet red." 

The marriage op sir caivaine, 301 

And here the secrette I will telle, 

But here I will make mine avowe, 

That shall thy ransome paye. 

To do her as ill a turne : 

For an ever I may that foule theefe gette, 

King Arthur promis'd on his faye, 

In a fyre I will her burne. 

And sware upon the roode ; 

The secrette then the ladye told, 

As lightlye well shee cou'de. 


HOMEWARDE/nV/W king Arthure, 

Now this shall be my paye, sir king, 

And a wearye man was hee ; 

And this my guerdon bee, 

And soone he mette queene Guenevcr, 

That some yong fair and courtlye knight, 

That bride so bright of blee. 

Thou bringe to marrye mee. 

What newes! what newes! thou noble 

Fast then pricked king Arthure 


Ore hille, and dale, and downe : 

Howe, Arthur, hast thou sped? 

And soone he founde the barone's bowre : 

Where hast thou hung the carlish knighte? 

And soone the grimme baroune. 

And where bestow'd his head ? 

He bare his clubbe upon his backe, 

The carlish knight is safe for mee, 

Hee stoode bothe stiffe and stronge ; 

And free fro mortal harme : 

And, when he had the letters reade, 

On magicke grounde his castle stands, 

Awaye the lettres flunge. 

And fenc'd with many a charme. 

Nowe yielde thee, Arthur, and thy lands, 

To bowe to him I was fulle faine, 

All forfeit unto mee ; 

And yielde mee to his hand : 

For this is not thy paye, sir king, 

And, but for a lothly ladye, there 

Nor may thy ransome bee. 

I sholde have lost my land. 

Yet hold thy hand, thou proud barone, 

And nowe this fills my hearte with woe, 

I praye thee hold thy hand ; 

And sorrowe of my life ; 

And give.mee leave to speake once more 

I swore a yonge and courtlye knight, 

In reskewe of my land. 

Sholde marry her to his wife. 

This morne, as I came over a more, 

Then bespake him sir Gawaine, 

I saw a ladye sette 

That was ever a gentle knighte : 

Betwene an oke and a greene holleye, 

That lothly ladye I will wed ; 

All clad in red scarlette. 

Therefore be merrye and lighte. 

Shee sayes, all women will have their wille, 

Nowe naye, nowe naye, good sir Gawaine ; 

This is their chief desyre ; 

My sister's sonne yee bee ; 

Now yield, as thou art a barone true, 

This lothlye ladye's all too grimme, 

That I have payd mine hyre. 

And all too foule for yee. 

An earlye vengeaunce light on her 1 

Her nose is crookt and turn'd outwarde ; 

The carlish baron swore  

Her chin stands all awrye ; 

Shee was my sister tolde thee this, 

A worse form'd ladye than shee is 

And shee's a mishapen whore. 

Was never seen with eye. 



What though her chin stand all awrye, 

And shee be foule to see : 
I'll marry her, unkle, for thy sake, 

And I'll thy ransome bee. 

Nowe thankes, nowe thankes, good sir 
Gawaine ; 

And a blessing thee betyde ! 
To-morrow wee'll have knights and squires, 

And wee'll goe fetch thy bride. 

And wee'll have hawkes and wee'll have 

To cover our intent ; 
And wee'll away to the greene forest, 

As wee a hunting went. 

Sir Lancelot, sir Stephen bolde, 
They rode with them that daye ; 

And foremoste of the companye 
There rode the stewarde Kaye : 

Soe did sir Banier and sir Bore, 

And eke Sir Garratte keene ; 
Sir Tristram too, that gentle knight, 

To the forest freshe and greene. 

And when they came to the greene 

Beneathe a faire holley tree 
There sate that ladye in red scarlette 

That unseemelye was to see. 

Sir Kay beheld that lady's face, 
And looked upon her swecre ; 

Whoever kisses that ladye, he sayes, 
Of his kisse he stands in feare. 

Sir Kay beheld that ladye againe, 

And looked upon her snout ; 
Whoever kisses that ladye, he saves, 

Of his kisse he stands in doubt. 

Peace, brother Kay, sayde sir Gawaine, 

And amend thee of thy life : 
For there is a knight amongst us all, 

Must marry her to his wife. 

What marry this foule queane, quoth Kay, 

I' the devil's name anone ; 
Gett mee a wife wherever I maye, 

In sooth shee shall be none. 

Then some tooke up their hawkes in haste,. 

And some took up their houndes ; 
And sayd they wolde not marry her, 

For cities, nor for townes. 

Then bespake him king Arthure, 
And sware there by this daye ; 

For a little foule sighte and mislikinge, 
Yee shall not say her naye. 

Peace, lordings, peace ; sir Gawaine sayd ; 

Nor make debate and strife ; 
This lothlye ladye I will take, 

And marry her to my wife. 

Nowe thankes, nowe thankes, good sir 

And a blessinge be thy meede ! 
For as I am thine owne ladye, 

Thou never shalt rue this deede. 

Then up they took that lothly dame, 
And home anone they bringe: 

And there sir Gawaine he her wed. 
And married her with a ringe. 

And when they were in wed-bed laid, 

And all were done awaye : 
•' Come turne to mee, mine owne wed-lord, 

Come turne to mee I praye." 

Sir Gawaine scant could lift his head, 

For sorrowe and for care ; 
When, lo ! instead of that lothelye dame, 

Hee sawe a young ladye faire. 

Sweet blushes stayn'd her rud-red cheeke, 
Her eyen were blacke as sloe : 

The ripening cherrye swellde her lippe, 
And all her necke was snowe. 

Sir Gawaine kiss'd that lady faire, 
Lying upon the sheete ; 

the Marriage of sir gawaine. 


And swore, as he was a true knighte, 
The spice was never soe sweete. 

Sir Gawaine kiss'd that lady brighte, 

Lying there by his side : 
" The fairest flower is not soe faire : 

Thou never can'st bee my bride." 

I am thy bride, mine owne deare lorde, 
The same whiche thou didst knowe, 

That was soe lothlye, and was wont 
Upon the wild more to goe, 

" Nowe, gentle Gawaine, chuse, quoth 

And make thy choice with care ; 
Whether by night, or else by daye, 

Shall I be foule or faire ? 

"To have thee foule still in the night, 
When I with thee should playe ! 

I had rather farre, my lady deare, 
To have thee foule by daye." 

What when gaye ladyes goe with their 

To drinke the ale and wine ; 
Alas ! then I must hide myself, 

I must not goe with mine ? 

" My faire ladye, sir Gawaine sayd, 

I yield me to thy skille ; 
Because thou art mine owne ladye, 

Thou shalt have all thy wille." 

Nowe blessed be thou, sweete Gawaine, 
And the daye that I thee see ; 

For as thou seest mee at this time, 
Soe shall I ever bee. 

My father was an aged knighte, 

And yet it chanced soe, 
He tooke to wife a false ladye, 

Whiche broughte me to this woe. 

Shee witch'd mee, being a faire yonge 

In the greene forest to dwelle ; 
And there to abide in lothlye shape, 

Most like a fiend of helle. 

Midst mores and mosses, woods and 

To lead a lonesome life : 
Till some yong faire and courtlye knighte 

Wolde marrye me to his wife : 

Nor fully to gaine mine owne trewe shape, 

Such was her devilish skille ; 
Until he wolde yielde to be rul'd by mee, 

And let mee have all my wille. 

She witchd my brother to a carlish boore, 
And made him stiffe and stronge ; 

To live by rapine and wronge. 

But now the spelle is broken throughe, 
And wronge is turnde to righte ; 

Henceforth I shall bee a faire lady6, 
And hee be a gentle knighte. 




This song is more modern than many of those which follow it, but is placed here for 
the sake of the subject. It was sung before Queen Elizabeth at the grand entertain- 
ment at Kenilworth Castle in 1575, and was probably composed for that occasion. 

The story in Morte Arthur, whence it is taken, runs as follows : ' ' Came a messenger 
hastely from king Ryence of North Wales, — saying, that king Ryence had discomfited 
and overcomen eleaven kings, and everiche of them did him homage, and that was 
this : they give him their beards cleane flayne off, — wherefore the messenger came for 
king Arthur's beard, for king Ryence had purfeled a mantell with kings beards, and 
there lacked for one a place of the mantell, wherefore he sent for his beard, or else he 
would enter into his lands, and brenn and slay, and never leave till he have thy head 
and thy beard. Well, said king Arthur, thou hast said thy message, which is the 
most villainous and lewdest message that ever man heard sent to a king. Also thou 
mayest see my beard is full young yet for to make a fur/ell of, but tell thou the king 
that — or it be long he shall do to me homage on both his knees, or elsS he shall leese 
his head." [B. i. c. 24.] 

Stow tells us, that King Arthur kept his round table at "diverse places, but 
especially at Carlion, Winchester, and Camalet in Somersetshire." This Camalet, 
"sometimes a famous towne or castle, is situate on a very high tor or hill," etc. [See 
an exact description in Stow's An?ials, ed. 1631, p. 55.] 

And bids thee thy beard anon to him 

Or else from thy jaws he will it off rend. 

As it fell out on a Pentecost day, 

King Arthur at Camelot kept his court 
With his faire queene dame Guenever the 


And many bold barons sitting in hall ; 

With ladies attired in purple and pall ; 
And heraults in hewkes, hooting on high, 
Cryed, Largesse, Largesse, Chevaliers tres- 

A doughty dwarfe to the uppermost deas 

Right pertlye gan prickle, kneeling on 

knee ; 

With steven fulle stoute amids all the preas, 

Sayd, Nowe sir king Arthur, God save 

thee, and see ! 
Sir Ryence of North-gales greeteth well 

* The heralds resounded these words as oft 
as they received of the bounty of the knights. 
See Mejnoires de la Chevaterie, torn. 1, p. 99. 
The expression is still used in the form of 
installing Knights of the Garter. 

For his robe of state is a rich scarlet 
With eleven kings beards bordered* 
And there is room lefte yet in a kantle. 
For thine to stande, to make the twelfth 

out : 
This must be done, be thou never so 
stout ; 
This must be done. I tell thee no fable,  
Maugrc the teethe of all thy round table. 

When this mortal message from his 

mouthe past, 
Great was the noyse bothe in hall and in 

bower : 
The king fum'd ; the queene screecht ; 

ladies were aghast ; 

* i.e. set round the border, as furs arc now 
round the gowns of magistrates. 



Princes puff'd ; barons blustred ; lords 

An hundred pieces of fine coyned gold 

began lower ; 

Were given this dwarf for his message 

Knights stormed ; squires startled, like 


steeds in a stower: 

Pages and yeomen yell'd out in the hall, 

But say to sir Ryence, thou dwarf, quoth 

Then in came sir Kay, the "king's" 

the king, 


That for his bold message I do him 

defye ; 

Silence, my soveraignes, quoth this cour- 

And shortlye with basins and pans will 

teous knight, 

him ring 

And in that stound the stowre began 

Out of North-gales ; where he and I 

still : 

With swords, and not razors, quickly 

"Then" the dwarfe's dinnerfull deerely 

shall trye, 

was dight ; 

Whether he or king Arthur will prove the 

Of wine and wassel he had his wille : 

best barbor ; 

And, when he had eaten and drunken 

And therewith he shook his good sword 

his fill, 




The subject of this ballad is evidehtly taken from the old romance Morte Arthur, 
but with some variations, especially in the concluding stanzas, in which the author 
seems rather to follow the traditions of the old Welsh bards, who " believed that King 
Arthur was not dead, but conveied awaie by the Fairies into some pleasant place, where 
he should remaine for a time, and then returne againe and reign in as great authority 
as ever." The same tradition was popular amongst the Germans with regard to their 
emperor, Frederic Barbarossa, who, attended by a dwarfish boy, nods in the depths 
of Kyff haveer until at some great crisis he shall awake up and come forth to reign 
again over his loving subjects. * 

This fragment, being very incorrect and imperfect in the original MS., hath received 
some conjectural emendations, and even a supplement of three or four stanzas com- 
posed from the romance of Morte Arthur. 

On Trinitye Mondaye in the morne, 
This sore battayle was doom'd to bee ; 

Where manye a knighte cry'd Well- 
awaye I 
Alacke, it was the more pittle. 

Ere the first crowinge of the cocke, 
When as the kinge in his bed laye, 

He thoughte sir Gawaine to him came,* 
And there to him these wordes did 

* Sir Gawaine had been killed at Arthur's 
landing on his return from abroad. The 
romance says that h ; s ghost appeared to the 
king, warning him not to fight. 




Njwe, as you are mine tinkle deare, 
And as you prize your life, this daye 

O meet not with your foe in fighte ; 
Putt off the battayle, if yee maye. 

For sir Launcelot is nowe in Fraunce, 
And with him many an hardye knighte : 

Who will within this moneth be backe, 
And will assiste ye in the fighte. 

The kynge then call'd his nobles all, 
Before the breakinge of the daye ; 

And tolde them howe sir Gawaine came, 
And there to him these wordes did 

His nobles all this counsayle gave, 
That earlye in the morning, hee 

Shold send awaye an herauld at armes, 
To aske a parley faire and free. 

Then twelve good knightes king Arthure 

The best of all that with him were : 
To parley with the foe in field, 

Ar.d make with him agreement faire. 

The king he charged all his hoste, 
In readinesse there for to bee : 

But noe man sholde noe weapon sturre, 
Unlesse a sword drawne they shold see. 

And Mordred on the other parte, 

Twelve of his knights did likewise 
bringe ; 

The beste of all his companye, 
To hold the parley with the kinge. 

Sir Mordred alsoe charged his hoste, 
In readinesse there for to bee ; 

But noe man sholde noe weapon sturre, 
But if a sworde drawne they shold see. 

For he durste not his unkle truste, 
Nor he his nephewe, sothe to tell : 

Alacke ! it was a woefulle case, 
As ere in Christentye befelle. 

But when they were together mette, 
And both to faire accordance broughte ; 

And a month's league betweene them sette, 
Before the battayle sholde be foughte ; 

An addere crept forth of a bushe, 

Stunge one o' th' king's knightes on the 
knee : 

Alacke ! it was a woefulle chance, 
As ever was in Christentle. 

When the knighte found him wounded 
And sawe the wild-worme hanginge 
there ; 
His sworde he from his scabberde drewe : 
A piteous case, as ye shall heare. 

For when the two hostes sawe the sworde, 
They joyned battayle instantlye ; 

Till of soe manye noble knightes, 
On one side there were left but three. 

For all were slain tfaat durst abide, 
And but some fewe that fled awaye : 

Ay mee ! it was a bloodye fielde, 
As ere was foughte on summer's daye. 

Upon king Arthur's partye, 
Onlye himselfe escaped there, 

And Lukyn duke of Gloster free, 
And the king's butler Bedevere.* 

And when the king beheld his knightes, 
All dead and scattered on the molde ; 

The teares fast trickled downe his face ; 
That manlye face in fight so bolde. 

Nowe reste yee all, brave knights, he 

Soe true and faithful to your trust : 
And must yee then, ye valiant hearts, 

Be lefte to moulder into dust ! 

* In the Morte cT Arthur we read, "Sir 
I.ucan de butlere and his brother Sir Bedi« 



Most loyal have yee been to mee, 
Most true and faithful unto deathe : 

And, oh ! to rayse yee up againe, 
How freelye could I yield my breathe ! 

But see the traitor's yet alive, 

Lo where hee stalkes among the deade ! 
Nowe bitterlye he shall abye : 

And vengeance fall upon his head. 

O staye, my liege, then sayd the duke ; 

staye for love and charitle ; 
Remember what the vision spake, 

Nor meete your foe, if it may bee. 

O, staye mee not, thou worthye wight, 

This debt my loyal knights I owe : 
Betide me life, betide me death, 

1 will avenge them of their foe. 

Then straite he grasp'd his trustye speare, 
And on his horse then mounted hee : 

As his butler holpe him to his horse, 
His bowels gushed to his knee. 

Alas ! then sayd the noble king, 
That I should live this sight to see ! 

To see this good knight here be slaine, 
All for his love in helping mee I 

He put his speare into his reste, 
And to sir Mordred loud gan crye ; 

Nowe sette thyself upon thy guarde, 
For, traitor, nowe thy death is nye. 

Sir Mordred lifted up his sworde, 
And fierce to meet the king ran hee : 

The king his speare he through him thrust ; 
A fathom thorow his bodle. 

When Mordered felt the stroke of death, 
And found that he was woundefl soe ; 

He thruste himselfe upon the speare, 
And strucke the king a deadlyc blowe. 

Then grimmlye dyed sir Mordered, 
Presentlye upon that tree : 

And bloody streames ranne from the king* 
Ere to the duke returned hee. 

Sir Lukyn then he thus bespake, 
Sir knighte, thou hast beene faithfulle 

Nowe take my sword Excalibar, 
That hangs so freelye by my syde : 

O take my sword Excalibar, 
And there into the river throwe : 

For here, henceforth, benethe this tree, 
All use of weapons I foregoe. 

And fare thee well, thou trustye sword, 
A better neer had valiant knighte, 

With thee full ofte, and manye a daye, 
Have I withstood my foe in fighte. 

With this good fauchion in my hande, 
Oft have I reapd the bloody feelde : 

But nowe the fatalle houre is come, 
That never more I may thee weelde. 

The duke to the river side he went,* 
And there his owne sword in threwe he : 

But he kept back Excalibar, 
He kept it back in privitie. 

For all of colcyne was the blade ; 

And all the hike of precious stone : 
And ever alacke ! then sayd the knighte, 

Must such a sword awaye be throwne ? 

Then backe he came unto the kinge, 
Who sayd, Sir Lukyn, what did yee see? 

Nothing, my liege, save that the winde 
Blewe oer the waters faire and free. 

O goe againe, then said the kinge, 
O good sir Lukyn, goe againe : 

* In the Jl forte d 1 Arthur, Sir Lucan, who 
has been wounded, is overcome with the exer- 
tion of lifting the king, and dies. It is Bedivere 
who is commanded to throw Excalibar into 
the water. 



Into the rivere throwe my sword, 

Nor keepe me lingering here in paine. 

The duke then to the river went, 

And the kings scabberd in threwe hee ; 

But hee kept backe Excalibar, 
And hid it underneathe a tree. 

Then backe he came to tell the kinge, 
Who sayde, Sir Lukyn, sawe ye oughte? 

Nothinge, my liege, save that the winde 
Nowe with the angrye waters fought. 

O Lukyn, Lukyn, said the kinge, 
Twice hast thou dealt deceytfullye : 

Alacke, whom may we ever truste, 
When suche a knighte soe false can bee ? 

Saye, wouldst thou have thy master dead ; 

All for a sword, that wins thine eye : 
Nowe goe againe, and throwe it in, 

Or here the one of us shall dye. 

The duke, all shcnt with this rebuke, 
No aunswere made unto the kinge : 

But to the rivere tooke the sworde, 
And threwe it far as he coulde fiinge. 

A hande and an arme did meete the 

And flourishd three times in the air ; 
Then sunke benethe the renninge strcme, 

And of the duke was seene noe mair. 

All sore astonied stood the duke ; 

He stood as still, as still mote bee : 
Then hastend backe to telle the kinge ; 

But he was gone from under the tree. 

But to what place he cold not tell, 
For never after hee did him spye : 

But hee sawe a barge goe from the land. 
And hee heard ladyes howle and crye.* 

And whether the kinge were there, or 

Hee never knewe, nor ever colde : 
For from that sad and direfulle daye, 

Hee never more was seene on molde. 


We have here a short summary of King Arthur's history as given by Jeff, of Mon- 
mouth and the old chronicles, with the addition of a few circumstances from the 
romance Morte Arthur. 

Printed from the Editor's ancient folio manuscript. 

Of Brutus' blood, in Brittaine borne, 

King Arthur I am to name ; 
Through Christendome, and Heathynesse, 

Well knowne is my worthy fame. 

In Jesus Christ I doe beleeve ; 

I am a christyan bore : 
The Father, Sone, and Holy Gost, 

One God, I doe adore. 

In the four hundred ninetieth yeere,* 
Over Brittaine I did rayne, 

* He began his reign a.d. 515, according to 
the chronicles. 

After my savior Christ his byrth : 
What time I did maintaine 

The fellowshipp of the table round, 

Soe famous in those dayes ; 
Whereatt a hundred noble knights, 

And thirty sat alwayes : 

Who for their deeds and martiall feates, 

As b;ookes done yett record, 
Amongst all other nations 

Wer feared throwgh the world. 

* Ladies was the word which our old English 
writers used for nymphs. 



And in the castle off Tyntagill 

King Uther mee begate 
Of Agyana, * a bewtyous ladye, 

And come of "hie " estate. 

And when I was fifteen yeere old, 
Then was I crowned kinge : 

All Brittaine that was att an uprore, 
I did to quiett bringe. 

And drove the Saxons from the realme, 
Who had opprest this land ; 

All Scotland then throughe manly feats 
I conquered with my hand. 

Ireland, Denmarke, Norway, 

These countryes wan I all ; 
Iseland, Gotheland, and Swethland ; 

And made their kings my thrall 

I conquered all Gallva, 

That now is called France ; 
And slew the hardye Froll f in feild, 

My honor to advance. 

And the ugly gyant Dynabus J 

Soe terrible to vewe, 
That in Saint Barnards mount did lye, 

By force of armes I slew : 

And Lucyus the emperour of Rome 
I brought to deadly wracke ; 

And a thousand more of noble knightes 
For feare did turne their backe : 

Five kinges of " paynims " I did kill 

Amidst that bloody strife ; 
Besides the Grecian emperour 

Who alsoe lost his liffe. 

Whose carcasse I did send to Rome 
Cladd poorlye on a beere ; 

* She is named Igerna or Igraine in the old 

t Froll, according to the chronicles, was a 
Roman knight governor of Gaul. 

X Danibus, MS, 

And afterward I past Mount-Joye 
The next approaching yeere. 

Then I came to Rome, where I was mett 

Right as a conquerour, 
And by all the cardinalls solempnelye 

I was crowned an emperour. 

One winter there I made abode : 
Then word to mee was brought 

Howe Mordred had oppressd the crowne : 
What treason he had wrought 

Att home in Brittaine with my qucene ; 

Therfore I came with speede 
To Brittaine backe, with all my power, 

To quitt that traiterous deede : 

And soone at Sandwiche I arrivde, 
Where Mordred me withstoode : 

But yett at last I landed there, 
With effusion of much blood. 

For there my nephew sir Gawaine dyed, 

Being wounded in that sore, 
The whiche sir Lancelot in fight 

Had given him before. 

Thence chased I Mordered away, 

Who fledd to London right, 
From London to Winchester, and 

To Cornewalle tooke his flyght. 

And still I him pursued with speed 

Till at the last wee mett : 
Whcrby an appointed day of fight 

Was there agreed and sett. 

Where we did fight, of mortal life 

Eche other to deprive, 
Till of a hundred thousand men 

Scarce one was left alive. 

There all the noble chivairye 

Of Brittaine tooke their end. 
O see how fickle is their state 

That doe on feates* depend I 

* Feats of arms, fighting. 



There all the traiterous men were slaine, 

Not one escapte away ; 
And there dyed all my vallyant knightes. 

Alas ! that woefull day I 

Two and twenty yeere I ware the crowne 

In honor and great fame ; 
And thus by death was suddenlye 

Deprived of the same. 


Copied from an old MS. in the Cotton Library [Vesp. A. 25], entitled " Divers things 

of Hen. viij's time." 

Who sekes to tame the blustering winde, 
Or causse the floods bend to his 
Or els against dame nature's kinde 
To "change " things frame by cunning 
skyll : 
That man I thinke bestoweth paine, 
Thoughe that his laboure be in vaine. 

Who strives to breake the sturdye Steele, 
Or goeth about to staye the sunne ; 

Who thinks to causse an oke to reele, 
Which never can by force be done : 

That man likewise bestoweth paine, 

Thoughe that his laboure be in vaine. 

Who thinks to stryve against the streame, 
And for to sayle without a niaste ; 

Unlesse he thinks perhapps to faine, 
His travell ys forelorne and waste ; 
And so in cure of all his paine, 
His travell ys his cheffest gaine. 

So he lykewise, that goes about 
To please eche eye and every eare, 

Had nede to have withouten doubt 
A golden gyft with hym to beare ; 

For evyll report shall be his gaine, 

Though he bestowe both toyle and paine. 

God grant eche man one to amend ; 

God send us all a happy place ; 
And let us pray unto the end, 

That we may have our prince's grace : 
Amen, amen ! so shall we gaine 
A dewe reward for all our paine. 


Glasgerion is probably "the gret Glascurion," whom Chaucer elevates to a position 
beside Orpheus and Arion. The Scotch version of the ballad gives him qualities akin 
to those of the lover of Eurydice, since he was so excellent a harper that ' ' he'd harpit 
a fish out o' saut water, or water out o' a stane." 

Gawain Douglas follows Chaucer's example, and places him with Orpheus in his 
Palace of Honour. The poem is printed from the folio MS. 

Glasgerion was a kings owne sonne, 
And a harper he was goode : 

He harped in the kinges chambere, 
Where cuppe and caudle stoode. 

And soe did hee in the queens chamber, 
Till ladies waxed "glad." 

And then bespake the kinges daughter ; 
And these wordes thus shee sayd. 

Strike on, strike on, Glasgerion, 
Of thy striking doe not blinne : 

Theres never a stroke comes oer thy harps, 
But it glads my hart withinne. 



Faire might he fall, ladye, quoth hee, 
Who taught you nowe to speake ! 

I have loved you, ladye, seven longe yeere 
My minde I neere durst breake. 

But come to my bower, my Glasgeridn, 

When all men are att rest : 
As I am a ladie true of my promise, 

Thou shalt bee a welcome guest. 

Home then came Glasgerion, 

A glad man, lord ! was hee. 
And, come thou hither, Jacke my boy ; 

Come hither unto mee. 

For the kinge's daughter of Normandye 
Hath granted mee my boone : 

And att her chambere must I bee 
Beffore the cocke have crovven. 

O master, master, then quoth hee, 
Lay your head downe on this stone : 

For I will waken you, master deere, 
Afore it be time to gone. 

But up then rose that lither ladd, 
And hose and shoone did on : 

A coller he cast upon his necke, 
Hee seemed a gentleman. 

And when he came to the ladye's chamber, 

He thrild upon a pinn. * 
The lady was true of her promise, 

Rose up and lett him in. 

He did not take the lady gaye 

To boulster nor to bed : 
" Nor thoughe hee had his wicked wille, 

A single word he sed." 

$&e did not kisse that ladye's mouthe, 
Nor when he came, nor youd: 

r- -^ __^__^_ _ 

* This is elsewhere expressed " twirled the 
pin" or *' tirled at the pin" (see B. ii. s. vi. 
V. 3 ), and seems to refer to the turning round 
the button on the outside of a door, by which 
the latch rises, still used in cottages, 

And sore mistrusted that ladye gay, 
He was of some churls bloud. 

But home then came that lither ladd, 
And did off his hose and shoone ; 

And cast the coller from off his necke : 
He was but a churles Sonne. 

Awake, awake, my deere master, 
The cock hath well-nigh crowen. 

Awake, awake, my master deere, 
I hold it time to be gone. 

For I have saddled your horsse, master, 
Well bridled I have your steede : 

And I have served you a good breakfast ; 
For thereof ye have need. 

Up then rose good Glasgerion, 
And did on hose and shoone ; 

And cast a coller about his necke : 
For he was a kinge his sonne. 

And when he came to the ladye's chamber, 

He thrild upon the pinne : 
The ladye was more than true of promise, 

And rose and let him inn. 

Saies, whether have you left with me 
Your bracelett or your glove ? 

Or are you returned backe againe 
To know more of my love ? 

Glasgerion swore a full great othe, 
By oake, and ashe, and thorne ; 

Lady, I was never in your chamber, 
Sith the time that I was borne. 

O then it was your lither foot-page, 

He hath beguiled mee. 
Then shee pulled forth a litle pen-knlffe, 

That hanged by her knee : 

Sayes, there shall noe churles blood 

Within my bodye spring : 
No churles blood shall ever defile 

The daughter of a kinge. 



Home then went Glasgerion, 
And woe, good lord, was hee. 

Sayes, come thou hither, Jacke my boy, 
Come hither unto mee. 

If I had killed a man to night, 

Jacke, I would tell it thee : 
But if I have not killed a man to night, 

Ja-cke, thou hast killed three. 

And he puld out his bright browne sword, 

And dryed it on his sleeve, 
And he smote off that lither ladd's head, 

Who did his ladye grieve. 

He sett the swords poynt till his brest, 

The pummil untill a stone : 
Throw the falsenesse of that lither ladd, 

These three lives werne all gone. 


From an ancient copy in the Editor's folio MS., which was judged to require consider- 
able corrections. In the former edition the hero of this piece had been called Sir 
Robin, but that title not being in the MS. is now omitted. 

Let never again soe old a man 

Marrye soe young a wife, 
As did old Robin of Portingale ; 

Who may rue all the daycs of his life. 

For the mayors daughter of Lin, god wott, 

He chose her to his wife, 
And thought with her to have lived in love, 

But they fell to hate and strife. 

They scarce were in their wed-bed laid, 

And scarce was hee asleepe, 
But upp shee rose, and forth shee goes, 

To the steward, and gan to weepe. 

Sleepe you, wake you, faire sir Gyles ? 

Or be you not within ? 
Sleepe you, wake you, faire Sir Gyles, 

Arise and let me inn. 

O, I am waking, sweete, he said, 
Sweete ladye, what is your will? 

I have unbethought me of a wile 
Hew my wed-lord weell spill. 

Twenty-four good knights, shee sayes, 
That dwell about this towne, 

Even twenty-four of my next cozens, 
Will helpe to dlnge him downe. 

All that beheard his little footepage, 
As he watered his masters steed ; 

And for his masters sad perille 
His verry heart did bleed. 

He mourned still, and wept full sore ; 

I sweare by the holy roode 
The teares he for his master wept 

Were blent water and bloude. 

And that beheard his deare master 
As he stood at his garden pale : 

Sayes, Ever alacke, my litle foot-page, 
What causes thee to wail ? 

Hath any one done to thee wronge 

Any of thy fellowes here ? 
Or is any of thy good friends dead. 

That thou shedst manye a teare ? 

Or, if it be my head bookes-man. 

Aggrieved he shal bee : 
For no man here within my howse, 

Shall doe wrong unto thee. 

O, it is not your head bookes-man, 

Nor none of his degree : 
But, on to-morrow ere it be noone 

All deemed to die are yee. 



And of that bethank your head steward, 

And thank your gay ladie. 
If this be true, my litle foot-page, 

The heyre of my land thoust bee. 

If it be not true, my dear master, 

No good death let me die. 
If it be not true, thou litle foot-page, 

A dead corse shalt thou lie. 

O call now downe my faire ladye, 

O call her downe to mee : 
And tell my ladye gay how sicke 

And like to die I bee. 

Downe then came his ladye faire, 

All clad m. purple and pall : 
The rings that were on her fingers, 

Cast light thorrow the hall. 

What is your will, my owne wed-lord? 

What is your will with mee ? 
O see, my ladye deere, how sicke, 

And like to die I bee. 

And thou be sicke, my own wed-lord, 

Soe sore it grieveth me : 
But my five maydens and myselfe 

Will " watch thy " bedde for thee. 

And at the waking of your first sleepe, 

We will a hott drinke make : 
And at the waking of your "next" sleepe, 

Your sorrowes we will slake. 

He put a silk cote on his backe, 

And mail of manye a fold : 
And hee putt a Steele cap on his head, 

Was gilt with good red gold. 

He layd a bright browne sword by his side, 

And another att his feete : 
"And twentye good knights he placed at 

To watch him in his sleepe." 

And about the middle time of the night, 
Came twentye-four traitours inn : 

Sir Giles he was the foremost man, 
The leader of that gtnn, 

Old Robin with his bright browne sword, 
Sir Gyles head soon did winn : 

And scant of all those twenty-four, 
Went out one quick agenn. 

None save only a litle foot page, 
Crept forth at a window of stone : 

And he had two armes when he came in, 
And he went back with one. 

Upp then came that ladie gaye 
With torches burning bright : 

She thought to have brought sir Gyles a 
Butt she found her owne wedd knight. 

The first thinge that she stumbled on 

It was sir Gyles his foote : 
Sayes, Ever alacke, and woe is mee ! 

Here lyes my sweete hart-roote. 

The next thinge that she stumbled on 

It was sir Gyles his heade : 
Sayes, Ever, alacke, and woe is me ! 

Heere lyes my true love deade. 

Hee cutt the pappes beside her brest, 

And did her body spille ; 
He cutt the eares beside her heade, 

And bade her love her fille. 

He called then up his little foot-page, 
And made him there his heyre ; 

And sayd, henceforth my worldlye goodes 
And countrye I forsweare. 

He shope the crosse on his right shoulder, 
Of the white "clothe " and the redde,* 

And went him into the holy land, 
Wheras Christ was quicke and dead. 

In the foregoing piece, Giles, steward 
to a rich old merchant trading to Portugal, 
is qualified with the title of Sir, not as 
being a knight, but rather, I conceive, as 
having received an inferior order of 

* Every person who went on a crusade to 
the Holy Land usually wore a cross on his 




Child is frequently used by our old writers as a title. It is repeatedly given to Prince 
Arthur in the Faerie Queene, and the son of a king is in the same poem called "Child 
Tristram." Mr. Theobald supposes this use of the word was received along with 
their romances from the Spaniards, with whom Infatite signifies a "Prince." A 
more eminent critic tells us, that "in the old times of chivalry, the noble youth, who 
were candidates for knighthood, during the time of their probation were called 
Infans, Varlets, Damoysels, Bacheliers. The most noble of the youth were par- 
ticularly called Infam." A late commentator on Spenser observes, that the Saxon 
word cnihz, knight, signifies also a "child." 

This is one of the most beautiful of the old ballads, showing most pathetically the 
strength of a woman's devotion. It is given by Jamieson as Burd Ellen, which 
seems the better title, as Ellen, not Child Waters, is the centre of attraction. Burger's 
version of this ballad, which he gives as Graf Walter, is very fine, and written with 
much artistic skill. There are slight alterations in it, but on the whole it keeps close 
to the copy before us. One verse we subjoin on account of its extreme beauty. It 
is Ellen's answer to the offer of a heritage for her child : — 

"Ein Liebeskuss von deinem Mund, 
So purpurroth und suss 
Gilt mir fur Land und Lent' und Burg 
Und war' sein Paradiess." 

The ballad following is taken from the Editor's folio. 

Childe Waters in his stable stoode If the child be mine, faire Ellen, he 

And stroakt his milke white steede : sayd, 

To him a fayre yonge ladye came 

As ever ware womans weede. 

Sayes, Christ you save, good Childe 
Waters ; 

Sayes, Christ you save, and see : 
My girdle of gold that was too longe, 

Is now too short for mee. 

And all is with one chyld of yours, 

I feele sturre att my side : 
My gowne of greene it is too straighte ; 

Before, it was too wide. 

upper garment, on the right shoulder, as a 
badge of his profession. Different nations 
were distinguished by crosses of different 
colours. The English wore white, the French 
red, etc. This circumstance seems to be 
confounded in the ballad. 

Be mine as you tell mee ; 
Then take you Cheshire and Lancashire 
Take them your owne to bee. 

If the childe be mine, faire Ellen, he sayd, 

Be mine, as you doe sweare : 
Then take you Cheshire and Lancashire 

And make that child your heyre. 

Shee saies, I had rather have one kisse, 
Child Waters, of thy mouth ; 

Than I wolde have Cheshire and Lan- 
cashire both, 
That lye by north and south. 

And I had rather have one twinkling, 
Childe Waters, of thine ee : 



Then I wolde have Cheshire and Lan- 
cashire both, 
To take them mine owne to bee. 

To morrow, Ellen, I must forth ryde 
Farr into the north countrie ; 

The fairest lady that I can find, 
Ellen, must goe with mee. 

"Thoughe I am not that lady fayre, 

Yet let me go with thee : " 
And ever I pray you, Child Waters, 

Your foot-page let me bee. 

If you will my foot-page be, Ellen, 

As you doe tell to mee ; 
Then you must cut your gowne of greene, 

An inch above your knee : 

Soe must you doe your yellowe lockes, 

An inch above your ee : 
You must tell no man what is my name ; 

My foot-page then you shall bee. 

Shee, all the long day Child Waters rode, 

Ran barefoote by his side ; 
Yett was he never soe courteous a knighte, 

To say, Ellen, will you ryde? 

Shee, all the long day Child Waters rode, 
Ran barefoote thorow the broome ; 

Yett hee.was never soe curteous a knighte, 
To say, put on your shoone. 

Ride softlye, shee sayd, O Childe Waters, 

Why doe you ryde soe fast ? 
The childe, which is no man's but thine, 

My bodye itt will brast. 

Hee sayth, seest thou yonder water, Ellen, 
That flows from banke to brimme. — 

I trust to God, O Child Waters, 
You never will see mee swinime. 

But when shee came to the waters side, 

Shee sayled to the chinne : 
Except the Lord of heaven be my speed, 

Now must I learne to swimme. 

The salt waters bare up her clothes ; 

Our Ladye bare upp her chinne : 
Childe Waters was a woe man, good Lord, 

To see faire Ellen swimme. 

And when shee over the water was, 

Shee then came to his knee : 
He said, Come hither, thou faire Ellen, 

Loe yonder what I see. 

Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen? 

Of redd gold shines the yate : 
Of twenty foure faire ladyes there, 

The fairest is my mate. 

Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen ? 

Of redd gold shines the towre : 
There are twenty four faire ladyes there. 

The fairest is my paramoure. 

I see the hall now, Child Waters, 
Of redd golde shines the yate : 

God give you good now of yourselfe, 
And of your worthye mate. 

I see the hall now, Child Waters, 
Of redd golde shines the towre : 

God give you good now of yourselfe, 
And of your paramoure. 

There twenty four fayre ladyes were 

A playing att the ball : 
And Ellen the fairest ladye there, 

Must bring his steed to the stall. 

There twenty four fayre ladyes were 

A playinge at the chesse ; 
And Ellen the fayrest ladye there, 

Must bring his horse to gresse. 

And then bespake Childe Waters sister, 
These were the wordes said shee : 

You have the prettyest foot-page, brother, 
That ever I saw with mine ee. 

But that his bellye it is soe bigg, 
His girdle goes wonderous hie : 



And let him, I pray you, Childe Waters, 
Goe into the chamber with mee. 

It is not fit for a little foot-page, 
That has run throughe mosse and myre, 

To go into the chamber with any ladye, 
That weares soe riche attyre. 

It is more meete for a little foot-page, 
That has run throughe mosse and myre, 

To take his supper upon his knee, 
And sitt downe by the kitchen fyer. 

But when they had supped every one, 
To bedd they tooke theyr waye : 

He sayd, come hither, my little foot-page, 
And hearken what I saye. 

Goe thee downe into yonder towne, 

And low into the street ; 
The fayrest ladye that thou can finde, 

Hyer her in mine armes to sleepe, 
And take her up in thine armes twaine, 

For filinge * of her feete. 

Ellen is gone into the towne, 

And low into the streete : 
The fairest ladye that shee cold find, 

Shee hyred in his armes to sleepe ; 
And tooke her up in her armes twayne, 

For filing of her feete. 

I praye you nowe, good Childe Waters, 
Let mee lye at your bedd's feete : 

For there is noe place about this house, 
Where I may 'saye \ a sleepe. 

" He gave her leave, and fair Ellen 
Down at his bed's feet laye : " 

This done the nighte drove on apace, 
And when it was neare the daye, 

* i.e. defiling. 

\ i.e. essay, attempt. 

Hee sayd, Rise up, my little foot-page, 
Give my steede come and haye ; 

And soe doe thou the good black oats, 
To carry mee better awaye. 

Up then rose the faire Ellen, 
And gave his steede corne and hay : 

And soe shee did the good blacke oates, 
To carry him the better away. 

Shee leaned her backe to the manger side, 

And grievouslye did groane : 
Shee leaned her back to the manger side, 

And there shee made her moane. 

And that beheard his mother deere, 
Shee heard her there monand* 

Shee sayd, Rise up, thou Childe Waters, 
I think thee a cursed man. 

For in thy stable is a ghost, 
That grievouslye doth grone : 

Or else some woman laboures of childe, 
She is soe woe-begone. 

Up then rose Childe Waters soon, 
And did on his shirte of silke ; 

And then he put on his other clothes, 
On his body as white as milke. 

And when he came to the stable dore, 
Full still there hee did stand, 

That hee mighte heare his fayre Ellen, 
Howe shee made her monand. * 

She sayd, Lullabye, mine owne deere child, 

Lullabye, dere child, dere ; 
I wold thy father were a king, 

Thy mother layd on a biere. 

Peace now, hee said, good faire Ellen, 

Be of good cheere, I praye ; 
And the bridal and the churching both 

Shall bee upon one day. 

* i.e. moaning, bemoaning, etc. 




This sonnet is given from a small quarto MS. in the Editor's possession, written in 
the time of Queen Elizabeth ; the author was Nicholas Breton. 

Phillida and Cory don is one of the songs in "The Honourable Entertainment 
gieven to the Queene's Majestie in Progresse at Elvetham in Hampshire, by the R. H. 
the Earle of Hertford, 1591." 

" On Wednesday morning about 9 o'clock, as her Majestie opened a casement of 
her gallerie window, ther were 3 excellent musitians, who being disguised in auncient 
country attire, did greet her with a pleasant song of Corydon and Phillida, made in 
3 parts of purpose. The song, as well for the worth of the dittie, as the aptnesse of 
the note thereto applied, it pleased her Highnesse after it had been once sung to 
command it againe, and highly to grace it with her cheerefull acceptance and com- 

In the merrie moneth of Maye, 
In a morne by break of daye, 
With a troope of damselles playing 
Forthe "I yode " forsooth a maying : 

When anon by a wood side, 
Where as Maye was in his pride, 
I espied all alone 
Phillida and Corydon. 

Much adoe there was, god wot ; 
He wold love, and she wold not. 
She sayde, never man was trewe ; 
He sayes, none was false to you. 

He sayde, hee had lovde her longe : 
She sayes, love should have no wronge. 

Corydon wold kisse her then : 

She sayes, maydes must kisse no men, 

Tyll they doe for good and all. 
When she made the shepperde call 
All the heavens to wytnes truthe. 
Never loved a truer youthe. 

Then with manie a prettie othe, 
Yea and nay, and faith and trothe ; 
Suche as seelie shepperdes use 
When they will not love abuse j 

Love, that had bene long deluded, 
Was with kisses sweete concluded ; 
And Phillida with garlands gaye 
Was made the lady of the Maye. 


Tins ballad is ancient, and has been popular ; we find it quoted in many old plays. 
It is given from an old printed copy in the British Museum, with corrections, 
some of which are from a fragment in the Editor's folio MS. 

As it fell out on a highe holye daye, 

As many bee in the yeare, 
When yong men and maides together do 

Their masses and mattins to heare, 

Little Musgrave came to the church 

The priest was at the mass ; 
But he had more mind of the fine women, 

Then he had of our Ladyes grace. 

* In folio, Lord Barnard and Little Musgravo* 



And some of them were clad in greene, 
And others were clad in pall ; 

And then came in my lord Barnarde's wife, 
The fairest among them all. 

Shee cast an eye on little Musgrave 
As bright as the summer sunne : 

then bethought him little Musgrave, 
This ladye's heart I have wonne. 

Quoth she, I have loved thee, little 

Fulle long and manye a daye. 
So have I loved you, ladye faire, 

Yet word I never durst saye. 

1 have a bower at Bucklesford-Bury,* 

Full daintilye bedight, 
If thoult wend thither, my little Musgrave, 
Thoust Kg in mine armes all night. 

Quoth hee, I thanke yee, ladye faire, 
This kindness yee shew to mee ; 

And whether it be to my weale or woe, 
This night will I lig with thee. 

All this beheard a little foot-page, 
By his ladye's coach as he ranne : 

Quoth he, thoughe I am my ladye's page, 
Yet Ime my lord Barnarde's manne. 

My lord Barnard shall knowe of this, 

Although I lose a limbe. 
And ever whereas the bridges were broke, 

He layd him downe to swimme. 

Asleep or awake, thou lord Barnard, 

As thou art a man of life, 
Lo ! this same night at Bucklesford-Bury 

Litle Musgrave's in bed with thy wife. 

If it be trew, thou litle foot-page, 
This tale thou hast told to mee, 

Then all my lands in Bucklesford-Bury 
I freelye will give to thee. 

But and it be a lye, thou litle foot-page, 
This tale thou hast told to mee, 

* Buckleiield-berry, fol. MS. 

On the highest tree in Bucklesford-Bury 
All hanged shalt thou bee. 

Rise up, rise up, my merry men all, 
And saddle me my good steede ; 

This night must I to Bucklesford-bury ; 
God wott, I had never more neede. 

Then some they whistled, and some they 

And some did loudlye saye, 
Whenever lord Barnarde's home it blewe, 

Awaye, Musgrave, away. 

Methinkes I heare the throstle cocke, 

Methinkes I heare the jay, 
Methinkes I heare lord Barnard's home ; 

I would I were awaye. 

Lye still, lye still, thou little Musgrave, 
And huggle me from the cold ; 

For it is but some shepharde's boye 
A whistling his sheepe to the fold. 

Is not thy hawke upon the pearche, 
Thy horse eating corne and haye ? 

And thou a gay lady within thine armes : 
And wouldst thou be awaye ? 

By this lord Barnard was come to the dore, 

And lighted upon a stone : 
And he pulled out three silver keyes, 

And opened the dores eche one. 

He lifted up the coverlett, 

He lifted up the sheete .; 
How now, how now, thou little Musgrave, 

Dost find my gaye ladye sweete ? 

I find her sweete, quoth little Musgrave, 
The more is my griefe and paine ; 

Ide gladlye give three hundred poundes 
That I were on yonder plaine. 

Arise, arise, thou little Musgrave, 
And put thy cloathes nowe on, 

It shall never be said in my countree, 
That I killed a naked man. 

I have two swordes in one scabbarde, 
Full deare they cost my purse ; 

The ew-bUghts, Marion: 


And thou shalt have the best of them, 
And I will have the worse. 

The first stroke that little Musgrave 

He hurt lord Barnard sore ; 
The next stroke that lord Barnard strucke, 

Little Musgrave never strucke more. 

With that bespake the ladye faire, 

In bed whereas she laye, 
Althoughe thou art dead, my little 

Yet for thee I will praye : 

And wishe well to thy soule will I, 

So long as I have life ; 
So will I not do for thee, Barnard, 

Thoughe I am thy wedded wife. 

He cut her pappes from off her brest ; 

Great pitye it was to see 
The drops of this fair ladye's bloode 

Run trickling downe her knee. 

Wo worth, wo worth ye, my merrye men 

You never were borne for my goode : 
Why did you not offer to stay my hande, 

When you sawe me wax so woode ? 

For I have slaine the fairest sir knighte, 

That ever rode on a steede ; 
So have I done the fairest lady, 

That ever ware womans weede. 

A grave, a grave, lord Barnard cryde, 

To putt these lovers in ; 
But laye my ladye o' the upper hande, 

For shee comes o' the better kin. 



This sonnet appears to be ancient : 

Will ze gae to the ew-bughts, Marion, 

And wear in the sheip wi' mee? 
The sun shines nveit, my Marion, 

But nae half sae sweit as thee. 
O Marion's a bonnie lass ; 

And the blyth blinks in her ee : 
And fain wad I marrie Marion, 

Gin Marion wad marrie mee. 

Theire's gowd in zour garters, Marion ; 

And siller on zour white hauss-bane : * 
Fou faine wad I kisse my Marion 

' At eene quhan I cum hame. 
Theire's braw lads in Earnslaw, Marion, 

Quha gape and glowr wi their ee 
At kirk, quhan they see my Marion ; 

Bot nane of them lues like mee. 

* i.e. the neck-bone. Marion had probably 
a silver locket on, tied close to her neck with a 
ribband, an usual ornament in Scotland, where 

that and its simplicity of sentiment have 
it to a place here. 

I Ive nine milk-ews, my Marion, 

A cow and a brawney quay ; 
Ise gie tham au to my Marion, 

Just on her bridal day. 
And zees get a grein sey apron, 

And waistcote o' London broun ; 
And wow bot ze will be vaporing 

Quhaneir ze gang to the toun. 

Ime yong and stout, my Marion, 

None dance lik mee on the greine ; 
And gin ze forsak me, Marion, 

Ise een gae draw up wi' Jeane. 
Sae put on zour pcarlins, Marion, 

And kirtle oth' cramasic, 
And sune as my chin has nae haire on, 

I sail cum west, and see zee. 

a sore throat is called "a sair hause," propeily 
halse; or probably necklace, the Ger. Helsbatici, 
necklace, following the same derivation (t\ 




This ballad (given from an old black-letter copy, with some corrections) was popular 

in the time of Queen Elizabeth. 

There was a shepherds daughter 

Came tripping on the waye ; 
And there by chance a knighte shee mett, 

Which caused her to staye. 

Good morrowe to you, beauteous maide, 
These words pronounced hee : 

O I shall dye this daye, he sayd, 
If Ive not my wille of thee. 

The Lord forbid, the maide replyde, 
That you shold waxe so wode ! 

" But for all that shee could do or saye, 
He wold not be withstood." 

Sith you have had your wille of mee, 

And put me to open shame, 
Now, if you are a courteous knighte, 

Tell me what is your name ? 

Some do call mee Jacke, sweet heart, 

And some do call mee Jille ; 
But when I come to the king's faire courte 

They call me Wilfulle Wille. 

He sett his foot into the stirrup, 
And awaye then he did ride ; 

She tuckt her girdle about her middle, 
And ranne close by his side. 

But when she came to the brode water, 
She sett her brest and swamme ; 

And when she was got out againe, 
She tooke to her heels and ranne. 

He never was the courteous knighte, 
To saye, faire maide, will ye ride? 

And she was ever too loving a maide 
To saye, sir knighte, abide. 

When she came to the king's faire courte, 

She knocked at the ring ; 
So readye was the king himself 

To let this faire maide in. 

Now Christ you save, my gracious liege. 

Now Christ you save and see, 
You have a knighte within your courte 

This daye hath robbed mee. 

What hath he robbed thee of, sweet heart? 

Of purple or of pall f 
Or hath he took thy gaye gold ring 

From off thy finger small ? 

He hath not robbed mee, my liege, 

Of purple nor of pall : 
But he hath gotten my maiden head, 

Which grieves mee worst of alL 

Now if he be a batchelor, 

His bodye He give to thee ; 
But if he be a married man, 

High hanged he shall bee. 

He called downe his merrye men all, 

By one, by two, by three ; 
Sir William used to bee the first, 

But nowe the last came hee. 

He brought her downe full fortye pounde, 

Tyed up withinne a glove : 
Faire maid, He give the same to thee ; 

Go, seeke thee another love. 

O He have none of your gold, she sayde, 
Nor He have none of your fee ; 

But your faire bodye I must have, 
The king hath granted mee. 

Sir William ranne and fetchd her then 
Five hundred pound in golde, 

Saying, faire maide, take this to thee, 
Thy fault will never be tolde. 

Tis not the gold that shall mee tempt, 
These words then answered shee, 

But your own bodye I must have, 
The king hath granted mee. 



Would I had dranke the water cleare, 

But when they came unto the place, 

When I did drinke the wine, 

Where marriage-rites were done, 

Rather than any shepherds brat 

She proved herself a dukes daughter, 

Shold bee a ladye of mine ! 

And he but a squires sonne. 

Would I had drank the puddle foule, 

Now masrye me, or not, sir knight, 

When I did drink the ale, 

Your pleasure shall be free : 

Rather than ever a shepherds brat 

If you make me ladye of one good towne, 

Shold tell me such a tale ! 

He make you lord of three. 

A shepherds brat even as I was, 

Ah ! cursed bee the gold, he sayd, 

You mote have let me bee, 

If thou hadst not been trewe, 

I never had come to the kings faire courte, 

I shold have forsaken my sweet love, 

To crave any love of thee. 

And have changed her for a newe. 

He sett her on a milk-white steede, 

And now their hearts being linked fast, 

And himself upon a graye ; 

They joyned hand in hande : 

He hung a bugle about his necke, 

Thus he had both purse, and person too, 

And soe they rode awaye. 

And all at his commande. 

This poem, originally printed from the small MS. volume mentioned above in No. X., 
has been improved by a more perfect copy in England 's Helicon, where the author is 
discovered to be N. Breton. 

Good Muse, rocke me aslepe 
With some sweete harmony : 

This wearie eyes is not to kepe 
Thy wary company. 

Sweete Love, begon a while, 

Thou seest my heavines : 
Bcautie is borne but to beguyle 

My harte of happines. 

See howe my little fiocke, 
That lovde to feede on highe, 

Doe headlonge tumble downe the rocke, 
And in the valley dye. 

The bushes and the trees, 

That were so freshe and grcene, 

Doe all their deintie colors leese, 
And not a leafc is seene. 

The blacke birde and the thrushe, 
That made the woodes to ringe. 

With all the rest, are now at hushe, 
And not a note they singe. 

Swete Philomele, the birde 
That hath the heavenly throte, 

Doth nowe, alas ! not once afforde 
Recordinge of a note. 

The flowers have had a frost, 
The herbs have loste their savoure ; 

And Phillida the faire hath lost 
' ' For me her wonted " favour. 

Thus all these careful sights 

So kill me in conceit : 
That now to hope upon delights, 

It is but meere deceite. 

And therefore, my sweete Muse, 
That knowest what helpe is best, 

Doe nowe thy heavenlie conninge use 
To sett my harte at rest : 

And in a dreame bewraie 

What fate shal be my frcnde ; 

Whether my life shall still decaye, 
Or when my sorrowes ende. 




Is given (with corrections) from an ancient copy in black letter in the Pepys Collection, 
entitled, A Tragical Ballad on the Unfortunate Love of Lord Thomas and Fair 
Ellinor, together with the Downfall of the Browne Girl. In the same collection may 
be seen an attempt to modernize this old song, and reduce it to a different measure, 
a proof of its popularity. 

Lord Thomas he was a bold forrester, 

And a chaser of the kings deere ; 
Faire Ellinor was a fine woman, 

And lord Thomas he loved her deare. 

Come riddle my riddle, dear mother, he 

And riddle us both as one ; 
Whether I shall marrye with faire Ellinor, 

And let the browne girl alone ? 

The browne girl she has got houses and 
Faire Ellinor she has got none, 
And therefore I charge thee on my bless- 

To bring me the browne girl home. 

And as it befelle on a high holidaye, 

As many there are beside, 
Lord Thomas he went to faire Ellin6r, 

That should have been his bride. 

And when he came to faire Ellinors bower, 
He knocked there at the ring, 

And who was so readye as faire Ellinor, 
To lett lord Thomas withinn. 

What newes, what newes, lord Thomas, 
she sayd? 

What ncwcs dost thou bring to mee ? 
I am come to bid thee to my wedding, 

And that is bad newes for thee. 

God forbid, lord Thomas, she sayd, 
That such a thing should be done ; 

1 thought to have been the bride my selfe, 
And thou to have been the bride^rome. 

Come riddle my riddle, dear mother, she 
And riddle it all in one ; 
Whether I shall goe to lord Thomas his 
Or whether shall tarry at home ? 

There are manye that are your friendes, 

And manye a one your foe, 
Therefore I charge you on my blessing, 

To lord Thomas his wedding don't goe. 

There are manye that are my friendes, 
mother ; 

But were every one my foe, 
Betide me life, betide me death, 

To lord Thomas his wedding I'ld goe. 

She cloathed herself in gallant attire, 
And her merrye men all in greene ; 

And as they rid through every towne, 
They took her to be some queene. 

But when she came to lord Thomas his 

She knocked there at the ring ; 
And who was so readye as lord Thomas, 

To lett faire Ellinor in. 

Is this your bride, fair Ellinor sayd? 

Methinks she looks wonderous browne ; 
Thou mightest have had as faire a woman, 

As ever trod on the grounde. 

Despise her not, fair Ellin, he sayd, 

Despise her not unto mee ; 
For better I love thy little finger, 

Than all her whole bodee. 


This browne bride had a little penknife, 
That was both long and sharpe, 

And betwixt the short ribs and the long, 
She prick'd faire Ellinor's harte. 

O Christ thee save, lord Thomas, hee 
Methinks thou lookst wonderous wan ; 
Thou usedst to look with as fresh a 
As ever the sun shone on. 

Oh, art thou blind, lord Thomas? she 
Or canst thou not very well see ? 

Oh ! dost thou not see my owne hearts 
Run trickling down my knee. 

Lord Thomas he had a sword by his side ; 

As he walked about the halle, 
He cut off his brides head from his shoul- 

And threw it against the walle. 

He set the hilte against the grounde, 
And the point against his harte. 

There never three lovers together did 
That sooner againe did parte. 


This elegant little sonnet is found in the third act of an old play, entitled Alexander 
and Campaspc, written by John Lilye, a celebrated writer in the time of Queen Eliza- 
beth. That play was first printed in 1591 ; but this copy is given from a later edition. 

Cupid and my Campaspe playd 
At cardes for kisses ; Cupid payd : 
He stakes his quiver, bow and arrows, 
His mothers doves, and teame of sparrows ; 
Loses them too ; then down he throws 
The coral of his lippe, the rose 
Growing on's cheek (but none Knows how), 
With these, the crystal of his browc, 
And then the dimple of his chinne ; 
All these did my Campaspe winne. 
At last he set her both his eyes, 
She won, and Cupid blind did rise. 

O Love ! has she done this to thee? 

"What shall, alas ! become of mcc? 


Is given from a written copy containing some Improvements (perhaps modern ones) 
upon the [opular ballad entitled, The Famous Flower of Serving-men ; or the Lady 
turned Serving-man. 

You beauteous ladyes, great and small, 
I write unto you one and all, 
Whereby that you may understand 
What I have suffered in the land. 

I was by birth a lady faire, 

An ancient barons only heire, 

And when my good old father dyed, 

Then I became a young knighte's bride. 


And there my love built me a bower, 
Bedeck'd with many a fragrant flower ; 
A braver bower you ne'er did see 
Then my true-love did build for mee. 

And there I livde a ladye gay, 
Till fortune wrought our loves decay ; 
For there came foes so fierce a band, 
That soon they over-run the land. 

They came upon us in the night, 

And brent my bower, and slew my knight ; 

And trembling hid in man's array, 

I scant with life escap'd away. 

In the midst of this extremitle, 
My servants all did from me flee : 
Thus was I left myself alone, 
With heart more cold than any stone. 

Yet though my heart was full of care, 
Heaven would not suffer me to dispaire, 
Wherefore in haste I chang'd my name 
From faire Elise to sweet Williame : 

And therewithall I cut my haire, 
Resolv'd my man's attire to weare ; 
And in my beaver, hose and band, 
I travell'd far through many a land. 

At length all wearied with my toil, 

I sate me downe to rest awhile ; 

My heart it was so fill'd with woe, 

That downe my cheeke the teares did flow. 

It chanc'd the king of that same place 
With all his lords a hunting was, 
And seeing me weepe, upon the same 
Askt who I was, and whence I came. 

Then to his grace I did replye, 
I am a poore and friendlesse boye, 
Though nobly borne, nowe forc'd to bee 
A serving-man of lowe degree. 

Stand up, faire youth, the king reply'd, 
For thee a service I'll provyde : 

But tell me first what thou canst do ; 
Thou shalt be fitted thereunto. 

Wilt thou be usher of my hall, 
To wait upon my nobles all ? 
Or wilt be taster of my wine, 
To 'tend on me when I shall dine? 

Or wilt thou be my chamberlaine, 
About my person to remaine ? 
Or wilt thou be one of my guard, 
And I will give thee great reward? 

Chuse, gentle youth, said he, thy place. 
Then I reply'd, If it please your grace 
To shew such favour unto mee, 
Your chamberlaine I faine would bee. 

The king then smiling gave consent, 
And straitvvaye to his court I went ; 
Where I behavde so faithfullle, 
That hee great favour showd to mee> 

Now marke what fortune did provide ; 
The king he would a hunting ride 
With all his lords and noble traine, 
Sweet William must at home remaine. 

Thus being left alone behind, 
My former state came in my mind : 
I wept to see my man's array ; 
No longer now a ladye gay. 

And meeting with a ladyes vest, 
Within the same myself I drest ; 
With silken robes, and jewels rare, 
I deckt me, as a ladye faire : 

And taking up a lute straitwaye, 
Upon the same I strove to play ; 
And sweetly to the same did sing, 
As made both hall and chamber ring, 

" My father was as brave a lord, 
As ever Europe might afford ; 
My mother was a lady bright ; 
My husband was a valiant knight 5 



" And I myself a ladye gay, 
Bedeckt with gorgeous rich array ; 
The happiest lady in the land 
Had not more pleasure at command. 

" I had my musicke every day, 
Harmonious lessons for to play ; 
I had my virgins fair and free 
Continually to wait on mee. 

" But now, alas ! my husband's dead, 
And all my friends are from me fled, 
My former days are past and gone, 
And I am now a serving-man." 

And fetching many a tender sigh, 
As thinking no one then was nigh, 
In pensive mood I laid me lowe. 
My heart was full, the tears did flowe. 

The king, who had a huntinge gone, 
Grewe weary of his sport anone, 
And leaving all his gallant traine, 
Turn'd on the sudden home againe : 

And when he reach'd his statelye tower, 
Hearing one sing within his bower, 
He stopt to listen, and to see 
Who sung there so melodiouslle. 

Thus heard he everye word I scd, 
And saw the pearlye teares I shed, 

And found to his amazement there, 
Sweete William was a ladye faire. 

Then stepping in, Faire ladye, rise, 
And dry, said he, those lovelye eyes. 
For I have heard thy mournful tale, 
The which shall turne to thy availe. 

A crimson dye my face orespred, 
I blusht for shame, and hung my head, 
To find my sex and story knowne, 
When as I thought I was alone. 

But to be briefe, his royall grace 
Grewe so enamour'd of my face, 
The richest gifts he proffered mee, 
His mistress if that I would bee. 

Ah ! no, my liege, I firmlye sayd, 

I'll rather in my grave be layd, 

And though your grace hath won my heart, 

I ne'er will act soe base a part. 

Faire ladye, pardon me, sayd hee, 
Thy virtue shall rewarded bee ; 
And since it is soe fairly tryde, 
Thou shalt become my royal bride. 

Then strait to end his amorous strife. 
He tooke sweet William to his wife, 
The like before was never seene, 
A serving-man became a queene. 





One of the most popular of the olden ballads, of which there have been several 

The one in the Editor's folio edition, under title of Child Maurice, which gives 
"John Stewart " for Lord Barnard and " Child Maurice " for Gil Morice, is one of the 
most forcible. 

The copy here brought before the reader having passed through "refining" hands, 
loses much of its early strength. The "greenwood" is said by Mr. Motherwell to be 
.... r o*c~*. of Dundaff in Stirlingshire. This pathetic story suggested the tragedy of 

Gil Morrice was an erles son, 

His name it waxed wide ; 
It was nae for his great riches, 

Nor set his mickle pride ; 
Bot it was for a lady gay, 

That livd on Carron side. 

Quhair sail I get a bonny boy, 

That will win hose and shoen ; 
That will gae to lord Barnards ha', 

And bid his lady cum ? 
And ze maun rin my errand, Willie ; * 

And ze may rin wi' pride ; 
Quhen other boys gae on their foot, 

On horse-back ze zall ride. 

O no ! Oh no ! my master dear ! 

I dare nae for my life ; 
I'll no gae to the bauld bar6ns, 

For to triest furth his wife. 
My bird Willie, my boy Willie ; 

My dear Willie, he sayd : 
How can ze strive against the stream ? 

For I sail be obeyd. 

Bot, O my master dear ! he cryd, 
In grene wod ze're zour lain ; 

Gi owre sic thochts, I walde ze rede, 
For fear ze should be tain. 

Haste, haste, I say, gae to the ha', 
Bid hir cum here wi speid : 

* Something seems wanting here. 

If ze refuse my heigh command, 
111 gar zour body bleid. 

Gae bid hir take this gay mantel, 

'Tis a' gowd bot the hem ; * 
Bid hir cum to the gude grene wode, 

And bring nane bot hir lain : 
And there it is, a silken sarke, 

Hir ain hand sewd the sleive ; 
And bid hir cum to Gill Morice, 

Speir nae bauld barons leave. 

Yes, I will gae zour black errand, 

Though it be to zour cost ; 
Sen ze by me will nae be warn'd, 

In it ze sail find frost. 
The baron he is a man of might, 

He neir could bide to taunt, 
As ze will see before its nicht, 

How sma' ze hae to vaunt. 

And sen I maun zour errand rin 

Sae sair against my will, 
I'se mak a vow and keip it trow, 

It sail be done for ill. 
And quhen he came to broken brigiie. 

He bent his bow and swam ; 
And quhen he came to grass growing, 

Set down his feet and ran. 

And quhen he came to Barnards ha', 
Would neither chap nor ca' : 

* Perhaps " bout the hem. " 



Bot set his bent bow to his breist, 

And lichtly lap the \va'.* 
He waukl nae tell the man his errand, 

Though he stude at the gait ; 
Bot straiht into the ha' he cam, 

Quhair they were set atmeit. 

Hail ! hail ! my gentle sire and dame ! 

My message winna waite ; 
Dame, ze maun to the gude grene wod 

Before that it be late. 
Ze're bidden tak this gay mantel, 

Tis a' gowd bot the hem : 
Zou maun gae to the gude grene wode, 

Ev'n by your sel alane. 

And there it is, a silken sarhe, 

Your ain hand sewd the sleive ; 
Ze maun gae speik to Gill Morice ; 

Speir nae bauld barons leave. 
The lady stamped wi" hir foot, 

And winked wi' hir ee ; 
Bot a' that she coud say or do, 

Forbidden he wad nae bee. 

Its surely to my bow'r-woman ; 

It neir could be to me. 
I brocht it to lord Barnards lady ; 

I trow that ze be she. 
Then up and spack the wylie nurse 

(The bairn upon hir knee), 
If it be cum frae Gill Morice, 

It's deir welcum to mee. 

Ze leid, ze leid, ze filthy nurse, 

Sae loud I heird ze lee ; 
I brocht it to lord Barnards lady ; 

I trow ze be nae shee. 
Then up and spack the bauld bar6n, 

An angry man was hee ; 
He's tain the table wi' his foot, 

Sae has he wi' his knee ; 
Till siller cup and " mazer " f dish 

In flinders he gard flee. 

* Could this he the wall of the castle? 
t i.e. a drinking cup of maple ; other edit, 
read "ezar." 

Gae bring a robe of zour eliding, 

That hings upon the pin ; 
And I'll gae to the gude grene wode, 

And speik wi' zour lemman. 
O bide' at hame, now lord Barnard, 

I warde ze bide at hame ; 
Neir wyte a man for violence, 

That neir wate ze wi' nane. 

Gil Morice sate in gude grene wode, 

He whistled and he sang : 
O what mean a' the folk coming, 

My mother tarries lang. 
His hair was like the threeds of gold, 

Drawne frae Minerva's loome : 
His lipps like roses drapping dew, 

His breath was a' perfume. 

His brow was like the mountain snae 

Gilt by the morning beam : 
His cheeks like living roses glow : 

His een like azure stream. 
The boy was clad in robes of grene, 

Sweete as the infant spring : 
And like the mavis on the bush, 

He gart the vallies ring. 

The baron came to the grene wode, 

Wi' mickle dule and care, 
And there he first spied Gill Morice 

Kameing his zellow hair : 
That sweetly wavd around his face, 

That face beyond compare : 
He sang sae sweet it might dispel 

A' rage but fell despair. 

Nae wonder, nae wonder, Gill Morice, 

My lady loed thee weel, 
The fairest part of my bodie 

Is blacker than thy heel. 
Zet neir the less now, Gill Morice, 

For a' thy great beautie, 
Ze's rew the day ze eir was born ; 

That head sail gae wi' me. 

Now he has drawn his trusty brand, 
And slaitcd on the strae ; 



And thro' Giil Morice' fair body 

He's gar cauld iron gae. 
And he has tain Gill Morice' head 

And set it on a speir ; 
The meanest man in a' his train 

Has gotten that head to bear. 

And he has tain Gill Morice up, 

Laid him across his steid, 
And brocht him to his painted bowr, 

And laid him on a bed. 
The lady sat on castil wa', 

Beheld baith dale and doun ; 
And there she saw Gill Morice' head 

Cum trailing to the toun. 

Far better I loe that bluidy head, 

Both and that zellow hair, 
Than lord Barnard, and a' his lands, 

As they lig here and thair. 
And she has tain her Gill Morice, 

And kissed baith mouth and chin : 
I was once as fow of Gill Morice, 

As the hip is o' the stean. 

I got ze in my father's house, 

Wi' mickle sin and shame ; 
I brocht thee up in gude grene wode, 

Under the heavy rain. 
Oft have I by thy cradle sitten, 

And fondly seen thee sleip ; 
But now I gae about thy grave, 

The saut tears for to weip. 

And syne she kissd his bluidy cheik, 

And syne his bluidy chin : 
O better I loe my Gill Morice 

Than a' my kith and kin ! 
Away, away, ze ill woman, 

And an il deith mait ze dee : 
Gin I had kend he'd bin zour son, 

He'd neir bin slain for mee. 

Obraid me not, my lord Barnard 1 

Obraid me not for shame ! 
Wi' that saim speir O pierce my heart I 

And put me out o' pain. 
Since nothing bot Gill Morice head 

Thy jelous rage could quell, 
Let that saim hand now tak hir life, 

That neir to thee did ill. 

To me nae after days nor nichts 

Will eir be saft or kind ; 
I'll fill the air with heavy sighs, 

And greet till I am blind. 
Enouch of blood by me's bin spilt, 

Seek not zour death frae mee ; 
I rather lourd it had been my sel 

Than eather him or thee. 

With waef6 wae I hear zour plaint ; 

Sair, sair I rew the deid, 
That eir this cursed hand of mine 

Had gard his body bleid. 
Dry up zour tears, my winsome dame, 

Ze neir can heal the wound ; 
Ze see his head upon the speir, 

His heart's blude on the ground. 

I curse the hand that did the deid, 

The heart that thocht the ill ; 
The feet that bore me wi' silk speid, 

The comely zouth to kill. 
I'll ay lament for Gill Morice, 

As gin he were mine ain ; 
I'll neir forget the dreiry day 

On which the south was slain. 

%* Since it was first printed, the Editor 
has been assured that the foregoing ballad 
is still current in many parts of Scotland, 
where the hero is universally known by 
the name of Child Maurice, pronounced 
by the common people Cheild or Cheeld, 
which occasioned the mistake. 





The oldest known form of Guy of Warwick is an Anglo-Norman one of the thirteenth 
century, composed doubtless from fragments that had floated hither and thither for 
some time previous. 

The legend of Guy given here is published from an ancient MS. copy in the 
Editor's old folio volume, under the title of Guy and Phillis, collated with two 
printed ones, one of which is in black letter in the Pepys Collection. 

" The Legend of Sir Guy," says Percy, "contains a short summary of the exploits 
of this famous champion as recorded in the old story-books, and is commonly entitled, 
' A Pleasant Song of the Valiant Deeds of Chivalry atchieved by that Noble Knight, 
Sir Guy of Warwick, who, for the Love of Fair Phelis, became a Hermit, and dyed 
in a cave of craggy rockes, a mile distant from Warwick.' " 

Rous, a priest of Guy's Cliff, in the fifteenth century, writes with regard to fair 
Phillis: "Dame Felys daughter and heire to Erie Rohand, for her beauty called 
Felyle Belle, or Felys the Faire, by true inheritance Countess of Warwick and ladye 
and wyfe to the most victorious Sir Guy ; to whom, in his woinge time, she made 
great straungenes, and caused him for her sake to put himself in meny greate distresse, 
dangers, and perills ; but when they wer wedded, and wer but a little season togither, 
he departed from her to her greate hevyness, and never was conversant with her after 
to her understandinge." 

So he left the countess, and took upon himself pilgrim's weeds, which he wore to 
his life's end. His last battle was his victory over Colbrand, the Danish giant. He 
returned to Warwick, unknown to any but the king. "And two days before his 
deathe," says Rous, " an angell informed him of his passage oute of this world, and 
of his ladyes the day fourtnight after him." 

So popular had the history of Guy of Warwick become, and so widely had it spread, 
that we are told by Dugdale, that in the year 1410, Lord Beauchamp, travelling in the 
East, was at Jerusalem invited to the palace by the Soldan's lieutenant, who had 
heard he was a descendant of Sir Guy of Warwick, of whom they had read in their 
own books ; and who, after " royally feasting him, presented him with three precious 
stones of great value, besides divers cloaths of silk and gold given to his servants." 

Was ever knight for ladyes sake 

Soe tost in love, as I sir Guy 
For Phelis fayre, that lady bright 

As ever man beheld with eye ? 

She gave me leave myself to try, 
The valiant knight with sheeld and 

Ere that her love shee wold grant me ; 
Which made mee venture far and neare. 

Then proved I a baron bold, 

In deeds of armes the doughtyest knight 
That in those dayes in England was, 

With sworde and speare in ieild to 

An English man I was by birthe : 
In faith of Christ a christyan true : 

The wicked lawes of infidells 
I sought by prowesse to subdue. 



" Nine " hundred twenty yeere and odde 
After our Saviour Christ his birth, 

When king Athelstone wore the crowne, 
I lived heere upon the earth. 

Sometime I was of Warwicke erle, 
And, as I sayd, of very truth 

A ladyes love did me constraine 
To seeke strange ventures in my youth. 

To win me fame by feates of armes 
In strange and sundry heathen lands ; 

Where I atchieved for her sake 

Right dangerous conquests with my 

For first I sayled to Normandye, 
And there I stoutlye wan in fight 

The emperours daughter of Almaine, 
From manye a vallyant worthye knight. 

Then passed I the seas to Greece 
To helpe the emperour in his right ; 

Against the mightye souldans hoaste 
Of puissant Persians for to fight. 

Where I did slay of Sarazens, 
And heathen pagans, manye a man ; 

And slew the souldans cozen deere, 
Who had to name doughtye Coldran. 

Eskeldered a famous knight 
To death likewise I did pursue : 

And Elmayne king of Tyre alsoe, 
Most terrible in fight to viewe. 

I went into the souldans hoast, 
Being thither on embassage sent, 

And brought his head awaye with mee ; 
I having slaine him in his tent. 

There was a dragon in that land 
Most fiercelye mett me by the waye 

As hee a lyon did pursue, 

Which I myself did alsoe slay. 

Then soon I past the seas from Greece, 
And came to Pavye land aright : 

Where I the duke of Pavye killed, 
His hainous treason to requite. 

To England then I came with speede, 
To wedd faire Phelis lady bright : 

For love of whome I travelled farr 
To try my manhood and my might. 

But when I had espoused her, 
I stayd with her but fortye dayes, 

Ere that I left this ladye faire, 
And went from her beyond the seas. 

All cladd in gray, in pilgrim sort, 
My voyage from her I did take 

Unto the blessed Holy-land, 
For Jesus Christ my Saviours sake. 

Where I erle Jonas did redeeme, 
And all his sonnes, which were fifteene, 

Who with the cruell Sarazens 

In prison for long time had beene. 

I slew the gyant Amarant 
In battell fiercelye hand to hand : 

And doughty Barknard killed I, 
A treacherous knight of Pavye land. 

Then I to England came againe, 

And here with Colbronde fell I fought: 

An ugly gyant, which the Danes 

Had for their champion hither brought. 

I overcame him in the feild, 

And slewe him soone right valliantlye ; 
Wherebye this land I did redeeme 

From Danish tribute utterlye. 

And afterwards I offered upp 
The use of weapons solemnlye 

At Winchester, whereas I fought, 
In sight of manye farr and nye. 

" But first," neare Winsor, I did slaye 
A bore of passing might and strength ; 

Whose like in England never was 
For hugenesse both in bredth and 




Some of his bones in Warwicke yett * 
Within the castle there doe lye : 

One of his sheeld-bones to this day 
Hangs in the citye of Coventrye. 

On Dunsmore heath I alsoe slewe 
A monstrous wyld and cruell beast, 

Calld the Dun-cow of Dunsmore heath ; 
Which manye people had opprest. 

Some of her bones in Warwicke yett * 
Still for a monument doe lye ; 

And there exposed to lookers viewe 
As wonderous strange, they may espye. 

A dragon in Northumberland 

I alsoe did in fight destroye, 
Which did bothe man and beast oppresse, 

And all the countrye sore annoye. 

At length to Warwicke I did come, 
Like pilgrim poore, and was not 
knowne ; 

And there I lived a hermitts life 
A mile and more out of the towne. 

Where with my hands I hewed a house 
Out of a craggy rocke of stone ; f 

And lived like a palmer poore 
Within that cave myself alone : 

And daylye came to begg my bread 
Of Phelis att my castle gate ; 

Not knowne unto my loved wiffe, 
Who dailye mourned for her mate. 

Till att the last I fell sore sicke, 
Yea sicke soe sore that I must dye ; 

I sent to her a ring of golde. 

By which shee knew me presentlye. 

Then shee repairing to the cave 
Before that I gave up the ghost ; 

Herself closd up my dying eyes : 
My Phelis faire, whom T lovd most. 

Thus dreadful death did me arrest, 
To bring my corpes unto the grave ; 

And like a palmer dyed I, 

Wherby I sought my soule to save. 

My body that endured this toyle, 
Though now it be consumed to mold ; 

My statue faire engraven in stone, 
In Warwicke still you may behold. 


The Editor found this poem in his ancient folio manuscript among the old ballads ; 
its author is Samuel Rowlands, one of the minor poets of the reigns of Elizabeth and 
James, perhaps later. An edition was published in 1649. 

Guy journeycs towards that sanctifyed 
Whereas the Jewes fayre citye some- 
time stood, 
Wherin our Saviours sacred head was 
And where for sinfull man he shed his 
blood : 

* These relics, together with Guy's porridge- 
pot, staff, spear, thumb-ring, etc., are still to 
be seen at Warwick Castle. 

t Guy's Cliff, near Warwick. 

To see the sepulcher was his intent, 
The tombe that Joseph unto Jesus lent. 

With tedious miles he tyred his wearye 
And passed desart places full of danger, 
At last with a most woefull wight* did 
A man that unto sorrow was noe 
stranger : 

* Erie Jonas, mentioned in the foregoing 



For he had fifteen sonnes, made captives 

To slavish bondage, in extremest thrall. 

A gyant called Amarant detaind them, 
Whom noe man durst encounter for 
his strength : 

Who in a castle, which he held, had 
chaind them : 
Guy questions, where ? and under- 
stands at length 

The place not farr. — Lend me thy sword, 
quoth hee, 

He lend my manhood all thy sonnes to 

With that he goes, and lays upon the 

Like one that sayes, I must, and will 

come in : 
The gyant never was soe rowz'd before : 
For noe such knocking at his gate had 

Soe takes his keyes, and clubb, and 

cometh out 
Staring with ireful countenance about. 

Sirra, quoth hee, what business hast thou 

heere ? 
Art come to feast the crowes about my 

walls ? 
Didst never heare, noe ransome can him 

That in the compasse of my furye falls : 
For making me to take a porters paines, 
With this same clubb I will dash out thy 


Gyant, quoth Guy, y'are quarrelsome I see, 

Choller and you seem very neere of kin : 

Most dangerous at the clubb belike you 

bee ; 
I have bin better armd, though nowe 

goe thin ; 
But shew thy utmost hate, enlarge thy 

Keene is my weapon, and shall doe me 


Soe draws his sword, salutes him with the 

About the head, the shoulders, and the 

side : 
Whilst his erected clubb doth death pro- 

Standinge with huge Colossus' spacious 

Putting such vigour to his knotty beame, 
That like a furnace he did smoke ex- 


But on the ground he spent his strokes 

in vaine, 
For Guy was nimble to avoyde them 

And ever ere he heav'd his clubb againe, 
Did brush his plated coat against his 

Att such advantage Guy wold never 

To bang him soundlye in his coate of 


Att last through thirst the gyant feeble 

And sayd to Guy, As thou'rt of humane 

Shew itt in this, give natures wants their 

Let me but goe, and drinke in yonder 

place : 
Thou canst not yeeld to "me" a smaller 

Than to graunt life, thats given by the 


I graunt thee leave, quoth Guye, goe 
drink thy last, 
Go pledge the dragon, and the salvage 
bore : * 
Succeed the tragedyes that they have 
But never thinke to taste cold water 
more : 

* Which Guy had slain before. 


Drinke deepe to Death and unto him 

Amarant for those wounds in choller 

carouse : 


Bid him receive thee in his earthen house. 

And desperatelye att Guy his clubb he 

throwes : 

Soe to the spring he goes, and slakes his 

thirst ; 

Which did directly on his body light, 

Takeing the water in extremely like 

Soe violent, and weighty there-withall. 

Some wracked shipp that on a rocke is 

That downe to ground on sudden came 


the knight ; 

Whose forced hulke against the stones 

And, ere he cold recover from the fall, 

does stryke ; 

The gyant gott his clubb againe in fist, 

Scooping it in soe fast with both his 

And aimd a stroke that wonderfullye mist. 


That Guy admiring to behold it stands. 

Traytor, quoth Guy, thy falshood He 


Come on, quoth Guy, let us to worke 

This coward act to intercept my bloode. 


Sayes Amarant, He murther any way, 

Thou stayest about thy liquor over- 

With enemyes all vantages are good : 


O could I poyson in thy nostrils blowe, 

The fish, which in the river doe remaine, 

Be sure of it I wold dispatch thee soe. 

Will want thereby ; thy drinking doth 

them wrong : 

Its well, said Guy, thy honest thoughts 

But I will see their satisfaction made, 


With gyants blood they must and shall 

Within that beastlye bulke where 

be payd. 

devills dwell ; 

Which are thy tenants while thou livest 

Villaine, quoth Amarant, He crush thee 


streight ; 

But will be landlords when thou comest 

Thy life shall pay thy daring toungs 

in hell : 

offence : 

Vile miscreant, prepare thee for their den, 

This clubb, which is about some hundred 
Is deathes commission to dispatch thee 

Inhumane monster, hatefull unto men. 

But breathe thy selfe a time, while I goe 

hence : 


Dresse thee for ravens dyett I must 

For fiameing Phoebus with his fyerye 

needes ; 


And breake thy bones, as they were made 

Torments me soe with burning heat, I 

of reedes. 


My thirst wold serve to drinke an 

Incensed much by these bold pagan 

ocean drye : 


Forebar a litle, as I delt with thee. 

Which worthye Guy cold ill endure to 

Quoth Amarant, Thou hast noe foole ol 



He hewes upon those bigg supporting 


Noe, sillye wretch, my father taught more 

Which like two pillars did his. bodye 



How I shold use such enemyes as thou ; 



By all my gods I doe rejoice at itt, 
To understand that thirst constraines 
thee now ; 
For all the treasure, that the world 

One drop of water shall not coole thy 
. vaines. 

Releeve my foe ! why, 'twere a madmans 
part : 
Refresh an adversarye to my wrong ! 
If thou imagine this, a child thou art : 
Noe, fellow, I have known the world 
too long 
To be soe simple : now I know thy want, 
A minutes space of breathing I'll not 

And with these words heaving aloft his 

Into the ayre, he swings the same 

about : 
Then shakes his lockes, and doth his 

temples rubb, 
And, like the Cyclops, in his pride doth 

strout : 
Sirra, sayes hee, I have you at a lift, 
Now you are come unto your latest shift. 

Perish forever : with this stroke I send 

A medicine, that will doe thy thirst 

much good ; 
Take noe more care for drinke before I 

end thee, 
And then wee'Il have carouses of thy 

blood : 
Here's at thee with a butcher's downright 

To please my furye with thine overthrow. 

Infemall, false, obdurate feend, said Guy, 
That seemst a lumpe of crueltye from 
hell ; 
Ungratefull monster, since thou dost deny 

With more revenge, than ere my sword 

did make, 
On thy accursed head revenge He take. 

Thygyants longitude shall shorter shrinke 
Except thy sun-scorcht skin be weapon 

proof : 
Farewell my thirst ; I doe disdaine to 

drinke ; 
Streames keepe your waters to your 

owne behoof ; 
Or let wild beasts be welcome thereunto ; 
With those pearle drops I will not have 

to do. 

Here, tyrant, take a taste of my good-will, 
For thus I doe begin my bloodye bout : 

You cannot chuse but like the greeting 
It is not that same clubb will beare 
you out ; 

And take this payment on thy shaggye 
crowne —  

A blowe that brought him with a ven- 
geance downe. 

Then Guy sett foot upon the monsters 

And froiu his shoulders did his head 

divide ; 
Which with a yawninge mouth did gape, 

unb'.c5t ; 
Noe didgons jawes were ever seene soe 

To open and to shut, till life was spent. 
Then Guy tooke keyes, and to the castle 


Where manye woefull captives he did 

Which had beene tyred with extremityes ; 
Whom he in friendly manner did unbind, 
And reasoned with them of their 
miseryes : 
Eche told a tale with teares, and sighes, 
and cryes, 

The thing to mee wherin I used thee | All weeping to him with complaining 
well: • I eyes. 



There tender ladyes in darke dungeons 

That were surprised in the desart wood, 
And had noe other dyett everye day, 
But flesh of humane creatures for their 

food : 
Some with their lovers bodyes had beene 

And in their wombes their husbands 


Now he bethinkes him of his being there, 
To enlarge the wronged brethren from 
their woes : 
And, as he searcheth, doth great clamours 
By which sad sound's direction on he 
Untill he findes a darksome obscure gate, 
Arm'd strongly ouer all with iron plate. 

That he unlockes, and enters, where 

The strangest object that he ever saw ; 
Men that with famishment of many ycares, 
Were like deathes picture, which the 

painters draw ; 
Divers of them were hanged by echc 

thombe ; 
Others head-downward: by the middle 


With diligence he takes them from the 

With lybertye their thraldome to 

acquaint : 
Then the perplexed knight their father 

And sayes, Receive thy sonnes though 

poore and faint : 
I promisd you their lives, accept of that ; 
But did not warrant you they shold be fat. 

The castle I doc give thee, heere's the 

Where tyranye for many yeeres did 

dwell : 
Procure the gentle tender ladyes ease. 
For pittyes sake, use wronged women 

well : 
Men easilye revenge the wrongs men do ; 
But poore weake women have not strength 


The good old man, even overjoyed with 
Fell on the ground, and wold have kist 
Guys feetc : 
Father, quoth he, rcfraine soe base a 
For age to honor youth I hold unmeete : 
Ambitious pryde hath hurt me all it can, 
I goe to mortifie a sinfull man. 



I have not been able to meet with a more ancient copy of this humorous old song 
than that printed in the Tea-Table Miscellany, etc., which seems to have admitted 
some corruptions. 

Late in an evening forth I went 
A little before the sun gade down, 

And there I chanc'- by accident, 
To light on a bai tie new begun : 

A man and his wife wer fawn in a strife, 
I canna weel tell ye how it began ; 

But aye she wail'd her wretched life, 
Crycng, Evir alake, mine auld goodnia* 1 


Thy auld goodman, that thou tells of, 
The country kens where he was born, 



Was but a silly poor vagabond, 
And ilka ane leugh him to scorn : 

For he did spend and make an end 
Of gear " his fathers nevir" wan ; 

Hegart the poor stand frae the door ; 
Sae tell nae mair of thy auld goodman. 


My heart, alake ! is liken to break, 

Whan I think on my winsome John, 
His blinkan ee, and gait sae free, 

Was naithing like thee, thou dosend 
drone ; 
Wi' his rosie face, and flaxen hair, 

And skin as white as ony swan, 
He was large and tall, and comely withall ; 

Thou'lt nevir be like mine auld good- 


Why dost ihou plcin ? I thee maintein ; 

For meal and mawt thou disna want : 
But thy wild bees I canna please, 

Now whan our gear gins to grow scant : 

Of houshold stuff thou hast enough ; 

Thou wants for neither pot nor pan ; 
Of sicklike ware he left thee bare ; 

Sae tell nae mair of thy auld goodmaa 


Yes I may tell, and fret my sell, 

To think on those blyth days I had, 
Whan I and he together ley 

In armes into a well-made bed : 
But now I sigh and may be sad, 

Thy courage is cauld, thy colour wan, 
Thou falds thy feet, and fa's asleep ; 

Thou'lt nevir be like mine auld good- 

Then coming was the night sae dark, 

And gane was a' the light of day : 
The carle was fear'd to miss his mark, 

And therefore wad nae longer stay : 
Then up he gat, and ran his way, 

I trowe, the wife the day she wan ; 
And aye the owreword of the fray 

Was, Evir alake ! mine auld goodman. 


THIS seems to be the old song quoted in Fletcher's Ktiight of the Burning Pestle, 
Acts ii. and iii. , although the six lines there preserved are somewhat different from 
those in the ballad as it stands at present. The reader will not wonder at this, when 
he is informed that this is only given from a modern printed copy picked up on a 
stall. Its full title is, Fair Margarets Misfortunes ; or Sweet William s frightful 
dreams on his wedding night, with the sudden death and burial of those noble lovers. 
The lines preserved in the play are this distich : 

"You are no love for me, Margaret, 
I am no love for you ; " 

and the following stanza : 

" When it was grown to dark midnight, 
And all were'fast asleep, 
In came Margaret's grimly ghost 
And stood at William's feet." 

These lines have acquired an importance by giving birth to one of the most beautiful 
ballads in our own or any language. See the song entitled Margaret's Ghost at the 
end of this volume. 



As it fell out on a long summer's day, 
Two lovers they sat on a hill ; 

They sat together that long summer's day, 
And could not talk their fill. 

I see no harm by you, Margaret, 

And you see none by mee ; 
Before to-morrow at eight o' the clock 

A rich wedding you shall see. 

Fair Margaret sat in her bower-window, 

Combing her yellow hair ; 
There she spyed sweet William and his 

As they were a riding near. 

Then down she layd her ivory combe, 
And braided her hair in twain : 

She went alive out of her bower, 
But ne'er came alive in't again. 

When day was gone, and night was come, 

And all men fast asleep, 
Then came the spirit of fair Marg'ret, 

And stood at Williams feet. 

Are you awake, sweet William? shee said ; 

Or, sweet William, are you asleep ? 
God give you joy of your gay bride-bed, 

And me of my winding sheet. 

When day was come, and night was gone, 
And all men wak'd from sleep, 

Sweet William to his lady sayd, 
My dear, I have cause to weep. 

I dreamt a dream, my dear ladye, 
Such dreames are never good : 

I dreamt my bower was full of red ' ' wine, " 
And my bride-bed full of blood. 

Such dreams, such dreams, my honoured 
They never do prove good ; 
To dream thy bower was full of red 
And thy bride-bed full of blood. 

He called up his merry men all, 
By one, by two, and by three ; 

Saying, I'll away to fair Marg'ret's bower, 
By the leave of my ladie. 

And when he came to fair Marg'ret's 

He knocked at the ring ; 
And who so ready as her seven brethren 

To let sweet William in. 

Then he turned up the covering-sheet, 

Pray let me see the dead ; 
Methinks she looks all pale and wan, 

She hath lost her cherry red. 

I'll do more for thee, Margaret, 

Than any of thy kin ; 
For I will kiss thy pale wan lips, 

Though a smile I cannot win. 

With that bespake the seven brethren, 

Making most piteous mone : 
You may go kiss your jolly brown bride, 

And let our sister alone. 

If I do kiss my jolly brown bride, 

I do but what is right ; 
I neer made a vow to yonder poor corpse 

By day, nor yet by night. 

Deal on, deal on, my merry men all, 
Deal on your cake and your wine : * 

For whatever is dealt at her funeral to-day, 
Shall be dealt to-morrow at mine. 

Fair Margaret dyed to-day, to-day, 
Sweet William dyed the morrow : 

Fair Margaret dyed for pure true love, 
Sweet William dyed for sorrow. 

Margaret was buryed in the lowerchancel, 

And William in the higher : 
Out of her brest there sprang a rose, 

And out of his a briar. 

* Alluding to the dole anciently given at 



They grew till they grevr unto the church top, 
And then they could grow no higher ; 

And there they tyed in a true lovers knot, 
Which made all the people admire. 

Then came the clerk of the parish, 
As you the truth shall hear, 

And by misfortune cut them down, 
Or they had now been there. 


Given, with some corrections, from an old black-letter copy, entitled Barbara Allen i 
Cruelty, or the Young Man's Tragedy. 

IN Scarlet towne, where I was borne, 
There was a faire maid dwellin, 

Made every youth crye, Wel-awaye ! 
Her name was Barbara Allen. 

All in the merrye month of May, 

When greene buds they were swellin, 

Yong Jemmye Grove on his death-bed lay, 
For love of Barbara Allen. 

He sent his man unto her then, 
To the town where shee was dwellin ; 

You must come to my master deare, 
Giff your name be Barbara Allen, 

For death is printed on his face, 

And ore his hart is stealin : 
Then haste away to comfort him, 

O lovelye Barbara Allen. 

Though death be printed on his face, 

And ore his harte is stealin, 
Yet little better shall he bee 

For bonny Barbara Allen. 

So slowly, slowly, she came up, 
And slowly she came nye him ; 

And all she sayd, when there she came, 
Yong man, I think y'are dying. 

He turnd his face unto her strait, 
With deadlye sorrow sighing ; 

O lovely maid, come pity mee, 
Jme on my deth-bed lying. 

If on your death-bed you doe lye, 
What needs the tale you are tellin ; 

I cannot keep you from your death ; 
Farewell, sayd Barbara Allen. 

He turnd his face unto the wall, 

As deadlye pangs he fell in : 
Adieu ! adieu ! adieu to you all, 

Adieu to Barbara Allen. 

As she was walking ore the fields, 

She heard the bell a knellin ; 
And every stroke did seem to saye, 

Unworthy Barbara Allen. 

She turnd her bodye round about, 
And spied the corps a coming : 

Laye down, laye down the corps, she sayd, 
That I may look upon him. 

With scornful eye she looked downe, 
Her cheeke with laughter swellin ; 

Whilst all her friends cryd out amaine ; 
Unworthye Barbara Allen. 

When he was dead, and laid in grave, 
Her harte was struck with sorrowe, 

O mother, mother, make my bed, 
For I shall dye to-morrowe. 

Hard-harted creature him to slight, 

Who loved me so dearlye : 
O that I had beene more kind to him, 

When he was alive and neare me I 



She, on her death-bed as she laye, 
Beg'd to be buried by him ; 

And sore repented of the daye, 
That she did ere denye him. 

Farewell, she sayd, ye virgins all, 
And shun the fault I fell in : 

Henceforth take warning by the fall 
Of cruel Barbara Allen. 



From Allan Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany, but claimed by, and often ascribed to, 
Mallet. Mr. W. Chappell, in the Antiquary, vol. i., shows reasons for disputing 
this claim. 

There came a ghost to Margaret's door, 
With many a grievous grone, 

And ay he tirled at the pin ; 
But answer made she none. 

Is this my father Philip? 

Or is't my brother John? 
Or is't my true love Willie, 

From Scotland new come home ? 

'Tis not thy father Philip ; 

Nor yet thy brother John : 
But tis thy true love Willie, 

From Scotland new come home. 

O sweet Margret ! O dear Margret ! 

I pray thee speak to mee : 
Give me my faith and troth, Margret, 

As I gave it to thee. 

Thy faith and troth thou'se nevir get, 

" Of me shalt nevir win," 
Till that thou come within my bower, 

And kiss my cheek and chin. 

If I should come within thy bower, 

I am no earthly man : 
And should I kiss thy rosy lipp, 

Thy days will not be lang. 

O sweet Margret, O dear Margret, 

I pray thee speak to mee : 
Give me my faith and troth, Margret, 

As I gave it to thee, 

Thy faith and troth thou'se nevir get, 

" Of me shalt nevir win," 
Till thou take me to yon kirk yard, 

And wed me with a ring. 

My bones are buried in a kirk yard 

Afar beyond the sea, 
And it is but my sprite, Margret 

That's speaking now to thee. 

She stretched out her lily-white hand, 

As for to do her best : 
Hae there your faith and troth, Willie, 

God send your soul good rest. 

Now she has kilted her robes of green, 

A piece below her kn©3 : 
And a' the live-lang winter night 

The dead corps followed shee. 

Is there any room at your head, Willie ? 

Or any room at your feet ? 
Or any room at your side, Willie, 

Wherein that I may creep ? 

There's nae room at my head, Margret, 
There's nae room at my feet, 

There's no room at my side, Margret, 
My coffin is made so meet. 

Then up and crew the red red cock, 
And up then crew the gray : 

Tis time, tis time, my dear Margret, 
That "I " were gane ?' 



No more the ghost to Margret said, 
But, with a grievous grone, 

Evanish'd in a cloud of mist, 
And left her all alone. 

O stay, my only true love, stay, 

The constant Margret cried : 
Wan grew her cheeks, she clos'd her een, 

Stretch'd her saft limbs, and died. 



Printed, with a few conjectural emendations, from a written copy. 

It was in and about the Martinmas time, 

When the greene leaves wer a fallan ; 
That Sir John Grehme o' the west coun- 

Fell in luve wi' Barbara Allan. 

He sent his man down throw the towne, 
To the plaice wher she was dwellan : 

O haste and cum to my maister deare, 
Gin ye bin Barbara Allan. 

O hooly, hooly raise she up, 

To the plaice wher he was lyan ; 

And whan she drew the curtain by, 
Young man, I think ye're dyan.* 

O its I'm sick, and very very sick, 

And its a' for Barbara Allan. 
O the better for me ye'se never be, 

Though your harts blude wer spillan. 

* An ingenious friend thinks the rhymes 
"dyan "and "lyan" ought to be transposed, 
as the taunt, " Young man, I think ye're lyan," 
would be very characteristical. 

Remember ye nat in the tavern, sir, 
Whan ye the cups wer fillan ; 

How ye made the healths gae round and 
And slighted Barbara Allan? 

He turn'd his face unto the wa', 
And death was with him dealan ; 

Adiew ! adiew ! my dear friends a', 
Be kind to Barbara Allan. 

Then hooly, hooly raise she up, 

And hooly, hooly left him ; 
And sighan said, she could not stay, 

Since death of life had reft him. 

She had not gane a mile but twa, 

Whan she heard the deid-bell knellan ; 

And everye jow the deid-bell geid, 
Cried, Wae to Barbara Allan ! 

O mither, mither, mak my bed, 

O mak it saft and narrow : 
Since my love died for me to day, 

Ise die for him to morrowe. 




From an ancient black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, with some improvements. 
Islington in Norfolk is probably the place here meant. 

There was a youthe, and a well-beloved 

And he was a squire's son : 
He loved the bayliffe's daughter deare, 

That lived in Islington. 

Yet she was coye, and would not believe 

That he did love her soe, 
Noe nor at any time would she 

Any countenance to him showe. 

But when his friendes did understand 

His fond and foolish minde, 
They sent him up to faire London, 

An apprentice for to binde. 

And when he had been seven long 

And never his love could see : 
Many a teare have I shed for her sake, 

When she little thought of mee. 

Then all the maids of Islington 
Went forth to sport and playe, 

All but tliL> bayliffe's daughter deare ; 
She secretly stole awaye. 

She pulled off her gowne of greene, 

And put on ragged attire, 
And to faire London she would go 

Her true love to enquire. 

And as she went along the high road, 
The weather being hot and drye, 

She sat her downe upon a green bank, 
And her true love came riding bye. 

She started up, with a colour soe redd, 
Catching hold of his bridlc-reine ; 

One penny, one penny, kind sir, she 
Will ease me of much paine. 

Before I give you one penny, sweet-heart, 
Praye tell me where you were borne. 

At Islington, kind sir, sayd shee, 
Where I have had many a scorne. 

I prythee, sweet-heart, then tell to mee, 
O tell me, whether you knowe 

The bayliffe's daughter of Islington. 
She is dead, sir, long agoe. 

If she be dead, then take my horse, 

My saddle and bridle also ; 
For I will into some farr countrye, 

Where noe man shall me knowe. 

O staye, O staye, thou goodlye youthe, 

She standeth by thy side ; 
She is here alive, she is not dead, 

And readye to be thy bride. 

O farewell griefe, and welcome joye, 

Ten thousand times therefore ; 
For nowe I have founde mine owne true 
Whom I thought I should never see 





From the small black-letter collection, entitled The Golden Garland of princely 
Delights, collated with two other copies, and corrected by conjecture. 


How now, shepherde, what meanes that? 
Why that willowe in thy hat ? 
Why thy scarffes of red and yellowe 
Turn'd to branches of greene willowe? 


They are chang'd, and so am I ; 
Sorrowes live, but pleasures die : 
Phillis hath forsaken mee, 
Which makes me weare the willowe-tree. 


Phillis ! shee that lov'd thee long? 
Is shee the lass hath done thee wrong ? 
Shee that lov'd thee long and best, 
Is her love turned to a jest ? 


Shee that long true love profest, 
She hath robb'd my heart of rest : 
For she a new love loves, not mee ; 
Which makes me wear the willowe-tree. 


Come then, shepherde, let us joine, 
Since thy happ is like to mine : 
For the maid I thought most true 
Mee hath also bid adieu. 


Thy hard happ doth mine appease, 
Companye doth sorrowe ease : 
Yet, Phillis, still I pine for thee, 
And still must weare the willowe-tree. 


Shepherde, be advis'd by mee, 
Cast off grief and willowe-tree: 
For thy grief brings her content, 
She is pleas'd if thou lament. 


Herdsman, I'll be rul'd by thee, 
There lyes grief and willowe-tree : 
Henceforth I will do as they, 
And love a new love every day. 


Is given (with corrections) from the Editor's ancient folio MS., collated with two 
printed copies in black letter ; one in the British Museum, the other in the Pepys 

Marke well my heavy dolefull tale, 

You loyall lovers all, 
And heedfully beare in your brest 

A gallant ladyes fall. 
Long was she wooed, ere shee was wonne, 

To lead a wedded life, 
But folly wrought her overthrowe 

Before shee was a wife. 

Too soone, alas ! shee gave consent 

And yeelded to his will, 
Though he protested to be true, 

And faithfull to her still. 
Shee felt her body altered quite, 

Her bright hue waxed pale, 
Her lovelye cheeks chasig'd color white, 

Her strength began to fayle. 



Soe that with many a sorrowful sigh, 

My selfe will step betweene the swords, 

This beauteous ladye milde, 

And take the harme on mee : 

With greeved hart, perceived herselfe 

Soe shall I scape dishonor quite ; 

To have conceived with childe. 

And if I should be slaine, 

Shee kept it from her parents sight 

What could they say, but that true love 

As close as close might bee, 

Had wrought a ladyes bane. 

And soe put on her silken gowne 

None might her swelling see. 

But feare not any further harme ; 

My selfe will soe devise, 

Unto her lover secretly 

That I will ryde away with thee 

Her greefe shee did bewray, 

Unknowen of mortall eyes : 

And, walking with him hand in hand, 

Disguised like some pretty page 

These words to him did say ; 

He meete thee in the darke, 

Behold, quoth shee, a maids distresse 

And all alone He come to thee 

By love brought to thy bowe, 

Hard by my fathers parke. 

Behold I goe with childe by thee, 

Tho none thereof doth knowe. 

And there, quoth hee, lie meete my deare 

If God soe lend me life, 

The litle babe springs in my wombe 

On this day month without all fayle 

To heare its fathers voyce, 

I will make thee my wife. 

Lett it not be a bastard called, 

Then with a sweet and loving kisse, 

Sith I made thee my choyce : 

They parted presentlye, 

Come, come, my love, perform thy vowe 

And att their partinge brinish teares 

And wed me out of hand ; 

Stoode in eache others eye. 

O leave me not in this extreme 
Of griefe, alas ! to stand. 

Think on thy former promises, 

Thy oathes and vowes eche one ; 
Remember with what bitter teares 

To mee thou madest thy moane. 
Convay me to some secrett place, 

And marry me with speede ; 
Or with thy rapyer end my life, 

Ere further shame proceede. 

Alacke ! my beauteous love, quoth hee, 

My joye, and only dear ; 
Which way can I convay thee hence, 

When dangers are so near? 
Thy friends are all of hye degree, 

And I of meane estate ; 
Full hard it is to gett thee forthe 

Out of thy fathers gate. 

Dread not thy life to save my fame, 
For, if thou taken bee, 

Att length the wished day was come, 

On which this beauteous mayd. 
With longing eyes, and strange attire, 

For her true lover stayd. 
When any person shee espyed 

Come ryding ore the plaine, 
She hop'd it was her owne true love : 

But all her hopes were vaine. 

Then did shee weepe and sore bewayle 

Her most unhappy fate ; 
Then did shee speake these woefull words, 

As succourless she sate ; 
O false, forsvvorne, and faithlesse man, 

Disloyall in thy love, 
Hast thou forgott thy promise past, 

And wilt thou perjured prove? 

And hast thou now forsaken mee 

In this my great distresse, 
To end my dayes in open shame, 

Which thou mightst well redresse ? 



Woe worth the time I eer believ'd 
That flattering tongue of thme : 

Wold God that I had never seene 
The teares of thy false eyne. 

And thus with many a sorrowful sigh, 

Homewards shee went againe ; 
Noe rest came in her waterye eyes, 

Shee felt such privye paine. 
In travail strong shee fell that night, 

With many a bitter throwe ; 
What woefull paines shee then did feel, 

Doth eche good woman knowe. 

Shee called up her waiting mayd, 

That lay at her bedds feete, 
Who musing at her mistress woe, 

Began full fast to weepe. 
Weepe not, said shee, but shutt the dores, 

And windowes round about, 
Let none bewray my wretched state, 

But keepe all persons out. 

O mistress, call your mother deare 

Of women you have neede, 
And of some skilfull midwifes helpe, 

That better may you speed. 
Call not my mother for thy life, 

Nor fetch no woman here ; 

The midwifes helpe comes all too late, 
My death I doe not feare. 

With that the babe sprang from her vvombe, 

No creature being nye, 
And with one sighe, which brake her hart, 

This gentle dame did dye. 
The lovely litle infant younge. 

The mother being dead, 
Resigned its new received breath 

To him that had it made. 

Next morning came her own true love, 

Affrighted at the newes, 
And he for sorrow slew himselfe, 

Whom eche one did accuse. 
The mother with her new borne babe, 

Were laide both in one grave : 
Their parents overworne with woe, 

No joy thenceforth cold have. 

Take heed, you dayntye damsells all, 

Of flattering words beware, 
And to the honour of your name 

Have an especial care. 
Too true, alas ! this story is, 

As many one can tell : 
By others harmes learne to be wise, 

And you shall do full welL 



This is a very ancient song, but we could only give it from a modern copy. Some 
editions instead of the four last lines in the second stanza have these, which have too 
much merit to be wholly suppressed : 

"Whan cockle shells turn siller bells, 
And muscles grow on every tree, 
When frost and snaw sail warm us aw*, 
Than sail my love prove true to me." 

See the OrJ>he?/s Caledouiits, etc. . 

Arthur's Seat, mentioned in ver. 17, is a hill near Edinburgh, at the bottom of 

which is St. Anthony's well. 

O ivaly waly up the bank, 

And waly waly down the brae, 

And waly waly yon burn side, 
Where I and my love wer wont to gae. 

I leant my back unto an aik, 
I thought it was a trusty tree ; 

But first it bow'd, and syne it brak, 
Sae my true love did lichtly mc. 



O waly waly, gin love be bonny, 

A little time while it is new ; 
But when its auld, it waxeth cauld, 

And fades awa' like morning dew. 
O wherf ore shuld 1 busk my head ? 

Or wherfore shuld I kame my hair? 
For my true love has me forsook, 

And says he'll never loe me main 

Now Arthur-seat sail be my bed, 

The sheets shall neir hefyl'd by me : 
Saint Anton's well sail be my drink, 

Since my true love has forsaken me. 
Marti'mas wind, when wilt thoublaw, 

And shake the green leaves aff the tree ? 
O gentle death, whan wilt thou cum ? 

For of my life I am wearie. 

Tis not the frost, that freezes fell, 

Nor blawing snaws inclemencie ; 
'Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry, 

But my loves heart grown cauld to me. 
Whan we came in by Glasgowe town, 

We were a comely sight to see, 
My love was cled in black velvet, 

And I my sell in cramasie. 

But had I wist, before I kisst, 

That love had been sae ill to win ; 
I had lockt my heart in a case of gowd, 

And pinnd it with a siller pin. 
And, oh ! if my young babe were born, 

And set upon the nurses knee, 
And I my sell were dead and gane 1 

For a maid again Ise never be. 


FROM two ancient copies in black letter, one in the Pepys Collection, the other in 
the British Museum. To the tune of " The Lady's Fall." 

CoMEmourne, come mourne with mee, 

You loyall lovers all ; 
Lament my loss in weeds of woe, 

Whom griping grief doth thrall. 

Like to the drooping vine, 
Cut by the gardener's knife, 

Even so my heart, with sorrow slaine, 
Doth bleed for my sweet wife. 

By death, that grislye ghost, 

My turtle dove is slaine, 
And I am left, unhappy man, 

To spend my days in paine. 

Her beauty late so bright, 

1 -ike roses in their prime, 
Is wasted like the mountain snowe, 

Before warme Phebus' shine. 

Her faire red colour'd cheeks 
Now pale and wan ; her eyes, 

That late did shine like crystal stars, 
Alas, their light it dies : 

Her prettye lilly hands, 

With fingers long and small. 

In colour like the earthly claye, 
Yea, cold and stiff withall. 

When as the morning-star 
Her golden gates had spred 

And that the glittering sun arose 
Forth from fair Thetis' bed. 

Then did my love awake, 

Most like a lilly-flower, 
And as the lovely queene of heaven, 

So shone shee in her bower. 

Attired was shee then; 

Like Flora in her pride, 
Like one of bright Diana's nymphs, 

So look'd my loving bride. 



And as fair Helens face 

Arid on the hungry, needy, maimde, 

Did Grecian dames besmirche, 

Now craving at the door. 

So did my dear exceed in sight 

All virgins in the church. 

Instead of virgins yong, 

My bride-bed for to see, 

When we had knitt the knott 

"Go cause some cunning carpenter, 

Of holy wedlock-band, 

To make a chest for mee. 

Like alabaster joyn'd to jett, 

So stood we hand in hand ; 

My bride laces of silk 

Bestowd, for maidens meet, 

Then lo ! a chilling cold 

May fitly serve, when I am dead, 

Strucke every vital part, 

To tye my hands and feet. 

And griping grief, like pangs of death, 

Seiz'd on my true love's heart. 

And thou, my lover true, 

My husband and my friend, 

Down in a swoon she fell, 

Let me intreat thee here to staye, 

As cold as any stone ; 

Until my life doth end. 

Like Venus picture lacking life, 

So was my love brought home. 

Now leave to talk of love, 

And humblye on your knee, 

At length her rosye red, 

Direct your prayers unto God : 

Throughout her comely face, 

But mourn no more for mee. 

As Phoebus beames with watry cloudes 

Was cover'd for a space. 

In love as we have livde, 

In love let us depart ; 

When with a grievous groane, 

And I, in token of my love, 

And voice both hoarse and drye, 

Do kiss thee with my heart. 

Farewell, quoth she, my loving friend, 

For I this daye must dye ; 

The messenger of God 

With golden trumpe I see, 
With manye other angels more, 

Which sound and call for mee. 

Instead of musicke sweet, 

Go toll my passing-bell ; 
And with sweet flowers strow my grave, 

That in my chamber smell. 

Strip off my bride's arraye, 
My cork shoes from my feet ; 

And, gentle mother, be not coye 
To bring my winding-sheet. 

My wedding dinner drest, 
Bestowe upon the poor, 

staunch those bootless teares, 
Thy weeping tis in vaine ; 

1 am not lost, for wee in heaven 

Shall one daye meet againe. 

With that shee turn'd aside, 

As one dispos'd to sleep, 
And like a lamb departed life : 

Whose friends did sorely weep. 

Her true love seeing this, 
Did fetch a grievous groane, 

As tho' his heart would burst in twaine, 
And thus he made his moane. 

O darke and dismal daye, 

A daye of grief and care, 
That hath bereft the sun so bright, 

Whose beams refresht the air. 


Now woe unto the world, 

In sign of her virginitye, 

And all that therein dwell, 

And on her coffin laid. 

that I were with thee in heaven, 

For here I live in hell. 

Six maidens all in white, 

Did beare her to the ground : 

And now this lover lives 

The bells did ring in solemn sort, 

A discontented life, 

And made a dolefull sound. 

Whose bride was brought unto the 


A maiden and a wife. 

In earth they laid her then, 
For hungry wormes a preye ; 

A garland fresh and faire 

So shall the fairest face alive 

Of lillies there was made, 

At length be brought to claye. 


Given from two ancient copies, one in black print, in the Pepys Collection, the other 

in the Editor's folio MS. 

As at noone Dulcina rested 

In her sweete and shady bower, 
Came a shepherd, and requested 
In her lapp to sleepe an hour. 
But from her looke 
A wounde he tooke 
Soe deepe, that for a further boone 
The nymph he prayes. 
Whereto shee sayes, 
Forgoe me now, come to me soone. 

But in vayne shee did conjure him 

To depart her presence soe ; 
Having a thousand tongues to allure him, 
And but one to bid him goe : 

Where lipps invite, 

And eyes delight, 
And cheekes, as fresh as rose in June, 

Persuade delay ; 

What boots, she say, 
Forgoe me now, come to me soone ? 

He demands what time for pleasure 
Can there be more fit than now : 
She sayes, night gives love that leysure, 
Which the day can not allow. 
He sayes, the sight 
Improves delight. 

Which she denies : Nights mirkie noone 
In Venus' playes 
Makes bold, shee sayes ; 

Forgoe me now, come to mee scone. 

But what promise or profession 

From his hands could purchase scope ? 
Who would sell the sweet possession 
Of suche beautye for a hope? 
Or for the sight 
Of lingering night 
Foregoe the present joyes of noone ? 
Though ne'er soe faire 
Her speeches were, 
Forgoe me now, come to mee soone. 

How, at last, agreed these lovers? 

Shee was fayre, and he was young : 
The tongue may tell what th'eye dis- 
covers ; 
Joyes unseene are never sung. 
Did shee consent, 
Or he relent ; 
Accepts he night, or grants shee noone ; 
Left he her a mayd, 
Or not ; she sayd 
Forgoe me now, come to me soone. 




This ballad is given from an old black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, collated 
with another in the British Museum, H. 263, folio. It is there entitled The Lady 
Isabella s Tragedy, or the Step-Mother s Cruelty. 

There was a lord of worthy fame, 
And a hunting he would ride, 

Attended by a noble traine 
Of gentrye by his side. 

And while he did in chase remaine, 
To see both sport and playe ; 

His ladye went, as she did feigne, 
Unto the church to praye. 

This lord he had a daughter deare, 
Whose beauty shone so bright, 

She was belov'd, both far and neare, 
Of many a lord and knight. 

Fair Isabella was she call'd, 

A creature faire was shee ; 
She was her fathers only joye ; 

As you shall after see. 

Therefore her cruel step-mother 

Did envye her so much, 
That daye by daye she sought her life, 

Her malice it was such. 

She bargain'd with the master-cook 

To take her life avvaye : 
And taking of her daughters book, 

She thus to her did saye. 

Go home, sweet daughter, I thee praye, 

Go hasten presentlie ; 
And tell unto the master-cook 

These wordes that I tell thee. 

And bid him dresse to dinner streight 
That faire and milk-white doe, 

That in the parke doth shine so bright, 
There's none so faire to showe. 

This ladye fearing of no harme, 

Obey'd her mother's will ; 
And presentlye she hasted home, 

Her pleasure to fulfill. 

She streight into the kitchen went, 

Her message for to tell ; 
And there she spied the mastc*"-cook, 

Who did with malice swell. 

Nowe, master-cook, it must be soe, 

Do that which I thee tell : 
You needes must dresse the milk-white 

Which you do knowe full well. 

Then streight his cmell bloodye hands, 

He on the ladye layd ; 
Who quivering and shaking stands, 

While thus to her he sayd : 

Thou art the doe that I must dresse ; 

See here, behold my knife ; 
For it is pointed presently 

To ridd thee of thy life. 

O then, cried out the scullion-boye, 
As loud as loud might bee ; 

save her life, good master-cook, 
And make your pyes of mee ! 

For pityes sake do not destroye 

My ladye with your knife ; 
You know shee is her father's joye, 

For Christes sake save her life. 

1 will not save her life, he sayd, 
Nor make my pyes of thee ; 

Yet if thou dost this deed bewraye, 
Thy butcher I will bee. 



Now when this lord he did come home 

For to sit downe and eat ; 
He called for his daughter deare, 

To come and carve his meat. 

Now sit you downe, his ladye sayd, 

O sit you downe to meat : 
Into some nunnery she is gone ; 

Your daughter deare forget. 

Then solemnlye he made a vowe, 

Before the companie : 
That he would neither eat nor drinke, 

Until he did her see. 

O then bespake the scullion-boye, 

With a loud voice so hye : 
If now you will your daughter see, 

My lord, cut up that pye : 

Wherein her fleshe is minced small, 

And parched with the fire ; 
All caused by her step-mother, 

Who did her death desire. 

And cursed bee the master-cook, 

O cursed may he bee ! 
I proffered him my own heart's blood, 

From death to set her free. 

Then all in blacke this lord did mourne 
And for his daughters sake, 

He judged her cruell step-mother 
To be burnt at a stake. 

Likewise he judg'd the master-cook 

In boiling lead to stand ; 
And made the simple scullion-boye 

The heire of all his land. 


This song is a kind of translation of a pretty poem of Tasso's, called Amorefuggitivo, 
generally printed with his Amiiita, and originally imitated from the "first Idyll turn of 

It is extracted from Ben Jonson's masque at the marriage of Lord Viscount 
Hadington, on Shrove-Tuesday 1608. 

Beauties, have yee seen a toy, 
Called Love, a little boy. 
Almost naked, wanton, blinde ; 
Cruel now, and then as kinde? 
If he be amongst yee, say ; 
He is Venus' run-away. 

Shee, that will but now discover 
Where the winged wag doth hover, 
Shall to-night receive a kisse, 
How and where herselfe would wish 
But who brings him to his mother 
Shall have that kisse, and another. 

Markes he hath about him plentie ; 
You may know him among twentie : 
All his body is a fire, 
And his breath a flame entire : 

Which, being shot, like lightning, in, 
Wounds the heart, but not the skin. 

Wings he hath, which though yee clip, 

He will leape from lip to lip, 

Over liver, lights, and heart ; 

Yet not stay in any part. 

And, if chance his arrow misses, 

He will shoot himselfe in kisses. 

He doth beare a golden bow, 
And a quiver hanging low, 
Full of arrowes, which outbrave 
Dian's shafts ; where, if he have 
Any head more sharpe than other, 
With that first he strikes his mother. 



Still the fairest are his fuell, 
When his daies are to be cruell ; 
Lovers hearts are all his food, 
And his baths their warmest bloud : 
Nought but wounds his hand doth season, 
And he hates none like to Reason. 

Trust him not : his words, though sweet, 

Seldome with his heart doe meet : 

All his practice is deceit ; 

Everie gift is but a bait : 

Not a kisse but poyson beares ; 

And most treason's in his teares. 

Idle minutes are his raigne ; 

Then the straggler makes his gaine, 

By presenting maids with toyes 

And would have yee thinke hem joyes ; 

'Tis the ambition of the elfe 

To have all childish as himselfe. 

If by these yee please to know him, 
Beauties, be not nice, but show him. 
Though yee had a will to hide him, 
Now, we hope, yee'le not abide him, 
Since yee heare this falser's play, 
And that he is Venus' run-away. 


" The story of this ballad seems to be taken from an incident in the domestic history 
of Charles the Bald, King of France. His daughter Judith was betrothed to 
Ethel wulph, King of England ; but before the marriage was consummated, Ethelwulph 
died, and she returned to France, whence she was carried off by Baldwyn, Forester 
of Flanders, who, after many crosses and difficulties, at length obtained the king's 
consent to their marriage, and was made Earl of Flanders. This happened about 
A.D. 863. — See Rapin, Henault, and the French historians." So writes the bishop; 
but this account is not true to history, as Judith married Ethelwulph with her 
father's consent and went to England with him. He died two years afterwards, and 
Judith married his son Ethelbert, which caused great public disapprobation, and a 
separation was effected. After this, Judith returned to her father's court and eloped 
with Baldwin, Grand Forester of France. Eventually the king became reconciled to 
this marriage, Baldwin was made Count of Flanders, and their daughter Matilda 
married William the Conqueror. 

The following copy is given from the Editor's ancient folio MS., collated with 
another in black letter in the Pepys Collection, entitled An excellent Ballad of a 
prince of England' s courtship to the king of France's daughter, etc. To the tune of 
' Crimson Velvet." 

In the dayes of old, 

When faire France did flourish, 
Storyes plaine have told, 

Lovers felt annoye. 
The queene a daughter bare, 

Whom beautye's queene did nourish : 
She was lovelye faire, 

She was her fathers joye. 
A prince of England came, 
Whose deeds did merit fame, 

But he was exil'd, and outcast : 
Love his soul did fire, 
Shee granted his desire, 

Their hearts in one were linked fast. 
Which when her father proved, 
Sorelye he was moved, 

And tormented in his minde. 
He sought for to prevent them ; 
And, to discontent them, 

Fortune cross'd these lovers kinde. 

* Given in folio as In the Days of Old, 



When these princes twaine 

She heard one complayne 

Were thus barr'd of pleasure, 

And lament the sorest, 

Through the kinges disdaine, 

Seeming all in payne, 

Which their joyes withstoode : 

Shedding deadly teares. 

The lady soone prepar'd 

Farewell, my deare, quoth hee, 

Her Jewells and her treasure : 

Whom I must never see ; 

Having no regard 

For why my life is att an end, 

For state and royall bloode ; 

Through villaines crueltye : 

In homelye poore array 

For thy sweet sake I dye, 

She went from court away, 

To show I am a faithfull friend. 

To meet her joye and hearts delight ; 

Here I lye a bleeding, 

Who in a forrest great 

While my thoughts are feeding 

Had taken up his seat, 

On the rarest beautye found. 

To wayt her coming in the night. 

O hard happ, that may be ! 

But, lo ! what sudden danger 

Little knowes my ladye 

To this princely stranger 

My heartes blood lyes on the 

Chanced, as he sate alone ! 


By outlawes he was robbed, 

And with ponyards stabbed, 

Uttering many a dying grone. 

With that a grone he sends 
Which did burst in sunder 

All the tender bands 

The princesse, arm'd by love, 

Of his gentle heart. 

And by chaste desire, 

She, who knewe his voice, 

All the night did rove 

At his wordes did wonder ; 

Without dread at all : 

All her former joyes 

Still unknowne she past 

Did to griefe convert. 

In her strange attire ; 

Strait she ran to see, 

Coming at the last 

Who-this man shold bee, 

Within echoes call, —  

That soe like her love did seeme : 

You faire woods, quoth shee, 

Her lovely lord she found 

Honoured may you bee, 

Lye slaine upon the ground, 

Harbouring my hearts delight ; 

Smear'd with gore a ghastlye streame. 

Which encompass here 

Which his lady spying, 

My joye and only deare, 

Shrieking, fainting, crying, 

My trustye friend, and comelyc knight. 

Her sorrows could not uttered bee : 

Sweete, I come unto thee, 

Fate, she cryed, too cruell : 

Sweete, I come to woo thee ; 

For thee — my dearest Jewell, 

That thou mayst not angry bee 

Would God! that I had dyed for 

For my long delaying ; 


For thy curteous staying 

Soone amendes He make to thee. 

His pale lippes, alas ! 

Twentye times she kissed, 

Passing thus alone 

And his face did wash 

Through the silent forest, 

With her trickling teares : 

Many a grievous grone 

Every gaping wound 

Sounded in her eares ; 

Tenderlye she pressed, 



And did wipe it round 

With her golden haires. 
Speake, faire love, quoth shee, 
Speake, faire prince, to mee, 

One sweete word of comfort give : 
Lift up thy deare eyes, 
Listen to my cryes, 

Thinke in what sad griefe I live. 
All in vaine she sued, 
All in vaine she wooed, 

The prince's life was fled and gone. 
There stood she still mourning, 
Till the suns retourning, 

And bright day was coming on. 

In this great distresse 

Weeping, wayling ever, 
Oft shee cryed, alas ! 

What will become of mee ? 
To my fathers court 

I returne will never : 
But in lowlye sort 

I will a servant bee. 
While thus she made her mone, 
Weeping all alone, 

In this deepe and deadlye feare : 
A for'ster all in greene, 
Most comelye to be seene, 

Ranging the woods did find her 
Moved with her sorrowe, 
Maid, quoth hee, good morrowe, 

What hard happ has brought thee 
Harder happ did never 
Two kinde hearts dissever : 

Here lyes slaine my brother deare. 

Where may I remaine, 

Gentle for'ster, shew me, 
'Till I can obtaine 

A service in my neede? 
Paines I will not spare : 

This kinde favour doe mee, 
It will ease my care ; 

Heaven shall be thy meede. 

The for'ster all amazed, 
On her beautye gazed, 

Till his heart was set on fire. 
If, faire maid, quoth hee, 
You will goe with mee, 

You shall have your hearts desire. 
He brought her to his mother, 
And above all other 

He sett forth his maidens praise. 
Long was his heart inflamed, 
At length her love he gained, 

And fortune crown'd his future di yes. 

Thus unknowne he wedde 

With a kings faire daughter : 
Children seven they had, 

Ere she told her birth. 
Which when once he knew, 

Humblye he besought her, 
He to the world might shew 

Her rank and princelye worth. 
He cloath'd his children then 
(Not like other men), 

In partye-colours strange to see : 
The right side cloth of gold, 
The left side to behold. 

Of woollen cloth still framed hee.* 
Men thereatt did wonder ; 
Golden fame did thunder 

This strange deede in every place : 
The king of France came thither, 
It being pleasant weather, 

In those woods the hart to chase. 

* This will remind the reader of the livery 
and device of Charles Brandon, a private 
gentleman, who married the Queen-dowager 
of France, sister of Henry VIII. At a tour- 
nament which he held at his wedding, the 
trappings of his herse were half cloth of gold, 
and half frieze, with the following motto : 

" Cloth of gold, do not despise, 
Tho' thou art matcht with cloth of frize ; 
Cloth of frize, he not too bold, 
Tho' thou art matcht with cloth of gold." 

See Sir \V. Temple's Miscellany, vol. iii. p. 


The children then they bring, 

The king aroused thus, 

So their mother will'd it, 

More heedfullye beheld them, 

Where the royall king 

Till a crimson blush 

Must of force come bye : 

His remembrance crost. 

Their mothers riche array, 

The more I fix my mind 

Was of crimson velvet : 

On thy wife and children, 

Their fathers all of gray, 

The more methinks I find 

Seemelye to the eye. 

The daughter which I lost. 

Then this famous king, 

Falling on her knee, 

Noting every thing, 

' I am that child, ' quoth shee ; 

Askt how he durst be so bold 

'Pardon mee, my soveraine liege.' 

To let his wife soe weare, 

The king perceiving this, 

And decke his children there 

His daughter deare did kiss, 

In costly robes of pearl and gold. 

While joy full teares did stopp his spceche. 

The forrester replying, 

With his traine he tourned, 

And the cause descrying, 

And with them sojourned. 

To the king these words did say, 

Strait he dubb'd her husband knight ; 

Well may they, by their mother, 

Then made him erle of Flanders, 

Weare rich clothes with other, 

And chiefe of his commanders : 

Being by birth a princesse gay. 

Thus were their sorrowes put to flight. 


This little madrigal (extracted from Ben Jonson's Silent Woman) is in imitation of 
a Latin poem beginning Semper munditias, semper Basil issa, decoras, etc. 

Still to be neat, still to be drest, 

As you were going to a feast : 

Still to be poud'red, still perfum'd : 

Lady, it is to be presum'd, 

Though art's hid causes are not found, 

All is not sweet, all is not sound. 

Give me a looke, give me a face, 
That makes simplicitie a grace ; 
Robes loosely flowing, haire as free : 
Such sweet neglect more taketh me. 
Than all th' adulteries of art, 
That strike mine eyes, but not my heart. 


The subject of this very popular ballad (which has been set in so favourable a light by 
the Spectator, No. 85) seems to be taken from an old play, entitled, Two lametitable 
Tragedies ; the one of the murder of Maistcr Beech, a chandler in Thames-streete, etc. 
The other of a young child murthered in a wood by tivo ruffians, with the consent of his 
unkle. By Rob. Yarrington, 1601, 4tO. Our ballad-maker has strictly followed the 
play in the description of the father and mother's dying charge : in the uncle's promise 
to take care of their issue : his hiring two ruffians to destroy his ward, under pretence 
•jf sending him to school : their choosing a wood to perpetrate the murder in : one of 



the ruffians relenting, and a battle ensuing, etc. In other respects he has departed 
from the play. In the latter the scene is laid in Padua : there is but one child : which 
is murdered by a sudden stab of the unrelenting ruffian : he is slain himself by his less 
bloody companion ; but ere he dies gives the other a mortal wound : the Litter living 
just long enough to impeach the uncle ; who, in consequence of this imp -achment, is 
arraigned and executed by the hand of justice, etc. Whoever compares the play with 
the ballad, will have no doubt but the former is the original : the language is far more 
obsolete, and such a vein of simplicity runs through the whole performance, that, had 
the ballad been written first, there is no doubt but every circumstance of it would have 
been received into the drama : whereas this was probably built on some Italian novel. 
Printed from two ancient copies, one of them in black letter in the Pepys Collection. 
Its title at large is, The Children in the Wood ; or, The Norfolk Gentleman s Last 
Will and Testament. To the tune of " Rogero," etc. 

Now ponder well, you parents deare, 

These wordes, which I shall write ; 
A doleful* story you shall heare, 

In time brought forth to light. 
A gentleman of good account 

In Norfolke dwelt of late, 
Who did in honour far surmount 

Most men of his estate. 

Sore sicke he was, and like to dye, 

No helpe his life could save ; 
His wife by him as sicke did lye, 

And both possest -one grave. 
No love between these two was lost, 

Each was to other kinde, 
In love they liv'd, in love they dyed, 

And left two babes behinde : 

The one a fine and pretty boy, 

Not passing three yeares olde ; 
The other a girl more young than he, 

And fram'd in beautyes molde. 
The father left his little son, 

As plainlye doth appeare, 
When he to perfect age should come, 

Three hundred poundes a yeare. 

And to his little daughter Jane 
Five hundred poundes in gold, 

To be paid downe on marriage-day, 
Which might not be controll'd : 

But if the children chance to dye, 
Ere they to age should come, 

Their uncle should possesse their wealth ; 
For so the wille did run. 

Now, brother, said the dying man, 

Look to my children deare ; 
Be good unto my boy and girl, 

No friendes else have they here : 
To God and you I recommend 

"My children deare this daye ; 
But little while be sure we have 

Within this world to staye. 

You must be father and mother both, 

And uncle all in one ; 
God knowes what will become of them, 

When I am dead and gone. 
With that bespake their mother deare, 

O brother kinde, quoth shee, 
You are the man must bring our babes 

To wealth or miserie : 

And if you keep them carefully, 

Then God will you reward ; 
But if you otherwise should deal, 

God will your deedes regard. 
With lippes as cold as any stone, 

They kist their children small : 
God bless you both, my children deare ; 

With that the teares did fall. 

These speeches then their brother spake 

To this sicke couple there, 
The keeping of your little ones 

Sweet sister, do not feare : 



God never prosper me nor mine, 

Nor aught else that I have, 
If I do wrong your children deare, 

When you are layd in grave. 

The parents being dead and gone, 

The children home he takes, 
And bringes them straite into his house, 

Where much of them he makes. 
He had not kept these pretty babes 

A twelvemonth and a daye, 
But, for their wealth, he did devise 

To make them both awaye. 

He bargain'd with two ruffians strong, 

Which were of furious mood, 
That they should take these children 

And slaye them in a wood. 
He told his wife an artful tale, 

He would the children send 
To be brought up in faire London, 

With one that was his friend. 

Away then went those pretty babes, 

Rejoycing at that tide, 
Rejoycing with a merry minde, 

They should on cock-horse ride. 
They prate and prattle pleasantly, 

As they rode on the waye, 
To those that should their butchers be, 

And work their lives decaye : 

So that the pretty speeche they had, 

Made Murder's heart relent ; 
And they that undertooke the deed, 

Full sore did now repent. 
Yet one of them more hard of heart, 

Did vowe to do his charge, 
Because the wretch, that hired him, 

Had paid him very large. 

The other won't agree thereto, 

So here they fall to strife ; 
With one another they did fight, 

About the childrens life : 
And he that was of mildest mood, 

Did slaye the other there, 

Within an unfrequented wood ; 
The babes did quake for feare ! 

He took the children by the hand, 

Teares standing in their eye, 
And bad them straitwaye follow him, 

And look they did not crye : 
And two long miles he ledd them on, 

While they for food complaine : 
Staye here, quoth he, I'll bring you bread, 

When I come back againe. 

These pretty babes, with hand in hand, 

Went wandering up and downe ; 
But never more could see the man 

Approaching from the town : 
Their prettye lippes with black-berries, 

Were all besmear'd and dyed, 
And when they sawe the darksome night, 

They sat them downe and cryed. 

Thus wandered these poor innocents, 

Till deathe did end their grief, 
In one anothers armes they dyed, 

As wanting due relief : 
No burial "this" pretty "pair" 

Of any man receives, 
Till Robin-red-breast piously 

Did cover them with leaves. 

And now the heavy wrathe of God 

Upon their uncle fell ; 
Yea, fearfull fiends did haunt his hous* 

His conscience felt an hell : 
His barnes were fir'd, hisgoodesconsum'd, 

His landes were barren made, 
His cattle dyed within the field, 

And nothing with him stayd. 

And in a voyage to Portugal 

Two of his sonnes did dye ; 
And to conclude, himselfe was brought 

To want and miserye : 
He pawn'd and mortgaged all his land 

Ere seven yeares came about. 
And now at length this wicked act 

Did by this meanes come out : 



The fellowe, that did take in hand 

These children for to kill, 
Was for a robbery judg'd to dye, 

Such was God's blessed will : 
Who did confess the very truth, 

As here hath been display'd : 
Their uncle having dyed in gaol, 

Where he for debt was layd. 

You that executors be made, 

And overseers eke 
Of children that be fatherless. 

And infants mild and meek ; 
Take you example by this thing, 

And yield to each his right, 
Lest God with such like miserye 

Your wicked minds requite. 


Printed, with a few slight corrections, from the Editor's folio MS. 

A LOVER of late was I, 

For Cupid would have it soe, 
The boy that hath never an eye, 
As every man doth know : 
I sighed and sobbed, and cryed, alas ! 
For her that laught, and called me ass. 

Then knew not I what to doe, 
When I saw itt was in vaine 
A lady soe coy to wooe, 

Who gave me the asse soe plaine : 
Yet would I her asse freelye bee, 
Soe shee would helpe, and beare with mee. 

An' I were as faire as shee, 

Or shee were as kind as I, 
What payre cold have made, as wee, 
Soe prettye a sympathye : 
I was as kind as shee was faire, 
But for all this wee cold not paire. 

Paire with her that will for mee, 

With her I will never paire ; 
That cunningly can be coy, 
For being a little faire. 
The asse He leave to her disdaine ; 
And now I am myselfe againe. 


It has been a favourite subject with our English ballad-makers to represent our kings 
conversing, either by accident or design, with the meanest of their subjects. Of the 
former kind, besides this song of The King and the Miller, we have King Henry and 
the Soldier ; King James I. and the Tinker; King William III. and the Forester, 
etc. Of the latter sort, are King Alfred and the Shepherd ; King Edward IV. and 
the Tanner ; King Henry VIII. and the Cobbler, etc. A few of the best of these are 
admitted into this collection. Both the author of the following ballad, and others 
who have written on the same plan, seem to have copied a very ancient poem, entitled 
John the Reeve, which is built on an adventure of the same kind, that happened 
between King Edward Longshanks and one of his reeves or bailiffs. This is a piece 
of great antiquity, being written before the time of Edward IV., and for its genuine 
humour, diverting incidents, and faithful picture of rustic manners, is infinitely 
superior to all that have been since written in imitation of it. The Editor has a copy 
in his ancient folio MS., but its length rendered it improper for this volume, it consist- 



ing of more than 900 lmes. It contains also some corruptions, and the Editor 
chooses to defer its publication, in hopes that some time or other he shall be able to 
remove them. 

The following is printed, with corrections, from the Editor's folio MS., collated 
with an old black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, entitled, A pleasant ballad of 
King Henry II. and the Miller of Mansfield, etc. 


Henry, our royall king, would ride a 

To the greene forest so pleasant and 

faire ; 
To see the harts skipping, and dainty does 

tripping : 
Unto merry Sherwood his nobles 

repaire : 
Hawke and hound were unbound, all 

things prepar'd 
For the game, in the same, with good 


All a long summers day rode the king 
With all his princes and nobles eche one ; 
Chasing the hart and hind, and the bucke 
Till the dark evening fore'd all to turne 
Then at last, riding fast, he had lost quite 
All his lords in the wood, late in the night. 

Wandering thus wearilye, all alone, up 
and downe, 
With a rude miller he mett at the last : 
Asking the ready way unto faire Notting- 
ham ; 
Sir, quoth the miller, I meane not tojest, 
Yet" I thinke, what I thinke, sooth for to 

You doe not lightlye ride out of your way. 

Why, what dost thou think of me, quoth 
our king merrily, 
Passing thy judgment upon me so 

Good faith, sayd the miller, I meane no 

to flatter thee ; 
I guess thee to bee but some gentleman 

thiefe ; 
Stand thee backe, in the darke ; light not 

Lest that I presentlye crack thy knaves 


Thou dost abuse me much, quoth the 
king, saying thus ; 
I am a gentleman ; lodging I lacke. 
Thou hast not, quoth th' miller, one groat 
in thy purse ; 
All thy inheritance hanges on thy backe. 
I have gold to discharge all that I call ; 
If it be forty pence, I will pay all.* 

If thou beest a true man, then quoth the 

I sweare by my toll-dish, I'll lodge thee 

all night. 
Here's my hand, quoth the king, that was 

I ever. 
Nay, soft, quoth the miller, thou may'st 

be a sprite. 
Better I'll know thee, ere hands we will 

shake ; 
With none but honest men hands will I 


Thus they went all along unto the millers 
house : 
Where they were seething of puddings 
and souse : 
The miller first enter'd in, after him went 
the king ; 
Never came hee in soe smoakye a house. 

• The king says this. 



Now, quoth hee, let me see here what you 

Aye, quoth the good man ; and when 


that is done, 

Quoth our king, looke your fill, and doe 

Thou shalt lye with no worse than our 

not spare. 

own sonne. 

I like well thy countenance, thou hast an 

Nay, first, quoth Richard, good-fellowe, 

honest face ; 

tell me true, 

With my son Richard this night thou 

Hast thou noe creepers within thy gay 

shalt lye. 


Quoth his wife, by my troth, it is a hand- 

Or art thou not troubled with the 

some youth, 

scabbado ? 

Yet it's best, husband, to deal warilye. 

I pray, quoth the king, what creatures 

Art thou no run away, prythee, youth, tell? 

are those ? 

Shew me thy passport, and all shal be 

Art thou not lowsy, nor scabby? quoth 



If thou beest, surely thou lyest not with 

Then our king presentlye, making lowe 



With his hatt in his hand, thus he did 

This caus'd the king, suddenlye, to laugh 

Kay : 

most heartilye, 

I have no passport, nor never was servitor, 

Till the teares trickled fast downe from 

But a poor courtyer, rode out of my 

his eyes. 

way ; 

Then to their supper were they set 

And for your kindness here offered to mee, 


I will requite you in everye degree. 

With hot bag-puddings, and good 

apple-pyes ; 

Then to the miller his wife whisper'd 

Nappy ale, good and stale, in a browne 



Saying, It seemeth, this youth's of good 

Which did about the board merrilye 



Both by his apparel, and eke by his 

manners ; 

Here, quoth the miller, good fellowe, I 

To turnc him out, certainlye, were a 

drinke to thee, 

great sin. 

And to all ' ' cuckholds, wherever they 

Yea, quoth hee, you may see, he hath 

bee. ' ' 

some grace 

I pledge thee, quoth our king, and thanke 

When he doth speake to his betters in 

thee heartilye 


For my good welcome in everye degree : 

And here, in like manner, I drinke to thy 

Well, quo' the millers wife, young man, 


ye're welcome here ; 

Do then, quoth Richard, and quicke let it 

And, though I say it, well lodged shall 
Fresh straw will I have, laid on thy bed 


Wife, quoth the miller, fetch me forth 

so brave, 


And good brown hempen sheet3 like- 

And of his sweetnesse a little we'll 

wise, quoth she©. 




A fair ven'son paslye brought she out 

Eate, quoth the miller, but, sir, make 

no waste. 
Here's dainty lightfoote! In faith, sayd 

the king, 
I never before eat so daintye a thing. 

I wis, quoth Richard, no daintye at all it 

For we doe eate of it everye day. 
In what place, sayd our king, may be 

bought like to this ? 
We never pay pennye for itt, by my fay : 
From merry Sherwood we fetch it home 

here ; 
Now and then we make bold with our 

kings deer. 

Then I thinke, sayd our king, that it is 

Eche foole, quoth Richard, full well 

may know that : 
Never are wee without two or three in the 

Very well fleshed, and excellent fat : 
But, prythee, say nothing wherever thou 

We would not, for two pence, the king 

should it knowe. 

Doubt not, then sayd the king, my 
promist secresye ; 
The king shall never know more on't 
for mee. 
A cupp of lambs-wool they dranke unto 
him then, 
And to their bedds they past presentlie. 
The nobles, next morning, went all up 

" and down, 
For to seeke out the king in everye 

At last, at the millers " cott," soone they 
espy'd him out, 
As he was mounting upon his faire 
steede ; 

To whom they came presently, falling 

down on their knee ; 
Which made the millers heart wofully 

bleede ; 
Shaking and quaking, before him he stood, 
Thinking he should have been hang'd, by 

the rood. 

The king perceiving him fearfully 

Drew forth his sword, but nothing he 

sed : 
The miller downe did fall, crying before 

them all, 
Doubting the king would have cut off 

his head. 
But he his kind courtesye for to requite, 
Gave him great living, and dubb'd him a 



When as our royall king came home 

from Nottingham, 
And with his nobles at Westminster 

Recounting the sports and pastimes they 

had taken, 
In this late progress along on the 

way ; 
Of them all, great and small, he did 

The miller of Mansfield's sport liked him 


And now, my lords, quoth the king, I am 

Against St. George's next sumptuous 

That this old miller, our new confirm'd 

With his son Richard, shall here be my 

guest : 
For, in this merryment, 'tis my desire 
To talke with the jolly knight, and the 

young squire. 



When as the noble lords saw the kinges 

They were right joy full and glad in 

their hearts : 
A pursuivant there was sent straighte on 

the business, 
The which had often-times been in 

those parts. 
When he came to the place, where they 

did dwell, 
His message orderlye then gan he tell. 

God save your worshippe, then said the 

And grant your ladye her own hearts 

desire ; 
And to your sonne Richard good fortune 

and happiness ; 
That sweet, gentle, and gallant young 

Our king greets you well, and thus he doth 

You must come to the court on St. 

George's day ; 

Therfore, in any case, faile not to be in 
I wis, quoth the miller, this is an odd 
jest : 

What should we doe there? faith, I am 
halfe afraid. 
I doubt, quoth Richard, to be hang'd 
at the least. 

Nay, quoth the messenger, you doe mis- 
take ; 

Our king he provides a great feast for 
your sake. 

Then sayd the miller, By my troth, 
Thou hast contented my worshippe full 
Hold here are three farthings, to quite 
thy gentleness, 
For these happy tydings, which thou 
dost tell 

Let me see, hear thou mee ; tell to our 

We'll wayt on his mastershipp in everye 


The pursuivant smiled at their simplicitye, 
And, making many leggs, tooke their 
reward ; 
And his leave taking with great humilitye, 
To the kings court againe he repair'd ; 
Shewing unto his grace, merry and free, 
The knightes most liberall gift and 

When he was gone away, thus gan the 
miller say, 
Here come expences and charges in- 
deed ; 

Now must we needs be brave, tho' we 
spend all we have ; 
For of new garments we have great 
need : 

Of horses and serving-men we must have 

With bridles and saddles, and twentye 
things more. 

Tushe, sir John, quoth his wife, why 

should you frett or frowne ? 
You shall ne'er be att no charges for 

mee ; 
For I will turne and trim up my old 

russet gowne, 
With everye thing else as fine as may bee ; 
And on our mill-horses swift we will ride, 
With pillowes and pannells, as we shall 


In this most statelye sort, rode they unto 
the court, 
Their jolly sonne Richard rode fore- 
most of all ; 
Who set up, for good hap,* a cocks 
feather in his cap, 
And so they jetted downe to the kings 
hall ; 

* i.e. for good luck ; they were going on a 
hazardous expedition. 



The merry old miller with hands on his 

side ; 
His wife, like maid Marian, did mince at 

that tide.* 

The king and his nobles that heard of 

their coming, 
Meeting this gallant knight with his 

brave traine ; 
Welcome, sir knight, quoth he, with your 

gay lady : 
Good sir John Cockle, once welcome 

againe : 
And so is the squire of courage soe 

Quoth Dicke, A bots on you ! do you 

know mee ? 

Quoth our king gentlye, how should I 

forget thee ? 
That wast my owne bed-fellowe, well 

it I wot. 
Yea, sir, quoth Richard, and by the same 

Thou with thy lying didst make the bed 

Thou whore-son unhappy knave, then 

quoth the knight, 
Speake cleanly to our king, or else go 

sh— . 

The king and his courtiers laugh at this 
While the king taketh them both by 
the hand ; 
With the court-dames, and maids, like to 
the queen of spades 
The miller's wife did soe orderly 
, stand. 
A milk-maid's courtesye at every word ; 
And downe all the folkes were set to the 

* Maid Marian in the Morris dance, was 
represented by a man in woman's clothes, who 
was to take short steps in order to sustain the 
female character. 

There the king royally, in princelye 
Sate at his dinner with joy and de- 
light ; 

When they had eaten well, then he tc 
jesting fell, 
And in a bowle of wine dranke to the 
knight : 

Here's to you both, in wine, ale, and 
beer ; 

Thanking you heartilye for my good 

Quoth sir John Cockle, I'll pledge you a. 
Were it the best ale in Nottingham- 
shire : 

But then said our king, now I think of a 
thing ; 
Some of your lightfoote I would we had 

Ho ! ho 1 quoth Richard, full well I may 
say it, 

'Tis knavery to eate it, and then to betray 

Why art thou angry ? quoth our king 

merrilye ; 
In faith, I take it now very unkind : 
I thought thou wouldst pledge me in ale 

and wine heartily. 
Quoth Dicke, You are like to stay till I 

have din'd : 
You feed us with twatling dishes soe 

small ; 
Zounds, a blacke-pudding is better than 


Aye, marry, quoth our king, that were a 
daintye thing, 
Could a man get but one here for td 
With that Dicke straite arose, and pluckt 
one from his hose, 
Which with heat of his breech gan to 



The king made a proffer to snatch it 

Among these ladyes free, tell me which 

away : — 

liketh thee ? 

'Tis meat for your master : good sir, you 

Quoth he, Jugg Grumball, Sir, with the 

must stay. 

red head : 

She's my love, she's my life, her will I 

Thus in great merriment was the time 

wed ; 

wholly spent ; 

She hath sworn I shall have her maiden- 

And then the ladyes prepared to dance. 


Old Sir John Cockle, and Richard, incon- 


Then sir John Cockle the king call'd unto 

Unto their places the king did ad- 



And of merry Sherwood made him o'er 

Here with the ladyes such sport they did 

seer ; 


And gave him out of hand three hundred 

The nobles with laughing did make their 

pound yearlye : 

sides ake. 

Take heed now you steale no more of 

my deer : 

Many thankes for their paines did the 

And once a quarter let's here have your 

king give them, 

view ; 

Asking young Richard then, if he would 

And now, sir John Cockle, I bid you 

wed ; 



This beautiful old song was written by George Wither, who was born June n, 1588, 
and in his younger years distinguished himself by some pastoral pieces. Afterwards 
becoming involved in the political and religious disputes in the times of James I. and 
Charles I. , he employed his poetical vein in severe pasquils on the court and clergy, 
and was occasionally a sufferer for the freedom of his pen. 

Shall I, wasting in dispaire, 
Dye because a woman's faire ? 
Or make pale my cheeks with care 
'Cause another's rosie are? 
Be shee fairer then the day, 
Or the flowry meads in may ; 
If she be not so to me, 
What care I how faire shee be ? 

Shall my foolish heart be pin'd 

'Cause I see a woman kind ? 

Or a well-disposed nature 

Joyned with a lovely feature ? 

Be shee meeker, kinder, than 

The turtle-dove or pelican : 

If shee be not so to me, 
What care I how kind shee be ? 

Shall a woman's virtues move 
Me to perish for her love ? 
Or, her well-deservings knowne, 
Make me quite forget mine owne ? 
Be shee with that goodnesse blest, 
Which may merit name of Best ; 
If she be not such to me, 
What care I how good she be? 

Cause her fortune seems too high, 
Shall I play the foole and dye ? 
Those that beare a noble minde, 
Where they want of riches find, 
Thinke what with them they would doe, 
That without them dare to woe ; 

And, unlesse that minde I see, 
What care I how great she be ? 



Great or good, or kind or faire, 
I will ne'er the more dispaire : 
If she love me, this beleeve ; 
I will die ere she shall grieve. 

If she slight mc when I wooe, 
I can scorne and let her goe : 
If shee be not fit for mo, 
What care I for whom she be ? 


Such is the title given in the Editor's folio MS. to this excellent old ballad, which, in 
the common printed copies, is inscribed Eneas, \Vanderi77g Pri?icc of Troy. It is 
here given from that MS., collated with two different printed copies, both in black 
letter, in the Pepys Collection. 

When Troy towne had, for ten yeeres 
Withstood the Greekes in manfull 
Then did their foes encrease soe fast, 
That to resist none could suffice : 
Wast lye those walls, that were soe good, 
And corne now growes where Troy towne 

^Eneas, wandering prince of Troy, 
When he for land long time had 
At length arriving with great joy, 
To mighty Carthage walls was 
brought ; 
Where Dido queenc, with sumptuous 

Did entertaine that wandering guest. 

And, as in hall at meate they sate, 

The queene, desirous newes to heare, 
"Says, of thy Troys unhappy fate" 
Declare to me, thou Trojan deare : 
The heavy hap and chance soe bad, 
That thou, poore wandering prince, hast 
' had. 

And then anon this comelye knight, 

With words demure, as he cold well, 
Of his unhappy ten yeares "fight," 
Soe true a tale began to tell, 
With words soe sweete, and sighes soe 

That oft he made them all to weepe. 

And then a thousand sighs he/ef, 

And every sigh brought tearesamaine ; 
That where he sate the place was wett, 
As though he had seene those warrs 
againe : 
Soe that the queene, with ruth thcrfore, 
Said, Worthy prince, enough, no more* 

And then the darksome night drew on, 
And twinkling starres the skye be- 
spred ; 
When he his dolefull tale had done, 
And every one was layd in bedd : 
Where they full sweetly tooke their rest, 
Save only Dido's boyling brest. 

This silly woman never slept, 

But in her chamber, all alone, 
As one unhappye, alwayes wept, 

And to the walls shee made her mone ; 
That she shold still desire in vaine 
The thing, she never must obtaine. 

And thus in grieffe she spent the night, 
Till twinkling starres the skye were 
And Phcebus, with his glistering light, 
Through misty cloudes appeared red ; 
Then tidings came to her anon, 
That all the Trojan shipps were gone. 

And then the queene with bloody knife 
Did arme her hart as hard as stone, 

Yet, something loth to loose her life, 
In woefull wise she made her mone ; 



And, rowling on her carefull bed, 
With sighes and sobbs, these words shee 

O wretched Dido queene ! quoth shee, 

I see thy end approacheth neare ; 
For hee is fled away from thee, 
Whom thou didst love and hold so 
deare : 
What is he gone, and passed by ? 
O hart, prepare thyselfe to dye. 

Though reason says, thou shouldst 
And stay thy hand from bloudy stroke ; 
Yet fancy bids thee not to fear, 
Which fetter'd thee in Cupids yoke. 
Come death, quoth shee, resolve my 

smart ! — 
AiTd with those words shee peerced her 

When death had pierced the tender 
Of Dido, Carthaginian queene ; 
Whose bloudy knife did end the smart, 
Which shee sustain'd in mournfull 
teene ; 
jCneas being shipt and gone, 
Whose flattery caused all her mone ; 

Her funerall most costly made, 

And all things finisht mournfullye ; 
Her body fine in mold was laid, 
Where itt consumed speedilye : 
Her sisters teares her tombe bestrewde ; 
Her subjects griefe their kindnesse shewed. 

Then was ^Eneas in an ile 

In Grecya, where he stayd long space, 
Wheras her sister in short while 
Writt to him to his vile disgrace ; 
In speeches bitter to his mind 
Shee told him plaine he was unkind. 

False-harted wretch, quoth shee, thou 
art ; 
And traiterouslye thou hast betraid 

Unto thy lure a gentle hart, 
Which unto thee much welcome 
made ; 
My sister deare, and Carthage' joy, 
Whose folly bred her deere annoy. 

Yett on her death-bed when shee lay, 

Shee prayd for thy prosperitye, 
Beseeching god, that every day 
Might breed thy great felicitye : 
Thus by thy meanes I lost a friend ; 
Heavens send thee such untimely end. 

When he these lines, full fraught with 
Perused had, and wayed them right, 
His lofty courage then did fall ; 
And straight appeared in his sight 
Queene Dido's ghost, both grim and pale : 
Which made this valliant souldier quaile. 

^Eneas, quoth this ghastly ghost, 

My whole delight when I did live, 
Thee of all men I loved most ; 
My fancy and my will did give ; 
For entertainment I thee gave, 
Unthankefully thou didst me grave. 

Therfore prepare thy flitting soule 
To wander with me in the aire : 
Where deadlye griefe shall make it 
Because of me thou tookst no care : 
Delay not time, thy glasse is run, 
Thy date is past, thy life is done. 

O stay a while, thou lovely sprite, 

Be not soe hasty to convay 
My soule into eternall night, 
Where itt shall ne're behold bright 
O doe not frowne ; thy angry looke 
Hath "all my soule with horror shooke."* 

But, woe is me ! all is in vaine, 
And bootless is my dismall crye ; 

* MS.: Hath made my breath my life for- 



Time will not be recalled againe, 
Nor thou surcease before I dye. 
O lett me live, and make amends 
To some of thy most dearest friends. 

But seeing thou obdurate art, 
And wilt no pittye on me show, 

Because from thee I did depart, 
And left unpaid what I did owe : 

I must content myselfe to take 
What lott to me thou wilt partake. 

And thus, as one being in a trance, 

A multitude of uglye feinds 
About this woffull prince did dance ; 
He had no helpe of any friends : 
His body then they tooke away, 
And no man knew his dying day. 

From Ben Jonson's Masque of Queens, presented at Whitehall, Feb. 2, 1609. 


I have been all day looking after 

A raven feeding upon a quarter : 

And, soone as she turn'd her beak to the 

I snatch'd this morsell out of her mouth. 


I have beene gathering wolves' haires, 
The madd dogges foames, and adders 

eares ; 
The spurging of a deadmans eyes : 
And all since the evening starre did rise. 


I last night lay all alone 

O' the ground, to heare the mandrake 

grone ; 
And pluckt him up, though he grew full 

low : 
And, as I had done, the cocke did crow. 


And I ha' beene chusing out this scull 
From charnell houses that were full ; 
From private grots, and publike pits ; 
And frighted a sexton out of his wits. 

Under a cradle I did crepe 

By day ; and, when the childe was a-sleepe 

At night, I suck'd the breath ; and rose, 
And pluck'd the nodding nurse by the 


I had a dagger : what I did with that ? 

Killed an infant to have his fat. 

A piper it got at a church-ale. 

I bade him again blow wind i' the taile. 


A murderer, yonder, was hung in chaines ; 
The sunne and the wind had shrunke his 

veines : 
I bit off a sinew ; I clipp'd his haire ; 
I brought off his ragges, that dane'd i' the 



The scrich-owles egges and the feathers 

The bloud of the frogge, and the bone in 

his backe 
I have been getting ; and made of his skin 
A purset, to keepe sir Cranion in. 


And I ha' beene plucking (plants among) 
Hemlock, henbane, adders-tongue, 
Night-shade, moone-wort, libbards-bane ; 
And t wise by the dogges was like to be tane. 

3 66 


10 WITCH. 

I from the jawes of a gardiner's bitch 
Did snatch these bones, and then leap'd 

the ditch : 
Yet went I back to the house againe, 
Kill'd the blacke cat, and here is the 


11 WITCH. 

I went to the toad, breedes under the wall, 
I charmed him out, and he came at my 
call ; 

I scratch'd out the eyes of the owle before ; 
I tore the batts wing : what would you 
have more ? 


Yes : I have brought, to helpe your vows, 

Horned poppie, cypresse boughes, 

The fig-tree wild, thatgrowes ontombes, 

And juice, that from the larch-tree comes, 

The basiliskes bloud, and the vipers 

skin : 
And now our orgies let's begin. 


Alias Pucke, alias Hobgoblin, in the creed of ancient superstition. This song, which 
Peck attributes to Ben Jonson (though it is not found among his works), is chiefly 
p'rinted from an ancient black-letter copy in the British Museum. It seems to have 
been originally intended for some masque. 

This ballad is entitled, in the old black-letter copies, The Merry Pranks of Robin 
Goodfellow. To the tune of " Dulcina," etc. 

From Oberon, in fairye land, 

The king of ghosts and shadowes there, 
Mad Robin I, at his command, 

Am sect to viewe the night-sports here. 

What revell rout 

Is kept about, 
In every corner where I go, 

I will o'ersee, 

And merry bee, 
And make good sport, with ho, ho, ho ! 

More swift than lightening can I flye 

About this aery welkin soone, 
And, in a minutes space, descrye 

Each thing that's done belowe the 

There's not a hag 
Or ghost shall wag, 
Or cry, ware Goblins ! where I go ; 
But Robin I 
Their feates will spy, 
And send them home, with ho, ho, ho ! 

Whene'er such wanderers I meeie, 
As from their night-sports they trudge 
home ; 
With counterfeiting voice I greete 
And call them on, with me to roame 
Thro' woods, thro' lakes, 
Thro' bogs, thro' brakes ; 
Or else, unseene, with them I go, 
All in the nicke 
To play some tricke 
And frolicke it, with ho, ho, ho ! 

Sometimes I meete them like a man ; 

Sometimes, an ox, sometimes, abound ; 
And to a horse I turn me can ; 

To trip and trot about them round. 

But if, to ride, 

My backe they stride, 
More swift than wind away I go, 

Ore hedge and lands, 

Thro' pools and ponds 
I whirry, laughing, ho, ho, ho ! 



When lads and lasses merry be, 

When lazy queans have nought to do, 

With possets and with juncates fine ; 

But study how to cog and lye ; 

Unseene of all the company, 

To make debate and mischief too, 

I eat their cakes and sip their wine ; 

'Twixt one another secretlye : 

And, to make sport, 

I marke their gloze, 

I fart and snort ; 

And it disclose, 

And out the candles I do blow : 

To them whom they have wronged so ; 

The maids I kiss ; 

When I have done, 

They shrieke — Who's this ? 

I get me gone, 

I answer nought, but ho, ho, ho ! 

And leave them scolding, ho, ho, ho ! 

Yet now and then, the maids to please, 

When men do traps and engines set 

At midnight I card up their wooll ; 

In loop holes, where the vermine creepe, 

And while they sleepe, and take their ease, 

Who from their foldes and houses, get 

With wheel to threads their flax 1 pull. 

Their duckes and geese, and lambes 

I grind at mill 

and sheepe : 

Their malt up still ; 

I spy the gin, 

I dress their hemp, I spin their tow. 

And enter in, 

If any 'wake, 

And seeme a vermine taken so ; 

And would me take, 

But when they there 

I wend me, laughing, ho, ho, ho ! 

Approach me neare, 

I leap out laughing, ho, ho, ho 1 

When house or harth doth sluttish lye, 

I pinch the maidens black and blue ; 

By wells and rills, in meadowes greene, 

The bed-clothes from the bedd pull I, 

We nightly dance our hey-day guise ; 

And lay them naked all to view. 

And to our fairye king and queene 

'Twixt sleepe and wake, 

We chant our moon-light minstvciiies. 

I do them take, 

When larks 'gin sing, 

And on the key-cold floor them throw. 

Away we fling ; 

If out they cry, 

And babes new borne steal as we go, 

Then forth I fly, 

And elfe in bed 

And loudly laugh out, ho, ho, ho ! 

We leave instead, 

And wend us laughing, ho, ho, ho ! 

When any need to borrowe ought, 

We lend them what they do require : 

From hag-bred Merlin's time have I 

And for the use demand we nought ; 

Thus nightly revell'd to and fro : 

Our owne is all we do desire. 

And for my pranks men call me by 

If to repay 

The name of Robin Good-fellow. 

. They do delay, 

Fiends, ghosts, and sprites, 

Abroad amongst them then I go, 

Who haunt the nightes, 

And night by night, 

The hags and goblins do me know ; 

I them affright 

And beldames old 

With pinchings, dreames, and ho, ho, 

My feates have told ; 


So Vale, Vale ; ho, ho, ho 1 

3 6S 



We have here a short display of the popular belief concerning Fairies. Our Saxon 
ancestors believed in the existence of a kind of diminutive demons, or middle species 
between men and spirits, whom they called Duergar or Dwarfs, and to whom they 
attributed many wonderful performances, far exceeding human art. 

This song is given (with some corrections by another copy) from a book entitled 
The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence, etc. Lond. 1658, 8vo. 

Come, follow, follow me, 
You, fairy elves that be : 
Which circle on the greene, 
Come follow Mab your queene. 
Hand in hand let's dance around, 
For this place is fairye ground. 

When mortals are at rest, 

And snoring in their nest ; 

Unheard, and unespy'd, 

Through key-holes we do glide ; 
Over tables, stools, and shelves, 
We trip it with our fairy elves. 

And, if the house be foul 

With platter, dish, or bowl, 

Up stairs we nimbly creep, 

And find the sluts asleep : 
There we pinch their armes and thighes ; 
None escapes, nor none espies. 

But if the house be swept, 
And from uncleanness kept, 
We praise the household maid, 
And duely she is paid : 

For we use before we goe 

To drop a tester in her shoe. 

Upon a mushroome's head 

Our table-cloth we spread ; 

A grain of rye, or wheat, 

Is manchet, which we eat ; 
Pearly drops of dew we drink 
In acorn cups fill'd to the brink. 

The brains of nightingales, 
With unctuous fat of snailes, 
Between two cockles stew'd, 
Is meat that's easily chew'd ; 
Tailes of wormes, and marrow of mice, 
Do make a dish that's wonderous nice. 

The grashopper, gnat, and fly, 

Serve for our minstrelsie ; 

Grace said, we dance a while, 

And so the time beguile : 
And if the moon doth hide her head, 
The gloe-worm lights us home to bed. 

On tops of dewie grasse 
So nimbly do we passe, 
The young and tender stalk 
Ne'er bends when we do walk : 
Yet in the morning may be seen 
Where we the night before have been. 




Tins humorous old song fell from the hand of the witty Dr. Corbet (afterwards 
Bishop of Norwich, etc. ), and is printed from his Poetica Stromata, 1648, i2mo, com- 
pared with the third edition of his poems, 1672. 

The departure of fairies is here attributed to the abolition of monachism. Dr. Richard 
Corbet, Bishop of Oxford, and afterwards Bishop of Norwich, died in 1635, setat. 52. 

Farewell rewards and Fairies ! 

Good housewives now may say ; 
For now foule sluts in dairies, 

Doe fare as well as they : 
And though they sweepe their hearths no 

Than mayds were wont to doe, 
Tet who of late for cleaneliness 

Finds sixe-pence in her shoe ? 

Lament, lament old Abbies, 

The fairies lost command ; 
They did but change priests babies, 

But some have chang'd your land : 
And all your children stoln from thence 

Are now growne Puritanes, 
Who live as changelings ever since, 

For love of your demaines. 

At morning and at evening both 

You merry were and glad, 
So little care of sleepe and sloth, 

These prettie ladies had. 
When Tom came home from labour, 

Or Ciss to milking rose, 
Then merrily went their tabour, 

And nimbly went their toes. 

Witness those rings and roundelayes 

Of theirs, which yet remaine ; 
W ere footed in queene Maries dayes 

On many a grassy playne. 
But since of late Elizabeth 

And later James came in ; 
They never danc'd on any heath, 

As when the time hath bin. 

By which wee note the fairies 

Were of the old profession : 
Their songs were Ave Maries, 

Their dances were procession. 
But now, alas ! they all are dead, 

Or gone beyond the seas, 
Or farther for religion fled, 

Or else they take their ease. 

A tell-tale in their company 

They never could endure; 
And whoso kept not secretly 

Their mirth, was punish'd sure : 
It was a just and christian deed 

To pinch such blacke and blue : 
O how the common-welth doth need 

Such justices as you ! 

Now they have left our quarters ; 

A Register they have, 
Who can preserve their charters ; 

A man both wise and grave. 
An hundred of their merry pranks 

By one that I could name 
Are kept in store ; con twenty thanks 

To William for the same. 

To William Churne of Staffordshire 

Give laud and praises due, 
Who every meale can mend your cheare 

With tales both old and true : 
To William all give audience, 

And pray yee for his noddle : 
For all the fairies' evidence 

Were lost, if it were addle. 


J. A 





The incidents in this and the other ballad of St. George and the Dragon, are chiefly 
taken from the old story-book of the Seven Champions of Christendome, which Bishop 
Hall says was among the most popular stories of his time. And Warton even thinks 
that Spenser took hints from it for his Faery Qaecne. 

Richard Johnson, author of the Seven Champions, lived in the reign of Elizabeth 
and James, and his work is probably the bringing together of the metrical romances 
of former ages. It seems to us that scarce justice enough has been done to him for 
the service he has rendered romantic literature. He has brought the whole of the 
series of traditions, fragments, and ballads together, making the patron saint of England 
the centre round which the whole revolves, in the same manner that Sir Thomas 
Mallony re-animated the Arthurian legends. 

St. George, according to Butler, was born in Cappadocia ; thus he became a soldier 
under Diocletian, but resigned his commissions and posts when that Emperor waged 
war against the Christian religion. He became the patron saint of soldiers, because he 
had been a military man himself. 

The Greeks are said to have given him the title of " the Great Martyr," and he is 
the patron saint of several Eastern nations. The English are held to have chosen 
him as their tutelar saint under the first Norman kings ; thus the council at Oxford 
in 1222 commanded his feast to be kept a holiday of the lesser rank, and Edward III. 
under his name and ensign instituted the most noble order of knighthood in England. 

However, there is not much to be learned of him with certainty ; but having been made 
the patron saint, and "St. George for England" being the national war-cry, it was 
naturally not long before poets began to celebrate his praises, and to clothe their hero 
with all the valiant deeds and romantic adventures possible. And from this beginning 
we have a series of metrical romances which add to our collection of ancient reliques. 

It cannot be denied but that the following ballad is for the most part modern ; 
yet it embodies the account given by older writers. 

Listen, lords, in bower and hall, 

I sing the wonderous birth 
Of brave St. George, whose valourous arm 

Rid monsters from the earth : 

Distressed ladies to relieve 

He travell'd many a day ; 
In honour of the Christian faith, 

Which shall endure for aye. 

In Coventry sometime did dwell 

A knight of worthy fame, 
High steward of this noble realme ; 

Lord Albert was his name. 

He had to wife a princely dame, 
Whose beauty did excell. 

This virtuous lady, being with child, 
In sudden sadness fell : 

For thirty nights no sooner sleep 
Had clos'd her wakeful eyes, 

But, lo ! a foul and fearful dream 
Her fancy would surprize : 

She dreamt a dragon fierce and fell 
Conceiv'd within her womb ; 

Whose mortal fangs her body rent 
Ere he to life could come. 



All woe-bcgone and sad was she ; 

She nourisht constant woe : 
Yet strove to hide it from her lord, 

Lest he should sorrow know. 

In vain she strove ; her tender lord, 
Who watch'd her slightest look, 

Discover'd soon her secret pain, 
And soon that pain partook. 

And when to him the fearful cause 

She weeping did impart, 
With kindest speech he strove to heal 

The anguish of her heart. 

Be comforted, my lady dear, 

Those pearly drops refrain ; 
Betide me weal, betide me woe, 

I'll try to ease thy pain. 

And for this foul and fearful dream, 

That causeth all thy woe, 
Trust me I'll travel far away 

But I'll the meaning knowe. 

Then giving many a fond embrace, 

And shedding many a teare, 
To the weird lady of the woods 

He purpos'd to repaire. 

To the weird lady of the woods, 

Full long and many a day, 
Thro' lonely shades and thickets rough 

He winds his weary way. 

At length he reach'd a dreary dell 

With dismal yews o'erhung ; 
Where cypress spred its mournful boughs, 

And pois'nous nightshade sprung. 

No chearful gleams here pierc'd the 

He hears no chearful sound ; 
But shrill night-ravens' yelling scream, 

And serpents hissing round. 

The shriek of fiends and damned ghosts 
Ran howling thro' his ear : 

A chilling horror froze his heart, 
Tho' all unus'd to fear. 

Three times he strives to win his way, 
And pierce those sickly dews : 

Three times to bear his trembling corse 
His knocking knees refuse. 

At length upon his beating breast 

He signs the holy crosse ; 
And, rousing up his wonted might, 

He treads th' unhallow'd mosse. 

Beneath a pendant craggy cliff, 

All vaulted like a grave, 
And opening in the solid rock, 

He found the inchanted cave. 

An iron gate clos'd up the mouth, 

All hideous and forlorne ; 
And, fasten'd by a silver chain, 

Near hung a brazed home. 

Then offering up a secret prayer, 
Three times he blowes amaine : 

Three times a deepe and hollow sound 
Did answer him againe. 

"Sir knight, thy lady beares a son, 

Who, like a dragon bright, 
Shall prove most dreadful to his foes, 

And terrible in fight. 

" His name advane'd in future times 

On banners shall be worn : 
But lo ! thy lady's life must passe 

Before he can be born." 

All sore opprest with fear and doubt, 
Long time lord Albert stood ; 

At length he winds his doubtful way 
Back thro' the dreary wood. 

Eager lo clasp his lovely dame, 

Then fast he travels back : 
But when he reach'd his castle gate, 

His gate was hung with black. 



In every court and hall he found 

A sullen silence reigne ; 
Save where, amid the lonely towers, 

He heard her maidens 'plaine ; 

And bitterly lament and weep, 
With many a grievous grone : 

Then sore his bleeding heart misgave, 
His lady's life was gone. 

With faultering step he enters in, 

Yet half affraid to goe ; 
With trembling voice asks why they 

Yet fears the cause to knowe. 

"Three times the sun hath rose and set ;" 
They said, then stopt to weep : 

"Since heaven hath laid thy lady deare 
In death's eternal sleep. 

' ' For, ah ! in travel sore she fell, 

So sore that she must dye ; 
Unless some shrewd and cunning leech 

Could ease her presentlye. 

" But when a cunning leech was fet, 

Too soon declared he, 
She or her babe must lose its life ; 

Both saved could not be. 

' ' Now take my life, thy lady said, 

My little infant save : 
And O commend me to my lord, 

When I am laid in grave. 

' ' O tell him how that precious babe 

Cost him a tender wife : 
And teach my son to lisp her name, 

Who died to save his life. 

"Then calling still upon thy name, 

And praying still for thee ; 
Without repining or complaint, 

Her gentle soul did flee." 

What tongue can paint lord Albert's woe, 
The bitter tears he shed, 

The bitter pangs that wrung his heart, 
To find his lady dead ? 

He beat his breast : he tore his hair ; 

And shedding many a tear, 
At length he askt to see his son ; 

The son that cost so dear. 

New sorrowe seiz'd the damsells all : 
At length they faultering say ; 

' ' Alas ! my lord, how shall we tell ? 
Thy son is stoln away. 

" Fair as the sweetest flower of spring, 

Such was his infant mien : 
And on his little body stampt 

Three wonderous marks were seen : 

"A blood-red cross was on his arm ; 

A dragon on his breast : 
A little garter all of gold 

Was round his leg exprest. 

' ' Three carefull nurses we provide 

Our little lord to keep : 
One gave him sucke, one gave him food, 

And one did lull to sleep. 

" But lo ! all in the dead of night, 

We heard a fearful sound : 
Loud thunder clapt ; the castle shook ; 

And lightning flasht around. 

' ' Dead with affright at first we lay ; 

But rousing up anon,