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THE Publishers had a twofold object in producing 
this edition of the "Reliques." They wished to 
make a popular "Percy" in one volume. The design 
implied revision. Percy compiled his Ballads and 
Songs with taste and learning; but he sometimes 
littered the page with the lumber of the antiquary. 
When the "Reliques" appeared, the lumber itself 
was valuable, and the Essays on the Stage and Ro- 
mance possessed a particular interest ; but they are 
now superseded by later and ampler researches, and 
are therefore omitted in this edition. 1 have retained 
the discourse on the Minstrel ; for it is composed in 
the best style of the Author, and conveys much infor- 
mation in agreeable language. Some illustrative notes 
are added. In a companion volume " Ballads and 
Romances" the interesting subject of metrical ro- 
mance will be examined. The introductory Notices 
of the " Reliques" are either condensed from the ori- 
ginals, or wholly re-written. The limits of a volume 
made this treatment imperative ; but the nature of the 
book seemed also to suggest and authorise it. A com- 
pilation taken up and laid down during several years is 
unavoidably marked by the desultory habits of the 
compiler, who, at the end of a poem, is found correcting 
an error in the beginning. Moreover, since the time 


of Percy, ingenious scholars have diligently traversed 
the paths which he trod, lighting up many dark places 
in their way. But the claims of Percy deserve respect- 
ful deference : I have never talked when he might 
talk for me, and phrases in harmony with the old 
colouring of the verses are constantly preserved. 

It is not the least singular circumstance, in tin- 
history of the "Reliques," that no attempt has hitherto 
been made to correct the mistakes or render the beauties 
of the Collection more conspicuous. Issuing from the 
press in. various forms, the Introductions have always 
re-appeared in their original shape. The spots on 
the old face have been religiously transferred to the 
new. I include the questionable restoration of " The 
Wanton Wife of Bath," which the praise of Addisou 
tempted the Editor to adopt, but which his maturer 
taste very wisely excluded. I should have gratified 
my own judgment by the omission of two or three 
other compositions, of which the merits and the fitness 
are extremely doubtful. 

In all editions of the "Eeliques" with which I 
am acquainted, the Glossaries remain as Percy left 
them. I have endeavoured to improve and enlarge 
them in this volume. The obscurer words are ex- 
plained at the foot of each page, and, while constantly 
availing myself of Percy's assistance, I have sought 
other guides when he was silent. Mr. Halliwell's 
" Dictionary of Archaic Phrases," and Mr. T. Wright's 
" Obsolete and Provincial English,'' arc useful com- 

The poetical text is given, without any abridgment, 
from the fourth edition, which underwent the revision 
of the Bishop's nephew, a refined and j udicious scholar. 
The punctuation has been attentively considered, and 


modified, I hope, in some cases, with advantage to the 
clearness of expression. In the poetry, the correcting 
hand of Percy is frequently visible ; but we have his 
assurance that, " when any considerable liberties were 
taken with the old copies," he was careful to indicate 
the fact by three asterisks subjoined. The pieces so 
amended are twenty-nine. 1 

Among books which are related to the " Reliques," 
and promote the intelligent enjoyment of them, I 
ought to mention Mr. Chappell's revised treatise on 
Popular Music, and Dr. Bimbault's interesting " Il- 
lustrations." From these I have derived advice and 


ST. CATHERINE'S, June 8, 1857. 

1 The titles are Sir Cauline, King Estmere, Robin Hood and Guy of Qis- 
borne, The Child of EHe, Edom o' Gordon, The Friar of Orders Gray, Gilde- 
roy, Sir Aldingar, King Edward and Tanner of Tamworth, As ye came from 
the Holy Land, The Heir of Linne, The Beggar's Daughter of Bednall- 
Green, Sir Andrew Barton, Corin's Fate, King John and the Abbot of 
Canterbury, The Old and Young Courtier, The Baffled Knight, The Mar- 
riage of Sir Gawaine, King Arthur's Death, The Lady turned Serving-Man, 
Barbara Allen's Cruelty, Sweet William's Ghost, The Willow Tree, The 
King of France's Daughter, The Birth of St. George, The Spanish Virgin, 
Valentine and Ursine, The Boy and the Mantle. 







The Ancient Ballad of Chevy-Chase ......... 1 

The Battle of Otterbourne ............ 10 

The Jew's Daughter .............. 20 

Sir Cauline ............. .... 22 

Edward, Edward ... ............ 32 

King Estmere ................ 34 

Sir Patrick Spence . . - ............ 42 

Kohin Hood and Guy of Gisborne .......... 43 

An Elegy on Henry Fourth Earl of Northumberland ... 50 

The Tower of Doctrine ............. 57 

The Child of Elle ............... 60 

Edom o' Gordon ............... Co 

ISoofc E. 


Adam Bell, Clym of the Clougli, and William of Cloudesley C9 

The Aged Lover renounceth Love ......... 88 v 



Jephthah, Judge if Israel 89 

A Eobyn Jolly Robyn - .... 91 

A Song to the Lute in Musicko ...*.. 92 
King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid ........ 93 

Take thy Old Cloak about thco ...,,..... 96 

Willow, Willow, Willow 98 

Sir Lancelot du Lake 101 

Corydon's Farewell to Phillis . , 105 

Gernutus, the Jew of Venice 103 

The Passionate Shepherd to nis Love 110 

Titus Andronicus's Complaint Ill 

I/ Take those Lips away 115 

King Leir and his Three Daughters 115 

Youth and Age 119 

The Frolicksome Duke, or the Tinker's Good Fortune . . 120 
The Friar of Orders Gray 122 

ISoofe SEE. 

The more Modern Ballad of Chevy-Chace 126 

Death's Final Conquest - 133 

The Rising in the North 134 

Northumberland Betrayed by Douglas "... 139 

My Mind to Me a Kingdom is 146 

The Patient Countess 148 

Dowsabell ' 153 

The Farewell to Love ,,... 156 

Ulysses and the Syren : i . . 157 

is Cupid's Pastime .<*... 159 

The Character of a Happy Life . . . 161 

Gilderoy 162 

Winifreda 164 

The Witch of Wofcey 165 

Bryan and Pereene 168 

Gentle River, Gentle River 169 

Alcanzor and Zayda 171 


13oofe E. 


Richard of Almaigno Y i75 

On the Death of King Edward the First 177 

An Original Ballad by Chaucer 180 

The Turnament of Tottenham 181 

For the Victory at Agincourt. 188 

The Not-Browne Mayd 189 

A Balet, by the Earl Rivers 198 

Cupid's Assault, by Lord Vaux 199 

SirAldingar 201 

The Gaberlunzie Man ". 207 

On Thomas Lord Cromwell 209 

Harpalus 211 

Robyn and Makyne 214 

Gentle Herdsman, Tell to Me 217 

King Edward IV. and the Tanner of Tarn worth . . . ' . 219 

As ye came from the Holy Land 225 

Hardyknute 226 

Doofi IE. 

A Ballad of Luther, the Pope, a Cardinal, and a Husbandman 236 

John Anderson my Jo 239 

Little John Nobody : . . . 239 

Queen Elizabeth's Verses, while Prisoner at Woodstock . . 242 

The Heir of Linne 242 

Gascoigne's Praise of the Fair Bridges, afterwards Lady 

Sandes 249 

Fair Rosamond 251 

Queen Eleanor's Confession 257 

The Sturdy Rock 260 

The Beggar's Daughter of Bednall-Grccn 261 



Fancy and Desire 268 

Sir Andrew Barton . . 270 

Lady Anne Bothwell's Lament . . 279 

The Murder of the King of Scots 28<> 

A Sonnet by Queen Elizabeth 282 

King of Scots and Andrew Browne 28'! 

The Bonny Earl of Murray 286 

Young Waters 287 

Mary Ambree 289 

Brave Lord Willoughby 292 

Victorious Men of Earth 295 

The Winning of Gales L".>r> 

The Spanish Lady's Love 297 

Argentile and Quran 301 

Conn's Fate 310 

Jane Shore 311 

Corydon's Doleful Knell , 316 

ISoofe EEE. 

The Complaint of Conscience 317 

Plain Truth, and Blind Ignorance 322 

The Wandering Jew ' .... 327 

The Lye 331 

Verses by King James I. 333 

King John and the Abbot of Canterbury 335 

You Meaner Beauties 338 

The Old and Young Courtier 339 

Sir John Suckling's Campaigne 341 

To Althea from Prison 342 

The Downfall of Charir.g-Cross 344 

Loyalty Confined 34") 

Verses by King Charles T ; . 347 

The Sale of Rebellious Household-Stuff 350 

The Baffled Knight, or Lady's Policy 352 

Why so Pule ? 357 



Old Tom of Bedlam , ....... 358 

The Distracted Puritan , 360 

The Lunatic Lover 362 

The Lady Distracted with Love 364 

The Distracted Lover 365 

The Frantic Lady 366 

Lilli Burlero 367 

The Braes of Yarrow 368 

Admiral Hosier's Ghost 372 

Jemmy Dawson 374 

ISoofc I. 

The Boy and the Mantle 377 

The Marriage of Sir Gawaine 383 

King Kyence's Challenge ..." 392 

King Arthur's Death 393 

The Legend of King Arthur .... 1 399 

A Dyttie to Hey Downe 402 

Glasgerion 403 

Old Eohin of Portingale 406 

Child Waters 409 

Phillida and Corydon 414 

Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard ........ 415 

The Ew-Bughts, Marion 418 

The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter 419 

The Shepherd's Address to his Muse 422 

Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor 424 

Cupid and Campaspe 426 

The Lady turned Serving-Man 427 

Gil Morrice . 431 


1300& EL : . 

The Legend of Sir Guy .... 437 

Guy and Amarant .... 441 

The Auld Good-Man .... 446 

Fair Margaret and Sweet William ... 448 

Barbara Allen's Cruelty 450 

Sweet William's Ghost 452 

Sir John Grehme and Barbara Allan . . 454 

The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington . , 455 

The Willow Tree 456 

The Lady's Fall 458 

Waly Waly, Love be Bonny 462 

The Bride's Burial 463 

Dulcina 467 

The Lady Isabella's Tragedy 468 

A Hue and Cry after Cupid 471 

The King of France's Daughter 472 

The Sweet Neglect 478 

The Children in the Wood 479 

A Lover of Late 484 

The King and the Miller of Mansfield . ' 485 

The Shepherd's Kesolution 491 

Queen Dido 493 

The Witches' Song 496 

Eobin Good-Fellow 498 

The Fairy Queen 501 

The Fairies' Farewell 503 

ISoofe EEI. 

The Birth of St. George 505 

St. George and the Dragon 510 

Love will find out the Way 517 

Lord Thomas and Fair Annet 518 

Unfading Beauty 521 



George Barawell 522 

The Stedfast Shepherd .531 

The Spanish Virgin, or Effects of Jealousy 533 

Jealousy, Tyrant of the Mind 537 

Constant Penelope 538 

To Lucasta, on Going to the Wars 540 

Valentine and Ursine 541 

The Dragon of Wantley 551 

St. George for England 556 

Margaret's Ghost 569 

Lucy and Colin 571 

The Boy and the Mantle 574 

The Ancient Fragment of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine . 579 

The Hermit of Warkworth, by Bishop Percy ..... 586 


THOMAS PEECT, a name musical to all lovers of poetry, was 
born, April 13, 1728, at Bridgenorth, in Shropshire, where 
his father was a grocer. He received his early education 
at the free school of his native town, and was sent an exhi- 
bitioner to Christ Church, Oxford, in July, 1746. Having 
been ordained a priest, he was presented by his College, 
1756, to the vicarage of Easton Mauduit, Northampton- 
shire, which he held with the Rectory of "Wilby, given 
to him afterwards by the Earl of Sussex. A country 
home afforded ample leisure for literary studies, which he 
cultivated with assiduity and good taste. In 1759 he 
married Anne, daughter of Bartin Guthridge, or G-oodriche, 
Esq., in the same county. 1 To this lady he addressed the 
charming lines, which will live as long as any "of the 
" Reliques." At Ecton House, about five miles from North- 
ampton, is a portrait of Mrs. Percy, holding in her hand 
a scroll, on which is inscribed the song, " O Nanny." If 
Madame D'Arblay's account be correct, " the fairest of 
the fair" borrowed her grace from the poet's pen : " She is 
very uncultivated, and ordinary in manners and conversa- 
tion ; but a good creature, and much delighted to talk 
over the Royal Family, to one of whom she was formerly 
a nurse." Mrs. Percy was, at this time (1791), in weak 
health, and declining life. She died at Dromore, December 
30, 1806, in the 76th year of her age ; and we are assured 
that " to the last she remained a favourite" with Johnson. 

Percy was busy in 1761. In that year he received (June 
10) fifty pounds for a Chinese Romance called " HauKiou 
1 Bee Nichols's " Illustrations of the Eighteenth Century," yii. 252. 


Choaan ;" " Chinese Proverbs," and a new version of " Solo- 
mon's Songs," brought smaller sums. The Chinese Novel 
was published in four volumes. Grainger writes : " You 
have been at pains in collecting your notes to the Chinese 
History. They throw much light upon it, and, to deal 
frankly with you, they constitute the most valuable part 
of your book." The first Chinese Letter of Goldsmith had 
appeared in the " Public Ledger," January 24, 1760, and 
been favourably received. But " Hau Kiou Choaan" was 
a genuine Chinese story, preserved among the papers of 
Mr. Wilkinson, a merchant who spent several years in 
Canton. Percy translated the fourth volume from the 

In the same year (1761), he signed an agreement 
with the Tonsons to edit the works of the Duke of Buck- 
ingham, for the sum of fifty-two guineas ; and he also 
undertook (March, 1763), to superintend an edition of 
Surrey's Poems. Both works were printed, but never 
published. The whole impression of " Surrey," with 
the exception of two or three copies previously given 
to friends, was destroyed by fire in 1808. 1 Mr. Payne 
Collier has described a copy in his possession. It is a 
reprint of Tottcll's edition, 1557. Percy made no at- 
tempt at revising the poems, nor did he write any life 
of Surrey. The design, however, was extensive, and 
embraced specimens of all the undramatic blank verse 
preceding the "Paradise Lost." Mr. Collier says "He 
was guilty of some important omissions, because biblio- 
graphical knowledge was not then so far advanced as at 
present ; but he performed good service to letters ; and 
the blank verse productions, which he subjoins, are by 
Tuberville, Gascoigne, Biche, Peele, James Aske, William 
Vallans, Nicholas Breton, Chapman, and Christopher Mar- 

In 1763, Percy published Five Pieces of Runic poetry, 
ten guineas being the purchase-money. 

> " Notes and Queries," May 18, 1850. 


Many years afterwards, Mr. William Herbert, in the 
first flush of his northern studies, denounced the attempt 
to render a foreign language through the medium of a 
Latin prose version, and spoke of Percy with great severity, 
affirming that his translation of Kegner Lodbrog's Ode 
teemed with errors, scarcely a line of it being properly 
interpreted. Percy vindicated himself in letters to Dr. 
Anderson : " Notwithstanding that he condemns, in the 
gross, translations like mine, made through the medium of 
a Latin version, yet I humbly conceive an English reader 
will form thereby as good a notion of the peculiar images 
and general subject of the originals as from his own para- 
phrase in English verse ; but in my translation I had an 
advantage in having it compared with the original by the 
great master of northern literature, the Ilev. Edward Lye, 
author of the ' Anglo-Saxon Lexicon.' " The translations 
are in prose, and admit no comparison with Gray's noble 
specimens of the Norse-tongue, which, like Percy's, were 
made from Latin versions of the originals. 

In 1764, Percy gave to the Press his " Key to the New 
Testament;" a well-arranged and useful Introduction, 
which has been often reprinted, and is still consulted by 
theological students. During the summer of the same 
year, Johnson visited him at Easton Mauduit, a dull par- 
sonage in a dull county, and remained through parts of the 
months of June, July, and August. It was on this occa- 
sion that he chose for his regular reading the Spanish 
Romance of " Felixmarte of Hircania." From boyhood 
he had a passion, for tales of chivalry, and did not lose it 
in his latest years. The Doctor was in his happiest mood. 
Mrs. Percy told Cradock, that her husband "looked out 
all sorts of books to be ready for his amusement after 
breakfast, and that Johnson was so attentive and polite to 
her, that, when her husband mentioned the literature pre- 
pared in the. study, he said ' No, sir, I shall first wait 
upon Mrs. Percy to feed the ducks.' " 

Percy was now occupied, at intervals, in pi'eparing the 
collection of old Ballads and Poems on which his fame is 


built. The first suggestion of the " Bcliquee" came from 
Shenstone, who wrote to Graves, March 1, 1761, 

" You have heard me speak of Mr. Percy ho was in 
treaty with Mr. James Dodsley, for the publication of our 
best old ballads in three volumes. He has a large folio MS. 
of ballads which he showed me, and which, with his own 
natural and acquired talents, would qualify him for the 
purpose as well as any man in England. I proposed the 
scheme to him myself, wishing to see an elegant edition 
and good collection of this kind. I was also to have as- 
sisted him in selecting and rejecting, and in fixing upon 
the best readings ; but my illness broke off our corre- 
spondence the beginning of winter." 

In the autumn of the same year (September 2-1), Shen- 
stone relates the progress of the work in a very interesting 
letter to Mr. M'Gowan of Edinburgh : 

" And now, having thanked you for the Scotch snuff, 
I come to ask, whether you have any old Scotch ballads 
which you would wish preserved in a neat edition. I have 
occasioned a friend of mine to publish a fair collection of 
the best old English and Scotch ballads, a work I have 
long had much at heart. Mr. Percy, the collector and 
publisher, is a man of learning, taste, and indefatigable 
industry; is Chaplain to the Earl of Sussex. It so hap- 
pens that he has himself a folio collection of this kind of 
MSS. which has many things truly curious, and from 
which he selects the best. I am only afraid that his fond- 
ness for antiquity should tempt him to admit pieces that 
have no other sort of merit. However, he has offered me 
a rejecting power, of which I mean to make considerable 
use. He is encouraged in his undertaking by Samuel 
Johnson, Garrick, and many persons of note, who lend 
him such assistance as is within their power. He has 
brought Mr. Warton (the Poetry Professor), to ransack 
the Oxford Libraries, and has resided, and employed six 
amanuenses to transcribe from Pepys's Collection at Cam- 
bridge, consisting of five volumes of old ballads, in folio. 
He says justly, that it is in the remote parts of the king- 
dom that he has most reason to expect the curiosities he 


wants ; that in the southern parts fashion and novelty 
cause such things to be neglected. Accordingly he has 
settled a correspondence in Wales, in the wilds of Stafford- 
shire and Derbyshire, in the West Indies, in Ireland, and, 
if he can obtain your assistance, he hopes to draw mate- 
rials from the whole British Empire. He tells me there 
is, in the Collection of Magdalen College Library, a very 
curious collection of ancient Scottish songs and poems, 
he thinks, not published, or known ; many of Dunbar, 
Maitland of Lethington, and one allegorical poem of 
Gawain Douglas, too obsolete for his collection; and 
one yet more obsolete, called ' Peebles in the Play,' men- 
tioned in Christ's Kirk on the Green. He met Mr. Gray 
, in the University Library, who is going to write the his- 
tory of English Poetry. But, to put an end to this long 
article, his Collection will be printed in two or three small 
octavos, with suitable decorations ; and if you find an op- 
portunity of sending aught that may be proper for his 
insertion, I think I can safely answer for his thankfulness, 
as well as my own. He showed me an old ballad in his 
folio MS., under the name of 'Adam Carr :' three parts 
in four coincide so much with your ' Edom of Gordon,' 
that the former name appears to me an odd corruption 
of the latter. His MS. will, however, tend to enrich 
' Edom of Gordon ' with two of the prettiest stanzas I 
ever saw, beside many other improvements. He has also 
a MS. of ' Gill Moriee,' called in his copy ' Childe Morice.' 
Of this more another time." 

This letter shows the zeal of Percy and the liberality of 
his friends. 3Tew Collectors have had such helpers. The 
library of Garrick was rich in early English poetry ; but 
he found his most useful correspondent in Birch, whose 
aid he might have gracefully acknowledged in warmer 
terms. Birch was not more indefatigable in gathering in- 
formation than generous in imparting it. Lively in talk, 
vigorous in body, and endowed with a sleepless curiosity, 
he amassed large stores of varied learning, and wrote as 
much as he walked, but with a very inferior ease and 
freshness. Composition was to him the birdlime which 


Soutliey found in reviewing. Gray, who saw Birch one 
day at work in the British Museum, pleasantly observed, 
that he ought never to write for himself. The erudite and 
social Farmer was another contributor of book-lore. Stee- 
vens, also, afterwards, proved to be a serviceable, though 
a dangerous, ally. His fellow-labourer, in the edition of 
Shakspeare, remarked of him, that he lived the life of an 
outlaw ; and his portrait, mean, sarcastic, and pugnacious, 
creates an immediate prejudice against him, and is taken as 
the index of his mind. Johnson's assistance is not par- 
ticularised, and we do not find that Gray exerted himself 
to lighten or embellish the task. Warton was more 
zealous, and speaks " of the valuable collection of little 
pieces lately made by his ingenious friend and fellow- , 
labourer, Dr. Percy." The first volume of the " History of 
Poetry" appeared in 1774, and Percy therefore preceded 
Warton by the space of nine years. The kindly feelings 
of Shenstone have been already noticed. Some portions 
of the " Reliques " were also submitted to Goldsmith, 
who claims our thanks for suggesting the " Friar of 
Orders Gray." When he was accused of stealing his 
" Hermit" from that ballad, he stated the circumstances 
of the composition : " I do not think there is any great 
resemblance between the two pieces in question. If 
there be any, his (Percy's) ballad was taken from mine. 
I read it to Mr. Percy some years ago ; and he, as we 
both considered these things as trifles at best, told me, 
with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that 
he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare 
into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, 
if I may so call it, and I highly approved it." 

Among the friends who had watched the growth of the 
" Eeliques," and rejoiced in their completion^ Dr. Graingei 
merits honourable mention. By Percy he was sincerely 
esteemed, and his contemporaries shared the same senti- 
ment of regard. They who did not value the poet, loved the 
man. Grainger, according to his own statement, was born 
about 1721. Percy told Anderson (February 5, 1805), 
" That his father was of Cumberland, I have heard him 


mention, and that he had suffered from his attachment to 
the House of Stuart iu the year 1715. His father may 
also have impaired his fortune. The Doctor was his son 
by a second marriage. His elder brother, who became a 
parent to him, was by a former wife. This is all I re- 
member concerning his family. For, though united by the 
strictest bonds of friendship, my acquaintance with him 
did not commence till about three years before he went 
abroad. The time of his death was confirmed by the cap- 
tain of a ship, who brought me a very kind letter from 
him, and a present of a pig fed with sugar-canes." 

The name of Grainger is kept alive by a single Ode. 
His larger work " The Sugar-Cane" possesses a certain 
charm in the truth of its local colouring ; for it was com- 
posed during the author's rides in the Island of St. Chris- 
topher to visit his patients. But his own criticism is fatal 
to his poem : " There can be no mediocrity in a Georgic." 
Grainger received considerable help from Percy in his 
poetical productions ; and through the translation of " Ti- 
bullus," the finer touch of his friend is occasionally dis- 

The " Reliques " came from the press in the February 
of 1765. We are informed by Mr. Prior, who had the 
receipt before him, that Percy obtained one hundred 
guineas for the first edition. The payment must have 
been made iu advance, as the receipt is dated March 25, 
1763. Succeeding impressions enlarged the editor's profits, 
which, however, never reached the sum paid to Walter 
Scott for the " Border Minstrelsy." 

The Collection was inscribed to Elizabeth, Duchess 
and Countess of Northumberland, in language of grateful 
and admiring affection, which very strongly recalls the 
pen of Johnson to the reader ; for the style is altogether 
unlike the flowing and prolonged periods of Percy. The 
lady deserved the praise ; genius and misfortune were 
sure of her sympathy, whether a Goldsmith or a Kit Smart 
made the appeal. 

The immediate reception of the " Reliques" was not en- 
couraging. Johnson, at the tea-table of Miss Reynolds, 


and before the dismayed Editor, applied the ballad-metre 
to common narrative, in the famous example of the two 
men in the Strand; and Warburton and Hurd treated 
the book with disdain. Warburton writes to Hurd, March, 
1765, " It is as you say of Percy's Ballads. Pray, is 
this the man who wrote about the Chinese? Antiqua- 
rianism is, indeed, to true letters what specious funguses 
are to the oak, which never shoot out and flourish till all 
the vigour and virtue of the grove be effete and nearly 
exhausted." Percy might have expected a kinder greeting 
from Warburton, whom he had called " that eminent 
author," whose " depth and clearness inferior writers 
cannot hope to attain to." 

The " Heliques" were followed, after an interval of six 
years, by " The Hermit of Warkworth." Johnson wrote 
to Langton, March 20, 1771, 

" I was at the Club last night. Dr. Percy has written 
a long ballad in many fits; it is pretty enough ; he has 
printed and will soon publish it." But the publication 
drew a sharper criticism. Cradock, not indeed a very 
accurate relater, informs us, " With all my partiality 
for Johnson, I freely declare that I think Dr. Percy 
received very great cause to take real offence at one who, 
by a ludicrous parody on a stanza in the ' Hermit of 
Warkworth,' had rendered him contemptible. It was 
urged that Johnson only meant to attack the metre ; but 
he certainly turned the whole poem into ridicule. Mr. 
Garrick, in a letter to me, soon afterwards asked me, 
' Whether I had seen Johnson's criticism on the ' Hermit ?' 
It is alreadjV said he, ' over half the town.' 

The "Hermit" was not happily composed. Wordsworth 
remarks, " Dr. Percy was so abashed by the ridicule 
flung upon his labours, from the ignorance and insensibility 
of the persons with whom he lived, that though, while he 
was writing under a mask, he had not wanted resolution 
to follow his genius into the regions of true simplicity and 
genuine pathos (as evinced by the exquisite ballad of ' Sir 
Cauline' and by many other pieces), yet when he appeared 
in his own person and character as a poetical writer, he 


adopted, as in the tale of the ' Hermit of Warkworth,' a 
diction scarcely in any one of its features distinguishable 
from the vague, glossy, and unfeeling language of his day. 
I mention this remarkable fact with regret, esteeming the 
genius of Dr. Percy, in this kind of writing, superior to 
that of any other man by whom in modern times it has 
been cultivated." 

Grainger had written to his friend, March, 1765, " I 
hope you will sing yourself at least into a stall, if not into 
a throne." The hope was to be fulfilled. In 1769, Percy 
was made Chaplain in ordinary to the King, having pre- 
viously been appointed domestic Chaplain to the Duke of 
Northumberland. His advance now became rapid. In 
1778, the Deanery of Carlisle was bestowed upon him, and 
in 1782 he was elevated to the See of Dromore, over which' 
Jeremy Taylor had once presided. But the proverb was 
true in the case of Percy, and even in the Episcopal closet 
the skeleton was discovered. It took the grim and menacing 
shape of Bitson, who rises to our view whenever Percy is 

Joseph Ritson was born at Stockton-upon-Tees, October 
2, 1752, and having been articled to an attorney of that 
town, he was transferred to the chambers of Mr. Bradley, 
that he might acquire a knowledge of conveyancing. In 
1775 he settled in London as a managing clerk of a respect- 
able office. His antiquarian tastes were soon developed ; he 
read manuscripts in the British Museum, and assisted Mr. 
Allan to compile the " History of Sherbourne Hospital." 
About the year 1782 he adopted the tone of criticism 
which he always maintained. His letter to Thomas 
Warton was written with shameless effrontery, and his 
remarks on the edition of Shakspere by Johnson and 
Steevens were scarcely less insulting. Mr. Park once 
heard Eitson express regret for his rudeness to War- 

In 1783 he published a collection of English Songs, and 
censured, with his usual freedom, the system of former 
compilers. The lash fell with concentrated fury on Percy, 
whom he branded as a forger, and. dumbered with those who 


employ character to sanctify fraud. We should, however, 
be unjust to Ritson in supposing him blind to the merits 
of the " Eeliques." He declared them to be " beautiful, 
elegant, and ingenious." His hostility was directed against 
Percy's theory and practice of editorship. The charac- 
teristic of Rilson was literalness, of which Scott gives 
an amusing illustration. During a short visit to Lass- 
wade, some person had told Ritson that the remains of 
the Roman Wall were either almost or altogether invisible. 
Scott hastily assured him that he had seen a portion of it 
standing, high enough for the fall to break a man's neck. 
Ritson took a note of the statement, and revisited the spot 
to verify it. Scott then perceived the risk which he had 
run of offending this man of imperfect sympathies, whom 
Elia must have seen in a vision, when he wrote, "Between 
the affirmative and the negative there is no border land 
with him. His conversation is as a book ; you must speak 
upon the square with him." Ritson treated the " Reliques " 
like the Roman Wall, and resented every emendation as 
a violation of truth. The key to his personal virulence 
may be sought in the malady under which he died most 
painfully, September 3, 1803. It seems to have broken 
out in a hatred of Percy, a love of bad spelling, and a 
horror of meat. Of the strictest sect he lived a vege- 
tarian; not only abstaining from fish, flesh, and fowl, but 
interdicting all food in which those substances were em- 
ploj r ed. He has recorded, with pathetic self-abasement, 
one transgression of his great law. It occurred in the 
South of Scotland, when tempted I am obliged to add 
conquered by wet, cold, and hunger, he "ventured to eat 
a few potatoes dressed under the roast." Mr. D'Israeli 
saw a resemblance to Ritson in Steele's portrait of Dennis. 
But Ritson foxind a milder Pope. The wish, however, 
was not wanting in Percy to avenge himself of his enemy, 
to whom he gave the title of " Wretch." 

Ritson charged Percy with two offences : 1st, the misre- 
presenting of the office and dignity of the Ancient Minstrel ; 
and, 2nd, the interpolating and corrupting of the Poems 
which he reprinted. The first accusation was partly ad- 


tnitted by Percy, who subsequently modified his earlier 
statement. The attack upon his honesty he repelled with 
just indignation ; for his emendations of the old and muti- 
lated ballads were open and avowed. But the merits of 
Ritson should not be forgotten in his faults. " Let it be 
remembered to his honour," is the admonition of Scott, 
"that without the encouragement of private patronage, or 
of public applause without hopes of gain, and under the 
certainty of severe critical censure, he brought forward 
such a work on national antiquities, as in other countries 
has been thought worthy of universities, and the counte- 
nance of princes." 

Goldsmith playfully remarked, in his discourse on Polite 
Learning, that when a man of letters is made a Bishop, 
he will no longer please as a writer. " The running 
horse when fattened will still be fit for very useful 
purposes, though unqualified for a courser." An Irish 
residence was not favourable to literary employment. The 
letters of the Bishop and his friends often miscarried ; he 
was eight months in arrear with the last magazine ; and 
a new book reached him in about the same time as it was 
received in Calcutta. But his mind and his pen were alike 
inquiring and active, and the very interesting "Percy 
Correspondence" 1 shows the studies which cheered the 
shades of Dromore. He constantly resided among the 
people over whom he had been appointed a chief shepherd, 
" promoting the instruction and comfort of the poor with 
unremitting attention, and superintending the sacred and 
civil interests of the diocese with vigilance and assiduity, 
revered and beloved for his piety, liberality, benevolence, 
and hospitality, by persons of every rank and religious 

This character was given of Percy by one who knew him 
well, and had enjoyed his friendship. Upon a life so 
happy, because so useful, one shadow fell; his eyesight 
failed him more and more, until it was lost in darkness, 
which no skill might disperse. 

1 "Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century," by 
John Boiryer Kichols, TO!, TO. 18'48. 


At length the time came for the departing in peace. 
We are told by the same friend that the wise and the good 
man died September 30, 1811 as he had lived, a fine 
example of the power of religion on the mind ; and edi- 
fying his kindred by patient resignation and composure 
under severe sufferings. So, after a pilgrimage of eighty- 
two years, the last male descendant of the ancient House 
of Percy began his new life. 

Percy was emphatically a man of letters ; and elegant 
literature was his garden out of which he gathered many 
sweet-scented flowers. Inferior to Warton in depth and 
fulness of poetical learning, to Gray in fervour and beauty 
of imagination, and to Goldsmith in natural pathos and 
fancy, he had a finer ear for music, and a more delicate 
taste for the simplicity of the old Ballad. And with the 
feeling of a poet he combined the patience of the anti- 
quary. He never grew weary of washing the gold. 

Of such a man the accomplishments would of necessity 
be large and pleasing. We learn from Boswell that Percy 
flowed with anecdotes, like a Scottish brook after rain ; 
but he does not appear to have possessed the art of telling 
them. Madame D'Arblay describes him, in later life, 
when he was sixty-three years old, as perfectly easy and 
unassuming, but not very entertaining, because too prolix. 
Johnson spoke slightingly of his powers. " You know he 
runs about with little weight upon his mind." The best 
specimen of Percy's talk, which has come down to us, is his 
character of Johnson's : " The conversation of Johnson 
is strong and clear, and may be compared to an antique 
statue, where every nerve and muscle is distinct and bold. 
Ordinary conversation resembles an inferior caste." 

Of the publications of Percy, the " Keliques," and the 
Song to Nanny, are alone recollected by general readers. 
Mr. Hallam calls the " Reliques" a " collection singularly 
heterogeneous, and very unequal in merit." And the cri- 
ticism is just. I must acknowledge a graver fault in the 
occasional coarseness of the sentiments and the language. 
But no selection of English poetry, so large and attractive, 
had hitherto appeared ; and the restoration of the faded 


pictures was effected with the happiest skill. Southey com- 
plained that Scott always patched an old poein with new 
bricks ; but Percy preserved the weather-stains. It is impos- 
sible to overrate the beneficial influence of the " Reliques" 
on our poetical literature. No storm of ridicule might 
wash that good seed out of the ground. Some of it came 
up quickly in bloom; and we owe the delightful poem 
of Beattie to the Essay on the Ancient Minstrels. In 
the following age the effect was more striking and ex- 
tensive. Wordsworth placed the " Reliques" next in im- 
portance to the " Seasons" of Thomson, and entertained 
a firm belief that our poetry had been absolutely redeemed 
by those old Ballads and natural rhymes : " I do not 
think that there is an able writer in verse of the present 
day who would not be proud to acknowledge his obliga- 
tions to the 'Beliques.' I know that it is so with my 
friends ; and, for myself, I am happy on this occasion to 
make a public avowal of my own." Mr. Tennyson would 
probably express the same sentiment of gratitude. 

The romantic confessions of Scott are familiar to all 
readers. Speaking of his boy -life after leaving the High 
School of Edinburgh, he says : " I then first became 
acquainted with Bishop Percy's ' Eeliques of Ancient 
English Poetry.' I remember well the spot where I read 
these volumes for the first time. It was beneath a huge 
platanus-tree, in the ruins of what had been intended for 
an old-fashioned arbour in the garden. The summer day 
sped onward so fast that, notwithstanding the sharp appe- 
tite of thirteen, I forgot the hour of dinner, was sought 
for with anxiety, and was still found entranced in my intel- 
lectual banquet. To read and to remember was in this 
instance the same thing, and henceforth I overwhelmed 
my schoolfellows, and all who would hearken to me, with 
tragical recitations from the ballads of Percy. The first 
time, too, I could scrape a few shillings together, which 
were not common occurrences with me, I bought unto 
myself a copy of these beloved volumes, nor do I believe I 
ever read a book half so frequently, or with half the en- 
thusiasm." The " garden" belonged to Scolt's aunt at 


Kelso ; and, in another place, he has described the long 
straight walks, the tall roses, the flowery thickets, and the 
splendid Oriental plane, " a huge hill of leaves," whicn, 
like most of its kind, died at the beginning of this century. 
Scott's admiration was deep and lasting, and when he pre- 
sented his " Eve of St. John" and " Glenfinlas" to 
Bishop Percy, he requested a friend to assure him that he 
had formed his taste of ballad-thinking and expression 
upon that of the " Reliques." 

I may not forget, among these testimonials of affection, 
the humbler tribute of my lost friend, the author of " Our 
Village," who, in a pleasant page of her " Literary Life," 
commemorates her early love of Percy : " I read leading 
articles to please the company, and my dear mother re- 
cited the ' Children in the Wood ' to please me. One 
day it happened that I was called upon to exhibit, and 
cried out amain for the ditty that I loved. Mj r father 
hunted over the shelves until he had found the volumes ; 
and they were actually put in charge of my maid ^ancy, 
and she, waxing weary of the ' Children in the Wood,' 
gradually took to reading to me some of the other ballads ; 
and as from three years I grew to four or five, I learned 
to read them myself, and the book became the delight of 
my childhood, as it is now the solace of my age. Ah ! 
well-a-day ! sixty years have passed, and I am an old 
woman, whose nut-brown hair has turned to white ; but 
T never see that heavily-bound copy of ' Percy's Reliques' 
without the home of my infancy springing up before my 

eyes What a play-ground was that orchard ! Happy, 

happy days ! It is good to have the memory of such a 
childhood ! to be able to call up past delights by the mere 
sight and sound of ' Chevy Chase,' or the ' Battle of Otter- 
bourne.' And, as time wore on, the fine ballad of ' King 
Estmeve ' got to be amongst our prime favourites. Ab- 
sorbed by the magic of the story, the old English never 
troubled us." 

Burns considered the song " O Nanny" to be the most 
beautiful ballad in the English language. It had a Scottish 
dress before Dodsley published it in 1766 ; for Grainger 


requests the author to let him communicate his " Scottish 
song " to a magazine. In Dodsley's Collection the song it 
printed thus : 

O Nancy ! wilt thou go with me, 

Nor sigh to leave the flaunting town : 
Can silent glens have charms for thee, 

The lowly cot and russet gown? 
No longer dress'd in silken sheen, 

No longer deck'd with jewels rare, 
Say, canst thou quit each courtly scene, 

Where thou wevt fairest of the fair ? 

O Nancy ! when thou'rt far away, 

Wilt thou not cast a wisli behind? 
Say, canst thou face the parching ray, 

Nor shrink before the wintry wind? 
O can that soft and gentle mien 

Extremes of hardship learn to bear, 
Nor sad regret each courtly scene, 

Where thou wert fairest of the fair ? 

O Nancy ! canst thou love so true, 

Through perils keen with me to go? 
Or when thy swain mishap shall rue, 

To share witli him the pang of woe? 
Say, should disease or pain befall, 

Wilt thou assume the nurse's care, 
Nor wistful those gay scenes recall, 

Where thou wert fairest of the fair ? 

And when at last thy love shall die, 

Wilt thou receive his parting breath ? 
Wilt thou repress each struggling sigh, 

And cheer with smiles the bed of death 
And wilt thou o'er his breathless clay 

Strew flowers, and drop the tender tear, 
Nor then regret those scenes so gay, 

Where thou wert fairest of the fair ? 

The remark of Gray upon the " Minstrel" may apply to 
these verses. " I think," he wrote to Beattie, " that we 
should wholly adopt the language of Spenser's time, or 
wholly renounce it." " Sheen," which Percy uses in the 
fifth line, was one of the obsolete words to which Gray 

The musical setting of this song has been claimed for 

two composers. Archdeacon Nares asks Percy, November 

27, 1801, " Who was the Mr. Carter who made the very 

beautiful original tune to your ballad, ' Oh, Nanny P" The 

c 2 


reply of the Bishop is not known ; but Carter lived until 
October 12, 1804. Nares was likely, from his musical 
connections, to possess correct information on the subject ; 
but so recently as April, 1847, a descendant of Mr. Joseph 
Barldon asserted his ancestor's title to the honour of com- 
posing the air, all his books and papers having been 
purchased by Carter, who discovered the music of "Nanny" 
in MS., and published it under his own name. 

Percy contributed some short compositions, in Latin and 
English, to the "Grand Magazine," which was projected 
by Mr. Strahan ; but they are not of sufficient interest to 
be reprinted. The Northumberland Household Book, and 
the translation of Mallet's Northern Antiquities are well 




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 re- 
mained unpublished, had he not yielded to the impor- 
tunity 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 improvements 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 publi- 
cation 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 will be sufficient to name the Honourable 
Daines 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 following repre- 
sentation. 1 

The MS. is a long narrow folio volume, containing 195 
Sonnets, Ballads, Historical Songs, and Metrical Ro- 
mances, 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 a\va3 r , 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 incor- 
rect and faulty, being in such instances probably made from 
defective copies, or the imperfect recitation of illiterate 

1 Percy wrote to Archdeacon Nares, December 28, 1804 : " Mr. Stcevens, 
-ailing one morning, spent an hour or two in examining the MS., and 
*inutel\ ollated one of those pieces extracted from it which are declared 
to be pi ed verbatim from the original. With the exactness of this ho 
fofesset .iiuself so well satisfied that he allowed his name to be appealed 

V- w. 


singers ; so that a considerable portion of the song or 
narrative is sometimes omitted ; and miserable trash or 
nonsense not unfrequently introduced into pieces of con- 
siderable 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 for 
wanton will ; even pan and wale for wan and pale, &c. 

Hence the Public may judge how much they are 
indebted to the composer of this 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. 1 



1 " We have to add that, in the fourth edition of the ' Eeliques,' Mr. 
Thomas Percy, of St. John's College, Oxford, pleading the cause of his uncle 
with the most gentlemanly moderation, and, with every reapect to Mr. 
Kitson's science and talents, has combated the critic's opinion, without any 
attempt to retort his injurious language. It would be now, no doubt, desirable 
to have had some more distinct account of Dr. Percy's folio Manuscript and 
its contents ; and Mr. Thomas Percy accordingly gives the original of the 
' Marriage of Sir Gawaine,' and collates it with the copy published in a com- 
plete state by his uncle. It would be desirable to know exactly to what 
extent Dr. Percy had used the licence of an editor, and certainly, at thia 
period, would be only a degree of justice due to his memory." Scott's 
"Poetical Works" (Minstrelsy),!. 67. W. 



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 un- 
lettered people by their songs and by their music. 

The greater part of them are extracted from an ancient 
folio Manuscript, in the Editor's possession, which con- 
tains near 200 Poems, Songs, and Metrical Romances. 
This MS. was written about the middle of the last cen- 
tury ; 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. Shenstone. 

1 Except in one paragraph, and in the notes subjoined, this Preface is given, 
with little variation, from the first edition in 1765. 


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 pecu- 
liar manners and customs of former ages, or throw light 
on our earlier classical poets. 

They are here distributed into volumes, each of which 
contains an independent scries 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 volume, or 
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 Critics, 1 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. 

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 the tedious- 
ness of the longer narratives, they are everywhere inter- 
mingled 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 had 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 com- 

1 Mr. Addison, Mr. Dryden, and the witty Lord Dorset, &c. See the 
" Spectator," No. 70. The learned Selden appears also to have been fond of 
collecting these old things. 


posed their rhymes to be sung to their harps, and who 
looked no further than for present applause and present 

The Reader will find this class of men occasionally 
described in the following volumes, 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 consulted, and to make my 
acknowledgements 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 

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 Garlands 
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 con- 
tinued 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 pictures." 

In the Ashmole Library at Oxford is a small collection 
of Ballads made by Anthony Wood in the year 1676, 
containing somewhat more than 200. Many ancient 
popular poems are also preserved in the Bodleyan 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., &c. 

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

Prom all these some of the best pieces were selected; 


and from many private collections, 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 any thing 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 im- 
perfect 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 cor- 
rupted, 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 cor- 
rections 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 " Modern 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 


antiquary and the reader of taste ; and he hath endea- 
voured to gratify both without offending either. 1 

The plan of the work was settled in concert with the 
late elegant Mr. Shenstone, who was to have borne a joint 
share in it, had not death unhappily prevented him. 2 Most 
of the modern pieces were of his selection and arrange- 
ment, and the Editor hopes to be pardoned if he has re- 
tained some things out of partiality to the judgement of 
his friend. The old folio MS. above mentioned was a 
present from Humphrey Pitt, Esq. of Prior's-Lee, in 
Shropshire, 3 to whom this public acknowledgement is due 
for that, and many other obliging favours. To Sir David 
Dalrymple. Bart., of Hales, near Edinburgh, the editor ia 
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 illus- 
trated. Some obliging- communications of the same kind 
were received from John M'Gowan, Esq. of Edinburgh ; 
and many curious explanations of Scottish words in the 
glossaries from John Davidson, Esq. of Edinburgh, and 
from the Rev. Mr. Hutchinson, of Kimbolton. Mr. War- 
ton, who has twice done so much 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 Cam- 
bridge deserve the Editor's warmest acknowledgements : 

1 "The ' Reliques of Ancient English Poetry,' a work in which the splen- 
dour of genius and the delicacy of taste have diffused such a light over the 
dusty, sombre, and uninviting path of the scholar and the antiquary, as has 
endeared to the most refined readers a kind of study which was before sup- 
posed to have no charms but for nurses and old women." Jamieson, 
"Ballads," p. xv. W. 

2 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. 
Graves, dated March 1, 1761. See his Works, vol. iii. letter ciii. It ia 
ioubtless a great loss to this work, that Mr. Shenstone never saw more than 
about a third of one of these volumes, as prepared for the press. 

3 Who informed the editor that this MS. had been purchased in a library 
of old books, which was thought to have belonged to Thomas Blpunt, author 
of the "Popular Tenures," 1679, 4to., and of many other publications enu- 
merated in Wood's " Athenae," ii. 73; the earliest of which is "The Art of 
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 his clerk ill wyiting the 
transcripts, who was often weary of his tusk. 


to Mr. Blakoway, 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 winch he is so distinguished. 1 
Many extracts from ancient MSS. in the British Museum, 
and other repositories, 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 Harleyan 
Catalogue. 2 The worthy Librarian of the Society of Anti- 
quaries, Mr. NorriSj deserved acknowledgement for the 
obliging manner in which he gave the editor access to the 
volumes under his care. In Mr. Garrick's curious collec- 
tion 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 conduct of the work. And, if the Glossaries 
are more exact and curious than might be expected in so 
slight a publication, it is to be ascribed to the supervisal 

1 To the same learned and ingenious friend, since Master of Emanuel Col- 
lege, the Editor is obliged for many corrections and improvements in his 
second and subsequent editions ; as also to the Kev. Mr. Bowie, of Idmistone, 
near Salisbury, Editor of the curious edition of "Don Quixote," with anno- 
tations, in Spanish, in 6 vols. 4to. ; to the Rev. Mr. Cole, formerly of Bleche- 
ley, near Fenny-Stratford, Bucks ; to the Rev. Mr. Lambe, of Noreham, in 
Northumberland (author of a learned " History of Chess," 1764, 8vo., and 
Editor of a curious " Poem on the Battle of Flodden Field," with learned 
notes, 177-1, 8vo.) ; and to G. Paton, 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 "Observations on the Statutes," 4to.; and to Thomas 
Tynvhi't, Esq., whose most correct and elegant edition of Chaucer - 
terbury Tales," 5 vols. 8vo., is a standard book, and shows how uu ancient 
English classic should be published. The Editor was also favoured with 
many valuable remarks and corrections from the Rev. Gep. Ashby, late 
fellow of St. John'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 to 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 in 
annotations inserted in the " Gentk 1 ine" for August, 17'J3, April, 
June, July, and October, 1791, and which, it is hoped, will be continued. 

2 Since Keeper of the Records in the Tower. 

PBEFACE. xliii 

of a friend, who stands at this time the first in the world 
for Northern literature, and whose learning is better 
known and respected in foreign nations than in his own 
country. It is perhaps needless to name the Hev. Mr. Lye, 
editor of Junius's "Etymologicum," and of the "Gothic 

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. 1 It was at the request 
of many of these gentlemen, 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 amuse- 
ment of now and then a vacant hour amid the leisure and 
retirement of rural life, and hath only served as a relaxa- 
tion from graver studies. It has been taken up at dif- 
ferent times, and often thrown aside for many months, 
during an interval of four or five years. This has occa- 
sioned 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 on 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. 

1 " I know very well that many, who pretend to be wise by the forms of 
being grave, are apt to despise both poetry and music as toys and trifles too 
light for the use or entertainment of serious men ; but whoever find them- 
selves wholly insensible to their charms, would, I think, da well to keep their 
own counsel, for fear of reproaching their own temper, and bringing the 
goodness of their natures, if not of their understandings, into question. 
While this world lasts, I doubt not but the pleasure of these two entertain- 
ments will do so too ; and happy those that content themselves with these, 
or any other so easy and so innocent, and do not trouble the world, or other 
men, because they cannot be quiet themselves, though nobodv hurts them." 
Sir William Temple's Works, iii. 429. W. 







Most writers, who solicit the protection of the 
noble and the great, are often exposed to censure by the 
impropriety of their addresses ; a remark that will perhaps 
be too readily applied to him who, having nothing better 
to offer than the rude Songs of ancient Minstrels, aspires 
to the patronage of the Countess of Northumberland, and 
hopes that the barbarous productions of unpolished ages 
can obtain the approbation or the notice of her, who 
adorns courts by her presence, and diffuses elegance by 
her example. 

But this impropriety, it is presumed, will disappear, 
when it is related that these poems are presented to your 
Ladyship, not as labours of art, but as effusions of nature, 
showing the first efforts of ancient genius, and exhibiting 
the customs and opinions of remote ages ; of ages that had 
been almost lost to memory, had not the gallant deeds of 
your illustrious Ancestors preserved them from oblivion. 

No active or comprehensive mind can forbear some 
attention to the reliques of antiquity. It is prompted by 
natural curiosity to survey the progress of life and manners, 


and to inquire by what gradations barbarity was civilized, 
grossness refined, and ignorance instructed. But this 
curiosity, Madam, must be stronger in those who, like 
your Ladyship, can remark in every period the influence 
of some great Progenitor, and who still feel in their effects 
the transactions and events of distant centuries. 

By such Bards, Madam, as I am now introducing to 
your presence, was the infancy of genius nurtured and 
advanced, by such were the minds of unlettered warriors 
softened and. enlarged, by such was the memory of illus- 
trious actions preserved and propagated, by such were the 
heroic deeds of the Earls of Northumberland sung at 
festivals in the hall of Alnwick ; and those Songs which 
the bounty of your Ancestors rewarded, now return to your 
Ladyship by a kind of hereditary right ; and, I flatter 
myself, will find such reception as is usually shown to 
poets and historians, by those whose consciousness of 
merit makes it their interest to be long remembered. 

Your Ladyship's most humble and most devoted servant, 





I, THE MiNSTBELS 1 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. 
They also appear to have accompanied their songs with 
mimicry and action ; and to have practised such various 
means of diverting as were much admired in those rude 
times, and supplied the want of more refined entertain- 
ment. 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 
V> do honour to the ruling passion of the times, and to 
encourage and foment a martial spirit. 

The Minstrels seem to have been the genuine succes- 
sors of the ancient Bards, 2 who, under different names, 
were admired and revered, from the earliest ages, among 

1 " That the different professors of minstrelsy were, in ancient times, distin- 
guished by names appropriated to their respective pursuits cannot reasonably 
be disputed, though it may be difficult to prove. The Trouveur, Trouverse, 
or Rymour, was he who composed roma-ns, contes, fabliaux, chansons, and 
lais ; and those who confined themselves to the composition of conies and 
fabliaux, obtained the appellation of contours, conteurs, or fabliers. The 
Menetrier, menestrel, or minstrel, was he who accompanied his song by a 
musical instrument, both the words and the melody being occasionally fur- 
nished by himself, and occasionally by others." Kitson. W. 

2 That the Minstrels, in many respects, bore a strong resemblance both to 
the British Bards and to the Danish Scalds, appears from this, that the old 
Monkish writers express them all without distinction by the same names in 



tlie 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 estima- 
tion. 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 hi in- 
tellectual 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 immediately on quit- 
ting their German forests. At least, so long as they re- 
tained 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 con- 
verted 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 indis- 
criminately, 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 respect- 
fully 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 compo- 
sitions of others, some of them still composed songs them- 
selves, 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 or Jet of 
men. For although some of the larger metrical romances 
might come from the pen of the monks 1 or others, yet the 
smaller narratives were probably composed by the Min- 
strels, who sung 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 was hinted above, the profession of 
oral itinerant Poet was held in the utmost reverence among 
all the Danish tribes ; and therefore we might have con- 
cluded, that it was not unknown or unrespected among their 
Saxon brethren in Britain, even if History had been alto- 
gether silent on this subject. The original country of our 
Anglo-Saxon Ancestors is well known to have lien chiefly in 
the Cimbric Chersonese, in the tracts of land since distin- 
guished 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 Den- 
mark ; so that when the Danes again infested 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 lan- 
guage ; 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 uncivilized 
state, and had dropped all intercourse for three or four 

1 " We may fairly conclude that the monks often wrote for the minstrels ; 
and it is reasonable to suppose that many of our ancient tales in verse con- 
taining fictitious adventures, were written, though not invented, in the 
religious houses. The libraries of the monasteries were full of romances." 
Warton, " History of English Poetry," i. 80. W. 


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 adven- 
turers 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 this 
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 accom- 
panied such tribes as migrated hither ; that they after- 
wards 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 respect- 
able 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 1 of the Anglo-Saxons, whose talents 

1 That the harp was the common musical instrument of the Anglo-Saxons 
might be inferred from the very word itself, which is of genuine Gothic original, 
and was current among every branch of that people : viz., Ang.-Sax., hearpt 


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 pro- 
fessed were so extremely acceptable to our ancestors, that 
the word Glee, which peculiarly denoted their art, con- 
tinues 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 respectable a 
personage as the Danish Scald, was yet highly favoured 
and protected, and continued still to enjoy considerable 

Even so early as the first invasion of Britain by the 
Saxons, an incident is recorded to have happened, which, 
if true, shows that the Minstrel or Bard was not unknown 
among this people ; and that their princes themselves could, 

and hearpa; Iceland, harpa and haurpa; Dan. and Bel., harpe; German, 
karpffe and harpffa; Gal., harpe; Span., harpa; Ital., arpa. "In the Erse 
its name is crwth. That it was also the favourite musical instrument ot 
the Britons and other northern nations in the middle ages, is evident from 
their laws, and various passages in their history. By the laws of Wales a 
harp was one of the three things that were necessary to constitute a gentle, 
man, or a free-man. A gentleman's harp was not liable to be seized for 
debt." Chappeli, "On Popular Music," page 57. W. 


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 apprize 
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. 1 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 Monmouth, 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 unlet- 
tered 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 aera, 
and more indubitable authority : for later history affords 
us two remarkable facts, which I think clearly sho\v 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 

Our great King Alfred, who is expressly said to have 
excelled in music, being desirous to learn the true situa- 
tion of the Danish army, which had invaded his realm, 

1 The word minstrel does not appear to have been used in England before 
the Norman Conquest; though it had lonp before that time been adopted in 
France. So early as the eighth century, "Menestrel" was a title given to 
the Maestro di Capella of Pepin, the father of Charlemagne. 


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 staid among them long enough to con- 
trive that assault which afterwards destroyed them. This 
was in the year 878. 1 

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, 
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 

1 That Alfred excelled in music is positively asserted by Bale, who doubt- 
less had it from some ancient MS., many of which subsisted in his time that 
are now lost : as also by Sir J. Spelman, who, we may conclude, had good 
authority for this anecdote, as he is known to have compiled his life of Alfred 
from authentic materials collected by his learned father : this writer informs 
us that Alfred " provided himself of musitians, not common, or such as knew 
but the practick part, but men skilful in the art itself, whose skill and ser- 
vice he yet further improved with his own instruction." p. 199. This proves 
Alfred at least to have understood the theory of music ; and how could this 
have been acquired without practising on some instrument ? which was so 
extremely common with the Anglo-Saxons, even in much ruder times, that 
Alfred himself plainly tells us, it was shameful to be ignorant of it. And 
this commonness might be one reason, why Asser did not think it of conse- 
quence enough to be particularly mentioned in his short life of that great 
monarch. This rigid monk may also have esteemed it a slight and frivolous 
accomplishment, savouring only of worldly vanity. He has however parti- 
cularly recorded Alfred's fondness for the oral Anglo-Saxon poems and songs 
f_" Saxonica poemata die nocteque . . . audiens . . . memoriter retinebat." 
p. 16. " Carmina Saxonica memoriter discere," &c., p. 43, et ib.] Now the 
poems learnt by rote, among all ancient unpolished nations, are ever songs 
chanted by the reciter, and accompanied with instrumental melody. 


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 cus- 
tomary 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 prevailed 
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 Doomesday book, Joculator Regis, the king's Min- 
strel, is expressly mentioned in Gloucestershire ; in which 
county it should seem that he had lands assigned him for 
his maintenance. 1 

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 to the highest pitch of credit before Hollo's expe- 
dition 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 Nor- 
mandy, and left behind them successors in their art : so 
that, when his descendant, William the Bastard, invaded 
this kingdom in the following century, 2 that mode of enter- 
tainment 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 

1 Gloucestershire Col. 1. Berdic, Joculator Regis, habet iii. Villas, ic. 

2 Rollo was invested in his new duchy of Normandy A.D. 912. William 
invaded England A.D. 1066. 


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 accord- 
ingly advanced before the army, and with a loud voice 
animated his countrymen with songs in praise of Charle- 
magne 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 an eminent French writer makes 
no scruple to refer 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 establishment of the Minstrel pro- 
fession 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 Conquest 
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 inhabitants were not 
extirpated, these could only understand their own native 
G-leemen 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. 1 

1 Of this we have a positive proof in the old metrical Romance of Horn- 
Child, which, although from the mention of Saracens, &c., it must have been 
written at least after the first Crusade in 1096. yet from its Anglo-Saxon 
language or idiom, can scarce be dated later than within a century after the 
Conquest. This, as appears from its very exordium, was intended to be 
sung to a popular audience, whether it was composed by, or for, a Gleeman, 
or Minstrel. But it carries all the internal marks of being the production 
of such a composer. It appears of genuine English growth ; for, after a 
careful examination, I cannot discover any allusion to French or Norman 
customs, manners, composition, or phraseology : no quotation " As the 
Romance sayth;" not a name or local reference, which was likely to occur 


The honours shown to the Norman or French Minstrels, 
bj r 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 therefore, in gleaning the scanty materials 
for this slight history, I shall collect whatever incidents 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 inci- 
dentally mentioned by o\\r 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 
information 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 

to a French Rimeur. The proper names are all of Northern extraction. 
Child Horn is the son ot'Allqf (i. e. Olai' or Olave) king of Sudenne (I sup- 
pose Sweden) by his Queen Godylde or Godylt. Athulf and Fykenyld are 
the names of subjects. Eylmer or Aylmere is king of ~lf'e*t>ieste (a part of 
Ireland) , Rymenyld is his daughter, as Erminyld is of another king, Thuntan, 
whose sons are Athyld and Beryld. Athelbriu is steward of King Aylmer, 
&c. &c. All these savour only of a northern origin, and the whole piece is 
exactly such a performance as one would expect from a gleeman or minstrel 
of the North of England, who had derived his art and his ideas from his 
Scaldic predecessors there. 


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 quan- 
tity 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. 1 

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 Min- 
strels. 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 : 
i. e. the Priory and Hospital of St. Bartholomew, in 
Smithfield, London, by Royer or Eaherus the King's 
Minstrel, in the third year of King 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 K. Henry II. we have upon record 
the name of Galfrid or Jeffrey, a Harper, who in 1180 
received a corrody or annuity from the abbey of Hide 

1 Among the old metrical romances a very few are addressed to readers, 
mention reading ; these appear to have been composed by writers at their 
esk, and exhibit marks of more elaborate structure and invention. Such is 
Eglamour of Artas," of which a MS. copy is in the Cotton library: the 
Second Fitte concludes 

" - thus ferr have I red." 

or m 


near "W inchester ; and, as in the early times every Harper 
was expected to sing, 1 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, K. Eichard I., the Minstrel 
profession seems to have acquired additional splendour. 
Eichard, who was the great hero of chivalry, was also 
the distinguished 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 Proven9al Trou- 
badour, 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 ; 2 so that probably about this 

J Chaucer, in his description of the Limitour, or Mendicant Friar, speaks 
f harping as inseparable from singing : 

in his harping, when that he had songo." 

* The most ancient English rhymes are found in the mouths of the lS"orm;\n 
nobles, as in the ease of Kobert Earl of Leicester and his Flemings in 1173 
(little more than a century after the Conquest), recorded by Lambarde in 
his " Dictionary of England," p. 36 : 

" Hoppe Wyliken, hoppe Wyliken 
Ingland is thine and myne," &c. 

And that noted boast of Hugh Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, in the same reign of 
King Henry II. : 


sera, or soon after, we are to date that remarkable inter- 
community 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 

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. 1 

" The Englishmen were more than a whole yeare with- 
out 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 being 
so long without the sight of his Lord, his life seemed 
wearisome to him, and he became confounded with me- 
lancholly. 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 
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 

" Were I in my castle of Bungey, 
Vpon the riuer of Waueney, 
I would ne care for the king of Cockeney." 

Indeed many of our old metrical romances, whether originally English, or 
translated from the French to be sung to an English audience, are addressed 
to persons of high rank, as appears from their beginning thus " Listen, 
Lordings," and the like. These were prior to the time of Chaucer, and yet 
to his time our Norman nobles are supposed to have adhered to their French 

1 " There is too much reason to believe this story of Blondell and his illus- 
trious patron to be purely apocryphal." Price. W, 


detained or no : for alwayes he made sucli secret ques- 
tionings -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 ac- 
quaintance 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 begun to sing a song in. French, which 
King Richard and Blondel had sometime composed to- 
gether. 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 Provenfal lines are given as the very 
original song ; which I shall accompany with an imitation 
offered by Dr. Burney. 


Domna, vostra beutas, Your beauty, lady fair, 

Elas bellas faissos ; None views without delight; 

Els bels oils amoros But still so cold an air 

Els gens cors ben taillatz : JVo pa-ssion can excite: 

Don sieu empresenats Yet this I patient see 

De vostra amor que mi lia. While all are shunn'd like me. 


Si bel trop aflansia, A T o nymph my heart can u-oitnd, 

Ja de vos non portrai, If favour she divide, 

Que major honorai And smiles on all around 

Sol en votre deman: Unwilling to decide: 

Que sautra des beisan I'd rather hatred bear 

Tot can de vos volzia Than love with others sharc.i 

1 See the more graceful rendering of Mr. Ellis, in the last edition of " Boy a] 
and Noble Authors." W. 


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. 1 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 cha- 
racter of a Harper, and being a jocose person exceedingly 
skilled in " the Gests 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 pre- 
sented to the king ; and he bestowed her on his natural 
brother William Longespee (son of fair Rosamond), who 
became in her right Earl of Salisbury. 

The next memorable event which I find in history re- 
flects 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 


1 The constant admission granted to Minstrels was so established a privilege, 
that it became a ready expedient to writers of fiction. Thus, in the old 
romance of " Horn Child," the princess Eymenyld being confined in an inac- 
cessible castle, the prince her lover, and some assistant knights, with concealed 
arms, assume the Minstrel character, and, approaching the castle with their 
" gley inge " or minstrelsy, are heard by the lord of it, who.being informed they 
were " harpeirs, jogelers, and fythelers (fiddlers)," has them admitted, when 
" Horn sette him abench [t. e. on a bench], 

Is [i. e. his] harpe he gan clenche j 

He made Kymenild a lay." 

This sets the princess a- weeping, and leads to the catastrophe ; for he 
immediately advances to "the Borde" or table, kills the ravisher, and 
releases the lady. 



occasioning a multitude of loose people to resort to that 
fair, was afterwards of signal benefit to one of his suc- 
cessors. 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 musick, got 
together a vast number of such loose people, as, by reason 
of the before specified priviledge, were then in that city ; 
whom he forthwith sent under the conduct of Button (his 
steward)" a gallant youth, who was also his son-in-law. 
The Welsh, alarmed at the approach of this rabble, sup- 
posing 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, re- 
taining to himself that of the lower artificers, conferred on 
Button the jurisdiction of the Minstrels and Harlots : 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 Button, are expressly excepted out of all acts 
of Parliament made for their suppression ; and have con- 
tinued to be so excepted ever since. 

The ceremonies attending the exercise of this jurisdic- 
tion are thus described by Bugdale, 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 Button, 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 
sureoat 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. Button's] 
steward, and all the Minstrels formally called, certain 
orders and laws are usually made for the better govern- 
ment of that Society, with penalties on those who trans- 

In the same reign of King 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 im- 
prisonment. This occurs in Leland's Narrative of the 
Gestes of Guarine (or Warren) and his sons, which he 
" excerptid owte of an old Englisch boke yn ryme," and 
is as follows : 

Whitington Castle, in Shropshire, which together with 
the coheiress of the original proprietor, had been won in a 
solemn tournament by the ancestor of the Guarines, had, 
in the reign of King John, been seized by the Prince ot 
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 1 ), 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 liichard. 
The Guarines demanded justice of the king, but obtaining 
no gracious answer, renounced their allegiance, and fled 
into Brelagne. Returning into England, after various 
conflicts, " Fulco resortid to one John of Raumpayne, a 
sothsayer and jocular and minstrelle, and made 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 intelligence 
which he doubtless procured, " Fulco and his brethrene 
laide waite for Morice, as he went toward Salesbyri, and 

1 " John, sun to K. Henry, and Fulco felle at variance at Chestes 
fr. Chesse] ; and John brake Fulco [s] hed with the Chest borde : and then 
Fulco gave him such a blow, that henad almost killid hym." (Lei. Coll. i. 
p. 264.) A curious picture of courtly manners in that age! Notwith- 
standing this fray, we read, in the next paragraph, that " K. Henry dubbid 
Fulco and three of his bretherne Knightea at Winchester." Ibid. 

e 2 


Fulco tlicr woundid hym : and Bracy," a knight, who 
was their friend and assistant, " cut of Morice['s] hodde." 
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 Rampayue founde the meanes to 
cast them, that kepte Bracy, into a deadly slepe ; and so 
he and Bracy cam to Fulco to Whitington," which on the 
death of Morice had been 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 distingiiished himself in Justs 
and Turnaments ; and, after various romantic adventures 
by sea and land (having, in the true style of chivalry, 
rescued "certayne ladies owt of prison"), he finally ob- 
tained the king's pardon, and the quiet possession of 
Whitington Castle. 

In the reign of King 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. 1 The title of Magister, or Master, given to this 
Minstrel, deserves notice, and shows his respectable situa- 

V. The Harper, or Minstrel, was so necessary an atten- 
dant on a royal personage, that Prince Edward (afterwards 
King 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 con- 
temporary historian, that in the attempt to assassinate 
that heroic prince, when he had wrested the poisoned 
knife out of the Sarazen'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, 

1 Price remarks : " Beatrice may possibly have been a jugleress, whose 
pantomimic exhibitions were accompanied by her husband's harp, or who 
filled up the intervals between his performances. This union of professional 
talent in husband and wife was not uncommon." W. 


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 en- 
treat his brethren, the Welsh Bards, afterwards with more 

Whatever was the extent of this great Monarch's se- 
verity 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 syste- 
matic 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 
maki some military vow. And under the succeeding 
reign of King Edward II. such extensive privileges were 
claimed by these men, and by dissolute persons assuming 
their character, that it became a matter of public griev- 
ance, and was obliged to be 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 the Second 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 us-ed ; who rode 
round about the tables, shewing 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 reai. 
Minstrel : for there should seem to have been women of 
this profession, as well as of the other sex ; and no ac- 
complishment is so constantly attributed to females, by 
our ancient Bards, as their singing to, and playing on, the 
liar p. 

In the fourth year of King Uichard 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 whose time, however, 
they appear to have lost their singing talents, and to have 
confined all their 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 oflicer 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 
Soy de North," of houses which had belonged to another 
king, John le Boteler. Hymer hath also printed a licence 
granted by King 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 of King 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 an- 
cestors 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 King Edward L, 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 contributions. 

When his heroic son, King 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 xii d. a day, when 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 Agin- 
court, 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, 1 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 particidars 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 in the first year of his son King Henry VI., 
A.D. 1423, and payment ordered out of the Exchequer. 

The unfortunate reign of Henry VI. affords no occur- 
rences respecting our subject ; but in his thirty-fourth yeap 

1 See bis " Chronicle," sub anno 1415 (p. 1170). He also gives this other 
instance of the King's great modesty, " that he would uot suffer his helmet 
to be carried with him, and shewed to the people, that they might behold 
the diutes and cuttes whiche appeared in the same, of such bloivea and 
stripes, as hee received the daye of the battell." 


A.D. 1456, \vc have in Eymer 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 following reign, King Edward IV. (in his ninth 
year, 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 diverse parts of the king- 
dom, and committed other disorders, the king grants to 
\Yalter Haliday, Marshal, and to seven others his own 
Minstrels whom he names, a Charter, 1 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 Mar- 
shal appointed for life, and by two Wardens to be chosen 
annually ; who are empowered 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 Mar- 
shal'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 foregoing Charter, had been 
retained in the service of the two preceding mouarchs, 
King 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 King 
Edward of ten marks per annum during life, directed to 
him with that title. 

1 " Edward seems to have been very liberal to his Minstrels. He gave to 
several annuities of ten marks a year, and, besides their regular pay, with 
clothing and lodging for themselves and their horses, they had two ser- 
vants to carry their instruments, four gallons of ale per night, wax candles, 
and otb"f indulgences." Chapptll, "On Popular Music." W. 


But besides their Marshal we have also, in this reign, 
mention of a Sergeant of the Minstrels, who upon a parti- 
cular 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 [K. 
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 Mynstrellis, cam to him 
in grete hast, and badde hym aryse, for he hadde enemyes 
cummyng for to take him, the which were within vi. or vii. 
mylis, of the which tydings the king gretely marveylid, 
&c." 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 

The same Charter was renewed by King Henry VIII., in 
1520, to John Gilinan, 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. 1 

VI. In all the establishments of royal and noble house- 
holds, we find an ample provision made for the Minstrels ; 
and their situation to have been both honourable and 
lucrative. 2 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 

1 So I am inclined to understand the term " SERVIANS noster Hugo Wode- 
Tioua," in the original grant. It is needless to observe that serviens expressed 
a Serjeant as well as a servant. If this interpretation of serviens be allowed, 
it will account for his placing Wodehouse at the head of his Gild, although he 
had not been one of the eight Minstrels who had had the general direction. 
The Serjeant of his Minstrels, we may presume, was next in dignity to the 
marshal, although he had no share in the government of the Gild. 

a The reward of the Minstrel exceeded that of the Priest. In the year 
1441, a preaching Doctor was paid 6 9ence for a sermon ; and so late as 1560 
the declining Minstrel continued to be in advance of the Preacher ; for the 
boois of the Stationers' Company shew a payment of 12 shillings to the 
first, and of 6 shillings to the second, YV. 


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 King 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 or long 
meetres, and by Breaches or Divisions, to be more com- 
modiously sung to the harpe," as the reader may be 
informed, by a courtly writer, in 1589 ; l who himself had 
"written for pleasure a little brief Bomance or historicall 
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, &c. to be sung to the 
harpe in such places of assembly) " and consideration of the 
causes alledged, would peradventure reprove and disgrace 
every Eomance, 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. 2 

1 Puttenham. 

a " Happily the ' Polyolbion' is the latest poem, which our language affords, 
constructed on this measure, although not the only poem ; for the measure is 
as ancient in our language as the 13th century." Evant on " Versification." 


And that tlie recital of such Romances sung to the harp 
was at that time the delight of the common people, 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," &c., "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 Bevis of Southampton, 
Guy ofWarwicke, Adam Bell, and Clymme of the Clough, 
and such other old Romances, or historicall rimes," &c. ; 
" also they be used in Carols or 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." 1 

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 supe- 
rior to anything we can conceive at present of the singers 
of old ballads, I think, may be inferred from the following 

When Queen Elizabeth was entertained at Killingworlh 
Castle by the Earl of Leicester in 1575, among the many 
devices and pageants which were contrived for her enter- 
tainment, 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 

1 " No festival, public or private, but there the Minstrel-poets were its 
crowning ornaments. They awakened national themes at, the installation of 
an abbot, or the reception of a bishop. Often, in the Gothic hall, they 
resounded some lofty ' Geste,' or some old ' Breton" lay, or some gayer 
Fabliau. The minstrel more particularly delighted 'the Lewed,' or the 
people, when, sitting in their fellowship, the harper stilled their attention by 
gome fragment of a chronicle of their fathers and their fatherland." 
& Israeli, "Amenities of Literature," i. 119. W. 


xlv years old, apparelled partly as lie would himself. His 
cap off; his head seemly rounded Tonstenvise, 1 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 glister- 
ing 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 2 edged with a blue lace, and marked with a true 
love, a heart, and a D for Damian, for he was but a batche- 
lor 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 3 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 4 
tyed to a green lace and hanging by. Under the gorget 
of his gown a fair flaggon chain (pewter, 8 for) silver, as a 
Squire Minstrel of Middlesex, that travelled the country 
this summer season, unto fairs and worshipful men's houses. 

1 1 suppose " tonsure-wise," after the manner of the monks. 

2 t. e. handkerchief. 

3 Perhaps points. 

* The key, or screw, with which he tuned his harp. 

5 The reader will remember that this was not a real Minstrel, but only one 
personating that character; his ornaments, therefore, were only such as out* 
wardly represented those of a real Minstrel. 


From his chain hung a scutcheon, with metal and colour, 
resplendant upon his breast, of the ancient arms of Isling- 
ton." l 

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. 2 From the expression of Squire Min- 
strel above, we may conclude there were other inferior 
orders, as Yeomen Minstrels, or the like. 

This Minstrel, the author tells us a little below, " after 
three lowly courtsies, 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 hie wrest, and after 
a little warbling on his harp for a prelude, came forth with 
a solemn song, warranted for story out of King Arthur's acts, 
&c." This song the reader will find printed in this work. 

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 39th year of Elizabeth, 3 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 this account of the ancient 
English minstrels, without remarking that they are most 
of them represented to have been of the north of England. 4 

1 A very curious description of the Minstrel in the 14th century is given by 
the author of " Piers Ploughman's Vision," verse 8474, &c. And see Mr. 
Shaw's " Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages." W. 

2 As the house of Northumberland had anciently three Minstrels attending 
on them in their castles in Yorkshire, so they still retain three in their service 
in Northumberland, who wear the 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 Eothbury. 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 bag-pipe (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). 

3 A.D. 1597. 

4 " There can be, I conceive, no question as to the superiority of Scotland 
in new ballads. Those of an historic or legendary character, especially the 
former, are ardently poetical. The nameless Minstrel is often inspired with 
an Homeric power of rapid narration, bold description, lively or pathetic 
touches of sentiment. The English ballads of the northern border, or 
perhaps of the northern counties, come new, in their general character and 
cast of manners, to the Scottish, but, as far as I have seen, with a manifwt 


There is scarce an old historical song or ballad, wherein it 
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, shews 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. 1 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 our 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 ap- 
propriated to themselves, 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 

CounMe harper Ixittcl morning 

Laclte singer damsil lov'iiig, 

inferiority. Those, again, which belong to the South, and bear no trace 
either of the rude manners or of the wild superstitions which the bards of 
Ettrick an 1 Cheviot display, fall generally into a creeping style." Hallam, 
"Literature of Europe," h. 323. W. 

1 "In Scotland the feudal system and the institutions of chivalry sub- 
sisted longer in force than in the southern portion of the island ; and tor 
this reason I am inclined to think that the Minstrels occupied a respectable 
footing in society longer than their brethren of the South. In 1471 they are 
classed along with ' Knychtis and Heraldis,' and with such as could spend ' a 
hundrtht pounds wortht of laudis rent.' Blind Harry, the only one of their 
number whose works we can refer to, appears to have, in his person, come 
up to the notion we are led to form of the life and business of the ancii nt 
Minstrel. He chaunted his 1-c-pic strains before the princes and nobles of 
the laad. Even so late as the t'-ne of King James VI. there is an express 
provision in favour of the Mic:*rels of great lords and the Minstrels of 
towas." Mothericell, " Minstrcly, Ancient and Modern," p. nxvii. W. 


instead of county, lady, harper, singer, &c. This liberty 

is but sparingly assumed by the classical poets of the same 
age ; or even by the latter 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 sub- 
sisted they seem never to have designed their rhymes for 
literary publication, and probably never committed them 
to writing themselves. The copies which are preserved 
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 No. 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, sometimes border- 
ing 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 men- 
tioned above) the genuine old Minstrelsy seems to have 
been extinct, and thenceforth the Ballads that were pro- 
duced 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. 1 

1 That an order of men, at first called Gleemen, then Jugglers, and after- 
wards mnrp generally Minstrels, existed hero from the Conquest, who enter- 


taincd thoir hearers with chanting to the harp or other instruments songs 
and talcs of chivalry, or, as they were called, Gests and Homances, in 
verse in the English language, is proved by the existence of the very compo- 
sitions they so chanted, which are still preserved in great abundance, and 
exhibit a regular series, from the time our language was almost Saxon, till 
after its improvements in the age of Chaucer, who enumerates many of them. 
And as the Norman-French was in the time of this bard still the courtly 
language, it shows that the English was not thereby excluded from affording 
entertainment to our nobility, who are so often addressed therein by the 
title of Lordingg, and sometimes more positively " Lords and Ladies." 

And though many of these were translated from the French, others are 
evidently of English origin, which appear in their turns to have afforded ver- 
sions into that language a sufficient proof of that intercommunity between 
the French and English Minstrels which hath been mentioned in a preceding 
page. Even the abundance of such translations into-English, being all adapted 
for popular recitation, sufficiently establishes the fact that the English Min- 
strels had a great demand for such compositions, which they were glad to 
supply, whether from their own native stores or from other languages. 

The Joeulator, Himus, Histrio, whether these characters were the same, 
or had any real difference, were all called Minstrels, as was also the Harper, 
when the term implied a singer, if not a composer of songs, &c. By degrees 
the name of Minstrel was extended to vocal and instrumental musicians of 
every kind ; and as, ia the establishment of royal and noble houses, the 
latter would necessarily be most numerous, so we are not to wonderthat the 
band of music (entered under the general name of Miostrels) should consist 
of instrumental performers chiefly, if not altogether ; tor, as the composer 


o at other times we hear 01 " expert Minstrels and musicians of tongue 
md cunning," meaning doubtless by the former singers, and probably by the 
tatter phrase " composers of songs." Even " Minstrel's music" seems to be 
applied to the species of verse used by Minstrels in the passage quoted below. 
But although, from the predominancy of instrumental music, Minstrelsy 
was at length chiefly to be understood in this sense, yet it was still applied 
to the poetry of Miustrels so late as the time of Queen Elizabeth, as appears 
in the following extract from Puttenham's " Arte of Eng. Poesie ;" who, 
speaking of the first composers of Latin verses in rhyme, says "all that 
they wrote to the favor or prayse of princes, they did it'in such manner of 
Minstrdsie, and thought themselves no small fooles when they could make 
their verses go all in ryme." 

I shall conclude this subject with the following description of Minstrelsy 
given by John Lidgate at the beginning of the loth century, as it shows 
what a variety of entertainments were then comprehended under this term, 
together with every kind of instrumental music then in use. 

' ' Al maner Mynstralcye, 

That any man kan specifye. 
Ffor there were Rotys of Almayne, 
And eke of Arragon, and Spayne : 
Songes, Stampes, and eke Daunces; 
Divers plente of plesannces : 
And many unkouth notys new 
Of swiche folke as lovid treue. 
And instrumentys that did excelle, 
Many moo than I kan telle. 
Harpys, Fythales, and eke Rotys 
Well according to her [t. e. their] notys, 
Lutys, Ribibles, and Geternes, 
More for estatys than tavernes : 
Orgay[n]s, Cytolis, Monacordys. 
There were Trumpes, and Trumpettes, 
Lowde Shall[m"]ys, and Doucettes." 




ISoofc E. 

" THE song of Chevy Chase is the favourite ballad of the common 
people of England ; and Ben Jonson used to say that he had rather 
have been the author of it thata of all his works." The remark is 
Addison's, but his commentary, in the " Spectator," refers to a later 
composition, which the famous panegyric of Sidney had probably 
inspired. Bishop Percy believed that he had recovered the genuine 
Poem, the song of " Percy and Douglas," as it was sung by the blind 
" crowder." He printed the ballad " from an old SIS. at the end of 
Hearne's Preface to G. Newbrigiensis Hist., 1719, 8vo., vol. i. :" the 
name of the transcriber, or author, being Richard Sheale, a minstrel in 
the service of Edward Earl of Derby, who died 1574. The style and 
the orthography place this ballad not later than the time of Henry 
VI. ; while the mention of James, the Scottish king, forbids us to assign 
to it an earlier date. King James I., who was prisoner in this country 
at the death of his father, did not wear the crown of Scotland till the 
second year of our Henry VI., but before the end of that long reign, a 
third James had mounted the throne, A succession of two or three 
James's, 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 monarch wlioui he might happen 
to mention. 

The Ballad, without being historical, may have had some foundation 
in fact. The law of. the Marches interdicted either nation from 
hunting on the borders of the other, without leave from the proprietors, 
or their deputies. The long rivalry between the martial families of 
Percy and Douglas must have burst into many sharp feuds and little 
incursions not recorded in history ; and the old ballad of the " Hunti'.ig 
a' the Cheviat," which was the original title, may have sprung out of 
such a quan-el. Percy, Earl of Northumberland, had vowed to hunt 
for three days in the Scottish border, without condescending to ask leave 


from Earl Douglas, Lord Warden of the Marches. Douglas could/not 
fa!l to resent the iii.>u!t, and endeavour to repel the intruder by force. 
A fierce conflict probably ensued, though not attended by the tra- 
gical circumstances ivooi-ded in the ballad; for these are evidently 
borrowed from the "Battle of Otterbourne,'' which might be owing to 
some such previous affront as this of Chevy Chase. The two subjects 
are here jumbled together, if, indeed, the passage be not the insertion 
of a Inter pen. 

Most of the names in the following Ballad, and in that of " Otter- 
bourne," belonged to distinguished families in the North. Sir Walter 
Scott supposes Agerstone, or Haggcrston, to have been one of the 
Ilutherfords, Barons of Edgcrston, a warlike family long settled on 
the Scottish border, and then retainers of the house of Douglas. The 
" hinde Hartly" probably took his name from Hartley, a village on the 
coast, near Tynemouth. The " bold Hearonc" belonged to a brave race 
having their abode in the old seat of Haddestou. " Worthe Lovele" 
is conjectured, by Scott, to have been Sir John de Larall, of De Lavall 
Castle, and Sheriff in the 34th year of Henry VIII.; and he identifies 
the "ryche Eugbe" with Ralph Neville, of Raby Castle, son of the 
first Earl of Westmoreland, and cousin-german to Hotspur. " Sir 
Davye Liddale" represents the Liddells of Ravensworth Castle. 

" Chevy Chase," notwithstanding its length, appears to have been 
often sung in the seventeenth century. Bishop Corbet sang it in his 
youth; and Mr. Chappell ("On Popular Music"), quotes a husband 
numbering among the good qualities of his wife, "her curious voice 
wherewith she used to sing ' Chevy Chase.' " 


THE Perse owt 1 of Northombarlande, 

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

Off Chyviat within dayes thre, 
In the mauger 2 of doughte Dogles, 

And all that ever with him be. 
The fattiste hartes in all Cheviat 

He sayd he wold kill, and cary them away : 
Be my feth, sayd the doughte Doglas agayn, 

I wyll let 3 that hontyng yf that I may. 

Then the Perse owt of Banborowe cam, 

With him a myghtye meany ; 4 
With fifteen houdrith archares bold ; 

The wear chosen out of shyars 5 thre. 

1 Owt out. Manger spile of. 

s Let hinder. * Meany company. 

s Shyars shires; meaning, probably, three districts in Northumberland, 
\vh:r-h still go by the na:i:e of Mret, and are all in the i 
of Checiof. Tin".' :n-ii JiliinJxMrf, being the district so lirin.r.i from l\\y- 
Island : Kortli'iim-liire, so called from the town and easile of >"oreli:tm (ur 
Norham) : nnd Bamborotighthire, the ward or hundred belonging to Bam- 
Uorongh-castle and town. 


This begane on a monday at morn 

In Cheviat the hillys so he j 1 
The chyld may rue that ys un-born, 

It was the mor pitte. 

The dryvars thorowe the woodes went 

For to reas 2 the dear ; 
Bomen 3 bickarte uppone the bent 

With ther browd aras 4 cleare. 
Then tlie wyld 5 thorowe the woodes went 

On every syde shear ; 
Grea-hondes' thorowe the greves glent 

For to kyll thear dear. 

The begane in Chyviat the hyls above 

Yerly 8 on a monynday ; 9 
Be that it drewe to the oware 10 off none 

A hondrith fat hartes ded ther lay. 

The blewe a mort 11 uppone the bent, 

The 19 semblyd on sydis shear ; 18 
To the quyrry 14 then the Perse went 

To se the bry ttlynge 15 off the deare. 

He sayd, It was the Duglas promys 

This day to meet me near ; 
But I wyste he wold faylle verament : 1C 

A gret oth the Perse" swear. 

At the laste a squyar of Northombelonde ; 

Lokyde 17 at his nand full ny, ' 

He was war ath 18 the doughetie Doglas comyngc : 

With him a mightd meany, 

Both with spear, 'by II,' 19 and brande : 

Yt was a myghti sight to se. 
Hardyar men both off hart nar hande 20 

Wear not in Christiantd. 

1 He high. 2 Reas rouge. 

* Bomcu, &e. bowmen sJcii-atiehed upon the rough grass. 

* Aras arrows. 5 Wyld wild deer. 6 Shear entirely. 

1 Grea-hondes, &c. greyhound* through the bushes. 
3 Yerly early. 9 Monynday Monday. ]n Oware, &c. hour of noon. 

11 A mort the name of the notes blown at the death of the stag. 

13 The they. 13 Sy.lis shear on all aides. 

14 Quyrry quarry, slaughtered game. 15 Bryttlynge cutting up, 

> 6 Verament truly. 17 Lokyde looked ls War ath aware of. 

1 9 Byll battle-axe; brande sword. ir > Hart, &c. \eart nor hand. 

B 2 


The wear twenty liondritk spear-men good 

Withouten any fayle ; 
The wear borne a-long be the watter a Twyde, 

Yth 1 bowndes of Tividale. 

Leave off the bry tlyng of the dear, he sayde, 
And to your bowys look ye tayk good heed ; 

For never sithe 2 ye wear on your mothars borne 
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 ; 3 

A bolder barne was never borne. 

Tell me ' what ' men ye ar, he says, 

Or whos men that ye be : 
Who gave youe leave to hunte in this 

Chyviat chays 4 in the spyt of me ? 

The first mane 5 that ever him an answear mayd, 

Yt was the good lord Persd : 
We wyll not tell the ' what' men we ar, he says, 

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 a-way. 
Be my troth, sayd the doughte" Dogglas agayn, 

Ther-for the ton 6 of us shall de this day. 

Then sayd the doughte Doglas 

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

A-las ! it wear great pitte. 

But, Persd, thowe art a lord of lande, 

I am a yerle 7 callyd within my contre ; 
Let all our men uppone a parti 8 stande ; 
And do the battell off the and of me. 

Nowe Criste's cors 9 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 ; 

i Yth in the. 2 Sithe tince. 3 Glede red hot coal. 

* Chays chase. 5 Mane man. 

6 Ton of us, &c. the one of us shall die. 
Yerle Earl. 8 A parti apart. 9 Criste's cora Christ's curt*. 


Nethar in Ynglonde, Skottlonde, 1 nar France, 

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 Northombarlondc, 

Hie. W ytharynton 2 was his nam ; 
It shall never be told in Sothe-Ynglonde, he says, 

To kyng Kerry the fourth for sham. 

I wat youe byn great lordes twaw, 3 

I am a poor squyar of lande ; 
I wyll never se my captayne fyght on a fyldo, 

And standc my-selffe, and looke on, 
But whyll I may my weppone welde, 4 

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 

Yet ys ther mor behynde. [Chyviat, 


THE Yngglishe men hade thcr bowys yebent, 

Ther hartes were good yenoughe ; 
The first of arros that the shote off, 

Seven skore spear-men the sloughe. 5 

Yet bydys 6 the yerle Doglas uppon the bent, 

A captayne good yenoughe, 
And that was sene 7 verament,' 

For he wrought horn both woo and wouclie. 8 

The Dogglas pertyd his ost 9 in thre, 

Lyk a cheffe cheften off pryde, 
With suar 10 speares off myghtte 11 tre 

The cum 12 in on every syde. 

Thrughe our Yngglishe archery 

Gave many a wounde full wyde : 
Many a doughete the garde to dy^ 3 

Which ganyde 14 them no pryde. 

1 Skottlonde Scotland. 

2 This is probably corrupted in the MS. foe Hoa. Wiildringfon, who was 
at the head of the family in the reign of K. Ed\v. III. There were several 
successively of the names of Roger and Ralph, but none of the name of 
Richard, as appears from the genealogies in the Herald's office. 

3 Twaw two. * Welde wield. 5 Sloughe slew. 
G Bydys abides. ? Sene, &c. seen truly. e Wouche miichief, 

9 Pertyd, &c. parted his host. !0 Suar mire. 1- Myghtte mighty* 
13 The cum they come. 13 Many a doughty man they made tu die. 
14 Ganyde- gained. 


The Yngglyshe men let thear bowys be, 

And pulde owt brandes that wer bright j 
It was a hevy syght to se 

Bryght swordes on basnites 1 lyght. 
Thorowe ryche male, 2 and myne-ye-ple 3 

Many sterne the stroke downe streght : 
Many a freyke, 4 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 5 togethar tyll the both swat 

With swordes, that wear .of fyn myllan. 

Thes worthe" freckys' for to fyght 

Ther- to the wear full fayne, 
Tyll the bloocle owte off thear basnetes sprente, 3 

As ever dyd heal or rayne. 

Holde the, Perse, sayd the Doglas, 

And i' feth 9 1 shall the brynge 
Wher thowe shake have a yerl's 10 wagis 

Of Jamy our Scottish kynge. 

Thou shalte have thy ransom fre, 

I hight 11 the hear this thinge, 
For the manfullyste man yet art thowe, 

That ever I conqueryd in filde 12 fightyng. 

Nay ' then ' sayd the lord Perse, 

I tolde it the beforne, 
That I wolde never yeidyde 13 bo 

To no man of a woman born. 

With that ther cam an arrowe hastely 

Forthe off a mightie wane, 14 
Hit hathe strekene 15 the yerle Duglas 

In at the brest bane. 
Thoroue ly var and longs bathe 

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

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

For my lyff days ben gan. 16 

1 Basuites helmets. 2 Male co<it of mail. 

3 Myne-ye-ple many folds. * Freyke man. 5 Swapte exchanged Hows. 


" The Persi leanyde on his brand* 
Aud sawe the Duglas de." 


The Perse leanyde on his brande, 

And sawe the Duglas de ; 
He tooke the d^de 1 man be the hande, 

And sayd, Wo ys me for the ! 

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-byrry, 

He sawe the Duglas to the deth was dyght ; 
He spendyd 2 a spear a trust! tre : 

He rod uppon a corsiare 3 

Throughe a hondritlr 1 archery ; 
He never styntyde, 5 nar never blane, 6 

Tyll he cam to the good lord Perse. 

He set uppone the lord Perse 

A dynte, 7 that was full soare ; 
With a suar 8 spear of a myghtd tre 

Clean thorow the body he the Persd bore. 

Athe tothar syde, that a man myght' se, 

A large cloth yard and mare : 
Towe bettar captayns wear nat in Christian I e, 

Then that day slain wear thcr. 

An archar off Northomberlonde 

Say 9 slean was the lord Perse, 
He bar a bende-bow 10 in his hande, 

Was made off trusti tre : 

An arow, that a cloth yarde was lang, 

To th' hard stele halyde he ; 
A dynt, 11 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, 12 that his arrowe bar, 13 

With his hart blood the wear wete. 

1 Dede dead. * Spendyd grasped. 

3 Corsiare steed. * Hondrith hundred. 5 Styntyde stopped. 

6 Blane lingered. 7 Dynte blow. 8 Suar sure. 

9 Say saw. 10 Bende-bow bent bow, 

" A dynt, &c. a blow that was both sad and sore. 
'" Swane-fethars sicanfeathers. 18 Bar bare. 


Ther was never a freak c \vouc foot wolde lie, 

.But still in stour clyd stand. 
Heawyng on yche otuar, whyll the inyght dre, 1 

With many a bal-ful brande. 

This battell bcganc in Chyviat 

An owar 2 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 mono ; 
Many hade no strenght for to standc, 

In Chyviat the hyllys aboun. 3 

Of fifteen hondrith archars of Ynglonde 

Went away but fifti and thre ; 
Of twenty hondrith spear-men of Skoilonde, 

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 4 Hartly, 

Sir Wyllyam the bolde Hearoue, 

Sir Jorg the worthe Lovele, 

A knyght of great renowen, 
Sir Ilaft'the ryche Kugbe 

With dyntcs wear beaten dowene. 

For Wetharryngton my harte was wo, 

That ever he slayne shulde be ; 
For when both his Icggis wear hewyne in to, 

Yet he kuyled and fought on hys kne. 

Ther was slayne with the dougheti Douglas 

Sir Hcwc the Mougou-byrry, 
Sir Davye Lwdale, that worthe was, 

His sistar's son was he : 

Sir Charles a Murre, in that place, 

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

With the Duglas clyd he dey. 

i "DreMfTer. 2 0\\ar}ioitr Irfoi-e Cif :^on. 


So on the morrowe the mayde them byears 

Of byrch, and hasell so ' gray ;' 
Many wedous 1 with wepyng tears 2 

Cam to fach 3 ther maliys a-way. 

Tivydale may carpe 4 off care r 

]X"orthombarlond may mayk grat nione, 

For towe such captayns, as slayiie wear theav, 
On the march perti 5 shall never be none. 

Word ys commen 6 to Edden-burrowc, 7 

To Jamy the Skottishe kyng, 
That dougheti Duglas, lyff-tenant of the Merches, 

He lay slean Chyviot with-in. 

His handdes dyd he weal and wryug, 

He sayd, Alas, and woe ys mo ! 
Such another captayn Skotland within, 

He sayd, y-feth shuld never be. 

TVorde ys commyn to lovly Londone 

Till the fourth Harry our kyng, 
That lord Perse, leyff-tennante of the Mcrchis, 

He lay slayne Chyviat within. 

God have merci on his soil, sayd kyng Harry, 

Good lord, yf thy will it be ! 
I have a hondrith captayns in Ynglondc, he sayd, 

As good as ever was hee : 
But Pei>:c, and I brook 8 my lyfFe, 

Thy delh well quyte 9 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 10 Skottish knyghtes 

On a day wear beaten down : 
Gleridale glytteryde on ther armor bryght, 

Over castill, towar, and town. 

1 Wedous u-idou-8. 

2 A common pleonasm. So Cavendish in his Life of Cardinal Wolsey, 
chap. 12, p. 31, 4to. When the Duke heard this, he replied u-itli weeping 
" feares," c. 

3 Fach, &c. -fetch their mates aicay. * Carpe, &c. complain thro' care. 

5 March perti the parts lying upon the Marches. 
8 Commen come. ^ Edden-burrowe Edinliirgh. 

8 Brook enjoy. 
9 Quyte requited, 10 Svi, &c sU-and-thirty. 


This was the hontynge off the Cheviat ; 

That tear 1 begane this spurii : . 
Old men that knowen the grownde well yenoughe, 

Call it the Battell of Otterburn. 

At Otterburn began this spurue 

Uppon a monnyn day : 2 
Ther was the dougghte Doglas slean, 

The Perse never went away. 

Ther was never a tyra on the march partcs 

Sen the Doglas and the Perse met, 
But yt was marvele, and the redde blude ronne not, 

As the reane 3 doys in the stret. 

Jhesue Christ our balys bete, 4 

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

God send us all good ending ! 5 


THIS Ballad is copied fr6m a MS. in the Cotton Library, and gives the 
English view of the conflict. The particulars are condensed by Scott 
from Froissart and others : James, Earl of Douglas, with liis brother, 
the Earl of Murray, in 1387 invaded Northumberland at the head of 
3000 men, while the Earls of Fife and Strathern, sons to the King of 
Scotland, ravaged the western borders of England. Douglas penetrated 
as far as Newcastle, where the renowned Hotspur lay in garrison. In 
a skirmish before the walls, Percy's lance, with the pennon attached 
to it, was taken by Douglas, in a personal encounter between the two 
heroes. The Earl shook the pennon aloft, and swore he would carry 
it as his spoil into Scotland, and plant it upon his castle of Dulkeith. 
" That," answered Percy, " shalt thou never." Having collected the 
forces of the Marches to a number equal, or (according to the Scottish 
historians) much superior to the army of Douglas, Hotspur m:;de a night 
attack upon the Scottish camp at Otterbourne, about thirty-two miles 
from Newcastle. An action took place, fought by moonlight, with 
uncommon gallantry and desperation. At length Douglas, armed 

1 That tear, &c. a proverb That tearing, or pulling, occasioned thin 
tpurn or kick. 

2 Monuyn day Monday. 3 Keane As the rain does in the streft. 
* Balys bete remedy our evils. 

5 The battle of Homoyll-down, or Humbledon, wa%fought Sept. 14, 140:3 
(auno 3 Hen. IV.), wherein the English, under the command ol the Earl of 
Northumberland, and his son Hotspur, gained a complete victory over the 
Scots. The village of Humbledon is one mile north-west from U'ooller, ia 
Northumberland. The battle was fought in the field below '.he village, near 
the present turnpike road, in a spot called ever since Ited-ltyga. Hum- 
bledon is in Glcudale Ward, a district so named in this county. 


with an iron mace, which few but he could wield, rushed into the 
thickest of the English battalions, followed only by his chaplain and 
two squires of his body. Before his followers could come up, their 
brave leader was stretched on the ground with three mortal- wounds ; 
his squires lay dead by his side ; the priest, armed with .a lance, was 
protecting his master from further injury. " I die like my forefathers," 
said the expiring hero, " in a field of battle, and not on a bed of sick- 
ness. Conceal my death, defend my standard, and avenge my fall. 
It is an old prophecy, that a dead man shall gain a field, and I hope it 
will be accomplished this night." The wish of Douglas was fulfilled ; 
for in the morning the English began to retire, covered by the Bishop 
of Durham, who came up with a body of fresh troops. The scene of 
the combat is still known by the name of Battle Cross. The castle of 
Otterbourne remains, and traces of the Scottish camp are found at 
Fawdown Hill. 

The writer of " Rambles in Northumberland" (p. 120) remarks: 
" There are several expressions in this ballad which plainly indicate 
that the author was a Scot. At ' Lammas tyde,' when the Scottish 
husbandmen are busy in winning their scanty crop of moorland hay, 
the hay-harvest has in most parts of England been over for a month. 
Much stress cannot be laid on the spelling of some of the words, as 
proving the Scottish rather than the English origin of the ballad, yet 
the spelling of ' wrange' for wrong, and ' lesse' for lies, may be in 
favour of the argument ; and ' It shall not be long or I come thee 
tyll' is a Scotticism. If the word ' cawt' be an interpolation, it is 
certainly a Scottish one, being merely to abbreviation of ' cauteous,' 
commonly used by Scottish writers for ' cautious.' " 

YT felle abovrglit the Lamasse tyde, 

When husbonds wynn ther haye, 1 
The dow^ghtye Dowglasse bowynd 2 hyra to ryde, 

In Yfiglond to take a praye : 3 

The yerlle of Fyffe, withowghten stryfTe, 

He bowynd 4 hym over Sulway : 5 
The grete wolde ever together ryde ; 

That race they may rue for aye. 

Over ' Ottercap ' hyll they 6 came in, 

And so dovvyu by Bodelyffecragge, 
Upon Grene ' Leyton ' they lyghted dowyn, 

Styrande 7 many a stagge ; 

1 This is the Northumberland phrase for " getting in their hay." 
z Bowynd -prepared. 3 Praye -prey. 

* Bowynd him hied him. 

5 Over Suhyay Solway frith ; referring to the other division of the Scot- 
tish army which came in by way of Carlisle. 

6 They sc., the E&rl of Douglas and his party. The several stations 
here mentioned are well-known places in Northumberland. OHercap-hill is 
in the parish ot Kirk-Whelpington, in Tynedale-ward. Rodeliffe- (or, as it 
is more usually pronounced, Rodeley-) Cragf,3 is a noted cliff near Kodeley, 
a small village in the parish of Hartburn, in Morpeth-ward, and lying south- 
east of Ottercap. Green Leyton is another small village in the same parish 
of Hartburn, and is south-east of Kodeley. 1 Styrande ttirriny. 


And boldely brente 1 Northomberlonde, 

And haryed 2 many a towyn ; 
They dyd owr Ynglyssh men grete wrange, 3 

To battell that were not bowyn. 4 

Than spake a berne 5 upon the bent, 

Of comforte that was not colde, 
And sayd, We have brent Northomberlond, 

We nave all welth. in holde. 

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

I rede 6 we ryde to Newe Castell, 
So styll and stalwurthlye.' 

Uppon the morowe, when it was dayc, 

The standards schone 8 fulle bryght ; 
To the Newe Castelle the toke 9 the waye, 

And thether they cam fulle ryght. 

Sir Henry Percy laye at the Newe Castelle, 

I telle yow withowtten drede ; 1U 
He had byn a march-man 11 all hys dayes, 

And kepte Barwyke upon Twede. 

To the Newe Castell when they cam, 

The Skottes they cryde on hyght, 13 
Syr Harye Percy, and thow byste 13 within, 

Com to the fylde, and fyght : 

For we have brente Northomberlonde, 

Thy eritage 14 good and ryght ; 
And syne 15 my logeyng 16 1 have take, 17 

With my brande dubbyd many a knyght. 

Sir Harry Percy cam to the wallea, 

The Skottyssh oste for to 83 ; ls 
" And thow hasfc brente Northomberlond, 

Full sore it rewyth me. 19 

I Brente lurnt. 2 Haryed -pillaged. 3 Grete wrange great wrong. 

* Bowyn gone. 5 Berne a man. 

6 I rede I advise. 7 Stalwurthlye itoittly. 8 Schone shone. 

3 They toke they took. 10 Drede dread. 

II March-man scourer of the Marches. 12 Oil hyght aloud. 

13 Byste leest, art. '* Eritage heritaae. 

15 Syne since. 16 Logeyug lodging. l ~ Take taken. 

13 Oste for to see army to tee. ' Rewyth paint me. 


Yf tliou hast haryed all Bambarowe sliyre, 1 

Thow hast done me grete envye ; 2 
For the trespasse thow hast me done, 

The tone 3 of us schall dye." 

Where schall I byde the ? sayd the Dowglas, 

Or where wylte thow come to me ? 
" At Otterborne 4 in the hygh way, 

Ther maist thow well logeed be. 

The roo 5 full rekeles ther sche rinnes, 

To make the game and glee : 
The fawkon and the fesaunt 6 both, 

Amonge the holtes on ' hee.' 7 

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 walles, 

For soth, as I yow saye : 
Ther he mayd the Douglas drynke, 

And all hys oste that daye. 

The Dowglas turnyd him homewarde agayne, 

For soth withowghten naye, 
He tooke his logeyng at Oterborne 

Uppon a Wedyns-day : 

And ther he pyght 8 hys standerd dowyn, 

Hys gettyng 9 more and lesse, 
And syne 10 he warned hys men to goo 

To chose ther geldyngs gresse. 

i A large tract of land, which takes its name froir ohe town and castle of 
Bamborough, formerly the residence of the Northumbrian kings. 
2 Euvye injury, 3 Tone t'one, the one. 

4 Otterbourne, which takes its name from a small stream running near it, 
is a village in the large parish of Elsdon. The "hygh way" is the old 
Watling-street road. 

5 The roe full fearless there she runs. Hoe-bucks were found upon the 
wastes near Hexham in the reign of George I. 

6 The falcon and the pheasant. 7 Holtes on hee woods on hii/h. 

8 Pyght -pitched. 9 Gettyng booty. v> Syne then. 


A Skottyssbe knyght lioved 1 upon the bent, 

A wache 2 1 dare well saye : 
So was he ware 3 on the noble Percy 

In the dawnynge of the daye. 

He prycked 4 to his pavyleon dpre, 

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

For hys love, that syttes yn trone. 5 

Awaken, Dowglas, cryed the knyght, 
For thow maiste waken wyth wynne : 6 

Yender have I spyed the prowde Percy; 
And seven standerdes wyth hym. 

Nay, by my trowth, the Douglas sayd. 

It ys but a fayned taylle : 7 
He durste not loke on my bred 8 banner, 

For all Ynglonde so haylle. 9 

Was I not yesterdaye at the Newe Castell, 

That stonds so fayre on Tyne P 
For all the men the Percy hade, 

He cowde not garre me ones to dyne. 10 

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, 11 thow arte my erne, 12 

The forwarde 13 1 gyve to the : 
The yerlle of Huntlay cawte and kene, 14 

He schall wyth the be. 

The lorde of Bowghan 15 in armure bryght 

On the other hand he schall be ; 
Lorde Jhonstone, and lorde Maxwell, 

They to schall be with me. 

1 Hoved hovered. 2 Waehe c spy. 3 Ware ait-are. 

* He spurred io his pavilion door, or tent door. 
5 Trone sits in throne. 6 Wynne- 

7 Fayned tayttefalte tale. 

8 Bred Iroad. 9 So hav!!e so stromr. 

10 He could not force me once to dine. n Menteith. 

12 Erne kinsman. 13 Forwarde tie 

'* Cawte and kene^rriK/ioKs and keen. Lord GcvtUm \va-. i>rPiit'\l F.:irl ci 
Jluntley 1M9. Scott calls the title " aprcmnti'. 
r.f Hupiley being "lirst conferred on Alexander Seal 
grand-dauybter of the hero of Otterbourne." 

15 Bowghan Lord Stichan. 


Swynton 1 fayre fylde upon your pryde 

To batoll make yow bowen : 2 
Syr Davy Scotte, Syr Walter Stewarde, 3 

Sir Jhon of Agurstone. 


THE Percye came byfore hys oste, 

Wych was ever a gentyll knyght, 
Upon tlie Dowglas lowde can he crye, 

I wyll hoJde that I have hyght : 5 

For thow haste brcnte JSTorthumberlonde, 

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 ' one 3 

Byholde and thow maiste see. 

Wyth that the Percye was grevyd sore, 

For sothe as I yow saye : 
He lyghted dowyn upon his fote, 

And schoote 7 his horsse clene away. 

Every man sawe that he dyd soo, 

That ryall 8 was ever in rowght ; 9 
Every man schoote hys horsse him froo, 

And lyght hym rowynde abowght. 10 

1 The laird of Swinton, a small village within the Scottish border, three 
miles from Norham. 

a Bowen ready. 

3 Probably Sir Walter Stewart, Lord of Dalswinton, who was eminent at 
that time. 

* "This second part is most unquestionably an English composition, and 
would appear to have been written as a continuation 'of the first, which IB, 
most likely, of Scottish origin, though altered, perhaps, in a few places, by a 
minstrel who dwelt south of the Tweed. At the conclusion of the first part 
there is written ' A FYTTE ;' but the second part is not called ' FTTTB TJIE 
SECOND,' as we might expect if both parts were the production of the same 
person. It wouiJ, therefore, seem as if an English minstrel had written a 
continuation to the old Scottish 'Fytte,' and represented the battle in such 
a manner as was likely to flatter the pride of his countrymen. lu the second 
part the minstrel has taken great liberties with the truth of history ; and in 
magnifying the number of the Scots to nearly five times the number of the 
English, and in assigning the victory to the latter, he has shown himself to be 
thoroughly patriotic, if not historically correct." Rainllc* in Northumber 
land, p. 124. 

5 Hyj;'nt enijaged. 

* ilt probatily magnifies his strength to induce him to surrender. 

' Schoote let go. 6 Kyall royal. 9 llow^ht rout, 

> Eowynde abowght round alottf. 


Thus Syr Hary Percy e toke the fyldc, 

For sotk, as I yow sayc : 
Jesu Cryste in hevyn 1 on hyght 

Dyd helpe hym well that daye. 

But nyne thowzand, ther was no moo ; 

The cronykle wyll not layne : 2 
Forty thowsaude bkottes and fowre 

That day fowght them agayne. 

But when the batell byganne to joyne, ' 

In hast ther cam 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 ; 
He desyres yow to byde 

That he may see thys fyght. 

The Baron of Grastoke ys com owt of the west, 

Wyth hym a noble companye ; 
All they loge at your father's thys nyght, 

And the Battel fayne wold they see. 

For Jesu's love, sayd Syr Harye Percy, 

That dyed for yow and me, 
Wende 3 to my lorde my Father agayne, 

And saye thow saw me not with yee : 

My trowth ys plyght to yonne Skottysh knyqlit, 

It nedes me not to layne, 
That I sch'ulde byde hym upon thya 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, 4 

By Mary that mykcl maye ; 5 
Than ever my manhod schulde be reprovyd 

With 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. 

1 Hevyn heaven on high. z The chronicle will not lit. 

3 Wende go. * Yet had 1 sooner be torn. 

s Mayo maid. 6 Waryson retcard. 


Every man thynke on hys trewe love, 

And m&rke hym to the Trenite : 
For to God I make myne avowe 

Thy s day wyll I not fie. 

The blodye Harte in the Dowglas armes, 

Hys standerde stode on hye ; 
That every man myght full well knovre* 

By syde stode Starres thre : 

The whyte Lyon on the Ynglysh parte, 

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

The Skotts faught them agayne. 2 

Uppon sent Andrewe lowde cane they crye, 

And thrysse they schowte 3 on hyglit, 
And syne marked them one owr Ynglysshe men, 

As I have tolde yow ryght. 

Sent George the bryght owr ladye's knyght, 

To name they 4 were full fayne, 
Owr Ynglysshe men they cryde on hyght, 

And thrysse the schowtte agayne. 

Wyth. that scharpe arowes bygan to flee, 

1 tell yow in sertayne ; 5 
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 ; 
They schapped 6 together, why 11 that the swette, 

With swords of fyne Collayne ;' 

Tyll the bloode from thcr bassonetts 8 ranne, 

As the roke 9 doth in the rayne. 
Yelde the to me, sayd the Dowglas, 

Or ells thow schalt be slayne : 

1 Tow sayne you say. 

2 The ancient arms of Douglas are pretty accurately emblazoneit in the 
former stanza ; and if the readings were, The crowned hartf, and Above stode 
ttarres thre, it would be minutely exact at this day. As for the Percy 
family, one of their ancient badges or cognizances 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. 

3 Thrice they shout. * i. e., the English. 

5 In sertayne certainly. 6 Schapped struck vioUntlj/. 

1 Collayne Cologne, 8 Bassonetts helmtti. 

3 Boke mint, or steam. 

18 EliMlil'iCS OF ANCIENT i'UKTU'i 

For I see, by thy bryglit bassonct. 

Thow arte sum man of myght : 
And so I do by thy burnysshed brands, 

Thow art an yerle, or ells a knyght. 1 

By my good faythe, sayd the noble Percy, 

Now haste t'liou rede full ryght, 
Yet wyll I never yelde me to the, 

Whyll I may stonde and fyght. 

They swapped 2 together, whyll that they swette, 

Wyth swordes scharpo 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, 3 
He smote the Dowglas at the sworde's length, 

That he felle to the growynde. 

The sworde was scharpe and sore can byte, 

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

Thus was the Dowglas slayne. 4 

The stonderds stode styll on eke syde, 

With many a grevous grone ; 
Ther the fowght the day, and all the nyght, 

And many a dowghty man was ' slone.' 

Ther was no freke, 5 that ther wolde flye, 

But styffly in stowre can etond, 
Ychone 6 hewyng on other whyll they inyght dryc, 7 

Wyth many a bayllefull bronde. 8 

Ther was slayne upon the Skottes syde, 

For soth and sertenly, 
Sir James a Dowglas ther was slayne, 

That daye that he cowde dye. 9 

The Yerlle Mentaye of he was slayne, 
Grysely groned 10 uppon the growynd ; 

Syr Davy Scotte, Syr Walter Steward, 
Syr ' John ' of Agurstonne. 

1 Being all in armour he could not know him. 

* Swapped struck. 8 Stounde hour, or time. 

* "Above half a mile beyond Otterburn, on the road towards Jedburgh, 
stands an obelisk, fifteen feet high, which marks where the Earl of Douglas 
fell." Rambles in Northumberland, p. 115. 

5 Freke man. 6 Ychoue each one. 1 Drye tuffer. 

8 Bayllefull bronde hurtful tword. 

* i. e. he died that day. 10 Orysely grocsd dreadfully groaned. 


Syr Charlies Morrey 1 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 sydc, 

For soth as I yow saye, 
Of fowre and forty tho\vsande Scotts 

Went but eyghtene awaye. 

Ther was slayne upon the Yuglysshe sycte, 

For soth 3 and sertenlye, 
A gentell knyght, Sir John Fitz-hughe, 

Yt was the more petye. 3 

Syr James Harehotell 4 ther was slayue, 

For hym ther hartes were sore, 
The gentyll ' Lovelle ' ther was slayne, 

That the Percye's standerd bore. 

Ther was slayne uppon the Ynglyssh perte, 

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

Fy ve hondert 5 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 maycl them beeres 

Of byrch and haysell grayo ; 
Many a wydowe with wepyng teyres 

Ther makes 6 they fette awaye. 

Thys fraye bygan at Otterborne, 

Bytwene the nyghte and the day:: 
Ther the Dowglas lost hys lyfe, 
9 And the Percy was lede awaye. 7 

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

For soth as I yow saye, 

He borowed the Percy home agayne. 8 

1 The person here meant was probably Sir Charles Murray, of Cockpoole, 
who flourished at that time, and was ancestor of the Hurrays, some time 
Earls of Annandale. * Both truth. 3 Petye pity. 

4 Harbottle is a village upon the river Coquet, about ten miles west of 
Rothbury. The family of Harbottle was once considerable in Northumber- 
land. 5 Hondert hundred. 

6 Ther makes, &e. Their mates they fetched away. 

' Lede awaye i. e. made captive. 

' Borowed redeemed : he was taken in exchange for Percy. 

c 2 


Now let us all for the Percy praye 

To Jesu most of myght, 
To bryng hys sowlc to the blyssc of hcvcn, 

For he was a gcntyll kuyght. 



IN the year 125C, a child is said to have been crucified at Lincoln l>y 
Jews, of whom, according to Stow, two hundred were brought up to 
Westminster lor examination. 

The following Ballad, probably founded upon an Italian legend, boars 
a strong likeness to the Prioresse's Tale in Chaucer. Since tin- |.nb- 
lication of it in the " Ileliqucs," several stanzas have been recovered, tl.i' 
most perfect version being given in Johnson's" Musical Mu>cum,"vi. 500. 
The story is told by Matthew Paris, in his " History of England, 1 ' with 
much curious exactness of circumstance. Bishop Percy supposed Mirry- 
Land Town to be a corruption of Milan Town ; but Jamieton thinks 
that the Scottish reciter substituted the name for Merry Lincolnc. The 
MS. was sent from Scotland. 

THE rain rins doun through Mirry-laucl loune, 

Sae dois it douiie the Pa i 1 
Sae doie the lads of Mirry-land toune, 

Quhan they play at the ba'. 2 

Than out and cam the Jewis dochter, 3 

Said, Will ye cum in and dine ? 
" I winnae cum in, I cannae cum iu, 

Without my play-freres 4 nine." 

Scho powd 5 an apple reid and white 

To intice the zong 6 thing in : 
Scho powd an apple white and reid, 

And that the sweit bairne did win. 

And scho has tainc out a little pen-knife, 

And low down by her gair, 7 
. Scho has twin'd" the zong thing and his life ; 
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 hert's 9 bluid : 

Thair was nae life left in. 

1 The Kiver Po. 2 Ba' ball, 3 Dochtcrilai'fjMer. 

* Play-freres playfellows. 5 Scho powd she fulled, 

6 Zong young. 7 Gair drets. 

* Twin'd parted, 9 LTcrt'a heart'i, 


Scho laid him on a dressing borcle, 

And drcst him like a swine. 
And laughing said, Gae nou 1 and pley 

With zour s\veit play-freres nine. 

Seho rowd 2 him in a cake of lead, 

Bade him lie stil and sleip, 
Scho cast him in a deip draw-well, 

Was fifty fadom deip. 3 

Quhan bells wer rung, and mass was sung, 

And every lady went hame : 
Than ilka lady had her zong 4 sonne, 

Bot lady Helen had nane. 

Scho rovvd hir mantil hir about, 

And sair sair gan she weip : 
And she i'an into the Jewis caste! , 

Quhau 5 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." 6 

Lady Helen ran to the deip draw-well, 

And knelt upon her kne : 
My bonny sir Hew, an ze 7 be here, 

I pray thee speik to me. 

" The lead is wondrous heavy, mither, 

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

A word I dounae 8 speik. 

Gae hame, gae hame, my mither deir, 

Fetch me my windling sheet, 
And at the back o' Mirry-land toun 

Its thair we twa sail meet." 

1 One nou #0 nmi- and play. z Scho rowd she rolled. 

5 Fadom deip fathom deep. * Zong young. 

1 Quhar. n&eii. 6 If ye your son would seek. 

i Au ze ifyt, * Dounae aw not able, 



THE imperfect copy in the folio MS. tempted Bishop I'ercy to cnlr.rge and 
complete this romantic tiile, of which he is more the painter than the 
restorer. " Sir Cauline" is found among Scottish ballnds, under the 
title of" King Malcolm and Sir Colvin," and is evidently ancient. 


IN Ireland, ferr over the sea, 

There dwelleth a bonnye kinge ; 
And with him a yong and comlyc knighte, 

Men call him syr Cauline. 

The kinge had a ladyc to his daughter, 

In fashyon she hatli no peere ; 
And princely wightes that ladye wooed 

To be theyr wedded feere. 1 

Syr Cauline loveth her best of all, 

For nothing durst he saye ; 
Ne descreeve 2 his counsayl to no man, 

But deerlye he lovde this may. 3 

Till on a daye it so beffell, 

Great dill 4 to him was dight ; 
The maydens love removde his mynd, 

To care-bed 5 went the knighte. 
One while he spred his armes him fro, 
. One while he spred them nye : 
And aye ! but I winne that ladye's love, 

For dole 6 now I mun dye. 

And whan our parish-masse was done, 

Our kinge was bowne 7 to dyne : 
He says, Where is syr Cauline, 

That is wont to serve the wyne P 

Then aunswerde him a courteous knighte, 

And fast his handes gan wringe : 
Sir Cauline is sicke, and like to dye 

Without a good leechinge. 8 

Fetche me downe my daughter deere, 

She is a leeche fulle fine : 
Goe take him doughe, and the baken bread, 
And serve him with the wyne soo red ; 

Lothe I were him to tine. 9 

i Feere ?i/V. * Descreeve describe. s May maid. 

* Dill, sc. grief tvat upon him. 5 Care-bed bed of care. 

For dole, &.o.-~for sorrow 1 mutt die. 1 Bowne going 

s Leechinge doctoring. ' Tine loe. 

' Fair Chrietabelle to his chain; 
Her maydens followyng nye. ' 


Fair Christabelle to his chaumber goes, 

Her mayclens followyng nye : 
O well, she sayth, how doth my lord P 

eicke, thou fayr ladye. 

Nowe ryse up wightlye, 1 man, for shame, 

Never lye soe cowardice ; 
For it is told in my father's halle, 

You dye for love of mee. 

Fayre ladye, it is for your love 

That all this dill I drye : 2 
For if you wold comfort me with a kisse, 
Then were I brought from bale 3 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 kinge's daughter, 

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

To be your bacheleere. 4 

Some deedes of armes if thou wilt doe, 

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

Giff 5 harm shold happe to thee, 

Upon Eldridge 6 hill there groweth a thorne, 

Upon the mores brodingo ; 7 
And dare ye, syr knighte, wake there all nighte 

Until the fayre morninge P 

For the Eldridge knighte, so mickle 8 of mighte, 

Will examine you beforne : 9 
And never man bare life away, 

But he did him scath and scorne. 

That knighte he is a foul paynim, 10 

And large of limb and bone ; 
And but if heaven may be thy speede, 11 

Thy life it is but gone. 

1 Wightlye vigorously. ' Dill I drye pain I suffer. 3 Bale co. 
4 Bacholeere knight. 5 Giff if. 

6 Eldridge lonesome, spectral. 

7 Mores brodinge the wide downt or moors. 8 Mickle great. 

8 Beforne before. I0 Paynim pagan. 

" Speede -fortune, or luck. 


Nowe on the Eldridgc hills lie walke, 1 

For thy sake, fair ladie ; 
And He either bring you a ready token, 

Or He never more you see. 

The lady is gone to her own chaumbere, 

Her may dens following bright ; 
Syr Cauline lope 2 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 3 soe browne ; 
Quoth hee, If cryance 4 come till my heart, 

I am ffar from any good towne. 

And soone he spyde on the mores so broad, 

A furious wight and fell ; 5 
A ladye bright his brydle led, 

Clad in a fayre kyrtell : 6 

And soe fast he called on syr Cauline, 

man, I rede 7 thee flye, 

For ' but ' if cryance comes till my heart, 

1 weene 8 but thou mun dye. 

He sayth, ' No ' cryance comes till my heart, 

Nor, in faith, I wyll not flee ; 
For, cause thou minged 9 not Christ before, 

The less me dreadeth thee. 

The Eldridge knighte, he pricked his steed ; 

Syr Cauline bold abode : 
Then either shooke his trustyc speare, 
And the timber these two children 10 bare 

Soe soone in sunder slode. 11 

Then tooke they out theyr two good swordes, 

And layden 12 on full faste, 
Till helme and hawberke, mail and sheelde, 

They all were well-nye brast. 13 

1 Walke Percy suggests wake ; but why not walk, in the sense of 
watchman walking the round. 3 Lope leaped. 

Bents Jleldi. * Cryance ifftar come to my heart. 

A man angry and fierce, 6 Kyrtfcu garment, 

1 Kede I advlis Ihet to fly. 

Weene 1 think. Minged mtuttonid, ' "> Children knigMt, 
" Sled* if lit, u I/ajrden Mrf, ' Bruit Kell.n'u,h luni. 

Sltt CAULINE. 25 

The Eldridge knight was mickle of might, 

And stiffe in stower 1 did stande, 
But syr Cauline with a ' backward ' stroke 
He smote ofF his right hand ; 

That soone he with paine and lacke of bloud 

Fell downe on that lay -laud. 2 

Then up syr Cauliue lift his brande 

All orer Iiis head so hye : 
And here I sweare by the holy roode, 3 

Nowe, caytiffe,' 4 thou shalt dye. 

Then up and came that ladye brighte, 

Fast wringing of her hande : 
For the mayden's love, that most you love, 

Withold that deadlye brande : 

For the mayden's love, that most you love, 

Now smyte no more, I praye ; 
And aye whatever thou wilt, my lord, 

He shall thy hests 5 obaye. 

Now sweare to mee, thou Eldridge knighte, 

And here on this lay-land, 
That thou wilt believe on Christ his laye, 6 

And therto plight 7 thy hand : 

And that thou never on Eldridge come 

To sporte, gamon, 8 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 Cauline's hest, 

Till the tyrne that he shold dye. 

And he then up and the Eldridgo 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 bin slone. 9 

1 Slower -fight, a Lay -land grccn-tward. Roode-*m>, 

4 CaytiiTa wreti-h, * Hestg oommandt, 

Hia Inya M law, 1 Plight tngagit 

Sloas ilaitii 


Then he tooke up the Elclridge s\vordc, 

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

As bright as fyrc and brent. 

Home then pricked 1 syr Cauline, 

As light as leafe on tree : 
I-wys he neither stint ne blanne, 2 
- Till he his ladye see. 

Then downe he knelt upon his knee 

Before that lady gay : 
O ladye, I have bin on the Eldridgc 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 winne thy love ! 

Ne more his tonge colde say. 

The ladye blushed scarlette redde, 

And fette 3 a gentill sighe : 
Alas ! syr knight, how may this bee, 

For my degree's soe highe P 

But sith thou hast hight, 4 thou comely youth, 

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

I will have none other fere. s 

Then shee held forthe her lilly-white hand 

Towards that knighte so free ; 
He gave to it one gentill kisse, 
His heart was brought from bale to blisse, 

The teares sterte 6 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. 7 

1 Pricked tpurredforward. 
* Stint ne blanne neither lingered nor stopped. 3 Tette fetched. 

* Sith thou hast hight Since thou hast enijayed. 

1 Fere companion. 6 Sterte startfd. 

1 1 wot well I know that he tcould tiny u>. 


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. 


EVEEYE white will have its blacke, 

And everye sweete its sowre : 
This foundc 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, 1 

And an angrye man was hee : 
Nowe, traytoure, thou shalt hange or drawe, 

And rewe shall thy ladie. 

Then forthe syr Cauline he was ledde, 

And throwne in dungeon deepe : 
And the ladye into a towre so hye, 

There left to wfiyle and weepe. 

The queene she was syr Cauline's friend, 

And to the kinge sayd shee : 
I praye you save syr Cauline's life, 

And let him banisht bee. 

Now, dame, that traitor shall be sent 

Across the salt sea fome : 2 
But here I will make thee a band, 3 
If ever he come within this land, 

A foule deathe is his doome. 

I-wys I know. ~ Fome foam. 3 ^ band a land or covenant. 


All woe-begone was that gentil knight 

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

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

Farre lever 1 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 2 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. 3 
When manye a daye was past and gone, 

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

To cheere his daughter's mind : 
And there came lords, and there came knights, 

Fro manye a farre country^, 
To break a spere for theyr ladye's love 

Before that faire ladye. 

And many a ladye there was sette 

In purple and in palle ; 4 
But faire Christabelle soe woe-begone 

Was the fayrest of them all. 

Then manye a knighte was-mickle of might 

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

He wan the prize eche daye. 

His acton 5 it was all of blacke, 

His hewberke, 6 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. 7 

Farre lever /ar toonsr. * Tint lots. > T e<j-~i>?gl. 

* Purple and palle a purple role or cloak, 
1 Actoiv ar,n0r, leather quilted, 

* ITcwbai'Us con* qftnail coipoefd(ffiron ringi, 

sin CATJLINE. 29 

And now three days were prestlye 1 past 

In feates of chivalrye, 
When lo, upon the fourth morninge 

A sorrowfulle sight they see. 

A hugye giaunt stifle and starke, 

All foule of limbe and lere ; 2 
Two goggling eyen like fire farden. 3 

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. 4 

Sir, quoth the dwarffe, and louted 5 lowe, 

Behold that hend Soldain ! 6 
Behold these heads I beare with me ! 

They are kings which he hath slain. 

The Eldridge knight is his own cousine, 
Whom a knight of thine hath shent :' 

And hee is come to avenge his wrong, 

And to thec, all thy knightes among, 
Defiance here hath sent. 

But yette he will appease his wrath 

Thy daughter's love to winne : 
And but thou yeelde him that fayre mayd, 

Thy halls and towers must brenne. 8 

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. 9 

The king he turned him round aboute, 

And in his heart was woe : 
Is there never a knighte of my round table 1 , 

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, 10 
Eight fair his meede shall bee. 

' Prestlye quickly. * "Letsface, 3 F&rden flashed. 

* Blee complexion. 5 Louted bowed. 

* Hend Soldain gentle Sultan. 1 Shent disgraced. 

8 Brenne burn. 9 Peere equal 

10 A frecjuent character in the pld rigeants was the Sowdan, or Soldan, 
representing a grim Eastern tyrant. 'JL lie word is a corruption of Sultan, 

30 BELIQUS 01 .',.\', . ilY. 

For hoc shall have my broad lay -lands, 

And of my crowne be hcyie; 
And he shall winne fayre Chmtabelle 

To be his wedded fere. 
But every knighte of his round table 1 

Did stand both still and pale ; 
For whenever they lookt on the grim sold an, 

It made their hearts to quail. 

All woe-begone was that fayre ladyd, 

When she sawe no helpe was nyc: 
She cast her thought on her owne true-love, 

And the teares gusht from her eye. 

Up then sterte the stranger knighte, 

Sayd, Ladye, be not affrayd : 
He fight for thee with this grimme soldan, 

Thoughe he be unmacklye 2 made. 

And if thou w r ilt lend me the Eldridge sworde, 

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. 3 

The gyaunt he stepped mto the lists, 

And sayd, Awaye, awaye : 
I Bweare, as I am the Jieiid soldan, 

Thou lettest 4 me here all daye. 

Then fprthe 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 melt 

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

They gan to lay on load. 

The soldan strucke the knighte a stroke, 

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

And thrice she deeply 

1 The Round Table was not peculiar to the reign of King Arthur, but was 
^mmon in all the agea of chivalry. 
8 Unmacklye mis-thaj>en. Aleede retcard. * Lette^t detainet. 


The soldan strueke a second stroke, 

And made the bloude to flowe : 
All pale and wan was that ladye fayre, 

And thrice she wept for woe. 

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

Sad sorrow pierced that ladye's heart, 
And she shriekt loud shriekings three. 

The knighte he leapt upon his feete, 

All recklesse of the pain : 
Quoth hee, But 1 heaven be now my speede, 

Or else I shall be slaine. 

He grasped his sworde with mayne and mighte, 

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. 2 

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 swounde, 
And there all walteringo in his gore, 

Lay lifelesse on the grounde. 

Come downe, come downe, my daughter deare, 

Thou art a leeche of skille ; 
Farre lever had I lose halfe my landes, 

Than this good knighte sholde spille. 3 

Downe then steppeth that fayre ladye, 4 

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

And shriekte and swound awaye. 

1 But unless. " Dr. Percy adds improperly in the next lino ' or else.' It 
ought to be some such phrase as ' Bot doubt." " Finlay. 

2 Thrall captivity. 3 Spille come to harm. 

4 From the earliest times, among all the Gothic and Celtic nations, women 
of the highest rank exercised the art of healing ; and even so late as tho 
reign oi Elizabeth it is mentioned among the accomplishments of the 
Udies of her Court, that " the eldest of them are skilful in surgery." 


Sir Cauline juste liftc 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 mee 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-fette 1 sighe, 

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


From a MS. copy transmitted from Scotland by Sir David Dalrymple. 

QUHT dois zour brand sae drop wi' bluid, 2 

Edward, Edward ? 
Quhy dois zour brand sae drop wi' bluid ? 

And quhy sae sad gang zee, O P 
O, I hae killed my hauke sae guid, 

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

And I had nae mair bot hee 3 , O. 
Zour haukis bluid was nevir sae reid, 4 

Edward, Edward. 

Zour haukis bluid was nevir sae reid, 
My deir son, I tell thee, O. 

1 Deepe-fette deep-dratcn. 

2 Quhy, &c. Why does your sword so drop with blood, 

3 Nae mair, &c. no other Int he. 

* Tour hawk't blood wat never to red. 


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, O. 

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, 1 O. 

O, I hae killed my fadir deir, 

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

Alas ! and wae is mee, O ! 

And quhatten penance wul ze drie 2 for that, 

Edward, Edward ? 

And quhatten penance will ze drie for that P 
My deir son, now tell me, O. 

He set my feit in zonder boat, 

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

And He fare ovir the sea, O. 

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

Edward, Edward P 

And quhat wul ze doe wi' zour towirs and zour ha', 3 
That were sae fair to see, O ? 

He let thame stand til they doun fa', 

Mither, mither : 
He let thame 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, 
Quhan ze gang ovir the sea, O ? 

The warldis 4 room, let thame beg throw life, 
Mither, mither : 
The warldis room, let thame beg throw life ; 

For thame ,nevir mair wul I see, O. 

1 Some other grief you suffer. 
* And what penance will ye undergo. 
8 And what will you do with your towers and your hall. 
4 The warldis the world's. 


And quhat wul ze leivc to zour ain neither deir. 

Edward, Edward? 

And quhat wul ze leive to zour ain niither deir? 
My deir son, now tell me, O. 

The curse of hell frae me sail ze bier, 

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

Sic counseils ze gave tx> me, O. 


THIS Legend seems to have been written while part of Spain war If. 
the hands of the Saracens, or Moors, whose sway was not quite 
extinguished before 1491. The style is rude, and the picture of King 
Adland, in the ninth stanza, lolling at his gate, may seem to be some- 
what out of character ; yet the great painter of manners, Homer, did 
not think it inconsistent with decorum to represent a king of the 
Taphians leaning at the gate of Ulysses, to inquire for U'.;-f, r.,i>;iarch, 
when he touched at Ithaca, on a trading voyage, with a cargo of iron. 
The old Minstrel is here placed in a favourable light. The reader sets 
him mounted on a fine horse, with an attendant bearing his harp, and 
mixing boldly in the company of kings. 

HEAEKEN to me, gentlemen, 

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

That ever borne y-were. 1 

The tone 3 of them was Adler younge, 

The brother was kyng_ Estmere ; 
The were as bolde men in their deeds. 

As any were farr and neare. 

As they were drinking ale arid wine 

Within kyng Estmere's halle : 
When will ye marry a wyfe, brothdr, 

A wyfe to glad us all P 

Then bespake him kyng Estmere, 

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

That's able 3 to marrye with mee. 

*' i'-were were Tone, t'oue thioat^ 

8 Able -fit, Of mitable. 

KI>TU ilsTMEKE. 35 

Kyng Adlaud 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, Beade me, 2 reade me, deare brother, 

Throughout merry England, 
Where we might find a messenger 

Betwixt us towe to sende. 

Sais, You shal ryde yourselfe, brother, 

lie beare you conipanye ; 
Many throughe fals messengers are deceived, 

And I feare lest soe shold wee. 

Thus the renisht them to ryde 
Of twoe good renisht steeds, 
* And when the came to king Adland's halle, 
Of redd gold shone their weeds. 3 

And when the came to kyng Adland's halle 

Before the goodlye gate, 
There they found good kyng Adland 

Bearing 4 himselfe theratt. 

Now Christ thee save, good kyng Adland ; 

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

Bight 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 ; 

Aria then she nicked him of naye, 5 
And I doubt sheele 6 do you the same. 

The kyng of Spayne is a foule paynim, 

And leeveth 7 on Mahound ; 
And pitye it were that fayre ladye 

Shold marrye a heathen hound. 

1 Sheene shining. s Iteade me ndsise me, 

3 Weeds clothing. * Rearing lea nisi,/ ag.tliwt. 

5 Nicked him of naye nicked him with a refusal. 

Sheele the will, 1 Leeveth beUevtih. 

D 2 


But grant to me, sayes kyng Estmerc, 

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 fayrc, 

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

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

To tend 1 upon them all. 

The talents 2 of golde were on her head sette, 
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, 

Eight welcome unto mee. 

And if you love me, as you saye, 

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

Soon sped now itt shall 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 3 me of my life. 
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. 

1 Tend wait. 

1 Talents perhapi golden ornaments equal in value to talentt of gold, 
8 Reave bereave. 


Plight me your troth, novre, kyng Estmdre, 

By heaven and your righte hand, 
That you will marry e me to } T our 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 fetch him dukes and lordes, and knightes, 

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 kempe's 1 many one. 

But in did come the kyng of Spayne, 

With many a bold barbne, 
Tone day to marrye kyug Adland's daughter, 

Tother daye to carry e her home. 

Shee sent one after kyng Estmere 

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

Ot goe home and loose his ladye. 

One whyle then the page he went, 

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

I wis, he never blanne. 2 

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

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

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 barone, 
Tone daye to marrye kyng Adland's daughter, 

Tother daye to carry her home. 

1 Kempfes tolditrii Blaune kw*d 


My ladye fayro she greets you well, 

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

Or goe home and loose your ladyb. 

Saies, Reade me, reade me, deere brother, 

My reade shall ryde 1 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, 
I quickly e will devise a waye 

To sette thy ladye free. 

My mother was a westerne woman, 

And learned in gramarye, 2 
And when I learned at the schole, 

Something shee taught itt mee. 

There growes an hearbe within this field, 

And iff it were hut 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 in all Englande, 

Upon his coate will byte. 

And you shal be a harper, brother, 

Out of the north countrye ; 
And He be your boy, soe faine of fighte, 3 

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 grammaryd, 
That we towe are the boldest men, 

That are in all Christentye*. 

1 It should probably be ryse i. e. my counsel shall arise from ffo 

2 Gramaryd perhaps a corruption of the French word urimoitt, which 
signifies a conjuring book in the old French romances, if not the art of necro- 
mancy itself. 

Faine of fight-; fond offghting. 


And thus they renisht them to ryde, 

On tow good renish steedes ; 
And when they came to king Adland's hall, 

Of redd gold shone their weedes. 1 

And whan the came to kyng Adland's hall, 

Untill the fayre hall yate, 2 
There they found a proud porte'r 

Rearing himselfe thereatt. 

Sayes, Christ thee save, thou proud porter; 

S.ayes, Christ thee save and see, 
ITowe you be welcome, sayd the porter, ' 

Of what land soever ye bee. 

Wee beene harpers, sayd Adler younge, 

Come out of the northe country e ; 
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 porter's arme : 
And ever we will thee, proud portdr, 

Thow wilt saye us no harme. 

Sore he looked on kyng Estmere, 

And sore he handled the ryng, 
Then opened to them the fayre hall yatee, 

He lett 3 for no kind of thyng. 

Kyng Estmere he stabled his steede 

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

Light in kyng Bremor's 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 kyng's halle. 

My ladde he is so lither, 4 he said, 

He will doe nought that's meete ; 
And is there any man in this hall 

Were able him to beatc P 

1 Weedes clothing. 3 Yate gate, 

* He lett Tie ttopped. * Lither -frowariJ. 


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 kemperye man, 1 

And looked him in the eare ; 
For all the gold, that was under heaven, 

He durst not neigh him neare. 2 

And how nowe, kempe, 3 said the kyng of Spaine, 

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 uod's love I pray thee, 
For and thou playes as thou beginns, 

Thou'lt till 4 my bryde from mee. 

He stroake upon his harpe againe, 

And playd a pretty thinge ; 
The ladye lough 5 a loud laughter, 

As shee sate by the king. 

Saies, Sell me thy harpe, thou proud harper, 

And thy stringes all, 
For as many gold nobles ' thou shalt have' 

As heere bee ringes in the hall. 

What wold ye doe with my harpe, ' he saycl,' 

If I did sell itt yee ? 
" To playe my wine and me a FITT/' 

When abed together wee bee." 

. J 'Kemperye-mtm fighting-man. 

1 Neigh him nenrc approach him near. 3 Kempo trarrtor, 

* Till entice. 5 Lough laughedt 

6 Fitt a tune, or etraiii ofmHtbt 

" O ladye, this is thy owne true love, 
Noe harper, but a kyng." 


Now sell me, quoth liee, tliy bryde soe gaye, 

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

As leaves been on a tree. 

And what wold ye doe with mv bryde see gay, 

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

To lye by mee then thee. 

He 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 lie rid thee of that foule paynmi, 

" Who partes thy love and thee." 

The ladye looked, the ladye blushte, 

And blushte and lookt agayne, 
While Adler he hath drawne his brande, 

And hath the Sowdan 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 1 he drew his brand ; 
And Estmere he, and Adler yonge 

Eight stiffe in stour can stand. 

And aye their swordes soe sore can byte, 

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

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. 

Swith swiftly. 




A COMPLT.TFR copy of the Ballad is given in the >: Hmstrelsy of the 
Border." Haco, King of Norway, died at Orkney, after tlie battle of 
Largs, and liis son Magnus " soon after gave his sou Erie in marriage 
to Margaret, daughter of Alexander III. On the death of the Scottish 
monarch, in 12SC, the crown descended to his grand-daughter, Mar- 
garet, called the Maiden of Norway, where she was dotaiiu-.-l till I. 1 :*", 
and died at Orkney, on her voyage to Scotland." Scott supposes that. 
" the unfortunate voyage of Sir Patrick Spens may really have taken 
. place for the purpose of bringing back the Maid of Norway to her own 
kingdom;" but Mr. Finlay regards the mention of hats and high-heeled 
shoon as indicating either the pen of an interpolator, or a compara- 
tively modern date. A later conjecture ascribes the poem to the inge- 
nious author of " Hardyknute." Coleridge called it a "grand old 

THE king sits in Dumferlinw toune, 

Drinking the blude-reid wine : 
O quhar 1 will I get guid sailor, 

To sail this schip of mine P 

Up and spak an-eldern knicht, 

Sat at the king's richt 2 kne : 
Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor, 

That sails upon the se. 

The king has written a braid 3 letter, 

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

Was walking on the sand. 

The first line that Sir Patrick red, 

A loud lauch 4 lauched he : 
The next line that Sir Patrick red, 

The teir 5 blinded his ee. 

O quha 6 is this has don this deid, 

This ill deid don to me ; 
To send me out this time o'the r.ehv 

To sail upon the ae ? 

1 Quhar where. 2 Richt right. 

3 Braid an open letter, in opposition to close Rolls. 

* Lauch lauched laugh laughed. i Teir tear. 

6 Quha ifhn. " Zeir year. 


Male Last, mat haste, my nurry men nil, 

Our guid schip sails the mcrne. 1 
O say na sac, my master deir, 

For I feir a deadlie storme. 

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 2 their cort-heild schoqne ; 
JBot lang owre a' the play wer playd, 

Their hats they swam ahoone. 

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 terns 3 in their hair, 
Waiting for thair ain deir lords, 

For they'll se thame na mair. 

Have owre, have owre to Aberdour, 4 

It's fiftie fadom deip : 
And thair lies guid Sir Patriot Spence, 

Wi' the Scots lords at his feit. 


THE stories of ROBIN UOOD compose the Epic of our greenwoods. 
Stow says: " 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, despoiling 
and robbing the goods of the rich. They killed none but such as 
would invade them, or by resistance for their own defence. The said 
Robert entertained an hundred tall men and good archers with such 
spoiles and thefts as he got, upon whom 400 (were they ever so strong) 
durst not give the onset. He suffered no woman to be oppressed, or 
otherwise molested ; poore men's goods he spared, abundantlie reliev- 

1 The morne to-morrow morning. * Wet their cork-heeled ihoes. 

3 Kerns combs. 

* Percy calls Aberdour a village lying on the river Forth, the entrance to 
which is sometimes denominated tie Mortuo Mori; but Mr. Finlay tells us 
that De Mortuo Mari is only the designation of a family (Mortimer) who 
were lords of Aberdour. 


ing thcsa wi'.b tint which by theft he got from abbeys and the houses 
of rich carles." These are features of a popular hero, whose exploits 
ingenious writers have resolved into a romance, and the picture- 
stories of the archer, into the inventions of the ballad-singer. This 
theory has been sternly withstood by Mr. Hunter, in his tract on 
" Robin ;" and the discovery of a " Itobyn Hode's pension," from Edward 
II., is curious, and strengthens the conjecture which puts Robin Hood 
in that and the following reign. The same critic finds his birth-place 
either at Wakefleld, or some neighbouring village, and believes him to 
have been an adherent of the Earl of Lancaster, the great bni-on of 
those parts, and whose overthrow drove Robin into Sherwood Forest, 
where he found protection and food. One fact, at least, is clear, that 
in the 14th century, if not earlier, Robin Hood had become the repre- 
sentative of the English outlaws, and was the favourite subject of. the 
people's songs in the time of Edward III. 

WHEN shaws 1 beene sheene, and shradds 2 full faj r re, 

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

To heare the small birdes' songe. 

The woodweele 3 sang, and wold not cease, 

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

In the greenwood where he lay. 

Now by my fay a, 4 said jollye Robin, 

A sweaven 5 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 froe ; 6 
If I be Robin alive in this lande, 

He be wroken 7 on them towe. 

Sweavens 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, 8 my merry men all, 

And John shall goe with mee, 
For He goe seeke yond wight yeomen, 

In greenwood where the bee. 

1 Shaws, &c. Woods are shining. 

2 Shradds perhaps swardt i. e., the surface of the ground; meaning, 
" when the fields are in their beauty." 

8 Woodweele a kind of thrush. * Faye -faiJh. 

5 Sweaveu dream. 6 Mee froe from me. 

' Wrr>Vn--rf tmfffdi B Buske yee, Imwue yee dress ye, get yt ready, 


Then the cast on their gownes of grene, 

And tooke theyr bowes each one ; 
And they away to the greeae forrest 

A shooting forth are gone ; 

Until they came to the merry greenwood, 

Where they had gladdest bee, 
There were the ware 1 of a wight 2 yeoman, 

His body leaned to a tree. 

A sword and a dagger he wore by his side, 

Of manye a man the bane ; 3 
And he was clad in his capull hyde 4 

Topp and tayll and mayne. 5 

Stand you still, master, quoth Litle 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 I farley 6 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 oowe, 

John, I thy head wold breake. 

As often wordes they breeden bale, 7 

So they parted Robin and John ; 
And John is gone to Barnesdale : 

The gates 8 he knoweth eche one. 

But when he came to Barnesdale, 

Great heavinesse there hee hadd, 
For he found tow of his owne fellbwes 

Were slain both in a slade. 9 

And Scarlette he was flyinge a-foote 

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

Fast after him is gone. 

1 Wero the ware were'they aware. a Wight lusty. 

Bane the curse. * Capull hyde horse-hide. 6 Mayne mane. 

6 Farley wonder. 1 Breeden bale breed mischief. 

8 Gates ways, or panes. 9 Slade a vallty betteiw* wood*. 


One shoote now I will slioote, quo'/u Juhii, 
With Christ his might aud mayni) ; 

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

Then John bent up his long beude-bowe, 

And felteled him to shoote : 
The bowe was made of a tender boughc, 

And fell down to his foote. 

Woe worth, woe worth thee, wickeJ wood, 

That ere thou grew on a tree ; 
For now this day thou art my bale. 1 

My boote 2 when thou shold bee. 

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

For itt mett one of the sherriffe's menj 
Good William a Trent was slaiue. 

It had bene better of William a Trent 

To have bene abed with sorrowe, 
Than to be that day in the green wood slade 

To meet with Little John's 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 John, 

If itt be dhrist his will. 

Let us leave talking of Litle John, 

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

Where under the leaves he stood. 

Good morrowe, good fellowe, sayd Robin so fayre, 
" Good morrowe, good fellowe," quoth he : 

Methinkes by this bowe thou beares in thy hande 
A good archere thou sholdst bee. 

I am wilfull 3 of my waye, quo 1 the yeman, 

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

Good fellow, He be thy guide. 

1 Bale milchief, or evil. 
1 Bocte advantage, or help. 8 Wilfull wandering from. 


I seeke an outlawe, the slraunger sayd, 

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

Than fortye pound soe good. 

Now come with me, thou wighty yeman, 

And Robin thou sooue shalt see : 
But first let us some pastime find 

Under the greenwood tree. 

First let us some masterye 1 make 

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

Here att some unsett steven. 2 

They cutt them downe two summer shroggs, 3 

That grew both under a breere, 4 
And sett them threescore rood in twaine 

To shoot the prickes 5 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 au archer good, 

But he cold never ahoote soe. 

The second shoote had the wightye yeman, 

He shote within the garlande : 
But Robin ho shott far oetter than hee, 

For he clave the good pricke wande. 7 

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 he, 

Under the leaves of lyne. 8 
Nay by my faith, quoth bolde Robin, 

Till thou have told me thine. 

J Masterye trial of skill. 
a Unsett steven at a time not appointed. 3 Shroggs shittbt. 

4 Breere briar. ' Prickes the mirk to eliooi. at. 

6 Garlnnde the ring wilbin which the pricke, jr mai-lr, was set. 

* Wande pole. 8 Lyno lime, or treea in general. 


I dwell by dale and downe, quoth hee, 
And Eobin to take Ime sworne ; 

And when I am called by my rigUt name 
I am Guye of good Gisbbrne. 

My dwelling is in this wood, sayes Robin, 

By thee I set right nought : 
I am Eobin Hood of Ban.esdale, 

Whom thou so long hast sought. 

He that had neither beene kithe nor kin, 1 
Might have seene a full fayre sight, 

To see how together these yeomen went 
With blades both browne 2 and bright. 

To see how these yeomen together they fought 
Two howres of a summer's day : 

Yett neither Eobin Hood nor sir Guy 
Them fettled to flye away. 

Eobin was reachles 3 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 Eobin Hood, ' thou 
That art both mother and may,' 

I think it was never man's destinye 
To dye before his day. 

Eobin thought on our ladye deere, 

And soone leapt up againe, 
And strait he came with a ' backward ' stroke, 

And he sir Guy hath slayne. 

He took sir Gu^ 's head by the hayre, 
And sticked iti on his bowe's end : 

Thou hast beene a traytor all thy lifie, 
Which thing must have an ende. 

Eobin pulled forth an Irish kniffe, 
And nicked sir Guy in the face, 

That he was never on woman born 
Cold tell whose head it was. 

1 Kithe nor Ian acquaintance nor kindred. 

3 " Brown" is the common epithet for a sword in the old metrical 
romances. 3 Reachles careleii, 


Saies, Lye there, lye there, now sir Guye, 

And with me be not wrothe ; 
If thou have had the worse strokes at my hand, 

Thou shalt have the better clothe. 

Robin did off his gowne of greene, 

And on sir Guy did it throwe, 
Ana hee put on that capull hyde, 

That cladd him topp to toe. 

The bowe, the arrowes, and litle homo, 

Now with me I will beare ; 
For I will away to Barnesdale, 

To see how my men doe fare. 

Robin Hood sett Guye's home to his mouth. 

And a loud blast in it did blow. 
That beheard the sheriffe of Nottingham, 

As he leaned under a lowe. 1 

Hearken, hearken, sayd the sheriffe, 

I heare nowe tydings good, 
For yonder I heare sir Guye's home blowe, 

And he hath slaine Robin Hoode. 

Yonder I heare sir Guye's 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 Guy, 

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 knight's fee : 

But seeing thy asking hath beene soe bad, 
Well granted it shale be. 

When Litle John heard his master speako, 

Well knewe he it was his steven 2 : 
Now shall I be looset, quoth Litle John, 

With Christ his might in heaven. 

* Lowe little Mil. 2 Steven voice. 


Fast Kobin hee hyed him to Little John, 

He thought to loose him belive ; 
The sherifle and all his companye 

Fast after him did drive. 

Stand abacke, stand abacke, sayd Kobin ; 

Why draw you mee soe neere P 
Itt was never the use in our countrye, 

One's shrift 1 another shold heere. 

But Kobin pulled forth an Irysh kniffe, 

And losed John hand and foote, 
And gave him sir Guye's bow into his hand, 

And bade it be his boote. 2 

Then John he took Guye's 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. 


Murdered at Cocklodge, near Thirske, Yorkshire, April 28, 1489, 
by the populace, who regarded him as the promoter of the tax which 
Parliament had granted to Henry VII., for carrying on the war in 
Uretagne. The elegy, addressed to Henry Percy, jthe fifth Earl, was 
written by John Skelton, born about 1460, and who died at West- 
minster, a fugitive from the vengeance of Wolsey, June 2], is 2 a. 
Percy might have found a better specimen of Skelton in " Philip 
Sparrowe," which so delighted the elder D'Israeli, that he compared 
the verses, for elegaace, with those on the " Bird of Lesbia," and for 
playfulness, io the " Vert-Vert" of Cresset. 

1 Shrift confettion. * Boote his help. 


Poeta Skelton Laureatus libellum suum metrice alloquiiur. 

Ad dominum properato meum, mea pagina, Percy, 

Qui Northumbrorum jura patcrna gerit ; 
Ad nututn Celebris tu prona repone leonis, 

Quaeque suo patri tristia justa cano. 
Ast ubi perlegit, dubiam sub mente volutet 

Fortunam. cuncta qua maleflda rotat.^ 
Qui leo sit felix, & Nestoris occupet annos ; 

Ad libitum cujus ipse paratus ero. 


I WATLE, I wepe, I sobbe, I sigh ful sore 

The dedely fate, the dolefulle destenny 
Of him that is gone, alas ! withoute restore, 

Of the blode 1 royall descendinge nobelly ; 

Whos lordshepe doutles was slayne lamentably 
Thorow treson ageyn 2 hym compassyd and wrought ; 
Trew to his prince, in word, in dede, and thought. 

Of hevenly poems, O Clyo, calde by name 
In the college of Musis goddess historiall, 

Adres the to me, whiche am both halt and lame 
In elect uteraunce to make memoryall : 
To the for soccour, to the for helpe I call 

Myne homely rudnes and drighnes to expelle 

With the freshe waters of Eleconys 3 welle. 

Of noble actes auncyently enrolde, 

Of famous princis and lordes of astate, 4 

By thy report ar wonte to be extold, 
Eegistringe trewly every formare date ; 
Of thy bountie after the usuall rate, 

Kyndle in me suche plenty of thy nobles, 5 

Thes sorrowfulle dities that I may shew expres. 

1 The mother of Henry first Earl of Northumberland, was Mary daughter 
ot Henry Earl of Laacuster, whoso father Edmond was second son of King 
Henry III. The mother and wife of the second Earl of Northumberl:-.d 
were both lineal descendants of King Edward III. The Percys also ivero 
lineally descended from the Emperor Charlemagne and the ancient Kings of 
France, by his ancestor Josceline du Lovain (son of Godfrey, Duke of Bra- 
bant), who took the name of Percy on marrying the heiress of that house in 
the reign of Henry II. 

2 Ageyn against. 3 Elecoays TTelicons, 

* Astate estate, high rank, 5 Nobles noltlenett, 


Ill sesous past who hathc Imrcle or scnc 
Of formav writinge by any presidentc 

That vilanc hastarddis 1 in ther furious tene, 2 
Fulfyld with malace of froward entente, 
Confeterd 3 togeder of commoun eoncentc 

Falsly to sle 4 ther raoste singular goode lorde? 

It may be registerde of shameful! recorde. 

So noble a man, so valiaunt lorde and knight, 
Fulfilled with honor, as all the worldo dothe ben ; 5 

At his commaundement, whichc had both day and night 
Knyghtis and squyers, at every season when 
He calde upon them, as menyall houshold men : 

Were no thes eommones uncurteis karlis of kynde 6 

To slo their owne lorde ? God was not in their minde. 

And were not they to blame, I say also, 

That were aboute hym, his owne servants of trust, 

To suffre hym slayn of his mortall fo ? 

Fled away from hym, let hym ly in the dust : 
They bode 7 not till the rekening were discust. 

What shuld I natter ? what shulde I glose 8 or paynt P 

Fy, fy for shame, their harts wer to faint. 

In Englande and Fraunce, which gretly was redouted ; 9 
Of whom both Flaunders and Scotland stode in drede : 

To whome grete 10 astates obeyde and lowttede ; 1! 
A mayny 12 of rude villayns made him for to blede : 
Unkindly they slew hym, that holp them oft at nede : 

He was their bulwark, their paves, 13 md their wall, 

Yet shamfully they slew hym ; that shame mot 14 them befal. 

I say, ye commoners, why wer ye so stark mad ? 
What frantyk frensy fyll 15 in youre brayne ? 

Where was your wit and reson, ye shuld have had ? 
What willfull foly made yow to ryse agayne 10 
Your naturall loi'd? alas ! I can not fayne. 

Ye armed you with will, and left your wit behynd ; 

Well may you be called comones most uukynd. 

1 Hastarddis rash, fiery fellows. - leneiernlh. 

* Confeterd confederated. * Sle slay. 5 Ken Jcnosr. 

6 Karlis of kynde churls ly nature. " I! ->.le alioJc. 

8 Glose get afulte gloss or colour. 9 Kodouted ili-faJtd, 

10 Grete astales persons of great ruiik. 
1J Lowttede bowed. '- .'! 

13 Paves shield. 
15 Fyll -fell. . ne against. 


He was your chyfteyne, your shelde, your clicf defence, 
Iledy to assyst you in every tyme of nede : 

Your worship 1 depended of his excellence : 
Alas ! ye mad men, to far ye did excecle : 
Your hap was unhappy, to ill was your spede : 

What movyd you agayn hym to war or to fight P 

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 lande, 

Demaundyng soche dutyes as nedis most acord 

To the right of his prince which sholdnotbe withstand; 
For whos cause ye slew hym with your awiie hande : 

But had his uobill men done wel that day, 

Ye had not been hable to have saide him nay. 

But ther was fals packinge, 2 or els I am begylde : 
How-be-it the matter was evident and playne, 

For yf they had occupied 3 ther spere and ther shelde, 
This noble man doutles had not be slayue. 
Bot men say they wer lynked with a double chayn, 

And held with the commouns under a cloke, 

Whichc kindeled the wyld fyre that made all this smoke. 

The commouns renyed 4 ther taxes to pay 

Of them demauuded and asked by the kinge ; 

With one voice importune, they playnly said nay : 

They buskt 5 them on a bushment themself in baile 6 to 

bringe : 
Agayne the king's plesure to wrastle or to wringe, 7 

Bluntly as bestis withe boste and with cry 

They saide, they forsede 8 not, nor carede not to dy. 

The noblenes of the northe this valiant lorde and knyght, 
As man that was innocent of trechery and trayne, 

Presed 9 forthc boldly to witstaud the myght, 
And, like marciali 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 fere. 

1 Worship houo'ir. 2 Fals packinge false dealing. 

3 Occupied used. * llenyed rffaned. 

* Buskt them on a bushment prepared, or hied themselves on an am- 

6 Baile h-oulle. 7 Wriuge contend with violenet, 

* Forsede regarded. 9 Presed pressed. 


Baroue, knights, squyers, one and alle, 

Togeder with servaunts of his famuly, 
Turnd their backis, and let ther master fall, 

Of whos [life] they counted not a five ; 

Take up whos wolde for them, they let hym ly. 
Alas ! his golde, his fee, his aunuall rente 
Upon suche a sort 1 was ille bestowde and spent. 

He was envyronde aboute on every syde 

"Withe his onemys, that were stark mad and wode ; 2 

Yet whils he stode he gave them woundes wyde : 

Alas for routhe ! what thouche his mynde were goodc, 
His corage marily, yet ther he shed his bloode ! 

All left alone, alas ! he fawte in vayne ; 

For cruelly amouge them ther he was slayne. 

Alas for pite ! that Percy thus was spylt, 4 

The famous erle of Northumberlande : 
Of knightly prowes the sworde pomel and hylt, 

The myghty lyoun 5 doutted 6 by se and lande ! 

O dolorous chaunce of fortun's fruward hande ! 
What man remembring how shamfully he was slayne, 
From bitter weepinge hymself kan res tray ue ? 

O cruell Mars, thou dcdly god of war ! 
O dolorous teusday, 7 dedicate to thy name, 

When thou shoke thy sworde so noble a man to mar! 
O grounde ungracious, unhappy be thy fame, 
Wniche wert endyed with rede blode of the same ! 

Moste noble erle ! O fowle mysuryd 8 grounde 

Whereon he gat his fynal dedely wounde ! 

O Atropos, of the fatall systers thre, 
Goddes mooste cruell unto the lyf of man, 

All merciles, in the ys no pite ! 

O homycide, whiche sleest 9 all that thou kan, 
So forcibly upon this erle thow ran, 

That with thy sworde enharpid of mortall dredc, 10 

Thou kit 11 asonder his perfight vitall threde ! 

1 Sort set, or band. * ~\,\'ode frantic. 

8 Goode good. 4 Spyltdqtrojfcd. 

x 5 Alluding to his crest and support ers. 

6 Donttcd dread. .1. " TKC.~ 

* MysiiryJ " misused ; applied to a Lad purpose." 1 : . '' .- lee t slu 
10 Enharpid, &c. huuked, or eJyed viiih mortal dread. " Kit cut. 


My wordis unpullyslit be nakide and playne, 
Of aureat 1 poems they want ellumynynge ; 2 

Bot by them to kuoulege ye may attayne 
Of this lordis dethe and of his murdrynge, 
Which whils he lyvyd had fuyson 3 of every thing, 

Of knights, of squyers, chef lord of toure and toune, 

Tyl fykkill 4 fortune began on hym to frowne. 

Paregall 5 to dukis, with kings he myght compare, 
Surmountinge in honor all erls he did excede, 

To all cuntreis aboute hym reporte me 6 1 dare. 
Lyke to Eneas benygne in worde and dede, 
Valiaunt as Hector in every marciall nede, 

Provydent, discrete, circumspect, and wyse, 

Tyll the chaunce ran agyne him of fortune's duble dyse. 

What nedethe me for to extoll his fame 

With my rude pen enkaukerd all with rust P 

Whos noble actis shew worsheply 7 his name, 
Transcendyng far myne homely muse, that must 
Yet sumwhat wright supprisid^ with hartly lust, 9 

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, 

Trey tory 10 and treson he bannesht out of syght, 
With trowth to medle was all his hole 11 delyght, 

As all his kuntrey kan testefy the same : 

To slo suche a lord, alas, it was grete shame. 

If the hole quere 12 of the musis nyne 

In me all onely wer sett and comprisyde, 
Eubrethed with the blast of influence dyvyne, 

As perfightly as could be thought or devysyd ; 

To me also allthouche it were promysyde 
Of laureat Phebus holy the eloquence, 
All were too litill for his magnyficence. 

1 Aureat golden. 2 Ellumynynge emlellithing. 

3 Fuyson abundance. * Fykkill -fickle. 

4 Paregall equal. Reporte rue refer me. 

' Worsneply honourably. 8 Supprisid overpowered. 

9 Lust liking, desire. 10 Treytory treachery. 

11 Hole whole. u Hole quere whole quire. 


yonge lyou, bot tender yet of age, 1 
Grow and encrese, remembre thyn astate. 

God the assyst unto thyn herytage, 

And geve the grace to be more fortunate, 
Agayne rebellyouns arme to make debate ; 
And, as the lyoune, wliiche is of bestis kinge, 
Unto thy subjectis be kurteis and benyngne. 

1 pray God sende the prosperous lyf and long, 
Stabille thy mynde constant to be and fast, 

Right to mayntein, and to resist all \vronge : 
All flattringe faytors 2 abhor, and from the cast, 
Of foule detraction God kepc the from the blast i 
Let double delinge in the have no place, 
And be not light of credence in no case. 

Wythe hevy chere, 3 with dolorous hart and mynd, 
Eche man may sorow in his inward thought 

Thys lorde's death, whose pere is hard to fynd, 
Allgyf 4 Englond and Fraunce were thorow saught. 
Al kings, all princes, all dukes, well they ought 

Both temporall and spirituall for to complayne 

This noble man, that crewelly was slayue. 

More specially barons, and those knygtes bold, 
And all other gentilmen with hym enterteynd 

In fee, as menyall men of his housold, 
Whom he as lord worsheply manteyhd : 
To sorow full weping they ought to be constreynd, 

As oft as thei call to ther remembraunce, 

Of ther good lord the fate and dedely chaunce. 

O perlese Prince of hevyn emperyalle, 

That with one worde formed al thing of noughte ; 

Hevyn, hell, and erth obey unto thi kail ; 

"Which to thy resemblance wondersly hast wrought 
All mankynd, whom thou full dere hast boght, 

With thy blode precious our finaunce 5 thpu dyd pay, 

And us redemed, from the fendys pray : 6 

1 The earl's son was eleven years old at his father's death. 

* Faytors deceit-era, diesemblere. 

* Chere cotintenuiice, or, in this place, spirit. 

* Allfjyi alt/tough. 

* Finaunce -fine. 

6 Feudys yxuyprey of the fiends. 


To the pray we, as Prince incomperable, 
As tbou art of mercy and pite the well, 

Thou bringe unto thy joye etermynable 1 

The sowle of this lorde from all daunger of heli, 
In endles blis 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 dere, 

To sorowfull 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 salvacioii. 

In joy triumphaunt the hevenly yerarchy, 

With all the hole sorte 2 of that glorious place, 

His soule mot 3 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. 


STEPHEN HAWES was born in Suffolk, but the dates of his birth 
and of his death have not been discovered. From Oxford he went 
to France, and afterwards became Groom of the Privy Chamber to 
Henry VII. AVarton calls him the only time poet of that reign. His 
" Pastime of Pleasure," written in 1506, did not issue from the press 
until 1517, and re-appeared in 1554 and the following year. It then 
dropped out of sight except on the ballad-monger's stall until 
Southey reprinted the Poem in 1831. The following stanzas are taken 
from Chapters III. and IV. : " How Fame departed from Graunde 
Amoure, and left him with Governance and Grace, and how he went to 
the Tower of Doctrine." 

I LOKED about, and saw a craggy roche, 
Farre in the west neare to the element, 

And as I dyd then unto it approche, 
Upon the toppe I sawe refulgent 
The royal tower of MOBALL DOCUMENT, 

Made of line copper with turrettes fayre and hye, 

Which against Phebus shone soe inarveylously, 

1 Etermynable interminable. 
* Hole sorte whole company. 3 Mot may. 


That for the very perfect biyghtnes 

What of the tower, and of the cleave sunne, 

I could nothyng behold the goodlines 

Of that palaice, whereas Doctrine did wonne :* 
Tyll at the last, with raysty wyndes donne, 

The radiant brightnes of golden Phebus 

Auster gan cover with clowde tenebrus. 2 

Then to the tower I drewe, nere and nere, 

And often mused of the great hyghnes 
Of the craggy rocke, which quadrant did appeare : 3 

But the fayre tower, (so much of ryches 

"Was all about,) sexangled doubtles ; 
Gargeyld 4 with grayhoundes, and with many lyons, 
Made of fyne golde ; with divers sundry dragons. 5 

The little turrets with ymages of golde 6 

Aboxit was set, whiche with the wynde aye moved 

With propre vices," that I did well beholde 
About the tower, in sundry wyse they hoved 3 
With goodly pypes, in their mouthes ituned, 9 

That with the wynd they pyped a daunce 

Iclipped 10 Amour de la liault plesaunce. 

The toure was great of marveylous wydnes, 
To whyche ther was no way to passe but one, 

Into the toure for to have an intres : n 

A grece 12 there was ychesyld 13 all of stone 
Out of the rocke, on whyche men dyd gone 

Up to the toure, and in lykew}^se dyd I 

Wyth bothe the Grayhoundes in my company : 14 

Tyll that I came unto a ryall ls gate, 

Where I sawe stondynge 16 the goodly Portres, 

Whyche axed me, from whence I came a-late ; 
To whome I gan in every thynge expresse 
All myne adventure, chaunce, and busynesse, 

And eke my name ; I tolde her every dell. 17 

When she herde this she lyked me right well. 

1 Whereas Doctrine, &c. where doctrine did dtcell. 

* Tenebrus dark cloud. 3 Quadrant: fovr-fgunrc. 

* From Gargouille, the spout of a gutter. The tower was adorned with 
spouts, cut in the figures of greyhounds, lions, &c. 

5 Greyhounds, lions, dragons, were at that time the royal supporters. 

6 " Our Author here paints from the life. An excessive agglomeration of 
turrets, with their fans, is one of the most characl eristic marks oi the florid 
mode of architecture, which was now almost at its height. See viexrs of 
the palaces of Nonesuch and Richmond." Warton's lliit. Enc/l. Poiti-y. 
ii. 407. 7 Vices devices. 8 Hoved hung moving. 

9 Ituned tuned. 10 Iclipped called. u Intres eitti\n,i-t. 

" A grece a flight of steps. > 3 Ychesyld ehisMtd. 

i* This alludes to a former part of the poem. 

10 Stondynge standing. 


Her name, she saycl, was called COUNTENAUNCE ; 
Into the ' base ' courte 1 she dyd me then lede, 

Where was a fountayne depured 2 of plesance, 
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 paries dyd spoute. 

Of whyche there flowed foure ryvers ryght clere ; 
Sweter than Nylus or Ganges was ther odoure ; 

Tygrys or Eufrates unto them no pere : 3 
I dyd then taste the aromatyke lycoure, 
Fragraunt of fume, and swete as any floure ; 

And in my mouthe it had a marveylous scent 

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 crystal], 
And in the roufe on hye over all 

Of golde was made a ryght crafty vyne ; 

Instede of grapes the rubies there did shyne. 

The flore was paved with berall clarified, 

With pillers made of stones precious, 
Like a place of pleasure so gayely glorified, 

It myght be 1 called a palaice glorious, 

So muche delectable and solacious ; 4 
The hall was hanged hye and circuler 
With cloth of arras in the rychest manner. 6 

That treated well of a ful noble story, 

Of the doubty waye to the Tower Perillous ; 

Howe a noble knyght should wynne the victory 
Of many a serpente foule and odious. 

1 Base courte lotver court. 2 Depured purified. 

3 Pere equal. 4 Solacious affording recreation, 

Warton remarks that the tapestry is injudiciously "placed in the begin- 
ning of the piece, because it precludes expectation by forestalling all the 
future incidents" in the hero's expedition to the Tower of La Bell Puvell. 


Is printed from a fragment in the folio MS., which, in the opiubn of 
Scott, " goes far to show that the tale derives all its beauties from the 
poetical powers" of Percy. " Child" was a title sometimes given to a 

OKypnder hill a castle standes, 

With \valles and towres bedight, 1 
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 ! he beheld fair Emmeline's 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 Emmeline's page 

Come climbing up the hille. 

Nowe Christe thee save, thou little foot-page, 

Now Christe thee save and see ! 
Oh telle me h:;w does thy ladye gaye, 

And what mey thy tyding^s bee F 

My lady shee is all woe-begone, 

And the teares they falle from her eyne ; 

And aye she laments the deadlye feude 
Betweene 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 golde, 

The last boone thou mayst have, 
And biddes thee weare it for her sab.', 

Whan she is layde in grave. 

For, ah ! her gentle heart is broke. 

And in grave sooue must shee bee, 
Sith her father hath chose her a new new lore, 

And forbidde her to think of thee. 


Her father hath brought her a carlish 1 knight, 

Sir John of the north countraye, 
And within three dayes shee must him wedde, 

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 o\vne true 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 bowre-windoTe, 

Betide me weale or woe. 

The boye he tripped, the boye he ranne, 

He neither stint ne stayd 
Untill he came to fair Emmeline's bowre, 

Whan kneeling downe he sayd : 

O ladye, I've been with thy own true love, 

And he greets thee well by mee ; 
This night will he bee at thy bowre-wiudowe, 

And dye, or sette thee free. 

Nowe daye was gone, and night was come, 

And all was fast asleepe, 
All save the ladye Emmeline, 

Who sate in her bowre to weepe : 

And soone shee heard her true love's voice 

Lowe whispering at the walle, 
Awake, awake, my deare ladye, 

Tis I thy true love call. 

Awake, awake, my ladye deare, 

Come, mount this faire palfraye : 2 
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. 

ladye, thou with a knight so true 
Mayst safelye wend alone, 

To my ladye mother I will thee bringe, 
Where marriage shall make us one. 

1 Carlish churlish. 2 Palfraye saddle-horte. 


" 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 P 

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 heart's bloode." 

ladye, wert 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 Emmeline sighed, fair Emmeline wept, 

And aye her heart was woe : 
At length he seized her lillye-white hand, 

And downe the ladder he drewe : 

And thrice he clasped her to his breste, 

And kist her tenderlie : 
The teares that felle from her fair eyes 

Ranne like the fountayne free. 

Hee mounted himselfe on his steede so tallo, 

And her on a fair palfraye, 
And slung his bugle about his necke, 

And roundlye they rode awaye. 

All this bcheard 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 Elle 

To doe the deecle of shame. 

The baron he woke, the baron he rose, 
And called his merrye men all : 

" And come thou forth, Sir John the knighte, 
Thy ladye is carried to thrall." 

"Her lover, he put his home to his mouth, 
And blew bvth loud and shrill." 


Faire Emmeline scant had ridden a mile, 

A mile forth of the towne, 
When she was aware of her father's men 

Come galloping over the downe : 

And foremost came the carlish knight, 

Sir John of the north countraye : 
" Nowe stop, nowe stop, thou false traitoure 

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 sonna 

To carrye her hence to scorne." 

Nowe loud thou lyest. Sir John the knight, 

Nowe thou doest lye of mee ; 
A knight mee gott, and a ladye me bore, 

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 trye this arduous deede- 

But light now downe, my deare ladye, 

Light downe, and hold my horse ; 
While I and this discourteous knight 

Doe trye our valour's force. 

Fair Emmeline sighed, fair Emmeline wept, 

And aye her heart was woe, 
While twixt her love and the carlish knight 

Past many a baleful blowe. 

The Child of Elle hee fought soe well, 

As his weapon he waved amaine, 
That soone he had slaine the carlish knight, 

And layd him upon the plaine. 

And nowe the baron and all his men 

Full fast approached nye : 
Ah ! what may ladye Emmeline doc P 

Tvrere nowe no boote 1 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. 

1 No boote no advantage, 


" Nowe hold thy hand, thou bold baron, 

I pray thee )>.(>Id tliy hand, 
Nor ruthless rend t\vo gentle hearts 

Fast knit iu 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 shee may be mine, 

And blesse a faithfull paire : 
My lands and livings are not small, 

My house and lineage faire : 

My mother she was an earl's daughter, 

And a noble knight my sire " 
The baron he frowned, and turn'd aw;iy 

With mickle dole and ire. 

Fair Emmeline sighed, faire Emmeline wept, 

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 j oye ; 
O let not then your harsh resolves 

Your Emmeline destroye. 

The baron he stroakt his dark-brown cheeke, 

And turned his heade asyde ; 
To whipe awaye 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 grounde, 

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 wrongdc 

In dayes of youthful pride ; 
Do thou the injury e 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. 



PUBLISHED at Glasgow (1755) by Sir David Dalrymple, but 
improved and enlarged by Percy from a fragment, in his folio MS., 
entitled " Captain Adam Carre," and written in the English idiom. 
Whether the author was English or Scotch, the difference originally 
was not great. The English ballads are generally of the North 
of England, while the Scottish are of the South of Scotland. Accord- 
ingly, the country of Ballad-singers was sometimes subject to one 
Crown, and sometimes to another; and most frequently to neither. 
The scene of the finest Scottish songs was laid within fifty miles of 
England, which is, indeed, all poetic ground, green hills, remains of 
woods, and clear brooks. The pastoral scenes continue, but the rude 
chivalry of former ages is preserved only in the ruins of the castles 
where the more daring and successful robbers resided. The house, or 
castle, of the Rodes stood about a measured mile south from Duns, ic 
Berwickshire. The Gordons were anciently seated in the sama 
county. The two villages of East and West Gordon lie about ten miles 
from the castle of the Rodes. The subject of the ballad was thf 
burning of the house of Tavoy (Towie), belonging to Alexander Forbesv 
by Adam Gordon, deputy of his brother, the Earl of Huntiey (1571)1 
when the lady, the children, and the servants " twenty-seven per- 
sons" perished in the flames. Another account increases the victims 
to thirty-seven. Captain Car, or Ker, was a distinguished officer, 
" who had been trained in the wars of Flanders." 

IT fell about the Martinmas, 

Quhen 1 the wind blew shril and cauld, 

Said Edoni o' Gordon to his men ; 
We maun draw till a hauld. 

And quhat 2 a hauld sail we draw till, 

My mirry men and me ? 
"We wul gae to the house o' the Kode., 

To see that fair ladie, 

CJuhat 7iaf. 


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. 

see ze 1 nat, my merry men a' P 

see ze nat quhat I see ? 
]\fethinks I see a host of men : 

1 marveil quha they be. 

She weend 2 it had been hir luvely lordj 

As he cam ryding hame ; 
It was the traitor Edom o' Gordon, 

Quha reckt nae sin nor shame. 

She had nae sooner buskit 3 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, 

Sa 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 yates all locked fast, 
He fell into a rage of wrath, 

And his look was all aghast. 

Cum doun to rae, ze lady gay, . 

Cum doun, cum doun to me : 
This night sail ye lig 4 within mine armea, 

To-morrow my bride sail be. 

1 winnae 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 zour house, ze lady fair, 

Give owre zour house to me, 
Or I sail brenn 5 yoursel therein, 

Bot and zour babies three. 

Ze ye. 2 Weend thought. Buskit <ZrM4, 

* lag lie, s Brenn burn. 


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. 1 

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 butcher's hart, 

And only raz'd his knee. 

Set fire to the house, quo' fals Gordon, 

All wood wi' dule 2 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 well zour fee ; 
Quhy pu' ze out the ground-wa' stane, 

Lets in the reek 3 to me P 

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 me weil my hire, lady ; 

Ze paid me weil my fee ! 
But now I'm Edom o' Gordon's man, 

Maun either doe or die. 

than bespaik hir little son, 
Sate on the nurse's knee : 

Sayes, 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 4 dear, 

She was baith jimp 5 and sma : 
O row me in a pair o' sheits, 

And tow 6 me owre the wa'. 

i Brie suffer. Dule grief. 3 Keek tmolee. 

Dochter daughter, 5 Jimp slender. 6 Tow let dnion. 

V 2 


They rowd hir in a pair o' slicits, 

And towd hir owre the wa' : 
But on the point of Gordon's 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 1 her face was wan ! 

He sayd, Ze are the first that eir 

1 wisht alive again. 

He turnd hir owre and owre againe, 

gin her skiu was whyte ! 

1 might ha spared that bonnie face 
To hae been sum man's delyte. 

Busk and boun, 2 my merry men a', 

For ill dooms I doe guess ; 
I cannae luik in that bonnie face, 

As it lyes on the grass. 

Thame 3 luiks to freits, 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 4 blew, 

And said, Awa', awa' ; 
This house o' the Kodes is a' in flame, 

1 hauld it time to ga'. 

O then bespyed hir ain dear lord, 

As hee cam owr the lee ; 
He sied his castle all in blaze 

Sa far as he could see. 

1 O gin, fyc. A Scottish idiom to express admiration. 

2 Busk and boun make ready to go. 

* Tham, <fcc. 2 hem that look after omens, ill-luck will folia?, 

* fougij Ivqlf, 


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, my wighty men, 

Sa fast as ze can drie ; l 
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, 2 
But eir the foremost could get up, 

Baith lady and babes were brent. 3 

He wrang his hands, he rent his hair, 

And wept in teenefu' 4 muid : 
O traitors, for this cruel deid 

Ze sail weep teirs o' bluid. 

And after the Gordon he is gane, 

So fast as he might drie ; 
And soon i' the Gordon's foul hartis bluid 

He's wrokeri 5 his dear ladie. 



WERE three noted outlaws whose skill in archery made them as 
famous in the North of England as Robin Hood and his fellows were 
in the midland counties. Their home was in the forest of Englewood, 
not far from Carlisle. They are thought to have lived before Robin 
Hood. Dr. Rimbault quotes a passage from Mr. Hunter's " New 
Illustrations of Shakespeare " concerning one Adam Bell, to whom 
Henry IV., in the seventh year of his reign, " granted an annuity of 
41. 10s., issuing out of the fee-farm of Clipston, in the forest of Sher- 
wood, together with the profits and advantages of the vesture and her- 
bage of the garden called the Halgarth, in which the manor-house of 
Clipston is situated." Since Sherwood is associated with our Ballad- 
poetry, and the name of Adam Bell is uncommon, the historical foun- 

1 Drie as ye can endure. * Bent over the coarse yraxs, 

8 Brent burnt. 
* sorrowful. 5 Wroken revenged. 


elation of the poem is rendered probable; and the probability is increased 
by the discovery of Adam Bell's desertion to the Scots, who were the 
king's enemies. His treachery occasioned the resumption of the grant. 
The fame of these Northern bowmen is shown by Shakespeare's allusion, 
in " Much Ado about Nothing," where Benedict confirms his protesta- 
tion against falling in love : " 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." Percy tells us that "the Bells were noted rogues 
in the North so late as the time of Queen Elizabeth." 


MEET it was in the grene forest 

Amonge the leves 1 grene, 
Wheras 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. 

The one of them hight Adam Bel, 
The other Clym of the Clough ; 2 

The thyrd was William of Cloudesly, 
An archer good ynough. 

They were outlawed for venyson, 

These yemen everychone ; 3 
They swore them brethren upon a day, 

To Englyshe wood for to gone. 

Now lith and lysten, gentylmen, 
That of myrthes loveth to here : 4 

Two of them were single men, 
The third had a wedded fere. 5 

Wyllyam was the wedded man, 
Muche more than was hys care : 

He sayde to hys brethren upon a day, 
To Carleile he would fare, 6 

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 : 

1 Leves leaves. 2 Clym of the Clough Clement nftlie Cl\f. 

3 Everychone everyone. * Here 7izr. 

8 Fere K i/K c Fare-^o. 


For if ye go to Carlile, brother, 
And from thys wylde wode 1 wende, 

If that the justice may you take, 
Your lyfe were at an ende. 

If that I come not to-morowe, brother, 

By pryme 2 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 3 let in thyne owne husbande, 

Wyllyam of Cloudeslee. 

Alas ! then sayd fayre Alyce, 

And syghed wonderous sore, 
Thys place hath ben besette 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 charytye 

More than seven yere. 

Up she rose, and forth shee goes, 

Evill mote 4 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. 

1 Wode wende wood depart, * Pryme daybreak, 

8 Lyghtly easily. * Mote might. 


Thereof the justice was full fayne, 

And so was the shirife also : 
Thou shalt not trauaile hither, dame, for nought, 

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 1 her doune agayne. 

They raysed the towne of mery Carleile 

In all the haste they can ; 
And came thronging to Wyllyame's house, 

As fast as they might gone. 

There they besette that good yem&n 

Round about on every syde : 
Wyllyam hearde great noyse of folkes, 

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. 2 

Alas ! treason, cryed Alyce, 

Ever wo may thou be ! 
Goe into my chamber, my husband, she sayd, 

Swete Wyllyam of Cloudeslee. 

He 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 3 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 srnot the justise on the brest, 

That hys arowc 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. 

1 Couched lay her. * Route company. 

3 Pollaxe a heavy halberd. 


Yelde the Cloudesle, said the justise, 
And thy bowe and thy arrowes the fro. 1 

'A' curse on hys hart, sayd fair Alyce, 
That my husband councelleth so. 

Set fyre on the house, said the sherife, 

Syth it wyll no better be, 
And brenne 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 wyndow, 

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 breiit and fell upon 

Good Wyllyam of Cloudesle : 
Than was he a wofull man, and sayde, 

Thys is a cowarde's death to me. 

Leever had I, sayde Wyllyam, 

With my sworde in the route to renne, 2 

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 prece, 3 

He smot downe many a man. 

There myght no man abyde hys stroakes, 

So fersly 4 on them he ran : 
Then they threw wyndowes and dores on him, 

And so toke that good yeman. 

1 The tto from tkee. * Renne run. 

* In prece in crowd. * i'ersly -fiercely. 


There they hym bounde both hand and fote, 
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 sherifc, 

Now shal I for thee make ;' 
And the gates of Carleil 1 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, 
And commaunded to be shut full close 

Lightile 2 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-heard, 

And kept rayre Alyce's 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 3 yemen 
Shortly and anone. 

Alas ! then sayde the lytle boye, 

Ye tary here all too longe ; 
Cloudeslee is taken, and dampned 4 to death, 

And readye for to honge. 5 

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. 

* Carleil Carlisle. 2 LightilS quickly. 3 Wightye Z<y. 

* Dampned condemned. 5 Honge hang. 


He myght have dwelt in grene fordste, 

Under the shadowes greene, 
And have kepte both hym and us att reste, 

Out of ail trouble and teene. 1 

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 yeomen, 

Tarry we no longer here ; 
We shall hym borowe 2 by God his grace, 

Though we buy itt full dere. 

To Caerleil wente these bold yeinen, 

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 kinge's scale ; 

I holde the porter no clerke. 4 

Then Adam Bell bete on the gates 

With strokes great and stronge : 
The porter marveiled, who was therat, 

And to the gates he thronge. 5 

1 Teene grief. ~ Borowe redeem. 

1 Untyll unto. * Clerke scholar. * Thronge hatend. 


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 hyra that dyed on a tre, 
Tyll a false thefe be hanged, 

Called Wyllyam of Cloudesld. 

Then spake the good yeman Clym of the Clough, 

And swore by Mary fre, 
And if that we stande long wythout, 

Lyke a thefe hanged shalt thou be. 

Lo ! here we have the kynge's seale : 

What, Lurden, 1 art thou wode ? 2 
The porter weened 3 it had ben so, 

And lyghtly dyd off hys hode. 4 

Welcome is my lorde's seale, 5 he saicle ; 

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, 

Kyght wel then shoulde we spede, 
Then might we come out wel ynough 

When we se 6 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. 

1 Lurden sluggard. 2 Wode mad. 

3 Weened thought. * Hode hood. 

5 Calais, or Rouen, was taken from the English by showing the governor, 
who could not read, a letter with the king's seal, which was all he looked at. 
6 See time and need. 


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, 1 

The markett place in mery Carleile 
They beset that stound. 2 

And, as they loked them besyde, 
A paire of new galowes ' they ' see, 

And the justice with a quest 3 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, 
Cloudeslee's clothes hee shold have, 

To take the measure of that yeman, 
Therafter to make hys grave. 

I have sene as great mervaile, said Cloudesle, 

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 Cloudesld cast his eyen asyde, 

And saw hys ' brethren twaine ' 
At a corner of the market place, 

Redy the justice for to slaine. 

1 So Ascham, in his "Toxophilus," gives a precept: "Thestringe must be 
rpunde" (p. 149, ed. 1761); otherwise we may conclude, from mechanical prin- 
ciples, the arrow will not fly true, 

* Stound hqur, * Quest k!i><rtf. 


I se comfort, sayd Cloudesle, 

Yet hope I well to fare, 
If I might have my handes at wyll 

Byght lytle wolde I care. 

Then spake good Adam Bell 
To Clym of the Clough so free, 

Brother, se you marke the justyce wcl ; 
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 sheryfe, 

That both theyr sides gan blede. 

All men voyded, 1 that them stode nye, 
When the justice fell to the grounde, 

And the sherife nye hym by ; 
Eyther had his deathe's wounde. 

All the citezens fast gan flye, 

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. 

i Voyded went away. 


But when their arrowes were all gon, 

Men preced 1 to them full fast, 
They drew theyr swordds 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 2 in Carleil blowcn, 
And the belles backward dyd ryng, 

Many a woman sayde, Alas ! 
And many theyr haudes 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, 

With a pollaxe in hys hancle ; 
Many a strong man wyth him was, 

There in that stowre 3 to stande. 

The mayre smot at Cloudeslee with his bil, 

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. 4 

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, 5 
And all that letteth any good yeman 

To come and comfort his wyfe. 

1 Preced -pressed. 

* Outhome is an old term signifying the calling forth of subjects to arms bj 
t)>e sound of a horn. 
Stowre-; -fight, * Abraide abroad. s This is spoken ironically. 


Thus be these good yeman eon to the wod. 

As lyglitly as lefe on lynde ; l 
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. 

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. 2 

They set them downe, and made good choi c., 

And eate and dranke full well. 
A second FY.T 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 wepo, 

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 with hys dere brethren, 
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, 3 

He was ware of his wife, and chyldren three, 
Pull wo in harte and mynde. 

Welcome, wyfe, then sayde Wyllyam, 

Under ' this ' trusti tre : 

. I had wende 4 yesterday, by swete sayut John, 
Thou sholdest me never ' have' se. 

* Meynye company. 

*Wendc th^ugkt. 


" Now well is me that ye be here, 

My harte is out of wo." 
Dame, he sayde, be mery and glad, 

And thanke my brethren two. 

Ilerof to speak e, 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, 1 

The best trat they cold se. 

Have here the best, Alyce, my wyfe, 

Sayde Wyllyam of Cloudeslye ; 
33y 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, 2 
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 might ' he,' 3 
Tyll they came to the kynge's pallace, 

Where they woulde nedes be. 

And whan they came to the kynge's courto, 

Unto the pallace gate, 
Of no man wold they aske no leave, 

But boldly went in therat. 

1 A fat hart. 
* \Pvh<: u'.cn lease venly. * lie Ate, batten, 



They preced prestly 1 into the hall, 

Of no man had they dreadc : 
The porter came after, and dyd them call, 

And with them began to chyde. 

The usher sayde, Yemen, what wold ye have P 

I pray you tell to me : 
You myght thus make offycers shent : 2 

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, dim of the dough, 

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 avowe, 
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, 
Insomuche as ' frely ' we be to you come, 

' As frely' we may fro you passe, 

1 Precea prestly -pressed quickly. * Shent rf 


With such weapons, as we have here, 

Tyll we be out of your place ; 
And yf we lyve this iiundreth yere, 

"We wyll aske you no grace. 

Ye speake proudly, sayd the kynge ; 

Ye shall be hanged all thre. 
That were great pitye, then sayd the quene, 

If any grace myght be. 

My lorde, whan I came fyrst into this lande 

To be your wedded wyfe, 
The fyrst boone that I wold aske, 

Ye would graunt it me belyfe : l 

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 thre. 

Ye myght have asked towres, and towncs, 

Parkes and forestes plente. . . 
None soe pleasant to my pay, 2 shee sayd ; 

Nor none so lefe 3 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 queue was a glad woman, 

And sayde, Lord, gramarcy ; 4 
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, 5 
There came messengers out of the north 

With letters to our kyng. 

1 Belyfe Immediately. * Pay liking, * Lefe dear. 

1 Gramarcy (grand-mercie) I thank you. * L>ssj-uge lying. 

Q 2 


And whan the came before the kynge, 
They knelt downe on theyr kne ; 

And sayd. Lord, your officers grete you well. 
Of Carleile in the north cuntre. 

How faretli 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 rewtli! 1 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 2 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 : 

F}-rst 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 thebedyls both, 
And the sergeauntcs of the law, 

And forty fosters of the fe, 3 
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. 

1 Ecwth pity. 2 Porthynketh reptnfetk, 

8 Fosters of *Vr ff.forctters oft\c k'my's demes.'ie*. 


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 1 wyth hym to go : 
I wyll se these felowes shote, he sayd, 

In the north have wrought this wo. 

The kynge's bowmen buske them blyve,* 

And the quene's archers also ; 
So dyd these thre wyghtye yernen ; 

"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 prycke 3 myght stand. 

Then spake Wyllyarn of Cloudesle ; 

By him that for me dyed, 
I hold hym never no good archar, 

That shotetli 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 t\vo hasell roddes 4 

Twenty score paces betwene. 

I hold him an archar, said Cloudesle, 
That yonder wande cleveth in two. 

Here is none suche, sayd the kyng, 
JN"or no man can so do. 

I shall assaye, syr, sayd Cloudesle, 

Or that I farther go. 
Cloudesly with a bearyng 5 arowe 

Clave the wand in two. 

1 Buttes butts to shoot at. 2 BIyve get ready inttantly. 

* Prycke mart. * Hasell roddes hazel rodt. 

* Bearyng either an arrow that carries well, or a whirring arrow. 


Thou art the best archer, then said the king, 

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 1 have promised, said William, 

That I wyll never forsake. 
And there even before the kynge 

In the earth he drove a stake : 

And bound therto his eldest sonne, 
And bad hym stand styll thereat ; 

And turned the childe's 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 meaten, 

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. 

fie prayed the people, that \ver 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, sayde 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 ryde"re. 

And I thyrtene pence a day, said the quene, 

By God, and by my fay ; l 
Come feche thy payment when thou wylt, 

No man shall say the nay. 

Wyllyam, I make the a gentleman 

Of clothyng, and of fe : 
And thy two brethren, yemen of my chambre, 

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 man's 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 2 at his hand. 

So forth be gone these good yemen, 

As fast as they might ' he ;' 3 
And after came and dwelled with the kynge, 

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. Amen. 

faith. 2 Assoyld absolved, 

3 He Ate, hasten. 



THE Grave-digger's soiig in " Hamlet" is taken from three stanzas of 
this poem, though greatly altered and disguised by the- ballad-singers ol 
that age, or by Shakespeare himself, in order to suit the character of a 
clown. The original is preserved among Surrey's rooms, and it 
attributed to Lord Vaux. 

I IOTH that I did love, 

In youth that I thought swcte, 
As time requires : for my behove 1 

Me thinkes they are not mete. 2 

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, 3 

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 the}' 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 ray brow, 

The furrowes in my face, 
Say, Limping age will ' lodge ' him 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 pikeax and a spade, 

And eke a shrowding shete, 

A house of clay for to be made 

For such a guest most mete. 

1 Behove lehoqf. 2 >Ictc meet, ft. 3 Crowch crutch. 


Me thinkes I hcare the clarke, 

That knoles the carefull knell ; 
And bids me leave niy ' wearye' warke. 

Ere nature me compell. 

My kepers 1 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. 


HAMLET (Act ii.) banters Polonius with some scraps of an old Ballr.rl 
which Percy printed, for the first time, from a copy furnished by Mr 

HAVE you not heard, these many years ago, 

i- , , .', / -r to 

Jeptna was judge 01 Israel r 
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 God's will was, 
That great wars there should be, 
And nene should be chosen chief but he. 

1 Alluding, perhaps, to Ecclet. xli. 3. 


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, 
* * * 

That should meet with him then,. 

OS his house, when he should return agen. 

It came to pass, the war was o'er, 
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 affraid ; 
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 there with 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 "Twelfth Night" (Act iv. so. 2) the Clown is introduced singing part 
of the first two stanzas of the following song ; Percy recovered it 
\om a MS. volume which he assigned to the reign of Henry VIII. 


Jolly Eobyn, 
Tell me how thy leman 1 doeth, 

And thou shalt knowe of myn. 

" My lady is unkynde perde." 2 

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. 3 
" 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. 

1 Leman lover, or mistresi, 
* Perde (par Dieu) verily. 3 Torn turn. 



THE Author of this Song, mentioned in " Romeo and Juliet" (Act iv. 
sc. 5), is said to have been Richard Edwards, one of the chief writers 
and framcrs of " The Paradise of Dainty Devices," which appeared in 
157C. lie was born about 1523, and died in the year 15C6. Edwards 
is numbered among the most accomplished men of his age; he was a 
musician, a scholar, and one of the earliest of our dramatic writers 
after the reform of the Stage. 

WHERE gripinge grefes the hart would wounde 
And dolcfulle dumps 1 the mynde oppresse, 

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 joy yt maks our mirthe abounde, 

In woe yt cheres our hevy sprites ; 
Be-strawghted 2 heads relyef hath founde, 

By musicke's pleasaunt swete delightes : 
Our senses all, what shall I say more ? 
Are subjecte unto musick's lore. 

The Gods by musicke have theire prayse ; 

The lyfe, the soul therein dothe joye : 
For, as the Romayne poet sayes, 

In seas, whom pyrats 3 would destroy, 
A dolphin saved from death most sharpc 
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 4 both man and beste doest move, 

What beste ys he, wyll the 5 disprove ? 

1 Dolefulle dumps tad meditations. 

2 Be-strawghted detracted. 3 Pyrats pirates. 

* Thow thou. * What least it he, trill thee t 



Is a story often alluded to by our old dramatic writers. Shake- 
speare ("Romeo and Juliet," Act ii. sc. 1) makes Mercutio say 

' Her ; Venas's) purblind son and heir, 

Young Adam Cupid, he that shot so trim, 
When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid." 

This ballad, the oldest which Percy had seen upon the subject, is 
printed from Eichard Johnson's " Crown Garland of Goulden Roses," 
1C 12, corrected by another copy. 

I BEAD that once in Affrica 

A princely wight 1 did raine, 
Who had to name Cophetua, 

As poets they did faine : 
From nature's 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, 2 

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 means to crave her love, 
And now he seekes which way to proovc 
How he his fancie might remoove, 

And not this beggar wed. 

1 Wight man. 8 Trim exact. 


But Cupid had him so in snare, 
That this poor beggar 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 reste my life ; 
For surely thou slialt 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 knowcs 

When she the king espies. 

The Gods preserve your majesty, 

The beggers all gan cry : 
Vouchsafe to give your charity 

Our children's 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, 1 O king, quoth she : 
With that she made a lowe courtsey ; 

A trim one as I weene. 

I Shakespeare (who alludes to this ballad in his "Love's Labour Lost," Act 
IT. sc. 1) gives the beggar's name Zenelophon, according to all the old editions ; 
but this seems to be a corruption ; for Penelophon, in the text, sounds more 
like the name of a woman. The story of the King and the Beggar is also 
referred to in " King Richard the Second," Act v. sc. 3. 


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 j 1 
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, 2 
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 3 plaine. 

1 Walkt the way tramped the streett. 

* Here the poet addresses himself to his mistrMB, 

1 Sheweth was anciently the plural number. 


The lords they tookc 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. 


SHAKESPEARE (" Othello," Act ii.) quotes a stanza of this Ballad, which 
is here given in the English idiom. The Scottish Song was fim 
printed in Ramsay's " Tea-Table Miscellany." 

THIS winter's 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 ; l 
Pell my wiffe, who loves noe strife, 

She sayd unto me quietlye, 
.Rise up, and save cow Crumbocke's liffe ; 

Man, put thine old cloake about thee. 


Bell, why dost thou flyte 2 ( and scorneP* 
Thou kenst my cloak is very thin : 

Itt is soe bare and overworne 

A cricke 3 he thereon cannot renn : 4 

Then He noe longer borrowe nor lend, 
' Por once He new appareld bee, 

To-morrow He to towne and spend,' 
For He have a new cloake about mee. 


Cow Crunibocke is a very good cowe, 
Shee ha beene alwayes true to the payle, 

Shee has helpt us to butter and cheese, I trow, 
And other things shee will not fayle : 

1 wold be loth to see her pine, 5 

Good husband, councell take of mee, 
It is not for us to go soe fine ; 
Man, take thine old cloake about thee. 

1 Spill come fo harm. 

2 Flyte^-scoW. 3 Cricke any small insect. 

* Rcun ran. s pj ue _ ttane, 



My cloake it was a verry good cloake, 

Itt hath been alwayes true to the weave, 
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 1 as you may sec, 
It will neither hold out wiude nor raine ; 

And lie have a new cloake about mee. 


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 ? 2 

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 Lowne/ 
He was a wight of high renowne, 

And thouse 4 but of a low degree : 
Itt's pride that putts this countrye downe ; 

Man, take thine old cloake about thee. 

1 Sigh clout straining clout. 2 Misken mistake. 

* Lowne ragc*i. * Thouse thou art. 




' Bell my wife slie 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 threape, 1 

Unlesse he first gave oer the plea : 2 
As wee began wee now will leave, 

And lie take mine old cloake about mee. 


PERCY traced Shakespeare's song of the " Willow" (" Othello," Act iv. 

sc. 3) to the following stanzas. Desdemona introduces it in this 

affecting manner : 

" My mother had a maid call'd Barbara : 
She was in love ; and he she lov'd prov'd mad, 
And did forsake her. She had a song of ' Willow, 1 
An old thing 'twas, but it expressed her fortune, 
And she died singing it." 

But Dr. Kimbault considers the ballad to have been written in the 

reign of Charles the Second. " Willow, Willow," was a favourite 

burden for songs in the sixteenth century. 

A POOEE soule sat sighing under a sicamore tree ; 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
With his hand on his bosom, his head on his knee : 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
Sing, O the green e willow shall be my garland. 

He sigh'd in his singing, and after each grone, 

Come willow, &c. 
I am dead to all pleasure, my true-love is gone ; 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland. 

^Vfy love she is turned ; untrue she doth prove : 

O willow, &c. 
She renders me nothing but hate for my lo?e. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

1 Threape argue. 
* P]cz pleading, or controverty. 


O pitty me (cried he), ye lovers, each one ; 

O willow, &c. 
Her heart's hard as marble ; she rues 1 not my mone. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

The cold streams ran by him, his eyes wept apace ; 

O willow, &c. 
The salt tears fell from him, which drowned his face : 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

The mute birds sate by him, made tame by his mones : 

O willow, &c. 
The salt tears fell from him, which softened the stones. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland ! 

Let nobody blame me, her scornes I do prove ; 

O willow, &c. 
She was borne to be faire ; I, to die for her love. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland. 

that beauty should harbour a heart that's so hard ! 
Sing willow, &c. 

My true love rejecting without all regard. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

Let love no more boast him in palace or bower ; 

O willow, &c. 
For women are trothles, 2 and note in an houre. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

But what helps complaining ? In vaine I complaine : 
O willow, &c. 

1 must patiently suffer her scorne and disdain* 
O willow, &c. 

Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

1 Kues pitiei. 8 Trothles-/aWW. 

n 2 


Come, all yon forsaken, and sit down by mo, 

O willow, &c. 
He that 'plaines of liis false love, mine's falser than she. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

The willow wreath weare I, since my love did fleet ; 

O willow, &c. 
A garland for lovers forsaken most meete. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland ! 


LOWE lay'd by my sorrow, begot by disdaine ; 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
Against her too cruell, still still I complame, 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland ! 

O love too injurious, to wound my poor heart ! 

O willow, &c. 
To suffer the triumph, and joy in my smart : 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

O willow, willow, willow ! the willow garland, 

O willow, &c. 
A sign of her falsenesse before me doth stand : 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

As here it doth bid to despair and to dye, 

O willow, &c. 
So hang it, friends, ore me in grave where I lye : 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland. 

In grave where I rest mee, hang this to the view, 

O willow, &c. 
Of all that doe knowe her, to blaze 1 her untrue. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

1 Blaze proclaim. 


With these words engraven, as epitaph meet, 

O willow, &c. 
" Here lyes one, drank poyson for potion most sweet." 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

Though she thus unkindly hath scorned my love, 

O willow, &c. 
And carelesly smiles at the sorrowes I prove; 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

I cannot against her unldudly exclaim, 

O willow, &c. 
Cause once well I loved her, and honoured her name : 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

The name of her sounded so sweete in mine eare, 

O willow, &c. 
It rays'd my heart lightly, the name of my deare ; 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland. 

As then 'twas my comfort, it now is my griefe ; 

O willow, &c. 
It now brings me anguish ; then brought me reliefe. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

Farewell, faire false hearted : plaints end with my breath ! 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

Thou dost loath me, I love t-hee, though cause of my 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
Sing, O the greene willow shall bo my garland. 


THE subject of this ballad, quoted in the second part of " Henry the 
Fourth," Act ii., is taken from the ancient romance of li King Arthur" 
(commonly called " Morte d' Arthur"), being a poetical translation of 
Chapters cviii., cix., ex., Part i., edit. 1634. 

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 Bound Table : 

And he had justs and turnaments, 

Wherto were many prest, 1 
Wherin some knights did far excell 

And eke 2 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 geste, 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, 

Wherto he gave great eare. 

Such wold I find, quoth Lancelott : 
For that cause came I hither. 

Thou seemst, quoth shee, a knight full good, 
And I will bring thee thither. 

Wheras 3 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 : 4 

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 Arthur's court they be, 
And of his Table Kound. 

1 Prest gathered, * Eke aho. 

Wheras where. * Than th en. 


She brought him to a river side, 

And also to a tree, 
Whereon a copper bason hung, 

And many shields to see. 

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 Bound, 

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 cache att other flie. 

They coucht theire speares, (their horses ran, 
As though there had been thunder) 

And strucke them each immidst their shields, 
Wherewith they broke in sunder. 

Their horses' backes brake under them, 

The knights were both astound -, 1 
To avoyd 2 their horses 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. 

1 Astound stunned, or confounded, 
* Avoyd escape from. 


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 Tarquiue, the best knight 

That ever I did know ; 

And like a knight, that I did hate : 

Soe that thou be not hoc, 
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 Arthur's Table Hound j 

King Haud's 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 rashmg ; 

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. 

1 Bashing rending, like the wild boar with hit tuskt. 


This soone Sir Lancelot espyde, 

He leapt upon him then, 
He pull'd him downe upon his knee, 

And rushing 1 off his helm, 

Forthwith he strucke his neoke in two, 

And, when he had soe done, 
From prison threescore knights and four 

Delivered everye one. 


QUOTED in " Twelfth Night," Act ii. sc. 3. Dr. Rimbault found a 
much earlier copy of this song in a rare musical volume of 1601. 

FAEEWELL, dear love ; since thou wilt needs be gone, 
Mine eyes do shew my life is almost done. 
Nay, I will never die, so long as I can spie 
There be many mo, though that she doe goc, 
There be many mo, I fear not : 
Why then let her go, 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 thcro : 
Shall I bid her goe ? what, and if I doe ? 
Shall I bid her goe, and spare not ? 
O no, no, no, I dare uot. 

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. 

1 Bushing tearing off. 


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 repealed, 
If she come no more, shall I die therefore P 
If she come no more, what care I P 
Faith, let her goe, or come, or tarry. 


WAKTON believed Shakespeare to have composed the scene between 
Shy lock and Antonio from this ballad, in which he discovered the 
"nakedness" of an original. The story itself was taken from an Italian 
novel the " Pecorone," written in the fourteenth century. 


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, 1 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 


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 3 she did it call. 

1 Barrow hogge a castrated boar. * Whoard heap. 

s Her cow, &c., seems to have suggested to Shakespeare Shylock's argument 
for usury, taken from Jacob's management of Laban's sheep (" Merchant of 
Venice," Act i.), to which Antonio replies 

" Was this inserted to make interest good ? 
Or are your gold and silver Ewes and rams ? 
SHY. I cannot tell. I make it BBKED AS FAST." 


Within that citie dwelt that time a marchant of great 

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 

Whatsoever he would demand of him, and pledges he 

should have. 
No (quoth the Jew with flearing 1 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 stall be the forfeyture ; of your owne fleshe a 

If you agree, make you the bond, and here is a hundred 


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 

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 


He goes his way ; the day once past Gernutus doth not 

To get a sergiant presently ; and clapt him on the backe : 

1 Flearing laughing. 


And layd him into prison strong, and sued his bond 

withall ; 
And when the judgement day was come, for judgement 

he did call. 

The marchant's friends came thither fast, with many a 

weeping eye, 
For other means they could not find, hut he that day 

must dye. 


"Of the Jew's crueltie ; setting foorth tliemercifulncsseof tlie Judge 
towards the Mai-chant. To the tune of ' Blacke and Yellow.' " 

SOME offered for his hundred crownes five hundred for to 

And some a thousand, two or three, yet still he did denay. 1 

And at the last ten thousand crownes they offered, him to 

Germitus 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 

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 : judgment here : for this it shall 

be tride, 
For I will have my pound of fleshe from under his right 


It grieved all the companic his crueltie to see, 
For neither friend nor foe could helpe but he must spoyled 

The bloudie Jew now ready is with whetted blade in hand, 5 
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. 

1 Denay refute. 

8 The passage in Shakespeare bears so strong a resemblance to this as to 
render it probable that the one suggested the other. Sec Act iv. sc ii. : 
"BASS. Why doit thou xhet thy knife o eaniettly?" &c. 


Sith needs thou wilt lliy forfeit have, which is of flesh a 

pound : 
See that thou shed no drop of bloud, nor yet the man 

confound. 1 

For if thou doe, like murderer, thou here shalt hanged be : 
Likewise of flesh see that thou cut no more than longes 2 
to thee : 

For if thou take either more or lease to the value of a mite, 
Thou shalt be hanged presently, as is both law and right. 

Grernutus now waxfc franticke mad, and wotes 3 not what to 

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 


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 biddeth them fare-well. 
' Then ' all the people prays'd the Lord, that ever this heard 

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 

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 4 that meaneth so to do. 

1 Confound destroy. 
s Longes belongs. 3 Wotes Itnotet, 



THESE beautiful verses are quoted in the " Merry Wives of Windsor" 
(Act iii. sc. 1), and were attributed to Shakespeare during his life; the 
real author is believed to have been Kit Marlowe, to whom Walton 
ascribes them " a smooth song made now at least fifty years ago." 
He adds that the answer to it was composed by Sir Walter Raleigh in 
his younger days. The question has been carefully examined by Mr. 

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 more 
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 becometh dumb, 
And all complain of cares to come. 

The flowers do fade, and wanton field 
To wayward winter reckoning yield : 
A honey tongue, a heart of gall, 
Is fancie's spring, but sorrow's 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, 1 
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. 


Is an old ballad on the same subject as the play of " Titus Andronicug," 
but differs from it in several particulars. Percy considered the play 
to have been improved rather than written by Shakespeare ; and the 
same view has been adopted by some of the poet's editors ; while others 
accept it as a genuine work of his early life. 

You noble minds, and famous martiall 1 wights, 
That in defence of native country fights, 
Give eare to me, that ten yeeres fought for Rome, 
Yet reapt disgrace at my returning home. 

In Home I lived in fame fulle threescore yeeres, 
My name beloved was of all my peeres ; 
Full five and twenty valiant sonnes I had, 
Whose forwarde vertues made their father glad. 

1 Martiall warlike. 


For when Rome's foes their warlike forces bent, 
Against them stille my sonnes and I were sent ; 
Against the Goths full ten yeeres weary warre 
We spent, receiving many a bloudy scarre. 

Just two and twenty of my sonnes were slaine 
Before we did returne to Rome againe : 
Of five and twenty sonnes, I brought but three 
Alive, the stately towers of Rome 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 before. 

The emperour did make this queene his wife, 
Which bred in Rome debate and deadlie strife ; 
The Moore with her two sonnes did growe so proud, 
That none like them in Rome might bee allowd. 

The Moore soe pleas'd this new-made empress' eie, 
That she consented to him secretly e 
For to abuse her husband's marriage bed, 
And soe in time a blackamore she bred. 

Then she, whose thoughts to murder were inclinde, 
Consented with the Moore of bloody minde 
Against myselfe, my kin, and all my friendes, 
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 brighte, 
Which joy'd, and pleased best my aged sight ; 

My deare Lavinia was betrothed than 
To Cesar's sonne, a young and noble man : 
Who in a hunting by the emperour's 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 : 
The cruell Moore did come that way as then 
With my three sonnes, who fell into the den. 

The Moore then fetcht the emperour with speed, 
For to accuse them of that murderous deed ; 
And when my sonnes within the den were found, 
In wrongfull prison they were cast and bound. 


But nowe, behold ! what wounded most my mind, 
The empresse's two sonnea of savage kind 
My daughter ravished without remorse, 
And took away her honour, quite perforce. 

When they had tasted of soe sweete a flowre, 
Fearing this sweete should shortly turne to sowre, 
They cutt her tongue, whereby she could not tell 
How that dishonoure unto her befell. 

Then both her hands they basely cutt off quite, 
Whereby their wickedness she could not write ; 
Nor with her needle on her sampler sowe 
The bloudye workers of her direfull woe. 

My brother Marcus found her in the wood, 
Staining the grasie ground with purple bloud, 
That trickled from her stumpes, and bloudlesse armes : 
Noe tongue at all she had to tell her harmes. 

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 speake, 
With grief mine aged heart began to breake ; 
We spred an heape of sand upon the ground, 
Whereby those bloudy tyrants out we found. 

For with a staffe, without the helpe of hand, 
She writt these wordes upon the plat of sand : 
" The lustfull sonnes of the proud empere'sse 
Are doers of this hateful wickednesse." 

I tore the milk-white hairs from off mine head, 
I curst the houre, wherein I first was bred, 
I wisht this hand, that fought for countrie's fame, 
In cradle rockt, had first been stroken 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 speede, 
Whereat I grieved not to see it bleed, 
But for my sonnes would willingly impart, 
And for their ransome send my bleeding heart. 


But as my life did linger thus in paine, 
They sent to me my bootlesse hand againe, 
And therewithal the heades of my three sonnes, 
Which filld my dying heart with fresher moanes. 

Then past reliefe I upp and downe did goe, 
And with my tears writ in the dust my woe : 
I shot my arrowes 1 towards heaven hie, 
And for revenge to hell did often crye. 

The empresse then, thinking that I was mad, 
Like Furies she and both her sonnes were clad, 
(She nam'd Revenge, and Rape and Murder they) 
To undermine and heare what I would say. 

I fed their foolish veines 2 a certaine space, 
Untill my friendes did find a secret place, 
Where both her sonnes unto a post were bound, 
And just revenge in cruell sort was found. 

I cut their throates, my daughter held the pan 
Betwixt her stumpes, wherein the bloud it ran : 
And then I ground their bones to powder small, 
And made a paste for pyes streight therewithall. 

Then with their fleshe I made two mighty pyes, 
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 knife, 
And stabb'd the emperour immediatelie, 
And then myselfe : even soe did Titus die. 

Then this revenge against the Moore was found, 
Alive they sett him halfe into the ground, 
Whereas he stood untill such time he starv'd, 
And soe God send all murderers may be serv'd. 

1 If the ballad were written before the play, I should suppose this to be only 
a metaphorical expression, taken from that in the Ptalms " They shoot out 
their arrows, even bitter words." 

* . e. encouraged them in their foolish humours, or fancies. 



THE first stanza of this sonnet is in " Measure for Measure" (Act iv. 
BC. 1); but the complete song is given in the " Hollo" of Beaumont 
and Fletcher: the authorship is therefore doubtful. 

TAKE, oh take those lips away, 
That so sweetly e were fors \vorne ; 

And those eyes, the breake of day, 
Lights, that do misleade the morne : 

But my kisses bring againe, 

Scales 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 growc 
Are of those that April weares : 

But first set my poor heart free, 

Bound in those icy chains by thee. 


The date of this Ballad is not ascertained, and we are left in doubt 
whether Shakespeare copied the Ballad, or whether it was suggested 
by his tragedy. The resemblance is remarkable, especially in the hint 
of King Lear's madness, which the old Chronicles do not mention. 
The ballad and the play coincide also in the cruelty of the daughters, 
and in the death of Lear. 

KING LEIE once ruled in this land with princely power and 

peace ; 
And had all things with heart's content, that might his joys 

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 

Which of you three in plighted troth the kindest will 


I 3 


To whom the eldest thus began ; dear father, mind, quoth 


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 

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 ; how is thy love 

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 thce my court ; thou art no child of 

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 1 state and all my goods, that lovingly I may 
With those thy sisters be maintain'*! until my dying day. 

Thus nattering speeches won renown, by these two sistera 

here ; 
The third had causeless banishment, yet was her love more 

dear : 

For poor Cordelia patiently went wandring up and down, 
Unhelp'd, unpity'd, gentle maid, through many an English 

town : 

Until at last in famous France she gentler fortunes found ; 
Though poor and bare, yet she was dee in 'd the fairest on 

.the ground : 
Where when the king her virtues heard, and this fair lady 


With full consent of all his court he made his wife and 

1 Pompal pompous. 


Her father king Leir this while with his two daughters 

staid ; 
Forgetful of their promis'd loves, full soon the sanitr 

decay'd ; 
And living in queen Ragan's court, the eldest of the 

She-took from him his chiefest means, and most of all his 


For whereas twenty men were wont to wait with bended 


She gave allowance but to ten, and after scarce to three ; 
Nay, one she thought too much for him ; so took she all 

In hope that in her court, good king, he would no longer 


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 
Keturn'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 

Within her kitchen, he should have what scullions gave 


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 wefl. 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 deuy'd, which she had promis'd 


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 


And calling to remembrance then his youngest daughter's 


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 locks and tresses 

from his head, 
And all with blood bestain his cheeks, with age and honour 

To hills and woods and watery founts he made his hourly 

Till hills and woods, and senseless things, did seem to sigh 

and groan . 

Even thus possest with discontents, he passed o'er to 

In hopes from fair Cordelia there, to find some gentler 

chance ; 
Most virtuous dame ! which when she heard 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 

And drive his daughters from their thrones by his Cordelia 

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 

Of her dear father, in whose cause she did this battle 

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 


The other sisters unto death they doomed by consents ; 
And being dead, their crowns they left unto the next of 

Thus have you seen the fall of pride, and disobedient sin. 


FROM the " Passionate Pilgrim," a collection of Poems, published (1599) 
by William Jaggard. The name of Shakespeare on the title-page was 
a fraud of the bookseller; the pieces being taken from varioui 

CJRABBED 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, 
Age's breath is snort ; 

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 dene thee ; 
Oh sweet shepheard, hie thee, 

For methinks thou stayst too long. 



IN Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy" we read the following story: 
" Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, was walking, disguised, in the 
town of Bruges, when he found a country fellow drunk, and sleeping 
on a bulke. Directing his attendants to carry the man to the palace, 
they stripped him of his old clothes, and dressed him in the court 
fashion, and when he waked they persuaded 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, and heard 
music; but late at night, when he was well tipled, and again fast 
asleep, they put on his old robes, and so conveyed him to the place 
where they first found him.'" 

The Induction to the " Taming of the Shrew" is ou the same sub- 
ject. Among the books left by the poet Collins, was a Collection of 
Comic 1'rose Stork's by Edwards, printed in black-letter, 1570 ; and, in 
the opinion of Warton, this " story-book was the immediate source 
from which Shakespeare, or rather the author of the old ' Taming 
of a Shrew,' drew that diverting apologue." The tale is of Eastern 

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 protest, 
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 swound. 1 

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 

And they put him to bed for to take his repose. 

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 renown, 

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. 

1 Swound ncoon. 


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, 1 then did likewise declare, 
He desired to know what apparel he'd ware : 
The poor tinker amaz'd, on the gentleman gaz'd, 
And admired 2 how he to this honour was rais'd. 

Tho' he seem'd something mute, yet he chose a rich suit, 
Which he straitvvays put on without longer dispute ; 
With a star on his side, which the tinker ofFt eyed, 
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 wait, 
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 rest, 

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 sweet, 

With the choicest of singing his joys to compleat. 

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 for to tumble and roul 

From his chair to the floor, where he sleeping did snore, 

Being seven times drunker than ever before. 

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 perform it they must, 
And they carry 'd him strait where they found him at first j 
Then he slept all the night, as indeed well he might ; 
But when he did waken, his joys took their flight. 

1 Chaftlberling barfi ike chamberlain uncovered. 
2 Admired wondered. 


For his glory ' to him ' so pleasant did seem, 
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 a frolick before I think never was plaid. 

Then his highness bespoke him a new suit and cloak, 
"Which he gave for the sake of this frolicksome 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 understand : 

Well I thank your good grace, and your love I embrace, 

I was never before in so happy a case. 


Is a specimen of Percy's mosaic-work, chiefly composed from small 
fragments of old ballads dispersed through Shakespeare's Plays ; es- 
pecially those sung by " Ophelia." The first line of the Ballad is from 
the " Taming of the Shrew." 

IT was a friar of orders gray 

Walkt forth to tell his beades ; 
And he met with a lady faire 

Clad in a pilgrime's weedes. 1 

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 ? 
O by his cockle hat, and staff, 

And by his sandal shoone. 2 

1 Weedes clothes. 

* These are the distinguishing marks of a pilgrim. The chief places of 
devotion being beyond sea, the pilgrims were wont to put cockle-sheila in 
their hats to denote the intention or performance of their devotion. 


But chiefly by his face arid rnien, 

That were so fair to view ; 
His flaxen locks that sweetly curl'd, 

And eyne of lovely blue. 

O 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 ladye's love, 

And 'playning 1 01 her pride. 

Here bore him barefac'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 youtli ! 

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. 

do pot, do not, holy friar, 
My sorrow now reprove ; 

For I have lost the sweetest youth, 
That e'er wan 2 ladye's 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. 

1 'Playning complaining. * Wan tcoitt 


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 P 

Will he ne'er come again P 
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 soe, 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 youtlu 
And didst thou dye for mee P 

Then farewell home ; for ever-more 
A pilgrim I will bee. 

But first upon my true-love's 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 wind, 

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 forc'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 1 

Is not yet past away, 
Might I still hope to win thy love, 

No longer would I stay. 

Now farewell grief, and welcome joy 

Once more unto my heart ; 
For since I have found thee, lovely youth, 

We never more will part. 

1 The year of probation, or noviciate. 




THIS is the modern version of the old Ballad, and seems to belong to 
the time of James the First. The phrase " doleful dumps" fixes the 
chronology with sufficient exactness ; for in the next generation it had 
passed into the burlesque. Each writer has his own merits. The 
later excels the earlier in language and sentiment, and is, in turn, 
surpassed by his poetical ancestor in dignity and force. The circum- 
stances, and some of the incidents of the battle, are more distinctly 
told in the original than in the copy ; as in the description of the 
English standing with their bows drawn, and the Scots bearing down 
upon them with spears. The elegant commentary of Addison is con- 
tained in the " Spectator," Nos. 70 and 74 " Who will collect the Curi- 
osities of Taste?" Johnson saw in this Ballad only lifeless imbecility, 
and a story that could not be told in a manner less rememberable. 

GOD prosper long our noble king, our lives and safetyes' 

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. 1 

The stout Erie of Northumberland a vow to God did make, 
His pleasure in the Scottish woods three summer's days to 

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 

The English Erie, not fearing that, did to the woods resort, 

With fifteen hundred, bow-men bold ; all chosen men o/ 

Who knew full well in time of neede to ayme their shafts 


1 This way of describing the misfortunes which this battle would bring 
upon posterity is wonderfully beautiful, and conformable to the way of think- 
ing among the ancient poets. " Spectator," No. 74. 


The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran, to chase the fallow 

deere s 
On Munday they began to hunt, ere day -light did appeare ; 

And long before high noone they had an hundred fat buckes 

slaine ; 
Then having dined, the drovyers went to rouze the deare 


The bow-men mustered on the hills, well able to endure ; 
Theire backsides all, with speciall care, that day were 
guarded sure. 

The hounds ran swiftly through the woods, the nimble 

deere to take, 
That with their cryes the hills and dales an eccho shrill 

did make. 

Lord Percy to the quarry 1 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 

With that, a brave younge gentleman thus to the Erie did 

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, 2 fast by the river Tweede : 
O cease your sports, Erie Percy said, and take your bowes 
with speede : 

And now with me, my countrymen, y.our courage forth 

advance ; 
For there was never champion yett, in Scotland or in 


1 Quarry slaughtered game. 

* The country of the Scotch warriors was a fine romantic situation, and 
affords a couple of smooth words for verse. Addison, 


That ever did on horsebacke come, but if my hap 1 it were, 
I durst encounter man for man, with him to break a spere. 

Erie Douglas on his milke-white steede, most like a baron 

Rode formost of his company, whose armour shone like 


Show me, sayd hee, whose men you bee, that hunt soe 

boldly heere, 
That, without my consent, doe chase and kill my fallow- 


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 solemnpe 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 Erie thou art; Lord Percy, soe 
am 1. 

But trust me, Percy, pittye it were, and great offence to 

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 h" ^vle Percy sayd, by whome this is denyed. 

Then stept a gallant squier forth, Witlicrington was his 

Who said, I wold not have it told to Henry our king for 


That ere my captaine fought on foote, and I stood looking 

You bee two Erles, sayd Witherington, and I a squier alone: 

1 Hap cJiance, or fortune. 


He doe the best that doe I may, while I have power to 

etand : 
While I have power to weeld niy sword, He fight with 

hart and hand. 

Our English archers bent their bowes, their harts were 

good and trew ; l 
Att the first flight of arrowes sent, full four-score Scots 

they slew. 

[ 2 Yet bides Earl Douglas on the bent, 3 as chieftain stout 

and good. 
AJ valiant captain, all unmov'd the shock he firmly stood. 

His host he parted had in three, as Leader ware 4 and try'd, 
And soon his spearmen on their foes bare down on every 

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. m 

At last these two stout Erles did meet, like captaines of 

great might : 
Like lyons wood, 5 they layd on lode, and made a cruell 


1 Trew true. 

2 The four stanzas here inclosed in brackets, which are borrowed chiefly 
from the ancient Copy, are offered to the reader instead of the following lines, 
in the folio MS. : 

To drive the deere with hound and home, Douglas bade on the bent; 
Two captaines moved with mickle might; their speres to shivers went. 
* Bent -field. * Ware wary. s Wood. furious. 


They fouglit untill they both did sweat, with swords of 

tempered steele ; 
Until the blood, like drops of rain, they trickling downe 

did feele. 

Yceld tuce, Lord Percy, Douglas sayd ; in faith I will thee 

Where thou shalt high advanced bee by James our Scottish 


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 ; 
1 will not yeelde to any Scott that ever yett was borne. 

With that, there came an arrow keene out of an English 

Which struck Erie Douglas to the heart, a decpe 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 snre a more redoubted knight mischance cold never 

take. 1 

A knight amongst the Scotts there was, which saw Erie 

Douglas dye, 
Who streight in wrath did vow revenge upon the Lord 

Percye : 

Sir lEugh Mountgomery was he call'd, who, with a spere 

most bright, 
Well-mounted on a gallant steed, ran fiercely through the 


1 Earl Percy's lamentation over his enemy is geiitfoiu., beautiful, and pas- 
sionate. That beautiful line, "'taking 1 the dead man by the hand,' will put 
the reader in mind of ^Eneas' behaviour towards Lausus, whom he himself 
had slain, as he came to the rescue of bis aged lather," Addwon. 


And past the English archers all, without all dread 01 

feare ; 
And through Erie Percye's body then he thrust his hatefull 

spere ; 

With such a vehement force and might he did his body 

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 Erie 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 

The grey goose-winge that was thereon, in his hart's bloode 

was wett. 1 

This fight did last from breake of day till setting of the 

For when they rung the evening bell, 2 the battel scarce 

was done. 

With stout Erie Percy there was slaine Sir John of 

Sir 2-obert EatclifF, 3 and Sir John, Sir James that bold 

barren ; 

And with Sir George and stout Sir James, both knights of 

good account, 
Good Sir Ralph Haby 4 there was slaine, whose prowesse 

did surmount. 

1 The thought in this stanza was never touched by any other poet, and is 
such an one as would have shined in Homer or Virgil. Addison. 

2 Sc. The curfew bell, usually rung at eight o'clock ; to which the modernizer 
apparently alludes, instead of the " Evensong bell," or bell for vespers, of the 
original author. 

3 A distinguished family in Northumberland. 

* Either one of the ancient possessors of Baby Castle, in the county of 
Durham, or a corruption of Eokeby, the name of an eminent family in York- 

K 2 


For Witherington needs must I wayle, as one in doleful 

dumpes ; l 
For when his leggs were smitten off, he fought upon his 


And with Erie Douglas there was slaine Sir Hugh Mount- 

Sir Charles Murray, that from the feeld one foote wold 

never flee. 

Sir Charles Murray, of Ratcliff, too, his sister -i 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 

Of twenty hundred Scottish speres, scarce fifty -five did flye. 

Of fifteen hundred Englishmen, went home but fifty- three ; 
The rest were slaiue 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. 

Theyr bodyes, bathed in purple gore, they bare with them 

They kist them dead a thousand times, ere they were cladd 

in clay. 

The newes was brought to Eddenborrow, where Scottland's 

king did raigne, 
That brave Erie Douglas suddenlye was with an arrow 

slaine : 

heavy newes, King James did say, Scottland may wit- 

nesse 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 : 

1 " I, as one in deep concern, must lament." Butler has pleasantly pvodied 
this stanza in the description of Hudibras : 

" Enraged thus, some in the rear 
Attacked him, and some everywhere, 
Till down he fell; yet falling fought, 
And, being down, still laid about; 
As Widdrington, in doleful dumps, 
Is said to fight upon his stumps." Part i. C, 3. 


Now trod 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 Percye's sake. 

This vow full well the king perform'd after, at Humble- 
do wne ; 

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 

God save our king, and bless this land with plentye, joy, 

and peace ; 
And grant henceforth that foule debate 'twixt noblemen 

may cease. 1 


THIS solemn funeral song is inserted here as a kind of Dirge to tlm 
foregoing piece. It is taken from " The Contention of Ajax and 
Ulysses," by James Shirley, b. 1594; d. October 29, 1666. The 
poem was a favourite of Charles II., to whom, as we are told by Oldys, 
it was often sung by " Old Bowman." 

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 : 
Sceptre and crown 
Must tumble down, 
And in the dust be equal made 
"With the poor crooked scythe and spade. 

1 " In this . . . year, 1436, according to Hector Boethius, was fought the 
battle of Peppcrden, not far from the Cheviot Hills, between the Earl of 
Northumberland [second earl, son of Hotspur], and Eavl William Douglas, 
of Angus, with a small army of about four thousand men each, in which the 
latter had the advantage. As this seems to have been a private conflict 
between these two great chieftains of the Borders rather than a national 
war, it has been thought to have given rise to the celebrated old ballad of 
' Chevy-Chase,' which, to render it more pathetic and interesting, has been 
heightened with tragical incidents wholly fictitious." See Ridpath's "Border 
Hist.," 4to., p. 401. 


Some men with swords may reap the field, 
Ami plant fresh laurels where they kill ; 
But their strong nerves at last must yield j 
They tame hut 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 tins Ballad is the great Northern Insurrection, in the 
twelfth year of Elizabeth, 1569. It happened in this manner: 

" A scheme for a marriage between Mary, then a prisoner in England, 
and the Duke of Norfolk, came to the knowledge of Elizabeth, who 
immediately committed the Duke to the Tower, and summoned the 
Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, by whom the alliance 
was encouraged, to appear at Court. A report that a party of his 
enemies were come to seize him determined Northumberland to fly 
hastily from Topcliffe, in Yorkshire, to the house of his friend the Earl 
of Westmoreland. The ' country' gathering, and urging him to take 
up arms, they raised their standards, in behalf of the old religion, the 
settlement of the Crown, and the protection of the ancient nobility. 
The attempt failed, chiefly from want of money and provisions. The 
insurgents soon melted away, and the advance of Lord Sussex, at the 
head of a large body of troops, completed the rout. The victory, 
nearly bloodless, was disgraced by the utmost cruelty ; Sir George 
Bowes, Marshal of the army, making his boast that for sixty miles in 
length and forty in breadth, between Newcastle and Wetherby, there 
was scarcely a town or a village where he had not executed some of the 

LISTEN, lively lordings all, 

Lithe and listen unto mee, 
And I will singof a noble Earle, 

The noblest lEarle in the north eountrie. 
Earle Percy is into his garden gone, 

And after him walkes his faire ladie :* 
I heard a bird sing in mine eare, 

That I must either fight, or flee. 
1 This lady was Anne, daughter of Henry Somerset, Earl of Worcester, 


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 honestie. 

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 faithfull borrowe 1 1 will bee. 

Now nay, now nay, my lady deare ; 

Far lever 2 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, 
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 journey's end ; 

The little foot-page never blan. 3 

1 Borrowe pledge, or surety. * Lever rafheP, 

3 Blan lingered. 


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, if you the truthe wold know, 

There was many a weeping eye. 

He sayd, Come thither, Christopher Norton, 
A gallant youth thou seemst to bee ; 

What doest thou counsell me, my sonne, 
Now that good Erie's in jeopardy P 

Father, my counselled fair and free ; 

That Erie 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 Erie and mee ? 

Eight of them did answer make, 

Eight of them spake hastilie, 
O father, till the daye we dye 

We'll stand by that good Erie and thee. 

Gramercy now, my children deare, 

You showe yourselves right bold and brave ; 

And whethersoe'er I live or dye, 
A father's blessing you shal have. 

But what sayst thou, O Francis Norton, 
Thou art mine eldest sonne and heire : 

Somewhat lyes brooding in thy breast ; 
Whatever it bee, to mee declare. 


Father, ycm are an aged man, 

Your head is white, your bearde is gray; 

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 Erie of Westmorland was hee: 

At Wetherbye they mustred their host, 
Thirteen thousand faire to see. 

Lord Westmorland his ancyent 1 raisde, 

The Dun Bull he rays'd on hye, 
And three Dogs with golden collars 

Were there sett out most royallye. 2 

Erie Percy there his ancyent spred, 

The Halfe-Moone shining all soe faire : 3 

The ISTortons ancyent had the crosse, 
And the five wounds our Lord did beare. 

1 Ancyent standard. 

2 The supporters of the Nevilles, Earls of Westmoreland, were Two Bulls 
Argent, ducally collared Gold, armed Or, &c. But I have not discovered the 
device mentioned in the ballad among the badges, &c. given by that house. 
This, however, is certain, that among those of the Nevilles, Lords Aberga- 
venny (who were 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 Dog's (Greyhound's) head erased. So that it is not im- 
probable but Charles Neville, the unhappy Earl of Westmoreland here men- 
tioned, might on this occasion give the above device on his banner. After 
all, our old minstrel's verses may have undergone some corruption ; for, in 
another ballad in the same folio MS., and apparently written by the same 
hand, containing the sequel of this Lord Westmoreland's history, his Banner 
is thus described, more conformably to his known bearings : 

" Sett me up my faire Dun Suit, 
With G-oldeu Hones, hee beares all soe hye." 

3 The silver crescent is a well-known Crest or Badge of the Northumber- 
land family. It was probably brought home from some of the Crusades. 


Then Sir George Bowes he straitwaye rose, 
After them some spoyle to make : 

Those noble Erics turn'd backc 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 eathe 1 to win, 
The carles have wonne them presentlie. 

The uttermost walles were lime and bricke ; 

But thoughe they won them soon anonc, 
Long e'er they wan the innermost walles, 

For they were cut in rocke of stone. 

Then newes unto leevo London 2 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, 3 

I will ordayne them such a breakfast, 
As never was in the North before. 

Shee caus'd thirty thousand men berays'd, 
With horse and harneis 4 faire to see ; 

She caused thirty thousand men be raised, 
To take the Earles i' th' North countrie. 

Wi' them 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 hyc. 

1 Eathe taty. 

3 Leeve London dear London. 

8 This is quite iu character : her Majesty would sometimes swear at her 
nobles, as well as box their ears. 

4 Harneis armour. 


But the Dun Bulle is fled and gone, 
And the halfe moone vanished away : 

The Erles, though they were brave and bold, 
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 youthe. 

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 by 
his followers, he endeavoured to withdraw into Scotland ; but falling 
into the hands of the thievish borderers, he was stript, and otherwise ill- 
treated by them. At length he reached the house of Hector, of Harlaw, 
an Armstrong, with whom he hoped to lie concealed : for Hector had 
engaged his honour to be true to him, and was under great obligations 
to this unhappy nobleman. But he betrayed his guest for a sum of 
money to Murray the Regent of Scotland, who sent him to the castle 
of Loughleven, then belonging to William Douglas. All the writers of 
that time assure us, that Hector, who was rich before, fell shortly after 
into poverty, and became so infamous, that " to take Hector's cloak," 
grew into a proverb to express a man who betrays his friend. Lord 
Northumberland continued in the castle of Loughleven till the year 
1572, when he was given up to the Lord Hunsden at Berwick, and 
suffered death at York. 

So far History coincides with the ballad, which was apparently 
written by some Northern Bard-soon after the event. The introduc- 
tion of the " Witch-lady" (v. 53) is probably the Bard's own invention : 
yet, even this receives some countenance from history ; for, about twenty- 
five years before, the Lady Jane Douglas, Lady Glarnis, sister of the 
Earl of Angus, and nearly related to Douglas of Lough-levcn, had suf- 
fered death for the pretended crime of witchcraft : hence she may be 
the Witch-lady alluded to in v. 133. 

How long shall fortune faile me nowe, 
And harrowe 1 me with feare and dread ? 

How long shall I in bale 2 abide, 
In misery my life to lead P 

1 Harrowe harass. * Bale evil. 


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 Scot he is much bound to mec : 

He dwelleth on the border side, 
To him I'll goe right privilie. 

Thus did the noble Percy 'plaine,' 
With a heavy heart and wel-away, 1 

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-levdn, 
With William Douglas to abide. 

And when he to the Douglas came, 
He halched 2 him right curteouslie : 

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 3 the lord warden 4 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 to flyte 5 with him began ; 

1 Wel-away an exclamation of pity. 

* James Douglas, Earl of Morton, elected Kegent of Scotland, November 2 

* Of one of the English Marches Lord llunsden. s Flyte contend. 


What makes you be so sad, my lord, 

And in your mind so sorrowfully^ ? 
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 sworue into my bille, 1 

Thither to bring my lord Percye. 

I'll give thee my hand, thou gentle Douglas, 
And here by my true faith, quoth hee, 

If thou wilt ryde to the worlde's end, 
I will ryde in thy company e. 

And then bespake a lady faire, 

Mary a 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 : 
For he hath tane liverance 2 of the Earle 8 

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 Hegent 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 Erie 
Was driven out of his own countrie. 

Alas ! alas ! my lord, she sayes, 

Nowe mickle is their tratorie ; 
Then lett my brother ryde his wayes, 

And tell those English lords from thee, 

1 Bille I have delivered a promise in writing. 

2 Liverance money for delivering. 

Of the Earl of Morton, the Kege'nt. 


How that you cannot with him ryde, 
Because you are in an ile of the sea, 1 

Then ere my brother come againe 
To Edenborow castle 2 He 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 of my own countrie, 

When I thinke on the heavye happe 3 
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 fatherlesse. 

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 4 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, 
Ile siowe 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 chaniberlaine with mee ; 

Let me but speak three words with him, 
And he shall come again to thee. 

1 Lake of Leven, which has communication with the sea. 

2 At that time iu the bauds of the opposite faction. 
8 Happe-/or<?, * Eires rtnd* 


James Swynard with that lady went, 
She showed him through the weme 1 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 ? 

yonder is the lord Hunsden : 2 
Alas ! he'll doe you drie and teene. 3 

And who beth yonder, thou gay ladye, 
That walkes so proudly him beside P 

That is Sir William Drury 4 shee sayd, 
A keene captaine hee is and tryde. 

How many miles is itt, madame, 

Betwixt yond English lords and mee f 

Marry it is thrice fifty miles, 
To saile to them upon the sea. 

1 never was on English ground, 
Ne never sawe 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 skiile 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 austerne 5 face ? 

Yonder is Sir John Foster, 6 quoth shee, 
Alas ! he'll do ye sore disgrace. 

Hepulled 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 ladie : 
The Douglasses were ever true, 

And they can ne'er prove false to mee. 

> Weme hollow. 2 The lord warden of the East M-<u'cheg. 

3 Drie and tecnc pain and aorryK. 

4 Governor of Berwick. 5 Austerne sever*. 

6 Warden of the Middle March, 


I have now in Lough-leven been 
The most part of these years three, 

Yett have I never had noe outrake, 1 
Ne no good games that I cold see. 

Therefore I'll to yond shooting wend, 
As to the Douglas I have hight : 2 

Betide me weale, betide me woe, 

He ne'er shall find my promise light. 

He writhe 3 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. 4 

And wilt thou goe, thou noble lord, 
Then farewell truth and houestie ; 

And farewell heart, and farewell hand ; 
For never more I shall thee see. 

The wind was faire, the boatmen calFd, 
And all the saylors were on borde ; 

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 5 a sigh soe deep, 
And in a dead swoone down shee fell. 

Now let us go back, Douglas, he sayd, 
A sickness hath taken yond faire ladle ; 

If ought befall yond lady but good, 
Then blamed for ever I 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. 

I Outrake an outride, or expedition. * Hight promited, 

3 Writhe twisted. 
* Where I cold bee where I was, Fett-: -fetched. 


Come on, come on, my lord, he sayes, 
Come on, como on, and let her bee : 

My sister is craftye, and wold beguile 
A thousand such as you and mee. 

When they had sayled 1 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 foolea faine, 2 
And that by thee and thy lord is seen : 

You may hap 3 to thinke itt soone enough, 
Ere you that shooting reach, I ween. 

Jamye 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 meeP 

Looke that your brydle be wight, 4 my lord, 
And your horse goe swift as shipp att sea : 

Looke that your spurres be bright and sharpe, 
That you may pricke her while she'll away. 

What needeth this, Douglas ? he sayth ; 

What needest thou to flyte 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. 

1 There is no navigable stream between Lough-leven and the sea : but a 
ballad-maker is not obliged to understand geography. 

* Faine glad. * Hap chance. * Wight strong. 



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. 


THIS philosophical Song was extremely popular in the sixteenth cen- 
tury, and Mr. Hannah, in his edition of " Wotton's rooms," suggests a 
new claimant to the authorship of it in Sir Edward Dyer, the friend of 
Sidney, and who won the praise of Spenser and Bacon. 

MY minde to me a kingdonie is ; 

Such perfect joy therein I finde 
As farre exceeds all earthly blisse, 

That God, or Nature, hath assignde : 
Though much I want, that most would have, 
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. 
Loc ! thus I triumph like a king, 
Content with that my mind doth bring. 

I see how plentie surfets oft, 

And hastic clymbers soonest fall : 

I see that such as sit aloft 

Mishap doth threaten most of all : 

These get with toile, and keep with feare i 

Such cares my mind could never beare. 

No princely pomp, nor welthie store, 

No force to winne the victorie, 
No wylie wit to salve a sore, 

No shape to winne a lover's 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 lacke, I lend ; they pine, I live. 

I laugh not at another's losse, 

I grudge not at another's gaine ; 
No worldly wave my mind can tosse ; 

I brooke that is another's bane : 
I feare no foe, nor fawne on friend ; 
I lothe not life, nor dread mine end. 

I joy not in no earthly bliss ; 

I weigh not Cresus' welth a straw ; 
For care, I care not what it is ; 

I feare not fortune's 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 storms 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 breake no sleep to winne my will j 

I wayte not at the mightie's 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 ease ; 

My conscience clere .my chiefe defence : 
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 I ! 
L 2 



THESE Stanzas, founded upon an entertaining Colloquy of Erasmus, 
are taken from " Albion's England," by William Warner, whom his 
contemporaries compared to Virgil, and whose verses drew the critical 
eyes of the Star Chamber. He died March 9th, 1608, 9. Warner is 
now unread and forgotten. The first edition of " Albion's England" 
is believed to have appeared in 1586. Mr. Hallam allows the Poem 
to have the equivocal merit of great length. But Warner deserves 
higher praise ; and the editor of the " Muses' Library" was not over- 
stepping the boundary of just criticism in calling " Albion's England" 
an epitovne of British History, and written with great learning, sense, 
and spirit. Warner sometimes displays a charming grace of pathos, 
as in the description of Kosamond's ill-treatment by Eleanor : 
" Witli that she dasht her on the lippes 

So dyed with double red ; 
Hard was the heart that gave the blow, 

Soft were those lippes that bled." 

IMPATIENCE chaungeth smoke to flame, but jelousie is 

hell ; 
Some wives by patience have reduc'd ill husbands to live 

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 


Once hunted he untill the chace, long fasting, and the 

Did house him in a peakish graunge 1 within a forest great. 

"Where knowne and welcom'd (as the place and persons 

might afforde) 
Browne bread, whig, 2 bacon, curds and milke were set him 

on the borde. 

A cushion made of lists, 3 a stoole halfe backed with a 

Were brought him, and he eitteth down besides a sorry 

coupe. 4 

1 Peakish graunge ntdefarm-house, 

* Whig tour whey, or buttermilk. 

3 Lists the selvages oftcoollen cloth, 

4 Coupe pen for poultry. 


The poore old couple wisht their bread were wheat, their 

whig were perry, 
Their bacon beefe, their milke and curds were creame, to 

make him merry. 

Mean while (in russet neatly clad, with linen white as 

Herselfe more white, save rosie where the ruddy colour 


Whome naked nature, not the aydes of arte made to 

The good man's daughter sturres to see that all were feat 1 

and well ; 
The Earle did marke her, and admire such beautie there to 


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 sayd 
Unto his host and hostesse, in the hearing of the mayd : 

Yee know, quoth he, that 1 am lord of this, and many 

townes ; 
I also know that you be poore, and I can spare you 

pownes. 2 

Soe will I, so yee will consent, that yonder lasse and I 
May bargaine for her love ; at least, doe give me leave to 

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 

He took her in his armes, as yet so coyish to be kist, 
As mayds that know themselves beiov'd, and yieldingly 

In few, his offers were so large she lastly did consent ; 
With whom he lodged all that night, and early home he 

1 Feat nice, or neat. Pownes poundi. 


He toolre 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 grecv'd her not a little, though she seem'd it well to 

And thus she reasons with herselfe, some fault perhaps in 

me ; 
Somewhat ia done, that soe he doth : alas ! what may it 


Hew" may I winne him to myself? he is a man, and 

Have imperfections ; it behooves me pardon nature then. 

To checke him were to make him checke, 1 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, 2 and did still pursue that 

Suspecting nothing less, than that his lady knew the 

same : 
Wherefore to make him know she knew, she this devise 

did frame : 

When long she had been wrong'd, and sought the foresayd 

meanes in vaine, 
She rideth to the simple graunge but with a slender trame. 

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 


1 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 Terse used in both senses. 

* Leiman mistress. 


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 afc such a bait P 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 proflfer'd gold 

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 

With that two sumpters 1 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 

So tooke she horse, and ere she went bestowed gould good 


1 Siirnpters horses carrying clothes, fa. 


Full little thought the Countie 1 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, 2 
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 


The Countesse was a-bed, and he with her his lodging 

tooke ; 
Sir, welcome home (quoth shee) ; this night 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 


"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 

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. 

1 Countie Count, or Earl. * Cote cottage. 



FROM a Pastoral by Michael Drayton [b. 1563 d. 1631]. "Dowsabell" 
is a pleasant imitation of the style and metre of the old metrical 
Romances, which Drayton was able to feel and to copy ; for he had a 
musical ear, and much playfulness of fancy. 

FAERE in the countrey of Arden, 
There won'd 1 a knight, hight Cassemen, 

As bolde as Isenbras : 
Fell 3 was he, and eger bent, 
In battell and in tournament, 

As was the good Sir Topas. 

He had, as antique stories tell, 
A daughter cleaped 3 Dowsabel, 

A mayden fayre and free : 
And for she was her fathers heire, 
Full well she was y-cond 4 the leyre 

Of mickle curtesie. 

The silke well couth 5 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 psaline in kirke. 

She ware a frock of frolicke greenc, 
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 fullfeatously. 6 

Her features all as fresh above, 

As is the grass that growes by Dove ; 

And lyth 7 as lasse of Kent. 
Her skin as soft as Lemster wooll, 
As white as snow on Peakish Hull, 

Or swanne that swims in Trent. 

1 Won'd dwelt. z Feti furious. 

* Cleaped named. * Y-cond taught. 5 Couth could. 

6 Featously dexterously. 7 Lyt-h playful. 


This mayden in a raorne betime 

Went forth, when May was in her prime, 

To get swcctc cety wall, 1 
The honey-suckle, the harlocke, 2 
The liliy 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, 3 

And pip'd full merrilie. 
He lear'd 4 his sheepe as he him list, 5 
When he would whistle in his fist, 

To feede about him round ; 
Whilst he full many a carroll sung, 
TJntill the fields and medowes rung, 

And all the woods did sound. 

In favour this same shepheards swayne 
Was like the bedlam Tamburlayne, 6 

Which helde prowd kings in awe : 
But meeke he was as lamb mought be ; 
An innocent of ill as he 7 

Whom his lewd brother slaw. 

The shepheard ware a sheepe-gray cloke, 
Which was of the finest loke, 8 

That could be cut with sheere : 
His mittens 9 were of bauzens skinne, 
His cockers 10 were of cordiwin, 11 

His hood of meniveere. 12 

His aule and liugell 13 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 wliite as Albion rocks : 

So like a lover true, 

1 Cetywall ike herb valerian. 
* Harlocke perhaps wild rape. 3 Cranelic merry. 

4 Lear'd taught. 'List at he plea 

6 Alluding to " Tamburlaine the Great, or the Scytliian Shcpheard" (159<\ 
8vo.), an old ranting play, ascribed to Marlowe. 

1 Abel. K Loke lock of wool. 

9 Mittens of bauzens -sheepskin gloves with the wool on the inside. 

10 Cockers buskins. 
11 Cordiwin properly Spanish leather, but here a common sort, 

12 Meiiiveeve a kind of fur. 
u Lingcll rosined thread, for mending shoes. 


'This mayden in a monie betirae, 
Went forth when May was in her prime." 


And pypiug still Lie spent tke day, 
So merry as the popingay ; l 

Which liked 2 33owsabel : 
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, 3 
That all his sheepe forsooke their foode. 

To heare his melodye. 
The sheepe, quoth she, cannot be leane, 
That have a jolly shepheard 's swayne, 

The which can pipe so well : 
Yea but, sayth he, their shepherd may, 
If pyping thus he pine away 

In love of Dowsabel. 
Of love, fond boy, take thou no keepe, 4 
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, 6 sayth he, nor yet my foulde 
Shall neither sheepe nor shepheard hould, 

Except thou favour mee. 

Sayth she, Yet lever where 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. 

1 Popingay- parrot, 2 Liked pleased. 3 A good a good det& 

* Keepe heed. * Coate cot. 


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 knee, 
Down by the shepheard kneeled shee, 

And him she sweetly kist : 
With that the shepheard whoop'd for joy, 
Quoth he, Ther's never shepheards boy 

That ever was so blist. 1 


From Beaumont and Fletcher's play, entitled " The Lover's Progress," 
Act iii. sc. 1. 

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 destroy, 
Immortal sweetness by fair angels sung, 

And honoured by eternity and joy : 
There lies my love, thither my hopes aspire, 
Fond love declines, this heavenly love grows higher. 

1 Blist blest. 



FROM " Hymen's Triumph," a pastoral tragi-comedy, by Samuel 
Daniel [b. 1562 d. 1619], a writer of great refinement and elegance. 
Mr. Coleridge said : " Read Daniel the admirable Daniel in his 
' Civil Wars,' and ' Triumph of Hymen.' The style and language 
arejust such as any pure and manly writer of the present day would 
use. It seems quite modern in comparison with the style of Shake- 


COME, worthy Greeke, Ulysses come, 

Possesse these shores with me, 
The windes and seas are troublesome, 

And 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. 


Paire nymph, if fame or honour were 

To be attain'd with ease, 
Then would I come and rest with thee. 

And leave such toiles as these : 
But here it dwels, and here must I 

With danger seek it forth ; 
To spend the time luxuriously 

Becomes not men of worth. 


Ulysses, O be not deceiv'd 

With that unreal 1 name : 
This honour is a tiling conceiv'd, 

And rests on others' fame. 
Begotten only to molest 

Our peace and to beguile 
(The best thing of our life) our rest, 

And give us up to toyle ! 


Delicious nymph, suppose there were 

Nor honor, nor report, 
Yet manlinesse would scorne to wearo 

The time in idle sport : 


For toyle doth give a better touch 
To make us feele our joy ; 

And ease findes tediousnes, as much 
As labour yeelds annoy. 


Then pleasure likewise seemes the shore, 

Whereto tendes all your toyle ; 
Which you forego to make it more, 

And perish oft the while. 
Who may disport them diversly, 

Find never tedious clay ; 
And ease may have variety, 

As well as action may. 


But natures of the noblest frame 

These toyles and dangers please ; 
And they take comfort in the same, 

As much as you in ease : 
And with the thought of actions past 

Are recreated still : 
When pleasure leaves a touch at last 

To shew that it was ill. 


That doth opinion only cause, 

That's out of custom bred ; 
Which makes us many other laws 

Than ever nature did. 
No widdowe's waile for our delights, 

Our sports are without blood ; 
The world we see by warb'ke wights 

Receives more hurt than good. 


But yet the state of things require 

These motions of unrest, 
And these great spirits of high desire 

Seem borne to turne them best : 
To purge the mischiefes, that increase 

And all good order mar : 
For oft we see a wicked peace 

To be well chang'd for war. 



Well, well, Ulysses, then I see 

I shall not have thee here ; 
And therefore I will come to thee, 

And take my fortune there. 
I must be wonne that cannot win, 

Yet lost were I not wonne : 
For beauty hath created bin 

T' undoo, or be undone. 


FROM the " Poetical Rhapsody," of which the first edition appeared 
in 1C02, a second in 1608, a third in 1611, and a fourth in 1621. 
The Editor was Francis Davison, and the Miscellany contained poems 
by Sidney, Raleigh, Spenser, and other eminent writers in the reigns 
of Elizabeth and James the First. " Cupid's Pastime," which, in the 
third edition of the " Rhapsody," is called " A Fiction ," is, in the first 
edition, signed " Anomos." Percy attributes it to Francis Davison, 
the eldest son of William Davison, Secretary of State to Queen 
Elizabeth. He was born about the year 1575, and is believed to have 
died before 1619. 

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 pillow's place ; 

Her breast lay bare to every blast. 

The shepherd stood, and gaz'd his fill ; 

Nought durst he do ; nought durst he say ; 
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 did 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 j 

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 Cupid's 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 st^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 shepherd's 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. 



DRUMMOND informs us that Ben Jonson, when he came to Hawthorn 
den, had these verses " by heart." They read like a collect in rhyme. 
The writer, Sir Henry TVptton, was Provost of Eton, and died in 1639, 
at the age of 72. 

How happy is he born or taught, 

That serveth not another's 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 prince's ear, or vulgar breath : 

Who hath his life from rumours freed ; 

Whose conscience is his strong retreat : 
Whose state can neither flatterers feed, 

Nor ruine 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 than 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. 




IE Robin Hood of Scottish minstrelsy, was a noted robber who in- 
jested the Highlands of Perthshire with his gang, of whom seven, being 
captured by the Stewarts of Athol, were executed February, 1638. 
,n revenge, Gildcroy burned several houses belonging to the Stewarts; 
but the offer of a large reward (1000?.) for his apprehension, caused 
him to be pursued from place to place ; and at length, with five of his 
companions, he suffered for his crimes at Gallowlee, between Leith 
and Edinburgh, July 1638. 

GILDEEOY 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 1 and heart's 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 2 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 3 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. 

Jo sweetheart, * Eir tull ever to. 

* Scant source. 4 Beforn lefort. 


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 wad try ; 
And now this gars 1 mine heart to bleed, 

For my dear Grilderoy. 

And when of me his leave he tuik, 

The tears they wat mine ee, 
I gave tull him a parting luik, 

" My benison 2 gang wi' thee : 
God speed thee weil, mine ain dear heart ; 

For gane is all my joy ; 
My heart is rent sith 3 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 strict, 

I neir had lost my joy, 
Wi' sorrow neir had wat my cheek, 

For my dear Gilderoy. 

1 Gars make*. Benison bleseina. 3 Sith tinee. 

M 2 


GifF Gilderoy had done amisse, 

He mought hae banisht been ; 
All ! 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 bept, 

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 1 in a grave sae deep, 

I laid the dear-lued boy, 
ind now for evir maun I weep, 

My winsome Gilderoy. 


A MS. note, by his son, gives to J. G. Cooper, the author of " Letteri 
concerning Taste," the honour of writing this Song. But the verses 
appeared in Lewis' Collection of Towns, 1726, when Cooper was a child 
of three years. Dr. Kimbault suggests the name of George Alexander 
Stevens, a clever laureate of drinking-clubs'. Here, also, time is adverse ; 
for Stevens was a youth at the publication of " Vv'inifreda." It is 
called 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 though 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. 

1 Sikcr t<\fe. 


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 dwelling, 

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 mother's features, 
To hear them lisp their mother's 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 wooing in my boys. 


WRITTEN by Dr. Harrington, of Bath, in 1748, but here printed from 
a copy supplied and altered by Shenstone. Wokey-hole is a famous 
cavern near Wells, in Somersetshire. 

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 1 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 cheap. 

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. 

1 Ycleped co lied. 


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. 1 

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 2 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 P 
They might as well, like her, be stone, 

As thus forsaken dwell. 
Since G-laston 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. 

1 "Adjoining to the circular area is what our guide called the Witch's Brew* 
liouse, where a great number of singular configurations of stalactite are 
observable ; and the vulgar have given them correspondent appellations, such 
as the boiler, furnace, &c," Maton, " Western Counties," ii. 138, 
2 Leman toper. 



Is founded on a fact that happened in the Island of St. Christopher, 
and was communicated to Percy by his early and familiar friend, Dr, 
Grainger, the author of the " Sugar Cane." 

THE north-east wind did briskly blow ; 

The ship was safely moor'd ; 
Young Bryan thought the boat's-crew slow, 

And so leapt overboard. 

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, 

Eight 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, 

That grac'd his mistress true ; 
Such charms the old world seldom saw, 

Nor oft I ween the new. 

Her raven hair plays round her neck, 

Like tendrils of the vine ; 
Her cheeks red dewy rosebuds deck, 

Her eyes like diamonds shine. 

Soon as his well-known ship she spied, 
She cast her weeds away, 

And to the palmy shore she hied, 
All in her best array. 

In sea-green silk so neatly clad, 

She there impatient stood ; 
The crew with wonder saw the lad 

Eepell the foaming flood. 


Her hands a handkerchief display 'd, 

Which he at parting gave ; 
Well pleas'd the token he survey'd, 

And manlier beat the wave. 

Her fair companions one and all, 

Rejoicing crowd the strand ; 
For now her lover swam in call, 

And almost touch'd the land. 

Then through the white surf did she haste, 

To clasp her lovely swain ; 
When, ah ! a shark bit through his waste : 

His heart's blood dy'd the main ! 

He shriek'd ! his half sprang from the wave, 

Streaming with purple gore, 
And soon it found a living grave, 

And ah ! was seen no more. 

Now haste, now haste, ye maids, I pray, 

Fetch water from the spring : 
She falls, she swoons, she dies away, 

And soon her knell they ring. 

Now each May morning round her tomb, 

Ye fair, fresh flowerets strew, 
So may your lovers scape his doom, 

Her hapless fate scape you. 



BALLADS make an interesting chapter of Spanish literature under the 
name of Romances. They chiefly relate to conflicts with the Moors, 
and display the chivalrous gallantry of that people. Percy translated 
some of these pieces, while he was studying the Spanish language. 
" Rio Verde" is the name of a river, and should have been retained. 

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 1 
Loudly shouts with taunting cry ; 

Yield thee, yield thee, Don Saavedra ; 
Dost thou from the battle fly P 

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 know ; 

Seven years I was thy captive, 
Seven years of pain and woe. 

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 Kenegado, 

Mute and lifeless on the ground. 

1 Properly an apostate; but sometimes, as here, used to express an infidel In 


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. 1 



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. 

1 A few stanzas, which seemed to be of inferior merit, were not translated. 


Hope and fear alternate teize him, 
Oft lie 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 : 

Alia 1 keep thee, lovely lady ; 
Tell me, am I doom'd to die P 

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 P 

An old lord from Antiquera 
Thy stern father brings along ; 

But canst thou, inconstant Zaida, 
Thus consent my love to wrong P 

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. 

1 Alia is the Mahometan name of God. 


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 j 

My stern father breaks my heart : 
Alia knows how dear it costs me, 

Generous youth, from thee to part. 

Ancient wounds of hostile fury 

Long have rent our house and thine j 

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 sufier'd here to meet thee 

Still at eve and early morn. 

I no longer may resist them ; 

All, 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 thce P 
Canst thou hold ray love so small ? 

No ! a thousand times I'll perish ! 

My curst rival too shall fall. 

Canst thou, wilt thou yield thus to themP 
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 must go : farewell for ever ! 

Gracious Alia be thy guide ! 



IBoofe I. 

FROM a very ancient MS. (Harl. MSS. 2253 s. 23) in the British 
Museum, and supposed to be not later than the time of Richard II. 
The ballad was " made by one of the adherents of Simon de Montfort, 
Earl of Leicester, soon after the battle of Lewes, May 14th, 1264." A 
few words will explain this antique libel. The battle followed the 
failure of the Barons to procure a peace by a payment of 30.000Z. to 
the brother of Henry III. The King, Prince Edward his son, his 
brother Richard, and many of his friends fell into the hands of their 
enemies ; while two great Barons of the king's party, John Earl of 
Warren, and Hugh Bigot, the king's Justiciary, escaped into France. 
This Ballad is said to have been a chief cause of the law made in the 
third year of Edward I., " Against slanderous reports or tales, to cause 
discord betwixt king and people." 

In the first stanza the sum of 80,000?., as the demand of the king's 
brother, is misrepresented. In the second stanza the reader is to 
remember that Richard, with the Earldom of Cornwall, had the 
honours of Wallingford and Eyre confirmed to him, on his marriage 
with Sanchia, daughter of the Count of Provence, in 1243. The third 
stanza refers to the flight of Richard, who took refuge in a windmill 
which he defended for some time, but in the evening was obliged to 
surrender. The fourth stanza is explained by the clamour against the 
attendants whom Richard was about to bring over from Italy in 1259. 
In the fifth stanza the writer regrets the escape of the Earl of Warren ; 
and in the sixth and seventh stanzas, he intimates the peril of the 
Earl of Warren and Sir Hugh Bigot, in the event of their capture. 
This allusion fixes the date of the Ballad ; for in 1265 they landed in 
South Wales, and the Royal party soon afterwards gained the upper 

SiTTETH 1 alle stille, ant herkneth to me ; 
The kyng of Alemaigne, 2 bi mi leaute, 3 
Thritti thousent pound askede he 
For te make the pees 4 in the countre, 

Ant so he dude more. 
Richard, thah 5 thou be ever trichard, 6 
Tricthen 7 shalt thou never more. 

1 Sitteth, &c. Sit ye all still, and hearken unto me. 

4 Alemaigne Germany. 3 Leaute -foi/afty. * Pees peace. 

5 Thah though. Trichard treacherous, 1 Trichthen -deceive, 


Richard of Aiemaigne, wliil that he \vos tying, 
He spcnde al is trcsour opon swy vyng, 
Haveth he nout 1 of Walingford oferlyng, 
Let him habbe, 2 ase he brew, bale to dryng, 3 

Maugre Wyndsore. 
Hi chard, thah thou be ever, &c. 

The kyng of Alemaigne, do ful wel, 
He saisede 4 the mulne for a castel, 
With hare 5 sharpe swerdes he grounde the stel,' 
He wende that the sayles were mangonel' 
To helpe Wyndesore. 
Richard, thah thou be ever, &c. 

The kyng of Alemaigne gederede 8 ys host, 
Makede him a castel of a mulne post, 
Wende with is prude, ant is nmchele bost, 9 
Brohte 10 from Alemayne niony sori gost 

To store Windesore. 
Hichard, thah thou be ever, &c. 

By G-od, that is aboven ous, he dude muche synne, 
That lette passen over see the erl of Warynne : 
He hath robbed Engelond, the mores, ant the fenne, 
The gold, ant the selver, and y-boren 11 henne, 
For love of Wyndesore. 
Richard, thah thou be ever, &c. 

Sire Simond de Mountfort hath suore 12 bi ys chyn, 

Hevede 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, &c. 

Sir Simond de Montfort hath suore bi ys cop, 
Hevede 13 he nou here Sire Hue de Bigot : 
Al 14 he shulde grante here twelfmoneth scot 15 
Shulde he never more with his sot pot 

To helpe Wyndesore. 
Richard, thah thou be ever, &c. 

1 Nout nought. z Habbe, &c. have as he brews, 

' Bale, &c. misery to drink. * Saisede, &c. seized the mill for a castle. 

5 Hare, &c.mth their swords. 6 Stel steel. 

1 Mangonel an engine for hurling great stones. 

Gederede, &c. gathered his host. 9'Muchele, &c. - great boast. 

10 Brohte brought. !' Y-boren, &c. carried away hence. 

u Snore, &c. sworn Ity Ins chin. 13 Hevede had he now. 

14 Al although. 15 Scot revenue. 


Be the luef, be the loht, sire Edward, 
Thou shalt ride sporeles 1 o thy lyard 
Al the ryhte way to Dovere-ward, 
Shalt thou never more breke foreward ; 

Ant that reweth sore, 
Edward, thou dudest as a shreward, 2 

Forsoke thyn ernes lore, 
Richard, &c. 


Tins early attempt at elegy seems to have been composed soon after 
the death of Edward I., July 7th, 1307. 

The king had vowed an expedition to the Holy Land ; but finding 
his end approach, he dedicated the sum of 32.000Z. to the maintenance 
of a large body of knights (140, say historians, 80, says our poet), who 
were to carry his heart into Palestine, ^"his dying command was 
never performed. The Elegist attributes the failure to the advice of 
the King of France, whose daughter Isabel, the young monarch, 
who succeeded, immediately married. But, in truth, Edward and his 
destructive favourite Piers Gaveston spent the money upon their plea- 
sures. To do the greater honour to the memory of his hero, our poet 
puts his dloge 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. 

ALLE, that beoth 3 of huerte trewe, 4 

A stounde 5 herkneth 6 to my song 
Of duel, 7 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-thuncheth 8 that deth hath don us wrong, 

That he so sone shall ligge stille. 9 

Al Englond ahte 13 for te knowe 

Of wham that song is, that y synge ; u 

Of Edward kyng, that lith 12 so lowe, 
Zent 13 al this -world is nome 14 con springe : 15 

1 Sporeles spurless. 
* Shreward male shrew. 3 Beoth te, are, 

* Huerte trewe heart true. 

* A stounde -for a little time. 6 Herkneth hearken yt. 

7 Duel grief. 8 Me-thuncheth methinketh. 

9 Ligge stille We still. 10 Ahte ought. 

I' Y synge I sing. w Lith lieth. ls Zent 

" Nome nanu, 15 Con springs sprung. 



Trewest mon of alle thinge, 

Ant in werre war ant wys, 
For him we ahte our honden wrynge, 1 

Of CLristendome he ber the prys. 

Byfore that oure kyng was ded, 

He spek ase 2 mon that wes in care, 
" Clerkes, knyhtes, barons, he sayde, 

" Y charge ou by oure sware, 
" That ye to Engelonde be trewe. 

" Y deze, 3 y ne may lyven na more ; 4 
" Helpeth mi sone, ant crouneth him newe, 

" For he is nest to buen y-core. 5 

" Ich biqueth 6 myn herte arhyt, 

" That hit be write at my devys, 7 
" Over the see that Hue 8 be diht, 

" With fourscore knyhtes al of prys, 
" In werre that buen 9 war ant wys, 

" Azein 10 the hethene for te fyhte, 
" To wynne the croiz 11 that lowe lys, 

" Myself ychoide 12 zef that y myhte." 

Kyng of Fraunce, thou hevedest 13 ' sinne, 1 

That thou the counsail woldest fonde, 
To latte the wille of ' Edward kyng ' 

To wende to the holy londe : 
That oure kyng hede take on honde 

All Engelond to zeme ant wysse, 
To wend en in to the holy londe 

To wynnen us heveriche 14 blisse. 

The messager to the pope com, 

And seyde that our kynge was ded : 

Ys 15 oune hond the lettre he nom, 16 
Ywis 17 his herte was full gret : 

1 Honden wrynge hands wring. * Ase a*. 

s Deze die. * Lyven na more live no longer. 

5 Y-core chosen. 6 Ich' biqueth I bequeath. 

7 Devys devise. 

8 The name of the person who was to preside over this business. 
9 Buen be. 10 Azein against. }1 Croiz crott. 

14 Ycholde I should if. 13 Hevedest hadit. 

14 Heveriche heavenly. 
15 Ys i? probably a contraction of in hys oryn his. 

15 Nom-A-oo^. " Twis verily. 


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 dol 1 ne mihte he speke na more ; 
Ant after cardinals he sende, 

That muche couthen 2 of Cristes lore, 
Bothe the lasse, 3 ant eke the more, 

Bed hem bothe rede ant synge : 
Gret deol me 4 myhte se thore, 5 

Mony mon is honde wrynge. 

The Pope of Peyter's stod at is masse 

With ful gret solempnetd, 
Ther me con the soule blesse : 

" Kyng Edward honoured thou be : 
" God love thi sone come after the, 

"Bringe to ende that thou hast bygonne, 
" The holy crois y-mad 6 of tre, 

" So fain thou woldest hit hav y-wonne. 

" Jerusalem, thou hast i-lore 7 

" 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 8 broht to grounde ; 
" Wei ! longe we mowe clepe 9 and crie 

" Er we a such kyng han y-founde." 

Nou is Edward of Carnarvan 

King of Engelond al aplyht, 10 
God lete him ner be worse man 

Then his fader, ne lasse of myht, 11 
To holden is pore men to ryht, 

And understonde good counsail, 
Al Engelong for to wysse 12 ant dyht ; 

Of gode knyhtes darh 13 him nout fail. 

1 Dol grief. 

2 Couthen knew. 3 Lasse less. 

* Me men; so in Robert of Gloucester, passim. 5 Thore there. 

6 Y-mad made. 7 I-lore lost. 

8 Bueth are brought. 
Clepe call. 10 Al aplyht all complete. 

11 Lasse of myht less of might, 

18 Wysse ant dyht teach and govern. ls Darh need. 

K 2 


Thak 1 mi tonge were mad of stel, 

Ant min Lerte yzote 2 of bras. 
The godness myht y never telle, 

That with kyng Edward was : 
Kyng, as thou art cleped conquerour, 

In uch 3 bataillc thou hadest prys ; 
God bringe thi soule to the honour, 

That ever wes, ant ever ys. 


THE versification of this Sonnet is of the kind which the French call 
Rondeau. Geoffrey Chaucer died Oct. 25, 1400, aged 72. 


YOURE two eyn 4 will sle me sodenly, 
I may the bcaute of them not sustene, 
So wendeth 5 it thorowout my herte kene. 

And but your words will helen 6 hastely 
My hertis 7 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 line and deth the quene ; 
For with my deth the trouth shal be sene. 
Youre two eyn, &c. 


So hath youre beauty fro your herte chased 
Pitee, that me n' availeth not to pleyn ; 8 
For daunger halt 9 your mercy in his eheyne, 

Giltless my deth thus have ye purchased ; 
I sey yow soth, 10 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. 11 
So hath youre beaute, &c. 

1 Thah though. 2 Yzote molten. 3 Uch each. 

4 Eyn, &c. eyes will slay me suddenly. 
8 Wendeth goeth. 6 Helen heal. 7 Hertis heart's. 

8 Pleyn complain. Halt holdeth. 

W I sey, &c. I tell you truth. u Peyn f aw. 



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. 1 

He may answere, and sey this and that, 
I do no fors, 2 1 speak ryght as I mene ; 
Syn I fro love escaped am so fat. 

Love hath my name i-strike out of his sclat, 3 
And he is strike out of my bokes clene : 
For ever mo ' ther ' is non other mene, 
Syn I fro love escaped, &c. 



WHILE Europe was captivated by the charms of Chivalry and 
Romance, Chaucer ridiculed the latter in his Khyme of " Sir Topaz," 
and in the following poem we have a burlesque of the former. The 
writer introduces a company of clowns imitating all the solemnities of 
the Tourney. Here we find the regular challenge the appointed day 
.the lady for the reward the preparations the display of armour 
the scutcheons and devices the oaths taken on entering the lists the 
accidents of the encounter the conqueror carrying off the prize the 
magnificent feasting, and all the other solemn fopperies that usually 
attended the Tournament. The Poem was first printed in 1631, by 
W. Bed well, Rector ^of Tottenham, from a MS. lent to him by his 
friend George Wither. Percy produced a correcter transcript from a 
copy preserved among the "Harl. MSS." (5396), and appearing to 
have been written in the reign of Henry VI., about 1456. The re- 
puted author of the " Tournament" was Gilbert Pilkington, who is 
supposed to have been a predecessor of Bedwell at Tottenham. 
Price considered the Poem to be at least as old as the middle of the 
fifteenth century. 

OF all thes kene conquerours to carpe 4 it were kynde ; 
Of fele feyztyng 5 folk ferly we fynde, 
The Turnament of Totenham have we in mynde ; 
It were harme sych hardynes were holden byhynde, 
In story as we rede 

Of Hawkyn, of Herry, 
Of Tomkyn, of Terry, 
Of them that were dughty 6 
And stalworth 7 in dede. 

1 Bcne a term of scorn. 2 I do, &c. J dont care. s Sclat slatt, 
* Carpe speak. * Fele, &c. fierce firjlitinq. . 6 Dughty doughty* 
1 Stalworth itout.' 


It befel in Totenham on a dere day, 
Ther was mad a shurtyng 1 be the hy-way : 
Theder com al the men of the contray, 
Of Hyssylton, of Hy-gatc, and of Hakenay, 
And all the swete swynkers. 2 
Ther hopped Havrkyn, 
Ther daunsed Dawkyn, 
Ther trumped Tomkyn, 

And all were trewe drynkcrs. 

Tyl the day was gon and evyn-song past, 
That thay schuld reckyn ther scot and ther counts c;;st ; 
Perkyn the potter into the press past, 
And sayd Randol the refe, 3 a dozter 4 thou hast, 
Tyb the dere : 

Therfor faine wyt 5 wold I, 
"VVhych of all thys bachelery 
Were best worthye 

To wed hur to hys fere. 6 

Upstyrt thos gadelyngys 7 wyth ther lang staves, 
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 haves 
Of cattell and corn ; 

Then sayd Perkyn, To Tybbe I have hyzt 8 
That I schal be alway redy in my ryzt, 9 
If that it schuld be thys day sevenyzt, 
Or elles zet to morn. 

Then sayd Randolfe the refe, Ever be he waryd, 10 
That about thys carpyng lenger wold be taryd : 
I wold not my dozter, that scho 11 were miscaryd, 
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 myghfr* 
Schal brouke hur wyth wynnc. 12 

1 Shnrtyng a pastime. 2 Svrynkers-^alourers. 

3 IlefehaUif. * Dozter daughter. 5 Wyt know would I. 

6 Fere wife. 7 Gadelyngys vagabonds. 

Hyzt promised. 9 Eyzt right. 10 Waryd accuried. 

11 Scho the. 
w Schal brouke, &c. hall enjoy her Kith pleasure. 


Whoso berys 1 hym best in the turnament, 
Hym schal be granted the gre 2 be the comon assent, 
For to wynne my dozter wyth ' dughtynesse' of dent, 3 
And ' coppell ' 4 my brode-henne ' that ' was brozt out of 

And my dunnyd kowe 

For no spens 3 vvyl 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 : 6 
Than thay toke thayr leve, and homward they zede ; 7 
And all the weke afterward graythed ther wede, 8 
Tyll it come to the day, that thay suld do ther dede. 
They ormed hani in rnatts ; 
Tliey set on ther nollys, 9 
For to kepe ther pollys, 10 
Gode blake bollys, 11 

For batryng of bats. 12 

Thay sowed Lham in schepeskynnes, for thay schuld 

not brest : 13 

Ilk-on 14 toko a blak hat, insted of a crest : 
' A basket or a pauyer before on ther brest,' 
And a flayle in ther hande ; for to fyght prest, 15 - 
Forth gon thay fare : 16 

Ther was kyd 17 mekyl fors, 
Who schuld best fend hys cors : 
He that had no gode hors, 
He gat hyin a mare. 13 

Sych another gadryng 19 have I not ,sene oft, 

When all the gret company com rydand 20 to the croft": 

Tyb on a gray mare was set up on loft 

On a sek ful of fedyrs, 21 for scho schuld syt soft, 

1 Berys beareth. a Ore prise. 

3 Dent stroke. 
* Copptll. We still use the phrase, " a copple-crowned hen." 

'" Spens expense. 6 Bede engage, offer. 

^ Zede went. 8 Graythed, &c. prepared their clothing. 

Nollys heads. i Pollys polls. 

11 Bollys bowls. la Bats cudgels. 

13 They tewed themselves up in sheepskins, by way of armour. 

M Ili-on each one. 15 Prest ready. 16 Fare, &c. on they went. 

17 Kyd shewn. 
M It was a disgrace to chivalry to ride on a marc, 

" Gadryng gathering. 
w Kydand, &c. riding to the enclosure. i T?eclyrafeath<rt. 


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 rouncle bonys, 
And a broche on hur brest ful of ' sapphyre' stonys, 
Wyth the holy -rode tokenyng, 1 was wrotyn 2 for the uonys ; 
For no ' spendings' thay had spared. 
When joly Gyb saw hur thare, 
He gyrd 3 so hys gray mare, 
' That scho lete a fowkin' 4 fare 
At the rereward. 

I wow to God, quoth Herry, I schal not lefe behynde, 
May I mete wyth Bernard on Bayard the blynde, 
Ich man kepe hym out of my wynde, 
For whatsoever that he be, before me I fynde, 
I wot I schall hym greve. 

Wele saycl, quoth Hawkyn. 
And I wow, quoth Dawkyn, 
May I mete wyth Tomkyn, 

Hys flayle 1 schal hym reve. 

I make a vow, quoth Hud, Tyb, son schal thou se, 
Whych of all thys bachelery ' granted' is the gre : 
I scbal scomfet 5 thaym all, for the love of the ; 
In what place so I come thay schal have dout 6 of me, 
Myn ai'res ar so clere : 

I bere a reddyl, and a rake, 
Poudred'wyth a brenand drake, 7 
And three cantells 8 of a cake 
In ycha 9 cornere. 

I wow to God, quoth Hawkyn, yf ' I* have the gowt, 
Al that I fynde in the felde ' thrustand' here aboute, 
Have I twyes or thryes redyn thurgh the route, 
In ycha stede 10 ther thay me se, of me thay schal have doute, 

1 Wyth the holy-rode tokenyng the holy cross token. 

8 Wrotyn wrought. 3 Gyrd lashed. 

* Fowkin crepitws ventris. 5 Scomi'et discomfit. 

c Dout -fear. 

7 Brenand drake perhaps a firework so called; but here it seems 

to signify burning embers, or_fire-brci>di. 

8 Cantells pieces. ^Ycha each, I0 Stede plae*. 


When I begyn to play. 

I make avowe that I ne schall, 
But yf Tybbe wyl me call, 
Or 1 I be thryes don fall, 

Ryzt 2 onys 3 com away. 
Then sayd Terry, and swore be hys crede ; 
Saw thou never yong boy forther hys body bede, 4 
For when thay fyzt fastest and most ar in drede, 
I schall take Ty b by the hand, and hur away lede : 
I am armed at the full ; 

In myn armys I bcre wele 
A doz trogh, 5 and a pele, 
A sadyll wythout a panell, 
Wyth a fles 6 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 rae, 8 
Ther is no capul 9 in thys myle befor hur schal ga ; 
Sche wul ne nozt begyle : 

Sehe 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 scbal wyrch 10 ' wyselyer' withouten any bost : 
Five of the best capulys, that ar in thys ost, 
I wot I schal thaym wynne, and bring thaym to my cost, 
And here I grant thaym Tybbe. 
Wele boyes here ys he, 
That wyl fyzt, and not fle, 
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 tre : 
Ther were all the bachelerys of that centre ; 
Thay were dyzt 11 in aray, as thaymselfes wold be : 
Thayr baners were ful bryzt 
Of an old rotten fell ; 
The cheveron of a plow-mell ; 12 
And the schadow of a bell, 

Poudred wyth the mone lyzt. 13 

1 Or 'before. 2 Ryzt right. 3 Onys once. * Bede engage. 

6 Doz-trogh dough-trouffh. 6 Fles fleece. 1 Swa so. 8 Kae roe. 

Capul horse. 10 Wyrch, &c. work more wisely. ll Dyzt dretsed. 

u Plow-mell a tmall wooden hammer sometimes fixed to theploiigh. 

13 Mone lyzt moonlight. 


I wot y t ' was' no chylder 1 game, whan thay togedyr met, 
When icha frekc 2 in the feld on hys feloy 3 bet, 4 
And layd on styfly, for nothyng wold thay let, 
And foght ferly 5 fast, tyll ther horses swet, 
And few wordys spoken. 

Ther were flayles al to slatred, 6 
Ther were scheldys al to flatred, 
Bollys and dysches 7 al to schatred, 
And many hedys 8 brokyn. 

There was clynkyng of cart-sadelys, and clatteryng of 

Cannes ; 

Of fele frekys in the feld brokyn were their fannes ; 9 
Of sum were the hedys brokyn, of sum the brayn-pannes, 
And yll were thay besene, 10 or thay went thanns, 
Wyth swyppyng 11 of swepyls : 

Thay were so wery for-foght, 12 
Thay myzt 13 not fyzt mare oloft, 
But creped about in the ' croft,' 

As thay were croked crepyls. 14 

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, 15 
For no cost wyl I spare. 

He styrt up as a snayle, 
And hent 16 a capul be the tayle, 
And ' reft' Dawkin hys flayle, 
And wan there a mare. 

Perkyn wan five, and Hud wan twa : 
Glad and blythe thay ware, that they had don sa ; 
Thay wold have tham to Tyb, and present hur with tha : 
The Capulls were so wery, that thay myzt not ga, 
But styl gon thay stond. 

Alas ! quoth Hudde, my joye I lese ; 
Mee had lever then a ston of chese, 
That dere Tyb had al these, 

And wyst it were my sond. 17 

1 Chylder children's. z Froke - man. 

3 Feloy fellow. * Bet did beat. 5 Ferly wonderfully. 

6 Slatred splintered. " Bollys ooicU and dishes. 

8 Hedys heads. 9 Fannes instruments for winnowing corn. 

10 Besene clad. 
11 Swyppyng, &c. striking fast with the corn-Jlails. 

w For-foght over-fought. 
13 Myzt, &c. might not fiyht more aloft, 

14 Crepyls cripples. 15 Noye oute annoyance. 16 Hent laid Kold of. 
i? And wyst, &c. And knew it were my sending. 


Perkyn turnyd hyin about in that ych tlirang, 
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, 1 
And after hym ran ; 

Off his horse he hym drogh, 2 
And gaf 3 hym of hys flayl inogh : 
We te he ! 4 quoth Tyb, and lugh, 5 
Ye er a dughty man. 

' Thus ' thay tugged, and rugged, tyl 6 yt was nere nyzt : 
All the wyves of Tottenham came to se that syzt 
Wyth wyspes, and kexis, 7 and ryschys 8 there lyzt, 9 
To fetch horn ther husbandes, that were tham trouth plyzt ; 
And sum brozt gret harwos, 10 

Ther husbandes horn to fetch, 
Sum on dores, and sum on hech, 11 
Sum on hyrdyllys, and som on crech, 12 
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 con thay ryde, 
And were al nyzt togedyr, tyl the morn tyde ; 
And thay ' to church went :' 

So wele hys nedys he has sped, 
That dere Tyb he ' hath ' wed ; 
The prayse-folk, 13 that hur led, 
Were of the Turnament. 

To that ylk fest 14 com many for the nones ; 

Some come hyphalte, 15 and some trippand 'thither ' on the 

stonys : 

Sum a staf in hys hand, and sum two at onys ; 
Of sum where the hedes broken, of some the schulder 

bonys ; 

1 Fang make off". 2 Drogh pulled. 

3 Gaf gave him of his flail enough. 
* Te he interjection of laiighter. s Lugh laughed. 

6 Tyl, &c. till it was near night. 

7 Kexis elder sticks used for candles. 8 Eyschys ruehes. 

9 Lyzt light. 10 Some brought great harrows. 

11 Hech hatch. 13 Crech crutch. 

13 Mr. Chappell, speaking of a later age, observes "A wedding was of a 
much gayer character than now. There was first the ' Hunt's up,' a morning 
song to wake the bride j then the music to conduct her to church, the sanio 
from church." 

11 Fest -feast, 15 Hyphalte lame in the hip. 


With sorrow come thay thedyr. 

"Wo was Hawkyn, wo was Ilerry, 
Wo was Tomkyn, wo was Terry, 
And so was all the bachelary, 
When thay met togedyr. 

At that feat thay wer servyd with a ryche aray, 
Every fyve & fy ve had a cokenay ;' 
And so thay sat in jolyte al the lung day; 
And at the last thay went to bed with ful gret deray : ! 
Mekyl myrth was them among ; 
In every corner of the hous 
Was melody delycyous 
For to here precyus 

Of six menys song. 3 


THIS Song in praise of the victory at Agincourt (Oct. 25th, 1415) is 
printed from a SIS. copy in the Pepys collection, which also contains 
the music to it, written, as Dr. Kimbault informs us, on vellum, in the 
Gregorian, or square and lozenge notes. "In its original state, this 
song may be considered as the first English regular composition of 
which we have any remains." Although llenry " had forbidden the 
minstrels to celebrate his victory," he was a patron of the " Order," and 
both of his biographers mention his love of music. 

Deo gratias, Anglia, redde pro victoria ! 

OWEE kynge went forth to Normandy, 
With grace and myzt of chivalry ; 
The God for hym wrouzt 4 marvelously, 
Wherefore Englonde may calle, and cry, 

Deo gratias : 
Deo gratias, Anglia, redde pro victoria. 

1 Every fyve, &c. Every five had a cook or scullion to attend them. 

2 Deray noite and confusion. 
3 Six menys song i. e., a song for six voices. 

"It has been supposed that this is an allusion to 'Sumer is icumenin,' 
which requires six performers ; but in all probability there were many such 
songs, although but one of such early date has descended to us." Chappell, 
" On Popular Music," p. 37. 

* Wrouzt wrought. 


He sette a sege, 1 the sotlie for to say, 
To Harflue toune with ryal aray ; 
That toune he wan, and made a fray, 
That Fraunce shall rywe tyl domes day. 8 

Then went owre kynge, with alle his oste, 
Thorowe Fraunce for all the Frenshe boste ; 
He spared ' for ' drede of leste, ne most, 
Tyl he come to Agincourt coste. 3 

Than for sothe that knyzt 4 comely 
In Agincourt feld he fauzt manly, 
Thorow grace of God most myzty 
He had bothe the felde, and the victory : 

Ther dukys, and erlys, lorde and barone, 
Were take, and slayne, and that wel sone, 5 
And some were ledde in to Lundone 
With joye, and merthe, and grete renone. 

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. 


THE Not-browne Mayd first appeared about the year 1521, in a curious 
miscellany of odd things, entitled " Arnold's Chronicle." Warton 
draws a proof from the language of the Ballad, that it was not written 
earlier than the beginning of the sixteenth century, and he suspected 
the sentiment to be too refined for the popular taste. Prior founded 
his " Henry and Emma" upon this Poem, without preserving its 
aturalness or harmony ; for the Ballad is a little drama, artfully 
varied, and strikingly conducted to its close. 

BE it ryght or wrong, these men among 

On women do complayne ; 6 
Affyrmynge this, how that it is 

A labour spent in vayne, 

1 Sege eige. * Domes day doomsday. 

* Coste region. ' * Knyzt knight. 5 Sone *008, 

* Farmer proposes to read the first lines thus : 

Be it right or wrong, 'tis men among, 
On women to complayne. 


To love them wele ; for never a dele 1 

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 2 thought 

He is a banyshed man. 

I say nat nay, but that all day 

It is bothe writ and sayd, 
That woman's faith is, as who sayth, 

All utterly decayed ; 
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 3 

What was all the manere 
Betwayne them two : we wyll also 

Tell all the payne, and fere, 
That she was in. Nowe I begyn, 

So that ye me answere ; 
Wherfore, all ye, that present be 

I pray you, gyve an ere. 4 
" I am the knyght ; I come by nyght, 

As secret as I can ; 
Sayinge, Alas ! thus standeth the case, 

I am a banyshed man." 

SHE. 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 blarney 

And causelesse them accuse ; 
Therfore to you I answere no we,' 

All women to excuse, 

1 Dele deal. * Hertheir. 

* Dyscua diicxsi. * Ere ear. 


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. 

HE. 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 fle : 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. 

SHE. O Lord, what is thys worldys blysse, 

That changeth as the rnone ! 
My somer's day in lusty May 

Is derked 1 before the none. 
I here you say, Farewell : Nay, nay, 

We depart nat so sone. 
Why say ye so ? wheder 2 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. 

HE. I can beleve, it shall you greve, 

And somewhat you dystrayne ; 8 
But, aftyrwarde, your paynes harde 

Within a day or twayne 
Shall sone aslake -. 4 and ye shall take 

Comfort to you agayne. 
Why sholde ye ought P for, to make thought, 

Your labour were in vayne. 
And thus I do ; and pray you to, 

As hartely, 5 as I can ; 
For I must to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 

1 Derked darkened. * Wheder whitker. 

1 Dystrayne vex. * Aslake a late, 6 Hartely earnettly. 


SHE Wow, syth that ye have shewed to me 

The secret of j^our 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 Mayd 

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 1 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. 
Eather 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 larg 

In hurtynge of my name : 
For I wyll prove, that faythfulle lore 

It is devoyd of shame ; 
In your dystresse, and hevynesse, 

To part with you, the same : 
And sure all tho, 2 that do not so, 

True lovers are they none ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

HE. I counceyle 3 you, remember howe, 

It is no mayden's lawe, 
Nothynge to dout, but to renne 4 out 
To wode with an outlawe : 

1 Rede advise. * Tho thoie, 

8 Counceyle counsel, * Keune nm 


For ye must there in your hand here 

A bowe, redy to drawe ; 
And, as a thefe, thus must you lyve, 

Ever in drede and awe ; 
Whereby to you grete harme myght growe : 

Yet had I lever 1 than, 
That I had to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 
SEE. I thinke nat nay, but as ye say, 

It is no mayden's 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 niaketh my hart 

As colde as ony stone ; 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 
HE. For an outlawe this is the lawe, 

That men hym take and bynde ; 
Without pyfe", hanged to be, 

And waver with the wynde. 
If I had nede (as God forbede !) 

What rescous 2 coude ye fynde P 
Forsoth, I trowe, ye and your bowe 

For fere wolde drawe behynde : 
And no mervayle ; for lytell avayle 

Were in your counceyle than : 
Wherefore I wyll to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 
SHE. Eyght wele knowe ye, that women bo 

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 withstands, 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. 

Leyer rather. z Kescoua reicvt, 



HE. 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, 1 beleve ; 

And ye wolde gladly than 
That I had to the grene wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 

SHE. Syth I have here bene partynere 

With you of joy and blysse, 
I must also parte of your wo 

Dndure, as reson is : 
Yet am I sure of one plesure ; 

And shortely, it is this : 
That, where ye be, me semeth, parde, 

I coude nat 1 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. 

HE. 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 twine ; 
None other house, but loves and bowes, 

To cover your lied 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. 

SHE. Amonge the wylde dere, such an archere, 

As men say that ye be, 
Ne may nat fayle of good vitayle, 2 
Where is so grete plente : 

1 Coude nat eould not, * Vitayle victual. 


And water clere of the ryvere 

Shall be full swete to me ; 
With which in hele 1 1 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. 
HE. Lo yet, before, ye must do more, 

Yf ye wyll go with me : 
As cut your here 2 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 fle. 
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. 
SHE. 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, 3 

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. 
HE. Nay, na} 1 ", nat so ; ye shall nat go, 

And I shall tell ye why, 

Your appetyght is to be lyght 

Of love, I wele espy : 
For, ]yke as ye have sayed to 2Q2, 

In lyke wyse hardely 
Ye wolde enswere 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. 

1 Hele health, * Here hair, * EaB3--/(>Z/o. 

o 2 


SHE. Yf ye take hede, it is no nede 

Sucli wordes to say by me ; 
For oft yc prayed, and ionge assayed, 

Or 1 I you loved, parde : 2 
And though that I of auncestry 

A baron's daughter be, 
Yet have you proved howe I you loved, 

A squyer of lowe degre; 
And ever shall, whatso befall ; 

To dy therfore anone ; 8 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

HE. A baron's chylde to be begylde ! 

It were a cursed dede ; 
To be felawe 4 with an outlawe ! 

Almighty God forbede ! 
Yet beter were, the pore squyere 

Alone to forest yede, 8 
Than ye sholde say another day, 

That, by my cursed dede, 
Ye were betray 'd: Wherfore, good mayd, 

The best rede 6 that I can, 
Is, that I to the greno wode go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 

SHE. 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, howe 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. 

HE. 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 ; 

i Or before. z Parde in truth. 

3 i. e. for this cause ; though I were to die for having loved you. 

4 Felawe -fellow, companion. s Yede vent. 

Eede adace. "> Purvayed provided* 


Anotlier fayrere than ever ye were, 

I dare it wele avowe ; 
And of you bothe eche sholde be wrotlie 

With other as I trowe : 
It were myne ese to lyve in pese j 1 

So wyll I, yf I can ; 
Wherfore I to the wode wyll go, 

Alone, a banyshed man. 
SHE. Though in the wode T 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 fulfyl'l all that she wyll 

Cornmaunde 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, 
HE. 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 rewe. 
Be nat dismayed ; whatsoever I sayd 

To you, whan I began ; 
I wyll nat to the grene wode go ; 

I am no banyshed man. 
SHE. These ty dings 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 word6s on the splene. 
Ye shape some wyle me to begyle, 

And stele from me, I wene : 
Than were the case worse than it wa?, 

And I more wo-begone : 
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde 

I love but you alone. 

1 Ese, &c. ease to live in peace. 


HE. Ye shall nat nede further to drede ; 

I wyll nat dysparage 
You (God defend !), syth ye descend 

Of so grete a lynage. 
Nowe uudyrstande ; 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 Erly's son, 

And not a banyshed man. 
AuTHOE. Here may ye se, that women be 

In love, meke, kynde, and stable : 
Late 1 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 loveth, 

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. 


IN imitation of some verses by Chaucer, beginning " Alone walking," 
&c. It is the only original poem by that accomplished nobleman, 
and was composed during his imprisonment. He was beheaded at 
rontefract, by order of Richard III., June 13th, 1483. 

STJMWHAT musyng, And more mornyng, 

In remembring The unstydfastnes ; 
This world being Of such whelyng, 2 

Me contrarieng, What may I gesse P 
I fere dowtles, Ilemediles, 

Is now to sese My wofull chaunce, 
[For unkyndness, W ithouten 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. 

1 Late let. 2 VThclyngieheeling. 



Me thynkys truly, Bowndyn 1 am I, 

And" that gretly, To be content : 
Seyng playnly, Fortune doth wry 2 

All contrary From myn entent. 

My lyff was lent Me to on intent, 

Hytt 3 is ny spent. Welcome fortune ! 

But I ne went Thus to be shent, 4 
But sho 5 hit ment ; Such is hur won. 6 


WARTON believed Lord Vaux, the poet, to be Thomas the son of 
Nicholas, " the shining ornament of the Court of Henry VII.," and who 
died in the year 1523. 

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 therfore. 

There sawe I Love upon the wall, 

How he his banner did display : 
Alarme, alarme, he gan to call : 

And bad his souldiours kepe aray. 

The armes, the which that Cupide bare, 
Were pearced hartes with teares besprent, 7 

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 8 of pouder he spared not 
Assault ! assault ! to crye aloude. 

There might you heare the cannons rore ; 

Eche pece discharged a lover's loke ; 
Which had the power to rent, and tore 

In any place whereas they toke. 

1 Bcwnclyn bounden. 2 Wry turn aside. 

3 Hytt, 4c. it is nearly. * Shent abashed, confounded. 

5 Sho, &c. she it meant. c Won usage, or custom, 

1 Besprent besprinkled. 8 Spence expense. 


And even with the trumpette's sowne 1 
The scaling ladders were up set, 

And Bcautie walked up and downe, 
With bow in hand, and arrowes whet. 

Then first Desire began to scale, 

And shrouded him under ' his ' targe ; 3 

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 3 in flesh it lightes, 
And duns the ayre with misty smokes. 

And as it is the souldier's use, 
When shot and powder gins to want, 

I hanged up my flagge of truce, 
And pleaded up for my live's grant. 

When Fansy thus had made her breche, 
And Beauty entred with her band, 

With bagge and baggage, sely 4 wretch, 
I yelded into Beautie's hand. 

Then Beautie had 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. 

1 Sowne sound. 2 Targe shield. 

8 Argabushe arquebusse, an old-fashioned musket. * Sely simple. 



THIS Ballad is from the folio MS., amended and completed by Percy, 
who supposes the Poet to have had in his eye the story of Gunhilda, 
sometimes called Eleanor, who was married to the Emperor (here called 
King) Henry. Scott printed a Ballad, " Sir Hugh le Blond," which he 
believed to be the original of " Sir Aldingar ;" the incidents being the 
same, excepting that in " Aldingar" an angel does battle for the Queen 
instead of a mortal champion. The false steward is differently named 
in the two ballads ; but Scott traced a resemblance in sound between 
" Aldingar and Rodingham," and thought that the one might, by 
reciters, be easily substituted for the other. 

OUR king he kept a false stewarde, 

Sir Aldiugar they him call ; 
A falser steward than he was one, 

Servde not in bower nor hall. 

He wolde have layne by 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. 1 

There came a lazar 2 to the king's gate, 

A lazar both blinde and lame : 
He tooke the lazar upon his backe ; 

Him on the queene's 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." 3 

Then went him forth sir Aldingar, 

And hyed him to our king : 
" If I might have grace, as I have space, 

" Sad tydings I could bring." 

Say on, say on, sir Aldingar, 

Saye on the soothe 4 to mee. 
" Our queene hath chosen a new new love, 

" And shee will have none of thee. 

1 Brent burnt. 2 Lazar leper. 

* He probably insinuates that the king should heal him by his power o* 
touching for the king's evil. * Soothe truth. 


" If slice 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 queene's chamber, 

And opend to him the dore. 
A lodlye love, king Harry says, 

For our queene dame Elinore ! 

If thou were a man, as thou art none, 
Here on my sword thoust dye ; 

But a payre of new gallowes shall be built, 
And there shalt thou hang on hye. 

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. 1 

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 swevens 2 had never been true ; 
I have proved them true at last. 

1 Blee complexion, 2 Swerens dreamt. 


I dreamt in my sweven on thursday eve, 

In my bed wheras I laye, 
I dreamt a grype 1 and a grimlie beast 

Had carryed my crowne awaye ; 

My gorgett 2 and my kirtle of golde, 

And all my faire head-geere : 
And lie wold worrye me with, his tush. 3 

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 grype, 

That dead he downe did fall. 

Giffe 4 1 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." 

" ]S~ow 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 bedeene : 5 
But never a champion colde she find, 

Wolde fight with that knight soe keeue. 

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 queene's 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, 6 

And with the same me binde ; 
That never will I return to thee, 

Till I some helpe may finde." 

1 Grype griffin. 2 Gorgett dress of the neck. . a Tush tusJc, or toot\ 
* Giffe \f, 6 Bedeene immediately, 6 Ayowe -vow. 


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 river's 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 man's 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 grecte thy queene from mee : 

When bale is att hyest, boote 1 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 feide 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 come, 

No helpe appeared nye : 
Then woeful, woeful was her hart, 

And the teares stood in her eye. 

1 Bale and boote evil and kelp. 


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 1 this dame, 

Come forth, or shee must dye. 

No knight stood forth, no knight there came, 

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 brands, 

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 backe, 

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 traitor, 

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. 2 

1 Fende defend. 
* Houzle and shrive to give the sacrament, and hear the comfestio*. 


I wolde have laine by our comlie queene, 

Bot sliee wolde never consent ; 
Then I thought to betraye her unto our kinge 

In a fyer to have her brent. 

There came a lazar to the Icing's gates, 

A lazar both blind and lame : 
I tooke the lazar upon my backe, 

And on her bedd had hym layne. 

Then ranne 1 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. 
" Nowe 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 touehd 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 : 

Bang Henrye made him his head stewards 
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 agreat 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 has 
celebrated with his own pen, viz., in this ballad of "The Gaberlunzie 
Man," and in another entitled " The Jolly Beggar." 

THE pauky 1 auld Carle came ovir the lee 
Wi' rnony good-eeus 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 azout the ingle he sat ; 2 
My dochter's shoulders he gan to clap, 

And cadgily 3 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. 
He grew canty, 4 and she grew fain : 5 
But little did her auld minny ken 
What thir slee twa 6 togither were say'n, 

When wooing they were sa thrang. 7 

And O ! quo he, an uze were as black, 
As evir the crown of your dadye's 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 8 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. 

1 Pauky, &c. sly old man. 

* Azout, &c. leyond the fire, -which was in the middle of the room. 
3 Cadgily merrily. * Canty cheerful. 

Fain fond. 6 Slee twa sly two. 

1 1krang riwe, 8 dead cZott*. 


Up the morn the auld wife raise, 
And at her leisure put on her claithci, 
Syne to the servant's bed she gaes 
To speir for the silly poor man. 

She gaed to the bed, whair the beggar lay, 
The strae was cauld, he was away ; 
She clapt her hands, cryd, Dulefu* day ! 

For some of our geir will be gane. 
Some ran to coffer, and some to kist, 1 
But nought was stown 2 that could be mist. 
She dancid her lane, 3 cryd Praise be blest, 

I have lodgd a leal poor man. 

Since naithings awa, as we can learn, 
The kirns to kirn, 4 and milk to earn, 
Gae butt the house, lass, and waken my bairn, 

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 5 gaberlunzie-man. 
Some rade upo horse, some ran a fit, 
The wife was wood 6 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 owre the lee, 
For snug in a glen, where nane could see, 
The twa, with kindlie sport and glee, 

Cut frae a new cheese a whang. 7 
The priving 8 was gude ; it pleas'd them baith, 
To lo'e her for ay, he gae her his aith. 
Quo she, to leave thee, I will be laith, 

My winsome gaberlunzie-man. 

1 Kist chest. 2 Stown stolen. 

* Her lane alone by herself. * Kirn churn. 

5 Wearyfou tiresome. 

6 Wood wad. 7 Whang a large tlice. 

8 Priving tasting. 


O kend my minny I were wi' zou, 
Illfardly 1 wad she crook Pier inou, 
Sic a poor man slield nevir trow, 

Aftir the gaberlunzie-mon. 
My dear, quo he, zee're zet owre zonge ; 
And hae na learnt the beggar's tonge, 
To follow me frae toun to toun, 

And carrie the gaberlunzie on. 

Wi' kauk and keel, 111 win zour bread, 

And spindles and whorles 2 for them wha need, 

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 \ve sail sing and be merrie o. 


THE Ballad seems to have been composed between Cromwell's commit- 
ment to the Tower, June 10, 1540, and his execution on the 28th of 
July following. Cromwell had many excellent .qualities, notwith- 
standing the dark colour in which the libeller portrays him. This 
attack called forth several panegyrics. 

BOTH man and chylde is glad to here tell 
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 fay re tyme, but thou lackydyst grace ; 

Thy cofers with golde thou fyllydst a-pace. 

Both plate and chalys came to thy fyst, 

Thou lockydst them vp where no man wyst, 

Tyll in the kynge's treasoure suche thinges were mysfc. 

Both crust and crummc came thorowe thy handes, 
Thy marchaundyse sayled over the sandes, 
Therfore nowe thou art layde fast in bandes. 

1 Illfardly ill-favour edly. 

* Spindles and whorles the instruments used for spinning in Scotland 
instead offpinning-wheels. 



Fyrste when kynge Henry, God saue his grace ! 
Perceyud myschefe kyndlyd in thy face, 
Then it was tyme to purchase the a place. 

Hys grace was euer of gentyll nature, 

Mouyd with petye, and made the hys seruyture ; 

But thou, as a wretche, suche thinges dyd procure. 

Thou dyd not remembre, false heretyke, 

One God, one fayth, and one kynge catholyke, 

For thou hast bene so long a scysmatyke. 

TKou woldyst not learne to knowe these tlire ; 

But euer was full of iniquite : 

"Wherfore all this lande hathe ben troubled with the. 

All they, that were of the new trycke, 
Agaynst the churche thou haddest them stycke ; 
Wherfore nowe thou haste touchyd the quycke. 

Bothe sacramentes and sacramentalles 
Thou woldyst not suffre within thy walles ; 
Nor let vs praye for all chrysten soules. 

Of what generacyon thou were no tonge can tell, 
Whyther of Chayme, 1 or Syschemell, 
Or else sent vs frorne the deuyll of hell. 

Thou woldest neuer to vertue applye, 

But couetyd euer to clymme to hye, 

And nowe haste thou trodden thy shoo awrye. 

Who-so-euer dyd winne thou wolde not lose ; 
Wherfore all Euglande doth hate the, as I suppose, 
Bycause thou wast false to the redolent rose. 

Thou myghtest have learned thy cloth to flocke 

Upon thy gresy fuller's 2 stocke ; 

Wherfore lay downe thy heade vpon this blocke. 

Yet saue that soule, that God hath bought, 
And for thy carcas care thou nought, 
Let it suffre payne, as it hath wrought. 

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 3 trolle on awaye. 

1 Chayme, or Syschemell Cain, or Ishmael. 

2 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 
of his ancestors, were fullers by trade. 

3 " Rombelowe " is the burden of an old song. 



THE author of these verses is unknown. Preceding the " Shepherd's 
Calendar" of Spenser by nearly fifty years, they have more natural 
feeling and melody. Warton regarded the poem " as perhaps the first 
example in our language, no-,v remaining, of the pure unmixed Pas- 
toral ; and in the Erotic species for ease of numbers, elegance of rural 
allusion, and simplicity of imagery, excelling everything of the kind 
in Spenser." Its date may be fixed at the commencement of the six- 
teenth century. 

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 : l 
And Phylida could twist and spitine, 

And thereto sing full clere. 

But Phylida was all to coye, 

For Harpalus to winne : 
For Corin was her onely joye, 

Who forst her not a pinne. 2 

How often would she flowers twine ? 

How often garlandes make 
Of couslips and of colornbine ? 

And al for Corin's sake. 

But Corin, he had haukes to lure, 

And forced more the field : 3 
Of lover's lawe he toke no cure ; 

For once he was begilde. 4 

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 5 of clay : 
His fleshe it was consumed cleane ; 

His colour gone away. 

1 Yfere together. 

2 Forst ; forced; regarded her not in the least. 
8 More, Ac. occupied himself infield sports. 

* Begilde, &c. had once been deceived in love. 

* Clot clod. 

p 2 


His beard it had not long be shave ; 

His heare hong all unkempt : l 
A man most fit even for the grave, 

Whom spitefull love had spent. 

His eyes were red, and all ' forewacht >' J 
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. 

Oh, Harpalus ! (thus would he say) 

Unhappiest under sunne ! 
The cause of thine unhappy day, 

By love was first begunne. 

For thou wentest first by sute to secko 

A tigre to make tame, 
That settes not by thy love a leeke ; 3 

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 care"lesse : 

He leapes among the leaves : 
He eates the frutes of thy redresse : 4 
Thou ' reapst,' he takes the sheaves. 

My beastes, a whyle your foode refraiuc, 
And harke your herdman's sounde ; 

Whom spitefull love, alas ! hath slainc, 
Through-girt 5 with many a wouude. 

1 Unkempt uncombed. 

* Forewacht over-tcatctied ; i. e., his eyes were always open. 
3 Not tcorth a leek a common phrase in early poetry, 

* Redresse labour. 
5 Through-girt pierced through. 


happy be ye, beastes wilde, 
That here your pasture takes : 

1 se that ye be not begilde 

Of these your faithfull makes. 1 

The hart he feedeth by the hinde : 

The bucke harcle by the do : 2 
The turtle dove is not unkiride 

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 woman's hart ? 

I see therefore to shape my death 

She cruelly is prest ; 3 
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 : 4 
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." 


1 Makes mates. 2 Do doe. 

* Prest ready. Thrall captive. 



CHIEFLY printed from the " Ever Green" of Allan Ramsay, by whom 
it was revised and amended. The author was Robert Ilenryson, who 
lived about the middle of the sixteenth century, and was probably u 
teacher of the young in the Benedictine Convent at Dunfermline. 

KOBIN sat on the gude grene hill, 

Xeipand 1 a flock of fie, 
Quken 2 mirry Makyne said him till, 3 

" O Robin rew 4 on me : 
" I haif thee luivt baith loud and still, 

" Thir 5 towmonds twa or thre ; 
" My dule in dern bot giff thou dill, 

" Doubtless but dreid 111 die." 6 

Eobin replied, Now by the rude 

Naithing of luve I knaw, 
But keip my sheip undir yon wod : 

Lo quhair they raik 7 on raw. 
Quhat can have mart 8 thee in thy mude, 9 

Thou Makyne to me schawj 
Or quhat is luve, or to be lude P 10 

Fain wald I leir 1 1 that law. 

" The law of luve gin thou wald leir, 

" Tak thair an A, B, C ; 
" Be heynd, 12 courtas, and fair of feir, 

" Wyse, hardy, kind and frie, 
" Sae tnat nae danger do the deir, 

" Quhat duie in dern thou drie : 13 
' " Press ay to pleis, and blyth appeir, 14 

" Be patient and privie." ls 

Eobin, he answert her againe, 

I wat not quhat is luve ; 
But I haif marvel in certaine 

Quhat makes thee thus wanrufe. 18 

1 Keipand, &c. keeping a Jlock of cattle. 
* Quhen when. 3 Till unto. * Row take pity. 

5 Thir towmonds these twelve months. 
6 My grief in secret if thou do not calm, with certainty I shall die. 

' Kaik, &c. go fast in a row. 8 Mart hurt. 

9 Mude mood. 10 Lude loved. n Leir learn. 

12 Heynd gentle. 

13 Quhat, &c. what grief thou suffer in secret. 
14 Press, &c. lie eager to please and appear gay. 
15 Privie secret. 16 Wanrut'e uneaty. 


The wedder 1 is fair, and I am fain ; 

My sheep gais' 2 hail abuve ; 
And sould we pley us on the plain, 

They wald us baith repruve. 

" Robin, tak tent 3 unto my tale, 

" And wirk all as I reid ; 
" And thou sail haif my heart all hale, 

" Eik and my maiden-heid : 
" Sen 4 God, he sendis bute for bale, 5 

" And for murning 6 remeid, 
" I'dern 7 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 8 1, gif I byde, 

Frae they begin to steir, 
Quhat lyes on heart I will nocht hyd, 

Then Makyne mak gude cheir. 

" Robin, thou reivs me of my rest ; 

" I luve bot thee alane." 
Makyne, adieu ! the sun goes west, 

The day is neir-hand gane. 
" Robin, in dule I am so drest, 

" That luve will be my bane." 
Makyn, gae luve quhair-eir ye list, 

For leman I luid nane. 

"Robin, I stand in sic a style, 

" I sich 9 and that full sair." 
Makyne, I have bene here this quyle ; 10 

At hame I wish I were. 
" Robin, my hinny, talk and smyle, 

" Gif thou will do nae mair." 
Makyne, som other man beguyie, 

For hameward I will fare. 

1 Wedder weather. 

* Gais, &c.go altogether. 3 Tak tent take heed. 

* Sen since. 5 Bute for bale good for evil. 

6 Murning remedy for mourning. 

~ I'dern, &c. unless I deal witht hee in secret. 

Maugre haif, &c. in spite of ill-mil. Sich ligh. 

i Quyle if We. 


Syne Robin on his ways lie went, 

As light as leif on tree ; 
But Makyne murnt and made lament, 

Scho trow'd 1 him neir to see. 
Robin he brayd attowre the bent : 2 

Then Makyne cried on hie, 
" Now may thou sing, for I am ehent ! 

"Quhat ailis luve at me?" 

Makyne went hame withouten fail, 

And weirylie could weip ; 
Then Robin in a full fair dale 

Assemblit all his sheip. 
Be that some part of Makyne's ail, 

Out-throw his heart could creip ; 
Hir fast he followt to assail, 

And till her tuke gude keip. 

Abyd, abyd, thou fair Makyne, 

A word for ony thing ; 
For all my luve, it sail be thyne, 

Withouten departing. 
All hale thy heart for till have myne, 

Is all my coveting ; 
My sheip to morn quhyle houris nyne, 

Will need of nae keiping. 

" Robin, thou hast heard sung and say, 

" In gests and storys auld, 
" The man that will not when he may, 

" Sail have nocht when he wald. 
" I pray to heaven baith nicht and day, 

" Be eiked 3 their cares sae cauld, 
" That presses first with thee to play 

" Be forrest, firth, or fauld." 

Makyne, the nicht is soft and dry, 

The wether warm and fair, 
And the grenc wod richt neir-hand by, 

To walk attowre all where : 
There may nae j anglers us espy, 

That is in luve contrair ; 
Therm, Makyne, baith you and I 

Unseen may mak repair. 

i Trow'd believed. 
* Attowre the bent out over the field. 3 Eiked enlarged. 


" Robin, that warld is now away, 

" And quyt brocht till 1 an end : 
" And nevir again thereto, perfay, 2 

" Sail it be as thou wend ; 
" For of my pain thou made but play ; 

" I words in vain did spend : 
"As thou hast done, sae sail I say, 

" Murn on, I think to mend." 

Makyne, the hope of all my heil, 3 

My heart on thee is set ; 
I'll evermair to thee be leil, 

Quhyle I may live but lett, 
Never to fail as uthers feill, 

Quhat grace so eir I get. 
" Robin, with thee I will not deill ; 

" Adieu, for this we met." 

Makyne went hameward blyth enough, 

Outowre the holtis hair : 4 
Pure Robin murnd, and Makyne leugh ; 5 

Scho sang, and he sicht 6 sair : 
And so left him bayth wo and wreuch, 

In dolor and in care, 
Keipand his herd under a heuch, 7 

Amang the rushy gair. 



THE scene of this old Ballad is laid near Walsingham, about seven 
miles from the town of Wells in Norfolk, once famous for its image of 
the Virgin Mary, which, at the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, 
was carried to Chelsea, and there burnt. Pilgrimages to this shrine 
commenced in or before the reign of Henry III., who was there in 
1241. The poem is printed from the folio MS., and the conjectural 
supplements are 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. 

1 Brocht till brought unto. 

Perfay eerily. Heil health. 
4 Holtis hair hoar hills. 

Sicht sighed. 7 Heuch hill. 


" Unto the towne of Walsingliam 

" The way is hard for to be gon ; 
" And verry crooked are those pathes 

"For you to find out all alone." 

"VVeere 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 gryene ; 

" 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 ; 
Mywitts, and thoughts, and a.11 the rest, 

Have well deserved for to dye. 

I am not what I seeme to bee, 

My clothes and sexe doe differ farr : 

I am a woman, woe is me ! 

Born to greefle and irksome care. 

For my beloved, and well-beloved, 

My wayward cruelty could kill : 
And though my teares will nought avail, 

Most dearety I bewail him still. 

He was the flower of ?zoble wights, 
None ever more sincere colde bee ; 

Of comely mien and shape hee was, 
And tenderize hee loved mee. 

When thus J ,<>aw he Zoved me well, 
I grewe so proud his ^>aine to see, 

That I, who did not know myselfe, 
Thought scorne cf 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 doc. 

1 Goldsmith paraphrased these stanzaa iu his " Hermit." 


Thus being wearyed with delayes 

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 sacrifice my tender age ; 
And every day lie 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. 

Now, gentle heardsman, aske no more, 

But keepe my secretts I thee pray ; 
Unto the towne of Walsingam 

Show me the right and readye way. 

" JSTow goe thy wayes, and God before ! 

" For he must ever guide thee still : 
" Turne downe that dale, the right hand path, 

"And soe, faire pilgrim, fare thee well !" 


WAS a story of great fame among our ancestors. The following text 
is selected (with such other corrections as occurred) from two copies 
in black letter. The copy in the Bodleian library is intitled " A inerrie, 
pleasant, and delectable historic betweene King Edward the Fourth 
and a Tanner of Tamworth, &c., 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 greene, 

And blossoms bedecke the tree, 
King Edward wolde a hunting ryde, 

Some pastime for to see. 

With hawke and hounde he made him bowne, 1 

With home, and eke with bowe ; 
To Drayton Basset he tooke his waye, 

With all his lordes a rowe. 

1 Bowne a common word in the North lot going. 


And he had ridden ore dale and downe 

By eight of clocke in the day, 
When he was ware of a bold tanne'r, 

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. 1 

Nowe stand you still, my good lordes all, 

Under the grene wood spraye ; 
And I will wend to yonder fellowe, 

To weet 2 what he will saye. 

God speede, God speed e thee, said our king. 

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 unto, 
Turne 1 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 : 
All daye have I rydden on Brocke my mare, 

And I am fasting yett. 

" Go withme downe to Drayton Basset, 

No daynties we will spare ; 
All daye shalt thou eate and drinke of the best, 

And I will paye thy fare." 

Gramercye 3 for nothing, the tanner replyde, 

Thou payest no fare of mine : 
I trowe I've more nobles in my purse, 

Than thou hast pence in thine. 

1 In the reign of Kdward IV,, Dame Oeciil, lady of Torboke, in her will, 
dated March 7, A.D. 1463, among iaany other bequests, has this "Also I 
will that my sonne Thomas of Torboke havo 133. 4i. to buy him an horse." 
Now if 13s. <fid. would purchase a steed fit for a person of quality, a tanner's 
horse might reasonably be valued at four or five shillings. 

8 Weet knots. a Gramercye. &C.I thank you. 


God give thee joy of them, sayd the king, 

And send them -well to priefe. 1 
The tanner wolde faine have beene away, 

For he weende he had beene a thiefe. 

What art thou, hee sayde, thou fine fellbwe, 

Of thee I am in great feare, 
For the cloathes, thou wearest upon thy backe, 

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 uuthrift doth, 

And standest in midds of thy goode." 2 

What tydinges heare you, 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 P 

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, 3 sir, by my trade ; 

!N"owe tell me what art thou P" 

I am a poore courtier, sir, quoth he, 

That am forth of service worne ; 
And faine I wolde thy prentise bee, 

Thy cunuinge for to learne. 

Marrye heaven forfend, 4 the tanner replyde, 

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-riiare, 

Yet with thee I faine wold chariire. 

1 Priefe prove. 

. e. halt no other wealth but what thou carryest about thee. 
3 i.e. a, dealer in bark. * Forfend prevent. 


" Why if with me thou fainc wilt change, 

As change full well maye wee, 
By the faith of my bodye, thou proudc fellowe, 

I will have some boot 1 of thec." 

That were against reason, sayd the king, 

I sweare, so mote 2 1 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 P our king reply 'd ; 

Now tell me in this stound. 3 
" Noe pence, nor half pence, by my faye, 

But a noble in gold so round." 

" Here's twentye groates of white moneye, 

Sith thou wilt 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 w r e must abide ; 
Although thou hast gotten Brocke my mare, 

Thou gettest not my co we -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 mee. 

The tanner hee tooke his 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 fellowe, 

'Tis time that I v, eve jjone : 
When I come home to Gyllian my wife, 

Sheel say I am a geutilinon." 

1 Boot gain, 
* Mote I thec mujhl I thrive. 8 Stound momtni. 


The king he tooke him up by the legge ; 

The tanner a lett fall. 

Nowe marrye, good fellowe, sayd the kyng, 

Thy courtesye is but small. 

When the tanner he was in the kinge's sadelle, 

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 cow's taile wagge, 

And eke the blacke cowe-horne ; 
He stamped, and stared, and awaye he ranne, 

As the devill had him borne. 

The tanner he pullcl, the tanner he s \veat, 

And held by the purnmil fast : 
At length the tanner came tumbling dowue ; 

His necke he had well-nye brast. 

Take thy horse again with a vengeance, he sayd, 

With mee he shall not byde. 
" My horse would have borne thee well enoughe, 

But he knewe not of thy cowe-hide. 

Yet if againe thou faine woldst change, 

As change full well may w'ee, 
By the faith of my bodye, thou jolly tanner, 

I will have some boote of thee." 


What boote wilt thou have, the tanner reply d, 

.Nowe tell me in this stounde ? 
" Noe pence nor halfpence, sir, by my faye, 

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 spend 

Together at the wine." 

The king set a bugle home to his mouthe, 

And blewe both loude and shrille : 
And soone came lords, and soone came knights, 

Fast ryding over the hille. 

l Brast broken. 


JS"owe, out alas ! the tanner he cryde, 

That ever I sawe this claye ! 
Thou art a strong thiefe, yon come thy fellowea 

Will heare my cowe-hide away. 

They are no thieves, the king replyde, 

I swearc, soe mote I thee : 
But they are the lords of the north countrcy, 

Here come to hunt with mee. 

And soone hefore our king they came, 
And kuelt do\vne on the grounde : 

Then might the tanner have heene awaye, 
He had lever than twenty e poundp. 

A coller, a coller, here : sayd the king, 

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 ; 
-Ifter a coller commeth a halter, 

I trow I shall be hang'd to-morrowe. 

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. 1 

For Plumpton-parke I will give thee, 

With tenements faire beside : 
'Tis worth three hundred markes by the yeare, 

To inaintaine thy good cowe-hide. 

Gramercye, my liege, the tanner replyde, 
For the favour thou hast me showne ; 

If over thou comest to merry Tamworth, 
Ideates leather shall clout thy shoen. 

This siaiiza is restored from a quotation of this ballad in Selden's "Titlea 
of 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 IB that old pamphlet of the ' Tanner of Tamworth and King Ed- 
ward the Fourth' so contemptible, but that wee may thence note also an 
observable passage, wherein the use of making esquires, by giving collars, ia 




THIS song, like a former, is founded on the Pilgrimage to Walsingham. 
The Copy was communicated by Shenstone, who added the concluding 

As ye came from the holy land 
Of blessed Walsingham, 

met you not with my true love, 
As by the way ye came P 

" 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 P" 

My love is neither white 1 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 ?" 

1 that loved her all my youth, 
Growe old now as you see ; 

Love liketh not the falling fruite, 
Nor yet the withered tree. 2 

1 White -yale. 

8 Dr. Bliss quotes Raleigh's admonition to his son (Works, yiii. 560) : 
" Let thy marriage be in thy young and strong years; for believe it, ever 
the young wife betrayeth the old husband; and she that hath thee not in thy 
JJower will despise thee in thy fall." 



For love is like a carelesse childe, 
Forgetting promise past : 

He is blind, or deaf, wnenere 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 LOVE'S faire name abusde, 

Beneathe which many vaine desires, 
And follyes are excusde. 

' But true love is a lasting fire, 
' Which viewless vestals 1 tend, 

' That burnes for ever in the soule, 
' And knowes nor change nor end.' s 



" THE ballad of Hardy knute has no great merit, if it be really ancient. 
People talk of nature; but mere obvious nature may be exhibited with 
very little power of mind." The suspicion of Johnson was just. The 
ballad is not " ancient." It was written by Elizabeth Halket, who 
married Sir Henry Wardlaw, and died about 1727, in her fifty-first 
year. Sir John Bruce, to whom Percy attributed the verses, was the 
lady's brother-in-law. Walter Scott called Hardyknute the first poem 
which he had learned, and the last which he should forget. He ob- 
served, however, that detection was inevitable, from the want of know- 
ledge sufficiently exact to support the genius of the writer in its disguise. 
He specified the introduction of a chief, with a Norwegian name, re- 
sisting a Norse invasion at the battle of Largs ; and the " needle-work 
so rare," which must have been long posterior to the reign of Alex- 
ander III. The historical events of the Ballad are these: " In 1263, 
Haco, King of Norway, invaded the Western Isles of Scotland with a 
powerful fleet, and having taken and laid waste Kintire, he anchored 

1 . e. angels. 

" The older copy is more natural and vigorous : 

But true love is a durable fyre, 

In the miud ever burnynge ; 

Never sycke, never ould, never dead; 

From'itselfe never turninge. 


his fleet at the Cumbrays, and sent a detachment up the Clyde, which, 
landing at Loch Long, dragged their boats across the Isthmus at 
Tarbet, and plundered the Islands in Loch Lomond. In the mean- 
time a storm arose, and several of the ships were driven on shore near 
Largs. The Scotch army attacked them ; and the reinforcement sent 
to their assistance by Haco brought on the Battle of Largs, October 
2nd, 1263." Mr. Finlay points out the accuracy of the local sketches. 
Fairly Castle, the residence of Hardyknute, is a single square tower, 
standing " high on a hill," by the side of a mountain stream, that 
tumbles over a rock into a deep chasm. The battle-field is three miles 
to the North of the Castle, which overlooks the Firth of Clyde to tm 
blue hills of Arran. 

STATELY stept he east the wa', 1 

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 deadly e 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 arid fair, 

For chast and beauty deem'd, 
Nae marrow 2 had in all the land, 

Save ELENOE 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 3 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 FAIBLY fail-, 

Their sister saft and dear, 
Her girdle shaw'd her middle gimp, 4 

And gowden glist 5 her hair. 

1 W<v" way. 2 Marrow equal. 3 Bot without, 

* Gimp slender. 5 Gowden glist shone as gold. 

Q 2 


What waefu' wae her beauty bred P 

Waefu' to young and auld, 
Waefu' I trow to kyth and kin, 

As story ever tauld. 

The king of Norse in summer tyde, 

PufTd 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 Hardyknute 

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, 1 
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. 

1 Sae shill to thrill. 


That horn, quo' they, ne'er sounds in peace, 

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 1 1 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 llothsay, bend thy bow, 

Thy arrows shoot sae leel, 2 
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, 3 

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 4 twist, 

Well plett with silver sheen ; 

1 Yestreen yester evening. 2 Leel true. 

* Harnisine armour. * Twirtle twist twirled twist. 


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 stead, 

Full lowns 1 the shynand day : 
Choose frae my menzie 2 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 courteoxisly in vain. 

Syne he has gane far hynd 3 out o'er 
Lord Chattan's land sae wide ; 

That lord a worthy wight was ay, 
When faes his courage sey'd : 4 

1 Lowns Hazes. 2 Menzie retinue, 

* Pa hynd far beyond, over the country. < Sey'd tried. 


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 1 menzie lay in sicht. 
" Yonder my valiant sons and feirs 2 

Our raging revers 3 wait 
On the unconquert Scottish sward 

To try with us their fate. 

Make orisons 4 to him that sav'd 

Our sauls upon the rude ; 5 
Syne 6 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 7 

Afore him stately strade. 
" Thrice welcome valiant stoup of weir, 8 

Thy nation's shield and pride ; 
Thy king nae reason has to fear 

When thou art by his side." 

When bows were bent and darts were thrawn j 

For thrang 9 scarce cou'd they flee = 
The darts clove arrows as they met, 

The arrows dart the tree. 10 
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. 

1 The None army. 

* Feirs companions. 3 Kevers rollers. 

* Orisons prayers, 5 Rude cross. 

6 Syne then. 

? Meit proper, 8 Stoup, &o. pillar of war. 

9 Thrang throng. 10 Dart tne tree hit the tree. 


The king of Scots, that sindlc 1 brook'd 

The war that look'd like play, 
Drew his braid sword, and brake Irs bow, 

Sin bows seem'd but delay. 
Quoth noble Rothsay, " Mine I'll keep, 

I wat it's hied a scoYe." 
Haste up my merry men, cry'd tlie king, 

As he rode on before. 

The king of Norse he sought to find, 

With him to mense 2 the faught, 
But on his forehead there did light 

A sharp unsonsie 3 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 pierc'd his neck in twa, 
His hands then quat the silver reins, 

He low as earth did fa'. 

" Sair bleids my liege, sair, sair he bleeds !" 

Again wi' might he drew 
And gesture dread his stiirdy bow, 

Past the braid arrow flew : 
Wae to the knight he ettled 4 at ; 

Lament now queen Elgreed ; 
High dames too wail your darling's fall, 

His youth and comely meed. 

" Take an , take aff his costly jupe 5 

(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." 

1 Sindle seldom. 2 Mense, &c. measure or try the battlt, 

* Unsonsie unlucky. 
* Ettled aimed. s Jupe upper garment. 


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 nay 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 1 
To lay thee low, as horse's hoof; 

My word I mean to keep." 
Syne with the first stroke e'er he strake, 

He garr'd 2 his body bleed. 

Worss" een like gray gosehawk's stair'd wyld, 

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. 3 

Fu' soon he rais'd his bent body, 

His bow he marvell'd sair, 
Sin blows till then on him but darr'd 4 

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 ranks 

The hardy youth to quell, 
Wha stood unmov'd at nis approach 

His fury to repell. 

3 Heght promised, * Garr'd made. 

Lout Itnd . * Darr'd hit. 


" That short brown shaft sae meanly trimm'd, 

Looks like poor Scotland's gear, 1 
But dreadfull seems the rusty point !" 

And loud he leugh in jear. 2 
" Oft Britons bood has dimm'd its shine; 

This point cut short their vaunt :" 
Syne pierc'd the boaster's 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 : 3 
Swith 4 on the harden't clay he fell, 

Eight far was heard the thud : 5 
But Thomas look't nae as he lay 

All waltering in his blud : 

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 dame's dimplet cheek 

Could mease 6 soft love to bruik, 
Till vengefu' Ann return'd his scorn, 

Then languid grew his luik. 

In thraws of death, with walowit 7 cheik 

All panting on the plain, 
The fainting corps of warriours lay, 

Ne're to arise again ; 
We're to return to native land, 

Nae mair with blithsome sounds 
To boast the glories of the day, 

And shaw their shining wounds. 

On Norway's 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 8 

To carry life away. 

1 Gear property. a Leugh in jeer laughed in scorn. 

3 Taiken, &c. token he was predoomed to death. 

* Swith instantly. 5 Thud noise of the fall. 

Mease eqften. 7 Walowit-; faded. 8 Thole suffer. 


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 1 grew the night ere Hardyknute 

Wan 2 near his stately tower. 
His tow'r that us'd wi' torches blaze 

To shine sae far at night, 
Seem'd now as black as mourning weed, 

Nae marvel sair he sigh'd. 

" There's nae light in my lady's bower, 

There's nae light in my ha' ; 
Nae blink 3 shines round my FAIRLY fair, 

Nor ward 4 stands on my wa' 
" What bodes it ? Robert, Thomas, say :" 

Nae answer fitts their dread. 
" Stand back, my sons, I'le be your guide ?" 

But by they past with speed. 

"As fast I've sped owre Scotland's faes," 

There ceas'd his brag of weir, 
Sair sham'd to mind ought but his dame, 

And maiden FAIRLY fair. 
Black fear he felt, but what to fear 

He wist nae yet ; wi' dread 
Sair shook his body, sair his limbs, 

And a' the warrior fled. 

1 Mirk dark. 2 Wan drew near. 

* Blink -fash. Ward warden. 




IN the former Book, the Second Series of Poems was brought down to 
about the middle of the sixteenth century. \9% now find the Musea 
engaged in theological controversy. The alterations made in the esta- 
blished religion by Henry VIII., the sudden changes which it under- 
went in the three succeeding reigns, and the violent struggles between 
expiring Popery and growing Protestantism, could not fail to interest 
all people. Accordingly every pen was busy in the dispute. The 
followers of the Old and New Profession had their respective Ballad- 
makers, and every day produced some popular rhymes for or against the 
Reformation. The following ballad, and that entitled " Little John 
Nobody," may serve as specimens of the writings of each Party. 
Both compositions belong to the reign of Edward VI. This ballad of 
"Luther and the Pope" is of the dramatic kind, and the character of 
the Reformer is drawn with considerable spirit. It is printed from the 
original black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection. 


LET us lift up our hartes all, 

And prayse the Lorde's 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, 1 

Gettynge from every man his pence, 
As satisfactours for the deade. 

For what we with our FLATLES coulde get, 
To kepe our houses and servauntes ; 

That did the Freers 2 from us fet, 3 
And with our soules played the merchauntcs : 
And thus they with theyr false warrantea 

Of our sweate have easelye lyved, 
That for fatnesse theyr belyes pantes, 

So greatlye have 1 they us deceaued. 

They spared not the fatherlesse, 
The carefull, nor the pore wydowe ; 

They wolde have somewhat more or lesso, 
If it above the ground did growe : 

1 i. e, denied ua the Cup. 2 Freers fri/trs. 



But now we Husbandmen do knowe 
Al their subteltye, and their false caste : l 

For the Lorde hath them overthrowe 
With his swete word now at the laste. 


Thou antichrist, with thy thre crownes, 

Hast usurped kynge's powers, 
As having power over realmes and townes, 

Whom thou oughtest to serve all houres : 

Thou thinkest by thy jugglyng colours 
Thou maist lykewise God's word oppresse ; 

As do the deceatful foulers, 
When they theyr nettes craftelye dresse. 

Thou flatterest every prince and lord, 
Thretening poore men with swearde and fyre ; 

All those, that do followe God's worde, 
To make them cleve to thy desire, 
Theyr bokes thou burnest in flaming fire ; 

Cursing with boke, bell, and candell, 
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 speare, 

But I wyll fyght with God's worde ; 
Which is now so open and cleare, 

That it shall brynge the under the borde. 2 


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. 

1 Caste meaning, or contrivance. 
* i. *. make thee knock under the table. 


Thou stryvest against my purgatory, 

Because thou findest it not in scripture ; 
As though I by myne auctorite 

Myght not make one for myne hououre. 

Knowest thou not, that I have power 
To make, and mar, in heaven and hell, 

In erth, and every creature P 
"Whatsoever I do it must be well. 

As for scripture, I am above it ; 

Am not I God's hye 1 vicare P 
Shulde I be bounde to folowe it, 

As the carpenter his ruler P 2 

Nay, nay, hereticks ye are, 
That will not obey my auctoritie. 

With this SWOBBE I wyll declare, 
That ye shal al accursed be. 


I am a Cardinall of Eome, 

Sent from Christe's 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 pope's high honoure. 

Receive ye this PAEDON devoutely, 
And loke that ye agaynst him fight ; 

Plucke up youre herts, and be mardye, 
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 pope's blessynge, 
Nor regarde his holy pardon : 
They thinke from afl destruction 

By Christe's bloud to be saved, 

Fearynge not our excommunicacion, 

Therefore shall they al be dampned. 8 

1 Hye kigh, * f . e. his rule 3 Dampned condemned. 



THE Scottish Reformers equalled their English brethren in vehemence, 
and surpassed them in coarseness. A favourite exercise of zeal was 
the adaptation of impure songs to the tunes of hymns in the Latin 
service. " Green Sleeves and Pudding Pies," designed to ridicule the 
Popish clergy, and " Maggy Lauder," and " John Anderson my Jo," 
are examples. The original music of all these burlesque rhymes was 
exceedingly fine. 


JOHN ANDEESON my jo, cum in as ze 1 gae bye, 
And ze sail get a sheip's 2 held weel baken in a pye ; 
Weel baken in a pye, and the haggis in a pat ; 
John Anderson my jo, cum in, and ze's get that. 


And how doe ze, Cummer ? 3 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 tham were gotten, quhan he was awa'. 


WE have here a witty libel on the Eeformation under King Edward VI., 
written ^bout the year 1550. The versification is in the alliterative 
manner of " Pierce Plowman's Visions," with the addition of rhymp. 
which was then coming into general use. 

IN December, when the dayes draw to be short, 
After November, when the nights wax noisome and long ; 
As I past by a place privily at a port, 
I saw one sit by himself making a song : 
His last 4 talk of trifles, who told with his tongue 
That few were fast i' th' faith. I ' freyned ' 5 that freake, 
Whether he wanted wit, or some had done him wrong. 
He said, he was little John Nobody, that durst not 

1 Ze ye. 2 Sheip's heid sheep's head. 3 Cummer gossip. 

* Perhaps He left talk, 5 Freyned, &c. asked that man. 


John Nobody, quoth I, what news ? thou soon note and tell 
What inaner jnen 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 kye 1 at a fleyke. 
Thou lyest, quoth I, thou losel, like a leud lad. 
He said, he was little John Nobody, that durst not 

Its meet for every man on this matter to talk, 
And the glorious Gospel ghostly to have in mind ; 
It is sothe said, that sect but much unseemly skalk, 
As boyes babble in books, that in scripture are blind : 
Yet to their fancy soon a cause will find ; 
As to live in lust, in lechery to leyke : 2 
Such caitives count to be come of Cain's kind ; 3 
But that I little John Nobody durst not speake. 

For our reverend 4 father hath set forth an order, 
Our service to be said in our seigneur's tongue ; 
As Solomon the sage set forth the scripture ; 
Our suffrages, and services, with many a sweet song, 
With homilies, and godly books us among, 
That no stiff, stubborn stomacks we should^ freyke :* 
But wretches nere worse to do poor men wrong ; 
But that I little John Nobody dare not speake. 

For bribery was never so great, since born was our Lord, 
And whoredom was never les hated, sith Christ harrowed 

And poor men are so sore punished commonly through the 


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, 6 
That if a man do amisse, with mischiefe they wil him 

wreake ; 7 

The fashion of these new fellows it is so vile and fell : 
But that I little John Nobody dare not speake. 

1 Kye, &c. cows at a hurdle. 8 Leyke <o play. 
E So in Pierce the Plowman's creed, the proud friars are said to be 
" f Caumcs hintt;" (vid. sig. . ij. b.) 

.* Archbishop Cranmer, . 5 Freyke indulge, 

s Quel cruel, 7 Wreake pursut revengefully. 


Thus to live after tlieir lust, that life -would they have, 

And in lechery to leyke al their lonsj life ; 

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, 1 or else they wil strife, 

And in brawling about baudery, God's commandments 

breake : 

But of these frantic il fellowes, few of them do thrife ; 
Though I little John Nobody dare not speake. 

If thou company with them, they wil currishly carp, 2 and 

not care 
According to their foolish fantacy ; but fast wil they 

naught : 

Prayer with them is but prating ; therefore they it forbear : 
Both almes deeds, and holiness, they hate it in their 

thought : 
Therefore pray we to that prince, that with his blond us 


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, whereas the dumb deer 
Did shiver for a shower ; but I shunted 3 from a freyke : 
For I would no wight in this world wist who I were, 
But little John Nobody, that dare not once speake. 

1 Advoutry adultery. z Carp censure, 

Shunted iiwtedfrom, shunned. 



Restored by Horace Walpole from the corrupted text of Hentzner. 

OH, Fortune ! how thy restlesse wavering state 

Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt ! 
Witnes this present prisonn, whither fate 

Could beare 1 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. 


A. Scottish Ballad revised and enlarged by Percy. The " Heir of 
Linne " appears to have been a Laird, who received his title with his 



LiTHE 2 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 morne, 
It was. I ween, his heart's delighte. 

1 Could beare is an ancient idiom, equivalent to did bear, or hath bornf, 
2 Lithe attend. 


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 lie 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. 1 

Sayes, "Welcome, welcome, lord of Linne, 
Let nought disturb thy merry cheere ; 

Iff thou wilt sell thy landes soe broad, 
Good store of gold He give thee heere. 

My gold is gone, my money is spent ; 

My lande nowe take it unto thee : 
Give me the golde, 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 God's-pennie ; 2 

But for every pounde 'iat 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 He 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 : 

1 Fee land. 

* i. e. izrn^str'mtTiey ; from the Jfrench "Denier ^ Dieu." At this day, 
when application is merle to the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle, to accept an 
<> change of ti.z tenant unosr one of their leases, a piece of silver is presented 
by the new^tenant, wbich is still called a " God's Penny." 


But swcarc me novve upon the roode, 

That lonesome lodge thou'lt never spend ; 

For when all the world doth frown on thee, 
Thou there shalt find a faithful friend. 

The heire of Linne is full of golde : 
And come with me, my friends, sayd hee, 

Let's drinke, and rant, and merry make, 
And lie that spares, ne'er mote 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, 

Aud another it was white money. 

Nowe well-a-day, sayd the heire of Linne, 
Nowe well-a-day, 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 P 

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-a-day, sayd the heire of Linne, 
Now well-a-day, 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 1 shame : 

To rob and steal it were a sinne : 
To worke my limbs I cannot frame. 

1 Brenning burning. 


Now lie away to lonesome lodge, 
For there my father bade me wend ; 

When all the world should frown on mee 
I there shold find a trusty friend. 


AWAY then hyed the heire of Linne 
Oer hill and holt, and moor 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 1 were the walles : 

Here's sorry cheare, quo' the heire of Linne. 

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 see : 
" Ah ! gracelesse wretch, hast spent thine all, 

" 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 2 wi' this rebuke, 

Sorely shent was the heire of Linne ; 

His heart, I wis, was near to brast 
With guilt and sorrowe, shame and sinne. 

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 me-/' 

loathsome, " SJjert abashed^ 


Then round his nccke 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 lie looked, and sawe a bille, 1 

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-fere. 2 

Two were full of the beaten golde ; 

The third was full of white monSy ; 
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 : 3 
For here I will make mine avow, 

This reade 4 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 Scale's house he did winne. 

And when he came to John o' the Scales, 
Upp at the speere 5 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 pray thee, he said, good John o' the Scales, 
One forty pence for to lend mee. 

1 Bille letter. 2 In-ferti. e. together. 

3 . c. unless I amend. * i. e. advice, course!. 

* Perhaps the hole ic the door or window by which it was rpeered, i. e. 

Bparred, fastened, or shut. In Bale's Second Part of the "Acts of Eng. 

Votaries" we have this phrase "The dore fhirof oft tymet opened and 

speared agayne." 


Away, away, thou thriftless loone ; 

Away, away, this may not bee : 
For Christ's curse on my head, he sayd, 

If ever I trust thee one pennie. 

Then bespake the heire of Linne ; 

To John o' the Scales' wife then spake he : 
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 1 heere, 

The first we wold begin with thee. 

Then bespake a good fell owe, 

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 pray thee, John o' the Scales, 

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 2 he answer'd him againe : 
Now Christ's curse on my head, he sayd, 

But I did lose by that bargaine. 

And here I proffer thee, heire of Linne, 

Before these lords so faire and free, 
Thou shalt have it backe again better cheape, 

By a hundred markes, than I had it of thee. 

I drawe you to record, lords, he said. 

With that he cast him a God's-pennie : 
Now by my fay, sayd the heire of Linne, 

And here, good John, is thy money. 

1 Losel a worthless fellow, 
3 Wood furious. 


And he pull'd forth three bagges of gold, 
And layd them down upon the bord : 

All woe begone was John o' the Scales, 
Soc shent 1 he cold say never a word. 

He told him forth the good red gold, 
He told it forth with miclde 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 ruce : 

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 wife. 

Now fare thee well, sayd the heire of Linne ; 

Farewell now, John o' the Scales, said hee : 
Christ's curse light on me, if ever again 

I bring my lands in jeopardy. 

1 Btent confoundtd. 




GEORGE GASCOIGNE, a poet of the early part of Elizabeth's reign, was 
born in Essex, and became a student of Gray's Inn ; but disliking the 
Law, he sought his fortune at Court, and afterwards in the wars of the 
Low Countries. Pen and sword were equally unfruitful, and he died 
at Walthamstow in humble circumstances, but possessing" such means 
as might content one who had become a wise and thoughtful man." 
Southey remarks : " His age cannot have been under forty ; for he 
frequently speaks of himself as being in middle life, and says, in one 
place, that the crow's-foot had grown under his eyes." Gascoigneisan 
elegant and musical versifier. The Lady, whom he celebrates, was 
Catherine, daughter of Edmond second Lord Chandos, wife of William 
Lord Sands. 

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 ; 
No frowning cheere dare once presume 

In hir sweet face to bee. 

Although some lavishe lippes, 

Which like some other best, 
Will say, the blemishe on hir broM 7 e 

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 : 

For when dame Nature first 
Had frarade hir heavenly face, 

And thoroughly bedecked it 
With goodly gleames of grace ; 


It lyked hir so well : 

Lo here, quod she, a peece 

For perfect shape, that passeth all 
Appelles' worke in Greece. 

This bayt may chaunce to catche 
The greatest God of love, 

Or migntie thundring Jove himself, 
That rules the roast above. 

But out, alas ! those wordes 
Were vaunted all in vayne : 

And some unseen wer present there, 
Pore Bridges, to thy pain. 

For Cupide, crafty boy, 
Close in a corner stoode, 

Not blyndfold then, to gaze on hir : 
I gesse it did him good. 

Yet when he felte the flame 
Gan kindle in his brest, 

And herd dame Nature boast by hir 
To break him of his rest. 

His hot newe-chosen love 

He chaunged into hate, 
And sodeynly with mightie mace 

Gan rap hir on the pate. 

It greeved Nature muche 
To see the cruell deede : 

Mee seemes I see hir, how she wept 
To see hir dearling bleede. 

Wei yet, quod she, this hurt 
Shal have some helpe I trowe : 

And quick with skin she coverd it, 
That whiter is than snowe. 

Wherwith Dan Cupide fled, 
For feare of further flame, 

When angel-like he saw hir shine, 
Whome he had smit with shame. 

Lo, thus was Bridges hurt 

In cradel of hir kind. 1 
The coward Cupide brake hir browe 

To wreke his wounded mynd. 

1 I cradel of hir kindi. e. in the cradle of her family. 



The skar still there remains ; 

No force, there let it bee : 
There is no cloude that can eclipse 

So bright a sunne as she. 


MOST of our old English annalists seem 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 Ilenry II. (poisoned by Queen Elianor, as some 
thought) dyed at Woodstocke [A.D. 1177], where king Henry had 
made for her a house of wonderfull working ; so that no man or woman 
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 ; l 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 tumba Rosa mundi, non Rosa munda: 
" Non redolet, sed olet, quae redolere solet." 

How the queen gained admittance into Rosamond's bower is dif- 
ferently related. Holinshed speaks of it, as "the common report of 
the people, that the queene founde hir out by a silken thread, which 
the kinghad 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." 
On the other hand, in Speed's Hist, 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." 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 (Stow 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 them. 
Indeed on her tomb-stone was engraven the figure of a cup. This, 
which was probably 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 

1 Consitting of vaults under ground, arched and walled with brick and 
stone, according to Draytou. Bee Note on his "Epistle of Boearaorui." 


"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 and buried " without the 
church." In what situation the remains of Rosamond were found at 
the dissolution of the nunnery we learn from Leland : " Rosamunde'.s 
tumbe at Godstowe nunnery was taken up [of] late ; it is a stone with 
this inscription, ' Tumba Rosamundae.' Her bones were closid in lede, 
and withyn that bones Were closyd yn lether. When it was opened 
a very swete smell came owt of it." 1 

Henry had two sons by Rosamond "William Longue-espe (or Long- 
sword) Earl of Salisbury, and Geoffrey Bishop of Lincoln. 2 

The Ballad of Fair Rosamond appears to have been first published 
in " Strange Histories or Songs and Sonnets, of Kinges, Princes, 
Dukes, Lords, Ladyes, Knights, and Gentlemen, &c. 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 peerlesse 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 E-osamonde, fair Eosamonde, 

Her name was called so, 
To whom our queene, dame Ellinor, 

Was known a deadlye foe. 

1 This would hate passed for miraculous, if it had happened in the tomb of 
fcny clflrical person, and been received as a proof of his beiug a saint. 
1 Afterwards Archbishop of York, temp. Richard I. 


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 hundred 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 ladye's 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 kinge's delighte and ladye's joy 
Full soon shee did beguile : 

For why, the kinge's 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 
Proud rebeiles to abase. 


But yet, my Rose, be sure thou 

My coming sliortlye see, 
And in my heart, when hence I am, 

lie beare my Rose with inee." 

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 Henrye's 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 P 

The king did often say. 
Because, quoth shee, to bloodye warres 

My lord must part awaye. 

But since your grace on forrayne coastes 

Amonge 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 j 

That on my breast the blowes may lighte, 
Which would offend you there. 

Or lett mee, in your royal tent, 

Prepare your bed at nighte, 
And with sweete baths refresh your grace, 

At your returne from fights. 


So I your presence may enjoye r 

No toil I will refuse : 
But wanting you, my life is death ; 

Way, death lid rather chuse ! 

" Content thy self, my dearest love 

Thy rest at home shall bee 
In Englande's 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 borers 

Gray feastes, not cruell fightes/ 

MyEose shall safely here abide, 
With Elusicke passe the daye ; 

Whilst I, amonge the piercing pikes, 
My foes seeke far awaye. 

My Eose shall shine in pearle and golde, 
Whilst Inie in armour dighte ; 

Gay galliards 1 here my love shall dance, 
Whilst I my foes goe fighte. 

And you, sir Thomas, whom I truste 

To bee my love's defence ; 
Be carefull of my gallant Eose, 

When I am parted hence." 

And therewithall he fetcht a sigh, 
As though his heart would breake : 

And Eosamonde, 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 Eosamonde 

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 knigbte, 

In an unhappy houre ; 
Who with his clue of twined threap 

Came from this famous bower? 

1 Galliards sprightly dancet. 


And when that they had wounded him, 
The queene this thread did gette, 

And went where ladye Kosamonde 
"Was like an angel! sette. 

Bat when the queene with stedfaat eye 

Beheld her beauteous face, 
She was amazed in her minde 

At her exceeding grace. 

Cast off from thec 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 youthfull yeares, 
Faire Rosainonde did crye ; 

And lett mee not with poison stronge 
Enforced bee to dye. 

I will renounce my siafull 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 forc'd theretoe, 

Preserve my life, and punish mee 
As you thinke meet to doe." 

And with these words, her lillie handes 
She wrungc 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 hande, 
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 linibe 

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. 


" ELEANOK.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 discouraged by the disparity of age, nor by 
the reports of Eleanor's gallantry, made luch 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 ex- 
tremity, 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 confine- 
ment, 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." The following 
ballad is altogether fabulous ; no immorality being imputed to the 
Queen during her second marriage. 

QUEENE ELIANOE was a sicke woman 

And afraid that she should dye : 
Then she sent for two fryars of France 

To epeke with her speedilye. 


The king calld downo his nobles all, 

By one, by two, by three ; 
" Earl marshall, lie goe shrive the queene, 

And thou shalt wend with mee." 

A boone, a boone ; quoth earl marshal!, 
And fell on his bended knee ; 

That whatsoever queene Elianor sayc, 
No harme therof 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 fryar's 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 lightc 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 English fryars, 

You shall hang on the gallowes tree. 

We are two fryars of France, they sayd, 

As you suppose we bee, 
Wo 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 siune, 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 Henry e. 

That's 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 Kosarnonde, 

All in fair Woodstocke bower. 

That's 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 P 
That is earl rnarshall's eldest sonne, 

And I love him the best of all. 

Do you see yonders little boye, 

A catching of the balle ? 
That is king Henrye's youngest sonne, 

And I love him the worst of all. 1 

His head is fashyon'd like a bull ; 

His nose is like a boare. 
No matter for that, king Henrye crydj 

I love him the better therfore. 


The king pulled off his fryar's coate, 

And appeared all in redde : 
She shrieked, and cryd, and wrung her hands, 

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. 

1 Che means that the eldest of these two was by the earl marshal, the 
yc ;.?est by the king. 

8 2 


Tins poem, subscribed M.T. [perhaps invertedly for T. Marshall^ 
preserved in " Tbe Paradise of Daintie Devises." 

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 yeeld unto the yoke, 

The steele obeyeth the hammer stroke. 

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 fowler's net : 

The greatest fish, in deepest brooke, 

Is soon deceived by subtill hooke. 

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 Ballad was written in the reign of Elizabeth; the 
concluding stanzas were altered to make the story more affecting, 
and tc reconcile it to history. Tercy gives four beautiful lines from 
an old Song, on the same subject, in which we are told of the Beggar, 
that " 'town his neck 

his reverend lockes 

In comelye curies did wave ; 
And on his aged temples grewe 

The blossomes of the grave." 

Pepys (June 24th, 16C3) speaks of dining with Sir William Ryder: 
" This very house was built by the Blind Beggar of Bednall Green, so 
much talked of and sang in ballads ; but they say it was only some 
out-houses of it." The house was called Kirby Castle. According to 
Mr. Chappell, the Ballad is still kept in print in Seven Dials, and is sung 
about the country. 


ITT was a blind beggar, had long lost his sight, 
He had a faire daughter of bewty most bright ; 
And many a gallant brave suiter had shee, 
For none was soe comelye as pretty Bessee. 

And though shee was of favor most faire, 
Yett seeing shee was but a poor beggar's heyre, 
Of ancyent housekeepers despised was shee, 
Whose sonnes came as suitors to prettye Bessee. 

Wherefore in great sorrow faire Bessy did say, 
Good father, and mother, let me goe away 
To seek out my fortune, whatever itt bee. 
This suite then they granted to prettye Bessee. 

Then Bessy, that was of bewtye soe bright, 
Ail cladd in gray russett, and late in the night 
From father and mother alone parted shee ; 
Who sighed and sobbed for prettye Bessee. 

Shee went till shee came to Stratford-le-Bow ; 
Then knew shee not whither, nor which way to goe : 
With teares shee lamented her hard destinie, 
So sadd and soe heavy was pretty Bessee. 

Shee kept on her journey untill it was day, 
And went unto Kumford along the hye way ; 
Where at the Queene's armes entertained was shee : 
Soe faire and wel favoured was pretty Bessee. 


Shee had not beene there a month to an end, 
But master and mistres and all was her friend : 
And every brave gallant, that once did her see, 
Was straight-way enamourd of pretty Bessee. 

Great gifts they did send her of silver and gold, 
And in their songs daylye her love was extold ; 
Her beawtyc was blazed in every degree ; 
Soe faire and soe comelye was pretty Bessee. 

The young men of Rumford in her bad their joy ; 
Shee shewed herself curteous, and modestlye coye ; 
And at her commandment still wold they bee ; 
Soe fayre and soe comlye was pretty Bessee. 

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 knight, 
And he came unto her disguisde in the night, 
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 master's own sonne the fourth man must bee, 
Who swore he would dye for pretty Bessee. 

And, if thou wilt marry with mee, quoth the knight, 
lie 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, marry with mee, 
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 shee did say, 
My father and mother I meane to obey ; 
First gett their good will, and bo faithfull to mee, 
And you shall eujoye your prettye Bessee. 


To every one this answer shee made, 

Wherfore unto her they joyfullye sayd, 

This thing to fulfill we all doe agree ; 

But where dwells thy father, my prettye Bessee ? 

My father, shee said, is soone to be scene : 
The seely 1 blind beggar of Bednall-grcene, 
That daylye sits begging for charitie, 
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, 
Yctt hee is the father of pretty Bessee. 

Way then, quoth the merchant, thou art not for mee : 
Nor, quoth the innholder, my wifie thou shalt bee : 
I lothe, sayd the gentle, a beggar's 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 purse, 
And bewtye is bewtye in every degree ; 
Then welcome unto me, my pretty Bessee. 

With thee to thy father forthwith I will goe. 
Nay soft, quoth his kinsmen, it must not be soe ; 
A poor beggar's daughter noe ladye shal bee ; 
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 thicke might bee, 
Rode after to feitch againe pretty Bessee. 

As swifte as the winde to ryde they were seene, 
ITntill they came neare unto Bednall-greene ; 
And as the knight lighted most courteouslie, 
They all fought against him for pretty Bessee. 

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 see 
His kinsmen come rayling at pretty Bessee. 

Seely timplt, 


Then spake the blind beggar, Although I bee poore, 
Yett rayle not against my child at nfy own doore : 
Though shee be not decked in velvett and pearle, 
Yett will I dropp angells 1 with you for my irle. 

And then, if my gold may better her birthe, 
And equall the gold that you lay on the earth, 
Then neyther rayle nor grudge you to sae 
The blind beggar's daughter a lady to bee. 

But first you shall promise, and have itt well knowne, 
The gold that you drop shall all be your owne. 
With that they replyed, Contented bee wee. 
Then here's, quoth the beggar, for pretty Bessee. 

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 gentlemen's one the beggar droppt twayne : 

Soe that the place, wherin they did sitt, 
With gold it was covered every whitt. 
The gentlemen then having dropt all their store, 
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 gowne. 

The gentlemen all, that this treasure had scene, 
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 knight, 

And then made a ladye in other's despite : 

A fairer ladye there never was seene 

Than the blind beggar's daughter of Bednall-greene. 

But of their sumptuous marriage and feast, 
What brave lords and knights thither were prest, 
The SECOND FiTT 2 shall set forth to your sight 
With marveilous pleasure, and wished delight. 

1 Augell a gold coin worth ten shillings. 

8 The word Fit, for Part, frequently occurs in old ballads and metrics! 
romances, and had obtained that meaning iii the time of Chaucer. 



OFF a blind beggar's 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 Bessee. 

Within a gorgeous palace most brave, 
Adorned with all the cost they cold have, 
This wedding was kept most sumptuouslie, 
And all for the creditt 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 free, 
Against the brave wedding of pretty Bessee. 

This marriage through England was spread by report, 
Soe that a great number therto did resort 
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 bright, 
With troopes of ladyes, the like nere was scene 
As went with sweete Bessy of Bednall-greene. 

This marry age being solempnized then, 
With musicke performed by the skilfullest men, 
The nobles and gentles sate downe at that tyde, 
Each one admiring the beautifull bryde. 

Now, after the sumptuous dinner was done, 

To talke and to reason a number begunn : 

They talkt of the blind beggar's 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 see." 
My lords, quoth the bride, my father's so base, 
He is loth with his presence these states to disgrace. 

" The prayse of a woman in questyon to bringe 
Before her own face, were a flattering thinge ; 
But wee thinke thy father's baseness, quoth they, 
Might by thy bewtye be cleane put awayo." 


They had noe sooner these pleasant words spoke, 
But in comes the beggar cladd in a silke cloke; 
A faire velvet capp, and a fethcr had hee, 
And now a musicyan forsooth he wold bee. 

He had a daintye lute under his arme, 
Ho touched the strings, which made such a charme. 
Saies, Please you to heare any musicke of mee, 
He sing you a song of pretty Bessee. 

With that his lute he twanged straightway, 
And thereon begann most sweetly e to play ; 
And after that lessons were playd two or three, 
He strayn'd out this song most delicatelie. 

" A poore beggar's daughter did dwell on a greene, 
" Who for her fairenesse might well be a queene : 
"A blithe bonny lasse, and a daintye was shee, 
" And many one called her pretty Bessee. 

" Her father hee had noe goods, nor noe land, 
" 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 Bessee. 

" And if any one here her birth doe disdaine, 
" Her father is ready, with might and with maine, 
" To proove she is come of noble degree : 
" Therfore never flout att prettye Bessee." 

With that the lords and the companye round 
With harty laughter were readye to swound. 
Att last said the lords, Full well wee may see, 
The bride and the beggar's behoulden to thee. 

On this the bride all blushing did rise, 
The pearlie dropps standing within her fairc eyes. 
O pardon my father, grave nobles, quoth shee, 
That throughe blind affection thus doteth on mee. 

If this be thy father, the nobles did say, 
Well may he be proud of this happy day ; 
Yett by his countenance well may wee see, 
His birth and his fortune did never agree : 

And therfore, blind man, we pray thee bewray, 
(And looke that the truth thou to us do say) 
Thy birth and thy parentage, what itt may bee j 
For the love that thou bearest to pretty Bessee. 


"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 GEOAT for my sport. 

" [Sir Simon de Montfort my subject shal bee ; 
" Once chiefe of all the great barons was hee, 
" Yet fortune so cruelle this lorde did abase, 
" Now loste and forgotten are hee and his race. 

" When the barons in armes did king Henrye opp j.-se, 
" Sir Simon de Montfort their leader they chose ; 
" A leader of courage undaunted was hee, 
" And oft-times he made their enemyes flee. 

" At length in tlie battle on Eveshame plaine 1 

" The barons were routed, and Montfort was slaine ; 

" Moste fatall that battel did prove unto thee, 

" Thoughe thou wast not borne then, my prettye Bessee ! 

" Along with the nobles, that fell at that tyde, 
" His eldest son Henrye, who fought by his side, 
" Was fellde by a blowe he receivde in the fight ! 
" A blowe that deprivde him for ever of sight. 

" Among the dead bodyes all lifelesse he laye, 
" Till evening drewe on of the following daye, 
" When by a yong ladye discoverd was hee ; 
"And this was thy mother, my prettye Bessee ! 

" A baron's faire daughter stept forth in the nighte 
" To search for her father, who fell in the fight, 
" And seeing yong Montfort, where gasping he laye, 
" Was moved with pitye, and brought him awaye. 

" In secrette she nurst him, and swaged his paine, 
" 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 Bessee. 

" And nowe lest cure foes our lives sholde betraye, 
" We clothed ourselves in beggar's arraye ; 
" Her jewelles she solde, and hither came wee : 
" All our comfort and care was our prettye Bessee.] 

1 The battle of Evesham was fought August 4, 1265, when Simon de Mont- 
fort, the great Earl of Leicester, was slain at the head of the barons, and his 
eldest son, Henry, fell by his side. In consequence of that defeat, the whole 
family sunk for ever ; the King bestowing their honours and possessions on 
his second son, Edmund Earl of Lancaster. 


' Anc 1 here have wee lived in fortune's despite, 

' Tkouglie poore, yet contented with humble delighte : 

' Full forty winters thus have I beene 

' A silly b/ind beggar of Bednall-greene. 

' And here, noble lordes, is ended the song 

' Of one, vhat once to your own ranke did belong : 

' And thus have you learned a secrette from mec, 

'' That ne'er had beene knowue, but for prettye Bessee." 

Now when the faire companye every c one, 
Had heard the strange tale in the song he had showne, 
They all were amazed, as well they might bee, 
Both at the blinde beggar, and pretty Bessee. 

With that the faire bride they all did embrace, 
Saying, Sure thou art come of an honourable 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 lelighte, 

A bridegroome most happy then was the young knightc, 

In joy and felicitie long lived hee, 

All with his faire ladye, the pretty Bessee. 



EDWARD VERB, famous for his poetical talents in the reign of Eliza- 
beth, was the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, succeeding his father in 
1562, and dying, an aged man, in 1604. Mr. Campbell remarks : 
" This nobleman sat as Great Chamberlain of England upon the trial 
of Mary Queen of Scots. In the year of the Armada, he distinguished 
his public spirit by fitting out some ships at his private cost. He had 
travelled in Italy in his youth, and is said to have returned the most 
accomplished coxcomb of his age." 

COME hither, shepherd's swayne : 

" Sir, what do you require?" 
I praye thee, shewe to me thy name. 

"My name is FOND DESIEE." 

When wert thou borne, Desire ? 

" In pompe and pryme of May." 
By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot ? 

" By fond Conceit, men say," 

FANCY ANft DESifiE. 269 

Tell me who was thy nurse ? 

" Fresh youth in sugred joy." 
What was thy meate and dayly foode P 

" Sad sighes with great annoy." 

What hadst thou then to drinke ? 

" Unsavoury lovers' teares." 
What cradle wert thou rocked in P 

" 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 think to be thy foe ? 

" Disdayn of my good wille." 

Doth companye displease P 

" Yes, surelye, many one." 
Where doth Desire delighte to live ? 

" He loves to live alone." 

Doth either tyine or age 

Bringe him unto decaye ? 
" No, no, Desire both lives and dyes 

" Ten thousand times a day." 

Then, fond Desire, farewelle, 

Thou art no mate for mee ; 
I sholde be lothe, methinkes, to dwellf 

With such a one as thee. 



1 HE father of Andrew Barton, a Scotchman, having suffered, by sea, 
from the Portuguese, obtained Letters of Marque for his two sons to 
make reprisals. But complaints soon reached the Government, 
in London, that, under pretence of searching for Portuguese goods, 
Barton interrupted the English trade. Henry [A.I>. 1511] was re- 
luctant to provoke a quarrel with Scotland ; but the Earl of Surrey 
declared before the Council, that while he had an estate capable of 
furnishing a ship, or a son able to command it, the narrow seas should 
not b^ infested. The King accepted Surrey's offer, nnd two vessels 
were immediately fitted out under the Earl's sons, Thomas and Edward 
Howard. Barton was a skilful officer; but an obstinate engagement 
ended in his defeat. He was killed, fighting bravely ; and his 
' ships, with their freights and crews, were carried into the Thames, 
August 2, 1511. The battle of Flodden is said to have grown out of 
this capture. 

If the Ballad occasionally wanders from history, it illustrates it with 
a few lesser facts. We may conclude many of the little circumstances 
of the story to be real, when we find one of the most improbable to be 
not very remote from the truth. It is said that England had before 
"but two Sliips-of-War." Now the " Great Harry" had been built 
only seven years, i. e. 1504, " which was, properly speaking, the first 
ship in the English Navy." 


' WHEN Flora with her fragrant flowers 

' Bedeckt the earth so trim arid 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 good, 

But rich merchants they cold not bee : 
" To France nor Flanders dare we pass : 

Nor Bourdeaus voyaee dare we fare : 
And all for a rover that lyes on tne seas, 

Who robbs us of our merchant ware." 

King Henrye frownd, and turned him rounde. 

And swore by the Lord, that was mickle of might, 
" I thought he had not beene in the world, 

Durst have wrought England such unright." 


The merchants sighed, and said, alas ! 

And thus they did their answer frame, 
He is a proud Scott, that robbs on the seas, 

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 yeare. 
" Trust me, my liege, lie make him quail, 

Or before my prince I will never appeare." 
Then bowemen and gunners thou shalt have, 

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 tree, 

If I misse my marke one shilling bread. 1 
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. 2 

1 An old English word for breadth. 

2 Mr. Lambe, in his " Notes to the Poem on the Battle of Plodden Field," 
contends that this expert bowman's name was not Horseley, but Hustler, of 
ft family long seated near Stockton, in Cleveland, Yorkshire. 


Horseley, sayd lie, I must with speede 

Go ^eeke a traytor on the sea ; 
And now of a hundred bowcmen bravo 

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. 

With pikes and gunnes, and bowemen bold, 

This noble Howard is gone to the sea ; 
With a valyant heart and a pleasant cheare, 

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 came. 
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 Tyne. 

Hast thou not heard, nowe, Henrye Hunt, 

As thou hast sayled by daye and by night, 
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 j 

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 traitor's 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, 1 

St. Andrewe's crosse that is his guide ; 
His pinnace beareth ninescore men, 

And fifteen canons on each side. 

Were ye twentye shippes, and he but one j 

I sweare by kirke, and bower, and hall, 
He wold overcome them everye one, 

If once his beanies they doe downe fall. 3 
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 precome 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. 

1 Deerlye dight richly fitted out. 

- It should seem from hence that, before our marine artillery was brought 
to its present perfection, some naval commanders had recourse to instru- 
ments 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 suspended from beams or yards fastened to the mast, and which 
they precipitately let fall ou 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 Schefferi de Militia Navali, lib. 
ii., cap. y., p. 136, ed. 1653, 4to. The " Crow" of Duilius, as used by tl}9 
Romans, in their ttaval warfare, was of a similar construction, 


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 scene, 

Whether you sayle by day or night ; 
And to-morrowe, 1 sweare, by nine of the clocke, 

You shall meet with Sir Andrewe Barton knight. 


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 knight. 
His hachebord it was ' gilt ' with gold, 

Soe deerlye dight it dazzled the ee : 
Nowe by my faith, lord Howarde sais, 

This is a gallant sight to see. 

Take in your ancyents, 1 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 j 2 

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 niaine-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. 

1 Aacyents banners. i. e. did not saluta- 


Come hither, Simon, sayes 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 bread. 

Simon was old, but his heart itt was bold ; 

His ordinance he laid right lowe ; 
He put in chaine full nine yardes long, 1 

With other great shotte lesse, and moe j 
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 gon ; 

He fetch yond pedlars backe mysell." 
When my lord sawe Sir Andrewe loose, 

Within his heart hee was full faine : 
" Nowe spread your ancyents, strike up drummes, 
Sound all your trumpetts out amaine." 

Fight on, my men, Sir Andrewe sais, 

Weale howsoever this geere will sway ; 
Itt is my lord admirall of England, 

Is come to seeke me on the sea. 
Simon had a sonne, who shott right well, 

That did Sir Andrewe mickle scare ; 
In att his decke he gave a shott, 

Killed threescore of his men of warre. 

Then Henry e 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 P 
Yonder merchant theefe, that pierceth mee, 

He was my prisoner yesterday. 

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. 

1 i. e. discharged chain-shot. 
T 2 


Lord Howard Lee then ealld in haste, 
" Horseley see thou be true in stead ; 

For thou shalt at the maine-mast hang, 
If thou misse twelvescore one penny bread." 

Then Gordon swarved 1 the maine-mast tree, 

He swarved it with might and maine ; 
But Horseley with a bearing 2 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 Andrew's men, 

How that the Gordon hee was dead. 

Come hither to mee, James Hambilton, 

Thou art my only sister's sonne, 
If thou wilt let my beames downe 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 arrowe 

Pierced the Hambilton thorough the heart : 

And downe he fell upon the deck, 

That with his blood did 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 my sell." 

" Goe fetch me forth my armour of proofe ; 

That gilded is with gold soe cleare : 
God be with my brother John of Barton ! 

Against the Portingalls hee it ware : 
And when he had on this armour of proofe, 

He was a gallant sight to see : 
Ah ! nere didst thou meet with living wight, 

My deere brothdr, 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. 

1 Swarved dimmed, 2 Bearing that carriet icttt 


lie shoot my best, quotli 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 j 
Under the spole 1 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 ; 
He but lye downe and bleede awhile, 

And then He rise and fight againe. 
"Fight on, my men," Sir Andrew saj T S, 

" And never flinche before the foe ; 
And stand fast by St. Andrewe's crosse, 

Untill you heare my whistle blowe." 

They never heard his whistle blow, 

Which made their hearts waxe sore adread : 
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 Andrewe's 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 hatchboard into the sea, 
And about his middle three hundred crownes : 

" Wherever thou land this will bury thee." 

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. 

1 Spolo arm-pit. 


Lord Howard then a letter wrote, 

And sealed it \vith scale and ring ; 
" Such a noble prize have I brought to your grace, 

As never did subject to a king : 

Sir Andrewe's shipp I bring with rnee ; 

A braver shipp was never none : 
Nowe hath your grace two shipps of warr, 

Before in England was but one." 
King Henrye's grace with royall cheere 

Welcomed the noble Howard home, 
"And where," said he, " is this rover stout, 

That I myselfe may give the cloome ?" 

" 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 Andrewe's jewels and his chayne. 
And Horseley thou shalt be a knight, 

And lands and livings shalt have store ; 
Howard shall be erle Surrye hight, 1 

As Howards erst have beene before. 

Nowe, Peter Simon, thou art old, 

I will maintaine thee and thy sonne : 
And the men shall have five hundred markes 

For the good service they have done. 
Then in came the queene with ladjes fail* 

To see Sir Andrewe Barton knight : 
They weend that hee were brought on shore, 

And thought to have seen a gallant sight. 

But when they see his deadlye face, 

And eyes soe hollow in his head, 
I wold give, quoth the king, a thousand markee, 

This man were alive as he is dead ; 

1 Hight called. 


Yett for the manfull part liee playd, 

Which fought soe well with heart and hand, 

His men shall have twelvepence a day, 
Till they come to my brother king s high land. 



THE subject of the Ballad was Anna Bothwell, daughter of a Bishop of 
Orkney, who was raised to a temporal peerage with the title of Lord 
Holyroodhouse. The lover was Sir Alexander Erskine, third son of 
John seventh Earl of Mar. He perished in Dunglass Castle, August 
1640, and the lady died of a broken heart. 

BALOW,* my babe, lye still and sleipe ! 
It grieves me sair to see thee weipe : 
If thoust be silent, Ise be glad, 
Thy maining 2 maks my heart ful sad. 
Balow, my boy, thy mother's 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 3 to muve, 
His faynings fals, and flattering cheire 
To me that time did not appeire : 
But now I see, most cruel! hee 
Cares neither for my babe nor mee. 

Lye still, my 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. 

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. 

1 Balow huih. 2 Maining moaning. 

* 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 meta- 
phorically to express extreme and delicate sweetness. 


But doe not, doe not, prettie mine. 

To faynings fails 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 women's bannings 1 wonderoua sair. 

Bairne, sin thy cruel father is gane, 

Thy winsome smiles maun eise my paine j 

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. 

Fareweil, fareweil, thou falsest youth, 
That evir kist a woman's mouth ! 
I wish all maides be warnd by mee 
Nevir to trust man's 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 death of Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, the unfortunate hus 
band of Mary Queen of Scots, is the subject of this Ballad. He was 
murdered February 9, 1567-8, in his twenty-first year, by the Earl of 
Bothwell. His youth, his beauty, and his fall shed a romantic inte- 
rest oi'er his name, and the writer adorns his memory with the virtues 
which he ought to have possessed. The ballad seems to have been 
written soon after Mary's escape into England [1568]. It will be 
remembered, at v. 5, that this princess (having been first married to 
Francis II., who died December 4, 1560) was Queen Dowager of 

WOE worth, woe worth thee, false Scotl&nde ! 

For thou hast ever wrought by sleight j 
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 kinge. 

1 Banning cursing. 


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 cheare, 

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 wrothe, 
And made their vow all vehementlye ; 

For the death of the queene's chamberlaine, 
The king himselfe, how he shall dye. 

With gun-powder they strewed his roome, 

And layd greene rushes in his way : 
For the traitors thought that very night 

This worthye king for to betray. 

To bedd the king he made him bowne ; l 

To take his rest was his desire ; 
He was noe sooner cast on sleepe, 

But his chamber was on a biasing fire. 

Up he lope, and the window brake, 

And hee had thirtye foote to fall ; 
Lord Bodwell kept a privy watch, 

Underneath his castle wall. 

1 Bowne ready. 


Who have wee here ? lord Bodwell 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 Bodwell sayd, 
Now answer me when I doe speake. 

"Ah, lord Bodwell, I know thee well; 
Some pitty on me, I pray thee, take." 

lie pitty thee as much, he sayd, 
And as much favor show to thee, 

As thou didst to the queene's chamberlaine, 
That day thou deemedst 1 him to die.' 

Through halls and towers the king they ledd, 
Through towers and castles that were nye, 

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 England's grace, 
In England now shee doth remaine. 


THIS " dittie most sweet and sententious," as Puttenliam culls it, was 
written about the year 1569, when the partizans of Mary were busy on 
her behalf. 

THE doubt of future foes exiles my present joy ; 
And wit me warnes to shun such snares, as threaten mine 

For falshood now doth flow, and subjects' faith doth 

Which would not be, if reason rul'd, or wisdome wove 

the webbe. 

1 Deemedst doorr.edst. 


But clowdes of joyes untried do cloake aspiring mindes ; 
Which turn to raine of late repent, by course of changed 

The toppe of hope supposed the roote of ruthe will be ; 
And frutelesse all their graffed guiles, as shortly all shall 

Then dazeld eyes with pride, which great ambition blindes, 
Shal be unseeld by worthy wights, whose foresight fals- 
hood finds. 

The daughter of debate, 1 that discord ay doth sowe, 
Shal reape no gaine whore 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 else- 
where 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. 


THIS tale, so circumstantially told, but with no foundation in history, 
was probably written during the Eegency, 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 writer, W. Elderton, 
had been an attorney, and was afterwards a comedian, and the composer 
of many popular songs. His end and his drunkenness are recorded in 
a Latin Epitaph. He died before 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. 

1 She evidently means here the Queen of Scots. 


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. 

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 ! 

One Browne, that was an English man, 
And hard the ladie's 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. 

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. 

Bishop, quoth Browne, what hast thou there ? 

Nothing at all, my friend, sayd he ; 
But a posset to make the king good cheere. 

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 knovi 

Thou art a young man poore and bare ; 
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 bo so ; 
Drink now with a sorrowful heigh ho. 


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 Browne ! 

He serched the bishop, and found the keyes, 

To come to the kinge when he did please. 

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, he said, unhappie realme, 

My father, and grandfather slaine : l 

My mother banished, O extreame ! 
Unhappy fate, and bitter bayne ! 

And now like treason wrought for me, 

What more unhappie realme can be ! 

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 : 
And gave him 'lands and livings great/ 
For dooing such a manly feat, 

As he did showe, to the bishop's woe, 
Which made, &c. 

When all this treason done and past, 

Took not effect of traytery ; 
Another treason at the last, 

They sought against his majestic : 
How they might make their kinge away, 
By a privie banket 2 on a daye. 

' 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 charge, 
That they should do their king no iiarme : 
For fcnher woe, if they did soe, 
Would make a sorrowful heigh hoe. 

1 His father was Henry Lord Darnley. His grandfather, the old Earl ol 
Lenox, regent of Scotland, and father of Lord Darnley, was murdered at 
Stirling, Sepi. 5, 1571. 

2 Banket banquet. 


The Earle Mourton told the Douglas then, 
Take heede you do not offend the king ; 
But show yourselves like honest men 

Obediently in every thing : 
For his godmother 1 will not see 
Her noble childe rnisus'd to be 

With any woe ; for if it be so. 
She will make, &c. 

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 tiie sorrowful heigh ho. 



IN December, 1591, Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, failing in his 
attempt to seize the person of his Sovereign James VI., retired towards 
the North, and the King commissioned the Earl of Huntley to pursue- 
Bothwell and his followers with fire and sword. But Huntley availed 
himself of the opportunity to revenge his own quarrel with James 
Stewart, Earl of Murray, a relation of Bothwell ; and in the night of 
February 7, 1592, he beset his house, on the northern side of the 
Forth, burnt it, and slew Murray, a young man of much promise, and 
the darling of the people. Murray deserved the name of " bonny," 
being " the tallest and lustiest young nobleman in the kingdom." 

YE Highlands, and ye Lawlands, 

Oh ! quhair hae ye been P 
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. 

1 Queen Elizabeth. 


He was a braw gallant, 

And lie rid at the ring ; l 
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 flo\ver among them a*. 

He was a braw gallant, 

And he playd at the gluve ; 2 
And the bonny Earl of Murray, 

Oh ! he was the Queene's luve. 

Oh ! lang will his lady 

Luke owre the castle downe, 3 
Ere she see the Earl of Murray 

Cum sounding throw the towne. 



THIS Ballad is thought to allude to the partiality which the Queen of 
James VI. (Anne of Denmark) is said to have shown for the " bonny 
Earl of Murray ;" but Mr. Finlay corrects the error of Percy " in 
countenancing the report that James aided and abetted the murderers :" 
on the contrary, a proclamation was immediately made, " charging all 
noblemen, &c., to rise in arms for the pursuit of the Earl of Huntley." 

ABOUT Zule, 4 quhen the wind blew cule, 

And the round tables began, 
A' ! there is cum to our king's 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. 

1 That is, bore away the ring on his lance at tilting a feat of surpassing 
r.dilress. Finlay. 

2 Playing at the glove seems to have been anciently a kind of game. 

8 Castle downe has been thought to mean the Castle of Downe, a sei 
belonging to the family of Murray, and giving the title of Viscount to the 
Meat son of the Earl. 

*Zule yule; Chrittmat, 


His footmen they did rin before, 
His horsemen rade behind ; 

Ane mantel of the burning govvd 
Did keip him frae the wind. 

Gowden graith'd his horse before 

And siller shod behind ; 
The horse zoug Waters rade upon 

Was fleeter than the wind. 

But than spake a wylie lord, 

Unto the queen said he, 
O tell me quha's the fairest face 

Hides in the company. 

I've sene lord, and IVe 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 ; 
Theris not a knight in fair Scotland 

Bot to thee maun bow down. 

Fcr a' that she could do or say, 
Appeasd he wad nae bee ; 

Cot for the words which she had .laid Waters he maun dee. 

J ney hae taen zoung Waters, and 

Put fetters to his feet ; 
Ihey 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 hac taen to the holding-hill 1 

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, commanded by the Prince of Parma, 
took many fortresses and cities in Flanders and Brabant. Some 
attempt to regain Ghent, with the help of English volunteers, probably 
occasioned this Ballad, written upon a heroine unknown to history, but 
whom the following rhymes made famous. Ben Jonson calls any 
remarkable virago by her name. She is also mentioned in Fletcher's 
" Scornful Lady." 

WHEN captaines couragious, whom death cold not daunte, 
Did march to the siege of the citty of Gaunt, 
They mustred their souldiers by two and by three, 
And the formost in battle was Mary Ambree. 

When brave Sir John Major 2 was slaine in her sight. 
Who was her true lover, her joy, and delight, 
Because he was slaine most treacherouslie, 
Then vowd to revenge him Mary Ambree. 

She clothed herselfe from the top to the toe 
In buffe of the bravest, most seemelye to showe ; 
A faire shirt of male 3 then slipped on shee ; 
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree P 

A helmett of proofe shee strait did provide. 
A strong arminge sword shee girt by her side, 
On her hand a goodly faire gauntlett put shee ; 
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree P 

1 Heiding-hill i. e. heading [beheading] hill. The place of execution was 
anciently an artificial hillock. 

2 Or Serjeant Major. 

* A peculiar kind of armour, composed of small rings of iron, and worn 
under the clothes. It is mentioned by Spenser, who speaks of the Irsb 
s, or foot-soldier, aa " armed in a long shirt of may!." 


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 P 

My soldiers, she saith, soe valiant and bold, 

Nowe followe your captaine, whom you doe beholde ; 

Still formost in battel mysclfe will I bee : 

Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary Ambree P 

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 agree, 
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 P 

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 free : 
Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary Ambree ? 

Shee led upp her souldiers in battaile array, 

Gainst three times theyr number by breake of the daye j 

Seven howers in skirmish continued shee : 

Was not this a brave bonny lasse, Mary Ambree ? 

She filled the skyes with the smoke of her shott, 
And her enemye's bodyes with bullets soe hott ; 
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 intent, 
Away all her pellets and powder had sent, 
Straight with her keen weapon shee slasht him in three i 
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 r,hee cold never abide ; 
To beate down tLc v, alleo they all did decree : 
But stoutlye deflyd thorn brave Mary Auibree. 


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 Arnbree ! 

Now saye, English captaine, what woldest thou give 
To ransome thy selfe, which else must not live P 
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 shortlye with us a prisoner must bee. 

No captaine of England ; behold in your sight 
Two brests in my bosome, and therfore no knight : 
Noe knight, sirs, of England, nor captaine you see, 
But a poor simple la3S, called Mary Ambree. 

But art thou a woman, as thou dost declare, 
Whose valor hath proved so undaunted in warre ? 
If England doth yield such brave lasses as thee, 
Eull well may they conquer, faire Mary Ambree. 

The prince of Great Parma heard of her renowne, 
Who long had advanced for England's faire crowne ^ 
Hee wooed her and sued her his mistress to bee, 
And offerd rich presents to Mary Ambree. 

But this virtuous mayden despised them all, 
lie nere sell my honour for purple nor pall : 
A mayden of England, sir, never will bee 
The w of a monarcke, quoth Mary Ambree. 

Then, to her ovvne country shee backe did returne, 
Still holding the foes of faire England in scorne : 
Therfore, English captaines of every degree, 
Sing forth the brave valours of Mary Ambree. 



guished himself (1586) at the siege of Zutphen, was, in the following 
year, chosen to replace the Earl of Leicester in the command of the 
English forces in the United Provinces. The appointment enabled him 
to signalize his courage and skill in several conflicts with the Spaniards. 
One of these, largely exaggerated by popular report, is probably the 
subject of this old ballad. Lord Willoughby died in 1601. Mr. 
Chappell informs us that the tune, with which his name was associated, 
continued to be as popular in the Ketherlands as in England long 
after his death. Norris and Turner, of whom the ballad makes 
honourable mention, were distinguished soldiers 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, you bow-men, 

And we will keep them out : 
You musquet and calliver 1 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 : 

i Calliver was a muHjet o*' H particular size or bore. 


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 men's 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. 

Tli en 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, 
AY Inch ecchoed through the sky, 

God and St. George for England ! 
The conquerers 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 1 

Of brave lord Willoughbey. 

1 Bout confliei. 



FROM " Cupid and Death," a Masque by James Shirley, who was born 
in 1596, and died in 1666. 

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, 

And mingle with forgotten ashes, when 

Death calls yee to the croud of common men. 

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 a heart. 


THE fate of the Armada did not quench the fury or the enterprise of 
Philip II., who prepared a second invasion of England. But Eliza- 
beth anticipated the attack by a descent on the Spanish coast. The 
armament sailed from Plymouth June 1st, and reached Cadiz on the 
20th of that month. A picturesque narrative of the voyage will be 
found in Southey's " Naval History." Lord Essex, with 3000 men. 
carried the town, sword in hand. "The earliest copy of this ballad, 
containing many variations from Percy, probably written by Thomas 
Deloney, was originally printed in or before 1596." 

LONG the proud Spaniards had vaunted to conquer us, 

Threatning our country with fyer and sword ; 
Often preparing their navy most sumptuous 
With as great plenty as Spain could afford. 

Dub a dub, dub a dub, thus strike their drums : 
Tantara, tantara, the Englishman comes. 


To the seas presentlye went our lord admiral, 
With knights couragious and captains full good ; 

The brave Earl of Essex, a prosperous general, 
With him prepared to pass the salt flood. 

At Plymouth speedilye took they ship valiantlye ; 

Braver ships never were seen under sayle, 
With their fair colours spread, and streamers ore their head, 

Now bragging Spaniards, take heed of your tayle. 

Unto Gales cunninglye came we most speedilye, 
Where the kinge's navy securelye did ryde ; 

Being upon their backs, piercing their butts of sacks, 
Ere any Spaniards our coming descryde. 

Great was the crying, the running and ryding, 
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. 

There you might see their ships, how they were fyred fast, 1 
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 away. 

The great St. Phillip, the pryde of the Spaniards, 
Was burnt to the bottom, and sunk in the sea ; 

But the St. Andrew, and eke the St. Matthew, 
Wee took in fight manfullye, and brought away. 

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. 

Now, quoth the noble Earl, courage, my soldiers all ; 

Eight and be valiant ; the spoil you shall have ; 
And be well rewarded all, from the great to the small ; 

But looike that the women and children you save. 

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 renowne. 

1 The Duke of Medina, the Spanish admiral, set fire to the ships, in order 
to prevent their falling into the hands of the Engl'>. 


Entering the houses then, of the most richest men, 
For gold and treasure we searched eche day ; 

In some places we" did find, pyes baking left behind, 
Meate at fire rosting, and folkes run away. 

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. 

Thus Gales was taken, and our brave general 

March'd to the market-place, where he did stand : 

There many prisoners fell to our several shares ; 
Many crav'd mercye, and mercye they fannd. 

When our brave General saw they delayed all, 

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 a flame, 
With tara, tantara, away wee all came. 


PRINTED from a black-letter copy, corrected in part by the folio MS. 
This Ballad is founded on the capture of Cadiz by Lord Essex in 
1596. The author, assuming his readers to be familiar with the expe- 
dition, and the circumstances which occasioned it, neither mentions 
the time nor the place of his little drama in rhyme. He is equally 
silent respecting the names of the actors. Tradition has been busy in 
filling the blanks. Devonshire, rich in Raleighs and Cliffords, makes a 
claim to the gallant captain ; Staffordshire sets forth the merits of 
Sir Kichard Leveson of Trentham, whose pleasant features, in brass, 
may be studied in the Church of Wolverhampton ; Cheshire rejoices in 
Sir Unas Legh of Adlingtou ; and Wiltshire points triumphantly to 
the Popham family, and the grim old mansion of Littlecote, of which 
a striking sketch was furnished to Sir Walter Scott by Lord W. Sey- 
mour. It stands, solemn and lonely, two miles from Hungerford, in 
Berkshire ; and the rusty armour, a large oak table, and a cumbrous 
arm-chair carry the visitor back to the age of Elizabeth, and beyond 
it. A narrow gallery, looking into an ancient garden, is hung with 
portraits, chiefly in the Spanish dresses of the sixteenth century. But 
Lincolnshire seems to show the strongest title to the honours of 
romance in the person of John Bolle, of Thorpe I fall, in whose behalf 
a descendant stood forward in the May of 184G. His pedigree and 
story are given by Archdeacon Illingworth, in his account of the Parish 
of Scarnpton. Having been knighted by Elizabeth for his bravery 
at Cadiz, Sir John Bolle died in 1COC, aged 4C, and was buried in 


Haugh Church, near Alford. The Archdeacon mentions wome very 
interesting gifts of the Spanish lady : " She sent, as presents to his 
wife, a profusion of jewels and other valuables, amongst which was her 
portrait drawn in green, a beautiful tapestry-bed wrought in gold by 
her own hands, and several cases full of plate, money, and other 
treasures ; some of which articles are sti/1 in possession of the family ; 
though her picture was unfortunately, and by accident, disposed of 
about half a century ago [A. D. 1760]. This portrait being drawn in 
green gave occasion to her being called in the neighbourhood of Thorpe 
Hall, ' The Green Lady,' where to this day there is a traditionary 
superstition among the vulgar, that Thorpe Hall was haunted by the 
Green Lady, who used nightly to take her seat in a particular tree 
near the mansion; and that during the life of his son, Sir Charles 
Bolle, a knife and fork were always laid for her, if she chose to make 
her appearance." "We are told that the gold chain, the lady's parting 
gift, is still preserved. The portrait of Sir John, drawn in 1596, when 
he was in his thirty-seventh year, was, in 1SJG, possessed by Mr. 
Bosville of Ravcnslield Park, Yorkshire. The Ballad is justly regarded 
as one of the most perfect compositions of its class, "portraying the 
love of adventure, the spirit of honour, respect for high engagements, 
and those noble thoughts seated in hearts of courtesy, which the 
imagination is pleased to associate with this glorious period of our 

WILL you hear a Spanish lady, 

How shee wooed an English man ? 
Garments gay and rich as may be 

Decked with jewels she had on. 
Of a comely countenance and grace was she, 
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 coy. 

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 ! 

G-allant 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 free, 
But my heart in prison still remains with thee 


" How should'st thou, fair lady, love me, 

Whom thou knowst tliy 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. 

" Best you still, most gallant lady ; 

Hest you still, and weep no more ; 
Of fair lovers there is plenty, 

Spain doth yield a wonderous store." 
Spaniards fraught with jealousy we often find, 
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 blest. 

" It wold be a shame, fair lady, 

For to bear a woman hence ; 
English soldiers never cany 

Any such without offence." 
I'll quickly change myself, if it be so, 
And like a page lie 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 gain, 
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 offence, 
"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 thee, 
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 ladie." 



FROM " Albion's England," by William Warner. The story is believed 
to be the invention of the poet. Campbell remarks that ' Argentile and 
Curan' "has some beautiful touches, but requires to be weeded of 
many lines to be read with unqualified pleasure." Though here divided 
into stanzas, the metre is the old Alexandrine of fourteen syllables. 

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 life, 

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 conjure thee, 

To nourish, as thine owne, 
Thy niece, my daughter Argeutile, 

Till she to age be growne ; 
And then, as thou receivest it, 

Besigne to her my throne. 

A promise had for his bequest, 

The testator he dies ; 
But all that Edel undertooke 

He afterwards denies. 

Yet well 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 obtaino ; 
For grippell 1 Edcl to hirnselfe 

Her kmgdome 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, 2 did see 

The maid, with whom he fell in love, 
As much as man might bee. 

Unhappie youth, what should he doe P 
His saint was kept in mewe ; 3 

Nor he nor any noble-man 
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 king's restraint 

Did secretly invay. 
At length the high controller Love, 

Whom none may disobay, 

Imbased him from lordlines 

Into a kitchen drudge, 
That so at least of life or death 

She might become his judge. 

Accesse so had to see and speake, 

He did his love bewray, 
And tells his birth : her answer was. 

She husbandles would stay. 

Meanq while the king did beate his braines, 

His booty to atchieve, 
Nor caring what became of her, 

So he by her might thrive ; 
At last his resolution was 

Some pessant should her wive. 

1 Qrippeli griping. a Danske probably Denmark. 

3 Mewe cage. 


And (which was working to his wish) 

He did observe with joye 
How Curan, whom he thought a drudge, 

Scapt many an amorous toye. 1 

The king, perceiving such his veine, 

Promotes his vassal still, 
Lest that the basenesse of the man 

Should lett, 2 perhaps, his will. 

Assured therefore of his love, 

But not suspecting who 
The lover was, the king himselfe 

In his behalf did woe. 

The lady resolute from love, 

Unkindly takes that he 
Should barre the noble, and unto 

So base a match agree : 

And therefore shifting out of doores, 

Departed thence by stealth ; 
Preferring povertie before 

A dangerous life in wealth. 

When Curan heard of her escape, 

The anguish in his hart 
Was more than much, and after her 

From court he did depart ; 

Forgetfull of himselfe, his birth. 

His country, friends, and all, 
And only minding (whom he mist) 

The foundresse of his thrall. 

Nor meanes he after to frequent 

Or court, or stately townes, 
But solitarily to live 

Amongst the country .grownes. 3 

A brace of years he lived thus, 

Well pleased so to live, 
And shepherd-like to feed a flock e 

Himselfe did wholly give. 

1 The construction is, " How that many an amorous toy, or foolery of 
love, 'scaped Curan" i. e. escaped from him, being ofi'his guard. 
a Lett hinder. 3 Grownes groundt. 


So wasting, love, by worke, and want, 
G' e~ft almost to the waine : 

But tnen began a second love, 
The worser of the twaine. 

A country wench, a neatherd's maid, 
Where Curau kept his sheepe, 

Did feed her drove : and now on her 
Was all the shepherd's keepe. 1 

He borrowed on the working daies 

His holy russets 2 oft, 
And of the bacon's fat, to make 

His startops 3 blacke and soft. 

And least his tarbox should offend, 

He left it at the folde : 
Sweete growte, 4 or whig, 5 his bottle had, 

As much as it might holde. 

A sheeve 6 of bread as browne as nut, 
And cheese as white as snow, 

And wildings, 7 or the season's fruit 
He did in scrip bestow. 

And whilst his py-bald curre 8 did sleepe, 
And sheep-hooke lay him by, 

On hollow quilles of oten straw 
He piped melody. 

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 9 well, 
(And therewithall did drawe 

1 Keepe care, or notice. 
* Holy-day russets i. e. his best clothes. 

3 Startops buekins, or half-boott. 
* Growte small beer variously made. 

5 Whig whey, or buttermilk. 

' Sheere a great slice. ' Wildings wild app 

8 Curre dog. 9 So\0itig*viciualiii<g. 


His lardrie 1 ) and in ' yeaning' see 

" Yon crumpling 2 ewe, quoth he, 
" Did twinne this fall, and twin shouldst thou, 

" If 1 might tup with thee. 

" Thou art too elvish, faith thou art, 

" Tdo elvish and too coy : 
" Am I, I pray thee, beggarly, 

" That such a fiocke enjoy ? 

" I wis I am not : yet that thou 

" Doest hold me in disdaine 
" Is brimme 3 abroad, and made a gybe 

" To all that keepe this plaine. 

" There be as quaint 4 (at least that think e 
" 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 wot, 

" Thou art a female) I 
" Her know not here that willingly 

" With maiden-head would die. 

" The plowman's 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. 5 

" Then chuse a shepheard : with the sun 

" He doth his flocke unfold, 
"And all the day on hill or plaine 

" He rnerrie chat can hold ; 

" And with the sun doth folde againe ; 

" Then jogging home betime, 
" He turnes a crab, 6 or turnes a round, 

" Or sings some merry ryme. 

Lardrie larder. 2 Crumpling crooked-horned. 

3 Brimme public. 

' Quaint nice, orjantasfical. 5 Mome a dullperto*, 

6 i. e. roasts a crab, or apple. 



" Nor lacks he gleefull talcs, 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 he 
" Whose cattel he doth graize. 

" Beleeve me, lasse, a king is but 

" A man, and so am I ; 
" Content is worth a monarchic, 

" 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 neatressc, 1 longing for the rest, 

Did egge 2 him on to tell 
How faire she was, and who she was. 

" She bore, quoth he, the bell 

" For beautie ; though 1 clownish am, 

" I know what beautie is ; 
"Or did I not, at seeing thee, 

" I senceles were to mis. 

* * * * 

1 Neatresse -female keeper of cattle. 
* Eggc urge on; still used in the North of England. 


11 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 armcs 

" 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. 

1 In mcane middle-sieed. 

x 2 


" Her smiles were sober, and her lookea 

" Were chearefull unto all ; 
" Even such as neither wanton sectnc. 

" Nor waiward ; mell, 1 nor gall. 

" A quiet minde, a patient moode, 

" And not disdaining any ; 
" jSTot 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. 2 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, 

" But now I die for thee. 

" At Kirkland is my father's court, 

" And Curan is my name ; 
" In Edel'tj court sometimes in pompe, 

" Till love countrould the same : 

i Mell koney. * Emblazon beauty's coat. Ed. 1597. 


" But now what now ? deare heart, how now ? 

" What ailest thou to weepe P" 
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 claimc 

In Argentile her right, 
He warr'd in Diria, and he wonnc 

Bernicia 1 too in fight : 

And so from trecherous Edel tooke 

At once his life and crowne, 
And of Northumberland was king, 

Long raigning in renowne. 

1 During the Saxon heptarchy the kingdom 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 con tailed 
the southern parts, and Be-mcia, comprehending those which lay north. 



OF this Song the three first stanzas are ancient. The application wa* 
added by Percy. 

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 reliefs be found P 

Such is hapless Corin's fate : 

Since my waywarde love begunne, 

Equall doubts begett debate 

What to seeke, and what to shunne. 

Spare to speke, and spare to speed ; 

Yet to speke will move disdaine : 
If I see her not I bleed, 

Yet her sight augments my paino. 

What may then poor Corin doe ? 

Tell me, shepherdes, quicklye tell ; 
For to linger thus 'in woe 

Is the lover's sharpest hell. 



MISTRESS to Edward the Fourth, was living, old and po,)r, in the time 
of Sir Thomas More, who, in his " History of Richard III." has given a 
striking account of her character and appearance : " Men use, if they 
have an evil turne, to write it in marble ; and who doth us a good turne, 
we write it in dust. Which is not worse proved by her ; for at this 
day she beggeth of many at this day living, that at this day had 
begged, if she had not beene." From Drayton we get a finely-coloured 
picture : " Her stature was meane, her hair of a dark yellow, her face 
round and full, her eye gray ; delicate harmony being betwixt each 
part's proportion and each proportion's colour ; her body fat, white, 
and smooth; her countenance cheerful, and like to her condition. 
The picture -which I have seen of her was such as she rose out of her 
bed in the morning, having nothing on her but a rich mantle cast 
under one arm over her shoulder, and sitting on a chair on which her 
naked arm did lie. Richard III., causing her to do open penance in 
Paul's Church-yard, commanded that no man should relieve her; 
which the tyrant did, not so much for his hatred to sinne, but that by 
making his brother's life odious, he might cover his horrible treasons 
the more cunningly." A portrait of Jane Shore is in the Provost's 
house at Eton ; and there is another in the Lodge of King's College, 
Cambridge, of both which foundations she is believed to have been a 
benefactor. She died in the eighteenth year of Henry VIII. Granger 
mentions a lock of her hair, in the possession of the Duchess of 
Montague, which looked as if it had been powdered with gold dust. 
The following ballad is printed (with some corrections) from an old 
black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection. To every stanza is annexed 
this burden: 

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 love"d 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, 1 
A husband for me did obtaine ; 
And I, their pleasure to fulfille, 
Was forc'd to wedd against my wille. 

1 Sir Thomas More writes : " This woman was born in London, worship 
fully frended, honestly brought up, and very well maryed, saving somewha. 
to Boone ; her husband an honest citizen, yonge and goodly, and of good sub- 
stance. But forasmuch as they were coupled ere she wer well ripe, she not 
very fervently loved for whom she never longed." 


To Matthew Shore I was a wife, 
Till lust brought ruine 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 WQOC, 
Because chast love I did not finde 
Agreeing to my wanton minde. 

At last my name in court did ring 
Into the eares of Englande's king, 
Who came and lik'd, and love requir'd, 
But 1 made coye what he desir'd : 

Yet Mistress Blague, a neighbour neare, 
Whose friendship I esteemed deare, 
Did save, 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 Jidvvard witn 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 promotion climbe ; 
But yet for all this costlye pride, 
My husbande could not ruee abide. 


His bed, though wrongM 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 1 

To helplesse people, that were poore ; 

I still redrest the orphan's 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 Edward's friends were soon put downe. 

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. 

Where 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. 

1 "In whom the king loke special pleasure, whose favour she never abused 
to any man's hurt, but to many a man's comfort and relief." Sir Thomai 


Not thus content, they took from moo 
My goodes, my livings, and my foe, 1 
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 thcrebye to case 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 lawe, it was decreed 
That he was hange'd 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. 

1 "Now then by and by, as it wer for anger, not for eovetise, the Protector 
ient into the house of Shore's wife (for her husband dwelled not with her) 
and spoiled her of all that ever she had, above the value of 2 or 3 thousand 
marks, and sent her body to prison." Sir Thomas More. 


I could not get one bit of bread, 
Whereby my hunger might be 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 ; l 
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 amend, 
For love and beauty will have end. 

1 But it had this name long before, being so called from its being a common 
ewer (vulgarly " shore") or dvata. 



THE burthen of the song, " Ding, Dong," &c. is at present appropriate'! 
to burlesque subjects ; but in the time of our poet it usually accom- 
]>anierl the most solemn and mournful strains. Of this kind is thai 
fine aerial Dirge in Shakespeare's" Tempest" 

" Full fadom five thy father lies," &c. 

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. 

Her corpse shall be attended 

By maides in fair array, 
Till the obsequies are ended, 

And she is wrapt in clay. 

Her herse it shall be carried 

By youths, that do excell ; 
And when that she is buried, 

I thus will ring her knell. 

A garland shall be framed 

By art and nature's skill, 
Of sundry-colour'd flowers, 

In token of good-will. 1 

And sundry-colour'd ribbands 

On it I will bestow ; 
But chiefly black and yellowc : 

With her to grave shall go. 

1 It is a custom in many parts of England to carry a flowery garland befori 
the corpse of a woman who dies unmarried. 


I'll decke her tomb with flowers, 

The rarest ever seen, 
And with my tears, as showers, 

I'll keepe them fresh and green. 

Instead of fairest colours, 

Set forth with curious art, 1 
Her image shall be painted 

On my distressed heart. 

And thereon shall be graven 

Her epitaph so faire, 
" Here lies the loveliest maiden, 

" That e'er gave shepheard care." , ,. 

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. 

ISoofe ME. 

Is an allegorical Satire, a manner of moralising which the Author of 
" Piers Ploughman's Vision" either introduced or made popular. That 
remarkable work is thought to have been composed towards the end, 
of 1362, and is the finest remaining example of a metrical style purely 
English. The versification of this Ballad bears a relationship to it. 
The Anglo-Saxons did not employ rhyme, but adopted, in the place of 
it, " a system of verse, of which the characteristic was a very regular 
alliteration, so arranged that, in every couplet, there should be two 
principal words in the first line beginning with the same letter, which 
letter must also be the initial of the first word on which the stress of 
the voice falls in the second line." Rhyme, which came with the 
Anglo-Normans, wfas received into the English language before the 
middle of the twelfth century. But it spread slowly, and alliterative 
verse kept its charm for the common people until the appearance of 
" Piers Ploughman' brought it into fashion. It is found in Scotland 
BO late as the age of Dunbar, who lived till about the middle of the 
sixteenth century. When rhyme began to be superadded, all the 

1 This alludes to the painted effigies of alabaster, anciently erected upon 
tombs and monuments. 


niceties of Alliteration were at first retained with it ; and the song of 
"Little John Nobody" exhibits thid union very clearly. By degrees 
the correspondence of final sounds engrossing the whole attention of 
the poet, and fully satisfying the reader, the internal embellishment of 
Alliteration was 110 longer studied ; and this kind of metre was at 
length swallowed up, and lost in our common Burlesque Alexandrine, 
or Anapaestic verse, now used only in ballads and pieces of light humour, 
as in the following Song of Conscience, and in that well-known dog- 
grel, " A cobbler there was, and he lived in a stall." Degraded in 
England, this metrical style found a home in the French heroic line of 
twelve syllables, 1 which is the genuine offspring of the old Gothic 
measure, stript like our Anapaestic of its alliteration, and ornamented 
with rhyme. To conclude : the metre of " Piers Ploughman's Vision " 
is altogether unlike that of Blank verse ; yet it has a harmony of its own, 
surpassing all the merit of the French heroic numbers, only less 
polished, and being sweetened with the internal recurrence of similar 
sounds, instead of their final rhymes. The following Song is printed 
from the folio MS. ; the corrections being enclosed between inverted 

As I walked of late by ' an ' wood side, 

To God for to meditate was my entent ; 

Where under a Hawthorne I suddenlye spyed 

A silly poore creature ragged and rent ; 

With bloody teares his face was besprent, 
His fleshe and his color consumed away, 
And his garments they were all mire, mucke, and clay. 

This made me muse, and much 'to' desire 

To know what kind of man hee shold bee ; 

I stept to him straight, and did him require 

His name and his secretts to shew unto mee. 

His head he cast up, and wooful was hee, 
My name, quoth he, is the cause of my care, 
And makes me scorned, and left here so bare. 

Then straightway he turn'dhim, andpray'd ' me ' sit dowue, 
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 teethe, 
' Thoughe now, silly wretche, I'm denyed all releef,' 
' Yet ' while I was young, and tender of yeeres, 
I was entertained with kinges, and with peeres. 

1 It is remarkable that the French alone have retained this old Gotlu'c metre 
for their serious poems ; while the English, Spaniards, &c. have adopted the 
Italic verse of ten syllables, although the Spaniards, as well as we, anciently 
used a short-lined metre. 1 believe the success with which Petrarch, and 
perhaps one or two others, first used the heroic verse of ten syllables in 
Italian Poesy, recommended it to the Spanish writers ; as it also did to our 
Chaucer, who first attempted it in English ; and to his successors Lord Surrey, 
Sir Thomas Wyat, &c. ; who afterwards improved it and brought it to pest 


There was none in the court that lived in such fame, 

For with the king's councell ' I ' sate in commission ; 

Dukes, earles, and barrens esteem'd of my name ; 

And how that I liv'd there needs no repetition : 

I was ever holden in honest condition, 

For howsoever the lawes went in Westminster-hall, 
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 and friend, 
But Conscience was called to bee at ' the ' end. 

Noe bargaines nor merchandize merchants wold make 
But I was called a wittenesse therto : 
No use for noe money, nor forfett wold take, 
But I wold controule them, if that they did soe : 
' And ' that makes me live now in great woe, 
For then came in Pride, Sathan's disciple, 
That is now entertained with all kind of people. 

He brought with him three, whose names 'thus they call' 
That is Govetousnes, Lecherye, Usury, beside : 
They never prevail'd, till they had wrought my downe-fall ; 
Soe Pride was entertained, but Conscience decried, 
And ' now ever since ' abroad have I tryed 

To have had entertainment with some one or other ; 

But I am rejected, and scorned of my brother. 

Then went I to the Court the gallants to winn, 
But the porter kept me out of the gate : 
To Bartlemew Spittle 1 to pray for my sinne, 
They bade me goe paake, it was fitt for my state ; 
Goe, goe, threed-bare Conscience, and seeke thee a mate. 
Good Lord, long preserve my king, prince, and queene, 
With whom evermore I esteemed have been. 

Then went I to London, where once I did ' dwell :' 

But they bade away with me, when they knew my name ; 

For he will undoe us to bye and to sell ! 

They bade me goe packe me, and hye me for shame : 

They lought 2 at my raggs, and there had good game ; 

This is old threed-bare Conscience, that dwelt with saint 
Peter ; 

But they wold not admitt me to be a chimney-sweeper. 

1 Spittle hospital. * Lought laughed. 


Not one wold receive me, the Lord ' he ' doth know ; 

I having but one poor pennye in my purse, 

On an awle and some patches I did it bestow ; 

' For ' I thought better cobble shooes than doe worse. 

Straight then all the coblers began for to curse, 
And by statute wold prove me a rogue, and forlorne, 
And whipp me out of towne to ' seeke' where I was 

Then did I remember, and call to my minde. 
The Court of Conscience where once I did sit : 
Not doubting but there I some favor shold find, 
For my name and the place agreed soe fit ; 
But there of my purpose I fayled a whit, 

For 'thoughe' the judge us'd my name in everye 
' commission,' 

The lawyers with their quillets 1 wold get ' my ' dismission. 

Then Westminster-hall was noe place for me ; 

Good lord ! how the lawyers began to assemble, 

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 gentlemen's houses of an ancyent name ; 
Declaring my greefles, and there I made moane, 
' 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. 

1 Quillets quibble*. 


And then I was forced a begging to goe 
To husbandmen's houses, who greeved right sore, 
And sware that their landlords had plagued them so, 
That they were not able to keepe open doore, 
Nor nothing had left to give to the poore : 
Therefore to this wood I doe me repayre, 
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 grave. 
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, me-thinks it were best 

To goe to the Clergie ; for dailye they preach 

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 preach, 

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 away, 
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 best. 
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 



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 1 tell thee, by my vazen, 3 

That zometimes che 3 have knowue 
A vair and goodly abbey 

Stand here of bricke and stone ; 
And many a holy vrier, 4 

As ich 6 may say to thee, 
Within these goodly cloystevft 

Che did full often zoo. 


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 feigndd lies : 
But such an order truly 

Christ never did devise. 

* Chill JTwtH. 

2 i. e. faithen 5 as in the Midland counties they say " housen," " closen," for 
hoiues, closes. 

s Che-J. * Vrier-; -friar. Ich-J. 


Ah ! ah ! clie zmell thee now, man ; 

Che know well what thou art : 
A vellow of mean learning, 

Thee was not worth a vart : 
Vor when we had the old lawe, 

A merry world was then ; 
And everything was plenty 

Among all zorts of men. 


Thou givest me an answer, 

As did the Jewes sometimes 
Unto the prophet Jeremye, 

When he accus'd their crimes : 
'Twas merry, sayd the people, 

And joyfull in our rea'me, 
When we did offer spice-cakes 

Unto the queen, of heav'n. 


Chill tell thee what, good vellowo, 

Before the vriers went hence, 
A bushell of the best wheate 

Waa zold vor vourteen pence ; 
And vorty egges a penny, 

That were both good and newe ; 
And this che zay my zelf have zeeuo, 

And yet ich am no Jewe. 


Within^the sacred "Bible 

We find it written plain, 
The latter days should troublesome 

And dangerous be, certaine j 
That we should be self-lovers, 

And charity wax colde ; 
Then 'tis not true religion 

That makes thee grief to holde. 
y 2 



Chill tell thee my opinion plainc, 

And choul'd 1 that well ye knewe, 
Ich care not for the Bible booke ; 

Tis too big to be true. 
Our blessed Ladye's psalter 

Zhall for my money goe ; 
Zuch pretty prayers, as there bee, 9 

The Bible cannot zhowe. 


ITowe hast thou spoken trulyo, 

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 3 zure they were not voolishe 

That made the masse, che trowe j 
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 rejpyced 

To heare the zacring bell? 4 


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 P 

1 Choul'd tronld. 
* Probably alluding to the illuminated psalters, missals, Ac. 

* Cham I am. 
4 Snoring bell >una to announce the elevation of the Host. 



O hold tliy peace, clie pray thee, 

The noise was passing trim 
To heare the vriers zinging, 

As we did enter in : 
And then to zee the rood-loft 

Zo bravely zet with zaints j 
But now to zee them wandring 

My heart with zorrow vaints. 1 


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 2 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. 

' By nm Blis, Barton, mental April Sli 1684 



Yea, yea, it is no matter, 

Dispraise them how you wille : 
But zure they did much goodnesse ; 

Would they were with us stille ! 
We had our holy water, 

And holy bread likewise, 
And many holy reliques 

We zaw before our eyes. 


And all this while they fed you. 

With vain and empty showe, 
Whieh never Christ commanded, 

As learned doctors knowe : 
Search then the holy scriptures, 

And thou shalt plainly see 
That headlong to damnation 

They alway trained thee. 


If it be true, good vellowe, 

As thou dost zay to mee, 
Unto my heavenly Fader 

Alone then will I flee : 
Believing in the Gospel, 

And passion of his Zon. 
And with the zubtil papistes 

li-li have for ever done. 



IN the year 1228, an Armenian Archbishop was entertained at the 
Monastery of St. Albans ; and Matthew Paris, a member of the So< iety, 
records the particulars of the visit. A Monk, who sat the 
"tranger, 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, interpreting 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 while before he left 
the East : that he had been Pontius Pilate's porter, by name Carta- 
philus ; 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 them 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 stafe 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." Since the time of Matthew Paris, 
several impostors have assumed the name and character of the 
Wandering Jew. The story in the following ballad is of one who 
appeared at Hamburgh in 1547, and said that he had been a Jewish 
shoemaker at the Crucifixion of Jesus. The ballad, however, 
seems to be of a later date. It is preserved in black-letter in the 

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 Jewes 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 thornes, 

And scourg'd him to disgrace, 
In scornfull sort they led him forthe 

TJnto 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 one's consente : 
His owue deare crosse he bore himselfe, 

A burthen far too great, 
Which made him in the street to faiute, 

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 5 
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 \vhich 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 scene 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 heart's content ; 
No house, nor home, nor biding place : 

But wandring forth he went 
From towne to towne in foreigue landei, 

With grieved conscience still, 
Repenting for the heinous guilt 

Of his fore-passed ill. 


Awaye, thou king of Jewes, 

Thou shall not rest thee here." 


Thus after some few ages past 

In wandring up and downe ; 
He much again desired to see 

Jerusalem's renowne ; 
But finding it all quite destroyd, 

He wandred thence with woe, 
Our Saviour's wordes, which he had spoke, 

To verifie and showe, 

" I'll rest, sayd hee, but thou shalt walk e ;" 

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 thingea 

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 crossc 

For mortall sinners' crimes. 

He hath past through many a foreigne place, 

Arabia, Egypt, Africa, 
Grecia, Syria, and great Thrace, 

And throughout all Hungaria. 
Where Paul and Peter preached Christ, 

Those blest Apostles deare j 
There he hath told our Saviour's wordei, 

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 dayos, 
And wonder much to heare him tell 

His journeycs and his waye?. 

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 scene 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 scene his death, saith he, 

As these mine eyes have done, 
Ten thousand thousand times would yee 

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. 




THE authorship of these noble verses has been examined by the Eev. 
John Hannah in his edition of Raleigh's Poems. The common report, 
that the " Lye" was written by Raleigh on the night before his execu- 
tion (October 29, 16 IS) is disproved by its publication in the "Poetical 
Rhapsody," 1C09. Nor is the difficulty lessened by supposing Raleigh 
to have composed the poem under the apprehension of death in 1G03; 
for a MS. copy is traced to 1593. Other names are, therefore, sug- 
gested ; and among them we find Richard Edwards, Lord Essex, F. 
Davison, whom Ritson confidently affirmed to be the author, and 
Joshua Sylvester, whose claim is supported by Ellis. The evidence is 
strong in favour of Raleigh; for while he yet lived the poem was 
openly ascribed to him. Mr. Hannah notices some minor points ; in 
particular lie mentions a transcript of the " Lye" among the " Chetham 
MSS., of which the date does not seem to fall much later than the 
period of Raleigh's death, and which has the full signature ' Wa. 
Raleigh.'" If we admit Raleigh to have written the poem, the tradition 
respecting it may be easily explained. It seems that he did " really 
compose one short piece, if not a second, the very night before his 
execution ; the rumour of these being soon spread abroad, the popular 
appetite for prison verses would encourage conjectures on their nature ;" 
and any moral verses, indicating the near approach of death, would be 
eagerly accepted as a dying meditation. 

GOE, soule, the bodie's 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 Court, it glowes 

And shines like rotten wood ; 
Goe, telj 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 brare it most, 

They beg for more by spending, 
Who, m 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 1 points of nicenesse ; 
Tell Wisedome, she entangles 
Herselfe in over-wisenesse ; 
And if they do reply, 
Straight gVe them both the lye. 

Tell Physicke of her boldnesse ; 

Tell Skill, it is pretension j 
Tell Charity of coldness ; 
Tell Law, it is contention j 
And as they yield reply, 
So give them still the lye. 

1 Tickle uncertain^ 


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 kill. 



JAMES was a great versifier. Of the two following poems, written in 
his best and his worst manner, the first would not dishonour any 
author of that time, while the second is a complete example of the 

GOD gives not kings the stile of Gods in vaine, 
For on his throne his scepter do they swey : 
And as their subjects ought them to obey, 

So kings should feare and serve their God againe, 


If then ye would enjoy a happie reigne, 
Observe tha statutes of our heavenly King ; 
And from his law make all your laws to spring ; 

Since his lieutenant here ye should remaine. 

Rewarde the just, be stedfast, true and plaine ; 

Repressc tlie proud, maintayning aye the right ; 

Walke always so, as ever in His sight, 
Who guardes the godly, plaguing the prophane. 

And so ye shall in princely vertues shine, 

Resembling right your mightie King divine. 




How cruelly these catives do conspire ? 
What loathsome love breeds such a baleful band 
Betwixt the cankred king of Creta land, 1 

That melancholy old and angry sire, 

And him, who wont to quench debate and ire 
Among the Romans, when his ports were clos'd P 3 
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 snow, 
Refuses food to fowl, to bird, and beast : 

The chilling cold lets everything to grow, 
And surfeits cattle with a starving feast. 

Curs'd be that love, and mought 3 continue short, 

Which kills all creatures, and doth spoil our sport. 

1 Saturn. 2 Janus. * i. e, may it. 



THE common popular ballad of" King John and the Abbot" seems to 
have been abridged and modernised, about the time of James I., from 
one much older, and entitled, "King John and the Bishop of Canter- 
bury." According to Dr. Ilimbault, " the story of this ballad may be 
found in the adventures of ' Howie-glass,' originally printed in the 
lower Saxon dialect, 1483, but translated into English, and printed 
by Copland in the following century. It is also in ' El Patranuelo,' 
a collection of Spanish novels, 157G." 

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 he did great wrong, and maintein'd little right. 

And He tell you a story, a story so merrye, 
Concerning the Abbot of Canterburye ; 
How for his house-keeping, and high renowne, 
They rode poste for him to fair London towne. 

An hundred men, the king did heare say, 
The abbot kept in his house every day ; 
And fifty golde chaynes, without any doubt, 
In velvet coates waited the abbot about. 

How now, father abbot, I heare it of thee, 
Thou keenest a farre better house than mee, 
And for thy house-keeping and high renowne, 
I feare thou work'st treason against my crown. 

My liege, quo' the abbot, I would it were knowne, 
I never spend nothing, but what is my owne ; 
And I trust, your grace will doe me no deere, 1 
For spending of my own true-gotten geere. 

Yes, yes, father abbot, thy fault it is highe, 
And now for the same thou needest must dye ; 
For except thou canst answer me questions three, 
Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie. 

And first, quo' the king, when I'm in this stead, 
With my crowne of golde so faire on my head, 
Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe, 
Thou must tell me to one penny what 1 am worthe. 

Deere hurt. 


Secondlye, tell me, without any doubt, 
How soonc I may rido the whole world about. 
And at the third question thou must not shrink, 
But tell me hero Iruly what I do think. 

O, these are hard questions for my shallow witt, 
Nor I cannot answer your grace as yet : 
But if you will give me but three weekes' space, 
He do my endeavour to answer your grace. 

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 three, 
Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to mee. 

Away rode the abbot all sad at that word, 
And he rode to Cambridge, and Oxenford ; 
But never a doctor there was so wise, 
That could with his learning an answer devise. 

Then home rode the abbot of comfort so cold, 
And he mett his shepheard a going to fold : 
How now, my lord abbot, you are welcome home ; 
What newes do you bring us from good King John P 

" 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 three, 
My head will be smitten from my bodie. 

The first is to tell him there in that stead, 
With his crowne of golde so fair on his head, 
Among all his liege men so noble of birth, 
To within one penny of what he is worth. 

The seconde, to tell him, without any doubt, 
How soone he may ride this whole world about: 
And at the third question I must not shrinke, 
But tell him there truly what he does thinke." 

Now cheare up, sire abbot, did you never hear yet, 
That a fool he may learn a wise man witt P 
Lend me horse, and. serving men, and your apparel, 
And I'll ride to London to answere your quarrel. 

Nay frowne noi;. if it hath bin told unto mee, 
. 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 have, 
With sumptuous array most gallant and brave , 
With crozier, and miter, and rochet, and cope, 
Fit to appeare 'fore our fader the pope. 

Now welcome, sire abbot, the king he did say, 
Tis well thou'rt come back to keepe thy day ; 
For and if thou canst answer my questions three, 
Thy life and thy living both saved shall bee. 

And first, when thou seest me here in this stead, 
With my crown of golde so fair on my head, 
Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe, 
Tell me to one penny what I am worth. 

" For thirty pence our Saviour was sold 
Amonge the false Jewes, as I have bin told ; 
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. Bittel, 1 
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 about. 

" 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 doubt, 
But in twenty-four hours you'll ride it about." 

The king he laughed, and swore by St. Jone, 

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 nice." 

The king he laughed, and swore by the masse, 
He make thee lord abbot this day in his place ! 
" Nowe naye, my liege, be not in such speede, 
For alacke I can neither write ne reade." 

1 Meaning probably St. Botolph 


Four nobles a wceke tlien I will give thee, 
For this merry jest tliou hast showne unto mec ; 
And tell the old abbot, when thou comest home, 
Thou hast brought him a pardon from good king John. 


FROM the " Reliquiae Wottonianse" (1651), with some corrections from 
an old MS. copy. The song was written by Sir Henry Wotton, when 
about fifty-two years old, upon Elizabeth daughter of James I., and 
wife of the Elector Palatine, chosen king of Bohemia, September 5th, 
1C19. It was set to music, and printed in 1624. 

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 P 

Ye violets that first appeare, 

By your pure purple mantles known, 

Like the proud virgins of the yeare, 
As if the Spring were allyour own ; 
What are you when the Rose is blown ? 

Ye curious chaunters of the wood, 

That warble forth dame Nature's layes, 

Thinking your passions understood 

By your weak accents : what's your praise, 
When Philomell her voyce shall raise ? 

So when my Mistris shal be scene 
In sweetnesse of her looks and minde ; 

By virtue first, then choyce 1 a Queen ; 
Tell me, if she was not design'd 
Th' eclypse and glory of her kind P 

1 Two additional stanzas are printed, in a note, by Mr. Hannah : 
You rubies, that do gems adornc, 

And sapphires with your azure hue, 
Like to the skies, or blushing morne, 

How pales your brightness to our view, 

When diamonds are mixt with you ! 

The rose, the violet, all the spring 

Unto her breath for sweetness vun; 
The diamond's dark'ncd in the riusr: 

If she appear, the Moon's uiuiune, 

As in the presence of the Sun. 



Tms excellent old song, the subject of which is a comparison between 
the manners of the old gentry, as still subsisting in the times of Eliza- 
beth, and the modern refinements 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. Pepys writes in his Diary, June 16, 
1668, " Come to Newbery, and there dined and musick: a song of the 
' Old Courtier of Queen Elizabeth,' and liow he was changed upon the 
coming in of the King, did please me mightily, and I did cause W. 
Hewer to write it out." The copy of the ballad, among the"Ashmo- 
lean MSS.," begins, " With an old song made by an old aged pate." 
In former times, " Chevy Chace" and the " Old Courtier" were orna- 
ments of the^mantel-piece. This Ballad seems to have been first 
printed in the'reign of James I. 

AN old song made by an aged old pate, 

Of an old worshipful gentleman, who had a greate estate, 

That kept a brave old house at a bountiful rate, 

And an old porter to relieve the poor at his gate ; 

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 coachmen, footmen, 

nor pages, 
But kept twenty old fellows with blue coats and badges ; 

With an old study fill'd full of learned old books, 

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 ; 

With an old hall, hung about with pikes, guns, and bows, 
With old swords, and bucklers, that had borne many 

shrew de blows, 

And an old frize coat, to cover his worship's trunk hose, 
And a cup of old sherry, to comfort his copper nose ; 

With a good old fashion, when Christmasse wab <:ome, 
To call in all his old neighbours with bagpipe and drum, 
With good chear enough to furnish every old room, 
And old liquor able to make a cat speak, and man dumb. 

3. 2 


"With an old falconer, huntsman, and a kennel of hounds, 
That never hawked, nor hunted, hut in his own ground*, 
"Who, like ;i wise man, kept himself within his o\vn 

And \\hen he dyed gave every child a, thousand good 

pounds ; 

But to his eldest son his house and land he assigu'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 drunk in a tavern, till he can neither go nor 

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 women's 


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 


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 

And a new French cook, to devise fine kickshaws and toys. 

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 


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. 

With new titles of honour bought with his father's old gold, 
For which sundry of his ancestor's 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 

Among the young courtiers of the king, 

Or the king's young courtiers. 


THIS lively Pasquil is thought to have been written by Suckling 
himself [b. 1GOS, d. 1G41], as a banter upon his own disgrace. When 
the Scottish Covenanters advanced to the English borders, in 1639, Sir 
John raised a troop of horse which cost him 12.000/., and behaved with 
great cowardice in the field. Some of his contemporaries, however, 
attributed the verses to Sir John Mennis, a Poet of those times. 

SIR John ho 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 iight-a ? 

But lie, like a cruel knight, spurr'd on ; 

His heart would not rclcnt-a, 
For, till he came there, what had he to fear ? 

Or why should he repcnt-a ? 


The Icing (God bless him !) had singular hopes 

Of him and all his troop-a : 
The borderers they, as they met him on the way, 

For joy did hollo\v, and whoop-a. 

None lik'd him so well, as his own colonell, 
Who took him for John do Wert-a j 1 

But when there were shows of gunning and blows, 
My gallant was nothing so pert-a. 

For when the Scots army came within sight, 

And all prepared to fight-a, - 
He ran to his tent, they ask'd what he meant, 

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 not 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. 


FROM " Lucasta," a collection of Poems by Richard Lovelace, [b. 1C 18, 
d. 1G58], whom the House of Commons committed to the Gate-house, 
Westminster, April, 1G42, for presenting a petition in favour of the 
King's restoration to his authority. "In 1C 16 he formed a regiment 
for the service of the French king, was colonel of it, and was wounded 
at Dunkirk. On this occasion his mistress, Lucasta, a Jliss Lucy 
Sacheverell, married another, hearing that he had died of his wounds." 

WHEN love with unconfined ^ ings 

Hovers within my gates, 
And my divine Althea brings 

To whisper at my grates ; 

1 John De "\Vert was a German general of great reputation, and the terror 
of the French in the reign of ^oxiis XIII. : hence his name Icc-ume iwvcrbial 
hi France, where he was called De f\rt. 


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, 1 
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 libertie. 

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. 

1 Thames is here used for water in general. 



CHAKING CROSS, as it stood before the Civil Wars, was one of those 
beautiful Gothic obelisks erected by Edward I. to mark every place 
where the hearse of his beloved El.nor rested in its way from Lin- 
colnshire to Westminster. Its demolition in 16 17, by order of the 
House of Commons, occasioned the following sarcasm. The plot, noticed 
in verse 17, was that of Waller the poet, and others. It was to reduce 
the city and tower to the service of the king; for which two of the 
conspirators, Nathaniel Tomkins and Richard Chaloner, suffered death, 
July 5, 1G43. 

UNDONE, undone, the lawyers are ; 

They wander about the towne ; 
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 rote it down 

Conceived it very fitting, 
For fear it should fall, and kill them all s 

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 beau worse 

For any thing I know, 
Than that Tomkins and Chalouer 

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. 


^he 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. 


WRITTEN, according to tradition, by Sir Roger L'Estrange, who died 
December 11, 1704, aged eighty-eight. He was the Court pamphleteer, 
pert, affected, and clever. But this Song is in a purer vein. 

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. 

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. 


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, we sec ; 
Make torments easic 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 cell, 
Which men call jail, doth prove my citadel. 

I'm in the cabinet lockt up, 

Like some high-prized margarite, 1 
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 thee. 

Here sin for want of food must starve, 

Where tempting objects arc 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, 2 

Thinking t' have made his purpose sure, 
By a malicious friendly knife 

Did only wound him to a cure : 
Malice, I see, wants wit ; for what is meant 
Mischief, oft-times proves favour by th' event. 

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. 

1 Margarita a pearl. 

- See this remarkable story in Cicero do Xat. Pcorum, lib. iii. c. 28 j Clc. d 
Offic. lib. i, c. 30: see also Val. Max, i. 8. 


What though I cannot see iny 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 dotli she chaunt her wonted tale 

In that her narrow hermitage ? 
Even then her charming melody doth prove, 
That all her bars are trees, her cage a grove. 

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 : 
though immur'd, yet can I chirp, and sing 

isgrace to rebels, glory to my king. 

My soul is free, as ambient air, 

Although my baser part's imrnew'd, 
Whilst loyal thoughts do still repair 

T' accompany my solitude : 
Although rebellion do my body binde, 
My king alone can captivate my minde. 


WRITTEN in Carisbrook Castle (1618;, and preserved by Burnet. 

GREAT monarch of the world, from whose power springs 
The potency and power of kings, 
Ilecord 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 diadern 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 bread. 

They raise a war, and christen it THE CAUSE, 
While sacrilegious hands have best applause, 
Plunder and murder are the kingdom's laws ; 

Tyranny bears the title of taxation, 
Revenge and robbery are reformation, 
Oppression gains the name of sequestration. 

My loyal subjects, who in this bad season 
Attend me (by the law of God and reason), 
They dare impeach, and punish for high treason. 

Next at the clergy do their furies frown, 

Pious episcopacy must go down, 

They will destroy the crosier and the crown. 

Churchmen are chain'd, and schismaticks are freed, 
Mechanicks pi'each, and holy fathers bleed, 
The crown is crucified with the creed. 

The church of England doth all factions foster, 
The pulpit is usurpt by each impostor, 
Extempore excludes the Paternoster. 

The Presbyter, and Independent seed 

Springs witli 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 forced in pilgrimage to seek a tomb. 

Great Britain's heir is forced into France, 
Whilst on his father's head his foes advance : 
Poor child ! he weeps out his inheritance. 


With my own power my majesty they wound, 
In the king's name the king himself 's uncrown'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 stones. 

My life they prize at such a slender rate, 
That in my absence they draw bills of hate, 
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 disjointed, 
As to contemn those edicts he appointed, 
How can they prize the power of his anointed ? 

Augment my patience, nnllifie my hate, 

Preserve my issue, and inspire my mate ; 

Yet, though we perish, BLESS THIS CHTTECH and STATE.* 

1 Hume remarks of these verses, which are almost the only known metrical 
composition of Charles, " that the truth of the sentiment, rather than the 
elegance of the expression, renders them very pathetic." 



FROM an old black-letter copy in the Pepys collection, corrected by two 

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 cleau'd, I declare, 

When as it was fouler than fitting. 
Says old Simon the king, &c. 

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 'um ; 
They are made of the presbyters' lungs, 

To blow up the coals of rebellion. 

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. 

Here's a couple of stools for sale, 

One's square, and t'other is round ; 
Betwixt them both the tail 

Of the HUMP 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. 

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. 

Here's a glyster-pipe well try'd, 

Which was made of a butcher's stump, 1 
And has been safely apply'd, 

To cure the colds of the rump. 
Here's a lump of Pilgrim's- Salve, 

Which once was a justice of peace, 
Who Noll and the Devil did serve ; 

But now it is come to this. 

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. 

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 it has found out 

Before they ever were thought on. 

Will you buy the BUMP'S great saddle, 

With which it jocky'd the nation ? 
And here is the bitt, and the bridle, 

And curb of Dissimulation : 
And here's the trunk-hose of the HUMP, 

And their fair dissembling cloak, 
And a Presbyterian jump, 

With an Independent smock. 

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. 

1 Alluding probably to Major-General Harrison, a butclioi's son, wh( 
assisted Cromwell in turning out the Long Parliament, Apri! 20, l<r>;-t. 


Here's Joan 1 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 bumpers. 

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 ruine the nation. 3 
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. 

And here are old Noll's brewing vessels, 

And here are his dray, and his slings ; 
Here are Hewson's awl, and his bristles ; 3 

With diverse other odd things : 
And what is the price doth belong 

To all these matters before ye ? 
I'll sell them all for old song, 

And so I do end my story. 

Says old Simon the king, &c. 


GIVEN (with some corrections) from a MS. copy, and collated with two 
printed copies in Roman character in the Pepys Collection. 

THERE was a knight was drunk 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 lye down-a : 
And I will have a special care 

Of rumpling of your gowne-a. 

1 This was a cant name given to Cromwell's wife by the Boyalists, though 
her name was Elizabeth. She was taxed with exchanging the kitchen-sturt 
for the candles used in the Protector's household. See "Gent. Mag." for 
March, 1788, p. 242. 

' See Grey's " Uudibras," Part I., cant. 2, v. 570, &c. 

3 Cromwell had in his younger years followed the brewing trade at Hun- 
tingdon. Col. Hewson is said to have been originally a cobbler. 


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 chamberlaine 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 sti'ait ; 

'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 ; 
And 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 ! 


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 bright, 
Some call it mary-gold-a : 

He that wold not when ho 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 blushe'd scarlet red, 
And trembled at the stranger : 

How shall I guard my maidenhead 
From this approaching danger P 

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, 
Past by the river's 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 drownded ! 


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 father's 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 niy 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 playd-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 P 

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, sir : 

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. 
AA 2 


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. 

All night in grievous rage he lay, 

Kolling 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 beai'd, 
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 rage, 

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 deceive ; 

I scorn the treacherous bait-a : 
If thou wouldst 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 moare 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. 



WHY so pale and wan, fond lover P 

Prethee, why so pale ? 
Will, when looking well can't move her, 

Looking ill prevail ? 

Prethee, why so pale P 

Why so dull and mute, young sinner ? 

Prethee, why so mute P 
Will, when speaking well can't win her, 

Saying nothing doe't ? 

Prethee, why so mute ? 

Quit, quit for shame ; this will not movo> 

This cannot take her ; 
If of herself she will not love, 

Nothing can make her. 

The devil take her ! 



OF these six Mad Songs, the three first are originals, while the merit 
of the three last is chiefly that of imitation. The first and second were 
probably written at the beginning of the seventeenth century ; the 
third about the middle of il ; the fourth and sixth towards the end ; 
and the fifth within the eighteenth century. The English are said to 
have more songs on the subject of madness than any of their neigh- 
bours, and Mr. Payne Collier explains the fact by the dissolution of 
the religious Houses, which left the poor without any fixed provision, 
while idle wanderers assumed the character most likely to awaken 
sympathy, and secure them from detection. Accordingly madness 
was a favourite disguise, and "Bedlam beggars" became a distinc- 
tive title. The author of this rhapsody is said, by Walton, to have 
been William Basse, who composed the "choice song" of the "Hunter 
in his Career;" but Mr. Chappell thinks that the " Toms of Bedlam" were 
so numerous as to prevent the identification of the particular song to 
which Walton alludes. 

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 braine. 

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 madd. 

Through the world I wander night and day 

To seeke my straggling senses. 
In an angrye moode I mett old Time, 

With his Pentateuch 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 : 

Helpe, oh helpe ! or else I dye ! 
Harke ! I heare Apollo's teame, 

The carman 'gins to whistle ; 
Chast Piana bends her bowe, 

The fooare begins to bristle. 


Come, Vulcan, with tools and with tackles, 
To knocke off my troublesome shackles ; 
Bid Charles make ready his waine 
To fetch rne my senses againe. 

Last night I heard the dog-star bark ; 
Mars met Venus in the darke ; 
Limping Vulcan het an iron barr, 
And furiously e 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 light, 
He could not see to aim his blowes aright : 

Mercurye, the nimble post of heaven, 

Stood still to see the quarrell ; 
Gorrel-bellyed 1 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 wydcr. 

Poore naked Tom is very drye : 
A little drinke for charitye ! 
Harke, I hear Acteon's home ! 

The huntsmen whoop and hallowe : 
Kingwood, Eoyster, Bowman, Jowler, 

All the chase do followe. 

The man in the moono drinkes clarret, 
Eates powder'd beef, turnip, and carret, 
But a cvip of old Malaga sack 
Will fire the bushe at his backe. 

1 Gomel fat. 




WAS written, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, by 
Kichard Corbet [b. 1582, d. 1635], successively Dean of Christ Church 
and Bishop ol Oxford and Norwich. Aubrey tells some amusing stories 
of his humour, and describes his aspect as " grave and venerable." 

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 surplice, 

Mitres, copes, and rochets ; 
Come hear me pray nine times a day, 
And fill your heads with crochets. 

In the house of pure Emanuel 1 
I had my education, 

Where my friends surmise 

I dazel'd niy eyes 
With the sight of revelation. 

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 Foxe's martyrs. 

These injuries I suffer 
Through antichrist's perswasion : 

Take off this chain, 

Neither Rome nor Spain 
Can resist my strong invasion. 

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. 

Smanuel College, Cambridge, was originally a seminary of Puritan*. 


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. 

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. 

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. 

I have seen two in a vision 

With a flying book 1 between them. 

I have been in despair 

Five times in a year, 
And been cur'd by reading Greenham. 2 

I observ'd in Perkins' tables 3 
The black line of damnation ; 

Those crooked veins 

So stuck in my brains, 
That I fear'd my reprobation. 

In the holy tongue of Canaan 
I plac'd my chiefest pleasure : 

Till I prick'd my foot 

With an Hebrew root, 
That I bled beyond all measure. 

1 Alluding to some visionary exposition of Zech., ch. v. vcr. 1 ; or, if the date 
of this song would permit, one might, suppose it aimed at one Coppe, a strange 
enthusiast, whose life maybe seen in Wood's "Athen.," vol. ii. p. 501. Ho 
was author of a book, entitled " The Fiery Flying Roll ;" and afterwards pub- 
lished a recantation, part of whose title is, "The Fiery Flying Roll's Wings 
dipt," &c. 

2 See Greenham's Works, fol. 1605, particularly the tract entitled " A Sweet 
Comfort for an Afflicted Conscience." 

3 See Perkins'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, &c.," the pedigree of damnation being distinguished 
by a broad, black, zig-zag line. 


I appear'd before the archbisliop, 1 
And all the high commission ; 
I gave him no grace, 
But told him to his face, 
That he favour'd superstition. 

Boldly I preach, hate a cross, hate a surplice, 
Mitres, copes, and rochets : 

Come hear me pray nine times a day, 
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. 
Come, you night-hags, with all your charms, 

And revelling witches away, 
And hug me close in your arms ; 

To you my respects I'll pay. 

I'll 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 down to the shades below. 

A lunacy sad I endure, 

Since reason departs away ; 
I call to those hags for a cure, 

As knowing not what I say. 
The beauty, whom I do adore, 

Now slights me with scorn and disdain ; 
I never shall see her no more : 

Ah ! how shall I bear my pain ! 

1 Laud. 


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, 

Ol' 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 j 
Then to her I crie aloud, 

And labour to reach the sky. 

When thus I have raved awhile, 

And wearyed 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 P 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 probably composed by Tom D'Urfey, a popular Songster, who 
died February 2C, 1723. 

FEOM rosie bowers, where sleeps the god of love, 

Hither ye little wanton cupids fly ; 
Teach me in soft melodious strains to move 

With tender passion my heart's darling joy: 
Ah ! let the soul of musick tune my voice, 
To win dear Strephon, who my soul enjoys. 

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 ! 
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 fingers glow : 
My pulse beats a dead march for lost repose, 
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 I 

A thousand, thousand times I'll dye 

Ere thus, thus, in vain, ere thus in vain adore, 



WAS written by Henry Carey, a well-known musician, and the author 
of the words and music of " Sally in our Alley." lie died, by his own 
hand, October 4, 1743. 

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 sun, 
When he but half his radiant course has run, 
When his meridian glories gaily shine, 
And gild all nature with a warmth divine. 

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 more, 
And curst mine eyes, when they have wept their store : 
Then, like the clouds that rob the azure main, 
I've drain'd the flood to weep it back again. 

Pity my pains, 

Ye gentle swains ! 
Cover me with ice and snow ; 
I scorch, I burn, I flame, I glow '. 

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 ! 



ORIGINALLY sung in one of D'Urfey's comedies of" Don Quixote," first 
acted about the year 1694, and probably written by that popular 

I BUBN ; my brain consumes to ashes ! 
Each eye-ball too like lightning flashes ! 
Within my breast there glows a solid fire, 
Which in a thousand ages can't expire ! 

Blow, blow, the winds' great ruler ! 

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 fell ; 

And mourn now my fate, 

Which myself did create : 
Fool, fool, that consider'd not when I was well ! 

Adieu ! ye vain transporting joys ! 
Off, ye vain fantastic toys ! 
That dress this face this body to allure ! 
Bring me daggers, poison, fire ! 
Since scorn is turn'd into desire. 
All hell feels not the rage, which I, poor I, endure. 



GENERAL RICHARD TALBOT, newly created Earl of Tyrconnel, and a 
furious papist, had been nominated by King James II. to the Lieu- 
tenancy of Ireland, 1686. This Ballad was written, or at least re-pulf 
lished, on the Earl's second visit to Ireland in October 1688, and we 
are told by Burnet, that its effect upon the royal army cannot be ima- 
gined by those who did not see it. Soldiers and people, the city and 
the country, were singing it continually. " Lilliburlero 1 ' and " Bullen-a- 
lah" are said to have been the distinctive watchwords of the Irish 
Komanists in their massacre of the Protestants, 1641. The Song was 
attributed to Lord Wharton ; but, according to Lord Dartmouth, the 
Ballad contains a particular expression which the King remembered to 
have used to Lord Dorset, whom, therefore, he concluded to be the 

Ho ! broder Teague, dost hear de decree P 

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, &c. 
And he will cut de Englishmen's troate. 

Dough by my shoul de English do praat, 

Lilli, &c. 
De law's on dare side, and Creish knows what. 

But if dispence do come from de pope, 

Lilli, &c. 
We'll hang Magna Charta and dem in a rope. 

For de good Talbot is made a lord, 

Lilla, &c. 
And with brave lads is coming aboard : 

Who all in France have taken a sware, 

Lilli, &c. 
Dat dey will have no protestant heir. 

Ara ! but why does he stay behind P 

Lilli, &c. 
Ho ! by my shoul 'tis a protestant wind. 


But sec cle Tyrconnel is now come ashore, 

Lilli, &c. 
And we shall have commissions gillore. 1 

And he dat will not go to de mass, 

Lilli, &c. 
Shall be turn out, and look like an ass. 

Now, now de hereticks all go down, 

Lilli, &c. 
By Chrish and shaint Patrick, dc nation's our own. 

Dare was an old prophesy found in a bog, 

Lilli, &c. 
" Ireland shall be rul'd by an ass and a dog." 

And now dis prophesy is come to pass, 

Lilli, &c. 
For Talbot's de dog, and JA**S is de ass. 

Lilli, &c. 



THIS Song was written in imitation of an old Scottish Ballad on a 
similar subject, with the same burden to each stanza. The Author, 
William Hamilton, of Bangour, died March 25, 1754, aged fifty. 

A. BusK 2 ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride, 

Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow, 
Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride, 
And think nae mair on the Braes of Yarrow. 

B. Where gat ye that bonny bonny bride P 

Where gat ye that winsome marrow P 
A. I gat her where I dare na weil be seen, 

Puing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Weep not, weep not, my bonny bonny bride, 
Weep not, weep not, my winsome marrow ; 

Nor let thy heart lament to lieve 

Puing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow. 

1 Gillore plenty. * Busk drest. 


. Why does she weep, thy bonny bonny bride ? 
Why does she weep, thy winsome marrow P 
And why dare ye nae mair well be seen 
Puing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow ? 

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 Yarrow. 

For she has tint 1 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 Yarrow. 

Why rins thy stream, O Yarrow, Yarrow, re id ? 2 
Why on thy braes heard the voice of sorrow ? 

And why yon melancholious weids 
Hung on the bonny birks of Yarrow P 

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 Yarrow. 

Curse ye, curse ye, his useless, useless shield, 
My arm that wrought the deed of sorrow, 

The fatal spear that pierc'd his breast, 

His comely breast on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Did I not warn thee, not to, not to luve ? 

And warn from fight ? but to my sorrow 
Too rashly bauld a stronger arm 

Thou m'ett'st, and fell'st on the Braes of Yarrow, 

13 B 



Sweet smells the birk, green grows, green grows the grass, 

Yellow on Yarrow's bank the gowau, 
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 yellow, 
As sweet smells on its braes the birk, 

The apple frae its rock as mellow. 

Fair was thy luve, fair fair indeed thy luve, 

In flow'ry bands thou didst him fetter; 
Tho' he was fair, and wcil beluv'd again 

Than me he never luv'd thee better. 

Busk ye, tlien busk, my bonny bonny bride, 

Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow, 
Busk ye, and luve me on the banks of Tweed, 

And think nae mair on the Braes of Yarrow. 

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 P 

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 green, 

His purple vest, 'twas my awn sewing : 
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 1 of the night 

He lay a corps on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Much I rejoyc'd that waeful waeful day ; 

I sang, my voice the woods returning : 
But lang ere night the spear was flown, 

That slew my luve, and left me mourning. 

i Toofall-teifyJW. 


What can my barbarous barbarous father do, 

But with his cruel rage pursue ine P 
My luver's blood is on thy spear, 

How canst thou, barbarous man, then wooe me ? 

My happy sisters may bo, may be proud 

With cruel and ungentle scoffin', 
May bid me seek on Yarrow's Braes 

My luver nailed in his coffin. 

My brother Douglas may upbraid, upbraid, 
And strive with threatning words to muve mo : 

My luver's blood is on thy spear, 

How canst thou ever bid me lus e thee ? 

Yes, yes, prepare the bed, the bed of luve, 

With bridal sheets my body cover, 
Uubar, ye bridal maids, the door, 

Let in the expected husband lover. 

But who the expected husband husband is ? 

His hands, methinks, are bath'd in slaughter : 
Ah me ! what ghastly spectre's yon 

Comes in his pale shroud, bleeding after ? 

Pale as he is, here lay him, lay him down, 

O lay his cold head on my pillow ; 
Take aff, take aff these bridal weids, 

And crown my careful head with willow, 

Pale tho* thou art, yet best, yet best beluv'd, 
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 bride, 

Return, and dry thy useless sorrow : 
Thy luver heeds none of thy sighs, 
He lyes a corps in the Braes of Yarrow. 

3 2 



WAS a Party Song, written by Glover, the author of " Leonidas," on 
the taking of Porto Bello from the Spaniards by Admiral Vernon, 
November 22, 1739. The case of Hosier, which is here so pathetically 
represented, was briefly this. In April, 1726, lie was sent with a 
strong fleet to the Spanish West Indies, to block up the galleons in 
the ports of that country, or if they presumed to come out, to seize 
and carry them into England. He accordingly arrived at the Basti- 
mentos, 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 Oarthagena, and remained 
cruizing in these seas, till the greater part of his men perished deplo- 
rably 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. 

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 \vau lustre, 

When the shade of Hosier brave 
His pale bands were seen to muster 

Rising from their watery grave. 
O'er the glimmering wave he hy'd him, 

Where the Burford 1 rear'd her sail, 
With three thousand ghosts beside him, 

And in groans did Vernon hail. 

1 Admiral Ver.-iou's My. 


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 j 

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 th ,-m with disdain, 
And obey'd my heart's warm motion 

To have quell'd the pride of Spain 1 

For resistance I could fear none, 

But with twenty ships had done 
What thou, brave and happy Vernon, 

Hast atchiev'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 s 

And her galleons leading home, 
Though condemned 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 stoiy, 

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 Bastinientos 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 deprived of rest, 
If to Britain's shores returning 

You neglect my just request ; 
After this proud foe subduing, 

When your patriot friends you sec, 
Think on vengeance for my ruin, 

And for England sham'd in me. 


JAMES DAWSON, a Manchester rebel, was hanged, drawn, and quar- 
tered on Kennington Common, July 30, 174G. This Ballad is founded 
on a remarkable fact, which was reported to have happened at his 
execution. It was written by William Shenstone soon after the event, 
and is here given with some slight variations from the 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 : 

Oh had he never seen that day ! 

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 wound. 

How pale was then his true love's cheek, 
When Jemmy's sentence reach'd her ear ! 

For never yet did Alpine snovys 
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 loves, 

For thou and I will never part. 

Yet might sweet mercy find a place, 

And bring relief to Jemmy's woes, 
O GrEOBGE, 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 

Shoxild learn to lisp the giver's name. 

But though, dear you'll, thou should'stbe dragg'd 

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 triumpha) car, 

She had not lov'd her favourite mors. 


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. 



13oolv & 

Is primed verbatim from the folio MS. The incidents of the Mantle 
and the Knife are believed not to have been borrowed from any other 
writer. The former of these suggested to Spenser his conceit of 
Florimel's Girdle. (F. Q., b. iv., c. 5, st. 3). The trial of the Horn 
occurs in the old Romance " Morte d' Arthur," which was translated out 
of French in the time of Edward IV., and first printed 1484. In other 
respects the two stones differ widely ; and the Ballad was probably 
written before the translation of the Romance. Queen Guenever 
maintains the character which is given of her in old Chronicles. 
Holinshed observes that " she was evil reported of, as noted of incon- 
tinence and breach of faith to her husband." 

IN the third day of May, 
To Carleile did come 
A kind curteous child, 
That cold 1 much of wisdome. 

A kirtle and a mantle 
This child had uppon, 
With ' branches' and ringes 
Full richelye bedone. 2 

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. 

1 Cold Tcrtewt Bedoae vrcugKtt 


I tell you, lords, in this hall ; 
I hett' you all to ' heede ;' 
Except you be the more surer 
Is you for to dread. 

He plucked out of his ' poterner,' 8 
And longer wold not dwell, 
He pulled forth a pretty mantle, 
Betweene two nut-shells. 

Have thou here, king Arthur ; 
Have thou heere of nice : 
Give itt to thy comely queene 
Shapen as itt is alreadye. 

Itt shall never become that wiffe, 
That ha^h 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, 3 
But yett shee was affrayd. 

When shee had taken the mantle ; 
Shee stoode as shee had beene madd : 
It was from the top to the toe 
As sheeres had itt shread. 

One while was it ' gule ;' 4 
Another while was itt greene ; 
Another while was it wadded : 5 
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 ; 
Past with a rudd 6 redd, 
To her chamber can 7 shee flee. 

1 Hctt lid. * Poterner perhaps pocket, or pouch. 

8 Newfangle -fond of new fashions. 

* Gule red. 

s Wadded perhaps from wood; i. e.of a light blue colour. 
' Rudd ruddy. 7 Can gan, began. 


She curst the weaver, and the walker, 1 
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 ; 
Than in king Arthur's court 
Shamed for to bee. 

Kay called forth his ladye, 
And bade her come ncere ; 
Saies, Madam, and thou be guiltyc, 
I pray thee hold thee there. 

Forth came his ladye 
Shortlye and anon ; 
Boldlye to the mantle 
Then is slice 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 king's 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 profered to this litle boy 
Twenty markes to his meede ; 

And all the time of the ChristmaSse 
Willinglye to fieede ; 
For why this mantle might 
Doe his wiffe some need. 



"When she had tanc the mantle, 

Of cloth that was made, 

Shee had no more loft on her, 

But a tassell and a threed : 

Then every knight in the king's 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. 

Oraddocke 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 Craddocke's 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 : l 

Shee said, bowe downe, mantle, 

And shame me not for nought. 

Once I did amisse, 

I tell you certainlye, 

When I kist Craddocke's mouth 

Under a greene tree ; 

When I kist Craddocke's mouth 

Before he marryed mee. 

When shee had her shreeven, 
And her sines shee had tolde ; 
The mantle stoode about her 
Right as shee wold : 

1 Crowt -pucker vp, 


Seemelye of coulour 

Glittering like gold : 

Then every knight in Art'nv/s court 

Did her behold. 

Then spake dame Guencver 
To Arthur our king ; 
She hath tane yonder mantle 
Not with right, but with wronge, 

See you not yonder woman, 
That maketh herself soe ' cleane ?' 
I have seene tane out of her bedd 
Of men fiveteene ; l 

Priests, clarkes, and wedded men 
From her bedeene : 2 
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 pullcl forth a wood kniffe, 
Fast thither that he ran : 
He brought in the bore's head, 
And quitted him like a man. 

He brought in the bore's head, 

And was wonderous bold : 

He said there was never a cuckold's kniffe 

Carve itt that cold. 


Some rubbed their knives 
i'ppon 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 knivc 

Of iron and of steele ; 

He britled 1 the bore's head 

Wonderous weele ; 

That every knight in the king's court 

Had a "morssell. 

The litle boy had a home, 
Of red gold that ronge : 
He said, there was noe cuekoldo 
Shall drinke of my home ; 
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 home, 
And the bore's head : 
His ladie wan the mantlo 
Unto her meede. 
Everye such a lovely ladye 
God send her well to speede. 

1 JMtled carved. 



Is chiefly taken from the fragment of an old ballad in the folio MS., 
and is thought to have supplied Chaucer with his " Wife of Bath's 
Tale." Gower has a story upon the same subject ; but, like Chaucer, 
he may have been acquainted with an earlier version in the " Gesta 
Romanorum." Scott was reminded of this Ballad by the copy of 
" King Henrie," which he printed in the " Minstrelsy," iii. 274. 


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 stifle and stowre. 

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 damsello, 
And knelt upon the ground. 

A boone, a boone, kinge Arthure, 

I beg a boone of thee ; x 
Avenge me of a carlish knighte, 

Who hath shent 1 my love and mee. 

At Tearne-Wadling 2 his castle stands, 

Near to that lake so fair, 
And proudlye rise the battlements, 

And streamers deck the air. 

1 Shent abused. 

11 Tearne-Wadling is the name of a small lake near Hesketh, in Cumberland, 
on the road from Penrith to Carlisle. There is a tradition, that an old castle 
once stood net , the lake, the remains of which were not long since visible. 
Team, in the dialect ot the country, signifies a small lake, and is still in use. 


Noe gentle knighte, nor ladye gay. 

May pass that castle-walle : 
But from that foule discurtcous kniglitc, 

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 barbne 'twas our harde liappo 

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 sliold 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 barbne, 

Till he had made him quail. 

Goe fetch my sword Excalibar : 

Goe saddle mee my steede ; 
Nowe, by my faye, that grimme barbne 

Shall rue this ruthfulle deede. 

And when he came to Tearne Wadlinge 

Benethe the castle walle : 
" Come forth ; come forth ; thou proude barone, 

Or yielde thyself my thralle." 

On magicke grounde that castle stoode, 
And fenc'd with many a spellc : 

Noe valiant knighte could tread thereon, 
But straitc his courage felle. 

Forth then rush'd that carlish knight, 

King Arthur f'elte the charme : 
His sturdy sinewes lost their strengthe, 

Downe sunke his feeble arme. 

Nowe yield thee, yield thee, kinge Arth are, 

Now yield thee unto mee : 
Or fighte with mee, or lose thy lande, 

Noe better termes maye bee, 


Unlesse thou swearo 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 no other hyre. 

King Arthur then helde up his hande, 

And sware upon his faye, 
Then tooke his leave of the grimme barone, 

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 j 
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 1 scarlette. 

Her nose was crookt, and turnd outwarde ; 

Her chin stoode all awrye ; 
And where as sholde have been her mouthe, 

Lo ! there was set her eye : 

Her haires, like serpents, clung abouto 

Her cheekes of deadlye hewe : 
A worse-form'd ladye than she was, 

No man mote ever viewe. 

1 This was a common phrase in our old writers. So Chaucer,- in his Pro* 
logue to the " Canterbury Tales," says of the wife of Bath 
Her hoten were offyne tcarlet red. 
G C 


To hail the king in seemclyo sorte 

This ladye was fulle faine : 
33 ut 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 lady&, 
And it shall bee thy meede. 

O sweare mee this upon the roode, 

And promise on thy faye ; 
And here the secrette I will tclle, 

That shall thy ransonie paye. 

King Arthur promis'd on his faye, 
And aware upon the roode ; 

The secrette then the ladye told, 
As lightlye well shee cou'de. 

Now this shall be my paye, sir king, 

And this my guerdon bee, 
That some yong fair and courtlye knight, 

Thou bringe to marrye mee. 

Past then prickM king Arthure 
Ore hille, and dale, and downe : 

And soone he founde the barone's bowre : 
And soone tha grimme baroune. 

He bare his clubbe upon his backe, 
Hee stoode bothe stifle and stronge; 

And when he had the letters reade, 
Awaye the lettres flunge. 

Nowe yielde thee, Arthur, and thy lands, 

All forfeit unto mee ; 
For this is not thy paye, sir king, 

Nor may thy ransome bee. 

Yet hold thy hand, thou proud barone, 
I praye thee hold thy hand ; 

And give mee leave to speake once more 
In reskewe of my land. 


This morne, as I came over a more, 

I saw a ladye sette 
Betwcne an oke, and a greene holley, 

All clad in red scar^ette. 

Shee saves, all women will have their wille, 

This is their chief desyre ; 
Now yield, as thou art a barone true, 

That I have payd mine hyre. 

An earlye vengeaunce light on her ! 

The carlish baron swore :' 
Shoe was my sister tolde thee this, 

And slice's a mishapen whore. 

But here I will make mine avowe, 

To do her as ill a turne : 
For an ever I may that foule theefe gette, 

In a fyre I will her burne. 


HOMEWABDE pricked king Arthure, 

And a wearye man was hee ; 
And soone he mette queene Gruenever, 

That bride so bright of blee. 

What newes ! what newes ! thou noble king, 

Howe, Arthur, hast thou sped P 
Where hast thou hung the carlish knighte P 

And where bestow'd his head ? 

The carlish knight is safe for mee, 

And free fro mortal harme : 
On magicke grounde his castle stands, 

And fenc'd with many a charme. 

To bowe to him I was fulle faine, 

And yielde mee to his hand : 
And but for a lothly ladye, there 

I sholde have lost my land. 

And nowe this fills my hearte with woe, 

And sorrowe of my life ; 
I swore a yonge and courtlye knight, 

Sholde marry her to his wife, 


Then bespake liim sir Gawaine, 

That was ever a gentle knighte : 
That lothly ladye I will wed ; 

Therefore be merrye and lighte. 

Nowe naye, nowe naye, good sir Gawaine ; 

My sister's sonne yee bee ; 
This lothlye ladye's all too grimme, 

And all too foule for yee. 

Her nose is crookt, and turn'd outwarde ; 

Her chin stands all awi'ye ; 
A worse form'd ladye than shee is 

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 houndes, 

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 forrlst, 

Beueathe 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 sweere ; l 
Whoever kisses that ladye, he sayes, 

Of his kisse he stands in feare. 

1 Sweere neck, 


Sir Kay beheld that ladye againe, 

And looked upon her snout ; 
Whoever kisses that ladye, he sayes, 

Of his kisse he stands in doubt. 

Peace, brother Kay, sayde sir Gawaine, 

Arid 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, lordlings, 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 Gawaine, 

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 Gawaiue 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-recl clieeke, 

Her eyen were blacke as sloe : 
The ripening cherry e swellde her lippe, 

And all her necke was snowe. 

Sir Gawaine kiss'd that lady faire, 

Lying upon the sheete : 
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 which thou didst knowe, 

That was soe lothlye, and was wont 
Upon the wild more to goe. 

Nowe, gentle Gawaine, chuse, quoth shee, 
And make thy choice with care ; 

Whether by night, or else by daye, 
Shall I be foule or faire P 

" 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 lordes 

To drinke the ale and wine ; 
Alas ! then I must hide myself, 

I must not goe with mine P 

" My faire ladyeY' 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 eeest 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 maide, 

In the greene forest to dvvelle ; 
And there to abide in lothlye shape, 

Most like a fiend of helle. 

Midst mores and mosses, woods and wilds, 

To lead a lonesome life : 
Till some yong faire and courtlye knighte 

Wolde marrye me to his wife : 

Nor fully to gaine mine owue 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 ; 
And built him a bowre on magicke, 

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 ladye, 

And hee be a gentle knighte. 


SUNG before Queen Elizabeth, at Kenihvortli, in 1575, and probably 
composed for that occasion. The story in " Morte d'Arthur," whence 
the Song is taken, runs thus: "Came a messenger hastely from 
King Ityence of Korth Wales, saying, that King Kyence had 
discomfited and overcomen eleaven kings, and everiche of them 
did him homage, and that was this : they gave him their beards 
clcane flayne off; wherefore the messenger came for King Arthur's 
beard; for King Ityence had purfcled amantell with kings' beards, 
and there lacked for one a place of the mantcll, 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 purfell of ; but tell 
thou the king that or it be long he shall do to me homage on both his 
knees, or else he shall leese his head." [B. i., c. 24. See also the same 
Romance, B. i., c. 92.] 

Stow tells us, that King Arthur kept his round table at " diverse 
places, but especially at Carlion, Winchester, and Camalet, in Somer- 
setshire." This Camalet, " sometimes a famous towne or castle, is 
situate on a very high tor or hill, &c." (Stow's "Annals," ed. 1635, p. 55.) 

As it fell out on a Pentecost day, 

King Arthur at Camelot kept his court royall, 
With his faire queene dame Guenever the gay; 

And many bold barons sitting in hall ; 

"With ladies attired in purple and pall ; 
And heraults in hewkes, 1 hooting on high, 
Cryed, Largesse, Largesse? Chevaliers tres-hardtv. 

A doughty dwarfe to the uppermost deas 3 
Hight pertlye gan pricke, kneeling on knee ; 

With steven 4 fulle stoute amids all the preas, 5 

Sayd, Nowe sir king Arthur, God save thee, and see ! 
Sir Byence of North-gales 6 greeteth well thee, 

And bids thee thy beard anon to him send, 

Or else from thy jaws he will it off rend. 

For his robe of state is a rich scarlet mantle, 
With eleven king's beards bordered 7 about, 

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 ; 

1 Ilewkes heralds' coats. 

8 Largesse, Largesse. The heralds resounded these words as oft as they 
received of the bounty of the knights. The expression is still used in the 
form of installing Knights of the Garter. 
s Deas high table. 4 Steven voice. 5 Preas prett. 

6 North-gales North Wales. 

7 i. e. set round the border, as furs are now round the gowns of magis 
trates. 8 Kantle corntr. 


This must be done, I tell thee no fable, 
Maugre 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 ; 
Princes puff 'd ; barons blustred ; lords began lower ; 
Knights stormed ; squires startled, like steeds in a 
stower ; 

Pages and yeomen yell'd out in the hall, 

Then in came sir Kay, the ' king's ' seneschal. 

Silence, my soveraignes, qxioth this courteous knight, 
And in that stound the stowre 1 began still : 

' Then ' the dwarfe's dinner full-deerely was dight ; 
Of wine and wassel 2 he had his wille : 
And when he had eaten and drunken his fill, 

An hundred pieces of fine coyned gold 

Were given this dwarf for his message bold. 

But say to sir Eyence, thou dwarf, quoth the king, 
That for his bold message I do him defye ; 

And shortlye with basins and pans will him ring 
Out of IN orth-gales ; where he and I 
With swords, and not razors, quickly shall trye, 

Whether he or king Arthur will prove the best barbor ; 

And therewith he shook his good sword Escalator. 



THE subject of this Ballad is taken, with some variations, from " Morte 
d' Arthur." In the concluding stanzas the writer seems to follow the 
traditions of the old Welsh Bards, who believed that King Arthur was 
only conveyed by the Fairies into a pleasant place, from whence he 
would return, after a season, and reign again in triumph. According 
to a popular superstition in Sicily, Arthur is preserved alive by his 
sister, La Fata Morgana, whose "fairy palace is occasionally seen 
from Beggio, in the opposite sea of Messina." 

ON Trinitye Mondaye in the morne, 
This sore battayle was doom'd to bee ; 

Where manye a knighte cry'd, Well-awaye 1 
Alacke, it was the more pittie. 

1 That moment the tumult wag 
* Wassel good cheet 


Ere the first crowingc of the cocke, 
When as the kinge in his bed laye, 

He thoughte sir Gawaine to him came, 1 
And there to him these wordes did eaye. 

Nowe, as you are mine unkle 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'yee in the fighte. 

The kinge 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 saye. 

Eis 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 chose, 
The best of all that with him were : 

To parley with the foe in field, 
And make with him agreement faire. 

The king he charged all his hoste, 

In readinesse there for to bee : 
But noe man sholde noe weapon st-urre, 

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. 

1 Sir Gawaine had been killed at Arthur's landing, on his return from 
abroad. See the next Ballad, v. 73, p. 401. 


For he durste not his unlde 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 between e 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 Christentie. 

When the knighte found him wounded sore, 
And sawe the wild-worme 1 hangiuge 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 instantly e ; 
Till of soe manye noble knightes, 

On one side there were left but three. 

For all were slain that 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 own partye, 

Onlye himselfe escaped there, 
And Lukyn Duke of G-loster 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. 

Kowe reste yee all, brave knights, he said, 

Soe true and faithful to your trust : 
And must yee then, ye valiant hearts, 

Be lefte to moulder into dust ! 

1 Wild-worme serpent. 


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 : l 
And vengeance fall upon his head. 

O staye, my liege, then sayd the duke ; 

staye for love and charitic ; 
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 ! 

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 bodie. 

When Mordred felt the stroke of death, 
And found that he was wounded soe ; 

He thruste himselfe upon the speare, 
And strucke the king a deadlye blowe. 

Then grimmlye dyed sir Mordered, 

Presentlye upon that tree : 
And bloody streames ranne from the kings 

Ere to the duke returned hee. 

1 Abye tuffer. 


Sir Lukyn then he thus bespake, 

Sir knighte, thou hast beene faithfulle tryde, 
Nowe take my sword Excalibar, 1 

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 coleyne 2 was the blade ; 

And all the hilte 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 : 
Into the river e throwe my sword, 

Nor keepe me lingering here in paine. 

The duke then to the river went, 

And the king's scabberd in threwe hee ; 

But hee kept backe Excalibar, 
And hid it undernethe a tree. 

i More commonly called Caliburn. In the folio MS. Escalberd, 
2 Coleyne steel. 


Then backe he came to tell the kinge, 
Who sayde, Sir Lukyn, sawe ye oughteP 

Nothinge, my liege, save that the windo 
Nowe with the angrye waters fought. 

O Lukyn, Lukyn, said the kinge, 
Twice haste thou dealt deceytfullye : 

Alacke, whom may wee ever truste, 

When suche a knighte soe false can bee P 

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 shent with this rebuke, 
No aunswere made unto the kinge : 

But to the rivere tooke the sworde, 
And threwe it far as he coulde flingc. 

A hande and an arme did meete the sworde, 
And flourishd three times in the air ; 

Then sunke benethe the renninge streme, 
And of the duke was seene noe ruair. 

All sore astonied stood the duke ; 

He stood as still, as still mote bee : 
Then hasten d 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 lactyes howle and crye. 1 

And whether the kinge were there, or not, 
Hee never knewe, nor ever colde : 

For from that sad and direfulle daye, 
Hee never more was seene on ruolde. 

i Not unlike tiiat passage in Virgil 

Summoque uhdarunt vertice nymphce. 
* Ladies" was the word our old English writers used for "Nymphs. 1 



AMENDED from the folio MS. We have here a short summary of 
Arthur's History, as it is told by Geoffrey of Monmouth and the old 
Chronicles ; a few circumstances being added from " Morte d' Arthur." 

OP Brutus' blood, in Brittaine borne, 

King Arthur I am to name ; 
Through Christendome, and Heathynesse, 1 

Well knowne is my worthy fame. 

In Jesus Christ I doe beleeve ; 

I am a christyan bore : 2 
The Father, Sone, and Holy Gost 

One God, I doe adore. - 

In the four hundred ninetieth yeere, 

Over Brittaine I did rayne, 3 
After my Savior Christ his byrtli : 

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 bookes done yett record, 
Amongst all other nations 

Wer feared throwgh the world. 

And in the castle off Tyntagill 4 

King Uther mee begate 
Of Agyana a bewtyous ladye, 5 

And come of ' hie ' estate. 

And when I was fifteen yeere old, 

Then was I crowned kinge : 
All Brittaine that was att an uprbre, 

I did to quiett bringe. 

1 The heathen part of the world. 

2 Bore born. 
8 He began his reign A.D. 515, according to the " Chronicles," 

4 Tyntagill Tintagel Castle, in Cornwall, 
' She is named fyerna in the old " Chronicles." 


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 couutryes wan I all ; 
Iseland, Gotheland, and Swethland ; 

And made their kings my thrall. 

I conquered all Gallya, 

That now is called France ; 
And slew the hardye Froll 1 in feild 

My honor to advance. 

And the ugly gyant Dynabus 

Soe terrible to vewe, 
That in Saint Barnards mount did lye, 

By force of armes I slew : 

And Lucy us the emperour of Home 
v I brought to deadly wracke ; 

Ancl 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 lifle 

Whose carcasse I did send to Rome 

Cladd poorlye on a beere ; 
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 solempnelyo 

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 

. ! Froll, according to the " Chronicles," was a Koman knight, governor of 


Att home in Brittaine with my queene ; 

Therfore I came with speede 
To Brittaine backe, with all my power, 

To quitt that traitorous 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, 
Prom London to Winchester, and 

To Cornewalle tooke his flyght. 

And still I him pursued with speed 

Till at the last wee mett : 
Wherby 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 chivalrye 

Of Brittaine tooke their end. 
O see how fickle is their state 

That doe on feates 1 depend ! 

There all the traiterous men were slaine, 

Not one escapte away ; 
And there dyed all my vallyant knightes : 

Alas ! that woefull day ! 

Two and twenty yeere I ware the crowne 

In honor and great fame ; 
And thus by death was suddenlye 

Deprived of the same. 

Feates -feats of arm*. 

D D 



COPIED from an old MS. in the Cotton Library [Vesp. A. 25], inti ( 
" Divers Things of Hen. viij.'s time." 

Wno sekes to tame the blustering winde, 
Or causse the floods bend to his wyll, 

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 stream?, 
And for to sayle without a maste ; 

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 paiue. 



FROM the folio MS. Glasgerion (whom Chaucer celebrates under the 
name of Glaskerion) was a Celtic bard, whose musical powers were 
the theme of old Scottish poets. Bishop Douglas compared him to 
Orpheus, and he was said to " harp " the fishes out of the sea, and 
water from stones. It is thought that Otway, in his tragedy of the 
"Orphan," had this "old ditty" in remembrance when he wrote. 

was a king's owne sonne ; 
And a harper he was goode : 
He harped in the kiuge's chambere, 
Where cuppe and caudle stoode. 

And soe did hee in the queen's chamber, 

Till ladies waxed ' glad.' 
And then bespake the kinge's daughter j 

And these wordes thus shee sayd. 

Strike on, strike on, Glasgerion, 
Of thy striking doe not blinne r 1 

There's never a stroke comes o'er thy harpej 
But it glads my hart withinne. 

Faire 2 might he fall, ladye, quoth hee, 
Who taught you nowe to speake ! 

I have loved you, ladye, seven long yeere ; 
My minde I neere durst breake. 

But come to my bower, my Glasgerion, 

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 Norman dye 

Hath granted mee my boone : 
And att her chambere must I bee 

Beffore the cocke have crowen. 

1 SHnne cease. 2 Faire, &e. well may he thrive. 

D D 2 


O master, master, then quoth hee, 
Lay your head dovrne on this stonar 

For I will waken you, master deera, 
Afore it be time to gone. 

But up then rose that lither 1 

And hose and shoone did on : 
A coller he cast upon his necke ; 

Hee seemed a gentleman. 

And when he came to the ladie's chamber,, 

He thrild upon a pinn ;'- 
The lady was true of her promise, 

Hose up, and lett him in. 

He did not take the lady gaye 

To boulster or to bed : 
' Nor, thoughe hee had his wicked wille, 

'A single word he sed.' 

He did not kisse that ladye's mouthe, 

Nor when he came, nor youd ; 3 
And sore mistrusted that ladye gay, 

He was of some churl's 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 churle's 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. 

Tip then rose good Glasgeribn, 

And did on hose and shoone ; 
And cast a coller about his necke : 

For he was a kinge his sonne. 

1 Lither worthless. 

2 This is elsewhere expressed "twirled the pin," or "tirled at the pin," and 
seems to refer to the turning round the buttou on the outside of a door, oy 
which the latch rises, still used in cottages. 
3 Youd went. 


And when lie 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. 

Sales, whether have you left with me 

Your bracelett or your glove ? 
Or are you returned backe againe 

To know more of my love r 

Glasgdrion 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 beguilM mee ; 
Then shee pulled forth a little pen-kniffe, 

That hanged by her knee. 

S.*yes, there shall never noe churle's blood 

Within my body spring : 
No churle's 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, 

Jacke, thou hast killed three. 

And he puld out his bright brown sword, 

And dryed it on his sleeve, 
And he smote off that lither ladd's head, 

Who did his ladye grieve. 

He sett the sword's poynt till his brest, 

The pummil untill a stone : 
Throw the falsenesse of that lither ladd, 

These three lives were all gone. 

1 Mr. Finlay thinks that of the meaning of these three oaths nothing satis- 
factory can be said ; but in the thorn he suspects an allusion to the Crown of 


Corrected from the folio MS. 

LET never again soe old a man 

Marrye soe yonge a wife, 
As did old Robin of Portingale ; 

Who may rue all the dayes of his life. 

For the mayor's 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 1 Gyles P 

Or be you not within P 
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 2 me of a wile 
How my wed-lord weell spill. 3 

Twenty -four good knights, shee sayes, 

That dwell about this towne, 
Even twenty-four of my next cozens, 

Will helpe to dinge 4 him downe. 

All that beheard his litle footepage, 
As he watered his master's steed ; 

And for his master's 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. 

1 The title of " Sir" is given to the steward, not as being a knight, but as, 
probably, belonging to some inferior order of priesthood. 

3 Unbethought properly onbethought, for bethought, and still used in tha 
Midland counties. 

3 Spill destroy. * Dinge knock. 


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, 1 

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 2 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 in purple and pall : 
The rings that were on her fingers, 

Cast light thorrow the hall. 

What is your will, my owne wed-lordP 

What is your will with mee P 
O see, my ladye deere, how sicke, 

And like to die I bee. 

1 Bookes-man clerk, or secretary, 
* Deemed doomed. 


And thou be sicke, my own wed-lord, 

Soe sore it grieveth me : 
But my five maydens and myselfe 

Will 'watch lliy' bcdde 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 1 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 hand, 

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 ginn. 2 

Old Robin with his bright browne sword 
Sir Gyles' head soon did winn : 

And scant of all those twenty-four 
Went out one quick 3 agenn. 

ITone save only a litle foot page, 
Crept forth at a window of stone : 

And he had two armcs when he came in, 
And he went back with one. 

TTpp then came that ladie gaye 

With torches burning bright : 
She thought to have brought sir Gyles a drinke, 

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 isrnee ! 

Here lyes my sweete hart-roote. 

l Cote coat. Girmplot. 3 Quick aUve. 


The next thinge that she stumbled on 

It was sir Gyles his heade : 
Saves, Ever, alacke, and woe is mee ! 

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 litle foot-page, 

And made him there his heyre ; 
And sayd, henceforth my worldlye goodea 

And countrye I forsweare. 

He shope 1 the crosse on his right shoulder, 
Of the white ' clothe ' and the redde, 2 

And went him into the holy land, 
Wheras Christ was quicke and dead. 


CHILD is used as a Title by our old writers, and is repeatedly given to 
Prince Arthur in the " Faerie Queen." In the same poem the son of a 
king is called " Child Tristram." 

CHILDE WATEES in his stable stoode, 
And stroakt his milke-white steede : 

To him a fayre yonge ladye came 
As ever ware woman's 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. 


If the child be mine, faire Ellen, he sayd, 

Be mine as you tell mee ; 
Then take you Cheshire and Lancashire both, 

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 both, 

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 Lancashire 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 Lancashire both, 

To take them mine owne to bee. 

To morrow, Ellen, I must forth ryde 

Earr into the north countrie ; 
The fairest lady that I can find, 

Ellen, must go 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 j 

My foot-page then you shall bee. 

Shee, all the long day Child Waters rode, 

Han 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, 
Ban barefoote thorow the broome ; 

Yett hee was never soe curteous a knighte, 
To say, Put on your shoone. 


Hide softlye, siiee sayd, O Childe Waters, 

Why doe you ryde soe fast P 
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 1 mee swimme. 

But when shee came to the water's side, 

Shee sayldd to the chinne : 
Except the Lord of heaven be my speed, 

Now must I learne to awimme. 

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, Elle*n ? 

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 gold 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 yourself0j 

And of your paramoure. 

1 i.e. permit, suffer, &0> 


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' Bister ; 

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 inee. 

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 litle foote-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, 

Por filinge 1 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. 

He. fear of defiling. 


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 1 a sleepe. 

' He gave her leave, and faire Ellen 

' Down at his bed's feet laye :' 
This done the nighte drove on apace, 

And when it was neare the daye. 

Hee sayd, Else up, my litle foot-page, 

Give my steede corne and haye ; 
And soe doe thou the good black oats, 

To carry mee better awaye. 

Up then rose the faire Elldn, 

And gave his steede corne and haye : 

And soe shee did the good blacke oates, 
To carry him the better awaye. 

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. 2 
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 niighte heare his fayre Ellen, 

Howe shee made her monand. 

1 . e. essay, attempt. * i. e. moaning, bemoaning, &c. 


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 Elldn, 

Be of good cheere, I praye ; 
And the bridal and the churching both 

Shall bee upon one day. 


BY Nicholas Breton [b. 1555, d. 1624], a musical writer of pastoral 
verses. This song won the honour of being commanded a second time, 
and " highly graced with cheerful acceptance and commendation," by 
Elizabeth, at an entertainment given to her by the Earl of Hertford. 

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 ; 

Love, that had bene long deluded, 
Was with kisses sweete concluded ; 
And Phillida with garlands gaye 
Was made the lady of the Maye. 


FROM an old printed copy, with corrections, in the British Museum. 
Kitson declared the only genuine copy to be in Dryden's " Collection of 
Miscellaneous Poems." The Ballad is quoted in many old plays ; and 
it exists, according to Motherwell, under many forms in Scotland. 

As it fell out on a highe holye daye, 

As many Dee in the yeare, 
When yong men and maides together do goe, 

Their masses and mattins to heare, 

Little Musgr&ve came to the church door ; 

The priest was at the mass ; 
But he had more mind of the fine women 

Then he had of our Ladye's grace. 

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 : 
O then bethought him little Musgrave, 

This ladye's heart I have wonne. 

Quoth she, I have loved thee, little Musgrave, 

Fulle long and manye a daye. 
So have I loved you, ladye faire, 

Yet word I never durst saye. 


I have a bower at Bucklesford-Bury, 

Full daintilye bedight ; 
If thoult wend thither, my little Musgrare, 

Thoust lig 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 litle foot-page, 
By his ladye's coach as he ranne : 

Quoth he, thoughe I am my ladye's page, 
Yet I'me 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 trevr, thou litle foote-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 foote-page, 
This tale thou hast told to mee, 

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 sang, 

And some did loudlye saye, 
Whenever lord Barnarde's home it blewe, 

Awaye, Musgrave, away. 

Methinkes I heare the throstle cocke, 

Methiukes I hoare 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 P 

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 P 

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 ; 
And thou shalt have the best of them, 

And I will have the worse. 

The first stroke that little Musgrave strucke, 

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 Musgrave, 

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. 

E E 


He cut her pappes from off her brest ; 

Great pitye it was to see 
The drops of this fair ladye's bloode 

Hun trickling downe her knee. 

Wo worth, wo worth ye, my nierrye men all, 
You never were borne for my goode : 

Why did you not offer to stay my hande, 
When you sawe me wax so woode P 1 

For I have slaihe the fairest sir knighte, 

That ever rode on a steede ; 
So have I done the fairest lady, 

That ever ware woman's weede. 

A grave, a grave, lord Barnard cryde, 

To putt these lovers in ; 
But lay my ladye o' the upper hande, 

For shee comes o' the better kin. 


The writer of this simple Song is unknown. 

WILL ze gae to the e\v-bughts, 2 Marion, 

And wear in the sheip wi' mee ? 
The sun shines sweit, my Marion, 

But nae half sae sweit as thee. 
O Marion's a bonnie lass ; 

And the blyth 3 blinks in her ee : 
And fain wad I inarrie Marion, 

Gin Marion wad marrie mee. 

Theire's gowd in zour garters, Marion ; 

And siller on zour white liauss-bane : 4 
Fou faine wad 1 kisse my Marion 

At eene quhan I cum hame. 

1 Woode -frantic. 

* Small enclosures, or pens, into which farmers drive their milch ewes 
morning and evening to milk them. 

3 Blyth joy. 

4 Hauss-lane i. e. the neck-bone, llarion had probably a silver locket on, 
tied close to her neck with a riband, an usual ornament in Scotland, where 
a sore throat is called " a tair hatue" properly haltt, 


Theire's braw lads in Earnslaw, Marion., 

Quha gape and glowr wi' their ee 
At kirk, quhan they see my Marron ; 

Bot nane of them lues like mee. 

Ire nine milk-ews, my Marion, 

A cow and a brawney quay ; l 
Ise gie them au to my Marion, 

Just on her bridal day. 
And zees 2 get a grein sey 3 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 pearlins, 4 Marion, 

And kirtle oth' cramasie, 5 
And sune as my chin has nae haire on, 

I sail cum west, and see zee. 


THIS Ballad (given from an old black-letter copy, with some correc- 
tions) was popular in the time of Queen Elizabeth, being usually 
printed with her picture before it. It is quoted in Fletcher's comedy 
of the " Pilgrim," Act iv., sc. 1. 

THEEE was a shepherd's 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. 

1 Quay young heifer. 2 Zees ye shall. 

3 Sey say, a Icind of woollen stuff. 
* Pearling a wane sort of bone lace. * Cramasi 

E E 2 


The Lord forbid, the maide reply de, 
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 P 

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 WilfuUe 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 P 

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 P 
Or hath he took thy gaye gold ring 

From off thy finger small ? 


He hath not robbed mee, my leige, 

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 j 1 
But if he be a married man, 

High hanged he shall bee. 

He called downe his merry 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, 

When I did drinke the wine, 
Rather than any shepherd's brat 

Shold bee a ladye of mine ! 

Would I had dranke the puddle foule, 

When I did drink the ale, 
Bather than ever a shepherd's brat 

Shold tell me such a tale ! 

J His bodye lie give to thee. This was agreeable to the feudal customs : 
The lord had a right to give a wife to his vassals. See Shakespeare's "All's 
Well that Bads Well," 


A shepherd's brat even as I was, 

You mote have let me bee ; 
I never had come to the king's faire courte, 

To crave any love of thee. 

He sett her on a milk-white steede, 

And himself upon a graye ; 
He hung a bugle about his necke, 

And soe they rode awaye. 

But when they came unto the place, 
Where marriage-rites were done, 

She proved herself a duke's daughter, 
And he but a squire's sonne. 

Now marrye me, or not, sir knight, 
Your pleasure shall be free : 

If you make me ladye of one good towne, 
lie make you lord, of three. 

Ah ! cursed bee the gold, he sayd, 
If thou hadst not been trewe, 

I shold have forsaken my sweet love, 
And have changed her for a newe. 

And now their hearts being linked fast, 
They joyned hand in hande : 

Thus he had both purse and person too, 
And all at his commande. 



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 : 
Beautie is borne but to beguyle 

My harte of happines. 


See howe my little flocke, 

That lovde to feede on highe, 
Doe lieadlonge tumble downe the rocke, 

And in the valley dye. 

The bushes and the trees, 

That were so freshe and greene, 
Doe all their deintie colours leese, 1 

And not a leafe 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. 

S \vete 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 conniuge use 

To sett my harte at rest : 

And in a dreame bewraie 

What fate shal be my frende ; 
Whether my life shall still decaye, 

Or when my sorrowes ende. 

1 Loose lott *>,... ' 



CORRECTED from a black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection. Jamie- 
son prints a long ballad, " Sweet Willie and Fair Annie," upon the 
same subject, and which he " took down" from the recitation ol a lady 
in Aberbrothick. 

LOBD THOMAS he was a bold forrester, 

And a chaser of the king's deere ; 
Paire Ellinor was a fine woman, 

And lord Thomas he loved her deare. 

Come riddle my riddle, dear mother, he sayd, 

And riddle us both as one ; 
Whether I shall marrye with faire Ellinor, 

And let the browne girl alone P 

The browne girl she has got houses and lands, 

Faire Ellinor she has got none, 
And therefore I charge thee on my blessing, 

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 Ellinor, 

That should have been his bride. 

And when he came to faire Ellinor's 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 P 
What newes 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 bridegrome. 

Come riddle my riddle, 1 dear mother, she sayd, 

And riddle it all in one ; 
Whether I shall goe to lord Thomas his wedding, 

Or whether shall tarry at home P 

1 It should probably be lieade me, read, &c. i. e. Advise me, advise. 


There are manye that are your friendes, daughter, 

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 gate, 

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 bode"e. 

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 sayd, 
Methinks thou lookst wonderous wan ; 

Thou usedst to look with as fresh a colour, 
As ever the sun shone on. 

Oh, art thou blind, lord Thomas ? she sayd, 

Or canst thou not very well see P 
Oh ! dost thou not see my owne heart's bloode 

Run trickling down my knee P 

Lord Thomas he had a sword by his side ; 

As he walked about the halle, 
He cut off his bride's head from her shoulders, 

And threw it against the walle. 


He set the hiltc against the grounde, 
And the point against his liarte. 

There never three lovers together did meete, 
That sooner againe did parte. 


FROM the third Act of " Alexander and Campaspe," by John Lyly 
[b, 1554, d. 1GOO], the once famous author of " liuphues" a hook 
which affected not only the Court of Elizabeth, but the literature of 
the age. Lyly " wrote nine plays, in some of which there is consi- 
derable wit and humour, rescued from the jargon of his favourite 

CTTPID and my Campaspe playd 
At cardes for kisses ; Cupid payd : 
He stakes his quiver, bow and arrows, 
His mother's 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 browe, 
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 P 
What shall, alas ! become of mee P 



FROM a written copy, with modern improvements, upon the popular 
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 baron's 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 love's 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 j 

And trembling hid in man's array, 

I scant 1 with life escap'd away. 

In the midst of this extremitie, 
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 changjd my name 
From faire Elise, to sweet Williame: 

And therewithall I cut my haire, 
Kesolv'd my man's attire to weare ; 
And in my beaver, hose, and band, 
I travell'd far through many a laud. 

1 Scant scarce. 


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 straitwaye to his court I went ; 
Where I behavde so faithfullie, 
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 ladye's 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 : 

' 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 of 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 melodiouslie. 

Thus heard he everye word I sed, 
And saw the pearly e 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 urne 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 race, 
His mistress if that I would bee. 

Ah ! no, my liege, I firnilye 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 scene, 
A serving-man became a queene. 



GIL MOHRICE is oce of the most popular ballads preserved among the 
Scottish peas an try. Tradition refers it to some remote period, and 
points out the scene of the story. From Mr. llotherwell we learn that 
the " green wood" of the ballad was the ancient forest of Dundaff, in 
Stirlingshire, while " Lord Bernard's castle is said to have occupied 
a precipitous cliff overhanging the water of Carron, on the lands of 
Halbertshire. A small burn which joins the Carron, about five miles 
above these lands, is called the Earls-burn, and the hill, near the 
source of that stream, is called the Earls-hill ; both deriving their appel- 
lations from the unfortunate ' Erle's-son," who is the hero of the 
Ballad." According to the same tradition, he was remarkable for the 
length and beauty of his yellow hair. " Gil Morrice" has been fruitful 
in offspring, having suggested the tragedy of " Douglas" to Home, and 
" Owen of Carron" to Langhorn. Burns regarded the Ballad as a 
modern composition, and classed it with " Hardyknute." Mr. 
Jamieson [" Popular Ballads and Songs," i. 8] has reprinted, from the 
folio MS. the " very old and imperfect copy" which Percy mentions. 

GIL MoERicE 1 was an Erie's son ; 

His name it waxed wide ; 
It was nae for his great riches, 

Nor zet 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 Barnard's ha', 

And bid his lady cum ? 
And ze maun riu my errand, Willie ; a 

And ze may rin wi' pride ; 
Quhen other boys gae on their foot, 

On horse-back ze sail ride. 

O no ! Oh no ! my master dear ! 

I dare nae for my life ; 
I'll no gae to the bauld baron's, 

For to triest furth his wife. 
My bird Willie, my boy Willie ; 

My dear Willie, he sayd : 
How can ze strive against the stream P 

For I sail be obeyd. 

1 Mr. Motherwcll sees ia " Morrice" an evident corruption of " Norice," a 
nurseling or foster. / * Something seems wanting hem 


Bot, O my master dear ! lie cryd, 

In grene wod ze're zour lain j 1 
Gi owre sic thochts, I walde ze rede, 3 

For fear ze should be tain. 
Haste, haste, I say, gae to the ha*, 

Bid hir cum here wi speid : 
If ze refuse my heigh command, 

111 gar zour body bleid. 

Gae bid hir take this gay mantel, 

'Tis a' gowd bot 3 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 4 nae bauld baron's 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 brigue,* 

He bent his bow and swam ; 
And quhen he came to grass growing, 

Set down his feet and ran. 

And quhen he came to Barnard's ha', 
Would neither chap 6 nor ca' : 

Bot set his bent bow to his breist, 
And lichtly lap the wa'. 7 

1 Zour lain, your lane alone by yourself. 

2 1 would you advise. 

ovr& bot, &c. all gold about the hem. * Speir atk. 
Brigue bridge. 6 Chap knock. 

Could this be the wall of the castle ? 


He waftld nae tell the man his errand, 

Though he stude at the gait ; 
Bot straiht into the ha' he cam, 

Quhair they were set at meit. 

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 sarke, 

Your ain hand sewd the sleive ; 
Ze maun gae speik to Gill Morice : 

Speir nae bauld baron's leave. 
The lady stamped wi' hir foot, 

And winkM wi' hir ee ; 
Bot a' that she coud say or do, 

Forbidden he wad nae bee. 

It's surely to my bow'r- woman ; 

It neir could be to me. 
I brocht it to lord Barnard's 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 ; l 
I brocht it to lord Barnard's lady; 

I trow ze be nae shee. 
Then up and spack the bauld baron, 

An angry man was hee ; 
He's tain the table wi' his foot, 

Sae has he wi' his knee ; 
Till siller cup and ' mazer ' 2 dish 

In flinders 3 he gard 4 flee. 

1 Perhaps, loud say I heire. 

* i. e. a drinking-cup of maple. 

Flinders splinters. * Gard madt. 


Gae bring a rope of zour eliding, 1 

That hings upon the pin ; 
And I'll gae to the gude grene wode, 

And speik \vi' zour lemmfln. 
O bide at hame, now lord Barnard, 

I warde 2 ze bide at hame ; 
Neir wyte 3 a man for violence, 

That neir wate 4 ze wi' nane. 

Gil Morice sate in gude grene wode, 5 

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' niickle dule and care, 
And there he first spied Gill Morice 

Kanieing 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. 6 

1 Gliding clothing. 2 Warde warn. 

3 Wyte blame. * Wate blamed. 

s In the beautiful and simple ballad of "Gil Morris" some affected persoa 
has stuck in one or two factitious verses, which, like vulgar persons in a 
drawing-room, betray themselves by their over-finery. Thus, after the simple 
and affecting verse which prepares the reader for the coming tragedy 
" Gil Morriee sat in good green wood," &c. 

Some such "vicious intromitter" as we have described (to use a barbarous 
phrase for a barbarous proceeding) has introduced the following quintessence 
of affectation : 

" His looks were like," &c. 
Walter Scott, " Minstrelsy," iv., 19. 
So Milton 

" Vernal delight and joy : able, to drive 
All sadness but despair," B. iv., v. 166. 

Oil MOBEICE. 435 

Nae wonder, nae wonder, Gill Morice, 

My lady loed thee weel, 
The fairest part of iny 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 slaited 1 on the strae ; 
And thro' Gill 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 kissd baith mouth and chin : 
I was once as fow 2 of Gill Morice, 

As the hip 3 is of the stean. 

I got ze in my father's house, 

vVi' mickle sin and shame ; 
I brocht thee up in gude grene wode, 

Under the heavy ram.' 

1 Slaited whetted, or perhaps wiped. Mr. Mothcrwcll says " This line, to 
get at its meaning, should be printed,. ' And slait it on the strae ;' " and he 
adds, " that the expressions of wiping on the sleeve, drying on the grass, and 
flatting o'er the strae, always occur in such ballads as indicate a dubious and 
protracted and somewhat equal combat." 

*Fow~/M. 3 Hip,&c. theberryisqfiheitoni, 

FF 2 


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 : 

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 ! 

Obraid me not for shame ! 
Wi' that saim speir O pierce my heart ! 

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 2 till I am blind. 
Enouch of blood by me's bin spilt, 

Seek not zour death frae mee ; 

1 rather lourd it had been my sel 
Than eather him or thee. 

With waefo 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 blucle on the ground. 

1 The scene of "wire-drawn recrimination" between LordBnrnard and his 
lady, which is quite out of keeping with the character of the " bold baron," 
is enough to show that the ballad has passed through refining hands. Mr. 
Eitson and Mr. Jamiespn agree in rejecting as spurious the stanzas which 
follow " Awa, awa, ze ill woman." Mr. Motherwell recovered a copy, from 
the recitation of an old woman, which appears to confirm this view. 
a Greet weep. 


I curse the band 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 zouth was slain, 

33oofe BE. 

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 rocke, a mile distant from Warwick." 
The history of Sir Guy, though of English growth, was an early fa- 
vourite with other nations. It appeared in French in 1525, and is 
mentioned in the old Spanish romance, " Tirante el Blanco," written 
soon after 1430. We are told by Dugdale, that an English traveller, 
about the year 1410, was hospitably received at Jerusalem "by the Sol- 
dan's lieutenant ; who, hearing that he was descended from the famous 
Guy of Warwick, whose story they had in books of their own language, 
invited him to his palace," and presented him with many costly gifts. 
The original of all these stories is traced to a very ancient Romance 
in English verse, which is quoted by Chaucer as a favourite piece even 
in his time, being sung to the harp at Christmas dinners and marriage 
feasts. The following Legend is printed from an old copy in the folio 
MS., collated with two printed copies, of which one, in black-letter, is 
in the Pepys Collection. 

WAS ever knight for ladye's sake 

Soe tost in love, as I sir Guy 
For Phelis fay re, that lady bright 

As ever man beheld with eye P 

She gave me leave myself to try, 
The valiant knight with sheeld and speare, 

Ere that her love shee wold grant me ; 
Which made mee venture far and neare. 


Then proved I a baron bold, 

In deeds of araies the doughtyest knight 
That in those dayes in England was, 

With sworde and speare in feild to fight. 

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 hecre upon the earth. 

Sometime I was of Warwicke Erie, 

And, as I sayd, of very truth 
A ladye's 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 

Bight dangerous conquests with my hands. 

For first I sayled to Normandye, 
And there I stoutlye wan in fight 

The emperour's daughter of Almaine, 
From manye a vallyant worthye knight. 

Then passed I the seas to Greece 
To helpe the empercur in his right ; 

Against the mightye souldan's hoaste 
Of puissant Persians for to fight. 

Where I did slay of Sarazens, 

And heathen pagans, manye a man ; 

And slew the souldan's cozen deere, 
Who had to name doughtye Coldr&n. 

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 souldan's 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 alsoc 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 fan- 
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 Saviour's sake. 

Where I Erie Jonas did redeeme, 

And all his sonnes, which were fifteene, 

Who with the cruell Sarazeris 

In prison for long time had beene. 

I slew the gyant Amarant 

In battel fiercelye hand to hand : 
And doughty Barknard killed I, 

A treacherous knight of Pavye land. 

Then I to England came againe, 

And here with Cplbronde fell I fought : 

An ugly gyant, which the Danes 

Had for their champion hither brought. 

I overcame him in the feild, 

And slcwe him soone right valliantlye ; 
Wherebye this land I did redeeme 

From Danish tribute utterlye. 

And afterwards I offered upp 

The use of weapons solemnlyc 
At Winchester, whereas I fought, 

In sight of inanye 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 length. 

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 slewc 
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 looker's 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 hermitt's life 
A mile and more out of the towne ; 

Where with my hands I hewed a house 
Out of a craggy rocke of stone ; 

And lived like a palmer poore 
Within that cave myself alone : 

And daylye came to begg my bread 

Of Phelis att my castlegate ; 
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 I 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. 


FROM "the famous Historic of Guy Earl of Warwick," by Samuel 
Rowlands, who lived in the reigns of Elizabeth, James, and Charles 
the First, and is supposed to have died in 1634. He was a copious 
writer of prose and verse, and in his lighter manner sometimes anti- 
cipates Butler. The " Historic" was printed in 1649. 

GUY journeyes towards that sanctifyed ground, 
Whereas the Jewes fayre citye sometime stood, 

Wherin our Saviour's sacred head was crownd, 
And where for sinfull man he shed his blood : 

To see the sepulcher was his intent, 

The tombe that Joseph unto Jesus lent. 

With tedious miles he tyred his wearye feet, 
And passed desart places full of danger, 

At last with a most woefull wight 1 did meet, 
A man that unto sorrow was noe stranger : 

For he had fifteen sonnes, made captives all 

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 understands at length 

The place not farr. Lend me thy sword, quoth hee, 

He lend my manhood all thy sonnes to free. 

1 Erie Jonas, mentioned in the foregoing; ballad. 


With that he goes, and lays upon the dore, 

. Like one that saycs, I must, and will come in : 

The gyant never was soe rowz'd before : 

For noe such knocking at his gate had bin : 
Soe takes his keyes, and clubb, and cometh out 
Staring with ireful countenance about. 

Sirra, quoth hee, what busines hast thou heere P 
Art come to feast the crowes about my walls P 

Didst never heare, noe ransome can him cleere, 
That in the compasse of my furye falls P 

For making me to take a porter's paines, 

With this same clubb I will dash out thy braines. 

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 now goe thin ; 

But shew thy utmost hate, enlarge thy spight, 

Keene is my weapon, and shall doe me right. 

Soe draws his sword, salutes him with the same 
About the head, the shoulders, and the side : 

Whilst his erected clubb doth death proclaime, 
Standinge with huge Colossus' spacious stride, 

Putting such vigour to his knotty beame, 

That like a furnace he did smoke extreame. 

But on the ground he spent his strokes in vaine, 
For Guy was nimble to avoyde them still, 

And ever ere he heav'd his clubb againe, 
Did brush his plated coat against his will : 

Att such advantage Guy wold never fayle, 

To bang him soundlye in his coate of mayle. 

Att last through thirst the gyant feeble grewe, 
And sayd to Guy, As thou'rt of humane race, 

Shew itt in this, give nature's wants their dcwe, 
Let me but goe, and drinke in yonder place : 

Thou canst not yeeld to ' me ' a smaller thing, 

Then to graunt life, that's given by the spring. 

I graunt thee leave, quoth Guye, goe drink thy last, 
Go pledge the dragon, and the salvage bore : l 

Succeed the tragedyes that they have past, 
But never thinke to taste cold water more : 

Drinke deepe to Death, and unto him carouse : 

Bid him receive thee in his earthen house. 

1 Which Guy had slain before. 


Soe to the spring he goes, and slakes his thirst ; 

Takeing the water in extremely like 
Some wracked shipp that on a rocke is burst, 

Whose forced hulke against the stones does stryke ; 
Scooping it in soe fast with both his hands, 
That Guy admiring to behold it stands. 

Come on, quoth Guy, let us to worke againe, 
Thou stayest about thy liquor overlong ; 

The fish, which in the river doe remaine, 

Will want thereby ; thy drinking doth them wrong : 

But I will see their satisfaction made, 

With gy ant's blood they must and shall be payd. 

Villaine, quoth Amarant, He crush thee streight ; 

Thy life shall pay thy daring toung's offence : 
This clubb, which is about some hundred weight, 

Is deathe's commission to dispatch thee hence : 
Dresse thee for raven's dyett I must needes ; 
And breake thy bones, as they w.ere made of reedes. 

Incensed much by these bold pagan bostes, 
Which worthye Guy cold ill endure to heare, 

He hewes upon those bigg supporting postes, 
Which like two pillars did his body beare : 

Amarant for those wounds in choller growes, 

And desperatelye att Guy his clubb he throwes : 

Which did directly on his body light, 

Soe violent, and weighty there -withall, 
That downe to gi'ound on sudden came the knight ; 

And, ere he cold recover from the fall, 
The gyant gott his clubb againe in fist, 
And aimd a stroke that wonderfullye mist. 

Tray tor, quoth Guy, thy falshood lie repay, 
This coward act to intercept my bloode. 

Sayes Amarant, He murther any way, 
With enemyes all vantages are good : 

O could I poyson in thy nostrills blowe, 

Besure of it I wold dispatch thee soe. 

It's well, said Guy, thy honest thoughts appeare, 
Within that beastlye bulke where devills dwell 5 

Which are thy tenants while thou livest heare, 
But will be landlords when thou comest in. hell : 

Vile miscreant, prepare thee for their den, 

Inhumane monster, hatefull unto men. 


But breathe thy selfe a time, while I goe drinke ; 
. For flameing Phoebus with his fyerye eye 
Torments me soe with burning heat, I thiiike 

My thirst wold serve to drinke an ocean drye : 
Forbear a litle, as I delt with thee. 
Quoth Amarant, 'Thou hast noe foole of mee. 

Noe, sillye wretch, my father taught more witt, 
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 containes, 

One drop of water shall not coole thy vaines. 

Releeve my foe ! why, 'twere a madman's part : 
Refresh au aclversarye 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 minute's space of breathing I'll not grant. 

And with these words heaving aloft his clubb 
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 thee 
A medicine, that will doe thy thirst much good ; 

Take noe more care for drinke before I end thee, 
And then we'll have carouses of thy blood : 

Here's at thee with a butcher's downright blow, 

To please my furye with thine overthrow. 

Infernall, false, obdurate feend, said Guy, 
That seemst a lumpe of crueltye from hell ; 

Ungratefull monster, since thou dost deny 
The thing to mee wherin I used thee well : 

With more revenge, than ere my sword did make, 

On thy accursed head revenge He take. 

Thy gyant's 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. 

1 Strout strut, or well out. 


Here, tyrant, take a taste of my good-will, 

For thus I doe begin my bloodye bout : 
You cannot chuse but like the greeting ill ; 

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 vengeance downe. 

Then Guy sett foot upon the monster's brest, 
And from his shoulders did his head divide ; 

Which with a yawninge mouth did gape, unblest ; 
Noe dragon's jawes were ever seene soe wide 

To open and to shut, till life was spent. 

Then Guy tooke keyes, and to the castle went. 

Where manye woefull captives he did find, 
Which had beene tyred with extremityes ; 

Whom he in freindly manner did unbind, 
And reasoned with them of their miseryes : 

Eche told a tale with teares, and sighes, and cryes, 

All weeping to him with complaining eyes. 

There tender ladyes in darke dungeons lay, 
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 lover's bodyes had beene fed, 

And in their wombes their husbands buryed. 

Now he bethinkes him of his being there, 

To enlarge the wronged brethren from their woes : 

And, as he searcheth, doth great clamours heare, 
By which sad sound's direction on he goes, 

TJntill he findes a darksome obscure gate, 

Arm'd strongly ouer all with iron plate. 

That he unlockes, and enters, where appeares 

The strangest object that he ever saw ; 
Men that with famishment of many yeares, 

Were like deathe's picture, which the painters draw ; 
Divers of them were hanged by eche thombe ; 
Others head-downward : by the middle some. 

With diligence he takes them from the walle, 
With lybertye their thraldome to acquaint : 

Then the perplexed knight their father calls, 
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 doe give thee, heere's the keyes, 
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 thereto. 

The good old man, even overjoyed with this, 
Fell on the ground, and wold have kist Guy's feete : 

Father, quoth he, refraine soe base a kiss, 
For age to honor youth I hold unmeete : 

Ambitious pryde hath hurt mee all it can, 

I goe to mortifie a sinfull man. 



LATE in an evening forth I went 

A little before the sun gade down, 
And there I chanc't, by accident, 

To light on a battle new begun : 
A man and his wife wer fawn 1 in a strife, 

I canna weel tell ye how it began ; 
But aye she wail'd her wretched life, 

Cryeng, Evir alake, mine auld goodmau ! 


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 ; 
He gart 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 gate sae free, 

Was naithing like thee, thou dosend 1 drone j 

fallen, * Dosend dosing. 


Wi' Ms 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 goodman. 


Why dost thou plein P 1 1 thee maintein ; 

For meal and mawt 2 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 goodman. 


Yes I may tell, and fret my sell, 3 

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 he like mine auld goodman. 

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 4 of the fray 

Was, Evir alake ! mine auld goodman. 

1 Plein complain. 2 Mawt malt. 

* Soi> e 7 /. * Owrcvwrd -the last word, or lurden of the long. 



THIS seems to be the old song quoted in Fletcher's " Knight of the 
Burning Pestle ;" although the six lines there preserved are somewhat 
different from those in' the ballad, which is here given from a modern 
tall copy. 

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 bride, 

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 light was come, 

And all men fast asleep, 
Then came the spirit of fair Marg'ret, 

And stood at William's 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, 1 

And my bride-bed full of blood. 


Such dreams, such dreams, my honoured Sir, 

They never do prove good ; 
To dream thy bower was full of red ' wine,' 

And thy bride-bed full of blood. 

He callM 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 bower, 

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 : l 
For whatever is dealt at her funeral to-day, 

ShaU be dealt to-morrow at mine- 

Fair Margaret dyed to-day, to-day, 

Sweet William dyed the morrow ; 
Fair Margaret dyed for pure true Iove 9 

Sweet William dyed for sorrow. 

1 Alluding to the dole anciently given at funerals, 

a G- 


Margaret was buryed in the lower chancel, 

And William in the higher : 
Out of her brest there sprang a rose, 

And out of his a briar. 

They grew till they grew 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, 

Ox they had now been there. 


GIVEN, with corrections, from an old black-letter copy entitled " Barbara 
Allen's cruelty, or the young man's tragedy." 

IN Scarlet towne, where I was borne, 

There was a faire maid dwellin, 
Made every youtli crye, Wel-awaye ! 

Her name was Barbara Allen. 

All in the merrye month of May, 

When greene buds they were swellin, 

Youg 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, slie 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 ; 

lovely maid, come pity mee, 
line on my deth-bed lying. 

If on your death-bed you doe lye, 
What needs the tale you are tellin ; 

1 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 knelliu ; 
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 ine ! 

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, 
GG 2 


Farewell, she sayd, ye virgins all, 
And shun the fault I fell in : 

Henceforth take warning by the fall 
Of cruel Barbara Allen. 



fiOM Allan Ramsay's " Tea-Table Miscellany." The concluding 
stanza of this piece seems to be modern. 

THERE came a ghost to Margaret's door, 

With many a grievous grone, 
And ay he tirled 1 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. 

i Tirlcd-teirZed. 


O sweet Margret, O dear Margret, 

I pray 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 lilly-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 knee : 
And a' the live-lang winter night 

The dead corps followed shee. 

Is there any room at your head, Willie P 

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 away. 

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 countrye, 
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 hart's blude wer spillan. 

Eemember ye nat in the tavern, sir, 

Whan ye the cups wer fillan ; 
How ye made the healths gae round and round, 

And slighted Barbara Allan P 

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 everyc jow the deid-bell geid, 
Cried, Wae to Barbara Allan ! 


O Blither, mitlier, mat my bed, 

O mak it saft and narrow : 
Since my love died for me to day, 

Ise die for him to morrowe. 


IMPROVED from a black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection. Isling- 
ton in Norfolk is supposed to be the place here meant. 

THERE was a youthe, and a well-beloved youthe, 

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 yeares, 

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 the baylifle'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 bridle-reine ; 

One penny, one penny, kind sir, she sayd, 
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 rnee, 

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 fan* 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 love, 
Whom I thought I should never see more. 



FROM the small black-letter collection entitled " The Golden Garland 
of princely Delights ;" collated with two other copies, and corrected by 


How now, shepherde, what meanes that ? 
Why that willowe in thy hat ? 
Why thy scarffes of red and yellowe 
Tum'd to branches of greene willowe P 



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 P 
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 1 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. 


FHOM the folio MS.^collated with two printed copies in black-letter. 

MABKE well my heavy dolefull tale, 

You loyall lovers all, 
And needfully beare in your brest 

A gallant ladye's 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 ! she 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 chang'd color white, 

Her strength began to fayle. 

Soe that with many a sorrowful sigh, 

This beauteous ladye milde, 
With greeved hart perceived herselfe 

To have conceived with childe. 
Shee kept it from her parent's sight, 

As close as close might bee, 
And soe put on her silken gowne 

None might her swelling see. 

Unto her lover secretly 

Her greefe shee did bewray, 
And, walking with him hand in hand, 

These words to him did say ; 
Behold, quoth shee, a maid's distresse 

By love brought to thy bowe ; 
Behold I goe with childe by thee, 

Tho none thereof doth knowe. 

The litle babe springs in my wombe 

To heare its father's voyce ; 
Lett it not be a bastard called, 

Sith I made thee my choyce : 


Come, come, my love, perform thy vowe 

And wed me out of hand ; 
O leave me not in this extreme 

Of griefe, alas ! to stand. 

Think on thy former promises, 

Thy oathes and vowes eche one j 
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 proeeede. 

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 father's gate. 

Dread not thy life to save my fame, 

For if thpu taken bee, 
My selfe will step betweene the swords, 

And take the harme on mee : 
Soe shall I scape dishonor quite ; 

And if I should be slaine, 
What could they say, but that true love 

Had wrought a ladye's bane. 

But feare not any further harme ; 

My selfe will soe devise, 
That I will ryde away with thee 

Unknowen of mortall eyes : 
Disguised like some pretty page 

He meete thee in the darke, 
And all alone He come to thee 

Hard by my father's parke. 

And there, quoth hee, He meete my deare, 

J.f God soe lend me life, 
On this day month without all fayle 

I will make thee my wife. 


Then with a sweet and loving kisse, 

They parted presentlye, 
And att their partinge brinish tearea 

Stoode in eche others eye. 

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, forsworne, and faithlesse man, 

Disloyall in thy love, 
Hast thou forgott thy promise past, 

And wilt thou perjured prove P 

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 nattering tongue of thine : 
Wold God that I had never scene 

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 bedd's feete, 

Who musing at her mistress' woe, 
Began full fast to weepe. 


Weepe not, said sliee, 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 midwife's helpe, 

That better may you speed. 
Call not my mother for thy life, 

Nor fetch no woman here ; 
The midwife's helpe comes all too late, 

My death I doe not feare. 

With that the babe sprang from her wombe, 

No creature being uye, 
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 receivdd 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. 



THE heroine of this Song was Lady Barbara Erskine, daughter of John, 
ninth Earl of Mar, arid wife of James, second Marquis of Douglas. 
" This lady, married in 1670, was divorced, or at least expelled from 
the society of her husband, in consequence of scandals which a disap- 
pointed lover, Lowrie of Blackwood, basely insinuated into the ear of 
the Marquis.- ; 

WALY 1 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. 

1 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 2 me. 

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 wherfore shuld I busk my head? 

Or wherfore shuld I kame my hair ? 
For my true love has me forsook, 

And says he'll never loe me mair. 

Now Arthur-seat 3 sail be my bed, 
The sheets shall neir be fyl'd 4 by me : 

Saint Anton's well sail be my drink, 
Since my true love has forsaken me. 

Marti'mas wind, when wilt thou blaw, 
And shake the green leaves aff the tree P 

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 love's heart grown cauld to me 

i Waly alas! * Lichtly lightly. 

* Arthur-seat a hill near Edinburgh, at the bottom of which is St. An- 
hony's Well. * Fyl'd defiled. 


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. 1 

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 nurse's knee, 
And I my sell were dead and gane ! 

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. 

COME mourne, 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 dayes in paine. 

Her beauty late so bright, 

Like roses in their prime, 
Is wasted like the mountain snowe, 

Before warnie 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 : 

1 Cramasie crimon. 


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 

Did Grecian dames besmirche, 1 

So did my dear exceed in sight 
All virgins in the church. 

When we had knitt the knott 

Of holy wedlock-band, 
Like alabaster joyn'd to jett, 

So stood we hand in hand ; 

Then lo ! a chilling cold 
Strucke every vital part, 

And griping grief, like pangs of death, 
Seiz'd on my true love's heart. 

Down in a swoon she fell, 

As cold as any stone ; 
Like Venus picture lacking life, 

So was my love brought home. 

At length her rosye red, 

Throughout her comely face, 

As Phoebus beames with watry cloudes 
Was cover'd for a space. 

When with a grievous groane, 
And voice both hoarse and drye, 

Farewell, quoth she, my loving friend, 
For I this daye must dye ; 

i Besmirche ditcolour. 


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 icy 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, 
And on the hungry, needy, raaimde, 

Now craving at the door. 

Instead of virgins yong, 

My bride-bed for to see, 
Go cause some cunning carpenter, 

To make a chest for mee. 

My bride laces of silk 

Bestowd, for maidens meet, 
May fitly serve, when I am dead, 

To tye my hands and feet. 

And thou, my lover true, 

My husband and my 'friend, 
Let me intreat thee here to staye, 

Until my life doth end. 

Now leave to talk of love, 

And humblye on your knee, 
Direct your prayers unto God : 

But mourn no more for mee ; 

In love as we have livde, 

In love let us depart ; 
And I, in token of my love, 

Do kiss thee with my heart. 

staunch those bootless tearos j 
Thy weeping tis in vaine ; 

1 am not lost, for wee in heaven 

Shall one daye meet agaiue. 

H H 


With that Bhee turn'd aside, 

As one dispos'd to sleep, 
And like a lamb departeu 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 darko 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, 
And all that therein dwell ; 

O that I were with thee in heaven, 
For here I live in hell. 

And now this lover lives 

A discontented life, 
Whose bride was brought unto the grave 

A maiden and a wife. 

A garland fresh and faire 

Of lillies there was made, 
In sign of her virginitye, 

And on her coffin laid. 

Six maidens all in white, 
Did beare her to the ground : 

The bells did ring in solemn sort, 
And made a dolefull sound. 

In earth they laid her then, 
For hungry wormes a preyc ; 

So shall the fairest face alive 
At length be brought to clayo. 



FROM two ancient copies in black-letter. The Song is mentioned as 
very popular in Walton's "Angler ;" and has been ascribed to Raleigh 
sn very doubtful authority. 

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. 
Wherto shee sayes, 
Forgoe me now, come to me soone. 

Eut 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 : Night's mirkie noone 

In Venus' playes 

Makes bold, shee sayes ; 
Forgoe me now, come to mee soone. 

But what promise or profession 

From his hands could purchase scope P 

Who would sell the sweet possession 
Of suche beautye for a hope ? 
HH 2 


Or for the sight 

Of lingering night 
Forgoe the present joy es of nooneP 

Though ne'er soe faire 

Her speeches were, 
Forgoe me now, come to me soone. 

How, at last, agreed these lovers ? 

Shee was fayre, and he was young : 
The tongue may tell what th'eye discovers j 
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. 


FROM an old black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, collated with 
another in the British Museum. 

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 ehee ; 
She was her father's only joye ; 

As you shall after see. 


Therefore her cruel step-mother 

Did envye her so much, 
That by daye she sought her life, 

Her malice it was such. 

She bargain'd with the master-cook, 

To take her life awaye : 
And taking of her daughter's 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 niilke-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 master-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 doe, 

Which you do knowe full well. 

Then, streight his cruell 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 j 

See here, behold ray knife ; 
For it is pointed presently 

To ridd thee of thy life. 

O then, cried out the scullion- boy e, 

As loud as loud might bee ; 
O save her life, good master-cook, 

And make your pyes cf mee ! 


For pitye's sake do not destroye 
My ladye with your knife ; 

You know shee is her father's joye, 
For Christe's sake save her life. 

I will not save her life, he sayd, 
Nor make ray pyes of thee ; 

Yet if thou dost this deed bewraye s 
Thy butcher I will bee. 

Now when this lord he did come Lome 
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. 

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 mincM 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 ! 

1 proffered him my own heart's blood, 

From death to set her tree. 

Then all in blacke this lord did mourrie 
And for his daughter's 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, from Ben Jonson's " Masque at the marriage of Lord 
Haddington," is freely translated from a poem of Tasso, who copied 
the first " Idyllium" of Moschus. 

BEAUTIES, have yee seen a toy, 
Called Love, a little boy, 
Almost naked, wanton, blinde ; 
Cruel now, and then as kinde P 
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 wjio 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 arnnves, 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 hia 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 Ethehvulph King of England : but before the 
marriage was consummated Ethehvulph died, and she returned to 
France, whence she was carried off by Baldwin, 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 hap- 
pened about A.D. 863. 

The following copy is given from the folio MS. .collated with another 
in black-letter, in the Pepys Collection, and occasionally amended. 

IN the dayes of old, 

When faire France did flourish, 
Storyes plaine have told, 

Lovers felt annoy e. 
The queene a daughter bare, 

Wnom beautye's queene did nourish. : 
She was lorelye faire, 

She *vas her father's 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. 

When these princes twaine 

Were thus barr'd of pleasure, 
Through the kinge's disdaine, 

Which their jojes withstoode : 
The lady soon prepar'd 

Her Jewells and her treasure : 
Having no regard 

For state and royall bloode ; 
In homelye poore array 
She went from court away, 

To meet her joye and heart's delight j 
Who in a forrest great 
Had taken up his seat, 

To wayt her coming in the night. 
But, lo ! what sudden danger 
To this princely stranger 

Chanced, as he sate alone ! 
By outlawes he was robbed, 
And with ponyards stabbed, 

Uttering many a dying grone. 

The princesse, arm'd by love, 

And by chaste desire, 
All the night did rove 

Without dread at all : 
Still unknowne she past 

In her strange attire ; 
Coming at the last 

Within echoe's call, 
You faire woods, quoth shee, 
Honoured may you bee, 


Harbouring my heart's delight ; 
Which encompass here 
My joye and only deare, 

My trustye friend, and comelye knight. 
Sweete, I come unto thee, 
Sweete, I coine to woo thee ; 

That thou mayst not angry bee 
For rny long delaying ; 
For thy curteous staying 

Soone amendes lie make to thee. 

Passing thus alone 

Through the silent forest, 
Many a grievous grone 

Sounded in her eares : 
She heard one complayne 

And lament the sorest, 
Seeming all in payne, 

Shedding deadly teares. 
Farewell, my deare, quoth hee, 
Whom I must never see ; 

For why my life is att an end, 
Through villaine's crueltye : 
For thy sweet sake I dye, 

To show I am a faithfull friend. 
Here I lye a bleeding, 
While my thoughts are feeding 

On the rarest beautye found. 
O hard happ, that may be ! 
Little knowes my ladye 

My hearte's blood lyes on the ground. 

With that a grone he sends 

Which did burst in sunder 
All the tender bands 

Of his gentle heart. 
She, who knewe his voice, 

At his wordes did wonder ; 
All her former joyes 

Did to griefe convert. 
Strait she ran to see, 
Who this man shold bee, 

That soe like her love did seeme ; 
Her lovely lord she found 
Lye slaine upon the ground. 

Smear'd with gore a ghastlyc streams. 


Which, his lady spying, 
Shrieking, fainting, crying, 

Her sorrows could not uttered bee : 
Fate, she cryed, too cruell : 
For thee my dearest jewel], 

Would God ! that I had dyed for thee. 

His pale lippes, alas ! 

Twentye times she kissed, . 
And his face did wash 

With her trickling teares : 
Every gaping wound 

Teiiderlye 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 sun's retourning, 

And bright day was coming on. 

In this great distresse 

Weeping, wayling ever, 
Oft shee cryed, alas ! 

What will become of mee P 
To my father's court 

I returne will never : 
But in lo\vlye sort 

I will a servant bee. 
While thus she made her mone, 
Weeping all alone, 

In this deepe and deadlye feare t 
A for'ster all in greene, 
Most comelye to be scene, 

Hanging the woods did find her there. 
Moved with her sorrowe, 
Maid, quoth hee, good morrowe, 


What hard happ has brought thee here P 
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 P 
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 heart's desire. 
He brought her to his mother, 
And above all other 

He sett forth this maiden's praise. 
Long was his heart inflamed ; 
At length her love he gained, 

And fortune crown'd his future dayes. 

Thus unknowne he wedde 

With a king's 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. 1 

1 This will remind the reader of the livery and device of diaries Brandon, 
a private gentleman, who married the Queen Dowager of France, sister of 
Henry VIII. At a tournament which he held at his wedding, the trappings of 
his horse 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 Prize ; 
" Cloth of Frize, he not too bold, 
" Tho' thou art matcht with Cloth of Gold." 


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. 

The children then they bring, 

So their mother will'd it, 
Where the royall king 

Must of force come bye : 
Their mother's riche array 

Was of crimson velvet : 
Their father's all of gray, 

Seemelye to the eye. 
Then this famous king, 
Noting everything, 

Askt how he durst be so bold 
To let his wife soe weare, 
And decke his children there 

In costly robes of pearl and gold. 
The forrester replying, 
And the cause descrying, 1 

To the king these words did say: 
Well may they, by their mother, 
Weare rich clothes with other, 

Being by birth a princesse gay. 

The king aroused thus, 

More heedfullye beheld them, 
Till a crimson blush 

His remembrance crost. 
The more I fix my mind 

On thy wife and children, 
The more methinks 1 find 

The daughter which I lost. 
Falling on her knee, 
I am that child, quoth shee ; 

Pardon mee, iny soveraine liege. 
The king perceiving this, 
His daughter deare did kiss, 

While joyfull teares did stopp his speeche. 

1 . e. describing. 


With, his traine he tourned, 
And with them sojourned. 

Strait he dubb'd her husband knight ; 
Then made him Erie of Flanders, 
And ehiefe of his commanders : 

Thus were their sorrowes put to flight. 


FROM Ben Jonson's " Silent Woman" (Act i. sc. 1), and imitated from 
i Latin Toem, printed at the end of " Petronius." 

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, 
Tha 1 ; strike mine eyes, but not my heart. 



ADDISON calls this Ballad one of the darling songs of the common 
people, and the delight of most Englishmen in some part of their age. 
Percy considered the subject to be taken from an old play, entitled,. 
" Two Lamentable Tragedies ; the one of the murder of Maister Beech, 
a chandler in Thames-streete, &c. The other of a young child mur- 
thered in a wood by two ruffians, with the consent of his unkle. By 
Rob. Yarrington, 1601, 4to." And he writes : 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 of sending him 
to school : their choosing a wood to perpetrate the murder in : one of 
the ruffians relenting, and a battle ensuing, &c. 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 t'he 
unrelenting ruffian : he is slain himself by his less bloody companion ; 
but ere he dies gives the other a mortal wound, the latter living just 
long enough to impeach the uncle ; who, in consequence of this im- 
peachment, is arraigned and executed by the hand of justice, &c. 
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 
i't would have been received into the drama: whereas this was probably 
built on some Italian novel. Ritson, however, assigned an earlier date 
to the ballad, and Mr. Chappell confirms it from the Registers of the 
Stationers' Company, October 15th, 1595: "Thomas Millington entred 
forhiscopie under the handesof bothe the Wardens, a ballad entituled, 
' The Norfolk Gentleman, his Will and Testament, and howe he com- 
my tted the keeping of his children to his own brother, who delte moste 
wickedly with them, and howe God plagued him for it.'" This entry 
corresponds, almost literally, with the title of the Ballad in the Pepys 
Collection, which is of later date. Mr. Chappell quotes a conjecture 
of Sharon Turner, that the Ballad of " The Children in the Wood 
may have been written on Richard III. and his nephews, before it 
was quite safe to stigmatise him more openly." 

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 too 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 beautye's 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. 1 

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 au^ht 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 unto his house, 

Where much of them he ma,kes. 
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 young, 

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, 
Hejoycing 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' decayfi : 

So that the pretty speeche they had, 

Made Murder's heart relent ; 
And they that undertooke the deed, 

Full sore did now repent. 

i "The condition, speech, and behaviour of the dying parents, with the 
age, innocence, and distress of the children, are set forth in such tender cir- 
cumstances, that it is impossible for a reader of common humanity not to be 
affected with them." Addison, " Spectator," No. 85. 
I I 


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 children's life : 
And he that was of mildest mood, 

Did slaye the other there, 
"Within an unfrequented wood ; 

The babes did quake for feare 1 

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 'liem 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 downc ; 
But never more could see the man. 

Approaching from the town : 
Their prettye lippes with black-berries, 

Were all besmear'd and dyed ; 
And w r hen they sawe the darksome night, 

They sat them downe and cryed. 

Thus wandered these poor innocents, 

Till death e did end their grief; 
In one another's armes they dyed, 

As wanting due relief : 
No burial ' this' pretty 'pair' 

Of any man receives, 
Till Bobin-red-breast piously 

Did cover them with leaves. 1 

1 "As for the circumstance of this Robin red-breast, it is indeed a poetical 
ornament ; and, to show the genius of the author amidst all his simplicity, it 
is just the same kind of fiction which one of the greatest of the Latin poets 
has made use of upon a parallel occasion I mean that passage in Horace, 
where he describes himself, when he was a child, fallen asleep in a desert 
wood, and covered with leaves by the turtles that took pity on him." 


And now the heavy wrathe of God 

Upon their uncle fell ; 
Yea, fearfull fiends did haunt his house, 

His conscience felt an hell : 
His barnes were fir'd, his goodes consum'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. 

ii 2 



FROM the folio MS. ; with slight corrections. 

A LOVEE 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 she were as kind as I, 
What payre cold have made, as wee, 

Soe pretty e a sympathy e.: 
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 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," &c. Of the 
latter sort, are " King Alfred and the Shepherd ;" " King Edward IV. 

and the Tanner ;" " King Henry VIII. and the Cobbler," &c. 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 
betweene 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 faith- 
ful picture of rustic manners, is infinitely superior to all the verses that 
bave been since written in imitation of it. 

The following is printed, with corrections, from the folio IIS. collated 
with an old black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, entitled "A 
pleasant ballad of King Henry II. and the Miller of Mansfield," &c. 


HENRY, our royall ting, would ride a hunting 
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 regard. 

All a long summer's day rode the king pleasantlye, 
With all his princes and nobles eche one ; 

Chasing the hart and hind, and the bucko gallantlye, 
Till the dark evening forc'd all to turne home. 

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 Nottingham ; 
Sir, quoth the miller, I meane not to jest, 

Yet I thinke, what I thinke, sooth for to say, 

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 briefe ? 

Good faith, sayd the miller, I meane not to flatter thee ; 
I guess thee to bee but some gentleman thiefe ; 

Stand thee backe, in the darke ; light not adowne, 

Lest that I presentlye crack thy knave's crowne. 


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 ; l 
If it be forty pence, I will pay all. 

If thou beest a true man, then quoth the miller, 
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 inay'st be a sprite. 

Better I'll know thee, ere hands we will shake ; 

With none but honest men hands will I take. 

Thus they w r ent all along unto the miller's 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. 

Now, quoth hee, let me see here what you are. 

Quoth our king, looke your fill, and doe not spare. 

I like well thy countenance ; thou hast an honest face ; 

With my son Richard this night thou shalt lye. 
Quoth his wife, by my troth, it is a handsome youth ; 

Yet it's best, husband, to deal warilye. 
Art thou no run away, pry thee, youth, tell ? 
Shew me thy passport, and all shal be well. 

Then our king presentlye, making lowe courtesye, 
With his hatt in his hand, thus he did say ; 

I have no passport, nor never was servitor, 
But a poor courtyer, rode out of my way : 

And for your kindness here offered to mee, 

I will requite you in every e degree. 

Then to the miller his wife whisper'd seeretlye, 
Saying, It seemeth this youth's of good kin, 

Both by his apparel, and eke by his manners ; 
To turne him out, certainlye, were a great sin. 

Yea, quoth hee, you may see he hath some grace 

When he doth speake to his betters in place. 

Well, quo' the miller's wife, young man, ye're welcome 
And, though I say it, well lodged shall be : [here ; 

Fresh straw will I have, laid on thy bed so brave, 
And good brown hempen sheets likewise, quoth shee. 

Aye, quoth the good man ; and when that is done, 

Thou shalt lye with no worse than our own sonne. 

i The king says this. 



Nay, first, quoth Richard, good-fellowe, tell me true, 
Hast thou noe creepers within thy gay hose P 

Or art thou not troubled with the scabbado ? 

I pray, quoth the king, what .creatures are those ? 

Art thou not lowsy, nor scabby P quoth he : 

If thou beest, surely thou lyest not with mee. 

This caus'd the king, suddenlye, to laugh most heartilye, 
Till the teares trickled fast downe from his eyes. 

Then to their supper were they set orderlye, 
With hot bag-puddings and good apple-pyes ; 

Nappy ale, good and stale, in a browne bowle, 

Which did about the board merrilye trowle. 

Here, quoth the miller, good fello\ve, I drinke to thee, 
And to all ' cuckholds, wherever they bee.' 

I pledge thee, quoth our king, and thankethee heartilye 
For mye welcome in every good degree : 

And here, in like manner, I drinke to thy sonne. 

Do then, quoth Richard, aud quicke let it come. 

Wife, quoth the miller, fetch me forth lightfoote, 
And of his sweetnesse a little we'll taste. 

A fair ven'son pastye brought she out presentlye. 
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 is, 

For we doe eate of it everye day. 
In what place, sayd our king, may be bought like to this h 

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 king's deer. 

Then I thinke, sayd our king, that it is venison. 

Eche foole, quoth Richard, full well may know that : 
Never are wee without two or three in the roof, 

Very well fleshed, and excellent fat : 
But, prythee, say nothing wherever thou goe ; 
We would not, for two pence, the king should it knowe. 

Doubt not, then sayd the king, my proniist secresye ; 

The king shall never know more on't for mee. 
A cupp of lambs-wool 1 they dranke unto him then, 

And to their bedds they past presentiie. 
The nobles, next morning, went all up and down, 
For to seeke out the king in everye towne. 

1 Lamb's-wool a cant phrase for ale and roasted applet, 


At last, at the miller's ' 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 miller's heart wofully bleede ; 

Shaking and quaking* before him he stood, 

Thinking he should have been hang'd, by the Kood. 

The king perceiving him fearfully trembling, 
Drew forth his sword, but nothing he sea : 

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 knight. 


WHEN as our royall king came home from Nottingham, 
And with his nobles at Westminster lay ; 

Recounting the sports and pastimes they had taken, 
In this late progress along on the way ; 

Of them all, great and small, he did protest, 

The miller of Mansfield's sport liked him best. 

And now, my lords, quoth the king, I am determined 
Against St. George's next sumptuous feast, 

That this old miller, our new confirm'd knight, 
With his son Eichard, 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 kinge's pleasantness, 
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 messenger, 
And grant your ladye her own heart's desire ; 

And to your sonne Eichard good fortune and happiness ; 
That sweet, gentle, and gallant young squire. 

Our king greets you well, and thus he doth say, 

You must come to the court on St. George's day ; 


Therfore, in any case, faile not to be in place. 

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 he hang'd at the least. 
Nay, quoth the messenger, you doe mistake ; 
Our king he provides a great feast for your sake. 

Then sayd the miller, By my troth, messenger, 
Thou hast contented my worshippe full well. 

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 king, 

We'll wayt on his mastershipp in everye thing. 

The pursuivant smiled at their simplicitye, 
And, making many leggs, tooke their reward ; 

And his leave taking with great huniilitye 
To the king's court againe he repair'd ; 

Shewing unto his grace, merry and free, 

The knighte's most liberall gift and bountie. 

When he was gone away, thus gan the miller say, 
Here come expences and charges indeed ; 

Now must we needs be brave, tho' we spend all we have ; 
For of new garments we have great need : 

Of horses and se ving-men we must have store, 

With bridles and, saddles, and twentye things more. 

Tushe, sir John, quoth his wife, why should you frett, or 
You shall ne'er be att no charges for mee ; [frowne P 

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 provide. 

In this most statelye sort, rode they unto the court, 
Their jolly sonne Richard rode foremost of all ; 

Who set up, for good hap, 1 a cock's feather in his cap, 
And so they jetted 2 downe to the king's hall ; 

The merry old miller with hands on his side ; 

His wife, like maid Marian, 3 did mince at that tide. 

1 For good hap i. e. for good luck : they were going on a hazardous 
expedition. 2 Jetted strutted. 

3 Maid Marian, in the morris dance, was represented by a man in woman's 
clothes, who was to take short stepa in order to sustain the female character, 


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 free. 

Quoth Dicke, A bols on you ! do you know mee P 

Quoth our king gentlye, how should I forget thee ? 

That wast my owne bed-fellovve, well it I wot. 
$Tea, sir, quoth Eichard, and by the same token, 

Thou with thy f didst make the bed hot. 

Thou whore-son unhappy knave, then quoth the knight, 
Speake cleanly to our king, or else go . 

The king and his courtiers laugh at this heartily, 
"While the king taketh them both by the hand ; 

With the court-dames, and maids, like to the queen of 

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 board. 

There the king royally, in princelye majestye, 
Sate at his dinner with joy and delight ; 

When they had eaten well, then he to 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 cheer. 

Quoth sir John Cockle, I'll pledge you a pottle, 
Were it the best ale in Nottinghamshire : 

But then said our king, now I think of a thing ; 
Some of your lightfoote I would we had here. 

Ho ! ho ! quoth Eichard, full well I may say it, 

'Tis knavery to eate it, and then to betray it. 

Why art thou angry ? quoth our king merrilye ; 

In faith I take it now very unkind : 
1 thought thou wouldst pledge me in ale and win* 


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 all. 

Aye, marry, quoth our king, that were a daintye thing, 
Could a man get but one here for to eate. [hose ; 

With that Dicke straite arose, and pluckt one from his 
Which with heat of his breech gan to sweate. 


The king made a proffer to snatch it away : 

'Tis meat for your master : good sir, you must stay. 

Thus in great merriment was the time wholly spent ; 

And then the ladyes prepared to dance. 
Old Sir John Cockle, and Richard, incontinent 1 

Unto their places the king did advance. 
Here with the ladyes such sport they did make, 
The nobles with laughing did make their sides ake. 

Many thankes for their paines did the king give them, 
Asking young Richard then, if he would wed ; 

Among these ladyes free, tell me which liketh thee ? 
Quoth he, Jugg Grumball, Sir, with the red head : 

She's my love, she's my life, her will I wed ; 

She hath sworn I shall have her maidenhead. 

Then sir John Cockle the king call'd unto him, 
And of merry Sherwood made him o'er-seer ; 

And gave him out of hand three hundred pound yearlye : 
Take heed now you steale no more of my deer: 

And once a quarter let's here have j r our view ; 

And now, sir John Cockle, I bid you adieu. 


FROM " The Mistresse of Philarete," by George Wither, b. June 11. 
1588, d. May 2,1607. 

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 P 
Or a -well-disposed nature 
Joyned with a lovely feature ? 

1 Incontinent immediately. 


Be shee meeker, kinder, than 

The turtle-dove or pelican : 

If shee be not so to me, 

What eare I how kind shee be P 

Shall a woman's virtues move 
Me to perish for her love ? 
Or, her well-deservings knowne, 
Make me quite forget mine owne P 
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 P 

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 me when I wooe, 
I can scorne and let her goe : 

If shee be not fit for me, 
What care I for whom she be ? 



FROM the folio MS., collated with two printed copies, both in black- 
letter, in the Pepys Collection. The reader will observe the Gothic 
conclusion which the Ballad-maker has engrafted on the story of 

WHEN Troy towne had, for ten yeeres ' past,' 

Withstood the Greekes in manfull wise, 
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 stoode. 

./Eneas, wandering prince of Troy, 

When he for land long time had sought, 
At length arriving with great joy, 

To mighty Carthage walls was brought ; 
Where Dido queene, with sumptuous feast, 
Did entertaine that wandering guest. 

And, as in hall at meate they sate, 

The queene, desirous newes to heare, 
' Says, of thy Troy's 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 deepe, 
That oft he made them all to weepe. 

And then a thousand sighes he fet, 

And every sigh brought teares amaine ; 
That where he sate the place was wett, 

As though he had seene those warrs againe : 
Soe that the queene, with ruth therfore, 
Said, Worthy prince, enough, no more. 

And then the darksome night drew on, 

And twinkling starres the skye bespred ; 
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 fled, 
And Phoebus, 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 sayd : 

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 forbeare, 

And stay thy hand from bloudy stroke ; 
Yet fancy bids thee not to fear, 

Which fetter'd thee in Cupid's yoke. 
Come death, quoth shee, resolve my smart I- 
And with those words shee peerced her hart. 

When death had pierced the tender hart 

Of Dido, Carthaginian queene ; 
Whose bloudy knife did end the smart, 

Which shee sustain'd in mournfull teene ; l 
^neas 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 sister's teares her tombe bestrewde ; 
Her subject's griefe their kindnesse shewed. 

1 Teene sorrow. 


Then was JEneas 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 gall, 

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. 

JEueas, 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 howle, 

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 day. 
O doe not frowne ; thy angry looke 
Hath ' all my soule with horror shooke.' 1 

1 MS. Hath made my breath my life forsooke. 


But, woe is me ! all is in vaine, 
And bootless is my dismall crye ; 

Time will not be recalled againe, 
Nor thou surcease before I dye. 

lett me live, and make amends 
To some of my most dearest friends. 

But seeing tliou obdurate art, 
And wilt no pittye on me show, 

Because from tlice I did depart, 
And left unpaid what I did owe : 

1 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 south, 

I snatch'd this morsell out of her mouth. 


I have beene gathering wolve's haires, 
The madd dogges foames, and adder's eares ; 
The spurging of a deadman's 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 
Form charnell houses that were full ; 
Prom 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 nose. 


I had a dagger : what did I with that P 
Killed an infant to have his fat. 
A piper it got at a church-ale. 1 . 
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 danc'd i' the ayre. 


The scrich-owle's egges and the feathers blacke, 
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 2 in. 


And I ha' beene plucking (plants among) 
Hemlock, henbane, adders-tongue, 
Night-shade, moone-wort, libbards-bane ; 
And twise by the dogges was like to be tane. 

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 braine. 

1 Church-ale a wake. * Cranio 

E K 


11 WITCH. 

I went to the toad, breedcs 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 batt's wing : what would you have more P 


Yes : I have brought, to helpe your vows, 
Horned poppie, cypresse boughes, 

The fig-tree wild, that growes on tombes, 
And juice, that from the larch- tree comes, 
The basiliske's bloud, and the viper's skin : 
And now our orgies let's begin. 


ALIAS Pucke, alias Hobgoblin, in the creed of ancient superstition, was 
a kind of merry sprite, whose character and achievements are recorded 
in this Ballad, and in the well-known lines of Milton's L'Allegro. 

FEOM Oberon, in fairye land, 

The king of ghosts and shadowes there, 
Mad Robin I, at his command, 
Am sent 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 1 soone, 
And, in a minute's space, descrye 
Each thing that's done belowe themoone. 

There's not a hag, 

Or ghost shall wag, 
Or cry, ware Groblins ! where I go ; 

But Robin I 

Their feates will spy, 
And send them home, with ho, ho, ho ! 

1 Welkin the gty. 


Whene'er such wanderers I meete, 

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 a hound ; 
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, 

With possets and with juncates 1 fine ; 
Unseene of all the company, 

I eat their cakes, and sip their wine ; 
And, to make sport, 

I and snort ; 

And out the candles I do blow : 
The msvida I kiss ; 
They shrieke Who's this ? 
I answer nought, but ho, ho, ho ! 

Yet now and then, the maids to please, 

At midnight I card up their wooll ; 
And while they sleepe, and take their ease, 
With wheel to threads their flax I pull. 
I grind at mill 
Their malt up still ; 
I dress their hemp, I spin their tow. 
If any 'wake, 
And would me take, 
I wend me, laughing, ho, ho, ho ! 

1 Juucatea daintiet. 


When house or harth doth sluttish lye, 
I pinch the maidens black and blue ; 
The bed-clothes from the bedd pull I, 
And lay them naked all to view. 

'Twixt sleepe and wake, 

I do them take, 
And on the key-cold 1 floor them throw. 

If out they cry, 

Then forth I fly, 
And loudly laugh out, ho, ho, ho ! 

When any need to borrowe ought, 

We lend them what they do require : 
And for the use demand we nought ; , 
Our owne is all we do desire. 

If to repay, 

They do delay, 
Abroad amongst them then I go, 

And night by night, 

I them affright 
With pinchings, dreames, and ho, ho, ho ! 

When lazie queans have nought to do, 

But study how to cog 2 and lye ; 
To make debate and mischief too, 
'Twixt one another secretlye : 

I marke their gloze, 3 

And it disclose, 
To them whom they have wrongM so ; 

When I have done, 

I get me gone, 
And leave them scolding, ho, ho, ho ! 

When men do traps and engins set 

In loop-holes, where the vermine creepe, 
Who from their foldes and houses get 

Their duckes and geese, and lambes and sheepe 

I spy the gin, 

And enter in, 
And seeme a vermine taken so j 

But when they there 

Approach me neare, 
I leap out laughing, ho, ho, ho ! 

1 Key-cold eery cold. * Cog cheat. 3 Gloze dissimulation. 


By wells and rills, in meadowes greene, 
We nightly dance our hey-day guise ; 
And to our fairye king and queene 
We chant our moon-light minstrelsies. 

When larks 'gin sing, 

Away we fling ; 
And babes new borne steal as we go. 

And elfe in bed 

We leave instead, 
And wend us laughing, ho, ho, ho ! 

Prom hag-bred Merlin's time have I 

Thus nightly revell'd to and fro : 

And for my pranks men call me by 

The name of Robin Good-fellow. 

Fiends, ghosts, and sprites, 

Who haunt the nightes, 
The hags and goblins do me know ; 

And beldames old 

My feates have told ; 
So Vale, Vale; ho, ho, ho! 


WE have here a short display of the popular belief concerning Fairies. 
Dr. Rimbault mentions an early copy of this Ballad in a Tract 
entitled, " A Description of the King and Queen of Fairies, &c., 1635." 
This Song is given (with some corrections) from a book entitled 
" The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence, &c." 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 houshold maid, 
And duely she is paid: 
For we use before we goe 
To drop a tester 1 in her shoe. 

Upon a mushroome's head 
Our table-cloth we spread ; 
A grain of rye, or wheat, 
Is manchet, 2 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. 

1 Tester sixpence. 
* Manchet best kind of white bread. 



FAREWELL rewards and Fairies ! 

Good housewives now mav say ; 
For now fouie sluts in dairies 

Doe fare as well as they : 
And though they sweepe their hearths no less 

Than mayds were wont to doe, 
Yet 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 ; 
Were footed in queene Marie's 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. 


ISoofc SEE. 

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, though now the plaything of 
children, was once in high repute. 

The author, Richard Johnson, lived in the reigns of Elizabeth and 
James I., and the " History of the Seven Champions" is quoted as a 
popular book so early as 1598. It contains some strong Gothic 
painting, together with the richer colours of old Arabian romance. 
Warton thought Spenser to have been acquainted with the story, and 
observed that the departure of each of his twelve knights "from one 
place by a different way, to perform a different adventure, exactly 
resembles that of the seven knights entering upon their several expe- 
ditions in the Romance." 

The following Ballad, for the most part, is modern. 

LISTEN, lords, in bower and hall, 

I sing the wonderous birth 
Of brave St. George, whose valorous 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-begone, 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. 

Ana 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 yevrs o'erhung; 

Where cypress spred its mournful boughs, 
And pois'nous nightshade sprung. 

No chearful gleams here pierc'd the gloom ; 

He hears no chearful sound ; 
But shrill night-rave***' yelling scream, 

And serpents hissing round. 

The shriek of fiends and daiunM ghosts 

Kan 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, rouzing 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 tip 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 advanc'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 to 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 grieve, 

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, 
" We ran to see our little lord : 

"Our little lord was gone ! 

" But how or where we could not tell ; 

" For lying on the ground, 
" In deep and magic slumbers laid, 

" The nurses there we found." 

O grief on grief! lord Albert said: 

No more his tongue cou'd say, 
When falling in a deadly swoone, 

Long time he lifeless lay. 

At length restor'd to life and sense 

He nourisht endless woe ; 
No future joy his heart could taste, 

No future comfort know. 

So withers on the mountain top 

A fair and stately oake, 
Whose vigorous arms are torne away 

By some rude thunder-stroke. 


At length his castle irksome grew ; 

He loathes his wonted home ; 
His native country he forsakes, 

In foreign lands to roame. 

There up and downe he wandered far, 
. Clad in a palmer's gown : 

Till his brown locks grew white as wool, 
His beard as thistle clown. 

At length, all wearied, down, in death 
He laid his reverend head. 

Meantime amid the lonely wilds 
His little son was bred. 

There the weird lady of the woods 

Had borne him far away, 
And train'd him up in feates of armes, 

And every martial play. 


CORRECTED from two ancient black-letter copies in the Pepys Collec- 
tion. The story of St. George and the faire Sabra is taken almost 
verbatim from the legend of " Syr Bevis of Hampton," an antique 
poem very famous in Chaucer's time. 

OF Hector's deeds did Homer sing ; 

And of the sack of stately Troy, 
What griefs fair Helena did bring, 

Which was sir Paris' only joy : 
And by my pen I will recite 
St. George's deeds, an English knight. 

Against the Sarazens so rude 

Fought he full long and many a day; 

Where many gyants he subdu'd, 

In honour of the Christian way : 

And after many adventures past 

To Egypt land he came at last. 

Now, as the story plain doth tell, 

Within that countrey there did rest 

A dreadful dragon fierce and fell, 

Whereby they were full sore opprest : 

Who by his poisonous breath each day, 

Did many of the city slay. 


The grief whereof did grow so great 
Throughout the limits of the land, 

That they their wise-men did intreat 
To shew their cunning out of hand j 

What way they might this fiend destroy, 

That did the countrey thus annoy. 

The wise-men all before the ting 

This answer fram'd incontinent ; 
The dragon none to death might bring 

By any means they could invent : 
His skin more hard than brass was found, 
That sword nor spear could pierce nor wound. 

When this the people understood, 

They cryed out most piteouslye, 
The dragon's breath infects their blood, 

That every day in heaps they dye : 
Among them such a plague it bred, 
The living scarce cotild bury the dead. 

No means there were, as they coiild hear, 

For to appease the dragon's rage, 
But to present some virgin clear, 

Whose blood his fury might asswage ; 
Each day he would a maiden eat, 
For to allay his hunger great. 

This thing by art the wise-men found, 

Which truly must observed be ; 
Wherefore throughout the city round 

A virgin pure of good degree 
Was by the king's commission still 
Taken up to serve the dragon's will. 

Thus did the dragon every day 

Untimely crop some virgin flowr, 
Till all the maids were worn away, 

And none were left him to devour : 
Saving the king's fair daughter bright, 
Her father's only heart's delight. 

Then came the officers to the king 

That heavy message to declare. 
Which did his heart with sorrow sting 5 

She is, quoth he, my kingdom's lioir: 
O let us all be poisoned here, 
Ere she should die, that is my deal 1 . 


Then rose the people presently, 

And to the king in rage they went j 

They said his daughter dear should dye, 
The dragon's fury to prevent : 

Our daughters all are dead, quoth they, 

And have been made the dragon's prey : 

And by their blood we rescued were, 

And thou hast sav'd thy life therebyj 

And now in sooth it is but faire, 

For us thy daughter so should die. 

O save my daughter, said the king ; 

And let ME feel the dragon's sting. 

Then fell fair Sabra on her knee, 
And to her father dear did say, 

O father, strive not thus for me, 

But let me be the dragon's prey; 

It may be, for my sake alone 

This plague upon the land was thrown. 

'Tis better I should dye, she said, 

Than all your subjects perish quite; 

Perhaps the dragon here was laid, 

For my offence to work his spite : 

And after he hath suckt my gore, 

Your land shall feel the grief no more. 

What hast thou done, my daughter dear, 
For to deserve this heavy scourge P 

It is my fault, as may appear, 

Which makes the gods our state to purge ; 

Then ought I die, to stint the strife, 

And to preserve thy happy life. 

Like mad-men, all the people cried, 
Thy death to us can do no good ; 

Our safety only doth abide 

In making her the dragon's food. 

Lo ! here I am, I come, quoth she, 

Therefore do what you will with me. 

Nay stay, dear daughter, quoth the queen, 
And as thou art a virgin bright, 

That hast for vertue famous been, 

So let me cloath thee all in white ; 

And crown thy. head with flowers sweet, 

An ornament for virgins meet. 


And when she was attired so, 

According to her mother's mind, 
Unto the stake then did sho go ; 

To which her tender limbs they bind/ 
And being bound to stake a thrall, 
She bade farewell unto them all. 

Farewell, my father dear, quoth she, 

And my sweet mother meek and mild ; 

Take you no thought nor weep for me? 
]?or you may have another child : 

Since for my country's good I dye, 

Death I receive most willinglye. 

The king and queen and all their train 

With weeping eyes went then their way. 

And let their daughter there remain, 
To be the hungry dragon's prey : 

But as she did there weeping lye, 

Behold St. George came riding by. 

And seeing there a lady bright 

So rudely tyed unto a stake, 
As well became a valiant knight, 

He straight to her his way did take : 
Tell me, sweet maiden, then quoth he, 
What caitif thus abuseth thee ? 

And, lo ! by Christ his cross I vow, 

Which here is figured oil my breast, 

I will revenge it on his brow, 

And break my lance upon his chest : 

And speaking thus whereas he stood, 

The dragon issued from the wood. 

The lady that did first espy 

The dreadful dragon coming so, 
\Tnto St. George aloud did cry, 

And willed him away to go ; 
Here comes that cursM fiend, quoth she, 
That soon will make an end of me. 

St. George then looking round about, 

The fiery dragon soon espy'd, 
And like a knight of courage stout, 

Against him did most fiercely ride ; 
And with such blows he did him greet, 
He fell beneath his horse's feet. 
L L 

S Oi' A.NCii-NT 

For with his launce that \vas so strong, 

As Le came gaping in his face, 
In at his mouth he thrust along ; 

.For he could pierce no other place : 
And thus within the lady's vie\v 
This mighty dragon straight he slew. 

The savour of his poisoned breath 

Could do this holy knight no hare. 

Thus he the lady sav'd from death, 
And home he led her by the arm j 

Which when king Ptolemy did see, 

There was great mirth and melody. 

When as that valiant champion there 
Had slain the dragon in the field, 

To court he brought the lady fair, 

Which to their hearts much joy did yield. 

He in the court of Egypt staid 

Till he most falsely was betray'd. 

That lady dearly lov'd the knight, 

He counted her his only joy ; 
But when their love was brought to light, 

It turn'd unto their great annoy : 
Th' Morocco king was in the court, 
Who to the orchard did resort, 

Dayly to take the pleasant air, 

For pleasure sake he us'd to walk, 

Under a wall he oft did hear 

St. George with lady Sabra talk : 

Their love he shew'd untq the king, 

Which to St. George great woe did briug. 

Those kings together did devise 

To make the Christian knight away. 

With letters him in curteous wise 
They straightway sent to Persia : 

But wrote to the Sophy him to kill, 

And treacherously his blood to spill. 

Thus they for good did him reward 

With evil, and most subtilly 
By such vile meanes they had regard 

To work his death most cruelly ; 
Who, as through Persia land he rode, 
With zeal destroy 'd each idol god. 


For which offence he straight was thrown 

Into a dungeon dark and deep ; 
Where, when lie thought his wrongs upon, 

He bitterly did wail and weep : 
Yet like a knight of courage stout, 
At length his way he digged out. 

Three grooms of the king of Persia 

By night this valiant champion slew, 

Though he had fasted many a day ; 

And then away from thence he flew 

On the best steed the Sophy had ; 

Which when he knew he was full mad. 

Towards Christendom he made his flight, 

But met a gyant by the way, 
With whom in combat he did fight 

Most valiantly a summer's day : 
Who yet, for all his bats of steel, 
Was forc'd the sting of death to feel. 

Back o'er the seas with many bands 
Of warlike souldiers soon he past, 

Vowing upon those heathen lands 

To work revenge ; which at the last, 

Ere thrice three years were gone and spent, 

He wrought unto his heart's content. 

Save onely Egypt land he spar'd 

For Sabra bright her only sake, 
And, ere for her he had regard, 

He meant a tryal kind to make : 
Mean while the king, o'ercorne in field, 
Unto St. George did quickly yield. 

Then straight Morocco's king he slew, 

And took fair Sabra to his wife ; 
But meant to try if she were true 

Ere with her he would lead his life : 
And, tho" he had her in his train, 
She did a virgin pure remain. 

Toward England then that lovely dame 
The brave St. George conducted strait, 

An eunuch also with them came, 
Who did upon the lady wait ; 

These three from Egypt went alone. 

Now mark St. George's valour shown. 

LL 2 


When as they in a forest were, 
The lady did desire to rest ; 

Mean while St. George to kill a deer 
For their repast did think it best : 

Leaving her with the eunuch there, 

Whilst he did go to kill the deer. 

But lo ! all in his absence came 

Two hungry lyons fierce and fell, 

And tore the eunuch on the same 

In pieces small, the truth to te)l ; 

Down by the lady then they laid, 

Whereby they shew'd she was a maid. 

But when he came from hunting back, 
And did behold this heavy chance, 

Then for his lovely virgin's sake 

His courage strait he did advance, 

And came into the lion's sight, 

Who ran at him with all their might. 

Their rage did him no whit dismay, 

Who, like a stout and valiant knight, 

Did both the hungry lyons slay 
Within the lady Sabra's sight : 

Who all this while, sad and demure, 

There stood most like a virgin pure. 

Now when St. George did surely know 
This lady was a virgin true, 

His heart was glad, that erst was woe, 
And all his love did soon renew : 

He set her on a palfrey steed, 

And towards England came with speed. 

Where being in short space arriv'd 
Unto his native dwelling place , 

Therein with his dear love he liv'd, 
And fortune did his nuptials grace : 

They many years of joy did see, 

And led their lives at Coventry. 


This ancient Song is g'ven from a modern copy. 

OVER the mountains, 

And over the waves ; 
Under the fountains, 

And under the graves ; 
Under floods that are deepest, 

Which Neptune obey; 
Over rocks that are steepest, 

Love will find out the way. 

Where there is no place 

For the glow-worm to lye ; 
Where there is no space 

For receipt of a fly; 
Where the midge dares not venture, 

Lest herself fast she- lay; 
If love come, he will enter, 

And soon find out his way. 

You may esteem him 

A child for his might ; 
Or you may deem him 

A coward from his flight : 
But if she, whom love doth honour, 

Be conceal'd from the day, 
Set a thousand guards upon her, 

Love will find out the way. 

Some think to lose him, 

By having him confin'd ; 
And some do suppose him, 

Poor thing, to be blind ; 
But if ne'er so close ye wall him, 

Do the best that you may, 
Blind love, if so ye call him, 

Will find out his way. 

You may train the eagle 

To stoop to your fist ; 
Or you may inveigle 

The pnenix of the east ; 
The lioness, ye may move her 

To give o'er her prey j 
But you 11 ne'er etop a lover i 

H trill find out hi* way. 



PF.F.MS to be composed with improvements out of two ancient Eng- 
lish ballads printed in the former part of this volume. It is given, xvitli 
Borne corrections, from a MS. copy transmitted from Scotland. 

LORD Thomas and fair Annet 

Sate a' day on a hill ; 
Whan night \vas cum, and sun was sett, 

They had not talkt their fill. 

Lord Thomas said a word in jest ; 

Fair Annet took it ill : 
A' ! I will nevir wed a wife 

Against my ain friends' will. 

Gif ye wull nevir wed a wife, 

A wife wull neir wed yee. 
Sac he is hame to tell his mither, 

And knelt upon his knee : 

O rede, O rede, mither, he says, 
A gude rede gie to mee : 

sail I tak the nut-browne bride, 
And let faire Annet bee P 

The nut-browne bride haes gowd and gear, 

Fair Annet she has gat nane ; 
And the little beauty fair Annet has, 

O it wull soon be gane ! 

And he has till his brother gane : 

Now, brother, rede ye mee ; 
A' sail I marrie the nut-browne bride, 

And let fair Annet bee ? 

The nut-browne bride has oxen, brother, 
The nut-browne bride has kye ; 

1 wad hae ye marrie the nut-browne bride, 
And cast fair Annet bye. 

Her oxen may dye i' the house, Billie, 

And her kye into the byre ; 
And I sail hae nothing to ray sell, 

Bot a fat fadge 1 by the fyre. 

1 Fudge I nn;!!e. 


And he has till his sister gane : 

Now, sister, rede ye mee ; 
O sail I marrie the nut-brow ne bride, 

And set fair Annet free P 

Ise rede ye tak fair Annet, Thomas, 

And let the browne bride alane ; 
Lost ye sould sigh and say, Alace ! 

What is this we brought hame ? 

No, I will tak my mither's counsel, 

And marrie me owt o' hand ; 
And I will tak the nut-browne -bride ; 

Pair Annet may leive the land. 

Up then rose fair Annet's father 

T\va hours or it wer day, 
And he is gane into the bower, 

Wherein fair Annet lay. 

Rase up, rise up, fair Annet, he says, 

Put on your silken sheene ; 
Let us gae to St. Marie's kirke, 

And see that rich weddeen. 

My inaides, gae to my dressing-roome, 

And dress to me my hair ; 
Whair-eir yee laid a plait before, 

See yee lay ten times mair. 

My maids, gae to my dressing-room, 

And dress to me my smock ; 
The one half is o' the holland fine, 

The other o' needle-work. 

The horse fair Annet rade upon, 

He amblit like the wind ; 
Wi' siller he was shod before, 

Wi' burning gowd behind. 

Four and twanty siller bells 

Wer a' tyed till his mane, 
And yae tit't 1 o' the norland wind, 

They tinkled ane by ane. 

Four and twanty gay gude knichta 

Bade by fair Annet's side, 
And four and twanty fair ladies, 

As gin she had bin a bride. 

1 lift puff oftcind. 


And whnn she cam to Marie's kirk, 
She sat on Marie's stean : 

The cleading that fair Annet had on 
It skinklcd 1 in (heir cen. 

Arid whan she cam into the kirk, 
She shimmer'cl 2 like the sun ; 

The belt that was about her waist, 
Was a* wi' pearles bedone. 

She sat her by the nut-browue bride, 
And her een they wer sae clear, 

Lord Thomas he clean forgat the bride, 
When fair Annet she drew near. 

He had a rose into his hand, 
And he gave it kisses three, 

And reaching by the nut-browne bride, 
Laid it on fair Annet 's knee. 

Up than spak the nut-browne 

She spak wi' rncikle spite ; 
And whair gat ye that rose-water, 

That does mak yee sae white ? 

O I did get the rose-water 
Whair ye wull neir get nane, 

For I did get that very rose-water 
Into my mither's wanje. 3 

The bride she drew a long bodkin, 

Frae out her gay head-gear, 
And strake fair Annet unto the heart, 

That word she never spak mair. 

Lord Thomas he saw fair Annet wex pale, 
And marvelit what mote bee : 

But whan he saw her dear heart's blude, 
A' wood-wroth 4 wexed hee. 

He drew his dagger, that was sae sharp, 
That was sae sharp and meet, 

And drave into the nut-browne bride, 
That fell deid at his feit. 

, * Shimmered i 

( Wn wff>. ' Atari inra ./:.'. >.'>. 


Now stay for me, dear Anuet, he sed. 

Now stay, my dear, he cry'd ; 
Then strake the dagger untill his heart, 

And fell deid by her side. 

Lord Thomas was buried without kirk-wa', 

Fair Annet within the quiere ; 
And o' the tane thair grew a birk, 

The other a bonny briere. 

And ay they grew, and ay they threw, 

As they wad faine be neare ; 
jLnd by this ye may ken right weil, 

They were twa luvers deare. 


FROM Poems by Thomas Carew [b. 1589, d. 1C39]. He was in the 
household of Charles I., and wrote some very graceful and refined 
verses. The third stanza is omitted, as being of unequal merit. 

HEE, that loves a rosie cheeke, 

Or a corall lip admires, 
Or from star-like eyes doth seeke 

Fuell to maintaine his fires, 
As old time makes these decay, 
So his flames must waste away. 

But a smooth and stedfast mind, 
Gentle thoughts, and calme desires, 

Hearts with equal love combin'd, 
Kindle never-dying fires : 

Where these are not, I despise 

Lovely cheekes, or lips, or eyes. 
# # * * * 



Tins Ballad inspired the well-known Play, by George Lillo, first acted 
about 1730. The narrative, which seems to be founded on fact, was 
printed before the middle of the seventeenth century. 


ALL youths of fair England 

That dwell both far and near, 
Kegard my story that I tell, 

And to my song give ear. 

A London lad I was, 

A merchant's prentice bound ; 
My name George Barnwell ; that did spend 

My master many a pound. 

Take heed of harlots then, 

And their enticing trains ; 
For by that means I have been brought 

To hang alive in chains. 

As I, upon a day, 

Was walking through the street 
About my master's business, 

A wanton I did meet. 

A gallant dainty dame, 

And sumptuous in attire ; 
With smiling look she greeted me, 

And did my name require. 

Which when I had declar'd, 

She gave me then a kiss, 
And said, if I would come to her, 

I should have more than this. 

Fair mistress, then quoth I, 

If I the place may know, 
This evening I will be with you, 

For I abroad must go 

To gather monies in, 

That are my master's due : 
And ere that I do home return, 

I'll come and visit you. 


Good Barawell, then quoth she, 

Do thou to Shoreditch come, 
And ask for Mrs. Millwood's house, 

Next door unto the Gun. 

And trust me on my truth, 

If thou keep touch with me, 
My dearest friend, as my own heart 

Thou shalt right welcome be. 

Thus parted we in peace, 

And home I passed right ; 
Then went abroad, and gathered in, 

By six o'clock at night, 

An hundred pound and one : 

With bag under my arm 
I went to Mrs. Millwood's house, 

And thought on little harm ; 

And knocking at the door, 

Straightway herself came down ; 
Hustling in most brave attire, 

With hood and silken gown. 

Who, through her beauty bright, 

So gloriously did shine, 
That she amaz'd my dazzling eyes, 

She seemed so divine. 

She took me by the hand, 

And with a modest grace, 
Welcome, sweet Barnwell, then quoth she, 

Unto this homely place. 

And since I have thee found 

As good as thy word to be : 
A homely supper, ere we part, 

Thou shalt take here with me. 

O pardon me, quoth I, 

Fair mistress, I you pray ; 
For why, out of my master's house, 

So long 1 dare not stay. 

Alas, good sir, she said, 

Are you so strictly ty'd, 
You may not with your dearest friend 

One hour or two abide P 


Faith, then the case is hard: 

If it be so, quoth she, 
I would I were a prentice bound, 

To live along with thee : 

Therefore, my dearest George, 
List well what I shall say, 

And do not blame a woman much, 
Her fancy to bewray. 

Let not affection's force 

Be counted lewd desire ; 
IS"or think it not immodesty, 

I should thy love require. 

With that she turn'd aside, 
And with a blushing red, 

A mournful motion she bewray 'd 
By hanging down her head. 

A handkerchief she had 

All wrought with silk and gold : 

Which she to stay her trickling tears 
Before her eyes did hold. 

This thing unto my sight 

Was wondrous rare and strange ; 

And in my soul and inward thought 
It wrought a sudden change : 

That I so hardy grew, 
To take her by the hand : 

Saying, Sweet mistress, why do you 
So dull and pensive stand ? 

Call me no mistress now, 
But Sarah, thy true friend, 

Thy servant, Millwood, honouring thee, 
Until her life hath end. 

If thou wouldst here alledge, 

Thou art in years a boy ; 
So was Adonis, yet was he 

Fair Venus' only joy. 

Thus I, who ne'er before 
Of woman found such grace, 

But seeing now so fair a dame 
Give me a kind embrace, 


I supt with her that night, 

With joys that did abound ; 
And for the same paid presently, 

In money twice three pound. 

An hundred kisses then 

For my farewel she gave ; 
Crying, Sweet Barnwell, when shall I 

Again thy company have P 

O stay not hence too long, 

Sweet George ; have me in mind. 

Her words bewicht my childishness, 
She uttered them so kind : 

So that I made a vow, 

Next Sunday without fail, 
With my sweet Sarah once again 

To tell some pleasant tale. 

When she heard me say so, 

The tears fell from her eye ; 
O George, quoth she, if thou dost fail, 

Thy Sarah sure will dye. 

Though long, yet loe ! at last, 

The appointed day was come, 
That I must with my Sarah meet j 

Having a mighty sum 

Of money in my hand, 1 

Unto her house went I, 
Whereas my love upon her bed 

In saddest sort did lye. 

What ails my heart's delight, 

My Sarah dear ? quoth I ; 
Let not my love lament and grieve, 

Nor sighing pine, and die. 

But tell me, dearest friend, 

What may thy woes amend, 
And thou shalt lack no means of help, 

Though forty pound I spend. 

1 The having a sum of money with him on Sunday, &c. shows this narrative 
to have been penned before the civil wars. The strict observance of the 
Sabbath was owing to the change of manners at that period. 


"With that she turn'd her head, 

And sickly thus did say, 
Oh me, sweet George, ray grief is great, 

Ten pound I have to pay 

Unto a cruel wretch ; 

And God he knows, quoth she, 
I have it not. Tush, rise, I said, 

And take it here of me. 

Ten pounds, nor ten times ten, 
Shall make my love decay. 

Then from my bag into her lap, 
I cast ten pound straightway. 

All blithe and pleasant then, 

To banqueting we go ; 
She proffered me to lye with her, 

And said it should be so. 

And after that same time, 

I gave her store of coyn, 
Yea, sometimes fifty pound at once ; 

All which I did purloyn. 

And thus I did pass on ; 

Until my master then 
Did call to have his reckoning in 

Cast up among his men. 

The which when as I heard, 

I knew not what to say : 
For well I knew that I was out 

Two hundred pound that day. 

Then from my master straight 

I ran in secret sort ; 
And unto Sarah Millwood there 

My case I did report. 

" But how she us'd this youth, 
" In this his care and woe, 

" And all a strumpet's wiley ways, 
" The SECOND PAET may showe." 


YOUNG Barnwell comes to thee, 
Sweet Sarah, my delight; 

I am undone, unless thou stand 
My faithful friend this night. 


Our master to accompts 

Hath just occasion fouiid ; 
And I am caught behind the hand 

Above two hundred pound : 

And now his wrath to 'scape, 

My love, I fly to thee, 
Hoping some time I may remaine 

In safety here with thee. 

With that she knit hei* brows, 

And looking all aquoy, 1 
Quoth she, What should I have to do 

With any prentice boy ? 

And seeing you have purloyu'd 

Your master's goods away, 
The case is bad, and therefore here 

You shall no longer stay. 

Why, dear, thou know'st, I said, 

How all which I could get, 
I gave it, and did spend it all 

Upon thee every whit. 

Quoth she, Thou art a knave, 

To charge me in this sort, 
Being a woman of credit fair, 

And known of good report : 

Therefore I tell thee flat, 

Be packing with good speed ; 
I do defie thee from my heart, 

And scorn thy filthy deed. 

Is this the friendship that 

You did to me protest ? 
Is this the great affection which 

You so to me exprest P 

]N"ow fie on subtle shrews ! 

The best is, I may speed 
To get a lodging any -where 

For money in my need. 

False woman, now farewell, 

Whilst twenty pound doth last, 
My anchor in sonic other haven 

With freedom I will cast. 

1 Aquoy tliyly. 


When she perceiv'd by this, 
I had store of money there : 

Stay, George, quoth she, thou art too quick ; 
Why, man, I did but jeer : 

Dost think for all mv speech, 

That I would let thee go P 
Faith no, said she, my love to thee 

I wiss is more than so. 

You scorne a prentice boy, 
I heard you just now swear, 

Wherefore I will not trouble you. 
Nay, George, hark in thine ear ; 

Thou shalt not go to-night, 

What chance soe're befall : 
But man we'll have a bed for thee, 

else the devil take all. 

So I by wiles bewitcht, 
And snar'd with fancy still, 

Had then no power to ' get' away, 
Or to withstand her will. 

For wine on wine I call'd, 
And cheer upon good cheer ; 

And nothing in the world I thought 
For Sarah's love too dear. 

Whilst in her company, 

1 had such merriment ; 
All, all too little I did think, 

That I upon her spent. 

A fig for care and thought ! 

When all my gold is gone, 
In faith, my girl, we will have more, 

Whoever I light upon. 

My father's rich, why then 
Should I want store of gold? 

Nay with a father sure, quoth she, 
A son may well make bold. 

I've a sister richly wed, 

I'll rob her ere I'll want. 
Nay then, quoth Sarah, they may well 

Consider of your scant. 


Nay, I an uncle have ; 

At Ludlow he doth dwell : 
He is a grazier, which in wealth 

Doth all the rest excell. 

Ere I will live in lack, 

And have no coyn for thee : 
I'll rob his house, and murder him. 

Why should you not ? quoth she : 

Was I a man, ere I 

Would live in poor estate ; 
On father, friends, and all my kin, 

I would my talons grate. 

For without money, George, 

A man is but a beast : 
But bringing money, thou shalt be 

Always my welcome guest. 

For shouldst thou be pursued 

With twenty hues and cryes, 
And with a warrant searched for 

With Argus' hundred eyes, 

Yet here thou shalt be safe ; 

Such privy ways there be, 
That if they sought an hundred years, 

They could not find out thee. 

And so carousing both 

Their pleasures to content : 
George Barnwell had in little space 

His money wholly spent. 

Which done, to Ludlow straight 

He did provide to go, 
To rob his wealthy uncle there } 

His minion would it so. 

And once he thought to take 

His father by the way, 
But that he fear'd his master had 

Took order for his stay. 1 

1 . . for stopping, and apprehending him at his father's. 
M M 


Unto his uncle then 

He rode with might and main, 
"Who with a welcome and good cheer 

Did Barnwell entertain. 

One fortnight's space he stayed, 

Until it chanced so, 
His uncle with his cattle did 

Unto a market go. 

His kinsman rode with him, 
Where he did see right plain, 

Great store of money he had took : 
When coming home again, 

Sudden within a wood, 
He struck his uncle down, 

And beat his brains out of his head ; 
So sore he crackt his crown. 

Then seizing fourscore pound, 
To London straight he hyed, 

And unto Sarah Millwood all 
The cruell fact descryed. 1 

Tush, 'tis no matter, George, 

So we the money have 
To have good cheer in jolly sort, 

And deck us fine and brave. 

Thus lived in filthy sort, 
Until their store was gone : 

When means to get them any more, 
I wis, poor George had none. 

Therefore in railing sort, 

She thrust him out of door : 

Which is the just reward of those 
Who spend upon a whore. 

O ! do me not disgra<-e 
In this my need, quoth he. 

She call'd him thief and murderer, 
With all the spight might be : 

To the constable she sent, 
To have him apprehended ; 

And shewed how far, in each degree, 
He had the laws ofiended. 

* Descryed <LesCrib4, 


When Barnwell saw her drift, 

To sea he got straightway ; 
Where fear and sting of conscience 

Continually on him 

Unto the lord mayor then, 

He did a letter write ; 
In which his own-and Sarah's fault 

He did at large recite. 

Whereby she seized was 

And then to Ludlow sent : 
Whore she was judg'd, condcmn'd, ind hang'd, 

For murder incontinent. 

There dyed this gallant quean, 1 

Such was her greatest gains : 
For murder in Polonia 

Was Barnwell hang'd in chains. 

Lo ! here's the end of youth, 

That after harlots haunt ; 
Who in the spoil of other men 

About the streets do flaunt. 



HENCE away, thou Syren, leave me, 

Pish ! unclaspe these wanton armes ; 
Sugred words can ne'er deceive me, 

(Though thou prove a thousand charmes): 
Fie, fie, forbeare ; 
No common snare 
Dan ever my affection chaine : 
Thy painted baits, 
And poore deceits, 
Are all bestowed on me in vaine". 

1 Q'.iean base woman. 
M M 2 


I'me no slave to such as you be ; 

Neither shall that snowy brest, 
Rowling eye. and lip of ruby 
Ever robb nio of my rest: 
Goe, goe, display 
Thy hcautie's ray 

To some more soone enamour'd swain: 
Those common wiles 
Of sighs and smiles 
Are all bestowed on me in vaine. 

I have elsewhere vowed a dutie ; 

Turne away thy tempting eye : 
Shew not me a painted beautie ; 
These impostures I defie : 
My spirit lothes 
Whore gawdy clothes 
And faiued othes may love obtaine : 
I love her so, 
Whose looke sweares No ; 
That all your labours will be vaine. 

Can he prize the tainted posies, 

Which on every brest are worne ; 
That may plucke the virgin roses 

From their never-touched thorne P 
I can goe rest 
On her sweet brest, 
That is the pride of Cynthia's trainer 
Then stay thy tongue ; 
Thy mermaid song 
Is all bestowed on me in vaine. 

Hee's a foole, that basely dallies, 

Where each peasant mates with him ; 
Shall I haunt the thronged rallies, 

Whilst ther's noble hils to climbe? 
No, no, though clownes 
Are scar'd with frownes, 
I know the best can but disdaine; 
And those lie prove : 
So will thy love 
Be all bestowed on me in vaine. 

I doe scorne to vow a dutie, 

Where each lustfull lad may wooe: 
Give me her, whose sun-like beautie 

Buzzards dare not soare unto : 


Shec, shee it is 

Affoords that blisse 
For which I would refuse no paine : 

But such as" you, 

Fond fooles, adieu ; 
You seeke to captive me in vaine. 

Leave me then, you Syrens, leave me ; 

Seeke no more to worke my harmes : 
Craftie wiles can not deceive me, 

Who am proofe against your charmes : 
You labour may 
To lead astray 

The heart that constaut shall remaine : 
And I the while 
Will sit and smile 
To see you spend your time in vaine. 


THE subject of this Ballad is taken from a collection of tragical stories, 
entitled " The Theatre of God's Judgments, by Dr. Beard and Dr. 
Taylor, 1C42." Pt. ii. p. 89. The text is given (with corrections) from 
two copies ; one of them in black-letter in the Pepys Collection. In 
this every stanza is accompanied with the following distich, by way of 
burden : 

" Oh jealousie ! thou art nurst in hell : 
" Depart from heucc, and therein dwell." 

ALL tender hearts, that ake to hear 

Of those that suffer wrong ; 
All you, that never shed a tear, 

Give heed unto my song. 

Fair Isabella's tragedy 

My tale doth far exceed : 
Alas, that so much cruelty 

In female hearts should breed I 

In Spain a lady liv'd of late, 

Who was of high degree ; 
Whose wayward temper did create 

Much woe and misery. 


Strange jealcfusiea ?o HUM her head 

With many a vain surmize, 
She thought her lord had wrong'd her bed, 

And did her love despise. 

A gentlewoman passing fair 

Did on this lady wait; 
With bravest dames she might compare ; 

Her beauty was compleat. 

Her lady cast a jealous eye 

Upon this gentle maid ; 
And taxt her with disloyaltyc ; 

And did her oft upbraid. 

In silence still this maiden meek 
Her bitter taunts would bear, 

Wliile oft adown her lovely cheek 
Would steal the falling tear. 

In vain in humble sort she strove 

Her fury to disarm ; 
As well the meekness of the dove 

The bloody hawke might charm. 

Her lord, of humour light and gay, 

And innocent the while, 
As oft as she came in his way, 

Would on the damsell smile. 

And oft before his lady's face, 

As thinking her her friend, 
He would the maiden's modest grace 

And comeliness commend. 

All which incens'd his lady so, 
She burnt with wrath extrearne ; 

At length the fire that long did glow- 
Burst forth into a flame. 

For on a day it so befell, 

When he was gone from home, 

The lady all with rage did swell, 
And to the damsell come. 

And charging her with great offence, 

And many a grievous fault ; 
She bade her servants drag her thence, 

Into a dismal vault, 


That lay beneath the common-shore : 

A dungeon dark and deep : 
Where they were wont, in days of yore, 

Offenders great to keep. 

There never light of rhearful day 

Dispers'd the hideous gloom ; 
But dank and noisome vapours' play - 

Around the wretched room : 

And adders, snakes, and toads therein, 

As afterwards was known, 
Long in this loathsome vault had bin, 

And were to monsters grown. 

Into this foul and fearful place, 

The fair one innocent 
Was cast, before her lady's face, 

Her malice to content. 

This maid no sooner enter'd is, 

But strait, alas ! she hears 
The toads to croak, and sna'Jras to hiss : 

Then grievously she fears. 

Soon from their holes the vipers creep, 

And fiercely her assail : 
Which makes the damsel sorely weep, 

And her sad fate bewail. 

With her fair hands she strives in vain 

Her body to defend : 
With shrieks and cries she doth complain, 

But all is to no end. 

A servant listning near the door, 

Struck with her doleful noise, 
Strait ran his' lady to implore ; 

But she'll not hear his voice. 

With bleeding heart he goes agen 

To mark the maiden's groans ; 
And plainly hears, within the den, 

How she herself bemoans. 

Again he to his lady hies 

With all the haste he may : 
She into furious passion flies, 

And orders him away. 


Still back again does he return 

To hear her tender cries ; 
The virgin now had ceas'd to mourn ; 

Which iill'd him -with surprize. 

In grief, and horror, and affright, 

He listens at the walls ; 
But finding all was silent quite, 
He to his lady calls. 

Too sure, O lady, now quoth he, 

Your cruelty hath sped ; 
Make hast, for shame, and come and see ; 

I fear the virgin's dead. 

She starts to hear her sudden fate, 

And does with torches run : 
But all her haste was now too late, 

For death his worst had done. 

The door being open'd, strait they found 

The virgin stretch'd along : 
Two dreadful snakes had wrapt her round, 

Which her to death had stung. 

One round her legs, her thighs, her wast, 
Had twin'd his fatal wreath : 

The other close her neck embrac'd, 
And stopt her gentle breath. 

The snakes, being from her body thrust, 

Their bellies were so fill'd, 
That with excess of blood they burst, 

Thus with their prey were kill'd. 

The wicked lady, at this sight, 
With horror strait ran mad ; 

So raving dy'd, as was most right, 
'Cause she no pity had. 

Let me advise you, ladies all, 

Of jealousy beware t 
It causeth many a one to fall, 

And is the devil's snare. 



FROM "Love Triumphant," a Tragi-Comedy,by John Dryden [b. 1631, 
d. 1700]; acted early in 1694, and printed during the same year. 

What state of life can be so blest, 
As love tliat warms the gentle brest j 
Two souls in one ; the same desire 
To grant the bliss, and to require ? 
If in this heaven a hell we find, 
Tis all from thee, 
O Jealousie ! 
Thou tyrant, tyrant of the mind. 

All other ills, though sharp they prove, 
Serve to refine and perfect love : 
In absence, or unkind disdaine, 
Sweet hope relieves the lover's paine: 
But oh, no cure but death we find 
To sett us free 
From jealousie, 
Thou tyrant, tyrant of the mind. , 

False in thy glass all objects are, 
Some sett too near, and some too far: 
Thou art the fire of endless night, 
The fire that burns, and gives no light. 
All torments of the damn'd we find 
In only thee, 
O Jealousie ! ' 
Thou tyrant, tyrant of the nriiid. 


From the original black-letter in the Pepys Collection. 

WHEN Greeks and Trojans fell at strife, 
And lords in armour bright were seen ; 

When many a gallant lost his life 
About fair Hellen, beauty's queen ; 

Ulysses, general so free, 

Did leave his dear Penelope. 

When she this wofull news did hear, 
That he would to the warrs of Troy; 

For grief she shed full many a tear, 
At parting from her only joy : 

Her ladies all about her came, 

To comfort up this Grecian dame. 

Ulysses, with a heavy heart, 
Unto her then did mildly say, 

The time is come that we must part ; 
My honour calls me hence away ; 

Yet in my absence, dearest, be 

My constant wife, Penelope. 

Let me no longer live, she sayd, 
Then to my lord I true remain ; 

My honour shall not be betray' 
Until I see my love again ; 

For I will ever constant prove, 

As is the loyal turtle-dove. 

Thus did they part with heavy chear, 
And to the ships his way he took ; 

Her tender eyes dropt many a tear ; 
Still casting many a longing look : 

She saw him on the surges glide, 

And unto Neptune thus she cry'd: 

Thou god, whose power is in the deep, 
And rulest in the ocean main, 

My loving lord in safety keep 
Till he return to me again : 

That I his person may behold, 

To me more precious far than gold 


Theii straight the ships with nimbio .sails 
Were all convey 'd out of her sight : 

Her cruel fate she then bewails, 

Since she had lost her heart's delight. 

Now shall my practice be, quoth she, 

True vertue and humility. 

My patience I will put in lire, 1 

My charity I will extend ; 
Since for my woe there is no cure; 

The helpless now I will befriend : 
The widow and the fatherless 
I will relieve, when in distress. 

Thus she continued year by year 

In doing good to every one ; 
Her fame was noisM every where, 

To young and old the same was known, 
That she no company would mind, 
Who were to vanity inclin'd. 

Mean while Ulysses fought for fame, 
']M ongst Trojans hazarding his life : 

You; ig gallants, hearing of her name, 
Game flocking for to tempt his wife : 

For she was lovely, young, and fair, 

No lady might with her compare. 

With costly gifts and jewels fine, 

They did endeavour her to win ; 
With banquets and the choicest wine, 

For to allure her unto sin : 
Most persons were of high degree, 
Who courted fair Penelope. 

With modesty and comely grace 

Their wanton suits she did denye : 
No tempting charms could e'er deface 

Her dearest husband's memorye ; 
But constant she would still remain, 
Hopeing to see him once again. 

Her book her dayly comfort was, 

And that she often did peruse ; 
She seldom looked in her glass ; 

Powder and paint she ne'er would use, 
I wish all ladies were as free , 
From pride as was Penelope. 

1 Ure use. 


She in her needle took delight, 

And likewise in her spinning-wheel j 

Her maids about her every night 
Did use the distaff and the reel : 

The spiders, that on rafters twine, 

Scarce spin a thread more soft and fine. 

Sometimes she would bewail the loss 
And absence of her dearest love : 

Sometimes she thought the seas to cross, 
Her fortune on the waves to prove. 

I fear my lord is slain, quoth she, 

He stays so from Penelope. 

At length the ten years' siege of Troy 
Did end ; in flames the city burn'd ; 

And to the Grecians was great joy, 
To see the towers to ashes turn'd : 

Then came Ulysses home to see 

His constant, dear Penelope. 

O blame her not if she was glad 
When she her lord again had seen. 

Thrice-welcome home, my dear, she said, 
A long time absent thou hast been : 

The wars shall never more deprive 

Me of my lord whilst I'm alive. 

Fair ladies all, example take ; 

And hence a worthy lesson learn, 
All youthful follies to forsake, 

And vice from virtue to discern : 
And let all women strive to be 
As constant as Penelope. 

From the " Luonata" of Richard Lovelace. 

TELL me not, sweet, I am uukinde, 

That from the nunnerie 
Of thy chaste breast and quiet niinde, 

To warre and armes I flie. 


True, a new mistresse now I chase, 

The first foe in the field ; 
And with a stronger faith imbrace 

A sword, a horse, a shield. 

Yet this inconstancy is such, 

As you too shall adore ; 
I could not love thee, deare, so much, 

Lov'd I not honour more. 


THE old Story-book of " Valentine and Orson," which suggested the 
plan of tins tale, but is not strictly followed in it, was originally a 
translation from a very early French Romance. The circumstance 
of the bridge of bells is taken from the metrical legend of " Sir 
Bevis." An old and mutilated poem in the folio MS. furnished some 


WHEN Flora 'gins to decke the fields 

With colours fresh and fine, 
Then holy clerkes their mattins sing 

To good Saint Valentine ! 

The king of France that morning fair 

He would a hunting ride : 
To Artois forest prancing forth 

In all his princelye pride. 

To- grace his sports a courtly train 

Of gallant peers attend : 
And with their loud and cheerful cryea 

The hills and valleys rend. 

Through the deep forest swift they pass, 
Through woods and thickets wild ; 

When down within a lonely dell 
They found a new-born child ; 

All in a scarlet kercher lay'd 

Of silk so fine and thin : 
A golden mantle wrapt him round 

Pinn'd with a silver pin. 

The sudden sight surpriz'd them all ; 

The courtiers gather'd round ; 
They look, they call, the mother seek ; 

No mother could be found. 


At length tlio king himself dr<hv near 

And as lie gazing stands, 
The pretty babe look'd up and srail'd, 

And stretch' d his little hands. 

Now, by the rood, king Pepin says, 

This child is passing fair: 
I wot he is of gentle blood; 

Perhaps some prince's heir. 

Goe bear him home unto my court 

With all the care ye may : 
Let him be christen'd Valentine, 

In honour of this day: 

And look me out some cunning nurse ; 

"Well nurtur'd let him bee ; 
Nor ought be wanting that becomes 

A bairn of high degree. 

They look'd him out a cunning nurse, 
And nurtur'd well was hee ; 

Nor aught was wanting that became 
A bairn of high degree. 

Thus grewe the little Valentine, 

Belov'd of king and peers ; 
And shew'd in all he spake or did 

A wit beyond his years. 

But chief in gallant feates of arms 

He did himself advance, 
That ere he grewe to man's estate 

He had no peere in France. 

And now the early downe began 
To shade his youthful chin ; 

When Valentine was dubb'd a knight, 
That he might glory win. 

A boon, a boon, my gracious liege, 

I beg a boon of thee ! 
The first adventure that befalls, 

May be rcserv'd for mee. 

The first adventure shall be thine ; 

The king did smiling say. 
Nor many days, when lo ! there came 

Three palmers clad in graye. 

"At length the Kingthimself drew near, 
And as he gazing stands." 


Help, gracious lord, they weeping say'd ; 

And knelt, as it was meet : 
From Artoys forest we be come, 

With weak and wearye feet. 

Within those deep and drearye woods 

There wends a savage boy; 
Whose fierce and mortal rage doth yield 

Thy subjects dire annoy. 

'Mong ruthless beares he sure was bred ; 

He lurks within their den : 
With beares he lives ; with beares he feeds, 

And drinks the blood of men. 

To more than savage strength he joins 

A more than human skill : 
For arms, ne cunning may suffice 

His cruel rage to still : 

Up then rose sir Valentine, 

And claim'd that arduous deed. 
Go forth and conquer, say'd the king, 

And great shall be thy meed. 

Well mounted on a milk-white steed, 

His armour white as snow ; 
As well beseem'd a virgin knight, 

Who ne'er had fought a foe : 

To Artoys forest he repairs 

With all the haste he may; 
And soon he spies the savage youth 

A rending of his prey. 

His unkempt hair all matted hung 

His shaggy shoulders round : 
His eager eye all fiery glow'd : 

His face with fury frown'd. 

Like eagles' talons grew his nails : 

His limbs were thick and strong; 
And dreadful was the knotted oak" 

He bare with him along. 

Soon as sir Valentine appi-oach'd, 

He starts with sudden spring ; 
And yelling forth a hideous howl, 

He made the forests ring. 


As when a tyger fierce and fell 
Hath spyed a passing roe, 

And leaps at once upon his throat ; 
So sprung the savage foe ; 

So lightly leap'd with furious force 
The gentle knight to seize : 

But met his tall uplifted spear, 
Which sunk him on his knees. 

A second stroke so stiff and stern 

Had laid the savage low ; 
But springing up, he rais'd his club, 

And aim'd a dreadful blow. 

The watchful warrior bent his head, 
And shuu'd the coming stroke ; 

Upon his taper spear it fell, 
And all to shivers broke. 

Then lighting nimbly from his steed, 
He drew his burnisht brand : 

The savage quick as lightning flew 
To wrest it from his hand. 

Three times he grasp'd the silver hilt ; 

Three times he felt the blade ; 
Three times it fell with furious force ; 

Three ghastly wounds it made. 

Now with redoubled rage he roar'd ; 

His eye-ball flash'd with fire ; 
Each hairy limb with fury shook ; 

And all his heart was ire. 

Then closing fast with furious gripe 
He clasp'd the champion round, 

And with a strong and sudden twist 
He laid him on the ground. 

But soon the knight, with active spring, 

O'erturn'd his hairy foe : 
And now between their sturdy fists 

Past many a bruising blow. 

They roll'd and grappled on the ground, 
And there they struggled long : 

Skilful and active was the knight ; 
The savage he was strong 


But brutal force and savage strength 

To art aud skill must yield : 
Sir Valentine at length prevail'd, 

And won the well-fought field. 

Then binding strait his conquer 'd foe 

Fast with an iron chain, 
He tyes him to his horse's tail, 

And leads him o'er the plain. 

To court his hairy captive soon 

Sir Valentine doth bring ; 
And kneeling do\vne upon his knee, 

Presents him to the king. 

With loss of blood and loss of strength 

The savage tamer grew ; 
And to sir Valentine became 

A servant try'd and true. 

And 'cause with beares he erst was bred, 

Ursine they call his name ; 
A name which unto future times 

The Muses shall proclame. 


IN high renown with prince and peere 

Now liv'd sir Valentine : 
His high reno\vn with prince and peere 

Made envious hearts repine. 

It chanc'd the king upon a day 
Prepar'd a sumptuous feast : 

And there came lords and dainty dames, 
And many a noble guest. 

Amid their cups, that freely flow'd, 

Their revelry, and mirth, 
A youthful knight tax'd Valentine 

Of base and doubtful birth. 

The foul reproach, so grossly urg'd, 
His generous heart did wound : 

And strait he vow'd he ne'er would rest 
Till he his parents found. 

N N 


Then bidding king and peers adieu, 

Early one summer's day, 
"With faithful Ursine by his side, 

From cotirt he look his way. 

O'er hill and valley, moss and moor, 
For many a day they pass ; 

At length, upon a moated lake, 1 
They found a bridge of brass. 

Beyond it rose a castle fair, 

Y-built of marble stone : 
The battlements were gilt with gold, 

And glittred in the sun. 

Beneath the bridge, with strange device, 
A hundred bells were hung ; 

That man, nor beast, might pass thereon, 
But strait their larum rung. 

This quickly found the youthful pair, 

Who boldly crossing o'er, 
The jangling sound bedeaft their ears, 

And rung from shore to shore. 

Quick at the sound the castle gates 
Unlock'd and opened wide, 

And strait a gyant huge and grim 
Stalk'd forth with stately pride. 

Now yield you, caytiffs, to my will ; 

He cried with hideous roar ; 
Or else the wolves shall eat your flesh, 

And ravens drink your gore. 

Vain boaster, said the youthful knight, 
I scorn thy threats and thee : 

I trust to force thy brazen gates, 
And set thy captives free. 

Then putting spurs unto his steed, 
He aim'd a dreadful thrust ; 

The spear against the gyant glanc'd, 
And caus'd the blood to burst. 

Mad and outrageous with the pain, 
He whirl'd his mace of steel : 

The very wind of such a blow 
Had made the champion reel. 

1 i. e, n lake (hat served for a moat to a castle. 


It haply mist ; and now the knight 

His glittering sword display'cl, 
And riding round with whirlwind speed 

Oft made him feel the blade. 

As when a large and monstrous oak 

Unceasing axes hew : 
So fast around the gyant's limbs 

The blows quick-darting flew. 

As when the boughs with hideous fall 

Some hapless woodman crush : 
With such a force the enormous foe 

Did on the champion rush. 

A fearful blow, alas ! there came, 

Both horse and knight it took, 
And laid them senseless in the dust ; 

So fatal was the stroke. 

Then smiling forth a hideous grin, 

The gyant strides in haste, 
And, stooping, aims a second stroke : 

" Now caytiff breathe thy last !" 

But ere it fell, two thundering blows 

Upon his scull descend : 
From Ursine's knotty club they came, 

Who ran to save his friend. 

Down sunk the gyant gaping wide, 

And rolling his grim eyes : 
The hairy youth repeats his blows : 

He gasps, he groans, he dies. 

Quickly sir Valentine reviv'd 

With Ursine's timely care : 
And now to search the castle walls 

The venturous youths repair. 

The blood and bones of murder'd knights 

They found where'er they came : 
At length within a lonely cell 

They saw a mournful dame. 

Her gentle eyes were dim'd with tears : 

Her cheeks were pale with woe : 
And long sir Valentine besought 

Her doleful tale to know. 

NN 2 


' Alas ! young knight," she weeping said, 
" Condole my wretched fate ; 

"A childless mother here you see; 
" A wife without a mate. 

" These twenty winters here forlorn 
" I've drawn my hated breath ; 

" Sole witness of a monster's crimes, 
" And wishing aye for death. 

" Know, I am sister of a king, 

"And i:i my early years 
" "Was married to a mighty prince, 

" The fairest of his peers. 

" With him I sweetly liv'd in love 
" A twelvemonth and a day : 

" When, lo ! a foul and treacherous priest 
" Y-wrought our loves' decay. 

" His seeming goodness wan him pow'r ; 

" He had his master's ear : 
"And long to me and all the world 

" He did a saint appear. 

" One day, when we were all alone, 
" He proffer 'd odious love : 

" The wretch with horrour I repuls'd, 
"And from my presence drove. 

" He feign'd remorse, and piteous beg'd 
" His crime I'd not reveal : 

" Which, for his seeming penitence, 
" I promis'd to conceal. 

" With treason, villainy, and wrong, 
" My goodness he repay'd : 

" With jealous doubts he fill'd my lord, 
" And me to woe betray'd. 

" He hid a slave within my bed, 

" Then rais'd a bitter cry. 
" My lord, possest with rage, condemn'd 

" Me, all unheard, to dye. 

" But, 'cause I then was great with child, 
" At length my life he spar'd : 

" But bade me instant quit the realrne, 
" One trusty knight my guard. 


" Forth on my journey I depart, 

" Opprest with grief and woe ; 
'' And tow'rds my brother's distant court, 

" With breaking heart, I goe. 

"Long time thro' sundry foreign lands 

" We slowly pace along : 
" At length, within a forest wild, 

" I fell in labour strong : 

"And while the knight for succour sought, 

"And left me there forlorn, 
" My childbed pains so fast increast 

" Two lovely boys were born. 

" The eldest fair, and smooth, as snow 

" That tips the mountain hoar : 
" The younger 's little body rough 

" With hairs was cover'd o'er. 

" But here afresh begin my woes : 

" While tender care I took 
" To shield my eldest from the cold, 

"And wrap him in my cloak, 

" A prowling bear burst from the wood, 

" And seiz'd my younger son : 
" Affection lent my weakness wings, 

" And after them I run. 

" But all fore wearied, weak, and spent, 

" I quickly swoon'd away ; 
" And there beneath the greenwood shade 

<; Long time I lifeless lay. 

" At length the knight brought me relief, 

" And rais'd me from the ground : 
" But neither of my pretty babes 

" Could ever more be found. 

"And, while in search we wander'd far, 

" We met that gyant grim ; 
" Who ruthless slew my trusty knight, 

"And bare me off with him. 

" But charm'd by heav'n, or else my griefs, 

" He offer'd me no wrong ; 
" Save that within these lonely walls 

" I've been immur'd so long." 


Now. surely, said the youthful knight, 

You are lady Ballisance, 
Wife to the Grecian Emperor : 

Your brother's king of France. 

For in your royal brother's court 

Myself my breeding had ; 
Where oft the story of your woes 

Hath made my bosom sad. 

If so, know your accuser's dead, 

And dying own'd his crime ; 
And long your lord hath sought you out 

Thro' every foreign clime. 

And when no tidings he could learn 

Of his much-wronged wife, 
He vow'd thenceforth within his court 

To lead a hermit's life. 

Now heaven is kind ! the lady said ; 

And dropt a joyful tear : 
Shall I once more behold my lord ? 

That lord I love so dear ? 

But, madam, said sir Valentine, 

And knelt upon his knee ; 
Know you the cloak that wrapt your babe, 

If you the same should see. 

And pulling forth the cloth of gold, 

In which himself was found ; 
The lady gave a sudden shriek, 

And fainted on the ground. 

But by his pious care reviv'd, 

His tale she heard anon ; 
And soon by other tokens found, 

He was indeed her son. 

But who's this hairy youth ? she said ; 

He much resembles thee : 
The bear devour'd my younger son, 

Or sure that son were he. 

Madam, this youth with boars was bred, 

And rear'd within their den. 
But recollect ye any mark 

To know your son agen ? 


Upun/h'is little side, quoth she, 

Was stampt a bloody rose. 
Here, lady, see the crimson mark 

Upon his body grows ! 

Then clasping both her new-found sons 
She bath'd their cheeks with tears ; 

And soon towards her brother's court 
Her joyful course she steers. 

What pen can paint king Pepin's joy, 

His sister thus restor'd ! 
And soon a messenger was sent 

To chear her drooping lord : 

Who came in haste with all'his peers, 

To fetch her home to Greece ; 
"Where many happy years they reign'd 

In perfect love and peace. 

To them sir Ursine did succeed, 

And long the scepter bare. 
Sir Valentine he stay'd in France, 

And was his uncle's heir. 


THIS humorous Song is to old metrical romances and ballads of 
chivalry what Don Quixote is to prose narratives of that kind, a 
lively satire on their extravagant lictions. But although the satire is 
thus general, the subject of this Ballad is local and peculiar. 

Warnclifie Lodge and WarnclilTe Wood (vulgarly pronounced 
Wantiey) are in the parish of Penniston, Yorkshire. The rectory of 
Penniston was part of the dissolved Monastery of St. Stephen's, West- 
minster, and was granted io the Duke of Norfolk, who endowed with 
it a hospital for women, which he built at Sheffield. The trustees let 
the impropriation of the great tithes of Penniston to the Wortley 
family, who got a great deal by the arrangement, and wanted to get 
more ; for Mr. Nicholas Wortley tried to take the tithes in kind, but 
Mr. Francis Bosville opposed him, and there was a decree in favour of 
the modus in 37th Elizabeth. The vicarage of Penniston did not go 
along with the rectory, but with the copyhold rents, and was part of a 
large purchase made by Ralph Bosville from Queen Elizabeth, in the 
second year of her reign : and that part he sold in 12th Elizabeth 
to his elder brother Godfrey, the father of Francis ; who left it, with 
the rest of his estate, to his wife, for her life, and then to Ralph, third 
son of his uncle Ralph. The widow married Lyonel Rowlestone, lived 
eighteen years, and survived Ralph. 


The Ballad apparently relates to ft e lawsuit carried on concerning 
this claim of Tillies made by the Wort ley family. " Houses and 
Churches were to him Geese and Turkeys ," which are titheable things 
the Dragon chose to live on. Sir Francis VVortley, the son of Nicholas, 
attempted again to take the Tithes in kind : but the parishioners 
subscribed an agreement to defend their modus. And at the head of 
the agreement was Lyonel Rowlestone, who is supposed to be one of 
" the Stone?, dear Jack, which the Dragon could not crack." The 
agreement is still preserved in a large sheet of parchment, dated 1st 
of James I., and is full of names and seals, which might be meant by 
the coat of armour, " with spikes all about, both within and without." 
More of More-hall was either the attorney or counsellor who con- 
ducted the suit. He is not distinctly remembered, but More-hall 
remains at the very bottom of Wantley [WarnclitlV] Wood, and lies so 
low, that it might be said to be in a well : as the Dragon's den 
[WarnclifTe Lodged was at the top of the wood, " with Matthew's house 
hard by it." The Keepers belonging to the Wortley family were 
named, for many generations, Matthew Northall : the last of them 
left this lodge, to be Keeper to the Duke of Norfolk. The slaying 
the "Dragon with nothing at all" refers to the payment a rose 
a year which was, in effect, nothing at all. The combat of " two 
days and a night" was probably the trial at law. Another legend, 
current in the Wortley family, states the dragon "to have been a 
formidable drinker, who was at length drunk dead by the chieftain of 
the opposite moors." But Mr. Ellis believed the monster to have been 
a wolf, or other tierce animal, who was finally hunted down by More 
of More Hall. The Ballad is printed from a copy in Roman-letter, 
in the Tepys Collection. 

OLD stories tell, how Hercules 

A dragon slew at Lerna, 
With seven heads, and fourteen eyes, 

To see and well disceru-a : 
But he had a club, this dragon to drub, 

Or he had ne'er done it, I warrant ye : 
But More of More-Hall, with nothing at all, 
He slew the dragon of Wantley. 

This dragon had two furious wings, 

Each one upon each shoulder ; 
"With a sting in his tayl, as long as a flayl, 

Which made him bolder and bolder. 
He had long claws, and in his jaws 

Four and forty teeth of iron; 

With a hide as tough as any buff', 

Which did him round environ. 

Have you not heard how the Trojan horse 

Held seventy men in his belly ! J 
This dragon was not quite so big, 

But very near, I'll tell ye. 


Devoured ho poor children three, 

That coul 1 not with him grapple ; 
And at one sup he eat them up, 

As one would eat an apple. 

All sorts of cattle this dragon did eat. 

Some say he ate up trees, 
And that the forests sure he would 

Devour up by degrees : 
For houses and churches were to him geese and tm'kL-s ; 

He ate all, and left none behind, 
But some stones, dear Jack, that he could not crack, 
Which on the hills you will find. 

In Yorkshire, near fair Rotherham, 1 

The place I know it well ; 
Some two or three miles, or thereabouts, 

I vow I cannot tell ; 
But there is a hedge, just on the hill edge, 

And Matthew's house hard by it ; 
O there and then was this dragon's den, 
You could not chuse but spy it. 

Some say this dragon was a witch ; 

Some say he was a devil, 
For from his nose a smoke arose, 

And with it burning snivel ; 
Which he cast off, when he did cough, 

In a well that he did stand by ; 
Which made it look, just like a brook 
Running with burning brandy. 

Hard by a furious knight there dwelt, 

Of whom all towns did ring, 
For he could wrestle, play at quarter-staff, kick, cuff 

and huff, 

Call son of a whore, do any kind of thing : 
By the tail and the main, with his hands twain 

He swung a horse till he was dead ; 
And that which is stranger, he for very auger 
Eat him all up but his head. 

1 Wortley Montague's house, about six miles from Botherh&m. 


These children, as 1 told, being cat ; 

,'-!t'ii, women, girls, and boyi, 
Sighing and sobbing, came to his lodging, 

And made a hideous noise : 
O save us all, More of More-hall, 

Thou peerless knight of these woods ; 
Do but slay this dragon, who won't leave us a rag on, 
We'll give thee all our goods. 

Tut, tut, quoth he, no goods I want; 

But I want, I want, in eooth. 
A fair maid of sixteen, that's brisk and keen, 

With smiles about the mouth ; 
Hair black as sloe, skin white as snow, 
With blushes her cheeks adorning ; 
To anoynt me o'er night, ere I go to fight, 
And to dress me in the morning. 

This being done, lie did engage 

To hew the dragon down ; 
But first he went, new armour to 

Bespeak at Sheffield town ; 
With spikes all about, not within but without, 

Of steel so sharp and strong ; 
Both behind and before, arms, legs, and all o'er, 
Some five or six inches long. 

Had you but seen him in this dress, 

HOAV fierce he look'd, and how big, 
You would have thought him for to be 

Some Egyptian porcupig : 
He frighted all, cats, dogs, and all, 

Each co\v, each horse, and each hog i 
For fear they did flee, for they took him to be 
Some strange outlandish hedge-hog. 

To see this fight, all people then 

Got up on trees and houses, 
On churches some, and chimneys too ; 

But these put on their trowscs, 
Not to spoil their hose. As soon as he rose, 

To make him strong and mighty, 
lie drank by the tale six pots of ale, 
And a quart of aqua-vitse. 


It is not strength, that always wins, 

For wit doth strength excell ; 
Which made our cunning champion 

Creep down into a well ; 
Where he did think this dragon would drink ; 

And so he did in truth ; 

And as he stoop'd low, he rose up and cry'd, boh ! 
And hit him in the mouth. 

Oh, quoth the dragon, pox take thce, come out, 
Thou disturb'st me in my drink : 

And then he turn'd, and s at him ; 

Good lack how he did stink : 
Beshrew thy soul, thy body's foul, 

Thy dung smells not like balsam ; 
Thou son of a whore, thou stink'st so sore, 
Sure thy diet is unwholesome. 

Oiir politick knight, on the other side, 

Crept out upon the brink, 
And gave the dragon such a douse, 

He knew not what to think : 
By cock, quoth he, say you so, do you see ? 

And then at him he let fly 

With hand and with foot, and so the}' went to't ; 
And the word it was, Hey boys, hey ! 

Your word?, quoth the dragon, I don't understand ; 

Then to it they fell at all, 
Like two wild boars so fierce, if I may 

Compare great things with small. 
Two days and a night, with this dragon did fight 

Our champion on the ground ; 

Tho' their strength it was great, their skill it was neat, 
They never had one wound. 

At length the hard earth began to quake, 

The dragon gave him a knock, 
Which made him to reel, and straitway he thought, 

To lift him as high as a rock, 
Ami thence let him fall. But More of More-hall, 

Like a valiant son of Mars, 
As lie came like a lout, so he turn'd him about, 
And hit him a kick on the a 


Oh, quoth Hie dragon, with a deep sigh, 

And turu'd six times together, 
Sobbing and tearing, cursing and swearing 

Out of his throat of leather ; 
More of More-hall ! D thou rascal ! 

Would I had seen thee never ; [g ut i 

With the thing at thy foot, thou hast'prick'd my a 

And I'm quite undone for ever. 

Murder, murder, the dragon cry'd, 

Alack, alack, for grief; 
Had you but mist that place, you could 

Have done me no mischief. 
Then his head he shaked, trembled and quaked, 

And down he laid and cry'd ; 
first on one knee, then on back tumbled he, 
So groau'd, kickt, , and dy'd. 



THE former 8011.5 ridicules the extravagant incidents in old balla I* 
and metrical romances, and the present is 11 burlesque of their styl j. 
The Ballad is given from an old black-letter copy in the 1'epys Co. 
lection, "imprinted at London, 1612." 

WHY doe you boast of Arthur and his knightes, 
Knowing ' well' how many men have endured fightes ? 
For besides king Arthur, and Lancelot du Lake, 
Or sir Tristram de Lionel, that fought for ladies' sake ; 
liead in old histories, and there you shall see 
How St. George, St. George the dragon made to flee. 
St. George lie was for England ; St. Dennis was for France ; 
Sing, Honi.soit qui mal y pense. 

Mark our father Abraham, when first he resekued Lot 
Onely with his household, what conquest there he got : 
David was elected a prophet and a king, 
He slew the great Goliah, with a stone within a sling : 
Yet these were not knightes of the table round ; 
Nor St. George, St. George, who the dragon did con- 

St. George he was for England ; St. Dennis was for France ; 
Sing, Horn soit qui mat y pense. 


Jephthah and Gideou did lead their men to fight, 
They conquered the Amorites, and put them all to flight : 
Hercules his labours ' were' on the plaines of Basse ; 
And Sampson' slew a thousand with the jawbone of 

an asse, 
And eke he threw a temple downe, and did a mighty 

spoyle : 

But St. George, St. George he did the dragon foyle. 
St. George he was for England; St. Dennis was for France; 
Sing, Soni soit qui mal y pense. 

The warres of ancient mouarchs it were too long to tell, 
And likewise of the Romans, how farre they did excell ; 
Hannyball and Scipio in many a fielde did fighte : 
Orlando Furioso he was a worthy knighte : 
Remus and Romulus, were they that Rome did builde : 
But St. George, St. George the dragon made to yielde. 
St. George he was for England; St. Dennis was for France j 
Sing, Honi soit qui mal y pense. 

The noble Alphonso, that was the Spanish king, 

The order of the red searffes and bandrolles in did 

bring : x 
He had a troope of mighty knightes, when first he did 

Which sought adventures farre and neare, that conquest 

they might win ; 

The ranks of the Pagans he often put to flight : 
But St. George, St. George did with the dragon fight. 
St. George he was for England ; St. Dennis was for France ; 
Sing, Honi soit qui mal y pense. 

Many ' knights ' have fought with proud Tamberlaine : 
Cutlax the Dane, great warres he did maintaine : 
Rowland of Beame, and good ' sir ' Olivere, 
In the forest of Aeon slew both woolfe and beare : 
Besides that noble Hollander, ' sir ' Goward with the bill : 
But St. George, St. George the dragon's blood uid spill. 

St. George he was for England ; St. Dennis was for France; 

, Sing, Honi soit qui mal y pense. 

1 This probably alludes to "An Ancient Order of Knighthood, called the 
Order of the Band, instituted by Don Alphonsus, king of Spain . . . to wear 
a red riband of three fingers breadth," &e. 


Valentine and Orson were of king Pepin's blood ; 
Alfride and Henry they were brave knightes and good : 
The four sons of Aymon, that follow'd Charlemaine : 
Sir Hughon of Burdeaux, and Godfrey of Bullaine : 
These were all French knightes that lived in that age : 
But St. George, St. George the dragon did assuage. 
St. George he was for England ; St. Dennis was for France; 
Sing, Honi soit qui mal y pense. 

Bcvis conquered Ascapart, and after slew the 

And then he crost beyond the seas to combat with the 

Moore :