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ancient Songs 






VOL. I. 

I lnre a ballad but even too well. 



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The favorable attention which the public has con- 
stantly shewn to works illustrating the history, the 
poetry, the language, the manners, or the amusements 
of their ancestors, and particularly to such as have 
professed to give any of the remains of their lyric 
compositions, has induced the editor to communicate 
a small but genuine collection of Ancibnt Songs and 
Ballads, which his attachment to the subject had 
occasionally led him to form. 

The reader must not expect to rind, among the pieces 
here preserved, either the interesting fable, or the 
romantic wildness of a late elegant publication. But, 
in whatever light they may exhibit the lyric powers 
of our ancient Bards, they will at least have the re- 
commendation of evident and indisputable authenticity : 
the sources from which they have been derived will 
be faithfully referred to, and are, in general, public 
and accessible. 

The Essays prefixed to the collection, and the 
Notes with which it is accompanied, will be found 
to contain some little information, of which every one 

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may not be already possessed, and which may serv* 
to amuae, at least, if it fail to interest. 

A Glossary is subjoined, which the editor regrets 
Us inability to render more perfect Without other 
assistance, however, than what is to be scantily gleaned 
from a few printed books, he thinks he has a claim to 
the indulgence of the more critical reader ; and they 
who have laboured in the same field, he is persuaded, 
will be the moat ready to afford it. 

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M<m» than forty years have elapsed since the former 
Impression of this singularly curious work*, which 
excited unusual, though not unmerited, attention on its 
first appearance, and has been long out of print and 
difficult to procure. 

The revised edition, now submitted to die candour 
of the public, is given, with fidelity and correctness, 
from a manuscript, in the editor* poueuion, prepared, 
for the express purpose, by his able and industrious 
relative; and some of the various improvements ren- 
dering it less unworthy of approbation may, without 
impropriety, be noticed : — Important additions will be 
found in the Essays; the words abbreviated in the 
manuscript authorities (with which the original tran- 
scripts have, for the most part, been carefully collated), 
are now printed at length; the Saxon characters are 
altogether rejected; the distinction or rather confusion, 

• It ii dated Id 1790, but was not pubUibed till two rears after i 
though actually printed in 1707. The editor may be allowed to add 
that these volumes have been nearly four years In their progress 
through the preu, u explaining an apparent anachronism in a note 
(i. 4.) Intended to refer to Lord Eldun. 

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of u and v, and i and j, has not been observed ; and, 
to make the collection more complete and valuable, 
the editor has taken the liberty of adding to it such of 
the Ancient BiLLADS inserted by Mr. Ritson in an 
earlier work*, with his latest notes and corrections, as 
seemed best deserving of republication. 

The plates of the vignette etchings, by Stothard, 
used in the former edition, were left in the hands 
of the printer, and have unfortunately been lost or 

StocktM upon Teei, 
June 12, 1829. - 

* " A Select Collection of English Songs." 3 vols. Hto. 1783. 

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Observations on the ancient English minstrels 

Dissertation on the songs, music, and Focal an 

mental performances of the ancient English 

1. A drinking ode of Walter Mspes, in the original Latin . 

Imitation, by Robert Harrison 

2. A ballad of king Richard the first, in the original French 

Translation, by dr. Buracy 

3. A. song or catch in praise of the cuckoo' 

4. A. ballad on Richard king of the Romans 
6. A.baUadonthedeathofBiiDandeUootfort.inth 

French . 
, . .Translation, by George Ellis, esquire 

6. A ballad on the commission of Trailebaston, in th 

7. A ballad againat the Scots 
a A ballad on the Scotiah wan 
9. A ballad againat the French 

10. A song in praiae of the author* n 

11. A love-song 

12. A aong on the author! mistress 

13. A song setting forth the good effects of the spring . 

in the original 

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14. A ditty upon die uncertainty of life 

15. Advice to the fair vi , 

16. A long upon the man in the moon 

17- A long in praise of sir Pieri de Birmingham • 
18. Ayeyn mi wille I take mi leve 

1. The death of Robin Lyth 81 

2. The tunumeot of Tottenham 95 

3. The battle of Otterbura ....... 04 

4. The hontyng of the ChrtUt 106 

6. R*qttient to the f»T0urit« of Henry VI. . .117 
9. Satin agaiuit tbe I>oHiirda 131 

7. A roundel by dan John LydgMe ..... 139 

& A roundel iin Fortune 129 

9. A aong ou EU inwraWant miitrcil .... ibill. 

10. Theconteit of the Ivy unrt the Hotly . . . 131 

11. A longiu praiee of lir Penny 194 

12. Lytyll thanlie .196 

13. Wolaun YoL A ChtitcmM carol .... MO 

14 Carol for mint Btepheni dnj 141 

15. Carol ft* Mint Edmuudt day 149 

19. Tbe Reeoucotiani of Chstelniu, in the original French ■ 144 

TnuwUtion, by rir Walter Scott . . . .157 

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I. The Minstrels, by a learned, ingenious, and 
elegant writer, whom there will be frequent occasion 
to quote, are described to be " an order of men in 
the middle ages, who united the arts of poetry and 
music, and sung verses to the harp of their own com- 
posing ; who 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 re- 
fined entertainments ; whom these arts rendered ex- 
tremely popular and acceptable, in this and all the 
neighbouring countries; where no high scene of 
festivity was esteemed complete, that was not set ofF 
with the exercise of their talents ; and where, so long 
as the spirit of chivalry subsisted, they were protected 
and caressed, because their songs tended to do honour 
to the ruling passion of the times, and to encourage 

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and foment a martial spirit*." This is certainly a 
fine, and possibly an unflattering description of a set 
of men, who unquestionably existed and flourished in 
France for several centuries, and whom several in- 
genious writers have contributed to render famous f. 
Numbers of these, no doubt, owing to the free inter- 
course between this country and the continent, so 
long as the English monarchs retained any of their 
Norman territories, were constantly nocking to their 
court and to the castles of their barons, where it may 
be easily believed they would experience the most 
favourable reception^ They were still French, how- 

* Percy, " Essay on the Ancient English Minstrels " (prefixed 
to Seliquei of Ancient Engliih Poetry, third edition, 1776, voL I.} 
p. xii. All the passages distinguished by double commas, to which 
there is do particular reference, win be found in this " Essay. " 

t Under this comprehensive term mimtrel, the only name Our 
language affords, we an to include the trouvi-ur, or poet, the 
chanleur, at vocal performer, and (he metiitrier, or musician ; not 
ID mention the fitHer, eoitfntr, jugltur, bithdin, Sic all which 
were sometimes distinct professions, and sometimes united in one 
and the same man ; which occasions great confusion in those who 
treat of them. M. le Grand makes the meolMer, a musician, and 
the menedrel, chief of the troop ; a distinction, however, perfectly 
arbitrary. It did not appear necessary, and, indeed, was scarcely 
possible for the author of these observations to enter at large into die 
constituent character of the French minstrels : nor should he have 
added this note, if certain anonymous critics had not been pleased 
to pronounce him mistaken, which, they doubtless find a very easy 
method of confutation. The candid reader, who prefers facts to 
assertions, has only to consult the tale of " Let deux menltriert " in 
the Fabliaux on Contei, ii. 313, and that this was likewise the case 
with the Provencal troubadours appears from several passages of 
their history. (See particularly, i. 378. ii. 31, 489. iii. 2, 356.) 

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ever ; and it is to be remembered that if this language 
were not the only, it was at least the usual one, spoken 
by the English monarchs and great men for several 
centuries after the conquest ; a fact which, . if not 
notorious, must be evident to every person in any de- 
gree conversant with the history of those times. If, 
therefore, by " Ancient English Minstrels," we are to 
understand a body of our own countrymen who united 
the arts of poetry and music, and got their livelihood 
by singing verses to the harp of their own composing 
in their native tongue, who were well known to the 
Saxons, " continued a distinct order of men for many 
ages after the Norman conquest," and were hospitably 
and respectfully received at the houses of the great, 
all the facts, anecdotes and other Circumstances which 
have been collected relative to the Provencal Trouba- 
dours or Norman Minstrels, however numerous of 
authentic, are totally foreign to the subject, and do 
not even prove the mere existence of the character 

The incidents referred by the above learned writer 
to the times and manners of the Anglo-Saxons, though 
probably nothing more than the fictions of romance*, 

* The stories of Alfred and Anlaff, (Easy, p. xxv.) are evidently 
the aunc with last of Colgrin (p. xxiv.) That (he fable* of Arthur 
were popular before GeoJftey of Monmouth published his British 
History, nema evident, both from Alfred of Beverley {Annalet, p. S.) 
sod from Geoffrey himself, who says, the actions of Arthur, and the 
kings whn lived here before the incarnation of Christ, were celebrated 


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do not Mem to require examination ; since, allowing' 
the facts themselves, they by no means affect the 
question proposed to be here considered, which is, 
Whether at any time, since the Norman Conquest, 
there has existed a distinct order of Englishmen, who 
united the arte of poetry and music, and got their 
livelihood by singing to the harp verses in their 
native tongue of their own composing ? And if the 
elucidation of an obscure and interesting subject, or 
the attainment of just and distinct ideas of ancient 
characters and manners, be an object of any conse- 
quence, the discussion of this question will not be 
impertinent or useless. 

It is admitted that no "very particular fact con- 
cerning the Minstrels" is to be met with till we come 
down to the reign of Richard the First ; " and under 
him their profession seems to have revived with ad- 
ditional splendour." This monarch, "who was the great 
restorer and hero of chivalry, was also the distinguished 
patron of poets and minstrels : he was himself of their 
number, and some of his verses are still extant." These 
verses, however, we find to be all in French, or Pro- 
vencal ; but still "the distinction which Richard 
shewed to men of this profession, although his favours . 
were chiefly heaped upon foreigners, could not but 
recommend the profession itself among his own sub- 
by many people In a plfiitit manner, ind l>y Inert , u if they had 
t»ea written. The* fdauultria were in til probability parte of some 
French romance, of which Geoffrey had got s prose Herniation. 

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jects ; and therefore we may conclude that English 
Minstrelsy would, in a peculiar manner, flourish in 
his time." It should however seem altogether as just 
and natural a conclusion from the premises, that since 
he cannot be discovered, in a single instance, to have 
shown his favours to any but foreigners, English 
Minstrelsy did "not in his time flourish at all. 

The adventure of this lung and his Norman Mhv 
strel, Blonilel de Nesle, so elegantly dramatized by 
M. Sedaine*, whatever honour it may be- thought to 
confer upon poets or their art, certainly makes nothing 
Hnravour of the English Minstrels, whose existence is 
VjWcft undecided. 

The nest memorable event which is found in hi- 
story concerning the Minstrels, and is " much to their 
credit," was their rescuing one of the great earls of 
Chester, when besieged by the Welsh. This happened 
in the reign of king Johnt, and is related as follows: 

" Hugh the first earl of Chester, in his charter of 

foundation of St. WerburgV 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 misdemeanor, except the crime 

* The authenticity of the anecdote ii very dubious. It i> related. 
Indeed, Id Lei croaiquet de K~«rmendie, Mouett, (c. 1620.) 4to. b. 1. 
but thii aecma a book in which there is it leant a* much romance u 

+ "Vid. Dngdak, (Baronage, vol. 1. p. 42. 101.) who places it 
■Act the 13th year of K. Joh. Anno Bom. 1212 — gee also Camden's 
Britannia, Plott'i SwBbrdtli. &c" 

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were committed during the fair. This special pro- 
tection caused multitudes of loose and disorderly 
people to resort to that fair ; which afterwards proved 
of signal benefit to one of his successors. For Ran- 
ulph, the last earl of Chester [of that name], march- 
ins; into Wales with a slender attendance, was con- 
strained to retire to his castle of Rothelan, or Rhuyd- 
land; in which he was straightly besieged by the 
Welsh. Finding himself hard pressed, lie contrived 
to give notice of his danger to Lord Roger (or John) 
de Lacy, Constable of Chester, who, making use of 
the Minstrel* then assembled at Chester fair; these 
men, like so many Tyrtaus's, by their nunc and 
their tongs so allured and inspired the multitudes of 
loose and lawless persons then brought together, that 
they resolutely marched against the Welsh : Hugh de 
Dutton, a gallant youth, who was steward to Lacy, 
putting himself at their head. The Welsh, alarmed 
at the approach of this rabble, supposing them to be 
a regular body of armed and disciplined veterans, in- 
stantly raised the siege and retired." 

" For this good service, Ranulph granted to the 
Lacies, by charter, a peculiar patronage over men of 
this sort : who devolved the same again upon Dutton 
and his heirs. And the Minstrels, his assistants, en- 
joyed for many ages peculiar honours and privileges 
under the descendants of that family." 

The above relation is, in the Essay, marked with 
double commas, as a quotation, but the only reference 
to any authority is that indirectly made in the note ; 

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and it is certain, that the writers there mentioned 
give little countenance to a remarkable passage, in- 
troduced, it should seem, by the learned essayist, to 
serve the purpose of a hypothesis, which, by this time, 
perhaps, he began to perceive would need more sup- 
port than any author ancient or modem was ready 
to afford*. 

The story is thus told, by a writer who cannot be 
suspected of a design to render the actors leas respect- 
able than he found them represented. 

" This Handle t, among the many conflicts he had 
with the Welsh, .... was distressed by ' them,' and 
forced to retreat to the castle of Rothelent, in Flint* 
shire, about the reign of king John, where they be- 
sieged him : he presently sent to bis constable of 
Cheshire, Roger Lacy, sirnamed Hell, for his fierce 
spirit, that he would come with all speed, and bring 
what forces he could towards his relief. Roger, 
having gathered a tumultuous rout of Jiiilers, players, 
coblert, {and otter] debauched pertottt, both men and 
women, out of the city of Chester (for 'twas then the 
fair-time in that city), marcheth immediately towards 
the earl. The Welsh, perceiving a great multitude 
coming, raised their siege and fled. The earl, coming 
back with his constable to Chester, gave him power 

* This passage (to which, by the way, there could be no possible 
objection, if it had not been within marks of quotation) is omitted in 
the new edition. Dr. Percys happiness of expression, or general 
elegance SI « writer, was never disputed. 

f The Third, snmamed Blundevil, sixth earl of Chester. 

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over all ihejidlers and xhoemakers in Chester, in reward 
and memory of this service. The constable retained to 
himself the authority and donation of the shoemaker*, 
but conferred the authority of tixftdler* and players 
on bis steward, which then was Dutton of Dutton*." 
The words of the grant to Dutton are, " MagUterium 

* Sir Peter Leycesters Sulorieal Antiquities, p. 1*1. Sse also 
Blounts Ancient Tenmrei, p. 156 — Sir W. Dngdale only tells us, 
that the carl in his distress " sent to the constable of Chester fur 
help ; who, making use of the MhutrtU of all tarti, then met at 
Cheater fair, by the allurements of their music, got together a vast 
number of such loose people, as by reason of the before specified 
privilege, were then in that city, shorn he forthwith sent under the 
conduct of Dutton (his steward) towards Kothelan." Baronage, 
i. 101. Be refers to the History of Cambria, by D. Powel, p. 2£Mi. 
And, though he allows thi» might hare been done as was reported in 
the time of Roger, constable of Chester, says, it if most certain that It 
was John, his son, who had the patronage of that rabbk given biro 
tiy the earl, and thereupon granted the same to Hugh de Dutton. 

The words of Camden are, that " this family [of Dutton], by an 
old custom, bath a particular authority over all pipers, Jitters, and 
harpers of this county, ever since one R. Dutton, with a rabble of 
such men, rescued Kanulf, the last earl of Chester, Ac" Britannia, 
in Cheshire. His authority is a " Chronica* rVallia," by which he 
doubtless means Powells history, -where the story seema to have 
originally appeared. All that this writer says is, that " Ralph [r. 
. Hugh] Dutton, < Lacys' son-in-law, being a lustie youth, assembled 
togither all the platers, musicians, and merie companions in the dtie 
(being then the fair time) and came to the constable, who forthwith 
went to Ruthlan, raised the stage, and delivered the earie from 
danger. In recompense' of which service, the earle gave unto his 
constable divers freedoms and privileges, and granted unto the said 
Dutton. the ruling and ordering of all the phdert and mwuieiatu 
within that countie, which his heire enjoyed] even unto this day." 
Hist, of Cambria, 1 684, p. 296, 

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THE Ml-NSTltELS. is 

Omnium lccCatosuh tt wkhetricium tolius Cestrc 
thtre, ricut liberiu* tilum magitterittm teneo dt comite; 
talvojure meo miki et heredibus rueis*" No mention 
is made of Fidlers or Minstrel* ; we must therefore 
presume them to have passed as an appendage or ap- 
purtenance to the whores and letchers, for whose di- 
version this respectable order of men, " who united 
the arts of poetry and music, and sung verses to the 
harp of their own composing/' were moat miserably 
twanging and scraping in the booths of Chester fair. 

True it is, that in the 14th year of king Henry VII., 
Laurence Button, lord of Dutton (in answer to a qua 
warranto, on behalf of prince Arthur, as earl of Chester) 
churned that all Minstrels inhabiting, or exercising 
their office, within the county and city of Chester, 
ought to appear before him, or his steward, at Chester, 
at the feast of St. John Baptist yearly, and should give 
him at the said feast four flagons of wine, and one 

* Dug. Ban. i. 101. Sir P. Leyceaters HUtorUal antiquities, 
pp. 142. SSL Thin author supposes " the rout which the constable 
brought to the rescuing of the etui were debauched permit drinking 
with their sweetheart* in the fair, Jldlert, &c" {"piptrt and other 
aorta of minstisln" says King). And observes, that " the tiislom 
aeemi to have been altered to the fidlcr; as nectttery attendants on 
revtQert in hawdy-liotaa and taverm." Dr. Percy, however, in 
the new edition, nays, " the natural inference is, that the minstrels 
were expreaeed by the term Lcccatoret" (which, it appears from 
Ducange'i gtoeeary, may mean buflaoni) ; and mentions an ancient 
MS. in French metre (quoted by that author) " wherein the LECCOira 
{Lai. LeccatiH-) and the minstrel are joined together i" a suf. 
fieient proof that the names were not sytiotiimoua; though the per. 
sou meant were doubtless " par aobitefratTUtu." 

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lance ; and also every Minstrel should pa; him Tour 
pence halfpenny, at the said feast &c. ; for which be 
pleaded prescription *. 

It is likewise admitted, that the Duttons were wont 
to keep a court-every year upon the above feast, being 
the fair-day, where all the Minstrels of the county and 
city did attend and play before the lord of Dutton, or 
his steward, upon their several instruments] to and 
from divine service ; after which, the old licences 
granted to the Minstrels were renewed, and such new 
ones granted as he thought fit, none presuming to 
exercise that faculty without licencet; and that this 
privilege has been excepted in many acts of parlia- 
ment, whereby Minstrels have been declared, and di- 
rected to be punished as rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy 

In the reign of Edward I., it seems, a multitude 
op minstrels are expressly mentioned to have given 
their attendance in his court, at the solemn act of 
knighting his son. ' This is sufficiently credible, but 
will by no means prove them to hare been Englishmen. 

The woman whom Stow relates to have entered into 
Westminster Hall, adorned like a minstrel, sitting on 
a great horse trapped as mimtreU then used, who rode 

■ Sir P. Leycesters Historical aafiquitiei, p. 142. 251. Blnunta 
Ancient Tenara.-^Law Dictionary, i. MinstreL 

t At this court the iteward, hiving called every minstrel, and 
impaneled a jury, charged ihera to enquire, whether any man of that 
profession had " exercised hit iaUnment without license from the 
lord of Ihe court," in what misdemeanour he wan guilty of. Kings 
Vale royal of England, p. 29. 

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round about the tables, skewing pattime, and at length 
came up to the king and delivered a letter, had evi- 
dently assumed the character of a tumbler or tombk- 
stere *, the profession, we find, of females, in the time 
of Chaucer. Stow might translate the word hittria 
by Minstrel properly enough, without meaning one 
who sung to the harp; for he undoubtedly knew, 
both that the word had no each implication, and that 
women never sung to the harp t. 

In the fourth year of Richard II. John of Gaunt 
ordained a king of the Minstrels (Rotf det Minitlraulx) 

* This word is derived by Mr. Tyrwhitt from the Baxon tnmban, 
to dance ; bat, in the Romant of the Rote, at lout, it ii clearly ■ 
corruption of tumbeitere or limbeitere, a female performer on the 
timbre ; tomberenc, tumberetie, tymbcreiss, and timbtrcm ; tombc, 
tumbe, tymbre, and timbre, all occurring in different MSS. of the 
original In the other instances, however, Mr. Tyr whiles deriva- 
tion may be still right :■ as tomllcitsre ia the legitimate feminine of 

t i. e. professionally and in public. Dr. Percy his, indeed, pro- 
duced a few instances, from old romances (to which more might be 
added), of ladies playing on the harp; and many inch instance* may 
be found at this day ; though it would appear very odd to term the 
lair pcrformera ihe-tniiutreli. " These instances," therefore, " are 
[not] sufficient." 

If Tomberteri did not, as would seem from the above note, mean 
a tumbler or dancing-woman, the historian could not " have used the 
word •altatrix." The following passage, however, in the ancient 
Roman it. Perceval appears to put the existence of female danceri 
and- tumbleri out of all doubt : 

" Harper y fhisoit harpeors, 
Et vieler vieleots, 
Et let baUtcttct baler, 


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within his honor of Tutbury in Staffordshire, to whom 
he gave power to take and arrest all the Minstrels 
Within that honor who should refuse to make their 
services and minstralcie, SfC. In virtue of this grant, 
a court of Minstrel 9 uBed to be kept, where defaulters 
were amerced, offenders presented, and other proceed- 
ings had, till the latter end of the last century. Now 
the Minstrels, to whom a sovereign was thus given, 
could have been only the retainers to the castle and 
honor of Tutbury, or, In other words, the dukes band 
of music; and this monarch perhaps was a sort of 
maestro di capella. Dr. Plot, who was present at one 
of the minstrel- courts, has left us a pretty full account 
of the whole ceremony; but in his time, the Essay 
allows, the Minstrels " appear to have lost their sing- 
ing talents, and to have become mere musicians." As 
to tinging talents, it is most likely they never possessed 
any*; and what sort of musicians they were, may be 
in some measure conceived from a part of the ceremony 
which the Essayist has judiciously omitted. After the 
court was over, the steward to the duke of Devon- 
shire, as representative of the prior of Tutbury, used 
to deliver a bull, prepared for the occasion, and turn 
him loose among the Minstrels ; and, if they succeeded 
in their endeavours to take him before he got over the 

* Both the Essayist and the present writer turn ant to be mis- 
taken t one of the articles of enquiry given in charge to the inquest 
id, Whether any of the several minstrels within the honor had 
*' abused or disparaged their honorable projeinm, by drunkenness, 
profane carting and swearing, tinging lead or apietne tongi, ijj-c." 

7 GooqIc 


Dove, he woe brought to the stake, and baited for 
their further diversion. The whole of this infamous 
business was attended with circumstances of the most 
shocking and brutal barbarity, which it would be dis- 
gusting to repeat, and which a fidler or ballad-singer 
of the present times (low aa the profession may be 
now sunk) would scorn to countenance*. 

Such was the famous bull-running of Tuibury, or 
court of minsirels ; of which one of that profession 
thus speaks, in the assumed character of the ray det 
minittraulx, long before Dr. Plots time : 

" This battle iy fought near ta Titbury town. 
When the bagpipe* baited the bull j 
I *m king nfthtfiilcTi, end swear 'tis a truth, 

And I cell him that doubts it a gulL 
For I saw than fighting, audjbUfed the while, #<\f" 

" Even so late as the reign of Henry VIII.** it is 
observed, " a stated number of Minstrels were retained 
in all great and noble families, as appears from the 
establishment of the household of the then earl of 

" Item, My n st ha 1,8 in houshold iij. viz. a taberet, a 
luyte, and a reb$cc%." But this surely cannot be pro. 

* See Plots Staftiriihirc, p. 430. and Blount! Ancient Temtrti, p. 
1 67. The minstrels court, bull-running, £c. were entirely abolished 
by the duke of Devonshire in 1778, at the request of the inhabitant! 
of Tutbury, owing to the outrages usually committed on the occasion. 
Bee the new edition of RUnwtt Taturet, by Bcctwith, p. 313. 

t #"*'" BoedM Garland, Song t. 

$ Essay, p, boor. In the celebration of Christmas, Sir J. Hawktna 
Mrs, Jlileri were deemed so necessary, that in the Douaea of the 



duced to prove, that these " Mynstrals" were ail order 
of men " -who united the arts of poetry and music, 
and sung verses to the harp of their own composing." 
However tins may be, " the Minstrels," we are told, 
"continued down to the reign of Elizabeth; in whose 
time they had lost much of their dignity, and were 
sinking into contempt and neglect." As to dignity, it 
is pretty clear they never had any to lose ; and if we 
find them treated with contempt and neglect, it is 
because we are now become better acquainted with 
them, and do not view them through the medium of 
Ducange or Fontenelle. 

" Still," however, " they sustained a character far 
superior to any thing we can conceive at present of 
the singers of old ballads ;" or rather of the player* on 
Jiddlu ; for we have hitherto only found them to be 
musicians ; not a song has a single one of them been 
yet proved to have sung. 

A passage, quoted by the Essayist (p. xrxv.), from 
a writer of this period, gives us, it must be confessed, 
a distinct idea of the character he describes ; but it 
is evidently of a character that existed only in the 
ima ginat ion of those who contrived the " ridiculous 
devise" of this " Auncient Minstrell and his song," and 

nobility, they were retained by Email stipends, si also clonks and 
badges, with the cognizance at arms of the family, like certain other 
domestic servant*. From the houses of great men, to mires, bin, 
find other assemblies of the common people, the transition of these 
Vagrant urtisia ra natural. Hut. Mtak, iv. 382. 

.D, gl :,« ^GoogIe 


who had met with him in Morle Arthur*. If Minstrels 
had been common, a iieal one would have been pro- 
cured, and not " one personating that character." 
" Towards the end of the sixteenth century, this 

* See Lengharoi Letter, Ac. — That a Minstrel or singing harper 
Is ■ very useful personage in the above indent Mid popular romance, 
will appear from the following anecdote. Sir Lancelot being in a 
violent passion, on account of u threatening abusive letter which king 
Marke of CornewaOe had MM to queen Guenever, wherein he '■■pake 
■hame bv her, and by lir, Lancelot ;" sir Dinadan, to comfort him, 
bids him " set right nought by all these threaten mgs, for king Marke 
' s-aa' so vilanous, that by faire speach ' should' never no mm get 
ought of him j but (continue! he) yee shall see what I shall doe, I 
will make a lay tor him, and when it is made, I shall make an harper 
to ting it before him. So anon hee went and made it, and taught It 
an harper, that hvght Elyot, and when hee could it, hee taught it to 
many harperi. And so ... the harpera went straight unto Wales 
and Cowewaile to sing the lay, . . . which wat the wont lay that 
ever harper tuug with harpe, or with any other instrument. And 
[at] the great feast that king Marke made for joy of the victorie 
which hee had, because the Sessoines were put out of hi* countrey, 
came Eliot the harper; .... and because he was a curious harper, 
men heard him ting the same lay that sir Dinadan had made, the 
which (pake the most vQanie by king Marke, of his treason, that 
ever man heard. When the harper had lung his song to the end, 
king Marke was wondennis wroth with him, and laid. Thou harper, 
how durst thou be so bold on thy head to sing this. soug before me? 
Sir, said Eliot, wit you well I am a minsthell, and I must doe 
as I am commanded of these lords that I beare the annes of. And, 
sir king, wit you well that sir Dinadan, a knight of the round table, 
made this song, and he made me to sing it before you. Thou taiest 
well, said king Marke, I charge thee that thou hie thee fast out of 
my sight So the harper departed, fyc. But for to say that king 
Marke was wood erous wroth, he was." Part II. C 113. (Ed. 1634.) 
See also part III. C.O. (This extract Is copied with very little altera- 
tion into the new edition of the ReBqaa.) The title of one of the 
chapters in the old French romance of Merlin (Rouen, s. A) is, 

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class of men had lost all credit, and were flunk so tow 
in the public opinion, that, in the 39th year of Eliza- 
beth, a statute was passed, by which " Minstrel* 
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, for after this time they are 
no longer mentioned." 

Of the language of this statute, the Minstrels should 
not seem to have had much reason to complain, as 
vagabond was a title to which the profession had been 
long accustomed*. 

" Come Medio se mist en forme de ung besu jeunc h5e avcuglt ; 
et jouyt de unc bsrpe, Sx." which ii worth perming. [Tomt II. 

• Item, pur eschuir plusenrs disesses ct mewhiefi qonl ad renin 
devant cei heures en U tene de Gait t, pur pluseur* wwtoun, rymours, 
wwiuirtAx, et antra vacobondei, oldeignei est, £c." Beat. 4 II. IV. 

The Author of the Virion of Pierce Plowman bests them with m 
Jittle respect : 

It might oat be long after the passing of the shore set against the 
Minstrels, that dr. Bull wrote satyrical reise* upon them (extsnt In 
King MS. of the Hsrleisn collection, of woicb the number cannot be 
recovered), part of the firm itma being h follows; 
When Jew went to Jairus house, 

[Whase daughter was about .10 die,] 
He tunTd the M initreli out of doors, 

Among the rsscsl company) ,* 
Beosabs they sre, with one conient, 
And eoqueb, by set of parliament. 

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II. It is somewhat remarkable, that we have vet 
seen no authority which should induce us to think, 
that there ever was a single Englishman, who " united 
the arts of poetry and music, and sung verses to the 
harp' of his own composing ; " nor in fact is any such 
authority to be found. If those writers who have 
become the historians or panegyrists of the Provencal 
troubadours, or the French Minstrels, had been pos- 
sessed of no better evidence than we are, the mere 
existence of such a body would not have been at pre* 
sent known. The teutons, the tirvente*, the pattou- 
relles of the former, the lait, contet, and fabliaux of the 
latter are innumerable, and not only prove their exist- 
ence, but afford sufficient materials for their description 
and history. But this is by no means the case with 
the " Ancient English Minstrels," of whom it is not 
pretended that we have any thing more than a few 
rude ballads, which prove nothing less than their, 
origin. Not a single piece is extant in which an En- 
glish Minstrel speaks of himself j whereas, the im- 
portance or vanity of the French Minstrel for ever 
leads him to introduce himself or his profession, and 
to boast of his feats and his talents. That there did 
exist in this country an order of men called Minstrels, 
is certain ; but then it is equally clear, that the word 
was never used by any English writer, for " one who 
united the arts of poetry and music, and sung verses 
to the harp of his own composing," before the ingenious 
writer so often quoted ; but, on the contrary, that it 

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ever implied an instrumental performer, and generally 
a fidler, or such like bate musician. 

To begin with the glossarists : Florio, in his Worlde 
ofivordet, 1 59 K, renders the Italian words Bijf'aro and 
Gkigaro, " a^ fidler, a crouder, a minttrell." Sir Henry 
Spelman explains the word " Minstrell," by "Jidicai, 
tibken/" Blount, by " a musician, a fidler ;" Cotgrave 
translates meneUratidier, " a minstrell or fidler;" and 
Mhuhew-says, that " Minstrel," is in German, " an 

The " Minatrells". of the kings household, in the 
time of Edward III. were "trompeters, cytelers,pypers, 
tabrete, mabrers, clarions, fedeler£s^, wayghtes*." 

An old chronicler, speaking of the battle of Halidon- 
Hill, in this reign, observes, that " the Englisshe mt/n-- 
strait* blewe hix trumpet and hir pipes for, as a dif- 
ferent copy has it, " beten her tubers, and blowen her 
trompes"~], and hidously astrede the Scottiat." 

The " Minstrels" of king Edward IV. were musi- 
cians, " whereof some * were ' trompett, some with the 
shalmes and rmalle pypet, and some strange mene 
coming to ' the ' court at fyve feastes of the year, and 
then take their wages, . . . after iiij- d. ob. by daye, 
&c. f 

* Hawkfau's BUt. Murie, S. 107 WayghUi iae players on 

hautboy > or other pipra during (he night ; as they are in many place* 
st thu day. See 291. 

t MS. Had. 286. (4690.) These miiHralii were the drummtn 
and Jlfiri of the present day. 

t Hawkins's f/itf, Muiic, ii, 290. 



In a narrative of. "the departure of die princess 
Katherine out of Spninc, together with her arrival aad 
reception in England" 1501, printed in the new edition 
of Lelands CoBeelanea (v. 352.) we read that " she and 
her ladyes called for their mitutreU* and' . . . solaced 
themselves with the disports of daunting." 

Those of the earl of .Northumberland, in the time 
of king Henry VIII. we have already Been, were " a 
tabret, a luyte, a rebecc." And in a list of the house- 
hold musicians of king Edward VI. we find " trum- 
peters, luter b, harpers, singers, rebeck, aagbutts, vyallsj 
bagpiper, if ma, dromslades, and players on 
the flutes and virginals *." The particular office of 
the Minstrels does not indeed appear ; but it must be 
evident, that they were not lingers to the harp. 

Dr. Percy had not observed that glemtin or gktoema* 
is frequently used for minstrel in the Vision <jf Pierce 
the Plowman, (1550.) : 

'• And Bi'her to speacb, that enspyred is of grace, . 
Andgodi^fanafl, and hgwneof heaven, ■ - 

. WohMo nerei that faythfull lather hjsfyitie wtit untanpod, 
Ne Higlcman a gailling, a goer to taveme." (fill. 43, b.) 
He appears, . from this author, to have been oc- 
casionally blind, and led by a dog : 

'* Ami (ban gaii he to go, : like & giracmatu bylch, 
,So£aetyme neyck, and soaietyme mn." (fb; S6.) 

Skelton, laureat, treats the character with the utmost - 
eontemptt.. ■ ■.-.. ■■■< - -■' ■ - 

* Hmrkinn'i Hilt. MuHc, iii. 479. FKsrio elphini the .wdtd 1 

Taburrino, by " a Utile drum, a labour, a limb jell, a drum-tlade." 
f Agairut a comely eovstrownc, &c. Works, p. 2.">fi. . 

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It should seem, by the way, that the minstrels of 
this sera had a. dress to distinguish their profession. 
The company, described by the author whose words 
are quoted, being seated in a tavern, " in conies a noise 
qfmuticianx, in tawney coats, who taking off their caps, 
asked if they would have any music ? The widow 
answered, No; they were (merry enough. Tut, said 
the old man, let us hear, good fellows, what you can 
do; and play me, The beginning of the world *." 
- Again, in the " Pretie and mery new enterlude, 
called the ' Disobedient Child," the young woman, 
speaking of hex approaching nuptials, says, 

" There wolde this d*yc be very good cheaie, 
That every one his beady msye fyD, 

• HiOory a/Jack of JVca-Sirry, by Tho. Delony. The timet 
referred to, ace thow of king Henry VIII. The widow, bang im- 
portuned to drink to such one of (he company u she bred bat, 

■ays, " with this cop of claret and sugar, I beirtily drink to the 

A mite of mmiciant, TH a cn mu any of than. In the lecond part 
of King Henry IF. Act II. Scene-] V. one of the drawer* bids his 
fellow ace if be can nod out "Soesk'moUe,-" Mrs. Teanbeet being 
desirous to hive tome mtaic. 

Now, with reaped to these tawney mat;; it is well known that . 
this wu the livery of' the bishop of Winchester, within whose manor 
of Southward, and under whose license and authority' the public 
■tews anciently flourished. Hay we not, therefore, conclude that the 
minstrel! thus described Were reUinen in ordinary to those privileged 
i'iiIihIi of licentious mirth ? In one of the prints of Hogarths Rakei 
ProgrtM, be has introduced a venerable minttrcl, accornpanying on 
his harp the melodious strains of a pregnant female : the scene of 
action being The Kok tavern, where these respectable characters wen 
wont to ply. 



And thre or fburc MhatrtUa wolde be here, 
That none in the house ijt idle or Nylle." 

sci. for dancing. Wolde in both places meant should. 

In the old morality of Lusty Juventut, written and 
printed in the time of Jung Edward VI.. Youth says, 

" Who knoweth where is a mynttreU 9 
• By the mine, I would fkyne go defines aJUit." 

" Well i- met father, well i-met ; 
Dyd you here anye mynitrch playc f 
" Good Cottncel. What would you with the minittdl do ? 
Juvcjitiu. Nothing, but have a daunce or two." 

The mystery of- Candlemas day, composed 1512, 
concludes with the following lines, part ol the poets 
address to his audience: 

" Wherefor now, ye vyrgynea, or we go hem, 
With ill your company you goodly avaune* : 
Alio ye mautraUei doth your diligens, 
Afore our deperture geve ui a daunce. " 

That isj in modem English, Fidlers, stri&e tip ! 

Thus too, in an ancient poetical tract, entitled the 
faming of a Shrew; or the Wife lapped in Morels 
Skin, 4to. (sig. c. i.) 

" The myiisTrelta played at every boide." 

Again, in Grenes Orlando furiosi, 1594 :— 

« I '11 be nil mi'UtreU with my drum and .fl/e, 
Bid him oome forth, and dance it, if he dare." 

. _' Again, in Lilys -Mo/Aer Bombic, 1594:— 

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" I have been a minilreU these Ihiilie yearea; 
Am) tickled inert, rtrimgt than thou bast hare*." 

' Spenser, in his Epitlialamion, gives a very accurate 
description of them: 

" Harke bow the Hfiiutrili gin to shrill aloud 
Then merry muiiclr that resounds from far, 
The pipe, the ubcr, and the. trembling crtfurf. 
That well agree withouten breach or Jar. 
But moat of all the danaelt doe dclite, 
When the; thwtymbreb smite. 
And thereunto doe donna and earoH tweet. 
That all the senses they doe ravish quite •." 

* Thus too, Chancer in the Ramaunt of the Rote : 

" There wal man; a timbtiterc, 
And salyoiirs, that I dan wel iwere 
Couth her craft ful parfetly t 
The tymhrtt up fill nibtellj 
They cast, and hente ful ofte 
Upon a fynger byre and softs, jr-" 

These timbre* are the tambour de batata, an instrument of the 
greatest antiquity. Following the above extract, in the former 
edition la a quotation on the credit of sir John Hawkins's Hittery of 
MiLiic, from " the pleasant history of Thomas of Reading, " concern- 
ing one Rahere, who "was a great musician and kept a company of 
MinbtBELb, t e. Fidleeh, who played With silver bows." Un- 
ites, however, there be very great difference in the editions of this 
" famous history," it does not contain the word " minstrels ;" at 
least in the passage where mention is made of Rejor (not Rehere) 
and "his servants." Sir John is certainly an Inaccurate, and would 
seem from this instance to be an unfaithful dter. Stow, indeed, speaks 
of this Rnheri as « a pleasant wilted gentleman, and therefore in his 
time called the stages minstrel!." . Survay of London, 1508. p. 308. 
Shakipeare calls them "fiott-Jhuliiif minstrels," In his Rape ef 
Lucrum, (as -the author of Pierce Plowman had called them long be. 

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In Follies Anatomic, by H. Hullo*, Dundmemit, 
1618, 8vo. is an epigram, which begins, 

" .Shouldring a MltatriU in a lone, I broke 

In the Taming of a Shrew, a person having de- 
scribed a wedding, says, 

'* Hutfa, bark ! I bear the miwttreb play-' 1 ' 

In Groves Epigrams, &c. 1587 [we find)] 

" The Mkutrtl then that^dfcin. fine 

At feeding timet may play. 

And ring to heap* into hii pur<je 

The copid by night or day.'' 

Lastly, by an ordinance of the Commonwealth, in 
1656, c 21. It was enacted, " that if any person or 
persons, commonly tailed ^/idlers or minstrels, shall at 

fore) " not to fare as a Jldier or a friar to tdct fillet," p. 48, and in 
hia comedy of Much Ado about Nothing, makes Clandio say, " I will 
bid thee draw, aa we do the mmtireh ( draw to pleasure us." Indeed 
the ward appears to have been considered as reproachful and insult- 
ing even by the profession itself. Peter in Romeo and Juliet tells 
the muticiant he " will give them no money, but die gl«k," " t 
will give you the mhatrtli" then tap the tint musician, " will t 
give you the sertiiig-creature." 

- Ben Jnnson, in hia Tale of a tub, introduces " Old father Rosin, 
chief minitrti of Highgate, and his two boys:" they are fiddkri ; 
and play the tunes called for by the company i as Tom Tiler, The 
jolly juitmr, and The Jovial tin/Or. The tame author, in his 
" Masque of the metamorphosed gypsies," rails a bag-piper, " die 
miracle of minstrels; and, in another part make* one of his cha- 
racters say, " The king has bis noise of gypsies, at weD aa of bear- 
vard* and otter mbuireh." 

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any time be taken playing, Jtdling, and making mudch, 
in any Inn, Alehouse, or Tavern, or shall be taken 
proffering themselves, or 'desiring, or intreating any 
person or persons to hear them play or make musick, 
in any the places aforesaid, every such person or per- 
sona, so taken, shall be adjudged, and are hereby ad- 
judged and declared to be rogues, vagabonds? and 
sturdy beggers."- 

After this, the word Minstrel was scarcely ever 
mentioned (unless in dictionaries or vagrant acts) till 
it appeared with such eclat in the Essay prefixed to 
the Relique* of Ancient English Poetry. - 

III. That there were individuals formerly, who made 
It their business to wander up and down the country 
chanting romances, and singing songs and ballads to 
the harp, fiddle, or other more humble and less arti- 
ficial instrument, cannot be doubted. These men 
were in all. probability comprehended within the ge- 
neral term of Minstrels, but are by no means to be 
exclusively distinguished by that title; and indeed 
were generally denominated from the particular in- 
struments mi which they performed. It may be easily 
imagined, that many of these people, though entirely 
destitute of education, and probably unable either to 
write or read, possessed the talent of inventing hi- 
storical or legendary songs, which would sometimes 
have merit ; but it is to be observed, that all the min- 
strel-songs which have found their way to us are 
merely narrative; nothing of passion, sentiment, or 
even description, being to be discovered among them. 

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Men equally ignorant, have in all ages and in all 
countries, been possessed of the same talent, and such 
a character is only tare at present, because k is be- 
come more difficult to please. It is however worthy 
of remark, that no English Minstrel was ever famous 
for his composition or his performance; nor is, the 
name of a single one preserved : and it has been seen, 
that we only commence our acquaintance with these 
Minstrel-songsters, when " they had lost all credit, 
and were sinking into contempt and neglect" It will 
be readily conceived, that in rude and barbarous times, 
men who contributed to the general amusement of the 
common people, were held in much greater estimation 
than they are at present ; and that two or three cen- 
turies ago, the wooden wit of old England was a much 
more welcome visitant in many a populous city, than 
even a Garfick or a Si dd on a would be in the present 
age. The art of printing was fatal to the Minstrels 
who sung ; people begun to read, and, unfortunately 
for the Minstrels, their compositions would not bear 
reading ; of course not above two or three of them 
ever got to the press : the songs used by the ballad- 
singers, on the contrary, were smooth and regular, 
were all printed, and, what was much more to their 
-advantage, were generally united to a simple but 
pleasing melody, which was easily acquired, and any 
one could sing; whereas - the Minstrels songs were 
without tune, and could not be performed, even by 
themselves, without the twang of a harp, or the 
scrape of a fiddle. These two (not to speak of the 

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cultivation of poetry and music by persons of genius 
and learning) seem to have been the principal causes 
of the rapid decline of the Minstrel profession, since 
the time of queen Elisabeth, though it is conceived 
that a Jew individuals resembling the character might 
have been lately, and may possibly be still found in 
some of the least polished or less frequented parts 
of the kingdom. It is not long since that the public 
papers announced the death of a person of this de- 
scription somewhere in Derbyshire; and another, 
from the county of Gloucester, was within these few 
years to be seen in the streets of London ; he played 
on an instrument of the rudest construction, which 
he, properly enough, called a hum-strum, and chaunted 
(amongst others) the old ballad of Lord Thamm and 
fair Eleanor, which, by the way, has every appearance 
of being originally a Minstrel song*. It is not in> 
probable that a Minstrel being so rare a character at 
this day, is in a great measure owing to the puritanical 
innovations of the last and latter part of the preceding 
century, and particularly to the abolition of sports or 
public amusements on Sunday afternoons, which a 

• He appeared again in January 1790; and. colled upon the 
present writer in the April following. He waa between 60 and 70 
jtstra of age, but had not been brought up to the profcnion of a min- 
strel; not po mswd any great store of songs, of which bat men. 
lioned in the text Kerned the principal. Having, it would seem, 
yum vat hia minitrel-talenta, and 

" Forgot hit epic, nay pinduic art," 

' he hai been of law frequently observed begging in the street*, 

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spirit of Calvinistical bigotry still teaches groveling 
minds to think repugnant to religion. 
' Dr. Percy, though he admits, that, as the Minstrels 
art " declined, some of them only recited the com- 
positions of others," says, that " many of them still 
composed songs, and all of them could probably in- 
vent a few stanzas upon occasion." He has no doubt 
but most of the old heroic ballads, printed in his own 
collection, " were composed by this order of men." 
In another place he says, that " the artless productions 
of these old rhapsodists, are £in his work] occasionally 
confronted with specimens of the composition of con- 
temporary 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 posterity. 
Yet perhaps the palm will be frequently due to the 
old strolling Minstrels, who composed their vhimes to 
be sung to their harps, and who looked no farther 
than for present applause and present subsistence." 

The ballads which Dr. Percy is inclined to refer to 
the Minstrels, are those in which a reader will observe 
'■' 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 appro* 
priated 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 
rhiines; as 

Cou ntr\e harper bat lei morning 

Ladle finger damsel loving 

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instead of ce&Htty, tidy, hbrper, Anger, ' &c"— Thi* 
liberty seems, however, to have been " sparingly 
asiumed by the classical poets of the same age;" 
and " the ' later ' composers of heroical ballads." The 
old minstrel ballads are likewise " 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." It is also ob- 
served, " that so long as the Minstrels subsisted, they 
seem never to have designed their rriimes for literary 
publication, and probably never committed them to 
writing themselves : what copies are preserved of 
them were doubtless taken down from their own 

This being the case, it ought not to have been a 
matter of wonder if not a single specimen of these 
minstrel rhimes had descended to us. It is rather a 
subject of astonishment, that we should be possessed 
of such a number: Dr. Percy had the good fortune 
to meet with " an ancient folio manuscript, which 
contains near 200 poems, songs, and metrical ro- 
mances. The MS. itself was written about the middle 
of the last century, but contains compositions of all 
times and dates, from the ages prior to Chaucer, to 
the conclusion of the reign of Charles I :" And from 
this MS. the greater part of the contents of die above 
collection, particularly the minstrel ballads, are exi 

• Not all of them. 

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The above MS. is certainly the most singular thins; 
of the kind that was ever known to exist. How such 
a multifarious collection could possibly have been 
formed so late as the year 1650, of compositions from 
the ages prior to Chaucer, most of which had never 
been printed, is scarcely to be conceived by those 
conversant in ancient MSS. ; a similar instance perhaps 
not being Ho be found in any library public or private. 
The existence of this MS., if .ever questioned, is now 
placed beyond the possibility- of a doubt. But it ap- 
pears to have suffered much by ill usage: 

" Sir Cauline" (vol. i. p. 41-) was " in so defective 
and mutilated a condition, that it tea* neccttdry to 
supply several slanzat in the Jtrtt part, and ttill more 
in the second, to connect and complete the story." 
" The ChVd of EUe" (i. 109.) is "given from a frag-, 
tnent," which, " tho' extremely defective and mutilated," 
" excited a strong desire to attempt a completion of the 

" Sir Aldingar " (ii, 60.) is not given without " a ' 
few conjectural emendations, and the insertion of 
three or four stanzas to supply defects in the original 

In the ballad beginning " Gentle herdsman " (ii. 79-) 
" vestiges of several of the lines remaining, some con- 
jectural supplements have been attempted, which, for 
greater exactness, are, in this one ballad, distinguished 
by italicks." This is a measure to which there can be 
no other objection, than that it is confined to "this 
one ballad," which however has not the least appear- 

-,, Google 


ance of being a minstrel song. " At ye came from the 
Holy Land " (iii. 93.) is communicated by Me. Shciv 
stone, " as corrected by him from an ancient MS. and 
supplied with a concluding stanza." 

In "the. heir of Linne" (ii. 128.) " breaches and 
defects rendered the insertion of a few supplemental 
stanzas necessary," which " it is hoped the reader will 
pardon,"- though he is not instructed hcJw to distinguish 

In " The beggart daughter of BtthnaUGreen" (ii. 
162.) "the concluding stanzas" are acknowleged to 
be an interpolation ; and in the prefatory introduction 
is a communication by Mr. Guthrie, of " the only 
stanza he remembered " of another old song on the 
same subject. 

" The marriage of Sir Gawaine " (iii. II .) was " so 
extremely mutilated, half of every leaf being torn 
away, that without large supplements, &c. it would 
have been improper for the collection." " They are 
not however particularly pointed out, because the 
fragment itself will some time or other be given to 
the public *.** 

* The word thlaci is repeatedly used by Spenser mid other indent 
Writers, always in the sense of manners, behaviour,' r*the qualifica- 
tions af the mind, Shakipcsre, as Mr. Stems has justly olwervnd, 
rt singular in his application of it to the perfections of the body. 
Yet, in The marriage of Sir Guiraine, we read 

" He's twice the size of common men, 
Wi' thrxtt and nnewei atronge." 

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** King Arthur's death " (iii, 28.) " being very in- 
correct and imperfect, . . . received some conjectural 
emendations, and even a supplement of three or four 

" It cannot be denied, but thai a great part of 

• The Birth of St. George,' is modern," (iii. 219). It 
may be safely denied, however, that the least part of 
it is ancient. 

As to " Valentine and Orson," (iii. 280.) " it would 
be in vain to put off this ballad for ancient, nor yet is 
it altogether modem. The original is an old MS. 
poem in the Editors possession, [not indeed in the 
folio MS.]; which being hi a wretched and corrupt 
state, the subject was thought worthy of some em- 

Many other instances might be noticed, where the 
learned collector has preferred his ingenuity to his 
fidelity, without the least intimation to the reader. 

It follows, from the manner in which this celebrated 
collection is avowedly published, that no confidence 
can be placed in any of the " old Minstrel ballads" 
inserted in that collection, and not to be found else- 

There are .however some pieces of which we are 
otherwise in possession, and which, according, to the 

Thfc pawge therefore, though quoted in support of Shaispcarc, is to 
be regarded w one of Ibe editors " large supplements," and affords 

* (perhaps singular) proof of his inattention to ancient language. 

' (N. B. The above note, written before the publication of the no* 
edition, is confirmed by the original fragment. ) 



rules laid down by Dr. Percy, may- be supposed to 
have been originally written for and sung to the harp. 
Such are the following (being all of this kind known 
to exist): 

1 The battle of Chevy-chase. 

2. The battle of Otterbourne, 

3. Little Musgrave and lady Barnard. 

4. Lord Thomas and fair Eleanor. 

5. Fair Margaret and sweet William. 

6. John Dory. 

7- John Armstrong. 
8. Captain Car. 
The first was originally printed by Mr. Heame, at 
the end of his edition of William of Newborough, and 
reprinted by Dr. Percy (i. 1.). Of the second, two MS. 
copies are extant, one in the Harleian and the other 
in the Cotton library; from the latter of which it is 
printed in the third edition of the Relique*. The 
third ia printed in Drydena Miscellany (iii. 307-)- A 
circumstance attending this ballad will make it evident, 
that the Minstrel songs were thought improper for the 
press. The old black letter copies are very different, 
and have been modernised and polished for publica- 
tion. Dr. Percy professes to have given the song in 
his collection from an old printed copy in the British 
Museum, and observes, that " in the Pepys collection 
is an imitation of * it ' in a different measure, by a 
more modern pen, with many alterations, but evidently 
for the worse." It is however no less certain than re- 
markable, that the old printed copy in the Museum 

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differs in no respect from the imitation in the Pepysian 

The fourth is one of the two or three ballads of this 
kind known to be printed in black letter, and yet it 
has not been thought sufficiently smooth for recitation 
or melody, since there is a rifacimento of it extant, 
but of the most contemptible nature. 

John Dory is a well known minstrel song, and was 
never printed in black letter, nor at all (till of late) 
except in the book whence it is taken. Both the fifth 
and the seventh are also to appearance minstrel songs, 
and were printed in black letter. The eighth is ex- 
tant in a MS. of the Cotton library. 

These songs, from their wild and licentious metre, 
were incapable of any certain melody or air *; they 
were chanted, in a monotonous stile, to the harp or 
other instrument, and both themselves and the per- 
formers banished by the introduction of ballad- singers 
without instruments, who sung printed pieces to fine 
and simple melodies, possibly of their own invention, 
most of which are known and admired at this day f. 
The latter, owing to the smoothness of their language, 

• It is to this peculiarity that Puttenhani allude*, when be rays 
" Your ordinaiie rimers use very much their measures in the odde, 
M nine and eleven, and tbo ahaipe accent upon thtf hut tillable, 
which therefore make* him go M-favouredly and like a MINSTRELS 
ktjricix." See the Essay (new edition) p. er. 

t Hence we perceive one reason why the ballad -singers were 
under the necessity of having moat of the old minstrel ballads they 
adopted new written; another might be, that the original! were too 

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and accuracy of their measure and rime, were thought 
to be more poetical than the old harp or instrument 
songs ; and though critics may judge otherwise, the 
people at large were to decide, and did decide : and 
in some respects, at least, not without justice, as 
will be evident from a comparison of the following 

The first ia from the old Chevy-Chate, a very popular 
minstrel-ballad in the time of queen Elizabeth : 

" The Pens owt of Northombstlande, 

And a vowp. to god mayd he. 
That he volde hunts in the mountayns 

Off Chyviat within dayeithre, 
Iu ihr. miugcc of doughte Dogla, 

And all that ever with Mm be. 

The fattiete bartes in all Chaviat 

He s»yd he wold kill, and caty them away: 

Be my feth, nyd the doogheti Doglai agsyn, 
I wyH let that hontyng jf that I may." 

How was it possible that this barbarous language, 
miserably chanted " by some blind ohowdeb, with 
no rougher voice than rude stile*," should maintain 
its ground against such lines as the following, sung to 
a beautiful melody, which we know belongs to them? 

" When u king Hairy rul'd the land, 

The second of that name. 

Besides the queen he daily lov'd 

A fail and comely dune : 

• Sir P. Sidney, Defence of Poetry. 



Mart peerlea wu her been ty found, 

Her favour and her face ; 
A tweeter creature in the world 

Did nerirr prince embnee. 

Ha crisped iocki like threads of gold 

Appear'd to each man's light. 
Her iparkliug eyes, like orient pearls, 

Did CM ■ heav'nly light: 

The blood within her cbrutal cheeks 

Did iueh a colour drive, 
Aaif the lily md the rose 

For mastership did strive *. " 

The minstrels would seem to hare gained little by 
such a contest. In short, they gave up the old Chevy- 
chase to the ballad- singers, who, desirous, no doubt, 
to avail themselves of so popular a subject, had it new 
written, and sung it to the favourite melody just men- 
tioned. The original, of course, became utterly neg- 
lected and forgotten, and, but for its accidental dis- 
covery by Heame, would never have been known to 

John Dory was the constant companion of the min- 
strels ; he stuck by them to the last, and may be said 
indeed to have died in the service. Let us see what 
sort of a figure he would cut in company with Queen 

" As it fell on k holy day, 
And upon a holy tide s, 
John Dory bought him an ambling nag, 
To Paris for to ride a." 

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" When Troy town had, for ten years ' past,' 
Withstood the Greeks in mental wise, 
Then did their foes increase so fast, 

That to resist nought could suffice: 
Waste lye those wolli which wen bo good, 

And com now grows where Troy town stood. *' 

One comparison more, and we have done ; 

" Mcthinks I hear the throstle cock, 
Methinks I hear the jay, 
M et hinks I bear lord Barnard* bom ; 
And I would I wen away. 

Lye still, lye still, thou little M usgrave, 

And boggle me from the cold ; 
'Tii nothing but ■ shepherds boy, 

A driving his sheep to the fold *." 

" These pretty babes, with hand in hand, 
Went wandering up and down ; 
But never more could see the man, 
Returning from the town: 

Theii pretty lips with blackberries 

Were all besmear'd and dy'd ; 
And when they saw the darksome night, 

They sate them down and ery'd f." 

These stanzas, exclusive of their superior smoothness, 
may defy all the minstrel- songs extant, nay even those 
in the Reliques of 'ancient English poetry, for simplicity, 
nature, interest, and pathos, to which it must be con- 
fessed these celebrated rhapsodies have very small 

■ Uttle Mtugrovc and lady Barnard. 

| Children in the wood. 

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Of the Scotiab minstrels few particulars can be now 
recovered. In an act of parliament, made anno 1457-8, 
bairdet are ranked with sornares, mauter-jvll beggert, 
and feinzied fuilet (not gypsies as Finkerton has it, 
for that is not only an impudent interpolation but a 
ridiculous anachronism). " But, in 1474 [r. 1471]>" 
says this writer, " minstrels are ranked with knigJds 
and herald*, and such as could spend 100 pounds a 
year land-rent, and are allowed to wear silk apparel." 
(Ancient Scotish poems, 1786, p. Ixxviii.) The pro- 
vision of the statute is " That, considering the greate 
povertie of the realme, . . . na man sail weare silkes in 
time cumming, in doublet, gowne, or cloakes, except 
knichtes, tninstreUet, and herauldex; without that the 
wearer of the samin may spend ane hundreth pundes 
vi orth of land rent, under the paine of amerciament to 
the king of twentie pound, als oft as they ar found in 
wearin silkes, and escheitting of the same, to be given 
to the htrauldes and minstreUes." These two cha- 
racters should seem to have been excepted not only on 
account of their party-coloured dress, but also because 
they were not themselves at the expence of it. The 
minsirelles hare meant, I am persuaded, were trum- 
peters or such like musicians in the kings service ; 
and by no means persons who got their livelihood by 
contributing to the amusements of the common people, 
and are, doubtless, the bairdet of the preceding statute. 

After all, the minstrel songs, under the circum- 
stances in which they were produced, are certainly 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


both curious and valuable compositions, and could 
any further lights be thrown upon the history of those 
by or for whom they were invented, a collection of all 
that can be discovered would still be a very entertain- 
ing and interesting work; but if such a publication - 
should ever appear, it is to be hoped that it will come 
from an editor who prefers truth to hypothesis, and 
the genuine remains of the minstrel-poets; however 
mutilated or rude, to the indulgence of his own poetical 
vein, however fluent or refined. 

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I. To pretend to frame a History, or any thing re- 
sembling one, from the scanty gleanings it is possible 
to collect upon the subject of our ancient songs and 
vulgar music, would be vain and ridiculous. To bring 
under one view the little fragments and slight notices 
which casually offer themselves in the course of ex- 
tensive reading, and sometimes where they are least 
likely to occur, may possibly serve to gratify a sympa- 
thetic curiosity, which is all here aimed at ; and when 
so little is professed, there can scarcely be reason to 
complain of disappointment. 

The trifling information that can be obtained upon 
the songs and music of the Anglo-Saxons has been 
already collected*, and is unnecessary to be here 

* , See Percys Etuj an tlie Ancient English Minstrels, p. xxiii. 
Ac. and > Historical Essay on National Song, prefixed to " A Select 
CaUcclim of English Song;" published in 1783, p. xtii. 

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repeated. The. present enquiry therefore must be 
supposed to commence from the Norman Conquest, 
although the first ' English rime ' to be met with in 
it does not occur till long after. This is a couple of 
lines preserved by old Lambarde, which, with the 
anecdote they relate to, the reader may not be dis- 
pleased to see. If he be, indeed, it is apprehended 
there will be very little in this Essay capable of attract- 
ing his attention, or preserving his good humour. 

" In tymeof Hen. II. \jtnno 1173] Robert therl of 
Leycester (after the spoile of his towne of Leicester) 
came from beyond the seaa with a rabble of Fleminges 
and Normanes, whom he made to beleve that al was 
theirs before hand, and as he was on his way, he pur- 
posed to spoile ' the ' town and thabbey [of St Ed. 
mundes Burye'J; but bycause he might come upon 
them the more unwares, he swarved a litel out of the 
waye, as thoughe he ment not to come neare theim. 
"Now while his gallantes paused upon the heathe, they 
fell to daunce and singe, 

" Hoppe Wyiitin, hoppe WyflyHn, 
IngUnd is thyne mil mync, jc" 

In the meane tyme the kinges army came sodenly upon 
them, and eyther slew, drowned, or toke them all*." 
For this story mr. Lambarde refers us to Matthew 
Paris ; but where he found the song, or whether he 
had any more of it, is not mentioned. 

Mr. Camden has noticed another rime of the same 

* Dictionary of England, p. 3«. 

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age, not strictly a song, perhaps, but deserving, never- 
theless, to be brought forward upon the present oc- 
casion. Having observed that the river Waveney 
runs to Bungey in Suffolk, and almost encompasses it, 
" Here," says lie, " Hugh Bigod [earl of Norfolk] 
-when the seditious barons pat all England in an up- 
roar, fortify 'd a castle, to the strength whereof nature 
very much contributed. Of which he was wont to 
boast, as if it were impregnable : 

" Wen I in my castle of Bungey, 
Upon the river of Waveney, 
I would nc cue for the king of Cockeney." 

Notwithstanding which, he was afterwards fore'd to 
compound with a great sum of money and hostages with 
Henry the second, to save it from being demolish!*." 
These two rimes, supposing them to be given, upon 
good authority, are valuable, independent of other con- 
siderations, as the earliest specimens of the English 
language, not being pure Saxon +. 

It should seem, from a rather extraordinary passage 

• Urtiannia (by Gibson, 1009, p. 375;. It is sufficient for any 
editor to quote such authorities as Laoibardc and Camden ; but it is 
certain, frum contemporary remains, that these extracts (particularly 
the latter) cannot possibly be the idiom of the 12th century. 

f The riming charter printed by Stow (Annttlei, 1592. p. 141) ii a 
forgery. Higgons, speaking of the massacre of the Danes, by order 
of K. Ethelrcd, 100-J, says, " This happen'd upon St. Brtcc's ere, 
which is still celebrated by the northern EngiiA, . in commemoration 
of this infamous action, the women beating bran initrttmcntt in the 
streets, and tinging old rhimei in praise of their cruel a 
Short FUv o/EHgliA History. 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


of Giraldus Cambrensis, that songs and vocal harmony 
were very common about this period. His words are 

" They [the Welsh] sing without uniformity of 
musical modulation, as elsewhere, but multifariously, 
and in many,modes and tunes, so that in a croud of 
singers, as is the manner of this people, as many heads 
as you see, so many songs yon hear and different' 
voices, all finally under B soft, with a charming sweet- 
ness, agreeing in one harmony and organic melody. 
In the northern parts also of Great Britain, beyond 
the H umber, and in the borders of Yorkshire, the 
English, who inhabit those parts, use in singing a 
similar symphoniac harmony: but only in two dif- 
ferent or various tones and voices ; the one murmur- 
ing the lower, the other at the same time in a soft and 
pleasing manner warbling the upper. Nor is it by art 
only but by ancient use, and as if now converted into 
nature by constant habit, that this or that people hath 
acquired this peculiarity. For it so far hath grown 
up, and such deep root hath now taken among each, 
that nothing is wont to be uttered simply, or otherwise 
than variously as among the first, or doubly as among 
the latter : boys also (which is the more to be wondered 
at) and even infants (when first from cries they break 
forth into songs) observing the same modulation. The 
English, I believe, for not generally all, but the northern 
people only, use this sort of modulation of voices, from 
the Danes and Norwegians who used to occupy those 
parts of the island more frequently, and continue in 



the possession of them longer, as they contracted the 
affinity of speaking, so also the property of singing "." 
The not being able to understand or account for such 
h singularity, seems an insufficient reason for disbe- 
lieving the relation : it is no unusual thing however 
for this author, ancient as he is, and right-reverend as 
he was, to have his veracity questioned. 

From the reign of Henry II. to that of his successor 
of the same name, is a long leap ; but we meet with 
nothing to stay us. Of the latter reign, besides the 
song before printed in" the following collection, we have 
a very curious historical ballad, a satire upon Richard 
- king of the Romans f : another of the same age we 
cannot with certainty refer to. 

From that most valuable manuscript in the Harleian 
library, whence the above satire is extracted, we are 
supplied with several songs of the two following reigns ; 
and history, sufficiently sparing of such favours, con- 
descends to furnish us with a vulgar relique or two 
belonging to the first of them. 

The battle of Dunbar was fought and won by the 
earl of Warenne, the 38th of April 1296; " and tiro 
seide the Englisshmen in reprefe of the Scottis: 

Th us scaterand Scottia, 
Holde I for tootii, 
Of wrendiie un ware ; 
* Cambria detcriptio, c. liii. See aln Hawkins's HUtory qf 
Mutie, i. 408. Dr. Bumej found similar effects produced by the 
chuwh-semce in Flandm end Germany. See his PriiaU title of 
mutic in thoae countries, volume i. pp. 9, 201, 236. 
+ See Percys Relique; ii. 1. and in/rs, p. 12. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


Eerly in a momyng, 
In an evyl tyding, 
Went ye i'roo Dunbwre." 
The wits on the other side had indeed, it should 
seem, commenced this kind of hostilities, which it 
were to be wished had been the only one that ever 
prevailed between the two nations. " King Edward," 
says our authority, " went him toward Berwyke, and 
biseged the toune and tho that were withyn manlich 
hem defended, and sett on fire and brent ij of the king 
Edwarde shippes, and seide in dispite and reprefe of 

" Wend kyng Edewarde with his langc ihankcs. 
To have gete Berwyke &1 our unthanltes ? 
Gu pikes hym, and after gas dikes hym." 

Their pleasantry, however, was, in the present in- 
stance, somewhat ill-timed, for as soon as the king 
heard of it, he assaulted the town with such vigour, 
that he carried it with the loss of 25,700 Scots. This 
happened on the thirtieth of March in the same year*. 

* Old Chronicle MSS. HarL 226. 7333., muehthe same to all ap- 
pearance with that printed by Caxton. See also P. Laugtoft. pp. 273. 
21S. The number seems prodigiously exaggerated. 

Robert Mannyng (or of Bninne) the ingenious translator of "P. 
Iongtofts riming chronicle has preserved another song on the above 
battle. For thus he writes in what he calls rime couae; 
" The Scottis had no grace, to spede in ther space, for to mend thcr 

Thei filed ther face, that died in that place, the Inglia rymed this. 

Oure fote folk pnttham in the polk, and nakned ther nagea, 

Bi no way herd I never say of pester pages, 

Purees to pike, robis to rike, and in dike (ham schonne. 

Thou wiffin Scottc of Abrethin, ttotte ia tlii honnt." p. 277. 

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Songs on national topics were at this time generally 
written in French, ' many ' of which, and ' several ' of 
them very curious, are still in being*. 

The venerable father of English poetry had in his 
time penned " many a song and many a lecherous 
lay," of which we have infinitely more reason to regret 
the loss, than he had in his old-age to repent the com- 
position 1\ His larger works, and above all the in- 
imitable Canterbury Tales, afford us numerous par- 
ticulars relative to the state of vocal melody in that 
age. The genlil Pardonerc, 

" That atrtit m comen from the court of Rome, 
Ful loude lie wag, Come hither, love, to me. 
The Sompnour beu to him ■ stiff burdoun. 
Was never trompe of half m gret a roun J." 

This burdoun must have been the base, and would 
somewhat resemble, in all likelihood, the drone of a 
bagpipe; which, it should be remembered, the word 
actually signifies in its original language. 

' See MS. H«L 3253. [from which two specimen, are- now 

f flower, hi) contemporary and friend, bean testimony to die lyric 
effusions of his juvenile muse : 

" Grete wel Chancer, whan ye mete, 
As my disciple and my poete ; 
For in the Bonn of his youth, 
In sondrie wise, as he wel couth, 
Of detect andwf nmgtt glade, 
The which he for my sake made." 
t Millena Tale, (Note, that nil the quotations here made from 
the Canterbury Talti, are from the rahwble edition of the late mn 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


Alison, the carpenters wife, had a great many ac- 

" But of hire song, it was at loud and yerne. 
At any swslow sitting on a beraeV' 

And the Wife of Bath, in her younger days, as she 
herself tells us, could sing like a nightingale. 

The songs of Robin Hood, a hero of an earlier 
period, were so popular in this age, that a satirical 
writer of the time represents a secular priest as having 
neglected bis breviary to acquire them : 

This Randal of Chester was Randal Blundeville, the 
third and last earl of that name, a generous, martial 
baron, and a crusader, who died in 1331 ; and not 
Randal Higdec, the monk and chronicler, as tor. 
Warton strangely imagines J. 

The author, whoever he was, of the additions .to 
Chaucers Canterbury Tales, has in his Prologue of 
" the mery adventure of the pardonere and tapBtere," 
preserved the name of what was probably at that 
period (the end of the 14th century) a popular 

• Millerea Talc 

+ Viiiex nf (i. c concerning) fieri tht Plowman ; supposed to be 
written by Robert Langeland, a priest, about the year 1360. 
i Hist. Eng. Poetry, ii. 1 79. 

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" And nghed than with a IitH time that tin: it hue niygnte, 
Andgan to rown and fcyn this song, A"<™ toi't then do me rlghie'." 

The common people, no doubt, have in all ages been 
fond of singing in die alehouse f: Thus, for the age 
of which we are now speaking, the author of Piers 

" And tlieti mtea mac sad tonge at the nale." 

And the author of the Plowmant Tale (not Chancer, 
to whom it has been erroneously, ascribed) reprehends 
the priests for the ambition of being 

" Chief chantours at the nale J." 
The songs made use of by these wassailers § would 

* Urryi Chaucer, p. 694, 

t They have been equally addicted to quarreling then, from the 
remotest period. See LL. In*, c. 6. LL. jEthtlrcdi, c. 1. LL. 
Hen. I. c. 81. 

X Fart 3, stan. 22, v. 2. Thai too a song of Henry the aixths 
time: MS. Had. 4294. 

"And thou goo to the nale 
Ai awry a* a nyghtyngalb" 

§ WiufuU and Drinchcil woe the terms of art of the old topers 
at the nab, who need to make the wellrin resound with them, " The 
old ale-knights of England," says Camden, " were well depainted 
out of ' John HaaviU, a monk of S. Albans,' In the eb-hooie 
colours of that tune, In this manner ; 

Janqpe vagante icypho, AUtbicUi* gntture washeil - 
Ingembmnt washdl; labor ettplut pttderc lint 

• Other eoplw hs« tlliHntt i but dUtincto gutlun mmi the true reading, 
■ad amwai to the French, Gn-gt tteptcyt. 

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not, it is presumed, be remarkable for delicacy or ele- 

Quam lilii ; cxhanrire merum vchemcntiut ardtnt, 
Qnam aAaurire itiim. 

Remaines, 4lo. 1605. Poems, p. C. 

Sir T. de la Moor, about to describe tie. battle of Bannockbnm, lias 
the following words : " Vidittct prima node Anglos liaud Anglico 
more vino madentet, crapulam cructanttt, Wassaile j- Drinkehaile 
plai tolito inft/nantei." Vita Edward! II. The Saxons, according 
to Fordun, spent the night preceding the battle of Hastings in the 
came manner : " Ittom noctem Angii totam in canltinu et potSna 
intemnem dnxerunt." c 13. 

For the latter fact, indeed, we have a better authority ia maiitre 
Wacc'i Life of the conqueror : 

" M a It let veiuiex iemener 
Treper et taUlir et chanter, 
Lublie [f. luclice] orient et weisseil, 
Et Iaticome et tbinchril, 
Drincblndrewart, et drincome 
Drinc belf et drincome." 

Much yon should see them demean [themselves] 

Trip and dance and ring, 

Gladly [do] they cry, and Mt&rU 

And Let 'em come [at let it cornel Bnd <*"»**«'» 

Drink hitherward and drink to me. 

Drink health, and drink to me. 

Old Robert of Gloucester likewise ha* a similar observation. 

" The Englysse al the nyght byvore vaite bygon to ayn£e. 
And ipende al the nyght in glotony and in dryngynge." 

It is almost needless to observe, that these two are the very first 
Saxon words which we know, from historical evidence, to have been 

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gance; but, whatever they. were, it might afford some 
little satisfaction to be acquainted with them * . 

pronounced in this country. Vortigem, K. of Britain, being invited 
to supper by his all; Hengiat, at lite newly built castle of Syding- 
bourn in Kent,-waa, liter supper, approached by Herigists beautiful 
daughter Bowena, who, having a goblet of wine in her hand, and 
muling a graceful reverence, said, pits hell hlafOKo Cyning, 
i. e. be of health, lord king ; tu which the king, being instructed 
by hi* interpreter, replied, */unc lleil, i. e. drink health. The bait 
had its effect; the king, smitten with the young ladye charms, dc. 
sired and obtained her in marriage, divorcing hit wife, and giving up 
the whole of Kent to Hcngiat, 

* Will the reader pardon the insertion of the only specimen that 
ha* occurred, and of which, u dr. Johnson has somewhere observed, 
" the merrimont is very groan, and the aeutunenta very worthless ?" 
to which mi. Andrewsadds in the winds of Thomas Heatne, " It ii 
trifling, and little is to be gathered from it, yet it is a curiosity." 

" Brytig us home good ale, air, bryng us home good ale ; 
And, for our der lady love, brynge us home good ale. 

Brynge home no beff. air, for (hat yt full of bony a, 
But brynge home good ale inowgh, for I love wyle that 

Bat, fee. 
Brynge ui home no wetyn brede, for that ya full of braund, 
Nothyr no ry brede, for that ys of that same. 

But, Ac 
Brynge us home no porke, sir, for that ys very fat, 
Nethyr no barly brede, for nethyr lovys I that. 

But bryng us home good ale. 
Bryng us home no mutton, sir, for that ys togh and lene, 
Nethyr no trypys, for they be seklyn dene. 

But bryng, &c- 
Bryng ui home no vele, air, for that will not dur, 
But bryng us home good ale inogh to drynke by the fyr. 

But, &c 
VOL. I. e 

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II. With respect to the music of this distant period, 
we are still more at a loss, than we are as to its gongs. 
It was (frobably nothing more than the plain chant, or 
" a succession of sounds of the same name and place 
in the scale ; via. C tolja ut, being the mean part of a 
tenor voice," with utile or no pretension to melody, 
the graces of the air being altogether arbitrary, and 
depending entirely upon the skill or powers of the 
performer. Certain it is, that no secular music of 
these times, such as may be supposed to have been in 
vogue among the common people, is known to be pre- 
served. Dr. Burney confesses that he had not been 
So fortunate as to meet with a single tune to an English 
song or dance, in ell the libraries and manuscripts he 
had consulted, so ancient as the fourteenth century*. 
Sir John Hawkins had already made a similar ob- 
servation f; and the only doubt which these gentle- 
men leave upon the minds of their readers is, whether 
they have met with one so ancient as the jifleenth. 
One may go still further; it is perhaps impossible to 
produce even the bare name of a song or dance-tune 
in use before the year 1500. The oldest country- 
dance-tune now extant, sir John Hawkins says, is 

Bryag u» home Do aydyi, nor no palde wyne, 
For ud thu do tbow ihalt have Crysts curse and mjne. 
But, &a" 

It Is of or about the time of Henry VI. and is given from MS. 
Hark 641. 

* Hiit. of Mink, ii. 361. 

t HUU ofMiric, ii. 91. 

), g ,:,« ^Go6gIe 


that known by the name of SeUengera, >. e. St. Legera 
Round, which may be traced back to nearly the time 
of Henry VIII*. It is nevertheless highly probable, 
that some little light tones for dances were known 
from very early times. The hompipt is thought by 
mudicians to be the tiativc production of this country, 
but, if so, it was, possibly, invented as well as used by 
those who could not read a note t. 

* Hilt, of MmU, ii. 91. The proof railed, however, does not 
earry it much nearer than the year 1691. 

t Chiuco, in his Romarnt of ike Hon, ipeake of " hornpipes of 
Comewaile," ai ■ musical instrument; to this the ratal dances so 
Called were perhaps originally performed, and owe 'a denomination 
for which it will otherwise be very difficult to account. In a MS, of 
ancient tonga and music found among the books of the king) library 
m the Museum, and now deposited among the royal M88. not later 
than Hen. the VIHlha time, it "ahomepype;" but the authority 
of a gentleman, every way qualified to be a competent judge, enables 
the bditoT to aay, that it ban no resemblance to the hornpipe Of 
modem time*, being a very long and Miami composition. 
' In Nicholas Bretons Woorku of a young wit, 1677, are preserved 

" Bat let them be audi as they were, by chaunea. 
Our banquet doone, we had our muiicke by : 
And then you knowe the youth roust needea go* daunce, 

. First galianU, then Iannis, and heidegy. 
Old bitty gallant. A® Jtourti of the broomt. 
And then a hall, for dauncen must hare roome." 
A hall! a hall! waa the ordinary cry on such occasions. So in 
Shakspeares Romeo and Juliet : 

" A ball! a ball! give room, and foot it, girls." 
The following are noticed in Stephen Ooaton* " Schoole of abuse," 
IftJD: Rogero, Turkehmy, The lhaking of the riieeti, and The 

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Sir John Hawkins has, indeed, pronounced that 
" songs and ballads, with easy tunes adapted to them, 
must at all times' have been the entertainment not only 
of the common people, but of the better sort;" and 
that " these must have been of various kinds, as namely 
satirical, humorous, moral, and not a few of them of 
the amorous kind. Hardly any of these," he adds, 
" with the music of them, are at this day to be met 
with, and those few that are yet extant axe only to be 
found in odd part books, written without bars, and with 
ligatures, in a character so obsolete, that all hopes of 
recovering them, or of rendering, to any tolerable de- 
gree intelligible, any of the common popular tunes in 
use before the middle of the sixteenth century, must be 
given up*." It is not to be presumed that the learned 
writer is, in this very curious passage, describing what 
he never saw, much less what does not exist; it is 
therefore much to be regretted, that he did not consult 
some persons (and undoubtedly there are many) to 
whom the want of bars, the use of ligatures, and a 
character so obsolete, would have proved no impedi- 
ment But what "common popular tunes" have to 
do in " odd part books," is not easy to conceive. 

A manuscript in the possession of the editor of the 
following collection, and written, partly at least, in the 
rimes of Richard II. and Henry IV. contains, perhaps, 
the oldest specimens of vulgar music that can be pro- 
duced ; and, as it is rather a curiosity, a few extracts 

■ Hut. statu, iii. a. 

), i:, EH i * Google 


may not be thought, improper*. A total ignorance of 
the musical art is not the only inconvenience under 
which the present writer labours; what he thus in- 
serts is, therefore, to be regarded as mere matter of 
antiquity: He leaves bars to be added, ligatures to be 
untied, and obsolete characters to be decyphered, by 
those whose genius and studies have qualified them 
for the task; thinking it enough for him to have 
afforded matter for the exercise of their ingenuity. 

■ On the inside of the coffer is the following note by " honest 
Tom Martin of Palgrave;" "Thii book is the hand -writing of 
the famous John Brakley, frier minor of Norwich, tutor and master 
to judge Paaton, whose accounts these are, when he was at the inns 
of court at London; * 

Obijt Wam PaOon, Jutticiarim Regit, Ac 1418, L'ra Daicalii D. 

The Songs are very curious." 

Mr. Martin via reckoned a skilful antiquary and an ingenious 
man j but he haa committed at lean one considerable mfatata in this 
account, as judge Paaton, who waa bom in 1378, did not die before 
1444 : and that frier Brakley ma his tutor is, at lout, highly im- 
probable; since he is spoken of in 1469, as recently dead ; when even 
Jus supposed pupil would have been 91. See Original Letten, 
daring the rcigtu o/Henty VI., &£. i>. 330. 

The manuscript hat been since presented to the British Museum. 

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Here is a. picture of the Virgin Mother rocking her 

ght ■ blisfnl biide 
myM in cndQ kep 

a blowura bright that inurnyng mode and mirgh of mange 
> Iedbtc child that softly tlepc icho Ml and ungt 

I law a mete ttm\j ijght a blisfnl Hide 
A maydin inoder nek &. myM in cndQ kep 

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, » 4«j„. a »^«i. 

I u ■ awete semly eight a bloetiim blight a bli»- 
A inaydin moder mek and mild in cradil kepe a knave 



Ail bird that murnjng made and of m[ange]. 
child that eoftly llepe nclio ate and Binge. 

And here the Lullaby ebc uses upon the occasion : 

LuDay luBow lully, lulUy bevy 

^^A,^ tB ?^ 

bewy lully bewy loll; follow lully lullay 

tww baw my bane ilepe softly now lnllay lollo* 

:■, .,,, -,X',OOg\C 


lolly ■ lulUy licwy ■ barj 

The longest and only complete piece, is a dreaming 
relation of a dialogue supposed to have passed between 
the above lady and her infant son. It begins thus; 

" This coder oithgt, 
I Gsug ha nilhgt, 

Ha may ha credill kepe , 
Hande ever achuy tang, 
Ande Hyde in mang, 

Ldllsy my child and alepe." 

This no doubt, as well as the third, and possibly the 
last, of the above extracts, was a Christmas carol, a 
species of composition of which the reader will find 
a tolerable number of .examples in the course of the 

, y Cookie 


' following collection." It might indeed haye been 
easily enlarged, but is sufficient to show, that poetry 
or song derived little advantage, in point of language 
or sentiment, from the imagined sublimity of the 
subject. - 

III. The music of these remote ages naturally leads 
to an enquiry after the instruments by which it was 
performed. Of these the habp, as it was probably the 
most, ancient, was long esteemed the chief. This in- 
strument was well known in the time of Chaucer, by 
whom it is frequently mentioned. His Frere could 
play upon and sing to it*; and the genial Wife of 
Bath had frequently danced to it in her younger days t, 
for which purpose, it seems to have been an ordinary 
retainer or visitant to taverns and such like places J. 
It continued in use till after the reign of queen Elisa- 
beth, possibly till the civil wars, but was long held in 
the lowest estimation § : since that time it has been 

t Wire of Baths prologue. 

i f'hmicer mentions the <i««faig of " yonge folk," in 

" : Mewes and tavernea, 

— with harpii, lutes, and giternea . ■ 
And right anon in comen tornbateras. 
Fetid and snjale and yongo fruiteateres, 
Singtrt with harpet, &c" Paidonera Tale. 

§ From its being usually played by blind men, at blind at 
\arper became proverbial (see Lilys' Sappho and Phae, 1691)"; an 
he phrase bttnd harper a term of general ridicule and contempt. 

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entirely laid aside, or at least very rarely used as an 
English instrument *. The saotbik, or psaltery, was 
Thin in Jonsoni Voipone t 

" Cm. O my dear Mosca, do') be not perceive m ? 
Mot. No more than a blind ftorpcr." 
Again In Cottons Virgil Travertin: 

" Quoth be, blind harptrt, have among ye I" 
, Snakspoare has likewise uicd it in Ma Loaf Labour Lost ; 
" Nor woo in rime, like a blind harpert song." 
Shakspeaie, however, certainly doc* not mean to treat it with con- 
tempt, when he makes Glendower at; 

" I can speak English, lord, ai well at you, 
For I *u train'd up in the English conit ; 
Where, being young, I framed to the harp, 
Many an English ditty lovely welL" 

Piiit part of K. H. IV. a. 3. a 1. 

* " HoneN Jack AT b, the harper," li however remembered 

in one of Tom Browns Lttten front the Dead to the Living. Workt, 
a. 191. And seeins to have plyed al " toe OJlar at tbe Still [in 
the Strand]." See Wards " Satyrteal Reflection! upon Otto," 
p. 273. 

Thai also, In one of Tom D'nrieji tongs t 

In London Lgckpeny we find t 
" Then I hyed me unto Eitchepe, 

Onne eryel rybbl of befe & many a pye [ 

Pewter pot tea they cluttered on a hrpc, 

There .was harpc, pype, and mynstrelsye j 

Yea by cock, tuvy by cock, some began crye, 

Sons bonge or Jekexx and Jclyaw for than medel : 

But for lack of mony I myght not epede." 

See MS. Hml. 367. 

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an instrument of the harp kind, on which Uendy 
Nicholas, the scholar of Oxenford, was an adept : 

" Andsll nbove thereby a guj itndrfc, 
On which he msde on nightie melodic j 
So iwetely, that all the dumber rang, 
And Angela* ad Virgmem he song- 
And after that he aonge the Icinge* note. 
Full often bleseed wu hu mtrj throte"." 

The Kinget Note was doubtless some well-known song 
of the time, and probably the very same which is 
mentioned in Vedderbttrnes Complayni of Scotland 
(usually ascribed to Sir James Inglis) printed at St. 
Andrews, in 1 549, under the title of " kyng villyamis 

Chaucer mentions the bote as an instrument on 
which his Frere excelled : 

" Wei oonde he tinge and plnien on a rote +." 

This, it is conjectured, was the same with the more mo» 

In one of Hoganhs prints of the Roltti progreu, a harper, • 
French horn player, and a nigged big belly'd female ballad singer 
an performing a concert in a brothel. 

* Millers Tale. Again i 

" He kiuedhere (trete, and taketh hit lOHfrie, 
And plaieth fait, and maketh melodic" 
' f Prologue. 

>,gi .,,, :,C.OOgIc — 


dern vielh *, the bjra. mendicorum. 

or hurdy-gurdy t> *° 

frequent at this day in the streets of London, though 
not in the hands of the natives, the strings of which . 
are agitated by the friction of a tokeel%. It is likewise 
named by Gower in Ms Cunfessid Amanlis, 

" — Hwpe, cdtole, and bio it, 
With many a tewne and many a notei" 

and by Spenser, in the fourth boot of the Faerie Queene 
(Canto ix.) 

" There did he God in her delirious home 
The fain) Pnana playing oil a rote." 

The cjtolb, or cistole, as it is elsewhere called 
(from cistdla, a little box), is thought to have been the 
dulcimer, or some instrument of the same kind. 

The bibible and gitebnb were favourite instru- 
ments of Absolon the parish clerk : 

" A may child be was, bo god me tare ; 
In twenty manere could he trip and dance, 

• The vielie of the Jongleurs, which dr. Percy make* " a kind of 
lute or guitar,' 9 wis the violin. See M. de la lUvailliere, de VAr.- 
cientieti del Chanami Franfolui {PoUiiei it* roy it Ifavarre),' 
i. 248. M. le Grand, Fabliaux on CtmUl, L 49. 

t The ate of (his term, though rejected by uictionsjy.nmkera, U 
not without clauical authority : 

" Whom hare we here ? a tightly twain and tturdy ! 
Hum 1 plays, I ace, upon the hurdy-gurdy." Midas. 
See also Bonnel Thorntons Ode to St. Cecilia. 

f Bee M. de la Ravailliere, rAncimntt6 iei Chaniom, p. 264. 
M. le Grands objection, grounded upon the equivocal term citkara, 
doe* not Kern of much weight. 

-_ v Google 


And pUycn songes on a small bibiblk, 
Thcito he nog sometime ■ loud quinibltr. 
And as wel coud he play on ■ oiterne. 
Id all the wan n'u'brewhouj ne taveme, 
That be ne visited with hij ndas, 
Thee aa that any gaillard taprtere w«'." 

The description of bis serenading the carpenters 
1 wife is admirable : 

" The moooe at night fill elere and bright* ahon, 
And Abaolon his giteroe hath ytake, 

For paramour* he thoughts for to wake. 
And forth he gotb, jolif and amorous, 
Til he eame to the caipentetea houa, 
A litel after the cockea had ycrow, 
And dressed him np by a shot window, 
That waa upon the carpenterta wal. 
He singeth in hi> Toil gentit and smal; 
Now, dere lady, — if thy wille be, 
I pray you that ye — wolreweonmc; 
Ful wel accordant to his giteming f." 

The ribible was probably the bebec or fiddle, 
which has been a popular instrument, and, by gradual 
improvement, has at length superseded almost every 
other. Its antiquity is unquestionable J. The cbouth 
or crowd (cpulS, Saxon, erred, Welsh) was another, 
but larger instrument of the same nature §. The 

• Miltere Tale. t Ibid. 

J See M. de la Bavailliere, rAnOetmeti, &c p. 249. Miltons 
Ann, by Werton, 1791, p. 55. 

§ Ficlc and cruiriA ate both mentioned in song XT. class I. whence 
it should teem they were at that time distinct inrtrumenta. See alao 
the figure and description of a erowth in Hawkins's Hittory ofMuAe, 
vol. iL p. 273. and in the Archmologia, vol. iii. p. 30. Spenser calls 



gitkmnk is the cittern * or guitar, which wm anciently 
much used for Binging to. Thus in the Vision of Pier* 
the Plowman, one says, he can- 

" — neither taber, ne trurupe, ne teH no grates 
Fsitrri ne ty Men it fnstes • ne harpen, 
Jape, nejuligele, tie gentillye pype; 
Ne neither sailen, ne saute, ne eJnge to the /ritternei." 

it " the tretnhling crowd," in allusion, no doubt, to the vibration or 
tremulous motion of the chord). Crowd, however, was in later time* 
the common name of a jlddie, end Cnmder, at a performer thereon ; 
whence the name of Croadero in Hudibrru, And that fidAle and 
rebeck were synonymous, appears from • passage in The Knight of 
the burning Fettle., where it ii said to be " present death for these 
fidlert to tune their rebeck' before the great Turks grace." 

* Drayton in bit enumeration of the " sundry Musics; of Eng- 
land," makes the gitiern and cittern distinct instruments ; 

" The eytArms, the pemdore, and the theorbo strike, - - 

The gittem and the kit the wanfringfidkri like." 

PotT-OlbiOD, Song IV. 
And they certainly were so. " Sum tyme," says I*nghsin, " I 
fbote it with daunting : noow with my gittem, and els with my 
cittern, then at the virgynalz : ye kno nothing cuma amisse to mee : 
then carmH I up a song withell t" Ac, Letter tignifying the queen* 
entertaintaer.1 at KilHngvoorth Cattt, 1576. 

John Playtbrd, in 1659, published " A book of new lessons for the 
cilhrcn and gittcrn, &c" and from his preface to a later publication, 
fntitled " Mustek's delight on the (Wen" '(1666*), it would seem 
that the principal If not the only difference between the two instru- 
ments at that period was that the Gittem was Strang with gut-itringi, 
the Cittern with wire. The latter is unquestionably the modem 
English guitar ; bat whether the gUUnt of Chaucer* time was the 
same instrument may possibly still remain a doubt. At any rate, 
cittern end gittem are originally the same word, from cithara, a harp 
or stringed-instrument, and the former, supposing the C soft, is a 
comparatively modern term. 
t [8vo. IB61. paiiiu 13.] 

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This instrument, which Chaucer thought worth; of 
the god of music, he has put with peculiar propriety 
into the hands of the joly Abioha, who, among his 
numerous accomplishments, . 

" Wei eoud leteo blod, and clippe, «nd jAutc," 
as it appears, for many centuries, to have made part of 
the constant furniture of a barbers shop, where it was 
" common to all men." It seems of late, however, to 
have retrieved its credit, and to have received ample 
amends for its disgrace, in the hands of the fair sex. 

Most of these instruments, with others, are enume- 
rated in an old metrical romance, intitled, The Sqiit/r of 
love degre : 

" There iu myrth and melody, 
With hsrpe, gfitron, and uutry, 
With rate, titrable, and clokaide, 
With pypei, urgniu, and bumbaide, 
With other my ni ttelles them atnonge, 
With lytolphe and with aautry louge. 
With fydle, (erode, and dowcemera, 
With Bompetta and with cLuyon clere, 
With dulcet pipe* of many cordes "." 

The LUTB, mentioned by Chaucer, must, from the 
low state not only of the musical science, but of the 
mechanical arts in that age, have been essentially dif- 
ferent from the modern instrument of the same name, 
which is said to have fallen into disuse on account of 
the superior degree of skill requisite to its perform- 
ance t. 

* [Ritton* Met. Horn. Ui. 189.] 

t See Biowtw EHbnaU, voL ii. p. 77- Sir J. Hawkins's tfirf. 9/ 
Miiiic, if. 304— This instrument in SkdUB* time hi chiefly in 

)#,«* 1* Google 


The cymbal, the tabouk, the tymbhk, the bisthum, 
are all mentioned, and some of them described, by 
Bartholomew, in bis book De Proprietatibu* Rent*, 
which Tag translated into English by John de Treviaa, 
and first printed by Wynken de Worde. 

The BYMPeoNiB, likewise, which Chancer mentions 
in his rime of Sir Topaz, 

" Here it the queue of bene, 

With hupe and pipe, sad lymphfmv. 
Dwelling in this plare," 

was " an instrument of musyke, . . . made of an 
holowe tree, closyd in lether in eyther syde, and myn- 
strels betyth it wyth styckes *." 

An extract from the romance of AUtaundre, by 
Adam Davie, will afford no bad idea of a grand con- 

the hands of protestors. See how he handles one of these comely 

» He lumbryth on a ie-mie lexae iMy bulle joyse, 
Rumbill dowtw, tumbil downe, he; go now now. 
He furnblyth in his fyngering an ugly good noise. 
It semyth the sobbyng of sn old sow. 
He wold be made moch of and he wyst how, He." 

It is also noticed in sn old poetics! tract, intnled, The Sctuic 
Home af Women (originally printed in or before 1557) ' 

" Oi ss the minstrel dooth intend 

With help of lute, finger, or qtifl." Sig. D. j. 6. 

And in Surreys Poems, first published in that year, is a beautiful 
address " to hfci Lute," by Sir T. Wyst the elder. 

• Bartho. it. Pre. Rerum Hawkins's Hirt. of Marie, 1L 384. 

This instrument bean a pretty strong resemblance to the romefyat at 
the Hottentots, described by Vaillant. 

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cert, and the other amusements at a royal festival in 
the court of Edward II. or III. The author is speak- 
ing of the marriage of " kyng Phelip" with " Clor- 
patras the riche quene:" 

" Spoused ocheo ia and set on dcys, 

Now gynnitb. the geste of nobles. 

At theo ftsle ill trumpyng, 

Pipyug and eke iaboryng, 

-Sytolyng and ek harpyng, 

Knyf pleyng and ek eyngyng, 

Caiolyrig and tnnneri tyng, 

Wnitlyng and ek flymyng. 

Theo game goth Bought ful blyve, 

Ther torn helieth and some wyse." 

Chancers Miller entertains his fellow pilgrims with 
the sound of the " bagqrfipe," which he played very 

The " hobnh pipes of Cobnewaile," mentioned 
in the Romani of the Rose, are thought to have been 
the same as the pibcorn, an instrument still used in 
some parts of the principality of Wales, of which Mr, 
Harrington has given a particular description *. The 
stock and horn which Allan Ramsay mentions, and 

* Archaolagia, in. 33. Pibcorn it cornpye, piptau de come. 
Thus in the Compluynt of Scotland, " the feyrd [u-.hejphynl pUyit] 
on ane comepipc." Hornpipe and compipe are synonymous. See 
before, p. 11 n. 2. Tab instrument is likewise mentioned by Spenser j 
" Before them yode a luety tabetere 
That to the * meynie ' on a honu pype playd, 
Whereto they daoncen eebe one with hia mayd. 
To tee these folkea make niche jouusunce. 
Made my heart after the pype to daunce." 

Shepherdi Calendar, Met). 
VOL. I. f 

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explains to be " a reed or whistle, with a horn fixed 
to it by the smaller- end," is, however, with equal pro- 
bability, the hornepipe of Chaucer. Though, after 
all, his " Comemaile" is not the county in England so 
called, but Cornouaiile in Bretagne, which he found in 
his original *. 

The martial instruments of these ages were, 

That in the batauTe blowen blody aouneaf." 
And the shepherd boys of Chancers time had 


And Richard Brathvaita (Strappado for UuDlveU. 1016. (ISarn. 
p. 9.) baa a poem addrmwd " To the Queen* of Harnat, Ice. orach 
honoured by the Reede, Cone-pipe and wbiatle." 

Again, in The ilupherdi thtmher (England* Helicon, 1000.) 

■' In peacod-mne, when hound to borne 

Gbea Mia, tffl bock be kfll'd t 

And little lads, with pipei of corne, 

Sate keeping bcaati a-field." 

So ill Mid. Nighlt Dream : 

" Bui I know 

When thou hatt stol'n away from fairy land, - 
And in tha sbaps of Carin iat all day, 
PlafUg onplpei Of corn, and miring lore, 
To aanrous Peuuala." Act. a. a. 2. 

* v. 3991. " Et soDo nouTesnli da contietaille, 
Aux chakmeauhc da C«r«ot»iife." 
t Canterbury Talei, i. 98. (Knighte* Tale.) A Nekere (Naquaite, 
F.) ii a loud instrument somewhat resembling a hautboy. [The 
French word is explained by Roquefort to mean pettii tamboun o* 
timbaki. En.] 
X Ho**t of Fane, in. 1S&. 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


Bartholomeus observing, tint a* " shepe lovyth py- 
pynge, therfore shepherdes usyth pipes whan they 
walk with theyr shepe V 

IV. The progress of Song-writing during the fif- 
teenth century, may, in some degree, appear from the 
following collection; little additional information is to 
be gleaned during a period only interesting in battles 
and murders. 

Among the Harleian MBS. in the British Museum 
(No. 682) is a collection of love poems, roundels, and 
songs, made by Charles duke of Orleans while a pri- 
soner in England, in Henry the fifths time. It is not 
to be expected that the poetry of a foreigner (and a 
prince of the blood too) should have much merit in an 
age in which that of the natives had so little. 

The following, which is given as a specimen of this 
young noblemans talents, seems to be a sort of dialogue 
between him and bit mistress, on his requesting the 
favour of a chaste salute : 

[He] Louie me yowre praty month, ■"«^""" 1 

Se bow v knde hete at yowre feet 
I She. I WmswoUe ye occupy the same? 

Now whemaowt first mot me wite. 
[He.] I wis den bert to bsue it iwete, 

A twyse or thriee en thst y die. 
[8Wj So may ye hsre when next we met* 

Toforne or ye it ocupie. 

• Hawk. Hiit. JHuifc, ii. 888. 

:■, .,., ^Google 


[He) Or y it. ocupy, wd, wd ; 

Ta my reward but suchc > skome? 
[She. ] Ye, woo ii me for yowre «eek hde, 

Bat it may heele right wel tomorne. 
[He.] Then te y wd though y woe lorne, 

For oon poore cone ye act not by. 
[She.] Sdde y yow not ynough tofbme ? 

Ye may have or ye ocupy. 

[fie. J Ye, for that cone y thanke yow that, 

For wale yet am y never the neie. 
| She,] Then corns agayne thfi wot ye what? 

An other tyme, and not to yere. 
[He.] A fy, we] wd, a awet hett dere 

Bi Terry god, ye mot aby. 
[She.] Nay bete me not, mat take it here, • 

Tofbme or ye it occupy. 

[He.] Ye, io so, itrete, ye, so, iwete belt, 

Good thrift unto that pnty eye. 
[She.] Nay erst lo must ye thin avert. 

How y wide or ye it ocupy. 

A MS: in the Bodleian library haa once contained 
either the whole or part of a song, of which it was 
found impracticable to make out more than the two 
first lines : 

Mr. Warton, who has printed the first of them, seems 
to discover some resemblance between this same Joly 
cheperit and Thontai ofErsildon, the Scotish vaticinal 

* Hilt. Engliih Poetry, i. 76— The No. of the MS. i* 692, 

)#,«* by Google 


After the first battle of St Albans, betweenHenry VI. 
and the duke of York, by the mediation of the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury and other prelates, both parties 
were brought to a compromise and mutual exchange of 
promise of friendship. " For the outward publishing 
of this joylull agreement," says Stow, " there-was upon 
our Lady day in Lent, or five and twentieth day of 
March, [New Years Day, 14683 a so'enine procession 
celebrated within the cathedrall church of Saint Paule, 
in the city of London : at the which the king was pre-: ■ 
sent, in his habite royall, with the crowne on his head; 
before him went, hand in hand, the duke of Somerset, 
the earle of Salisbury, the duke of Excester, and the 
earle of Warwick, and so one of the one faction, and 
another of the other. And behind the K. the duke 
of Yorke, and the queene, with great familiarity to 
all mens sights, whatsoever was meant to the con- 
trary . . . ."* This, h cannot be doubted, would 
be a spectacle highly grateful to the people, as it 
seemed to promise them a reprieve from the calamities 
of a civil war, which they had previously every reason 
to apprehend; it therefore certainly deserved to be 
celebrated by a happier bard than the author of such 
stanzas as the following : 

" Whan chtuile ii chosen with statu to stonile, 
gted&d, and ikiu without diitaurice. 
Than vrathe may be exiled out of this lande, 

' And god oure gidc to have the governance : ( 

Wisdom & welltb with all plesiunce 

• Jmalei, (ed. 1631, ib.) p. 404, 

)#,«* by Google 


Ufa j- HglitfiJ regne and prosperila, 

For lore hath underlain wrathful veiijaunee, 

Rejoiae Anglond oare lordes ocnrded to be*." 

Other songs of this reign might be produced ; and 
such readers- as are not satisfied with the number 
printed in the foHowing collection, may be referred 
to MS. Sloan, 2508, and MS. Har). 4394, where they 
will find several more. 

Skelton, Unreal, in the Btmge o/ Court, his beat 
serious poero, introduces a character under the name 
of " Harvy ' Haftar t, ' " whose 

•< — TbrMe nl diwe, sod luately couJde ftyne 
And ever }ie tanga, nthe I SB) nodunge plsine, 
Tokepe him from piking it was ■ grete paine." 

Alluding no doubt to some well-known song. He 
likewise bids . 

" Holde up the hrlmc, loke up, and lete god Mete, 
I wolde be merit what wind thai ever Jdowe, 
Have and how rombelow, row the bote, Nanus, iwt" 

* MS. Cotton. Vespasian, B. xvi. This compromise, however, 

may hare given the same disgust to the more xealoui partisans of the 

Red Brae which we are certain a former one did in the year 1460, 

See * curious copy of verses, preserved by Heame, in the appendix 

to ffemingi Cltartularium, which was affixed to the gates of the 

kings palace, where the parliament wu sitting, and thus concludes i 

" Hange'itppe niehe false men to awr eorerayne lord, 

That ever eomeylyd bym with fall men to be aenrdyd." 

t Not IltuUr. 

" Havel and Harry Hafter, 
Jacke travel, and Cole craftcr 

Why come ytaoite Ctert." 

), i:, E e by Google 


This last line u certainly the scrap of an old ballad, 
" In this xxxii yeare [_». of Henry VJ-2 " says Fabian, 
" John Norman .... [mayor of London] upon 
the morowe of Symon & Judea daye, the accustomed 
. day when the newe mayre used yearly to ryde with 
great pompe unto Westminster to take his charge, thii 
mayre first of all mayres brake that auncient And oldt 
continued custome, & was rowed thyther by water, 
for the which the watermen made of hym a roundell 
or songe to hys great prayse, the which began, Rome 
the bote, Norman, rone to thy lemman, and so fbrthe, 
with a longe procease*." 

This Harvy ' Hafter ' is represented entirely igno- 
rant of prick-song, which, as an ordinary accomplish- 
ment, he expresses a great desire to learn: 

11 Princes of youghte, can ye singe by rote. 
Or shall I uilc with you ■ feloehip aiaaie, 
For on the booke I cannot sing a note ; 
Wolde to god, i( wolde please you some dayc, 
A ballade books before me for to laye. 
And lerne me to singe (Be mi fa tol) 
And when J faile, bobbe me on the aoll." 
* Ad An. 1*63, Hevt and ho* rnmbclon appears to have been 
a favourite chorus with tha old English, tan. Thus, the author of 
Cocke Lovclki bole, an ancient utile, speaking of Certain sailers, 

Bo again in the still more ancient metrical nt 
of tone degre, the king tells his daughter! 

" Your nurynen shall aynge a ro 
Hey how and runibylanx," 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


" Ryot " too, another character in the same poem, 
ia a musical genius, 

" And ay he Bange in fayth dcc/m thou crcwc *." 

He could likewise perform a popular piece of church 
music, and accompany hie voice with the sound of a 

" Counter he condc lux upon ■ potte." 

We have doubtless lost many of Skeltons ballads. 
In die enumeration of his works in " The Crowne of 
Lamrel," he mentions several things which one may 
reasonably conclude to have been of that species. For 

" The limbics of venison, the hotel* of syne, 
To faire maiatrea Anne that ebuld hive be lent, 
He Rote therof many a prsty lyne, 
When it became, and whither it went, 
And howe that it wu wantonly gpent. 
The balade also of the niustarde tarte- 
Such prohlems to paint it longeth to hit) arte." 

In a very old Morality, the earliest piece of that 
description, perhaps, now extant, intitled, "The iiii 
Elements f," " Sensual Appetite," one of the characters, 
holds the following language r 

* This song ii again mentioned In Why come ye not to Court. 

t It w*» printed by lUetall, and from a paaaage alluding to the du- 
oovrry of America, dr. Percy concludes it not to have been written 
later than 1510. Mr. Steerena, in a note to hi* but edition of 
Shakcpcaie, gives the date 1519; probably by mistake, as it does not 
appear that ■ second copy of it U known to exiat. 

)#■«* by Google 


" Mike tome lyra, and let us be nitty, 

With huff » galand, synge tyrll on the bery, 

And let the wydo woilde wynde; 
Synge, tryst a July", with hey troly loly, 
For I m veil it is but fbly, 

For to have a sad my nil." 

And his advice to " Humanity e" is; 

*i Ye ehulde ever study pryncypall 
For to comfort your lyfe natural], 
With metis and drynket duyeste, 
And other pastymes & pleasures among, 
Daunsyng, laughyng, or fr.EJAi'HT eoKOE, 
Thii it mete for your estate." 

In 1530 was published a collection of twenty part- 
songs, nine of four parts and eleven of three ; com- 
posed by Cornysh, fygot, Ashwell, master Tavernar, 
John Gwynneth, dr. Fayrfax, dr. Cowper, and R. 
Jones : but the btusu* is alone preserved. The verbal 
contents are as follows : 

1. Pater noeter qui ea in celU, Sc 
S. In youth in age both in wellh and woo. 
Auxilium meum a domino. 

3. By, by, lullaby, by, by, lullaby, wrockyd I my chyld. 

4, Bewar my lytyl fyoger, ayr, I yow desyre. 
G. She may be callyd a aoverant lady 

That y> a mayd and berylh a baby. 
0. The belli, the bella, we maydini beryth the bella. 
J. So gret unkyndnee withoutc deaervyng. 

* " He how frisca joly under the grene wood Ore," is the burthen 
of an ancient song in the musical volume among the Kings MSS. 

)#,«* by Google 


8. Who shall ham my ftpWy. 

9. Myuyon, go arm, go trym. (A satire against the FL 
10. Jolj felowe, joly, joly felowe, joly, 

Yf thou bare bat lytyll mooy, 

Spend it not iafbly; 
Bat spend yt on a prrty wenche, 
And she thai help the at a pinche, 
Hey joly felow, joJy. 
tl- And wyll ye aerve me so. 

13. Mi halt, my inynde, and mj hole pourc. 
19. Lore wyll I, & lere, eo yt may bemu. 

14. And I mankynd have not in mynd. 
16. PleMoteytjl 

To hem, I wye, 

The byrds iyng [yng>; 
The den in the dale, 
The ahepe in the vale, 

The come i pt rn g yng. 

God* putryauDoe, 
For aiutenaunce, 

Then we all wayae, 
To hym gyre prase, 

& thank hym than £l thank hym than. 

16. Concordana muaycall jugyd by the ere. 

17. Hin hartys lust A. all my picture. 

The following song, of this reign, appears worthy 
of notice, if it were hut from the circumstance of ex- 
plaining a seemingly corrupted passage of an ancient 
Scotish writer, mentioned in a preceding page, who, 

-_ v Google 


according to Mackenzie, among the titles of popular 
songs of the time, names 

Couthume the rune* grme*, 

of which no one, it is supposed, has ever known what 
to make. For this discovery, we are indebted to the 
old book among the Kings JVISS. 

| 1 t /7\ | | |||| 

1 .^\ 

Colje w n 

le tile ryiahji grene, Colle 
| 1 r [VtTi I 1 1 I 

to me. 


QoKe to me the lyishes grene, Colle to me. 

Foe my paitjTiie upon a day, 
I welltyde alone ryght secretly ; 
In a raomjug of lusty Mar 
Me to rejoyce I dyd aplye. 

Wbtr I ww one in gret dyitreeee, 
Compliynyng him thus pytuouily ; 
Ala* I he tajrde, fin my mutm 
I well peraeyre mat I chill dye, 

• See Ltoei nfSsottiih wrUen, iii. 44. The original, howerer, 
(a most rare booh) lads 

" Cm thnu me the nechat grene." 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


Wythout that thui the of hur grace 
To pety the wyl] somewhat revert. 

For hjt y» ifae that hath my hart. 

800 to ootitynew whyle my lyff endur, 
Though I fore hur tboldc sufie dethe, 
She hath my hart wythowt recure, 
And ever ahall dnryng my brsthe. 

The burthen, Colle to me, &c. is, as ususl, to be re- 
peated at the end of every stanza. But the editor 
should neither be surprised nor sorry to learn that 
this is not the original song. Colle is cull. 

The reader will pardon another extract from the 
same MS. of which the brevity may serve to com- 
r whatever defects It may have: 

Weatron wynde, when wyll thow blow*, 

the smalle rayne 

pr * S 1 S *■ i . i ^ 

Cryat yf my lore were in my armya 

" Idarti'maa wind, when wilt thou blaw. 
And ahalce the green leaver from the tr 
O gentle death, when wilt thou come ? 
For of my life I am wearie." 

)#,«* 1* Google 


unci I jimj bed a-gayne. 

Puttenham, in his Arte of English Poetie (1589, 
p. 12.) mentions " one Gray" as having grown unto 
good estimation with king Henry VIII. and afterwards 
with the duke of Somerset, protector, " for making 
certaine merry ballades, whereof one chiefly was. The 
hurtle u up, the kunte it up." — Is this it? 

" The hunt is up, 
The hunt is up, 

And now it is almost day ; 

And he that '» in bed with another man! wife, 
It 's lime to get him away*." 

* The Mowing are the words of an ancient round for four voices : 

" The hunt la up, the hounds ar in the fyld, 
The chase is up and newly gone ; 

Elo thaw art lylce to leeae the game." 

" The first of the first three [who appear to Kind-hart in hii 
dreome] was an od old fellow, low of nature, his head was covered 
with a round tap, his body with a ode skirted tawney ooate, his leg! 
and feete trust uppe in leather buskins, his gray haires and fur- 
rowed face witnessed his age, his treble viol in his hande, assured me 
of bis profession. On which (by hia continual] sawing baying left but 
one string) after hie best manner, hee gave me 1 ' a htmit up : whome 
aflat K little musing i assuredly remembred to be no other but old 
Anthony now new." 

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A foolish practice (which this little piece has brought 
to mind) was Introduced by the puritan reformers, of 
moralising, as they called it, popular songs ; that is, 
parodying all but a few lines at the beginning of the 
song, to favour their particular superstition, or the 
innovation they wished to effect *. The following, 
indeed, is ScotUh, but as the measure was not taken 
up in the North till there was no longer occasion for 
it in the South, and particularly aa The Hunt it up 
was an English song, we may fairly enough lay claim 
to the honour of the Travestie : 

" With huati up, with huuB up, 
It it now perfite dey ; 
Jeans our king ii gene ' a * hunting, 
Qnha likes to ipced they may." 

There are several other stanzas, but none which ap- 
pears to have any allusion to the original song f. 

The earliest of these parodies seems to be one at the 
end of a MS. in the Kings Library (17- B. XLIII.) 
where it is written as prose. The beginning is given 
for the sake of the original words, the rest Is fanatical 

* Thoas mod*n puritan* tha mtthodiitt UaVe adopted 4 aanilar 
practice, and ang their hytOm to popular aong-tana^ which ana of 
that leaden Died to say, bad both Mo long devoted to, or were too 
good for, the deril. Tin* foolery i* admirably ridiculed by 8fc*fc- 
wpaae, when ho apeak* of the puritan who " sfngi jmoJbm to hnnt- 
pipe*." 8*e WiMeri Tale- 

t 8*e " Ane oompendloM booko of godly and ■piritHall Mugs, 6u. 
Edinburgh, printed bj And™ Hart." 1801. 8*0. 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


" Com home agsyne, 

Com borne agaync, 
Mi nowise iwet hart, com home agayne; 

Ye ne gone aauay 

Oat of your **y, 
Then [rat, iwet hart, J earn home agayoe," 

In the before mentioned book of part-songs printed 
in 1630, are some of this sort of parodies, which is thus 
proved to have preceded the. reformation by many 
years. The commencement and burthen of one of 
tbem is as follows : 

" Whneliid] ha™ my fayrlady? 
Who bat I? who but I? 
Who (hall have my bye lady? 
Who ham mora ryght merto P" 

Another begins thus : 

" And I mankynd have not in rnynd, 

My love that mornyth for me, for me, 
Who ii my love but god above, $c." 

A popular species of harmony arose in this reign, 
of which the following collection will afford a few 
examples; it was called King Henrys Mirth, or Free- 
metis Songs, that, monarch being a great admirer of 
vbcal music, and even having the reputation of a com- 
' poser. Freemen* Songs is a corruption of Three men* 
tongs, from their being generally for three voices. 
Thus the clown in Shakspeares Winters Tale :—" She 
hath made me four and twenty nose-gays for the 
shearers: three-vmn-song-tnen all, and very good ones." 
— And Carew expressly calls John Dory " an old 

)#,«* * Google 


Three man* song." In the Turnatnent of Tottenham 
we read of melody delycyous of syx menyt tang*. 

In the parliament hofden in the 34th and 35th 
years of this reign, an act passed to purge and cleanse 
the kingdom of all religious plays, interludes, rhymes, 
jssalads and songs, which, it is observed, are equally 
pestiferous and noysome to the commonweal j that is, 
we may presume, they are too apt to enlighten the 
public mind and afford the people an opportunity of 
expressing their sentiments. 

The religious morality of Lusty Juvenilis, written 
and printed in the reign of Edward VI., opens with a 
song, which, as it is but short, may be given entire : 

* la ■ hate grate aalepe where m I 1st, 
The brides aange iwete In the midden of the dayc, 
I dreamed fast of myrth and play : 

la youth is pleasure, in youth il pleasure. 

Methotigh[t] I walked tut to and fro, 
And from her company I could not go ; 
Bat when I waked it was not to: 

In youth la pleasure, in youth is pleasure. 

Thcrfore my hart is sorely pygbt 
Of her alone to have a light, 
Which is toy joy and hartes delyght : 

In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.'* 

Towards the end is another, but of less, merit, in the 
same measure. 

* Port L 94. Are we from this expression to conclude that thin was 
actually a song in six parts, or only that ail men joined in atnging the 
same melody? [Florin explains " Cantarioi," tack airing three mens 
songs, ivmmrm legging Hngeri. Ed.] 

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In' a MS, of Bennet college library, Cambridge, 
(No. 106) are two ballads upon the inclosure of com- 
mons, which appears to have caused great disturbances 
. in this reign. 

In the new edition of Lelanda Collectanea* ia the 
Kings coronation Song, and another the ditty whereof is 

" Slug up heart, sing Up heart, sing Bo more down, 
But joy in king Edward that weareth the crown." 

The amorous and obscene songs used in the court 
of this virgin prince, gave such scandal to Thomas 
Sternhold, "being," as Wood says, " a most zealous 
protectant and a very strict liver, that he forsooth 
turn'd into English metre SI of Davids Psalms, and 
caused mu&icall notes to be set to them, thinking 
thereby that the courtiers would sing them instead 
of their sonnets, but £they] did not, only some few 
excepted +." 

John Baldwin, in The Canticles or Balddet of Solo- 
mon pkrasdy declared in English metre, printed in 
1549, wishes to God, " that such songes might once 
drive out of office the baudy balades of lecherous 
love, that commonly are indited and sung of idle 
courtyers in princes and noblemens houses %." 

Of queen Marys tune there is one ballad extant, made 
on the unfounded report of her being with child J. 

• IV. 314. 819. 

t Athena Oxtmieniti, i. 7& But ite Pnttenhun, Arte ofEnglidt 
Poerie, p. 13. where he says that " king Henry the 8, for a few 
Paalmet of David turned into English meetre by Sternhold, made him 
gtonme of hin privy chamber, & gave him many other good gifts." 

$ See Amo, v. L 552. 636. 666. 

§ Ames's Typographical Antiquities by Herbert, vol. iii. 

VOL. I. g 

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Long before the reign of queen Elizabeth, printed 
songs and ballads had become common. Laneham, 
describing the curious literary collection of Captain 
Cox, the mason of Coventry, has the following words : 
" What I rehear; fleer, what a bunch of ballets and 
songs, all ancient. — As, broom, broom on hil — So 
wo iz me begon, troly lo*. — Over a whinny weg — 
Hey ding a dingt — Bony lass upon a green — My 
bony on gave me a bek — By a bank as I lay J, and a 
hundred more, he hath fair wrapt up in parchment, 
and bound with a whipcord ||." The word ancient 

* See infra, " Brume <m hil " is likewise mentioned in the Cook- 
playnt of Scotland. [15-18.] 

t Has not this been the ballad of Old Simon lheking$ 

Sayo old Simon the king, 
Say* old Simon the ling, 

With hii aledropt note, 

And hii malmsey nose, 

A oong with this title and chorus, occurs in Bp, Percys folio MS. 
and in the 3d volume of Durfeys collection, bat ia probably of a later 
date than 1575. 

• This but song ia piesecred hi the old MS. already mentioned to 
have been found among the books of the King) Library in the Museum. 
It ia a lore song, but without any other merit than antiquity. See 
also Deuteromeiia, 1600, 10. At the end of the only copy known 
to exist of the book of songs with musical notes by Comyshe, 
Fairfax, and others, printed in 1530, a song is inserted in SIS. 
beginning with the same words, but containing a laboured panegyric 
upon king Henry the Sth. 

|| Letter from KUBngneorth, Lond. 167ft, 121*0. b. 1. These 
printed balladi soon begun to be hawked up and down the country 
in baskets. In the pleaaaunt and stately MoraUof the three Lordes 

)#,«* by Google 


would scarcely be applied to any thing of a later date 
than the time of Henry VIII. Indeed their antiquity 
may be presumed from another circumstance, not one 
of them being now extant 

Prom " a very mery and pythie commedie," called 
" The longer thou livest the more foole thou art, a 
rayrrour very necessarie for youth, and specially for 
such as are like to come to dignitie and promotion] 
.... newly compiled by W. Wager," imprinted at 
London, &c. in 4to. bl. 1. without date, some time in 
the reign .of queen Elizabeth, we glean scraps of a 
great many songs, most or perhaps all of them even 
at that time old, with some of which the reader can 
scarcely choose but be entertained, which may serve 
as an apology for the length of the quotation. 

" ■J Here entereth Moros, counterfeiting a vaine 
gesture and a foolish countenance, synging the fbote 
of many songes, as fooles wbbb wont." 

Mont. Brume, brome on hill, 

and throe Ladk. of London, 1690, 4to. b. L SimpHdOe, « in ban 
blacks, like ■ poore citizen," on being asked what daintie fine ballad 
he ha» now to be sold, says " Marie, child, I have Chipping Norton 
— A Mile from Chappel o' the Heath— A lamentable ballad of 
burning me popea dog — The aweet ballade of the Lincolnshire 
bagpipea — and Peggy and Wifly — Bat now he is dead and gone- 
Mine own tweet Willy is laid in hia grave, la, la, la, Ian ti dan dan 
da dan, Ian ddatt, dan tan deny do." And that it wai the "vocation" ■ 
of rath a fellow W " bear hia part " in a song, appears from the cha- 
racter of Autolj-cue, in the Winteri Tab. 


, y Cookie 


The gentle bromc on Blue hill. 
The brome rtandes on Hiue lull a. 
«J Robin, lende to me thy bowe, thy bowe, 
Robin the bow, Robin, lende to me thy bo* a*. 
% Then in ■ mny de come oat of Kent, 
Dan tie lore, deinde lore ; 
There m a raayde nun oat of Kent, 

Then ni a roayde cam oat of Kent, 
Fayre, propre, Knell and gent, 
An am upon the grounds went, . 
For to ihould it be. 
f By a banke m I lay, I lay, 
Muiinge on thing! jnut, hey how. 
•J Tom a Lin and his wife, and his wives, mother 
They went over a bridge all three together, 
The bridge wa> broken and they fell in, 
The deril go with all, quoth Tom a Unt- 
il Martin Swart and hi« mm, sodlrdum sodledum, 
Martin Swart and hi* man, aodledum bell J. 

« See*/™. 

■f Of thia song the editor has fortunately met with a modem 
printed copy, bat much altered, it should teem, from the original, 

" Tommy Linn ii a Scotchman bom." 

In the Coaajitjmf of Scotland, " Thorn of Lin " If given aa the name 
of a dance. 
J Skelton, laurtat, (who died In 1639) hai an evident allusion u 

" With hey troly loly to, whip here Jak. 
Alnmbek lodyldym lyllorym ben, 
Curiowaty he can both counter and knak 
Of Marty* Swart and all hyt tarry men.'' 

Against a comely Goyctrowne, &c 
Wotki(1736)p. 354. 



a, | Com over the boorne Better 

Mf little pretie Bease, 

Com nver the boons Besae to me •. 

«[ The white dove eat on the casull wall, 

I bend my bow, and ihoote her I dull ; 

I put hei in my glove both fethera and all. 

I layd my bridle upon the ahelfe, 

If you will any more aing it yourselfe. 

Moros having been interrupted by Discipline, goes 
on thus : 

I have twentie mo songs yet, 
A fond woman to my mother, 
Aa I war woqt in her lappe Co nit, 

She taught me these and many other ; 

I can aing a song of robin redbreat, 

And my litle pretie nightingale, 

There dwelleth a jolly foster here by west, 

Also I com to drink fiom of your Christinas ale. 

Whan I walkc by my sella alone. 

It doth me good my songs to render ; 

Such pretie thingea would soone be gon. 

If I should not tome time them remembre. 

Morot. Before you go let us have a sung, 

I can retch up to aing, sol fa and past. 

Iillencue. Thou bait sotiges good atoare, aing one, 
And we three the fbote will beare. 

Maroi. Let me study, it will come anone, 
Pepc, la, la, la, it ia to hye there, 

Martin Swart was concerned in the insurrection made by the lord 
Lovel and others against Henry VII., anno 148G, and was slain at 
the battle of Stoke ; having been sent over with some troops, by 
Margaret duchess of Burgundy, sister to K. Edward IV. 

* Shakspeare has put these three identical lines into the mouth of 
Edgar, in E, Lear. A moraliaation of the song is (with the music) 
in the editors folio MS. 

:■, .,,, :,C.OOgIC 


So, bo, ho, and that it to lows, 

Soil, soli, fa, fa, and that is to flaUe, 

Re, re, re, by and by you shall knows, 

My, my, my, hove ssye you to that ? 
Idlenet. Cue not fur the ' key/ bat whit is thy song ? 
Mam. *J I have ■ piety tymonai, 
.rfB iiil. Come picking on ray to, 
the tana. Qoasuppe with yon I purpose, 

To drinke before I go. 
Morot. . % Lille pretty nightingale, 
All Among the braunehea greene ", 
the tame. Gere ui of your chrietmassc ale, 

In the honour of saint Steven. 
Morot. 1 Robyn resubmit » ith hii ooates, 

Singing nlofte in the quere, 
All iiii. Watneth to get you frese coatee, 
the tame. For winter then draweth nere. 
Morot. 1| Hy brigie lieth on the sherfr, 
Yf you will have any more, 
Vouchsafe to sing it youraelfe, 
For here you have aU my atoare. 
Wrath. A song much like th' aulhour of the same. 

It hangeth together like fethers Id the wiode. 
Morot. This song learned I of my dame, 

When she taught me mustard node to grinde. 

Wrath seems to consider these scraps as Moroses own 
invention ; and Idlenesse having before told the com- 

• This song, with music, is in the old book already mentioned 
among the Kings MSS. The first stanza i> as follows ; 
" The lytyfl prety nyghtyngale, 
Among the levyi grene, 
I wolde I were with hur all nygfat, 
But yet ye wot not whome I mene." 

The last line is the concluding one of each Manas. 

■,■ Cookie 


pany that he (Mores) could " sing songeg and make 
rymea," one might have considered him as an im- 
provisators, or natural extempore poet, if he had not 
himself told us how he came by them. 

Ignorance, in a dialogue between Impietie and 
Crueltie, is required to " sing tome mery song," 
which unfortunately is not inserted, owing to an or- 
dinary practice of our early dramatists, to leave the 
choice of the song to the performer *. Upon the 
whole, this is certainly a most curious piece, and it is 
much to be desired, that a collection of these ancient 
moralities were given to the public ; as they not only 
furnish numberless particulars of the domestic life and 
manners of our ancestors, but are besides infinitely 
more entertaining than any dramatic production before 
the time of Shakspeare. . 

" The over busie and too speedy Tetume of one 
maner of tune," says Puttenham, doth " too much 
annoy & as it were glut the eare, unlesse it be in small 
and popular musickes, song by these Cantalianqui, 
upon benches and barrels heads, where they have none 
other audience then boys or countrey fellowes that 
passe by them in the street, or else by blind •harper*, 
or such like taverne minstrels, that give a fit of mirth 

• See Dodaleys Old Playn (edition 1780}, vol. i. pp. 68. 282. 
Shskspcares Works by Johnson and Slcevena (Lava Labour Loit, 
Act 3. sc. 1.) In Pedes " Fmmu eftnmicfe of king Edward I." 
1593. Is this curious stage direction : " Enter the Harper, and ling 
to the tunc of Who iiil to lead a louli'un lift." 

)#,«* by Google 


for a groat*, &c also they be used in carols and 
rounds, and such like light or lascivious poems, which 
are commonly more commodiously uttered by these 
buffbns or vices in playes, then by any other personf." 

Webbe also censures the vulgar songs of his time, 
which he calls " a few balde ditties made over the 
beere potts-which are nothing lease then poetry %." 

The song in Gammer Gurtim* Garland, first printed 
in 1575, which begins, 

« I cannot eate but lyde meat*," 
has been often mentioned as the first drinking song of 
any merit in the language, and as such has been fre- 
quently printed. It ia certainly a singular perform- 
ance, and deserves to be well known %. 

* Thai this iu the common price long after Puttenhama time 
appear* from Jodsods " matque of the metamorphoied gipiitt," 
1821, where, on the introduction of Cheeks the piper. Or Ton 
Ticklcfooi the taborer (it la not clear which) one of the company 
says : — " I cannot hold now, there 'a my groat, let 'a have a fit for 
mirth-sake." These groats gave rite tn the aaunsjtal of " fldlen 
money," though aa that coin ia no longer current, we now apply it 
to sixpences. 

It is, therefore, evident, whatever might be the value of a grout at 
cither period, that the reward waa neither regarded aa considerable, 
nor pccuh'ar to " the old harpers ;" but, on the contrary* that it was 
the ordinary and established fee of every musical performer. One 
may readily believe and it may be very easily accounted for, that all 
sort* of contributors to popular entertainment were much better paid 
formerly than they are at prevent. 

t Art* of English PotlU, p. 89. 

X Discourse ofEnglUh Poetrit, 1586, 4to. b. 1. sig. c iiL 

§ See it in the " Select Collection of EngHih Songi," already 



The " pasting nterrie Interlude of Tome Tyler and 
hit wife," 1598, contains also a few humorous songs. 

In an old pamphlet by Henry Chettle (before 
quoted) intitled, " Kind-Harts Dreamt" &C- 4to. 
black letter, without date, but supposed to be printed 
in 1593, is contained an ironical admonition to the 
ballad- singers of London, from Anthony Now Now ", 
or Anthony Munday, a great ballad- writer, wherein he 
says, " When I was liked, there was no thought of 
that idle upstart generation of ballad-singers, neither 
was there a printer so lewd that would set his finger 
to a lascivious line." But now, he adds, " ballads are 
abusively chanted in every street ; and from London 
this evil has overspread Essex and the adjoining 
counties. There is many a tradesman, of a worship* 
full trade, yet no stationer, who after a little bringing 
uppe apprentices to singing brokerie, takes into his 
■shoppe some fresh men, and trustes his olde servantes 
of a two months standing with a dossen groatesworth 
. of ballads. In which, if they prove tliriftie, he makes 
them prety chapmen, able -to spredmore pamphlets by 
the state forbidden, than all the booksellers in London, 
&c" The names of many ballads are here given, as 
" Watkins Ale, The Carmans Whistle, Chopping-knives, 
and Frier Fox-tailed. And out-roaring Dick and'Wat 

• Set infra. 

■(■ " T should hardly be petswaded, that onie professor of so ei- 
cehcni a icience [as printing] would bee so impudent, to print such 
odious and lascivious ribaujdrie, as Watkin* Ale, Thi Carman* 
fVhiitlc, and sundrie such other." Letter ( with the signature T. N- 

)#,«* by Google. 


Wimbars, two celebrated trebles, are said to have got 
twenty shillings a day, by singing at Braintree fair in 

Bishop Hall thus censures the number of ballads 
published in his time : 

" Some drunken rhymer thinks his tune Tell spent, 
If he can live to tee hi* uame in print ; , 
Who, when he iiancc rkahed to the prcue, 
And ices hit handacll have inch (aire racoesae, 
Sung to the wheele and rang unto the payle, 
He sends forth thrsves of ballads to the salef." 

By being sung to the wheele and payle, the author 
means sung by maids spinning and [milking or] fetch- 
ing mater. Lord Surrey, in one of his poems, says, 

I for Thomas Nasbc, but written in reality by Chettle, aa he confesses 
in the above pamphlet] to his good friend A [nthony] SI [unday]) 
prefixed to the latter! translation of " Oerueon of England. The 
second part, &c." 1592, 4to. b. L The object of this abusive letter 
' has possibly been Thomas Delony. The tune of Watkini Ale, was 
inoneof dr. Pepusehs MS8. See Wards Livei of the profiitori of 
Graham College (the Museum copy) p. 199. Toe Carmen of this 
age should seem to have bees lingularly famous tor their mental 
talenti. Justice Shallow, according to Falstaffs •atyrical description, 
" came ever in the rear-ward of the faahion ; and rang those tunei to 
the om-acuteht huswives, that he hoard the carmen *Atrtfe,-and 
■ware they were hit fanciet, or it* gooi-uigku." 3 Hen. IV. Act 
IIL, Scene II. See also Jousona Bartholomew fair, act 1. scene 4, 
Skelton says of a professor in his time : 

" He whystelytb so swetely, he maketh me to swet." 

* Wartons Hietory of Engliih Poetry, vol. iii. p. 291. 

t Saliret (IV.) \6»,. He very probably alludes to the peerless 
Elderton, who WSJ no loss famous for his drunkenness than hi* poetry. 
" Thomas [r. William] Elderton, who did arm himself with ale (aa 

)#,«* by Google 


" My mothers maidt, when duff do lit and spin, 
They sing a song made of a fiddiah mouse ;" 

Alluding perhaps to the fable of the City Mouse and 
Country Mouse. Thus also Shakspeare in his Twelfth 

" The tpiwteri and the knitter* In the tun 
Do use to chant it" 

This admirable writer composed the most beautiful 
and excellent songs, which no one (so far aa we know) 
can be said to have done before him *; nor has any 
One excelled him since. Many of them hare been 
already inserted In a more refined collection than the 
following +, in which however some of his lighter 
pieces will be found in their due place. In the plays 
of this favourite of the muses, we find a number of 
fragments of old longs and ballads, which will afford 
us infinite amusement in our pursuit. 

old father Ennius did with wine) when he baDated, had this, in that 
respect made to hii memory : 

" Hie situs cut sitknj atque ebriuB Eldertonua, 
Quid dico, hie situs eat ? hie potiaa sitis est." 

Camdens Rtanaiues, XpUaphei, p. 66. 
Of this epitaph, dr. Percy haa given the following version "by 


" Dead drunk here Elderton doth lie ; 
Dead aa he it, he atOI is dry ; 
So of him it may well be said, 
Here he, but not his thirst is laid." 
* Or 'at least but one, Marlowe " Passionate Shepherd to hit 
Love," ia the only instance that can be excepted. 

+ See the Collection of songs referral to in a preceding note. 

)#,«* by Google 


In the comedy of Twelfth Night, Act ii. Scene 3. 
Sir Toby, mi the Clowns entering, says, " Now let 's 
have * catch." " By my troth," exclaims Sir Andrew, . 
" the fool hath an excellent breast. I had rather than 
forty shillings I had such a leg ; and so sweet a breath 
to sing as the fool has. . . . Now a song." Sir Toby, 
" Let 's have a song." " Would you have a love- 
Song," says the Clown, " or a song of good-life," (i. e. 
a jolly bacchanalian song) ? " O," says Sir Toby, 
" A love-song, a love-song." " Ay, ay," adds Sir 
Andrew (misconceiving the term) " I care not for 
good-life." Upon this the Clown sings a song be- 

U nnttraa mine, wbcrc in you roaming. 
Which, though it does not at present appear to have 
any great merit, is pronounced by Sir Andrew, to be 
" excellent good i' faith." They presently " make the 
welkin dance," and " rouze the night-owl," with the 
catch of Hold thy peace thou knave, which is still pre- 
served. Sir Toby being " in admirable fooling," 
sings, " Three merry men me be,"—" There dwelt a 
man in Babylon," and " the twelfth day of Decem- 
ber:" of which the two first are extant, but the last is 
unfortunately lost. Another, beginning 

" Farewell dear bean, cince I mail need* be gone," 

Of which they sing a few lines, is likewise preserved. 
Shakspeare takes every opportunity of discovering his 
attachment to these old and popular reliques. In the 
same play Orsino says, 

)#,«* * Google 


" Not good Cesario, but that piece of song. 
That old and umique' song ire had but night, 
Methought it did relieve my passion much, 
More than light aire and recollected terms 
Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times." 

The Clown being accordingly brought in to' sing it, 
the duke proceeds : 

" O fellow, come, the song we had last night:— 

Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain : # 

The spinsters and the knitters in the sun, 

And the free maids that weave their thread with bones. 

Do use to chant it ; it is silly sooth, 

And dallies with the innocence of lore, 

Like the old age." 

The words, indeed, are scarcely answerable to the 
eulogium ; but united to the air, might have had all 
the effect upon the audience the author proposed. 

In the course of this play, we have another scrap 
from the Clown : 

" Hey Robin, jolly Robin, 
Tell me how thy lady does. 
My lady ia unkind petdie, 

Alas, why is she so f 
She lores another. *" 

He also concludes the piece with an epilogue song, of 
which the first stanza is, 

" When that I waa and a little liny boy. 
With hey ho, the wind and the rain j 
A foolish thing waa but a toy. 
For the rain it raineth every day." 

. • This song has been recovered by dr. Percy, and is inserted in 
the 4th edition of the ReHqatt, 

i. y C,OO^Io 


It is remarkable that Shakspeare puts these shreds 
chiefly into the mouths of his fools and lunatics. 
Edgar, in King Lear, personating the character of a 
Bedlamite, sings, 

H Sleepest <k *>kert thoa jail; shepherd ? 
Th j theep be hi the cam, 
And for one bUnt of thy miniHn month, 
Thy sheep shall take do ham." 


" Child Rowland to the dark tower came." 

This, if a song, was probably some translation from 
the French or Spanish. Rowland is the Orlando of 
the Italian romancers, who had him from France, and 
gave him to Spain. As to the words which follow, 
they have not the least connexion with Child Rowland, 
but belong indeed to the story of Jack the Giant 

- Some of the little effusions, uttered by Ophelia, in 
Hamlet, are very pathetic. For instance: 

" He is dead and gone, lady, 
He i« dead and gone ; 
At Ida head a grass-green to«*, 
At hji beds a atone. 

White hi* ihroud as the mountain snow, 

Larded with sweet flowers ; 
Which hewept to the grave did go, 

With true lore showers. " 

A number of these fragments having been ingeniously 

)#,«* * Google 


worked up by dr. Percy into a Utile tale, in humble 
imitation of so respectable an example, something of 
the same nature is attempted in the following col- 

Master Silence, in his cups, has a stanza for every 
occasion : we shall do nothing, says he, but 

" Eat and drink, and make good chcar, 
And thank god for the merry year, 
When flesh n> cheap, and females deal, 
And lusty lads roam here and there 
So mfjrrjjy, add ever among so merrily " 

" Be merry, be merry, my wife has all ; 
For women are shrews, both short and tall : 
"Tig merry in hall, when boards wag all] 

And welcome merry Shrove- tide. 
Be merry, be merry." 


" A cup of wine, that's briak and fine, 
And drink unto the lenian mine; 
And a merry heart Uvea long a." 

In the comedy of Muck Ado about Nothing, Benedick 
attempts to sing the following lines: 

"The god of love 
That nils above, 
That knows me, and knowa me, 
How pitiful I deserve. " 

This is the beginning of an old popular song by 
Will Eltlerton ; a puritanical parody of which is now 

)#,«* * Google 


In The Knight of ike Burning PatU, by Beaumont 
and Fletcher, Old Merry Thought sings a variety of 
shreds, which have all the appearance of being frag- 
ments of old songs ; 

" She cares not for her daddy, nor 
She cares not for bar mammy, for 

She it, she is, the ia, 
Mr lord Of Lowgraves busy." 
" Give him Bowers enow, Palmer ; give him flowers enow ; 
Give him red and while, and blue, green and fellow." 
" Go Sum my window, love, go ; 
Oo from my window, my dear ; 
The wind *nd the nun 
Will drive yon back again, 
Van cannot be lodged heic. 
Begone, begone, mj jnggy, my poggy. 
Begone, my love, my dew : 
The weather la warm, 
•T will do thee no harm ; 
Thou canit not be lodged here*. " 

And in the tragedy of Bonduca, Junius sings : 

" She act the sword unto her breast, 
Great pity It wa» to see, 
That three drops of her life. warm blood, 
Run trickling down her knee." 

" It waa an old tale ten thousand time* told, 
Of a young lady waa ttun'd into mould, 
Her life it waa lovely, her death it waa bold," 

* The whole song of which these two stanza* area fragment Is, 
with aome little variation, and the original music, preserved in the 
4th volume of D'Utfeya " PUtt to purge melancholy," 1719. It fa 
also printed at the end of Heywoods Rape of Isefeee, 1620. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


These fragments are the rather noticed, as they may 
chance to prove the means of recovering the entire 

Toward the end of the long reign of queen Elizabeth, 
Richard Johnson, author of the History of the Seven 
Champions of Christendom, and Thomas Deloney, the 
historian of the Gentle Craft, &c. wrote ballads for the 
press, to be sung about the streets of London, and up 
and down the country, in which they seem to have 
excelled both their predecessors and contemporaries. 
For though Elderton was known and celebrated for 
the prince of ballad-mongers, and seems to have made 
the composition of such things his sole profession*, yet 
are those of his, which have come down to us, by no 
means to be compared to such as, upon the authority of 
the different garlands published under their respective 
names, we may reasonably attribute to Johnson and 
Deloney f. 


t See " The Crown Garland of Golden Rons," by Richud 
Johnson [1612, Bib. Bod.) 1683. " The Garland of Delight," 
containing Chronicles, Histories, Ac written by Thomns Delone, 
the thirtieth edition, 1681, 12mo. b. L — "The Royal Garland," 
by T. D. 1681 ; and in " The Garland of Good Will," by T. D. 
1688, all in the Pepysiati library. From these It should appear, that 
Deloney was author of Fair Rotammd, one of the beat of the old 
English ballads. The «* Garland of Good Will " appears to ham 
been originally published before 1S96- It a extant in the Pepyaian 
library, and via till very lately what ii called a lAoo-aw*. In the 
VOL. I. h 

:■, .,., ^Google 


Of the menu of Anthony Monday as a ballad 
writer, we have no opportunity to judge ; not a single 
specimen of his abilities in that line being now to be 
discovered. - 

V. The number -of ancient printed songs and ballads 
which have perished must be considerable. Very few 
exist of an earlier date than the reign of James, or even 
of Charles the first*. Being printed only on single 
sheets, which would fall chiefly into the hands of the 
vulgar, who had no better method of preserving their 
favourite compositions, than by pasting them upon 
the wallf, their destruction is easily accounted- for. 

same collection is "The Garland of Delight, &c. by ThomEU! Delone," 
and " The Royal Garland of Lore and Delight, by T. D." A still 
scarcer work is, " Strange histories, or songs and sonnets, of kings, 
princes, dukes, lords, lndjts, knyghts and gentlemen ; &c. By 
Thomas Delone, Loud. 1612, 4to." in which Dr. Percy found "the 
ballad of Fair Roiamottd," though he is probably mistaken in con- 
cluding it to have been first published therein ; as it is believed that 
this industrious artist produced his compositions over and over under 
different titles. There is a later edition in the above library. There 
is no collection of EldeMons songs, of which no mote than one or two . 
are known to be preserved. 

* The oldest printed ballad known to be extant, is that on the 
downfal of Thomas Lord Cromwell, in 1540, reprinted by Dr. 

■f This measure, which may in some parts be stul observed, is 
alluded to by Cotton I 

We in the country do not scorn 
Our walls with ballads to adorn. 
Of Patient Grissel and the Lord of Lorn. 

)#,«* by Google 


The practice of collecting them into books, did not 
take place till after queen Elizabeths time, and is 
probably owing to Johnson and Deloney, who, when 
they were advanced in years, and incapable perhaps of 
producing any thing of merit, seem to have contented 
themselves with collecting their more juvenile or hap- 
pier compositions into little penny books, entitled Gar- 
lands : of these, being popular and others reprinted, 
many are still extant, particularly in the PepysiSn 

Those pieces which we now call old ballads, such 
aa Fair Roxamimd, The Children in the Wood, and the 
Ml, which an ingenious writer seems to con- 
me native species of poetry of this country t," 

And by Swift; 

The ballads puled on the wall, 

Of Joan of France, and English Mall*. 

* See Percy, i. lurii. and the preceding page. 

t Aikin, Essays on Song Wilting, p. 27- " Many of the indent 
ballads." be say!, " have been transmitted to the present timet, and 
in them the character of the nation displays, itself in striking colours. 
The boastful history of her victories, the prowess of her favourite 
kings and captains, and the wonderful adventures of the legendary 
taint and knight-errant, are the topics of the rough rhyme and un- 
adorned narration, which waa ever the delight of the vulgar, and is 

* These ladles are only mentioned ss probable lubjects: ehere is no song 

le readily coincides wl 



are comparatively modem, that is of the latter end of 
the 16th century, not one of them being found in 
print, or noticed in any book before that period*. 
Queen Dido, to be sure, from its popularity at that 
time, would seem to be somewhat older, and is pro- 
bably one of the oldest, as it is certainly one of the 
best we have. " O yon ale-knights," exclaims an old 
writer, " you that devoure the marrow of the mault, 
and drinke whole aletubs. into consumptions ; that sing 
qtjbenb Dmo over a cupp, and tell strange news over 
an alepot, &cf-" 

If indeed, by " native species of poetry," is meant 
a species peculiar in this country, it is 1 1 tjWMfin 
that we have as little pretension to original JjaajAhis 
respect as in any other ; which a very slight acquaint- 
ance with the ballad poetry of other countries will 

now an object of curiosity to the antiquarian and man of Mate." The 
illustration of this postage by apposite examples, would hire been a 
favour to readers less happy in their researches after these rough 
rhymes and unadorned narrations than the author. 

* The earliest notice of any of these old ballads, Is that which 
Shakspeare has put into the mouth of Falstaff, in the second put 
of K. Hen. IV. Act ii. Scene 4. 

" When Arthur first in court began." 

Which was at that time in oil probability a new and popular ballad; 
and likely enough by Richard Johnson, who had a great turn for 
subjects of chivalry and romance. The children in the wood appears 
to hare beet) written in 199S. SecAmra'a Typographical nntiquitiei, 
by Herbert. 

t Jodie of Dover, his Quest of Inquirie, &c 10M, 4to. 
<% 2-) 

)#,«* by Google 


be sufficient to prove. Our most ancient popular 
ballads, if we may judge from the few specimens pre- 
served, were singularly rude, and not above two or 
three of these are known to have been printed for the 
people. It is' barely possible that something of die 
kind may be still preserved in the country by tra- 
dition. The editor has frequently heard of- traditional 
songs, but has had very little success in his endeavours 
to hear the songs themselves". 

An ingenious Frenchman has projected the history 
of his country by a chronological series of songs 
and balladst. And the multitude of manuscript and 
printed collections preserved in the royal library, or 
otherwise attainable, would leave a diligent compiler 
at no loss for materials. A history of England of this 

* In ■ copy of verses addressed to Mr, (afterward Dr.) Black - 
lock, by Richard Hewitt, (a boy whom, during his residence in 
Cumberland, be hid taken to lead him) ; on quitting his service, are 
the following lines : 

How oft these plain* I've thoughtless prest ; 
Whistled, or song some fair diatrest, 
Wboae fate would iteal a tear. 

" Alluding," a* it is said in a note, "ton sort of narrative songs, 
which nuke no inconsiderable part of the innocent amusements with 
which the country people poss the winter nights, and of which the 
author of the present piece was a faithful rehearser." Blacklocki 
Poena, 1756, Svo. p. y. It is a great pity, if these pieces have any 
merit, that some attempt is not made to preserve them. 

t M. Mcusnier de Querlun, Mrnwire huiorique nr la chanimt 
irAutliologv: Fraiifoite, tome J.) p. 44, 45. 

)#,«* by Google 


sort would be no leu interesting or delightful ; but 
the task is impossible". 

It tuts been elsewhere observed that the age of queen 
Elizabeth is the sera of Catches and Glees, of which the 
editor will only now add that he should wish to see a 
better account than has hitherto appeared. The large 
and valuable collection published under the direction of 
the Catch Club does not contain any more ancient than 
the year IfiOOf- Hold thy peace thou knave is pro- 
bably much earlier than the time of Shakspeare, by 
whom it is introduced in his Twelfth Night. There 
luet a pudding in the Jlre is likewise very old. Both 
these with the music are preserved by sir John Hawkins. 
Samuel Haranet, who died archbishop of York, in his 
" declaration of egregious popish Impostures," London, 
1604, p. 94. has the following passage : " Luslie Jollie 
Jenlcin (another of Saras captain devils names) by his 
name should seeme to be foreman of the motley morrice : 
he had under him, saith himselfe, forty assistants, or 

* Dr. Percy hiring mentioned Che ^fabsdoai and romantic tongt 
which for a long time prevailed in France and England, before they 
lad oooki of chivalry in prou," observes, that " in both tfiae countriet, 
the Mhutrcli ttill retained BO much of their original institution, 11 
frequently to mtke true eventi the tubject of their iongt;" and indeed, 
that " the memory of events, was preserved and propagated among 
the ignorant laity, by scarce any other means than the popular tongi 
of the Mimtreh ;" adding in a note, that " the Editor! MS. contain! 
a multitude ofpocau o/lhU latter kind." It may be observed, how- 
ever, that not one of this multitude has made its appearance in 

f Although some are perhaps to be found of much greater an. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


rather (if I mistake not) he had beene by some old 
Exorcist allowed for the Master Setter of catches, or 
roundes, used to be sung by Tinkers, as they sit by 
the fire with a pot of good ale between theyr legges : 
Hey Jolly lenkin, I see a knave a drinking, et cat." 
The words and music (for 3 voices) of the catch here 
alluded to are to be found mPammelia, 1618, and Ram- 
says Tea Table Miscellany, and in Arnolds Essex har- 
mony, II. 103. It may be the oldest thing of the kind 
extant. There has certainly been some considerable 
revolution in the national taste. Catch singing which 
at present is a favourite science with nobility was two or 
three centuries ago the amusement of drunken tinkers. 
This slight and imperfect essay ought not to be 
concluded without a'wish, that they who are in pos- 
session of curiosities of this nature, for almost every 
song prior to the commencement of the seventeenth 
century is a curiosity, would contrive some method or 
other of making them public, or at least of acquainting 
us with their existence, and thereby preserving them 
from that destruction to which they are otherwise so 
exceedingly liable. With respect to the collection now 
produced, there is scarce a public library which has 
not been explored, in order to furnish materials for it. 
Its contents, indeed, are far from numerous ; a defect, 
if it be one, which neither aeal nor industry has been 
able to remedy. 

)#,«* * Google 


ancient Songs anu UalfaW. 




^, ., :vCoogIe _ 

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" Who in ihe time of king Henry the second" (nys Camden) "Ailed 
England with his merimenta, [and} confessed his love to good 

Mibi est propositum in tabema mori, 
Vinum ait appositum morientis ori : 
Ut dicant, cim venerint, angelonim chori, 
Deus sit propitius huic potatori. 

Poculis accenditu r aniroi lucerna, 

Cor imbutura nectare volat ad superna. 
Mini sapit dulcius vinum in tabema, 
Quam quod aqua miscuit pnesolis pincerna. 

Suum cuique proprium clat natura munug, 

Ego nunquam potui scribere jejunua ; 10 

Me jejunum vincere posset puer unua, 
Sitim et jejunium, odi tanquam funua. 

• » JlMatan," ta. 1606, p. IV. 

,:,, :.C.OOgIC 


Unicuique proprium dot natura donum, 
Ego versus faciena, vinum bibo bonum, 
Et quod habent melius dolia cauponum, 
Tale vinum generat copiam sennonum. 

Tales versus facio, quale vinum bibo, 
Nihil possum scribere, nisi sumpto cibo, 
Nihil valet penitus quod jejunua scribo, 
Nasonem post calices carmine preibo. 20 

Mihi nunquam spiritus prophetiie datur, 
Nisi tunc com fuerit venter bene satur, 
Cum in arce cerebri Bacchus dominatur. 
In me Phoebus limit, ac miranda fatur. 


I'x fix'd: — I'll in gome tavern lie, 

When I return to dust ; 
And have the bottle at my mouth, - 

To moisten my dry crust : 
That the choice spirits of the skies 

(Who know my soul is mellow) 
May say, Ye gods, propitious smile 1 

Here comes an honest fellow. 

• Formerly muter of the Trinity School in Newesatle-upon-Tyne ; 
mud the carry and able preceptor of the present Lord Chancellor and 
Lord Sto*dL He died in October, 1809. Ed. 

:t, Google 


My lamp of life 'I'll' kindle up 

With spirits stout as Hector ; 
Upon the flames of which I'll rise 

And quaff celestial nectar. 
My lord invites me, and I starve 

On water mix'd with wine ; 
But, at The Grapes, I get it neat, 

And never fajl to shine. 

To every man his proper gift . . 

Dame Nature gives complete : 
My humour is — before J write, 

I always love to eat. 
For, when I'm scanty of good cheer, 

I'm but a boy at best : 
So hunger, thirst, and Tyburn-tree 

I equally detest. 

Give me good wine, my verses are 

As good as man can make 'em ; 
But when I've none, or drink it small, 

You'll say, The devil take "em ! 
For how can any thing that's good 

Come from an empty vessel ? 
But I'll out-sing even Ovids self 

Let me but wet my whistle. 

With belly full, and heart at ease, 

And all the man at home, 
I grow prophetic, and cair talk 

Of wonderous things to come. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


When, on my brains high citadel, 
Strong Bacchus sits in state, 

Then Phabm joins the jolly god, 
And all I say is great 


[Composed A. D, 1193, during bi« long Mnd unjust detention in the 
csstle of LosemMen, by the emperor Henry VI, on retaining from 
the Holy land.] Printed (with valuable annotations) by Sinner 
(Catahgiu bib. Bcraaiiit, torn. 3, p. 370), from ■ manuscript of 
the 13th century. 

Another, but very inaccurate copy, is inserted in the pnthce to "La 
lour tentbrcute, rt lei Jouri lumuiaix, amtci Aagloii," par 
Mademoitelk L'Htritier (Paris, 1709). slong with s " Chamon 
en langae Provcnfoit, dont le commencement tit de Blonde!, et 
la Jin in roy Richard." Mr. Wslpolcs n 

Jai nuls hons pris ne diroit sa raison 
Adroitement, sensi com dolans non ; 
Maix per contort puet il farr# chanson : 
Moult ai damia, maix povre aont li don, 
Honte en auront, se por ma reanson 

Seux les ir. hirers pris. 

Se sevient bien mi homme et mi baron, 
Angloia, Normant, foitevin et Gascon, 
Ke gi n'iivoic si povre compagnon 

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Ke je laissaisse, par avoir, en prixon ; 1 

Je nel dig pais por nulle retraisson, 

Mais encore sens je pria. 

Or sai je Wen de voir, certainement, 
Ke mors, ne pria, n'ait amis, ne parent. 
Quant on me ' laisse' por or, ne por argent, 
Moult m'est de moi, maix plux m'est de ma gent, 
Capri's ma mort auront reproche grant, 
Se longuement aeux pria. 

N'est pais mer veille se j'ai le cuer dolent. 
Quant mes sires tient ma terre en torment ; 21 

S'or li membroit de nostre sairement 
Ke nos f'eimea anduis communement ; 
Bien sai devoir ke scans longuement 
Ne seroie pais pria. 

Se sevient bien Angevin et Frain, 
Cil baicbelier ki or sont riche et sun, 
Kencombries seux, loing d'eaus, en autrui mains; 
Forment m'amoient, maix or ne m'aime grain ; 
De belles airraes sont ores ' veux' li plain, 

Portant ke je seux pria. ■ 3C 

[v. 16. hit.] 

[V. 30. Bj Mil titei {mm tcigneur) Richard means Philip- 
Auguatu*, king of France, whole vassal he wit] 
[F. 29. TOIL] 

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Mes compagtions, ori jamoie et cui j'ain, 
Ceals de Caheu, et ceaubt de Percherain, 
Me di chanson kil ne aont pais certain ; 
Nonkes vera eaus no' le cuer fanls ne vain : 
S'il me gueroient, il font moult ke vilain, 
Portant ke je seux prii. 

Oontesse aeur*, vostre piis souverain 
Voe aault ; et gairt cil a cui je me clain, 
- Et par cui je seux pria ; 
Je ne dia pais de celi de choirtain, 
La meire Loweis. 

The following version of this ballad (or rath«r of the Provencal train, 
latiou of it) inserted by dr. Buinej, in hi* llittory of Afutic, 
(it 23H) is added by the present editor : 

No wretched captive of hia prison speaks, 
Unless with pain and bitterness of sonl ; 
Yet consolation from the Muse he seeks . 
Whose voice alone misfortune can cuntroul. 
Where now is each ally, each baron, friend. 
Whose face I ne'er beheld without a smile, 
Will none, his sovereign to redeem, expend 
The smallest portion of his ti 

* This is addressed to his sister Joan, married, first, to William II, 
king of Sicily, [and] afterward [to (he] earl of Toulouse, whence she 



Though none may blush that near two tedious years, 
Without relief, my bondage has endur'd, 10 

Yet know, my English, Norman, Gascon peers, 
Not one of yon should thus remain immur'd ; 
The meanest subject of my wide domains, 
Had I been free, a ransom should have found ; 
I mean not to reproach you with my chains, 
Yet still I wear them on a foreign ground ! 

Too true it is, so -selfish human race ! 
" Nor dead, nor captives, friend or kindred Jind," 
Since here I pine in bondage and disgrace, 
For lack of gold, my fetters to unbind. 20 

Much for myself I feel, yet ah ! still more 
That no Compassion from my subjects Sows ; 
What can from infamy their names restore, 
If, while a pris'ner, death my eyes should close. 

But small is my surprize, though great my grief, 
To find, in spite of all his solemn vows, 
My lands are ravaged by the Gallic chief, 
While none my cause has courage to espouse. 
Though lofty tow'rs obscure the chearful day, 
Yet, through the dungeon's melancholy gloom, 30 
Kind Hope, in gentle whispers, seems to say, 
" Perpetual thraldom is not yet thy doom." 

Ye dear companions of my happy days, 
Oh Chail and Pensavin, aloud declare, 
Throughout the earth in everlasting lays. 
My foes against me wage inglorious war. > 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


Oh tell them too, that ne'er among my crimes 
Did breach of faith, deceit or fraud appear ; 
That infamy will brand to latest times 
The insults I receive while captive here. 

Know all ye men of Anjou and Touraine, 
And every bach'lor knight, robust and brave. 
That duty now and love alike are vain, 
From bonds your gov 'reign and your friend to s 
Remote from consolation here I lie. 
The wretched captive of a pow'rful foe, 
Who all your zeal and ardour can defy, 
Nor leaves you aught but pity to bestow ! 



Tliia curious piece, which is though! to he "the mutt indent English 
song, villi [or without] die musks! notes, any when extant," " 
preserved in a manuscript of the Harleian library, '" lnc British 
Museum (No. 978). It has been already published by Sir John 
Hawkins in his very instructive and entertaining HUlory of Music, 
vol ii. p. 9 1, and at p. 96 of the same volume it is reduced Into 
the scale of modem composition. The ingenious author remarks 
that " Mr. Waaler has not ventured precisely to ascertain the an- 
- tiquity of thin venerable musical relic," but adds, "that the follow- 
ing observations will go near to fix it to about the middle of the 
fifteenth century." A oonjecture in which he is, doubtless, egre- 

, y Google 


antiquity, and may, with the utmost probability, be referred to as 
early a period (at least) ai tie year 1350. 
Under the words hen given are those of a Latin hymn, to which 
Sir John Hawkins, on the authority of Du Cange, thinks the term 
Rota alone refers ; an opinion tor which there doM not appear suf- 
lident reason ; the word implying no more than our Hound. And 
hence perhaps a passage in Bbakspeare "may receive some iUnatra- 
lion. In Hamlet, Ophelia, speaking of a ballad of " The false 
steward who stole Ma masters daughter, 1 ' exclaims — " O how the 
vhiel becomes it!" evidently meaning the burthen or return of the 

" It is observable," the above learned writer continues, " that the 
moat ancient species of musical imitation it the song of the CucVow, 
which must appear to be a natural and very obvious subject for 
it. Innumerable," he says, " are the instances that might be pro- 
duced to Ihia purpose : a very fine madrigal in three parts, com- 
posed by Thomas Weelkea, organist of Chichester cathedral, about 
the year 1600, beginning ' The Nightingale the organ of delight,' 
has in it the Cuckow's song. Another. of the same kind, nut leas 
excellent, in four parts, beginning ' Thirsis, aleepest thou ?' occurs 
in the Madrigals of John Bennet, published in 1699. ViraMi's 
Cuekow concerto," ha adds, " is well known, as is also that of 
Lampe, composed about thirty yean ago." 

Suhbr is icumen in, 

Lhude sing cuccu ; 
Groweth Bed, and bloweth med, 

And springth the wde nu. 

Sing, cuccu ! 

Awe bleteth after lamb, 

Lhouth after calve cu ; 
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth, . 

Murie sing cuccu. 

, y Cookie 


Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu, cuccu, 

Ne swik thu naver mi. 
Sing, cuccu, nu, sing, cuccu, 

Sing, cuccu, sing, cuccu, nu, 


[From a MS. of Edward the Mcocdi time, in the HarieUn Library, 
No. 2263.] 

Sitteth alle stille, ant herkneth to me: 
The kyn[g] of Alemaigne, bi mi leaute, 
Thritti- thou sent pound askede he 
For te make the pees in the countre, 
Ant so he dude more. 

Thah thou be ever trichard, 
Tricthen shalt thou never more. 

Richard of Alemaigne, whil that he wes kyng, 
He spends al is tresour opon swyvyng, 10 

Haveth he nout of Walingford oferlyng, 
Let him habbe, ase he brew, bale to dryng, 
Maugre Wyndesore. 
Richard, &c. 

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The k yng of Alemaigne wende do fill wel. 
He saigede the roulne for a cartel, 
With hare sharpe awerdes he grounde the stel, 
He wende that the saylea were mangonel, 
i To helpe Wyndesore, 
Richard, &c. 2< 

The kyng of Alemaigne gederede ys host, 
Makede him a castel of a mulne-post, ■ 
Wende with is pride, ant is muchele bost, - 
Brohte from Alemayne inoni son goat, 
To store Wyndesore. 
Richard, &c. 

By god, 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 ferine, 
The gold ant the selrer ant yboren henne, 3 

For love of Wyndesore. 
Richard, &c. 

Sire Simond de Mountfbrt bath suore 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, L 
To help Wyndesore. 
Richard, &c. 

Sire Simond de Montfort hath suore by ys f fot,' 
Hevede, he nou here sire Hue de Bigot, 4 

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Al be shulde grante here twelf-moneth sent, 
Shulde he never more with his sot pot, 
To helpe Wyndeaore. 
Richard, Sic. 

Be the luef, be the loht, aire Edward, 
Thou shalt ride sporele* o thy lyard, 
Al the ryhte way to Dovere-ward, 
Shalt thou nevermore breke foreward. 
Ant that reweth aare, 
Edward, 60 

Thou dudeat aae a shreward, 
Foraoke thyn ernes lore *. 

* The MS. ben rcpwta " Richard, Ac" which mr. Ritson bu 

), gl :,« a ^GoogIe 



Slain at the battle of Evesham, in Worcestershire, o 
4di of August, 1265, byoneof w" 
been made. " Tho poet looks upon him u a martyr ; and regrets 
die law of Henry his son, Hugh le Dispenser, justice of England, 
and others who then lost their lives ; and concludes with a itanza in 
English." Wax LET. 

The Engliah stanza, which Mr. Wanley orronenusly supposed to con- 
clude thii ballad u rut follown ; but has no sort of connexion therewith, 
and is, in fact, divided from it by an independent stanza in French : 

" Erthe toe of crthe erthe wyth woh 
Erthe other erthe to the erthe droh 
Erthe leyde erthe in erthe no throh 
Tho hevede erthe of erthe erthe ynoh. " 

[From the same MS.] 

Chauntbr mestoit, mon cuer le voit, 

En iin dure langage, 
Tut enploraunt fust fet le chaunt, 

De nostra duz baronage. 
Qe pur la pees, si loynz apres, 

Se lesserent detrere 
Lor cars trencher e demenbrer 

Fur salver Engletere. 
Ore est ocys la flur de pris, 

Qe taunt savoit de guere, 10 

Ly quens Mountfort, sa dure mart 

Molt enplorra la terre. 

l7 C,ooglc — 


Sicom je qui par un raanli 

Firent la bataile, 
Tot a cheval fiist le mal, 

Saunta nolle pedaUe. 
Tree nialement y ferirent 

De le eapie forbie 
Qe la part sire Edward* 

Conquist la mettrie. 
Ore eat ocia, &c. 

Mea, par aa mort, le cuena Mountfort 

Conquist la victorie, 
Come ly martyr de Caunterbyr 

Finiat la vie. 
Ne voleit pas li bon Thomaa 

Qe periat aeinte egliae, 
Ly cuena, ausi, ae combati 

E moruat aanntz feyntiae . 
Ore eat ocya, &c. 

Sire Hue le fer, ly Deapencer, 

Trea noble justice t, ' 

Ore eat a tort lyvre a mort 

A trap male guise : 
Sire Henri, pur veir le dy, 

Fitz le cuen8 de Leycestre, 
Autrea aaaez, come voua orrez, 

Par le cuena de Glouceatre. 
Ore eat ocia, &c- 

• AfUrwardEdwud I. f 1260-126S. 

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Qe volcint moryr, e mentenyr 

La pees e la dreyture, 
Le seint martir lur fi-a joyr 

Sa conscience pure. 
Qe velt moryr, e sustenir 

Lea houmee de la terre, 
Son bon desir acorap] ir 

Quar bien le guerdom fere. 
Ore est, &c. 

Prea de son cors, le bon tresora, 

Une heyre troverent 
Les faua ribaus tent fluent maus 

E ceuz qe le tuerent : 
Molt fust pjTj qe demenbryr 

Firent le prodhoume, 
Qe de guerrer e fei tener 

Si bien uvoit la aoume. 
Ore eat, &c. 

Pricz tons, mes amis doiu, 

Le fits Beinte Marie, 
Qe lenfant her puissant 

Meigne en bone vie, 
Ne vueil nomer li estoler, 

JJe vueil qe lem die 
Mes, pur lamour le salveour, 

Pries pur la clergie. 
Ore est ocy s, &c . 

VOL. I. 

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Ne say trover rien, qui) firent bien, 

Ne baroun ne counte, 
Les chivftlers e esquiers 

Touz sunt mys a bounte, 
Pur lor lealti e verite, 

Que tut est anentie, 
Le losenger purrs, reigner, 

Le fol pur sa folie. 
Ore est oris, &c. 

Sire Simoun, ly prodhom, 

E sa compagnie, 
£n joie vont, en del amount, 

En perdurable vie. 
Mes Jhesu Crist, qe en croyz se mist, 

Dieu enprenge cure 
Qe sunt remis e detenuz 

En prisone dure. 
Ore est ocys, &c. 


In song my grief shall find relief, 
Sad is my verse and rude ; 
ing in tears our gentle peers 
Who fell for Englands good. 

ir of " Specimen! of the early Etglith 

made at mr. Ritamin request.] 

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Our peace they sought, for us they fought, 

For us they dar'd to die ; 
And where they sleep, a mangled heap, 

Their wounds for vengeance cry. 
On Eveshama plain is Montfort slain, 

Well skill'd the war to guide ; 
Where streams his gore shall all deplore 

Fair England* flower and pride. 

Ere tuesdays sun ha course had run 

Our noblest chiefs had bled. 
While ruah'd to fight each gallant knight, 

Their dastard vassals fled. 
Still undismay'd, with trenchant blade 

They hew'd their desperate way : 
Not strength or skill to Edwards will, 

But numbers gave the day. 
On Eveshama plain, &c. 

Yet, by the blow that laid thee low, 

Brave earl, one palm was given ; 
Nor less at thine than Becketa shrine 

Shall rise our vows to heaven ! 
Our church and laws, your common cause, 

'Twss his the church to save, 
Our rights restor'd, thou, generous lord, 

Shalt triumph in thy grave. 
On Eveshams plain, &c. 

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Despenaer true, the good sir Hugh, 

Our justice and our friend, 
Borne down with wrong, amidst the throng, 

Has met his wretched end. 
Sir Henrys fate need I relate, 

Our Leicester* gallant ton, 
Or many a score of heroes more 

By Gloucester! hate undone? 
On Eveshams plain, &c. 

Each righteous lord who brav'd the sword, 40 

And, for our safety, died, 
With conscience pure shall aye endure, 

Our martyr' d saint beside. 
That martyr'd saint was never faint 

To ease the poor mans care ; 
With gracious will he shall fulfill 

Our just and earnest prayer. 
On Eveshams plain, &c. 

On Montforts breast a hair-cloth vest 

His pious soul procuunVd; 60 

With ruffian hand, the ruthless band 

That sacred emblem maim'd : 
And, to assuage their impious rage, 

His lifeless corpse defac'd, 
Whose powerful arm, long Bav*d from harm, 

The realm his virtues grac'd. 
On Evesham r plain, &c. I 

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Now all draw near, companions dear, 

To Jesus let us pray, 
That Montforts heir his grace may share, 

And learn to heaven the way. 
No priest I name ; none, none I blame, 

Nor aught of ill surmise. 
Yet, for the love of Christ above, 

I pray be churchmen wise. 
On Evesh&ms plain, &c. 

No good, I ween, of late is seen 

By earl or baron done ; 
Nor knight or squire to fame aspire, 

Or dare disgrace to shun. 
Faith, truth, are fled, and, in their stead, 

Do vice and meanness rule ; 
E'en on the throne may soon be shown 

A flatterer or a fool. 
On E veshams plain, &c 

Brave martyr'd chief! no more our grief 

For thee or thine shall flow ; 
Among the bless'd, in heaven ye rest 

From all your toils below. 
But, for the few, the gallant crew, 

Who here in bonds remain, 
Christ condescend their woes to end, 

And break the tyrants chain ! 
On Eveshams plain, &c. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


— " being a sort of libel upon that commission, iamed by on king 
Edward I. near the end of his reign ; ibat in about A. D. 1306. 

Herein the author u js, that he nerved bii lord the king both in 
peace and war In Flanders, Scotland, and Qaaeoign j but wanted 
to return into hia own country. He namea some of the com- 
missioners or judge* (who are not to particularly mentioned in 
every chronicle) .... 

The laat stanza shews the privacy wherein it was written -" 

[From the aame MS.] 

Talent me preiit de rymer e de geste fere 
Dune purveaunce qe purveu est en la terre 
Mieux valsit uncore que la. chose fust afere 
Si dieu ne prenge garde je quy que sourdra guere. * 

* [The following curious account of the origin and objects of this 
commission is to be found in the Chronicle of Peter Laugtoft, a 
contemporary rblmer, as translated by Robert Hannyng, (ii. 327-) ' 

The rooneth of September jolden waa Strirelyn 
Edward may remembre the travoilc and the pyu. 
With many grete encurobre of in bard stoure. 
At Bruatwick opon Humbre ther he mad eojoure. 
Sir Jon of VFarenne that ilk tyme gan deist, 
His body was redy then in grave for to leie. 
After the entennent the kyng tok hia way, 
To the south he went thorgh Lyndeesy. 
He spired, as he yede, who did suilk trespas, 

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Ce sunt leg articles de TrayUebaatourj : 
Salue le roi meismes, de dieu eit maleysoun 
Qe adeprimes graunta tie! commissioun, 
Quar en ascuns des points! n'est mie reaoun. 

Brak his pe« with dede, tflle he in Scotland was; 
Of suilk raid be spoken, if thei mot be atteyned. 

* Wise men of gode gsf aniuere to thekyng, 
That Built ibln yode, it wu certeyn thing, 
Thorgh the lond is don auilk grete grevonce, 
Bot it be mendid son, a werre may rise o chance. 
Tlrise eontekonrs whidere the! assigned a stede that en. 
And the? thei com togidere and rask a sikemes, 
That thei aalle alle go to whom or where the! wille, 
To robbe, bete, or do, ageyn all manere skillc. 

Thei profere a man to bete, for two sdiilynges or thre, 
With piked staves grete beten ssHe he be- 
in feire and markette thei salle seke him oute ; 
Alle the lond is sette with suilk folea etoute. 
If ■ chapman wille not lene of his merchaulktie 
In his hous for tene thei do him Tuenie, 
Or els lie be at one largely to give of his. 
Ell thei sallc him ilkone bete him that he pin. 
For men of suilk maneTS, bot ther be torn justise, 
Sone, in tor yen perchance, a wene alle rise. 

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Sire, si je voderoi mon garsoun dustier, 

De one buffe ou de dens, pur ly amender, 10 

Sur moi betera bille e me fra d'attachier, 

E avant qe iese de prisone raunsoun grant doner. 

Quauraunte soue parvent pur ma raunsoun, 
E le viacounte vint a son guerdoun, 
Qu'il ne me mette en parfounde priaovin : 
Ore agardezj seigneurs, est ce resoun ? 

Par ce me tendroi autre bois sur le jolyf umbray. 

La n'y a faucete, ne nuUe male lay. 

En le bois de Bel-regard, ou vole le jay, 

£ chaunte russinole touz jours santz delay. 20 

The kyug herd alle the fame, the pkynt of ilka toun, 
And gaf them ■ Qfiwe name, and cald them Trailebuxtmtii. ■ 
The dale WH a thousand ibre hundred mo by art, 
ISuilk m en thorgh the land he did t ham tak bilyve. 

The kyng thorgh the load did aeke men o neons, _ 
And with the juatisc tham bond, to site on Treilebastoni. 
Sam thorgh quest thei denied be bonden in prisons, 
And tho that fled thei flemed ala the kyiigea fdom. 
Son men out the[i] kut of loud was holden wrong; 
Kali covenant! thei braet thorgh powere holden long ; 
And aom gaf raoneon after ther trespas, 
All the dede in don, so the amendea was, 
Bot men did amend milk folic openly knowen, 
Non iuld them defend, ne dur wonne in Iher owen. 

See also HI. Weatm. 450. T. Wal. 30. Trivet 339. Knygbton, 
2194. (2669, .2606, 2626). Abridgment of record*, 67, AC snd 
Spdman, i<i voce.— Ed.] 

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lies le male doseynes, dount dieu neit ja piete, 
Panni lur fauce bouches me omit enditee 
De male robberies, e autre mavestee, 
Que je nos entre mes amis estre receptee. 

Jai servi my aire le roy en pees e en guere, 

En Flaundres, e Scoce, en Oascoyne an terre, 

Mes ore ne me sai je point chevisaunce fere, 

Tot nion temps ay mis en veyn pur del houme plere.. 

Si ces mavois jurours ne se vueillent amende?. 
Que je pus a mon pais chevalcher e aler, 30 

Si jelespua ateindre la teste lur 'ferroi'" voler, 
De toiiz lur manacea ne dorroi un dener. 

Ly Martyn et ly Knouille sunt gent de piete, 
£ prient pur lea povrea quil eyent sauvete. 
Spigurnelt e Belflour sunt gent de cruelte, 
S'il fuissent en ma baylie ne serreynt retornee. 

Je lur apprefjijdroy le giw de Traylebastoun, 

B lur bruseroy leschyne e le cropoun, 

Les bras e lea jaumbes ce serreit resoun, 

La lange lur tondroy, e la bouche ensoun. 40 

Qy cestes choses primes comenca • 

Ja jour de sa vie amende ne serra, 
Je vous di pur veyr trop graunt perche ena, 
Quar pur doute de prisone meint laroun serra. 


t Hesiy Spigurnal *u one of the justices of the Kingt Bench in 

)#,«* by Google 


Y tel devendra teres que ne fast unque rues. 
Que pur doute de prisone ne ok venir a pes, 
Vivre covient avoir chescnn jour odea, 
Qy ceste chose comenca yl emprist grant fes. 

Bien devoient rrmwriaiiTig e moygnes doner malicoun, 
A tous iceux que orduierent le Trail] ebastoun, 50 

Ne lur vaudra tin ayle le roial protecdoun, 
Que il ne rendrount lea deners sauntz regerdoun. 

Vous qy estes endite je lou venez a moy, 
Al vert bois de Belregard la ny a nul ploy, 
Forque beste savage e jolyf umbroy. 
Car trap est dotouse la commune loy. 

Si tu sachcz de lettrure e estes coronee 

Devaunt les justices serrez appellee, 

Uncore poez estre a prisone retomee. 

En garde de le evesque jesque seiez purgee. 60 

E sofiryr messayse e trop dur penaunce, 
E par cas naverez james delyveraunce*, 
Pur ce valt plus ou moi a bois demorer 
Qen prisone le evesque syerge gyser. 

Trop est la penaunce e dure a sourer, 

Quy le mieux puet eslyre fol est qe ne velt choyser, 

* The third Mid fourth lion of this iUmia, riming in a*nce, seem 
to be lout: as it is obserrable thai the four lines of every preceding 
stanza rime together; which, upon this supposition, those of the re- 
maining staraaa will do -. and the number of lints in the list statute, 
which are now ox, will in that case be the same with the rest 

)#,«* by Google 


Avant sanoy poy de bien ore su je meins sage, 
Ce me fount lea male leia par mout grant outrage. 

Qe nos & la pea venyr entre mon lignage 
Lea riches sunt k raunaoun povrea a estolage 70 

Fort aerroit engager ce qe ne puet estre aquytee, 
Ceat la vie de bourne que taunt est cher amce. 

E je nay mye le chatel de estre rechatee, 

Mea si je fusee en lur baundoun a mort serroi lyveree, 

Uneore attendroy grace e orroi gent parler, 

Tiels me dient le mal que me ne ogent aprochier. 

E volentiere verroient mon corpa le denger, 

Mea entre royl debles dieu puet un bourne sauver, 

Cely me prist saluer que eat le fita Marie 

Car je ne su coupable, endite su pax envye. 80 

Qy en cesti lu me miat dieu lur maldie 
Le siecle est ai variant fous est qe aafiye 
Si je sei compagnoun e aacbe de archerye, 
Mon veisyn irra diaaunt cesti eat de compagnie. 

De aler bercer a boia e fere autre folie. 

Que ore vueille vivre come pork 'raenra' * sa yye. 

Si je aache plus de ley qe ne sovent eux, 

Yl dirrount ceati conspyratour de estre * foua * t. 

E le heyre naprocberoy de x lywes ou deus, 

De tous veysinages hony serent ceux, 90 

noft^'by Google 


Je pri tote bone gent qe pur moi vuetilent prier, 
Qe je pus a man pais aler e chevaucher. 

Unqe ne fu homicide certes a moun volcr, 
Ne mal robbcrei pur gent damager. 
Cest rym fust fet al bob desouz un lorer, 
La chaunte merle, russinole e eyre lesperver ; 
Escrit estoit en parchemyn pur mout remenbrer, 
E gitte en haut cherayn qe ura le dust trover. 

" many of whom," Mr. Wanley obaervea, "are here mentioned by 
name, u aleo ninny of the Engliih beride the king and prince." 
It particularly noricea Sir William Waller*, taken at the battle of 
Dunbar, 1306, and Sir Simon Friicll [or Fnuer], taken at the 
battle of Kjrkendif, 1306, both of whom " were puniihed aa 
traitor* to our king Edward the font, and theft heads act (among 
othera of theit ©min trey-men) upon London-bridge t and of the 
coronation of Robert le Brua and hie lurking afterward," 
Thii ballad contain* a Tarietj of incidents little noticed by hutariana. 

From the same MS, 
Lystnbth, lordynges, a newe song ichulle bigynne, 
Of thetraytours of Scotlond, that take beth wythgynne, 
Mon that loveth falsnesse, and nule never blynne, 
Sore may him drede the lyf that he is ynrte, 
Ich underatonde : 
Selde was be glad 
That never nes aaad 

Of nythe ant of onde. 

)#,«* * Google 


That y sugge by this Scottca that bueth nou to drawe, 
The hevedes o Londone-brugge, whose con yknawe ; 18 
He wenden ban buen kynges, ant seiden so in sawe, 
Betere hem were hun ybe barouns, ant libbe in godes 

Whose hateth soth ant ryht, 
Lutel he douteth godes myht, 
The heye kyng above. 

To warny alle the gentilmen that bueth in Seotlonde, 
The Waleis wea to draiwe, seththe he wes an honge, 
Al quic biheveded, ys boweles ybrend, 
The heved to Londone-brugge wes send, 20 

To abyde. 
After Simond Frysel, 
That wes traytour ant fykel, 
Ant ycud flu wyde. 

Sire Edward oure kyng, that fill ys of piete, 
The Waleis quarters sende to is oune tontre, 
On four half to honge huere myrour to be, 
Theropon to thenche that monie myhten se, 
Ant drede. 
Why nolden he bewar 30 

Of the bataile of D unbar , 

Hou evele hem con spede ". 

• The Scott hid been defeated there irith great torn, inno 1396. 

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Byaahopes ant barouns come to the kynges pea, 
Aae men that weren fals, f y kel ant lea, 
Othes hue him sworen in rtude ther he wes. 
To buen him bold ant trewe for allea cunnes res, 
That hue ne shulden ayeyn him go, 
So hue were tetned tho ; 

Weht halt hit to lye ? 40 

To the kyng Edward hii fasten huere fay, 
Fals wes here foreward so forst is in May, 
That sonne from the southward wypeth away ; 
Moni proud Scot therof mene may 
Nes never Scotlond 
With dunt of monnea hond 
Allinge aboht so duere. 

The biaahop of Olascou y ciiot he wea ylaht, 
The bisahop of Seint- Andre bothe he beth ycaht, 50 
The abbot of Scon with the kyng nis nout salit, 
Al here purpoa ycome hit y b to naht, 
Tfaurh ryhte : 
Hii were nnwia 
When hii thohte pris 

Ayeyn huere Vyng to fyhte. 

Thourh consail of thes bisshopes, ynemned byfore, 
Sire Robert the BruyU Curat kyng wes ycore, 

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He mai everuche day ys fan him se byfore, 
Vef hee mowen him hente ichot he bith forlore, 60 
Sauntx fayle. 
Soht forte sugge, 
Duere he shal abugge 

That he bigon batayle. 

Hii that him crounede proude were ant bolde, 
Hi! maden kyng of sonier, bo hii ner ne aholde, 
Hii setten on ys hevcd a croune of rede golde, 
Ant token him a. kyneyerde, so me kyng aholde, 
To deme. 
Tho he wes set in see 70 

Lutel god couthe he 

Kyneriche to yeme. 

Nou kyng Hobbe in the mures yongeth *, 
Forte come to toune nout him ne longeth ; 
The barouns of Eugelond, myhte hue him grype, 
He him wolde techen on Englyssh to pype, 
Thourh streynthe ; 

• K. Robert Brus, after the battle of Kirkendiff* (or Mcthven, at 
it is more generally called) fled into the Highlands, where lie lurked 
for some time. In a pretended conversation between him and hii 
queen, reported by some of out old historians, she is made to eay, 
" You arc but a Summer king, I take it; I do not imagine you will 
be a Winter one."' (M. West 156.) This calumny seems alluded 
to in t. 66. 

Borne chronicle, quoted by Spelman, v. Maiuma, supposes her, 
after she wsa taken by the English, to have said (hat her husband 
and herself were like to be such a king and queen as led dances round 
a maypole. 8ee sJ» Holinihed, od an. 1306. 

)#,«* by Google 


Ne be be ner so stout, 
Yet he bitli yacht out 

O brede ant o leyntlie. 80 

Sire Edward of Camarvan (Jhesu him save ant see !) 
Sire Emer de Valence, gentil knyht ant free., 
Habbeth ysuore huere oht that, par la grace dee, 
Hee wolleth oua delyvren of that false contree, 
' Yef hii corme*. 

Muche hath Scotlond forlore, 
Whet alast, whet bifore, 
Ant lutel pris wonne. 

Nou ichulle fonge ther ich er let, 
Ant tellen on of Friael, ase ich ou byhet 90 

In the batayle of Kyrkenclyf Frysel wea ytake, 
Ys continaunce abatede eny boat to nuke 
Biside Strivelyn ; 
Knyhtes ant sweynes, 
Fremen ant theynes, ** 

( M onye with hyin. 

So hii weren byget on everuche halve, 
Somme alaye were, ant somme dreynte henuelve ; 
Sire Johan of Lyndeseye nolde nout abyde, 
He wod into the water his feren him bysyde, 100 
To adrenche. . 
Whi nolden hii bewar ? 
Ther nis non ayeyn star ; 

Why nolden hy hem bythenche. 
* A very judkknu proviso, u appouwl in toe sequel. 

W, E e by Google 


This Wes byfore seint Bartholomeus masse. 
That Frysel wes ytake, we« hit more other lasse ; 
To sire Thomas of Muiton, gendl baron ant fre, 
Ant to sire Johan Jose bytake tho wes he, 
To honde : 
He wes yfetered weel 110 

Bathe with yrn ant wyth steel 
To bringen of Scotlonde. 

Sone, therafter, the>y dynge to the kyng com, 
He him sende to Londone, with mony armed grom 
He com yn at Newegate, y telle yt ' ou ' aplyht, 
A gerland of leves on ys hed ydyht,* 
Of grene ; 
For he shulde ben yknowe 
Bothe of heghe ant of lowe 

For traytour y wene. 120 

Yfetered were ys legges under his horse wombe, 
Bothe with yrn ant with stel mantled were ys honde, 
A gerland of pervenke set on his heved, 
Muche wes the poer that him wes byreved 
In londe : 
So god me amende, 
Lutel he wende 

So be broht in honde. 

* So Wallace, M his mock-trial at Watminater, Vu " crowned 
with laurel," u Stowe relates, " for that he had laid, in tana paat, 
that he ought to bear a crown in that hnll (as it was commonly re- 
ported).'" V.oateT. ll.sadffrtT. 180. 

VOL. I. » 

p, i:, E ed by Google 


Sire Herbert of ' Norham '*, feyr knyht ant bold, 
For the love of Fryael ys lyf wes ysold, 130 

A wajour he made, bo hit wes ytold, 
Ys heved of to smhyte yef men him brohte in hold, 
8ory wes he thenne 
Tho he myhte him kenne 
Thourh the toun ryde. 

Thenne eeide ys acwyer a word anon ryht, 
Stre, we beth dede, ne helpeth hit no wyht, 
Thomas de Boys the scwyer wes to nome, 
Nou, iehot, our wajour turaeth oua to gome, 140 

So ybate: 
Ydo ou to> wyte, 
Here heved wee of smyte, 
, Byfore the tour-gate. 

This w»on ours levedy event, for sothe ych under- 

The justices seten for the knyhtes of Scotlonde, 
Sire Thomas of Multoii J, an hendy knyht snt wys, 
Ant sire Rauf of Sondwych §, that muchel is * hold ' 

* He wu one of the Scotiih prisoners in the Tower ; and is said 
to have been ao confident of the safety or success of sir Simon Fruer, 
that he had offered to lay his own head on the block if that warrior 
juffertd himself to be taken; and (howevar involuntarily) it seerot ho 
kept bii word. Vide M. Wat. 460. 

f 7th September, 1306. 

J He was one of the Justices of the Kings Bench in (289. 17 
E. 1. 

g Hade a Baron of the Eicheqner S E. 2. 1312. 



Ant sire Johan Abel ; 
Mo ymihtc telle by tale, 150 

Bothe of grete ant of smale, 

Ye knowen suythe wel. 

Thenne saide the justice, that gentil is ant fre, 
Sire Simond Fryael, the kynges traytour hast thou be, 
In water ant in londe that monie myhten ae, 
What say st thou thareto, hou wolt thou quite the ? 
Do say. 
So foul he him wiste, , 

s Nede waron ' triste ' 

For to segge nay. 160 

Ther he wes ydemcd, ao hit wes londes lawe, 
For that he wes lordawyk, furst he wes to-drawe, 
Upon a retherea hude forth he wes ytuht, 
Sum while in ys time he wes a modi knyht. 
In huerte. 
Wickednease ant sunne 
Hit ia Intel wunne 

That maketh the body amerte. 

For al ia grete poer yet he wee ylaht, 
Falaneaae ant awykedom al hit geth to naht, 170 

Tho he wea in Scotlond Intel wea ys thoht 
Of the harde jugement that him wea byaoht 
In stounde. 
He wes foursithe forswore 


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To the kyng ther bifore *, 

Ant that him brohte to gronnde. 

With feterea ant with gyves ichot he wet to-drowe, 
From the tour of Londone, that monie myhte knowe. 
In a curtel of burel a selkethe wyae, 
Ant a gerland on ya heved of the newe guyse, 180 
Moni mon of Engelond 
For to se Symond 

ThideTjQward con lepe. 

TiiQ he com to galewes furgt he wea anhonge, 
Al quic byheveded, thah him thohte longe, 
Seththe he wea j'opened, is boweles ybrend, 
The heved to Londone-brugge wea send, 
To shonde: 
So ich ever mote the, 190 

Bumwhile wende he 
Ther lutel to stonde. 

He rideth thourh the site, as y telle may, 

With gomen, ant wyth solas, that wes here play, 

* Sir Simon tM one of those whom K. Edward brought out of 
Scotland in 1396, when that kingdom ni tint lubdned. Ha re- 
mained a cloee prisoner about eight month*, and was then freed, on 
entering into the usual engagement with the conqueror, to which, 
however, it is certain he did not think proper to adhere ; esteeming 
it, perhaps, more amful to keep men a (breed obligation than to take 
e,I. 6*8. 

)#,«* by Google 


To Londone-brugge hee. nome the way, 
Moni wes the wy ves «hil that theron laketh a day, 
Ant seide, Alas ! 
That h« wes ibore, 
Ant so villiche forlore. 

So feir nion ase he was. 200 

Nou rtont the heved above the tubrugge, 
Paste bi Waleis, soth forte sugge, 
After socour of Scotlond longe he mowe prye, 
A»t after help of Fraunce : wet halt hit to lye, 
Betere him were in Scotlond, 
With is ax in ys hond, 

To pleyen othe grene. 

Ant the body hongeth at the galewes faate. 
With yrnene claspes longe to laste, 210 

Forte wyte wel the body, ant Scottysh to garste, 
Foure ant tuenti ther beoth to sothe ate laste, 
By nyhte, 
Yef eny were so hard! 
The body to 'remuy' 
Also to dyhte. 

Were sire Robert the Bruytz ycome to this londe, 
Ant the erl of Asseles*, that harde is an honde, 

* The carl of A tool, John de Strnthbogie. Attempting to escape 
bj Ma, be *h driven back by ■ >torm, taken, and conveyed to London, 
where he mi tried, condemned, and, with eireunutances of great 
barbarity, put to death, 7th &c November, 1306. (M. WeK. 461.) 
Which proves the present ballad to have been composed between that 
time and the 7th of September preceding. 

)#,«* by Google 


Alle the other pouraille, forsothe ich understonde, 
Mihten be ful blythe ant thonke godes sonde, 220 
Wyth ryhte ; 
Thenne myhte uch mon 
Both e riden ant gon 

In pes withoute vyhte. 

The traytoura of Scotland token hem to rede 
The barouns of Engelond to brynge to dede, 
Charles of Fraunce, so moni mon tolde, 
With myht ant with streynthe hem helpe wolde, 
His thonkes. 
Tprot Scot, for thi strif, 230 

Hang up thyn hachet ant thi knyf, 
Whil him lasteth the lyf 

With the longe shonkes. 

*,* The following curioul partitulari of the capture and execution 
of this sir Simon Fraier arc transcribed from lie fragment of an old 
chronicle in the British Museum, (MS8. Bad. 206.) written about 
the time of Henry the tilth ; being much the nine with that printed 
by Caxton. 

Hove Robert the Bnu mi acomSted in baunlle and howe 
Symond Friacll was atayn. 

THE fryday next bifbre [the] aauiiupcunin of out* lady king 
Edeward mette Robert the Brut buidet aeynt John* tmine in Scotland, 
and with liia companye, of whiche companye king Edewarde qnelde 
serene thowaaod. When Robert the Blue law this inyichif and gas 
to flee and hard hym that men myghte nought liyro fynde : but nt 
Simond FmeU purauede hym •ocore, to that he tnrnede ayen and 
abode bataQk, for he wa« a worthy knyght and a bold* of body ; and the 
BagBaaae man pursued* hym sore yti every tyde, and qnelde the etede 
that air Symond Friaell ronduppon; and tba tokehym, and lad hym 
to* the boat. And air Symond bigan for to Baler and ipeke (aire, and 
mdt lotdya IshalJeyeve yoniiij thousand markc of sylrer, and myne 

), oi *ed by Google 


hors and barneys and alle m; arantre and ncome. Tlio answerd 
Tbeobaude of Perenes that was the kinges archer. Now god me so 
helpe hit is for nought thou speitc, for «Ue the gold of Engelonde I 
wold the noght letegone, withoute commsundement of king Edcward t 
and tho was he lad to the king. And the king wolflc not see hym but 
commaunded to lede hym awey 10 his dome to London, on our ladyes 
even nativite; and he was honge and drnwe and his hccde smyten of ; 
and honged ayene with chynes of ircaoppon thegalweai and hiahede 
' mi sette oppon London-brug oil a spec ; and ayens Cristemasse the 
body wu brent t for enchcsoun that the men that kepte the body by 
□yghte sawe mcnye desellis rampande with iren crakes, rennynge 
uppon the gallcwa and horriblichr tunncnted the body ; and meny 
that ham aawe anoon after tbei dried for died or woien mad or sore 
sykenesse thei had. 

The Matey of the great ScotUh champion Wallace it better known. 

The cruel and arbitrary treatment which these and other illustrious 
patrioti experienced from the ambitions, but, happily, disappointed 
Edward, when treachery or the fortune of war had put them in hii 
power, will for ever deprive hu character of that admiration to which 
his courage and ability would otherwise hate justly intitled it. The 
following animated imprecation, with which Wallace's military chap. 
lain concludes his annals, is too remarkable not to deserve frequent 
notice, and, indeed, perpetual remembrance. " Damnandua ait dies 
nadvitatis Johannis de Monteim*, at exdpiatur auum nomou ei 
libro *itB ; maledictna (it in astimlum inhuman us iste tyrannna, cum 
nobilis illc Scotoram ductor pro sun virtutis prssnio vitam sstemam 
habebit, in secula seculorum. Amen." Relatione! Anmldi Blair, 
apud " The acti and deedi ofiir W- Wallace." Edinburgh, 1758. 

■ The " immancm prwUtartm" at Wallace. 



From ft MS- in the Cotton library, Julius, A. V. 

As y yod on ay mounday, 

Bytwene Wyltinden and Walle, 

' Be ' ane after brade waye. 
Ay litel man y met withalle. 

The leste that ever y aa, the Qsothe} to aay, 
Oither in hour, oither in halle : 

His robe was noither grene na gray, 
Bot alle yt was of riche palle. 

On dW he cald, and bad me bide, 
Wei stille y stode ay litel space, 

Fra Lanchestre, the parke-gyde, 
V cen he come, wel fair his pase. 

He hailaed me, with mikel pride, 

Ic haved wel mykel ferly wat he was ; 

I saide, Wel mote the bityde, 

' Thou' litel man, with large face ! 

I biheld that litel man, 

By the stretes als we gon gae r 

His herd was syde ay large span, 
And 'gilded'* als the father ofpae; 

* Glided, MS. 

>„, .,,-. :,C.OO^IC 


His heved was wyle sis any swan, 
His hegehen war gret and grai, 

AIb so braes langc, wel i the can, 
Merk it to five indies and mae. 

Armes scort, forsothe i say.e, 

Ay span serried tfaaem to bee, 
Handes brade, vytouten nay, 

And fingeres lange he acheued me. 

Ay stan he tok op thar it lay. 
And castid forth that i m othe see, 

Ay merk soot of large way 

Bifor me strides he castid three. 

Wel stille i stod, als did the stane, 

To loke him on thouth me nouthe lange : 

His robe was alle golde bigane, 
Wel crustlik maked i understands. 

Botones ' aaure'* everilk ane, 
Fra his elbouthe ontil his hande 

Elidelik man wag he nane, 

That in myn hert ich onderstande. 

Til him, i sayde, ful gone onane, 
Forthirmar, i wald him fraine : 

' Oladli ' wild i wit thi name, 

And i wist wat me mouthe gaine : 

• Asunt, MS. 

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Thou ert ao litel of flesse and bane. 
And ao raikel of mithe and mayne: — 

War vones thou, litel man, at hame, 
Wyt of their walde [i] ful fiune. 

" Thoth i be litel and lith, 
Am y noth wythouten wane, 

Ferli framed thou wat hi hith, 

That thou salt noth with my name. 

My ' woninge'-stede fid wel ea ' dyght.,' 
Nou, none, thou Bait se at hame." 

Til him, i sayde, for godes mith, 
Lat me forth myn erand gane. 

" The thar noth of thin errand lette, 
Thouth thou come ay stoiide wit me, 

Forther salt thou noth biaette 
Bi miles twa, noyther bi three." 

Na linger durst i for hin\ lette, 
Bot forth ii fiindid wyt that free, 

Stintid ub brok no beck, 
Ferlick, me thouth, hu ao mouth bee. 

He vent forth, als ii you say, 
In at ay yate, ii understande, ' 

Intil ay yate, * wyouten ' nay, 
It to ae ' thouth ' me nouth lange- 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


The bankers on the binkea lay, 

And fair lordes sett U ' fande,' 
In ilke ay him ii herd ay lay, 

And levedys, south, me loude sange. 

Lithe, bothe yonge and aide, 

Of ay worde ii wil you saye, 
Ay litel tale that me was tald 

Erli on ay wedenesdaye : 

A raody bam, that was ful bald, 

My frend, that ii trained aye, 
Al my ycring he me tald, 

And yattd me, als we went bi waye. 

" Miri man, that es so wythe, 

Ofay thinge gif me answere. 
For him that mensked man wyt mith, 

Wat sal worth of this were ? 

And eke our folke, hou sarthai fare, 

That at ere bi-northeft nou ? 
Sal thai have any contre thare ? 

' Or' *wether hande sal have the prou r" 

Ay Toupe, he sayde, es redy thare, 
Agayn him yitt es nane that don, 

On yonde-alf Humbre es ay Bare, 
Be he aped sal sides son ; 
■ Other, MS. 

)#,«* * Google 


Bi he have sped, uls aa! thai spede, 
And redi gates on to fare, 

And man be menaked for his mede, 
And stable stat for e 

And, sethen thou fraineg, ii wille the say, 

And sette the state in stability 
Bymittes recth, als thou may, 

For ay skill ii tell it thee ; 

And warn era wel, wytouten nay, 

A tyme bifor the Trinite, 
Thare sal deye, on ay day, 
\ A folke on feld fill fa sal flee. 

Wa so flees sal duelle in care, 
For thare may na man time tyde, 

A Toupe aal stande agayn ay Bare, 
He en till bald, him dar habide. 

" Miri man, ii pray thee, yif thou maye, 

Yif that thi wille ware, 
Bathe thair names thou me saye, 

Wat hate the Toupe, and wat the Bare ? " 

Ant he sayde, Qwith^outen nay, 
Hate the tane, trou thou my lare, 

Ar thou may that other say. 

That sal be falden wyt that fare. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


The wiser es, ii noth of that. 

" Miri man, wat may this be?" 
" Nou have ii.sayde the, wat thai hat, 

Forther, witea thou noth for me. 

So lange the Lebard loves the layke, 
' Wat hi 'on sped jour spel ye spille, 

And lates the Lion have his raike, 
Wit werke in ' Werdale,' als he wille. 

The Bare es bonden hard in baite. 
Wit foles that wil folies fille, 

The Toupe in toune your werkes wayte, 
To bald his folke he bideg stdlle. 

Bide wa bide, he sal habide, 
Thar foles tor thair false fare. 

Pa fra feld I cen aal ryde, 
The land sal leve wit the Bare." 

" Forthermar, ii wille the frein, 

My trend, yif that thi wille ware, 
'Sal ii telle it forthe or layn, 

Or thou sal telle me any mare." 

" Rymith ' recth,' -als ii the say n, 
Als sal thou redi find it thare. 
And fel be of thi tithinges fain, 

Wen lives liggen on holtea hare. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


Bat, oute sal ride a chivauche, 

Wit febel fare on a nith, 
So falsi sal thaire waytos be, ' 

That deye sal many a dougflijty knyth. 

Knyth and seoyer bathe sal deye. 
That other moren biyond ma, 

Thouche thay be never so sleecbe, 
Wyt Bchrogen suet fra lives ga. 

The Bare es bone to tyne the tour, 
Bot bald gal be of bataille swa, 

Wa bides him on hard and hcrch, 
That day sal deye, and duelle in wa. 

Wyt foles sal the feld be leest, 
A poeple liest fol neghe biside, 

Sal come out of the souther-west, 
Wyt reken routes ful on ride. 

Thar sal the foles dreeg is paine, 

And folie, for his false fare, 
Lie opon the feld slayne. 

And lose his live f< 

And wyt sal winne the bmde agayn, 
A day fraClide onto Clare, 

And fa be of thair frendes fain, 

And toures atande, als that did are ; 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


And simple men, .that wil have dede, 

Thar sal thai nil redi finde, 
That mester afle to Wynne theem mede, 

For faute sal noth rtonde bihjnde. 

' The' Bare es brouth out of bis denno, 
The Lepard haldea hym so lange, 

That we wate never awa ne awenne, 
Na wilk of them sal weld the land. 

Amange ay hondre, no fynd ii tenne, 
That thai ne fald ala a wande. 

By reson may thou knaw and kenne, 
That be ful fele haa wroth alle wrang. 

Wrangwis werkes sul men ae 
Be flemed for thair fala willes, 

And after them sal with ay be. 

And out em out of alle thair wylea." 

" MM man, 'ii the beseke '* 

Of a tything telle me mar : 
Hou hendea alle ys folke to-yere, 

Suilke quabne no, saitli ii, never ar. 

So comeli * som ' men doyen here, 
Fover na riche ea nane to spare. 

Lithe, he sayd, ii sal the ler£e], 
Have thou no ferly of that fare. 

* Beatrice the jit Out the wHIe wait, MS. 



For twenti ' thousand,' mot thou say, 

' Deyed'totherday, on this half ' Twede," 190 

[Tliat] w»l falle by tliou on ay day 
So lives lithe sal alle that lede. 

In my sa, the south ii gay, 

Hcrkcna alle, of a tyme 
That sal be after neue-yers~day, 

Lat clerkea se the neexte prime. 

The terme ea werdf, soeth to say, 

And twelve es comen after nigne, 
To led him forth a lange wsye, 

His wonyng-atede ea on ' yond-half ' Tyne. 200 

On soutQi^-half Tyiie sal he wone, 

Wyt thou wel, it sal be swa, 
Fra suth sal blessed brether come, . 

And dele the lande even in twa. 

When domes es do, and on his dede, 

Sal na mercy be biside, 
Na man have mercy for na mede, 

Na in hope thair hevedea hide. 

Bot soffid sal be mani of stede. 

For res that thai sal after ride; 210 

And seen sal Leaute Falsed lede, 

In rapes, aone after that tyde. 

-_ v Google 


Fra twa to three the 1 wide ea liest, 
Bot, nameli, sal ic fur the twa, 

The Lion thare sal fare to feght 
The lande til the Bare gal ga. 

Wei ' gladli ' wald ii understande. 
To telle theem hou go ' most it ' be, 

Welke of theem ' sal' weld the lande, 
For wel thou spake of the three. 

A T biside an L ii ' fande/ 

Chese thi selven, scg£h]e and see,' 
An Ed the tlired, wyt hope and hande, 
[Thai schullen bathe] the baillifs bee. 

Bot nou of theem [ ii sal'J the lede *, 
That es so bald that dar habide, 

That theem sal reu, yif ii can rede, 
On ay friday, on est-half Glide. 

For, wel thai wen hour lande to winne, 
To fele that Qthai] may finde biforin, 

Thai sal ' be ' blenked ar thai blinne, 
' Thai' fobs that haves ben forthorin. 

Many be dampned to * deye ' tharinne, 
That riden hech, wyt hond and horin, 

Wen yonge sal falle, for aid synne, 
And lose the lyf, and be forthorin. 
* Hit lores, MS. 

i*,^ by Google 


Wrange werkes wil away 

It sal be als god haves sette, 
Of thair bigumynge can ii say, 

Sal na frend of other ' rette.' 

' Boughty ' sal ' deye ' oil the feld, 
To wyt theem be never to w«, 

And Fabed, under bailee held. 
In frith ml men the foles ta. 

Leaute men haves ben fill Seld, 
It sal be sette wyt mirthes nua, 

And marchantTj] have the werld to weld. 
And 'chapmen'* wyt thair packes ga. 

And, than, sal Reaon raike and ride, 
And ' Wisdome ' beware es best, 

And Leaute sal gar leat habide, 

And, sithen, sal hosbond-men afreet. 

* Capman, MS. 

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— " whose officers," it Beam, " extorting too much from the in- 
habitants of Bruges, in Flanders, were murthered there; end thi 
French kings power, commanded by iho count 'do' St. Pol, dis- 
comfited; after which K. Philip the Fur wading another mighty 
army, under the conduct of the count d'ArtoU, against these 
Flemings ; he iru killed, and the French were almost all cutt to 
pieces. The Inter of these battels was stricken on Wednesday the 
7th of July, 1301." Wahlet. 

From the MS. in the Harlcdau Library, No. 2283. 

LdbtnetHj lordinges, bothe yonge ant olde. 

Of the Freynssh men that were so prouile and bolde, 

Hou the Flemmyssh men bohten hem ant solde, 

Upon a Wednesday. 
Betere hem were at home in huere londe 
Then forte seche Flemmyssh by the see stronde, 
Whare rourh moni Frensh wyf wryngeth hire honde. 

Ant singeth weylaway. 

The kyng of Fraunce mad statin newe, 

In the lond of Flaundres among false ant trewe, 10 

That the commun of Bruges ful sore con arewe, 

And seiden amotiges hem, 
Gedere we us togedere hardilyche at ene, 
Take we the bailifs bi tuenty ant by tene, 
Cloppe we of the hevedes anonen o the gr ene, 

Ant caste we y the fen. 

), i:, E e ^ Google 


The webbes ant the fullaria assembleden hem alle, 
Ant makeden huere consail in huere commune halle. 
Token Peter Conyng huere kyng to calle, 

. . Ant beo huere cheventeyn, 20 

Hue nomen huere rouncyns out of the stalle, 
Ant closeden the toun withinne the walle, 
Sixti bay lies ant ten hue maden adoun falle-, 

Ant nioni an other aweyn. 
Tho wolde the bay lies that were come from Praunce, 
Dryve the FlemiBshe that made the destaunce, ' 
Hue tumden hem ayeynea with auerd ant with launce, 

Stronge men ant lyht. 
Y telle ou for sothe, for al huere bobaunce, 
Ne for the arowerie of the kyng of Praunce, 30 

Tuenti score ant fyve haden ther meschaunce, 

By day ant eke by nyht. 
Sire Jakes de Seint Foul, yherde ' hou ' hit was, 
Sixtene hundred of horsmen asemblede o the gras, 
He wende toward Bruges pas pur pas, 

With swithe gret mounde. 
The Flemmyash yherden telle die cas, 
Agynneth to clynken huere basyns of bras, 
.Ant al hem to dryven ase ston doth the gifts. 

Ant fellen hem to grounde. 40 
Sixtene hundred of horsmen hede ther here fyn, 
Hue leyghen y the stretes ystyked ase swyn, 
Ther hue loren huere atedes ant mony rouncyn, 

Thourh huere oune prude. . 
V, 33.hcqt, MS. 

), oi * E ed by Google 


Sire Jakes ascapede, by a coyiite gyn. 
Out at one posteme ther me solde wyn, 
Out of the fyhte horn to ye yn. 

In wel muchele drede. 

Tho the kyng of Fraunce yherde this anon, 
Assemblede he is dousse-pers everuchon, 50 

The proude eorl of Artoys ant other mony on, 

To come to Paris. 
The barouna of Fraunce thider tonne gon, 
Into the paleis that paved is with ston, 
To jugge the Flemmissh to bernen ant to alon, 

Thourh the flour de lis. 

Thenne seide kyng Phelip, lustneth nou to me, 

Myn eorlea ant my barouns gentil ant fre, 

Goth faccheth me the traytours ybounde to my kne ; 

Hastifliche ant blyve. 60 

Tho suor the eorl of Seint Poul, par la gouk de, 
We shule facche the rybaus wher thi wille be, 
Ant drawen hem [with] wilde hors out of the countre, 

By thouserides fyve. 

Sire Rauf Devel, sayth the eorl of Boloyne, 

Nttf ne Icrrum en ure, chanoun ne moyne, 

Wende we forth anon ritht withoute eny assoygne, 

Ne no lyves man ; 
We shule flo the Conyng, ant make roate is loyne. 
The word shal springen of him into Coloyne, 70 

So hit ahal to Acres ant into Sesoyne, 

Ant maken him ful wan* 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Sevene eorls ant fourti barouus y tolde, 

Fiftene hundred knyhtes, proude ant awythe bokle, 

Sixti thousent swyers amonge yunge ant oldc, 

- Flenuuisshe to take. 
The Flemmioshe hardeliche hem com toyeynes. 
This proude Freinssh eorles, huere knyhtes ant huere 

Aquelleden ant slowen, by Indies ant by pleynea, 

Al for huere kynges sake. 80 

This Frenshe come to Flaundres bo liht so the hare, 
£r hit were mydnyht hit fel hem to care, 
Hue were laht by the net bo bryd is in snare, 

With roimcin ant with stede. 
The Flemmisshe hem dabbeth o the het bare, 
Hue nolden take for huem raunsoun ne ware, 
Hue deddeth of huere hevedes, fare so hit fare, 

Ant thareto haveth hue nede. 

Thenne aeyth the eorl of Artois, y yelde me to the, 
Peter Conyng, by tbi nome, yef thou art hende ant fire. 
That y ne have no shame ne no vylte. 

That y ne be noud ded, 
Thenne bwot a bocher, By my leaute, 
Shalt thou ner more the kyng of Fraunce se, 
Ne in the toun of Bruges in prisone be, 

Thou w oldest spene bred. 

Ther hy were knulled y the putfalie. 
This eorles ant barouns ant huere knyhtea alle, 
Huere ledies huem mowe abide in boure ant in halle, 
Wellonge: 100 

)#,«* * Google 


For hem mot huere kyng other knyhtes calle, 
Other stedes taken out of huere stalk, 
Ther hi habbeth dronke bittrere then the galle, 
Upon the drue londe. 

When the kyng of Fraunce yherde this tydynge, 
He smot doun is heved, is honden gon he wrynge, 
Thourhout al Fraunce the word bygon to sprynge, 

Who wea huem tho. 
Muche wes the sorewe ant the wepinge 
That wes in al Fraunce among' olde ant yynge, 110 
The mest part of the lond bygon forte synge 

" Alas ! ant weylawo I" 

Awey, thou yunge pope, whet shal the to rede, 
Thou bast lore thin cardinals at tbi meat nede, 
Ne keverest thou hem nevere for noneskunnes mede, 

Forsothe y the telle. 
Do the forth to Rome, to amende tbi miadede, 
Bide gode halewen, hue lete the betere spede, 
Bote thou worche wysloker, thou losest lond ant lede, 

The coroune wel the felle. 130 

Alas ! thou sell Fraunce ! for the may tbunche shotue 
That ane fewe fullaria maketh ou so tome, * 
Sixti thousent on a day hue maden fot-lome, 

With eorl ant knyht. 
Merof habbeth the Flemyssh suithe god game, 
Ant suereth by aeint Outer ant eke bi seint Jaroe, 
Yef hy ther more cometh, bit nUleth huem to shame 

With huem forte fyht. 

)#,«* * Google 


I telle on for aothe, lite bataille thus bigon 
Bituene Fraunce ant Flaundres, hou hoe weren fon, 
Vor Vrenihe the eorl of Flaundres in prison heden ydon, 

With tresoun untrewe. 
Yep] the prince of Walls his ly f habbe mote, 
Hit falleth the kyng of Fraunce bittrore then the sote, 
Bote he the rathere therof welle do bote, 

Wei sore hit shal hyin rewe. 


Bytubnb Mersh ant Averil, 

When spray biginneth to springe, 
The Intel foul hath hire wyl 

On hyre lnd to synge ; 
Ich libbe in lovelonginge 
For gemlokest of alle thynge, 
He may me blisse bringe, 

Icham in lure banndoun. 
An bendy hap ichabbe yhent, 
Ichot from hevene it is me sent, 
From alle wymmen mi love is lent, 

Ant lyht on Alysouii. 

)#,«* * Google 


On hen hire her is fayr ynoh. 

Hire browe broune, hire eghe blake ; 
With loasum chere he on me loh ; 

With middel amal ant wel ymak : 
Bote he me wolle to hire take, 
Porte buen hire owen make, 
Longe to ly veil ichulle forsake, 

And, feye, fallen adoun. 
An Jiendy hap, &c. 

Nihtes when y wende ant wake, 
Forthi myn w onges waxeth won, 

Leredi, al for thine sake 
Longinge is ylent me on. 

In world nis non so wyter mon, 

That al hire bounte telle con : 

Hire swyre is whittore then the swon, 
Ant feyrest may in toune. 

An hendy hap, &c. v 

Icham, for wowing, al forwake, 

Wery so water in wore ; 
Lest eny reve me my make, 

Ychal be y-yyrned yore. 
Betere is tholien whyle sore 
Then mournen evermore, 
Geynest undergore, 

Herkne to my roun. 
An hendij &c. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 



." whose author dmniba bU beautiful, but unrelenting mutr 

From the name MS. 

Ichot a burde in boure bryht, 
That fully semly u on eyht, 
Menskful maiden of myht, 

Feir ant fre to fonde. 
In al this wurhliche won, 
A burde of blod ant of bon 
Never yete ynuste noh 

Lussomore in londe. 
Blow, northeme wynd ! 
MSend ' thou me my euetyng ! ■ 
Blow, northeme wynd I blou, blou, blou ! 

With lokkes lefliche ant longe, 
With frount ant nice feir to ' funge, ' 
With murthes monie mote heo monge, 

That brid so breme in boure. 
With loesom eye grete ant gode, 
With browen blysfol underhode, 
He that rerte him on the rode, 

That leflych lyf honoure. 
[Blou, &c.J 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Hire lure lumes liht, 
Ase a launterne a-nyht, 
Hire bleo blykyeth so bryht, 

So feyr heo is ant fyn. 
A suetly auyre heo hath to holde, 
With armes shuldre ase mon wolde, 
Ant fyngres feyre forte (bide, 

God wolde hue were myh ! 
[Blou, &c] 

Middel heo hath menskful smal, 
Hire loveliche chere as cristal ; 
Theghes, legges, fet ant al, 

YwTaht wee of the beste. 
A lussum ledy lasteles , 
That sweting is ant ever wes, 
A betere burde never nes. 

Yheryed with the heste. 
[Blou, &c.] 

Heo is dereworthe in day, 
Oraciouse, stout ant gay, 
Gentil, jolyf, so the jay, 

Worhliche when heo waketh. 
Maiden murgest of month, 
Bi est, by west, by north ant south, 
Ther nis ficle ne croutb. 

That such murthes maketh. 
£Blou, &c.] 

)#,«* * Google 


Hco is coral of godnesae, 
Heo ia ruble of ryhtfiilneaae, 
Heo is crista! of clairnesse. 

Ant baner of bealte. 
Heo ia lilic of largesse, 
Heo te parvenke of prouesae, 
Heo is solsecle of suetneaae, 

QBlou, &c] 

To love that leflich is in londe, 
Ytolde him, as ych underatonde, 
Hou this hende hath hent in honde, 

On huerte that myn we* : 
Ant hire knyhtes me ban so soht, 
Sykyng, sorewyng, ant thoht, 
Tho thre me han in bale broht, 

Ayeyn the poer of pees. 
QBlou, &c.] 

To love y putte pleyntea mo, 
Hou sykyng me hath sivred so, 
Ant, eke, thoht me thrat to slo. 

With coaistry yef he myhte. 
Ant serewe sore in balful bende, 
That he wolde, for this hende, 
Me lede to my lyves ende, 

Unlahfulliche in lyhte. 
[Blou, &c] % 

■ D, gl :,« ^GoogIe 


Hire love me lustnede uch word, 
Ant beh him to me over bord, 
Ant bed me hente that hord, 

Of myne huerte hele ; 
Ant biaecheth that swete ant swote, 
Er then thou falle, aae fen of f'ote, 
That heo with the wolle of bote 

Dereworthtiche dele. 
f_Blon, 4c] 

For hire love y carke ant care, 
For hire love y droupne ant dare, 
For hire love my blis&e U bare, 

Ant al ich waxe won. 
For hire love in slep y slake, 
For hire love al nyht ich wake. 
For hire love mournyng y make 

More then eny num. 
CBlou, 4c] 

)#,«* * Google 



— " whom he sdinhci u the Cur*! maid bituene Lyneolne tut 
Lradewje, Nothamptoo ml LoJmdB (L a. London)." 

From the tune MS. 

When the nyhtegale Hinges the wodet waxen grene, 
Let ant gras ant blosme springes In A very 1 y wene. 
Ant love is to myn herte gon with one spere k> kene, 
Ny tit ant day my blod hit drynkes, myn herte deth 
me tene. 

Ich have loved al this yer that y may love na more, 
Ich have sited moni syk lemmon for thin ore, 
Me nis love never the ner, ant that me reweth sore, 
Suete lemmon, thench on me, ich have loved the yore. 

Suete lemmon, y preye the of love one speche, 
Whil y lyve in world so wyde other nolle y seche ; 10 
With thy love, my suete leof, mi blis thou mihtea eche, 
A suete cos of thy mouth mihte be my leche. 

Suete lemmon, y preye the of a love bene, 
Yef thou me lovest ase men says, lemmon, as y wene; 
Ant yef hit thi wille be thou loke that hit be sene, 
So muchel y thenke upon the that al ywaxe grene. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Bituene Lyncolne ant Lyndesey, Norhamptoun ant 

Ne wot y non so fayr. a may as y go ' sore ' ybounde : 
Suete lemmon, y preye the thou lovie me a stounde, 
I wole mane my song els to al that ys on ground*. 20 

Lenten ys come with love to tonne, 
With blosmen ant with brickies roune. 

That al this blisse bryngeth ; 
Dayeseyes in this dales. 
Notes suete of nyhtegalea, 

Uch fool song singeth. 

The threstelcoc him threteth oo, 
Away is huere wynter wo, 

When woderove apringeth ; 
This foulea singeth ferly fele, 
Ant wlyteth on huere wynter wele, 

That al the wode ryngeth. 

The rose rayleth hire rode, 

The leves on the lyhte wode, 

Waxen al with wille; 

[ V. 20. on wham that hit ys on ylcng. MS.] 

>,gi .,,, -,X',OOg\Q 


The mone msndeth hire bleo, 
The lilie is loMom to seo, 
The fenyl ant the fille. 

Wowes this wilde drakes, 
Miles murgeth huere makes, 

Ase strem that atriketh atille ; , 
Mody meneth, so doh mo, 
Ichot ycham on of tho, 

For tore that likes ille. 

The mone mandeth hire lyht, 
So doth the semly sonne bryht, 

When briddes singeth breine ; 
Deawes donketh the dounes, 
Deores with huere deme rounes, 

Domes forte deme. 

Wormes woweth under cloude, 
Wymmen waxeth wounder proude, 

So wel hit wol hem seme. 
Ycf me shal wonte wille of on. 
This wunne.weole y wole forgon, 

Ant wyht in wode be fleme. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


From the uunc MS. 

Wynter wakeneth al my care ; 
Nou this leves waxeth'bafe. 
Ofte y aike ant mourne aare, 
When hit cometh in my thoht, 
Of this worldea joie, hou hit geth al to noht 

Nou hit ts, ant nou hit nya, 
Also hit ner nere, y wya : 
That moni mon with, soth hit ya, 
Al goth bote godes wille : 
Alle we shule deye thah us like ylle. 

All that gren me graueth grene ; 
Nou hit feleweth albydene : 
Jhesu help, that hit be aene, 
Ant ahild ua from helle ! 
For ynot whider y ahal, ne hou longe her duelle. 

), g ,:fe ^GoogIe 



[From the umc MS.] 

In May fait murgetfa when bit dawes, 
In.dounes with this duerea ptawes, 

Ant lef is lyht on lyndc ; bredeth on the bowes, 
Al this wylde wyhtes wowes, 
. 80 wel ych underfynde. 

Ynot non bo freoh flour, 

Age ledies that beth bryght in bour, 

With love who mihte hem bynde ; 
80 worly wymmen are by weat^ 
One of hem ich herje beat 

From Irlond into Ynde. 

Wymmen were the beate thing 
That shup oure hegbe hevene kyng, 

Yeffeole false rare; 
Heo beoth to rad upon huere red. 
To love ther me hem lastes bed, 

When heo shule fenge fere. 

Lut in londe are to leve, 
Thah me hem trewe trouthe yeve, 
For trecherie to yere ; 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


When trechour hath is trouth yplyht, 
By swyken he hath that suete wyht, * 
Thah he hire othes swere. 

Wymmon war the with the swyke, 
That feir ant freoly ys to fyke, 

Ya fare is o to founde ; 
So wyde in world ys huere won. 
In uch a toune untrewe is on, 

From Leycestre to Lounde. 

Of treuthe nis the trechour noht, 
Bote he habbe is wille ywroht. 

At stevenyng umbestounde. 
Ah ! fcyre levedies, be ou war 
To late cometh the yeyn char, 

When love ou hath ybounde. 

Wynjmen bueth so feyr on hewe, 
Ne trow y none that nere trewe, 

Yef trechour Jiein ne tahte. 
Ah ! feyre tliinges, freoly bore. 
When me[n] ou woweth beth war bifore, 

Whuch is worldes ahte. 

Al to late is seind ayeyn. 
When the ledy liht byleyri. 

Ant lyveth by that he halite, 
Ah I wolde Lylie leor in lyn, 
Yhere levely lores myn. 

With selthe we weren sahte. 

.ooglc — 




We are ben presented, by the tone MS. with th* Idee our at 

entertained of an imaginary being, the subject of perhaps one of 
the most ancient iu well as one of the most popular tupcradtioui 
in the world. Be ii represented leaning upon a fink, an which he 
Carries a bush of thorn, because it was for " pyechynde Make" on 

• Sunday that he it reported to hare been thus confined*. There 
cannot be a doubt that the following ta the original story, however 
the Moon became connected with it. 

•J And while the children of Israel were in die wOdemesa, tbey 
round a man that gathered ideas upon the sabb*th-diy. 

And they that found him gathering stitks, brought him onto Morea 
and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 

And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should ' 
be done to him. 

And the Lord laid unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to 
death i all the congregation dull stone him with atones without 
the camp. 

And all the con g re ga tion brought him without the camp, and stoned 
him with nones, and he died ; at the Lord commended Motes. 
Numhert, xv. 32, ct teq. 

To hare a care " Lest the chorle may fall ont of the mooce," ap- 
pears from Chancers Truiiw to hare been a proverbial exprearioo 
in his time. 

• la the Midsummer NltbU Dream, Petn Oulme, the carpenter, la 
pertnna for the play baft 

h mutt come In with a btua of thorns and a 

)#,«* by Google 


Mon, in the mone, atond ant streit, 

On is bot-forke ia burthen he bereth : 
Hit is muche wonder that he na down slyt, 

For doute leate he valle he shoddreth ant shereth : 

When the forst freacth muthe chele he by d. 
The thomea beth kene ia hattren to-tereth ; 

Nia no wytht in the world that wot wen he ayt, 
Ne, bote hit bue the hegge, whet wedea he wereth. 

Whider trowe this mon ha the wey take, 

He hath set is o fot'ia other to foren, 10 

For non hjthte that he hath neaytht me hymner shake, 

He is the sloweste mon that ever wes yboren. 

Wher he were o the feld pycchynde stake, 
For hope of y s thornea to dutten ia doren, 

He mot myd is twybyl other trous make, 
Other al is dayes werk ther were yloren. 

This flke mon upon heh whener he were, 

Wher he were y the Mone boren ant yfed. 
He leneth on is forke ase a grey frere, 

Thia crokede caynard sore he ia adred. 20 

Hit is mony day go that he waa here, 
Ichot of is efnde he nath nout ysped j 

He hath hewe sumwher a bin-then of brere, 
Therefore sum hayward hath taken y b wed. 

" Yef thy wed ya ytake, bring horn the trous, 
Sete forth thyn other fot, stryd over sty ; 

We ahule preye-the haywart ham to ur hous, 
Ant maken hym at heyse for the maystry ; 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Drynke to liym dearly of fol god bona, 
Ant oure dame Douse shal aittcn hym by, 

When that he is dronke age a dreynt moua, 
Thenne we schule borewe the wed ate bayly." 

This mon hereth me nout, thah ich to hym crye 

Ichot the cherl is def, the del hym to-drawe ! 
Thah ic yeghe upon heth nulle nout hye, 

The lostlage ladde con nout o lawe. 

Hupe forth, Hubert ! hosede pye, 
Ichot thart amarstled in to the mawe ; - 

Thah me teone with hym that myn teh mye, 
The cherld nul nout adoun er the day dawe. 


_" made A. D. 1308, in praise of the valiant knight Sir Piers de 
Ri rminghmn , who while he lived ni a scourge la the Irish, and 
died A. D. 1288." From a MS. in the Haitian library (No. 913) 
of the same age. The editor confesses his inability to reconcile the 
title and second stanza with the following passage in the " Annalt 
qf Inland," in which this valiant knight is frequently mentioned, 
but never till after the year 1288 : 

"MCCCVNI. On the second of the ides of April [i.e. the 14th 
' day of that month] died the bud Peter da Birmingham, a noble 
champion against the Irish." 

Sith Gabriel gangrete 
lire ledi Mari awete 

That gpdde wold in hir lighte, 

, y Google 


A thousand yer hit Use, 

Thre hundred ftil i wisse, 

Ant over yens eighte. 

Than of the eight yere 
Tak twies ten ifere 

That wol be tuenti fulle ; 
Apan the tuenti -dai 
Of Averil bifor Mai, 

So Beth us gan to pulle. 

He pullid us of on, 
Al Irlond makith moh 

Englelonck as welle ; 
Ful wel ye witte his nam, 
Sir Pers the Brimingham, 

Non nede hit is to telle. 

His nam hit was ant isse, 
Y sigge you ful, i wisse, 

That uppe ssal arise : 
In telle, flesse ant bone, 
A better knight nae none, 

No none of more prise. 

Noble werrure he was, 
A gode caatel in place, 

On stede ther he wold ride, 
With his sper ant acheld , 
Inthard wodde ant feld, 

No thef him durst abide. 

)#,«* * Google 


Do thenchith al in him, 
With weepin who wol win, 

Hou gode he was to nede. 
In batail atif to atond, 
I wis is pere nas nond, 

Alas he 'sold be dede ! 

Al Englis men that beth 
Sore mow wep is deth, 

That such a knight ssold fulie ; 
Thoa knightis everich one 
Of him mai mak mone, 

As pervink of ham alle. 

Pervink he might be, 
Ant that for thinges thre, 

He ussid oft ant lome, 
That was one of the oest. 
He ne leet no thef hav rest, 

In no slid ther he come. 

Another thing also, 
To Yrismen he was fo, 

That wel wide whare j 
Ever he rode about e, 
With streinth to hunt ham ute, 

As hunter doth the hare. 

For whan hi wend best 
In wildernis hav rest, • 

That no man ssold ham see, 

)#,«* by Google 


Than he wold drive a quest 
Anon to har nest 

In stid ther hi wold be. 

Of slep he wold ham wak, 
For ferdnia he wold quak, 

Ant fond to sculk awai ; - 
For the hire of har bedde, 
He tok bar hevid to wedde, 

Ant so he taght ham plai. 

Thos Yrismen of the lond 
Hi awor ant tok an bond 

The Engb's men to trai ; 
Ant seid hi wold quelle. 
As fale as ic you telle, 

Al apon o dai. 

The erl of Ulvester, 
Sire Emond the Botiler, 

Sire Jon le Fiz Tomas, . 
Algateal bi name, 
Sire Pera the Briminghame, 

This was bar compas. 

This compasment com ute 
Fram knight to knight abute, 

Hit nas noght lang ihidde ; 
Thos kiughtia preid al, 
That meachans most ham fal, 

Yif scape hi ssold ther midde. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Ant swor bi godie name 
To yild the cuntre pane, 

Whan hi might com to ; 
Ant that witliute lette 
To certein dai isette, 

This thing ssold be do. 

Lang er this dai was com 
Hit was foryit with som, 

That neisse beth to nede ; 
Alas ! what ssold hi ibor" 
Throgh ham this lond is ilor 

To spille ale ant bred. 

Sire Pers the Brimingham, 
On emist ant again, 

This dai was "in tfaoght; 
He thoght ordres to mak, 
What time he might ham tak, 

Of travail nas him noght. 

O Konwir that was king 
His ketherin he gan bring. 

The maister beet Oilboie ; 
Right at the Trinite, 
Whqn hodes sold best be, 

To Pers in Totomoye: 

Ant yite of other stoore 
Com Ethe Mac Mai More, 
Ant other fale bi name; 



Sire Pers lokid ute, 
Me seei such a rut 

Him thoght hit nag no game. 

Sir Fere sea ham com, 
He receivid al ant aom, 

Noght on iwern'd nas ; 
Sith hoodie he let mak, 
Noht on naa forsak, 

Bot al he did ham grace. 

Save o wrech that ther was, 
He cuthe noght red in place, 

* Ne ' sing whar he com ; 
He was of Caym is kinne, 
Ant he refusid him, 

He vend unhodid horn. 

He that this sang let mak, 
For sir PeraU sake, 

Wei wid hath igo ; 
Wid whar isoght, 
Ant god pardon iboght, 

Two hundrid daies ant. mo. 

V. 123, No. MS. 

, Cookie 



From an immense folio in the Bodleian library, known by the title 
of MS. Vernon, couikting of between four and fire hundred large 
parchment leaves, and containing a variety of religioui and other 
poema, in a character which the editor conjectured, on looking orer 
it, to be of the fourteenth century (i. e. of the reign of Edward III. 
or Richard II.). The tang is at folio 404. 

Now burnen, buirdes, bolde and blytha 

To bleasen ow her nou am I bounde, 
I thonke won mile a thousend si the, 

And prei god save you hoi and sounde ; 

Wherever ye go, on graa or grounde. 
He ow governs, withouten greve. 

For frendschipe that I here have founds, 
Ayeyn mi wille I take mi leve. 

For frendschipe and for yiftes goode. 

For mete and drmke bo gret plente 10 

That lord that might was on the roode 

He kepe thi comeli cumpayne; 

On see or lond, wher that ye be, 
He governe ow withouten greve; 

So good disport ye han mad me, 
Ayein mi wille I take my leve. 

:t, Google 


Ayein mi wille althaugh I wende, 

I may not alwey dwellen here, 
For even thing achal have an ende, 

And frendea are not ay ifere. 30 

Be we never so lef and dere, 
Out of this world al schul we meve, 

And, whon we buake unto ur here, 
Ayeyn ur wille we take ur leve. 

And wende we achulle, I wot never whenne 

Ne whoderward, that we schul fare, 
But endeles blisse, or ay to brenne. 

To even mon is yarked yare ; 

Forthi, I rede, uch mon be ware, 
And lete ur werk ur wordes preve, 30 

So that no sunne ur soule forfsre, 
Whon that ur lyf hath taken his leve. 

Whon that ur lyf his leve hath lauht, 

Ur bodi lith bounden bi the wowe, 
Ur rich eases alle from us ben raft, 

In clottes eolde mr core is throve. 

Wher are thi frendes? ho wol the knows? 
Let ieo ho wol thi soule releve ; 

I rede the, mon, ar thou ly lowe, 
Beo redi ay to take thi leve. 40 

Be redi ay, whatever bifalle, 

Al sodeynli lest thou be kiht ; 
Thou woet never whonne thi lord wol calle, 

Loke tluit thi laurope beo brennynge briht* : 

• An allunon to S. Mitthew, c Sfi- 

), g ,:,« ^Google 


For, leve me wel, but thou have liht, 
Riht foule thi lord wo) the reprove, 

And fleme the fer out of his riht, 
For al to late thou toke thi love. 

Now god that was in Bethleem bore. 
He yive us grace to serve' him so, 

That we may come his face tofore. 
Out of this world whon we schul go : 
And for to amende that we misdo, 

In clei or that we clynge and cleve ; 
And mak us evene with frend and fo. 

And in good tymc to take ur leve. 

Nou haveth good dai, gode men alle, 

Haveth good day, yonge and olde, 
Haveth good day, both grete and smalle, 

And graunt merci a thousend folde. 

Yif ever I nnghte, ful fayn I wolde, 
Don ought that weore unto you leve : 

Crist kepe ow out of cares colde 1 
For nou is tyme to take my leve. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 

ancient Stones aim 35aOa»s. 


), oi :, E ed by Google 

)#,«* by Google 


This singularly curious relic ia given from a small quarto MS. in the 
Sloone library in the Museum (No. 3593.), consisting of a pretty 
considerable number of poetical pieces, "some pious, some the con- 
trary," in a hand which appears to be nearly, if not quite, as old as 
the time of Henry V. But from the uncommon rudeness of the 

and manner to any thing the editor has hitherto met with, one 
may safely venture to pronounce it at least of equal date with the 
commencement of the preceding reign. Who or what thu Robin 
Lyth was, docs not, otherwise than by this little performance, 
composed, it should 6eem, to commemorate the manner of hi* death, 
and of the revenge taken for it, any where appear. That he was 
a native or Inhabitant of Yorkshire is, indeed, highly probable, for 
two reasons: the first is, that a fear miles north of Whitby is a 
village called Ltthe, whence he may be reasonably supposed to 
have acquired bis surname : the second, that near Flamborougb, 
in Holdemcss, ia a large cavern in the rocks, subject, at present, 
to the influx of the sea, which, among the cannery people, re- 
tains to this day the name of Roara Lyth hoik (' from the 
circumstance, no doubt, of its having been one of his skulking 
place*. Robin Hood, a hero of the same occupation, had several 
such in those and other parts : end, indeed, it is not very improbable 
mat our hero had been formerly in the suite of that gallant robber, 

- and, on his masters death, had act up for himself. . See a further 
account of the above cave in Pennants Tour in Scotland. 

Gattdalln, an uncuminon name, occurs in the old Spanish romance of 
AmaiU it Gawt 

vol. i. a 

bv Google 


I hehdh a carpyiig of a clerk, 

Al at yone wodes ende, 
Of gode Kobyn and Gandeleyn, 

Was ther non other ' thynge.' 
Robyn Lyth in greiie wode bowndyn. 
Stronge thevya wern tho chylderin non, 

But bowmen gode and hende ; 
He wentyn to wode to getyn hem fleych, 

If god wold it hem sende. 
[Robyn, &c] 

Al day wentyn tho chylderin too, 

And fleych fowndyn he non, 
Til it wer ageyn evyn, 

The chylderin wold gon horn. 
[Robyn, &c] 

Half a honderid of fat falyf der, 

He comyn ay on , 
And alle he wern fayr and fat inow, 

But markyd was ther non. 
Be dere god, aeyde gode [^RobynJ, 

Hereof we xul haTe on. 
[Robyn, &c.~X 
Robyn ' bent' his joly bowe, 

Therin he set a flo, 
The fattest der of alle the herte 

He clef ato. 
[Robyn, &c.} 
V. i. Gynge, MS. . V. 23. Went. MS. 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


He hadde not the der islawe 

Ne half cut of the hyde, 
Ther cam a schrewde arwe out of the west. 

That fetde Robert^ pryde. 
Oandelyn lokyd hym est and west, 

Be every ifyde. 
[Robyn, &c.] 
" Hoo hat myn mayrter slayin ? 

Ho hat don this dede ? 
Xal I never out of grene wode go 

Tip] I se aydis blede." 
[Robyn, &c] 

Gandeleyn lokyd hym est and west, 
i And sowt under the sunne ; 
He saw a lytil boy, 

Heclepyn Wrennok of Doune. 
[Robyn, &c] 

A good bo we in his hond, 

A brod arwe therine, 
And fowre and twenty goode arwys 

Trusyd in a thrumme. 
" Be .war the, war the, Gandeleyn, 

Herof thu xalt ha' lumme. 
[Robyn, &c] 

" Be war the, war the, Gwideleyn, 

Hirof thu gyst plente." 
Evere on for another, seyde Gandeleyn, 

Mysaunter have he xal tie. 
[Robyn, &c] 

)#,«* * Google 


Qworat xal our marke be? 

Seyde Gandeleyn. 
Everyche at otheris faerte, 

Seyde Wrennok ageyn. 
ERobyn, flee.] 

Ho xal yeve the ferate schote ? 

Seyde Gandeleyn. 
And i xal yeve the on befom, 

Seyde Wrennok ageyn. 
[Robyn, &e.] 

Wrennok schette a ful good schote, 

And he schet not to hye, 
Throw the aanchothis of his bryk , 

It towchyd neyther thye. 
fRobyn, &c-3 

Now hast thu yoyyn me on beforn, 
Al thus to Wrennok seyde he, 

And, throw ' the ' myght of our lady, 
A better i xal yeve the. 

[Robyn, flee.] 

Gandeleyn bent his goode bo-we, 

And set therin a flo, , 
He schet throw his grene certyl, 

His herte he clef on too. 
[Robyn, &c] 


), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Now xalt thu never yelpe, Wrennok, - 

At ale ne at w yn, 
That thu hut alawe goode Robyn, 

And his knave Gandeleyn. 
[Robyn, &c] 

Now xalt thu never yelpe, Wrennok, 

At wyn, ne at ale, 
That thu hast sla we goode Robyn, 

And Gandeleyn his knave, 
Robyn Lyghth in grene wode bow[n]dyn. 

From s MS. in the Ilttleun library (No. 0396). 

Op alle thes kene conquerours to carpe it wer kynde ; 
Of fele feghtyng folk ferly we fynde ; 
The Tumament of Totenham have we in mynde ; 
It wer harme Bych hardynes wer holden byhynde. 
In story as we rede 

Of Hawk yn, of Herry, 
Of Tomkyn, of Terry, 
Of them that were * dugbty ' 
And italworth in dede. 

It befel in Totenham on a der day, 10 

Ther was mad a ' shurtyng' be the hy-way : 

:,, .,.,.■,, Google 


Theder com al the men of the contray, 

Of Hyssylton, of Hygate, and of Hakenay, 

And all the awete swynkefrsj. 

Ther hopped Hawkyn, 

Ther daunted Dawkyn, 

Ther trumped Tomkyn, 

And all wer trewe drynkers. 

Tyl the day was gon and evyn-song past, 
That thay schuld rekyn ther scot and ther contes cast : 
Perkyn, the potter, into the ' press' past, 
And aayd Rondol the refe, a doghter thou hast, 
Tyb the dere : 
Therfor wyt wold i, 
Whych of alle thys bachelery 
Wer best worthy 
To wed hur to hys fere. 

Upstyrt thoa gadelyngys wyth ther long staves, 
And sayd, Rondol the refe, lo ! thys lad raves, 
Baldely amang us thy doghter he craves, 30 

And we er rycher men then he, and mor gode haves 
Of catell and com ; 

Then sayd Perkyn to Tybbe i have hyght 
That i schul be alway redy in my ryght, 
If that it schuld be thys day sevenyght, 
Or ' elles ' yet to morn. 

Then sayd Randolfe the refe, Ever be he waryed, 
That about tins carpying letiger wold be * taryed :' 

)#,«* * Google , 


I wold not my doghter, that acho wer miscnryed, 
But at hur most worschyp i wold scho wer maryed : 40 
Therfor a turoament schal begyu, 
Thys day sevenyght, 
Wytb a flayl for to fyght ; 
And [he] that is of most myght, 
Schalle brouke hur wyth wynne. 

Whoso berys hym best in the turnament, 
Hym schalle be granted the gre be the comon assent, 
For to wyrme my doghter wyth dughty[nesse] of dent, 
And Coppeld, my brode-henne, [that] was broght out 
of Kent: 

And my donnyd kowe : 50 

For no spens wyl i spare, 
For no catell wyl i care, • 

He Bcbal have my gray mare, 
And my spottyd sowe. 

Ther was many [a] bold lad ther bodyes to bade : 
Than thay toke thayr leve, and homward thay yede ;. 
And alle the ' weke after ' thay graythed ther wede, 
Tyll it come to the day, that thay suld do ther dede. 
They armed tham in mattes ; 

Thay set on ther nollya, 60 

. For to kepe ther pollys, 
* Gode Make bollys, 
For batryng of batted. 

[ 7. 67. Woke aftereatd, JUS.] 

), g ,:,« ^Google 


' Thtty sowed tham in schepcskyimes, for thny suld not 

Ilk-on toke a blak hat, mated of a crest : 
A * basket or a panyer before ' on ther brest, 
And a flayle in ther hande; for to fyght prest, 
Furth gon tbay fare : 

Ther was kyd mekyl for s, 
Who schuld beat fend hys cors : 70 

He that had no gode hors. 
He gat hym a mare. 

Sych another gadryng have i not sene oft, 
When alle the gret company com rydand to the croft. 
Tyb on a gray mare was set np on loft 
On a sek M of fedyrs, for scho schuld syt soft, 
And led < till' the ' gap.' 
For cryeng of al the men 
Forther wold not Tyb then, 
Tyl scho had hur brode-hen 80 

Set in hur lap. 

A gay gyrdyl Tyb had on, borwed for the nonys, 
And a garland on hur hed ful of rounde bonys, 
And a broche on hur brest ful of ' sapphyre' stonys, 
Wyth the holy-rode tokenyng was wretyn for the 

' For no spendings thay had ' spared. 
When joly Oyb saw hur there, 

[ V. 66. Harow brod u a fennc obore, MS.] 

[F. 77. And led hur to the cap, MS.] 
I V. ffii. No cald was ther, MS.] 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


He gyrd so hya gray * mare * 
' That' sctte lete a ' fowkin fare' 
At the rereward. 90 

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, befbr me i fynde, 
I wot i schul hym greve; 
Wele sayd, quoth Hawkyn, 
And i avow, quoth Dawkyn, 
May i mete wyth Tomkyn, 
Hya flayle Qi schal} hym reve. 

I vow to god, quoth Hud, Tyb, son schal thou »e, 100 
Whych of alle thys bachelery granted] is the gre: 
I shal acomfet thaym alle, for the love of the ; 
In what place go i come thay schul have dout of me, 
Myn armes ar so cler : 

I bere a reddyl and a rake, 
Poudred wyth a brennand drake, 
And three caiitellfe-s] of a cake 
In ych a ' corner.' 

I vow to god, quoth Hawkyn, yf ' i ' have the gowt, 
Al that i fynde in the ■ felde thrusjand' beraboute, 110 
Have i twyea or thryes redyn thurgh the route, 
In ych a stede ther thay * may se,' of me thay schal 
have doute. 

When i begyn to play. 

I make avowe that i ne gchalle, 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


But yf Tybbe wyl me calle. 
Or i be thryes doun falle, 
Ryght onys com away. 

Then §ayd Terry, and swot be hys crede ; 
Saw thou never yong boy forther liys body bede. 
For when thay fyght fattest and most ar in drede, 130 
I schal take Tyb by the hand, and hur away lede : 
I am armed at the full : 
In myn armys i bere wele, 
A dogh-trogh, and a pele, 
A sadyll wythouten a panell, 

I vow to god, quoth Dudtnan, and swor he the sbra, 
Whyls me has left my mer, thou gets hur not swa ; 
For scho ya wele schapen, and tyght as the ' rae/ 
Ther ys no capul in thya myle before hur schal ga : 130 
Sche wil ne noght begyle : 

Sche wyl me ber, i dar wele say, 
On a lang somerys day, 
From Hyssylton to Hakenay, 
Noght other half myle. 

I vow to god, quoth Perkyn, thow speks of cold roat, 
I schal wyrch wysekf er withouten any boat : 
Five of the best capullys, that ar in thys oat, 
I wot i achul thaym wynne, and bryng thaym to my 

And here i grant than) Tybbe:. 140 

Wele boyes her ys he, 

), i:, Ee ,j by GOO<^Ie 


That wyl fyght, and not fle, 
For i am in my jolyte, 
Wyth so forth, Gybbe. 

When thay had ther vowea[|madc^furtb|Vl»n they hye, 
Wyth flayles, and homes, and trnmpes mad of tre : 
Ther wer allc the bachelerys of that contre, 
They were dyght in aray, as thanuelfe wold be : 
Thayr baners wer ful bryght 
Of an old ' roten' felle ; 150 

The cheverone of a plow-mell ; 
And the achadow of a bell, 
Poudred wyth mone lyglit. 

I wot it ' was' no chylder game, whan thay togedyr met, 
When ich a freke in^he feld on hys ' felow bet ', 
And layd on styfly, for nothyng wold thay let, 
And faght ferly fiut, tylle ther hones swet, 
And fewe wordy a spoken ; 
Ther were £ayles al to-slatred, 
Ther were scheldys al to-fiatred, 160 

Bollys and dysches al to-schatred, 
And many hedys brokyn. 

There was clynkyng of cart-sadellys and clatteryng of 

Of fele frekys in the feld brokyn wer ther fannes ; 
Of sum wer the hedys brokyn, of sum the brayn-panes, 
And yll war Qthay] ' besene,' or thay went thens. 

[V. 150. Fdajr be, MS.] 

D, gl :,« ^GoogIe 


With swyppyng of swepylly 8, 
The boyes wer so wery for-fught, 
That thay myght not fyght mar olott, 
But creped then about in the croft, 170 

As they wer croked crepyls. 

Perkyn was so wery, that he began to ' loute ': 
" Help, Hud ! i am ded in thys ylk ' rowte ' : 
A hors for forty pens, a gode and a stoute ! 
That i may lyghtly come of my noye out, 
For no cost wyl i spar." 
He styrt up as a snayle, 
And hent a capul be the tayle, 
And raght Dawkin hys flayle, 
And wan there a mar. 180 

Perkyn van five, and Hud wan twa : 
Glad and blythe thay war, that thay had don sa ; 
Thay wold have tham to Tyb, and present hur with tha: 
The capolla were so wery, that thay myght not ga, 
But styl gon thay stond. 

Alas ! quoth Hudde, my joye, i lese ; 
Me had lever then a ston of chese, 
That der Tyb had al these. 
And wyst it wer my ' sond.' 

Perkyn turnyd hym about in that ych thrange, 190 
Among thos wery boyes he wrest and he wrang ; 
He threw tham doun to the erth, and thrast tham amang, 
When he saw Tyrry away wyth Tyb fang, 



And after hym ran ; 
Off his horse he hym drogh, 
And gaf hym of hys flayl inogh : 
We te he ! quoth Tyb, and high, 

Yeera dughty man. 

' Thus' thay tugged and rugged, tyl yt was ner nyght : 
All the wyves of Totenham come to se that syght 200 
With wyspes and kexis, and ryschys ther lyght. 
To fech horn ther husbandes, that wer tham trouth- 

And sum broght gret ' harows' 
Ther husbandes for to horn fech, 
Sum on dores, and sum on hech, 
Sum on byrdyllys, anusom on crech, 
And sum on whele-barows. 

Thay gaderyd Perkyn about Qon] everych syde, 
And grant hym ther the [greQ, the mor was hys pride : 
Tyb and he, wyth gret merthe, homward con thay 
ryde, ' 210 

And wer al nyght to gedyr, tyl the morn tyde ; 
And thay * to church went': 
So wele hys nedys he has sped, 
That der Tyb he 'hath 'wed: 
The prayse-folk, that hur led, 
Wer of the tomiment. 

To that ylk fest com many for the nones ; 
Some come hyphalt, and some trippand on the stony s ; 
[V. 212. In fere m nt, MS.] 

, Google 


Sum a stat" in hya hand, and sum two at onye) 
Of sum wer the bedes broken, and [of] gum the schulder 
bony s : 320 

With sorow com thay thedyr. 

Wo was Hawkyn, wo was Herry, 
Wo was Tomkyn, wo was Terry, 
And so was al the bachelary 
When thay met togedyr. 

At that fest thay wer servyd with a ryche aray, 
Every fy ve and fy ve had a cokenay ; 
And so thay sat in jolyte al the lang day; 
And, at the last, thay went to bed, with ful gret deray : 
Mekyl myrth was them among ; ■ 230 

In every corner of die hous 
Was melody delycyous 
Pot to her precious 
Of syz menys sang. 


Yt fell abowght the Lamasse tyde, 

Whan husbondes wynne ther haye, 
The dowghtye Dowglasse bowynd him to ryde, 

In Ynglond to take a praye. 

i • Fought the 9th of August. 1888. 

)#,«* by Google 


The yerlle of Fyffe, withouten stryffe, 

He bowyn him over Sulway : 
The grete wolde ever together ryde, 

That raysse they may rewe for aye. 

Over ' Ottercap '-hyll they cam in, 
And so dowyn by RodelyfTe-crage, 

Upon Grene-* Lcyton ' they lyghted dowyn, 
' Styrande many a ' stage : 

And boldely brente Northomberlond, 

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

To battell that were not bowyn. 

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

And sayd. We have Northomberlond, 
We have all welth in holde. 

Now we have haryed all Bamborowe schyre, 
All the welth in the worlde have wee, 

I rede we ryde to Newe-castell, 
So styll and atalwurthlye. 

Upon the raorowe, when it was day, 
The standerdes scheme fiille bryght ; 

To the Newe-castell they toke the waye, 
And thether they cam fulle ryght 

Sir Herry Peraay laye at the New-castell, 
I tell yow withewtten drede ; 

-,, Cookie 


He had byn a march-man all hys dayes, 
And kept Barwyke upon Twede, 

To the Newe-castell when they cam, 
The Scottes they cryde on hyght, 
Sir Hary Perssy, and thow byste within, 

Cora to the fylde and fyght : 

For we have brente Northomberlonde, 

Thy erytage good and ryght ; 
And syne my logeyng I have take, 

With my brande dubbyd many a knyght. 4i 

Sir Harry Perssy cam to the walles, 

The Skotty ash oste for to se ; 
And aayd, And thou hast brent Narthomberlond, 

Full sore it rewyth me. 

Yf thou hast haryed all Bamborowe schyre, 

Thow hast done me grete eovye ; 
For the trespasse thow hast me done. 

The tone of us schall dye. 

Where schall I byde the, sayd the Dowglas, 
Or where wylte thow com to me ? 5( 

" Atte Otterborne in the hygh-way, 
Ther mast thow well logeed be. 

" The roo full rekeless ther sche runnes, 

To make the game and gle : 
The fawken and the fesaunt both, 

Among the holtes on hye, " 

)#,«* * Google 


Ther mast thow have welth at wyll, 

Well looged ther mast be, 
Yt schall not be long or I com the tyll, 

Sayd ayr Harry Perssye. ■ 60 

Ther sehal I byde the, sayd the Dowglas, 

By the feyth of my bodye. 
Thether schall I com, sayd syr Harry Perssy ; 

My trowth I plyght to the. 

A pype i>f wyne he gave them over the walles, 

Foreoth, as I yow aaye : 
Ther he mayd the Dowglasse drynke, 

And all hys ost that daye. 

The Dowglas tumyd hym homewarde agayne, 
Forsoth withowghten naye, 70 

He took his logeynge at Oterborne, 
Upon a wedynsday : 

And ther he pyght hie standerd dowyn, 

Hys gettyng more and lease ; 
And syne he warned his men to goo 

To chose theiigeldynges gresae. 

A Skottysshe knyght hoved upon the bent, 

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

In the dawnyng of the daye. 80 

He prycked to his pavyleon dore, 

As fast as he might ronne, 
vol. i. B 

, Google 


Awaken, Dowglaa t cryed the knyght, 
For hjB love that syttes in trone. 

Awaken, Dowglaa 1 cryed the knyght, 
For thow maste waken wyth*wynne ; 

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

Nay, by my trowth, the Dowglas sayed, 

It y s but a fayned taylle ; 
He durst not loke on my brede banner, 

For all Ynglonde so haylle. 

Was I not yesterdaye at the Newe-castell, 
That stondes bo fay re on TyneP 

For all the men the Perssy had, 
He cowde not garre me ones to dyne. 

He stepped owt at his pavelyon dore. 

To loke and it were lease : 
" Araye yow, lordynges, one and all, 

For here bygynnes no peysse. 

The yerle of Mentaye, thow art my erne, 

The fowarde I gyve to die : 
The yerlle of Huntlay, cawte and kene, 

He Bchall * wyth the be. ' 

The lord of Bowghan, in annure bryght. 
On the other hand he schall be j 

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

)#,«* * Google 


Swynton f'ayre, fylde upon your pryde, 

To batell moke you bowen : 
Byr Davy Skotte, syr Water Stewarde, 

Syr Jhon of Agurstone. " 

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

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

For thow haste brente Northomberlonde, 

And done me grete envye ; 
For thy s trespasse thow hast me done, 
■ The tone of us achall dye 

The Dowglas answerde hym agayne, 

With grete wurdes upon hye, t 

And sayd, I have twenty agaynst ' thy ' one, 
Byholde and thow mast* see. 

With that the Peraflye was grevyd sore, 

Forsoth, as I yow saye: 
He lyghted dowyn upon hys foot*, 

And schoote his horsse dene away. 

Every man aawe that he dyd 300, 

That rail was ever in rowght, 
Every roan schoote hys horsse hym froo, 

And lyght him rowynde abowght. 

Thus syr Hary Perssye toke the fylde, 
Forsoth, as I yowe aayc : 

), glM ^Google 


Jesu Cryste in heven on hygbt 
Dyd helpe hym well that daye. 

But nyne thowzand, tlier was no moo ; 

The cronykle wyll not layne i 
Forty r_thowsande] Skottea and fowie 

That day fowght them agayne. 140 

'But when the batell byganne to joyne, 

In haste ther cam a knyght. 
The letters fayr furth hath he tayne, 

And thus he say d full ryght : 

My lorde, your father he gretes you well, 

With many a noble knyght ; 
He desyres yow to byde 

That he may see thy s fyght 

The baron of Grastoke ys com out of the west, 
Wyth hym a noble companye ; 150 

All they loge at your fathers thys nyght, 
And the battel fayne wolde they see. 

For Jesus lore, sayd syr Harye Persay, 

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

And saye thow sawe me not with yee. 

My trowth ys plyght to yonne Skottysh knyght, 

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

And I have hys trowth agayne : 160 

)#,«* * Google 


And if that I wynde off thy s growende, 

Porsoth onfowghten awaye. 
He wolde me call but a kowarde knyght 

la hys londe another daye. 

Yet had I lever to be rynde and rente, 

By Mary, that mykell maye, 
Then ever my manhood schulde be reprovyd 

Wyth a Skotte another day. 

Wherfbre, achate, archara, for my sake, 
And let scharpe arowes flee : 1?0 

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

Every man thynke on hys trewe love, 

And marke hym to the trenite : 
For to god I make myne avowe 

This day wyll I not fle. 

The blodye harte in the Ddwglaa amies, 

Hys standerde stode on hye ; 
That every man myght full well knowe, 

Bysyde stode stanes thre. 180 

The whyte lyon on the Ynglyssh perte, 

Forsoth, as I yow sayne. 
The lucettes and the ' cresaawntes ' both ; 

The Skottes fowght them agayne. 

Upon sent Andrewe lowde can they crye. 
And thrysse they schowte on ayght, 

)#,«* * Google 


And syne marked them one our Ynglysehe men, 
Ai I have tolde y qw ryght. 

Sent George the bryght, owr ladyes knyght, 

To name they were full fayne ; 190 

Owr Ynglymh men they cryde on hyght, 
And thryate ' they ' schowtte agayne. 

Wyth that scharpe arowes bygan to flee, 

I tell yow in aertaine ; 
Men of annea byganne to joyne ; 

Many a do wghty man was ther slayne. 

The Ferny and the Dowglaa mette, 

That ather of other was fayne j 
They ' swapped ' together whyll that ' they ' awette, 

With swordes of fine collayne ; 200 

Tyll the bloode from ther baasonettes ranne, 

As the roke doth in the rayne. 
Yelde the to me, aayd the Dowglaa, 

Or elles thow achalt be slayne.; 

For I see, by thy bryght basaonet, 

Thow arte sum man of myght ; 
And so I do, by thy burnysahed brande, 

Thow art an yerle or elles a knyght. 

By my good faythe, sayd the noble Perssye, 

Now haste thou rede full ryght, 210 

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

)#,«* * Google 


They swapped together, whyll that they swette. 

With swordes stharpc and long ; 
Ych on other so ftste ' they ' beette, 

Tyll ther helmes cam in peyses dowyn. 

The Perssy was a man of strenghth, 

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

That he felle to the growynde. 220 

The sworde was scharpe and sore can byte, 

I telle yow in sertayne ; 
To the harte hecowde. him smyte, 

Thus was the Dowglas slayne. 

The stonderdes stode sty 11 on ' ilke ' a syde. 

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

And many a dowghty man was slayne. 

Ther was no rreke that ther wolde flye, 

But styffely in stowre can stond, 230 

Ych one hewyng on other whyll they myght drye, 
Wyth many a bayllefull bronde. 

Ther was slayne upon the Skottes syde, 
. Forsoth and sertenly, 
Syr James a Dowglas ther was slayne, 
That daye that he cowde dye. 

The yerlle of M entaye he was slwyne, 
Gryssely groned upon the growynd ; 

)#,«* * Google _ 


Syr Davy Skotte, syr Water Stewarde, 
Syr ' John ' of Agurstonne. 

Syr Charlies Morrey, in that place, 

That never a fote wold nee ; 
Sir Hugh Maxwell, a lorde he was, 

With the Dowglas dyd he dye. 

Ther was slayne upon the Skottet syde, 

Forsoth, as I yow saye, 
Of fowre and forty thowsande Skottea, 

Went but eyghtene awaye. 

Ther was slayne upon the Yngh'sshe syde, 

Forsoth and sertenlye, 
A gentyll knyght, sir John ' Fitzhewe,' 

Yt was the more pety . 

Syr James Harebotell ther was slayne 
For hym ther hartes were gore. 

The gentyll ' Lovell ' ther was slayne, 
That the Perssys standerd bore. 

Ther was slayne upon the Ynglyssh perte, 

Forsoth, as I yow saye ; 
Of nyne thowsand Ynglyssh-men, 

Fyve hondert cam awaye. 

The other were slayne in the fylde, 
Cryrte kepe ther sow lies from wo, 

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

>,gi .,., ,C,OOg\c 


Then on the morne they mayde them beerys 

Of byrch and hay sell graye ; 
Many a wydowe with wepyng teyres 

Ther makes ^hey fette awaye. 
Thys fraye bygan at Otterborne, 

Bytwene the nyghte and the day ; 
Ther the Dowglas lost hys lyffe, 

And the Perssye was lede awaye. 
Then was ther a Scottyssh prisoner tayne, 

Syr Hewe Mongoraery was hys name, 
Forsoth as I yow saye, 

He borowed the Perssy home agayne. 
Now let us all for the Perssy praye 

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

For he was a gentyll knyght 


Thk Perse owt off Northombarlande, 

And a vowe to god mayd he, 
That he wold hunte in the mountayns 

Of Chyriat within dayes thre ; 
In ike magger of doughte Dogles, 

And all that ever with him be. 

The futtiste hartes in all Cheviat 

He sayd he wold kyll and cary them away. 

)#,«* * Google 


Be my feth, sayd the dougbeti DogUa agayn, 

I wyll let that hontyng yf that I may. 
Tien the Feme owt of Banborowe cam. 

With him a myghtee mean y ; 
With fifteen hondrith 'archeres' bold, 

The wear chosen owt of ahyan thre. 
This begane on a xnond&y at mora, 

In Cheviat the billys so he ; 
The chyld may rue that ya unborn, 

It was the mor pitte. 

The dryvera thorowe the woodes went 

For to reas the dear; 
Bomen byckarte uppone the bent 

With ther browd aras cleare. 
Then the wyld thorowe the woodes went ; 

On every syde shear ; 
■ Grea hondea thorowe the grevis glent, 

For to kyll thear dear. 
The begane in Chy viat the hyls ' abone,' 

Yerly on a monnyn-day, 
Be that it drewe to the oware of none 

A hondrith fat hartes ded ther lay. 
The blewe a mort uppone the bent, 

The semblyd on sydis shear ; 
To the quyrry then the Perse 1 went, 

To se the bryttlynge off the deare. ' 
He sayd, It was the Duglas promys 

This day to met me hear ; 

D, gl :,« ^Google 


But I wy ste he wold taylle verament : 
A great oth the Perse swear. 

At the laste, a squyar of Northomberlonde 

Lokyde at his hand full ny, 
He was war athe doughetie Doglaa conimyiige, 

With him a myghtte meany. 

Both with spear, ' byll ' and brande : 

Yt was a rayghti fight to se, 
Hardyai men both off hart nar handy 

Wear not in Christiante. 

The wear twenty-hondrith Bpear-men good, 

Withowte any feale ; 
The wear borne along be the watter a Twyde, 

Yth bowndes of Tividale. 

Leave off the brytlying of the dear, he sayde, 
And to your ' bowya ' lock ye tay k good heed ; 

For never sithe ye wear on your mothars borne 
Had ye never bo mickle ned. 

The dougheti Dogglas on a stede, 

He rode ' all ' his men beforne ; 
His armor glytteryde as dyd a glede ; 

A bolder barne was never born. 

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

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

Chyviat-chays in the spyt of me f 

), i:, E e ^ Google 


The first ' nun ' that ever him an answear may J, 

It wag the good lord Perse t 
We wyll not tell the ' what' men we ar, he says, 

Nor whoe men that we be ; 
But we will hount here in this chays 

In the spyt of thyne and of the. 

The fattistc hartes in all Chyviat 

We have kyld and cast to carry them away. 70 

By my troth, sayd the doughte Dogglas agayn, 

Thcrfor the ton of us shall de this day. 

Then sayd the doughte Doglas 

Unto the lord Perse: 
To kyll.aH these giltles men, 

Alas ! it wear great pitte. 

But, Perse, thowe art a lord of lande, 

I am a yerle callyd within my contre ; 
Let all our men uppone a parti stande, 

And do the battell off the and of me. 80 

Now Cristes cors on bis crowne, sayd the lord Perse, 

Whosoever therto says nay. 
Be my troth, doughte" Doglas, he says, 

Thow ahftlt never se that day ; 

Nethar in Ynglonde, Skottlonde, nar France, 

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

I dar met him on man for on. 

)#,«* by Google 


Then beapayke a equyar of North ombarlonde, 

Richard] Wytharyngton was his nam : 90 

It shall never be tolde in Hothe-Ynglonde, he says, 
To kyng Kerry the fourth for sham. 

I wat youe byn great lordes twaw, .' 

I am a poor squyar of lande ; 
I wyll never ae my captayne fyght on a fylde, 

And stande myselffe and loockc on ; 
But whyll I may my weppone welde, 

I wyll not £fayl3 both harte and hande. 
That day, that day, that dredfull day,— 

The first fit here I fynde; 100 

And youe wyll here any mor athe hountyng athe 

Yet ys ther mor behynd. 

The Yngglyahe-men hade ther bowys yebent, 

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

Seven skore spear-men the sloughe. 

Yet byddys the yerle Doglas uppon the bent, 

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

For he wrought horn both woo and wouche. 110 

The Dogglas pertyd hia oat in thre, 

Lyk a chefie ' cheften' off pryde, 
With Boar speares off myghtte tre. 

The cum in on every ayde. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


Thrughe our YnggUahe archery 

Gave many a wounde full wydc ; 
Many a doughete the garde to dy, 

Which ganyde them no pryde. 

The Ynglyahe-men let thear ' bowys ' be, 

And pulde owt brandes that wer 'bright;' 190 

It was a hevy syght to m 

Bryght swordes on basnites lyght 

Thorowe rycbe male and myne-ye-ple, 

Many sterne the stroke done streght : 
Many a freyke, that was full fre, 

Ther undar-fbot dyd lyght. 

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

The swapte togethar tyll the both swat 

With swordes that wear of fyn myllan. 130 

Thes worthe freckys for to fyght 

Therto the wear full fayne, 
Tyll the bloode owte off thear baanetes sprente. 

As ever dyd heal or ran. 

' Holde ' the, Perse, sayd the Doglas, 

And ifeth I shall the brynge 
Whar thowe ahalte have a yens wagis 

Of Jamy our Scottish kynge. » 

Thou shalte have thy ransom fre, 

I bight the hear this things, 140 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


For the raanfnllyste nun yet art thowe. 
That ever I conqueryd in filde fightyng. 

Nay, sayd the lord Perse, 

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

To no man of woman born. 

With that ther cam an arrowe, haately, 

FortJic off a myghtte wane, 
Hit hathe strekene the yerle Duglas 

In at the brest-bane. 150 

* Thoroue ' lyvar and longs bathe 

. The sharpe arrowe ya gane, 
That never after, in all his lyffe-days, 

He spayke mo wordea but ane, 
That was, Fyghte ye, my myrry men, whyllys ye may, 

For my lyff-days ben gar. 

The Perse leanyde on his brande, 

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

And sayd, Wo ys me for the ! 160 

To have oavyde thy lyffe I wold have pertyde with 

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

Was not in all the north contre. 

Off all that se a Skottishe knyght, 

Waa callyd sir Hewe the Monggonbyrry, 

), g ,:,« ^Googlc 


He sawe the Duglas to the deth was dyght ; 
He spendyd a spear, a tnuti tre : 

He rod uppon a coraiare 

Throughe a hondrith archery; 
He never stynttydfi, nar never blane, 

Tyll he cam to die good lord Perse. 

He set uppone the lorde Perse 

A dynte that was full soare ; 
With a siiar spear of a myghtte tre 

Clean thorow the body he the Perse ' bore,' 

Athe tothcr syde, that a man myght ae, 

A large cloth-yard and mare ; 
Towe bettar captayns wear nat in Cristiante, 

Then that day slain wear ther. 

An arcbar off Northomberlonde 

Bay slean was lord Perse, 
He bar a bende bowe in his hand, 

Was made off truati tre : 

An arow, that a cloth-yarde was lang, 

Toth harde stele, hayld he; 
A dynt that was both sad and soar, 

He sat on sir Hewe the Monggonbyrry. 

The dynt y t was both sad and aar, 

That he of Monggonberry sate, 
The Bwsn-fetbars, that his arrowe bar, 

With his hart-blood die wear wete. 

>,gi .,,, ■,C,OOg\c 


Ther was never a freake wone foot wolde fle. 

But still in stour dyd stand, 
Heawyng on yche othar, whyll the myght dre, 

With many a balfull brande. 

This battell begane in Chyviat, 

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

The battell was nat half done. 

The tooke [on] on ether hand, 

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

In Chyviat the hillys ' abone.' 

Of f yfteen-hondrith archars of Ynglonde 

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

But even five and fifti: 

But all wear slayne Cheviat within : 
The had no ' strenght ' to stand on hy : 

The chylde may rue that ys unbome, 
It was the mar pitte. 

Thear was slayne with the lord Pers£, 

Sir John of Agerstone, 
Sir Roger the hinde Hart) y, 

Sir Wyllyam the bolde Hearone. 

Sir Jorg the worthe Lovele, 
A knyght of great renowen. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Sir Raff the ryche Rngto, 

With dyntes wear beaten dowene. 220 

For Wetharry hgton my harte was wo, 

That ever he slayne shulde be ; 
For when both his leggis wear hewyne into, 

Yet he knyled and fought en by* kny. 

Ther was alayne with the dougheti Duglai 

Sir Hewe the Monggonbyrry, 
Sir Davy Lwdale that worthe was, 

HU sist&rs son was he. 

Sir Charla a Murre, in that place, 

That never a foot wolde fle ; 230 

Sir Hewe Maxwell, a lord* he was, 

With the Doglas dyd he dey. 

So on the morrowe the may de them byears 

Off birch and hasel so 'gray' 
Many wedoua, with wepyng tears, 

Cam to fach the? raakys away. 

Tivydale may carpe off care, 

Northombarlond .may mayke ' great ' mon, 
For towe such captayntf as alayne wear fhear 

On the march-perti shall never be non. 240 

Word y« conunen to Eddenburrowe, 

To .Tamy the Skottiahe kyng, 
That dougheti Duglas, lyfftthant'of the nerehtt. 

He lay dean Chyviot wtttww. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


His handdes dyd he weal and wryng, 

He aayd, Alas ! and woe ja me ! 
Such anothar captajn Skotland within, 

He aayd, yefeth shuld never be. 

Worde is commyn to lovly Londofte, 

Till the fourth Harry our kyng, 250 

That lord Perse leyff-tenante of the meYchEs, 

He lay slayne Chy viat within. 

God have merci on his soli ! sayd kyng Harry, 

Good Lord, yf thy will it be I 
I have a hondrith captayns in Yngltmde, he sayd. 

As good as ever was he : 
But, Perse,, and I brook my lyffe, 

Thy deth well quyte shall be. 

As our noble kyng mayde his avowe, 

Lyke a noble prince of renowen, 260 

For the deth of the lord Perse, 

He dyde the battell of Hombyll-down : 

Wher syx and thritte Skottish knyghtes 

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

Over castill, towar, and town. 

This was the hontynge off the Cheviat, 

That tear begane this spurn ; 
Old men, that knowen the grownde well yenoughe. 

Call it the battell of Otterburn. 3?0 


), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


At Otterburn began this spume 

Uppon a moimyTi-day : 
Ther wu the dougghte Dogks alean, 

The Perse never went away. 

Ther wu never a tym on the mwch-partes, 
Sen the Doglss and the Perse met, 

But yt was mervele and the rede blude ronne n 
As the reane doya in the atret. 

Jhesaue Crist Our ' balys ' bete 

And to the blys us brynge 1 
Thus was the hountynge of the ' Chyviat :' 

God send us all good endyng t 




The subject of this ballad is tha death of William de la Pole, duke 
of Suffolk, wlio being exiled for five yean, was taken at sea by a 
ship of war called the Nichalat of the Toaer, belonging to the 
duke of Exeter, and on the 2d da; of May, 1460, beheaded on 
the coast of Dover. (Bee Caxtons, Stoves, and Other chronicles".) 
It appears to have been written immediately after thai event, and 
before the Kentish insurrection which began in the latter part of 
the same month. 

From a MS. in the Cotton Library, Vespasian B. ivi. 

In the inoneth of May, when grasse groweth grene, 

Flagrant in her flourea, with swete savour, 
Jac Napes wold over the see, a mariner to ben 

With his clogs and his cheyn, to seke more txesour ; 

Suych a pawn prikked hym, he asked a confessoui . 
Nicolas said, I am redi thi confessour to be. 

He was holden so, that he ne passed that hour : 
For Jac Napes soule Placebd and Dirige +. 

[* A particular account of this treacherous murder is contained 
in t letter dated the 6th of May, 1460, from William Larmier to 
" the ryght warchipfun John Pastan at Norwich." Fmm Original 
Lttttri, L 30. Ed.] 

f The Placebo and XHrige'ize' part of the mass or service for the 
dead in the Romish church, of which the author distributes the 
several part* among the characters he has introduced. See the 
Offleium Defimctorum of the Roman Breviary. Skelton, in hi* 
" Boke of Philip Sparrow," makes a similar use of it. 

j^^by Google 


Who ihull execute his exequies, with a aolempnite ? 

Biaabopes and lordes, as grete resou is, 10 

Monies, chanons, presbea, and other clergie. 

Pray for this dukes soule, that it might come to blis ; 

And let never suychn another come after this. 
His interfectoura, hlesaed might thei be, 

And graunte them for ther dede to regne with angelis, 

And for Jae Nape aoule Placebo and Dirige. 

Placebo begynneth the biaahop o£ Herfbrd ; 

DiUxi, for myn avauncement, aaith .the biaahop of 
Heir me, aaith Salisbury, this gotltc to ferre forthe; 20 

Ad deitm cum tribularer, aaith the abbot of Glouceatre ; 

Deut cuttodit, geith the abbot of Roucheatre ; 
Levavi oculot, aaith frere Stanbury, volavi; 

Si iniquUatet, aaith the biaahop of Worce£a]tre ; 
For Jac Nape aoule, De profundi* clamavi. 

Opera manuum tuarum, seith the cardynal wisely, 

That brought forth confiiebwjor all this Napes re*m; 
Attdivi vocem, songe ajlemighty god an hye, 

And therfbre syng we. Magnificat anima rata do- 

Lucie wtdqw of Edmund earl of Kent (brother and mceeaat to 

Thomas) bequeathed 1000 crown* to the priory of the Holy Trinity, 
in London, on condition that every convent in each of the houses 
Damed in her will, should once a month in their quire sit " Placebo 
and Dirige. by note, tor the «ouI> of them the wiM Edmund and 
Lucie by name," &c. Dag-. Ban. ii. JJ. 

:■, .,., (t^GOOglC 


Unto this Dirige vaot we gen and come, 
This pascall tyme, to say veryli, 30 

Thre psalme* spd thre lassons, that is all and some ; 
For Jac Nape sOule Placebo anil Dirige^ 

Executors of this office, Dirige fur to synge, 

Shall begyn the bisshop of Synt-Asse; 
Verba mea auribue, saith f the] abbot of Redyng. 

Alle your joy« and hope la come to alasse ; 

Comiierere damme, yet graunte us grace, 
Saith [the] abbot of Synt- Albans, fill sorily 

The abbot of the Toure-hitl, with his fat fee*, 
Quafceth and tremuleth, for Domine ne injitrore. 40 

Maister ' Walter' Liard shal syng Ifequando; 

The abbot of Westmynstrej Domine devs tneu* in te 
Requiem eterwm graunte them all to come to, 

Therto a 'Pater muter, saitii the bisshop of Synt- 
Da vy : 

For thet soules that wise were and mightty, 
Suffolk, Moleyns, and Roos, thee thre 

And in especial for Jac Napes, that ever was wyly ; 
For his soule Placebo and Dirige. 

Rise up, Say, rede Puree me domine, 

Nichil enint sunt die* mei, thou ehalt synge ; 50 

The bisshop of Carlyle, syng Credo ful sore i 

To Buychn fals traitours come foule endyng. 

, :, .,., :,CiOOglC . 


The baron of Dudley, with grate momynjj-, 
Redetb, Tedet animam meant vite mee : 
■. Who but Dahyel, Qui latartan, thai syng r 
For Jac Nape soule. Placebo and Dirige. 

John Say redeth, Mann* iuefecerunt me; 

Libera me, syngeth Trevilian, wane the rere, 
That thei do no more so, Requiescant in pace : 

Thus prayes all Englond ferre and nerre, 

Where is Somerset? whi aperes he not here? 
To synge Diet ire et miterie f 

God graunte Englond alle infere. 
For thes traitours to ayng Placebo and Dirtge. 

Meny mo ther be behynde, the sothe for to telle, 

That ahal messes oppon thes do [|ings] synge ; 
I pray som man do ryng the belle. 

That these forsaiden may come to the sacryng. 

And that in brief tyme, without more tarieng, 
That this mease may be ended in suyche degre ; 

And that all Englond joyfull may synge, 
The commendacion with Placebo and Dirtge. 

)#,«* * Google , 



particularly leveled at sir John Oldcastle, lord Cobhun, the 

Corjphaua of the sect ; who, having been condemned to the flames 
fill his erroneous opinions, made bis escape from the Tower before 
the day appointed for his execution. This happened in the year 14Kt, 
when the present ballad seems to have been written. Lord Cobham 
in hu retre a t, in order to effect ■ speedy and thorough reformation both 
in Church and Suite, formed a plan of seizing the kings person, 
and actually caused a large body of his enthusiastic adherents, to 
the number, is is said, of 20,000, all totally ignorant of his designs, 
but not the less ready to execute his orders, to assemble in St. Giles's 
Gelds, where many of them were seized, and the rest dispersed by 
the civil power. And their chieftain himself, being taken a few 
yean after, was hanged as a traitor, and burnt on the gibbet as a 
heretic, pursuant to bis sentence. ( Fide Rot. Pari. IV. 107, &c) 

LoUardy, a word of uncertain derivation, is well known to mean with 
us the doctrines propagated by John Wickliffe and his followers, 

footing. To check the further progress of this popular heresy, 
and maintain the cause of " the great goddess Diana," which 
appears to have been in no small danger, the reigning clergy had 
recourse to two methods ; of which Ridicule or Satire was the more 
innocent, but Hanging and Burning the more efficacious". 
The following ballad is contained in the same MS. with the pre. 

)#,«* by Google 


Lo he that can be Crista clerc, 
And knowe the knottes of his crede, 
Now uuiy se a wonder werke, 
Of harde happes to take good heede. 
The dame of deth is hevy drede, 
For hym that wol not mercy crie. 
Than is my rede, for mucke ne mede. 
That no man melle of 'louardye.' 

I aey for meself, yut wist I never, 
But now late what hit shnld be, 
And by my trouth I liave wel lever. 
No more kyn than my a. b. c 
To lolle so hie in suych degre, 
Hit is no perfit ' polecie,' * 
3auf seker sample to the and me, 
To bewar of loUardie. 

The game is noght to lolle so hie, 
That fete fallen fondement, 
And yut is a nwehe fbne, 
For fals beleye to ben brent ; 
That the bibell is al myi went, 
To jangle of Job or Jeremye, 
That construen hit after her entent, 
For lewde lust of lollardie. 

Hit is unkyndly for a knight. 
That ahold a kynges castel kepe. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


To bable the bibel day and night, 

In restyng tyrae when he shuld slepc, 

And carefoly awey to Crepe, 

For alle the chief of chivalrie, 30 

Wet aught hym to waile and wepe, 

That suyche lust hath in lollardie. 

An old castel and not repaired, 

With wast walles and wawes wide, 

The wages ben ful yvel wared, 

With suiche a capitayn to abide. 

That rereth riot for to ride 

Agaynn the kyng and his clergie, 

With prive peyne and pore pride, 

Ther is a poynt of lollardie. 40 

For many a man withyn a while . 

Shal aby his gult ful sore, 

So fele gostea to begile, 

Hym aught to rue evermore ; 

For his sorowe shal he never restore, 

That he venemed with envye, 

But ban the burthe that he was of bore, 

Or ever hod lust in lollardie. 

Every shepe that shuld be fed in felde, 

And kepte fro wolfes in her folde, 60 

Hem nedeth nether spere ne shulde, 

Ne in no castel to be withholde. 

For that the pasture is ful colde, 

In somer seson when hit is drie, 

>,gi .,,-. :,C.OO^IC 


And namly when the soyle is solde, 
For lewde lust of lollardie. 

An old castel draw al doun. 

Hit is ful hard to rere it newe, 

With suych a congregacion, 

That cast hem to be untrewe : 

When beggers mow nether bake tie brewe, 

Ne have wherwith to borow ne bie, 

Than mot n*" 6 *] not '°hbe or reve, 

Unde[ r] the colour of lollardie. 

That castel ia not for a kyng, 
That the walles ben overthrowe, 
And yut wel wors abidyng, 
When the captayn away is Howe ; 
And forsake spere and bowe. 
To crepe fro knighthode into clergie, 
That is a bitter blast yblowe, 
To be bawde of lollardie. 

I trowe ther be no knight alyve 
That wold have don so open a shame, 
For that crafte to atudi or strive 
Hit is no gentel mannes game 
But if bym lust to have a name 
Of peloer under ipocrasie. 
And that were a foule defame 
To have suych lose of lollardie. 

And perde lolle thei never so long, 
Yut wol lawe make hem lowte. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google' 


God wol not suffre hem be so strong 
To bryng her perpos so abowte ; 
With saunz faile and saunz doute, 
To rere riot and robberie, 
By reson thei shul not long route, 
While the taile is docked of lollardie. 

Of the hede hit is Us charge 
When grace wol not be his gide, 
Ne suffre hym for to le*be at large, 
But hevely his hede to hide, 
Where shuld he other route or ride 
Agayns the chief of chivalrie, 
Not hard! in no place to abide, 
For alle the sekte of lollardie. 

A god, what unkyndly goat 
Shuld greve that god grucched nought ! 
Thes lollardes that lothen ymages most, 
With mannes handes made and wrought, 
And pilgrimages to be sought, 
Thei seien hit is but mawmentrie ; 
He that this lose first up brought 
Had gret lust in lollardie. 

He wer ful lewde that wold byleve 
In figure made of stok or ston, 
Yut for me shuld we none reprere 
Nether of Marie ne of Jon, 



Petre, Foule, ne other none 
Canonised by clergie, 
Than the seyntes every choice 
Be litel holde to lollardie. 

And namly James among hem alle 
For be twyea had ternement, 
Moch mischaunse mot hiin befaHe 
That last beboded hym in Kent; 
And alle that were ofthat assent 
To Crist of heven I clepe and crie 
Sende hem the aavM jugement, 
And alle the sekte of lollardie. 

For that vengans (igayne kynde 
Was a poynt of cowardyse, 
And namly suycbe on to bete or bynde 
That might not stand set ne rise ; 
What dome wold ye hym devyse 
By la* e of armea or gentries 
But serve hym in the fame wise 
And alle the sekte of kdhtrdior 

When falsnes faileth frele folic, 

Pride wol perseyn sone among, 

Than wHlerdome with old envy . 

Can none other way but wrong.. 

For aynne end sham* with aorowe strong, 

So overset with avntrle, . .. 

)#,«* * Google 


Tbat'fals-beleve is fayn to fang 
The lewde lust of lollardie. 

And under colour of suiche lollyng, 
To shape sodeyn surrecciori 
Agaynst oure liege lord [the] kyng, 
With fals ymaginacion. 
And for that coned conclusion, 
By dome of knighthod and clergie. 
Now tumeth to confusion 
The sory sekte of lollardie. 

For holy writ berith witnes 

He that fals is to Ms kyng 

That ahaxnful defh and hard distresr 

Shal be his dome at his endyng ; 

Than double deth for suych lollyng 

Is hevy when we flhul hennes hye, 

Now lord that madest of nought alle thing 

Defende us alle fro lollardie. 

)#,«* by Google 



From the Umrkiiui MSB. No. 7333. Dan John Ijydgate, monk at 
Bury, who, if in Tepid the bulk and number of bit writing!, wu 
certainly the greateft poet we era bad, dyed Tery old. ' about the 
middle of the fifteenth century •.' Hen. VI. wM crowned in 1422. 

Rbjoicb ye reames of Etiglond and of ffraunce, 
A braunche that sprang oute of the floure de lys, 
Blode of seint Edward and seint Lowys, 
God hath this day sent in govemaunce. 

God of nature hath y oven him guffisaunce 
Likly to atteyne to grate honore and pris. 

O hevenly blossome, o budde of all plesaunce, 
God gr aunt the grace for to ben als wise 
As was thi fader by circumspect advise, 
Stable in vertue withoute variaunce. 

'' The eompktat litt of [the worke of ] thi» Tolan 

and driveling monk," amounting to 261, and of which the trifle hem 
inserted it rather a favourable ■pecjmen, may be eeen in Mr. Ritaont 
,. ,4ibliograpMe Poetka. (Bto. 1B02, p.m.) En. 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


From MSS. More. F f. 1. 6. 

Whbn Fortune list yewe here assent. 
What is too dcmc that may be doo, 
There schapeth nought from her entenb 
For as ache will it goth ther to. 

All passeth by her jugement, 
The hy astate the pore allsoo, 

When Fortune [to] 

Too ly ve in joy out of turment, 
Seyng the worlde goth too and fro, 
Thus is my schort aviseament, 
As hyt comyth so lete it go. 

When Fortune [&c] 



Front ibe Mme MS. 

Who so lyst to love god send hym right good spede. 

Some tyme y loved, aa ye may see, 
A goodly w ther m yght none be, 

)#,«* * Google 


Here womanhode in all degree. 
Full well she quytt my mede. 

[Who so lyrt &c.] 

Unto the tyine, upon a day, 

To sooe ther fill a gret affray, 

She badde me walke forth on my way, 

On me (he gatt none hede. 

Wow lyrt &c. 
I askid the cause why and wherfor, 
She displeaide was with me so sore ; 
She wold nat tell, but kept in store, 
Ferdy it waa no nede. 

Woso lyrt &c. 

For if y hadde hur displeased 
In worde or dede, or hir greved, 
Than if she hadde before meved, 
She hadde cause in dede. 

Woso list &c. 

But well y wote y hadde nat done, 
Hur to diapleae, but in grete mone 
She hath me left and ys agone, 
For aorwe my hert doth blede. 

Wo so lyst &c. 
Some tyme she wold to me compl&yne, 
Vff she had felt dysease or payne. 
Now fele y nought but grete disdayne, 
Alias, what is your rede ? 

Wo so list &e. 

)#,«* * Google 


Shall y leve of, and let hur go ? 
Nay ner the rather will y do so, 
Yet though unkyndnesse do me wo, 
Hur will y love and drede. 

Wo bo list &c. 

Some hope? that whan she knowith the case, 
Y truste to god that withyne short spaae 
She will me take agayne to grace, 
Than hare y well abydde. 

Wo so list &c. 

And for trew lovers shall y pray, 
That ther ladyes fro day to day, 
May ' them ' rewarde so that they may 
With joy ther lyvee lede. 

Wo so list &c. 


Froma MS. of Henry the 6lh» time. (Bibl.HlrLNo.539e.) Stow, 
in hii " Surrey of London," 1598, p. 284, speaking of a long polo 
prewrrod in Oiioti ot Gonad* Hall in the city, says it " might 
beusedofolde tunc (as then the cusiomewas in every parish) to be 
setup ill thestreete, in the lammer, as a M aypole, . . . and to stand. 
in the Hall before the serine, decked with Holme and Ivie, all 
the feast of Christmas j" and adds, in the margin, by way of gloss, 
that " Every mam house of olde time was decked with Holly 
and Ivie in the winter, especially at Christmas." 

It appeari from Ames and Herbetta " Typographical AntiquUiei," 
[F. 4+ theo.*Jtt] 

)#,«* by Google 


p. 359, tint. In 1661, W . Copland paid 4d. fur* licence, from the 
Stationer! company, to print " A baflcUc entiiled holy and hyee.'' 
In the aborc library (No. 3253) ii " A poem upon the contention 
between the Summer and the Winter," which, if not the original of 
the following long, may aen« to crinee die popularity of the aub. 
jeet. It begins thm : 

" Un graunt rami/ oy Sutler" 
Bntre cate e aire y*er, 
Ly quetn arereit la arigniuie" Ac 

Nat, Ivy, nay, 

Hyt ahal not be, I wya ; 

Let Holy hafe the mayatry, 
As the nuuier ys. 

- Holy stood is the halle, 
Fayre to behold ; 
Ivy stand wythout the dore, 
She ya ful sore a-cold. 

Nay, Ivy, [4c] 

Holy and bys mery men, 10 

They dawnsyn arid they syng ; 

Ivy and bur maydenys, 

They wepyn and they wryng. 
Nay, C&c3 

Ivy hath a kybe, 

She kaght yt wyth the colde, 
So mot they all haf ae, 

That wyth Ivy hold. 

Nay, Ivy, ' nay, ' hyt Q&c.} 

* Not VantriT at in Wan. Cat. 

D, gl :,« ^GoogIe 


Holy hat berys, a 

As rede as any rose, 
The foster [and] the ' hunter ' 

Kepe hem fro the ' doos. ' 

. Nay, Ivy, nay, hyt [&c] 

Ivy hath berys, 

As blake as any slo, 
Ther com the oule, 

And ete hym as she goo. 

Nay, Ivy, nay, hyt [&c] 

Holy hath byrdys, 31 

A ful fayre flok, 
The nyghtyngsle, the poppynguy. 

The gayntyl lavyrok. 

Nay, [Ac] 

Oode Ivy, 

What byrdys ast thu ? 
Non but the howlat, 
That kreye how, how 1 
Nay, Ivy, nay, 

Hyt shal not [be, I wys, 4( 

Let Holy hafe the maystry, 
. As the manor ys/] 

'. 23. hunters. MS. ] L V. 23. doo. MS. ] 

i^eo by Google 



The praises of thin worthy knight ban been a fiivouiiie topic both 
with the English and Scotish poets — See " Ancient Scottish 
poem*," published by Lord Haslcs, Edinburgh, 1770, p- 163 ; or 
" The Caledonian Muse," Land. 17115". There Urn excellent 
poem on tlii* subject in a MS. of the Cotton library, Gmlba E. 
ix. This 1* from the Sloane MS. (No. 2593} shove described. 

In a MS. of the 13th or I4th century, in the library of Berne, (Num. 
354), is an ironical poem in praise of money, inthled, " Dc dam 
Dtnier," of which the following is ■ ipecitnen : 

" Denier fait cortois de vilain 
Denier nut de malade am 
Denier sorprent le moude a plain 

Tot est en ton commandemeHt." 

The origin of all these piece* in, possibly, to be referred to a very 
ancient French fabliau, inu'tled De Dam Argent, of which M. 
le Grand hat given an extract in modem prose. (FuWiuw on 
tmta, torn. iii. p. 243.) ■ 

Go bet, Peny, go bet Qgo^ 

For thu makyii bothe frynd and fo. 

* The work here quoted was then partly printed, but never pub- 
lished. Mr. Ritson subsequently increased the coUection with the 
" Pyityl of swete Susane," from the Vernon MS. and other poems, 
and added " Essays " and a " Glossary, " all now in the possession 
of the editor, who is preparing the work, in its improved state, for 
*thc press. 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


Peny is an hardy knyght, 
Peny is mekyl of myght, 
Peny of wrong, he makyt ryght, 
In every cuntre qwer he goo. 
[Go bet, &c] 

Thow I have a man islawe, 
And forfetyd the kynges lawe, 
I xal fyndyn a man of lawe, 

Wyl tfikyn myn peny, and let rae goo. 
[Go bet, &c] 

And if I have to don fer or ner, 
And Peny be myn raassanger, 
Than am I nothing in dwer, 
My cause xal be wol doo. 
[Go bet, &c-3 

And if I have pens bothe good and fyn, 
Men wyl byddyn me to the wyn, 
That I have xal be t!ier[in] : 
Sekyrly thei wil seyn so. 
[Go bet, &cT| 

And quan I have non in myn purs, 
Peny bet, ne peny wera. 
Of me thei holdyn but lytil fors, 
He was a man, let hym goo. 
[Go bet, Peny, go bet, go, 
For thu makyn both frynd and fo.^j 

>o^le —— 



Prom a MS. in the Cotton library (Tittii A. xxri.) of Henry the 
6ths lime. A few Muiua M the beginning ore supposed to be 
lot : [tome preceding le*ves of the SIS. appearing to ha»e been 

Go ye beffore, be twayne and twayne, 
Wysly that ye be not i-sayne 
And ' 1 11 ' go home and com agayne, 
To witte what dothe owre ayre, 

Oode gosyp. 
For yyft" hit happ he dyd me see, 
A strype or to god myght send me, 
Yytte ache that is aferre lette her flee, 
For that is nowght be this ryre, 

Gode gosyp. 10 

' Tho ' everyche of hem browght thcr dyache, 
Sum browght fleshe and som browght fyahe ; 
Quod Margery meke thann with a wyiae, 
I irold that Frankelyne the harper were here, 

Gode gosip. 
She hade notte so sone the word i-sayd, 
But in come Frankelyn at a brayd, 

f. 3. 1 rinUe. MS". T. II. That. MS. 



God save youe, mastres, he sayde, 
I come to make youe some chere, 


Anon he began to drawe owght his harpe, 
Tho the gossyppes began to starte, 
They callyd the tawymer to ffyll the quarte, 
And lette note for no coste, 

Good gosyp. 
Then seyd the gossyppes all infere, 
Streke op, harper, and make gode chere, 
And w her that I goo, fere or nere, 
To oWre hu[ s]bondes make thou no boste, 

God gossip. 

Nay, mastres, as mote I thee, 
Ye schall newyr be wrayed ffor me, 
I had lever her dede to be 
As hereof to be knowe. 

Good gosyp. 
They fFylled the pottes by and by, 
They lett not for no coste trolly, 
The harpyr stroke up merrely, 
That they myght onethe blowe, 

Good gosyp. 

They sette them downe, they myght no more, 
Theyre legges they thought were pagsyng soon 

[ V. 29. The word lupplied in Italics has been loin off the II 

)#,«* by Google 


They prayd the harper kepe nun store, 
And lette us drynke a bowght, 

G ode gosyp. 
Heye the tavernere I praye the, 
Go fyll the potteys lyghtyly, 
And latte us dry[Vjke by and by, 
And lette the cupe goo route, 

Good gosyp. 

This ys the thowght that gossypes take, 
Onys in the weke they wyll merey make, 
And all smalle drynckys they wyll forsake, 
And drynke wyne of the best, 

Good gosyp. 
Some be at the taverne onys in the weke, 
And some be there every day eke, 
And ellse ther hartee will be seke, - 
And gyffe her hosbondys ewyll reste. 

Good gosyp- 

When they had dronke and mad them glad, 
And they schuld rekyn theyn they sad, 
Call they tavernere iinone they bade, 
That we were lyghtly hens, 

Good gosyp. 
I swere be god and by seynt Jayme, 
I wold notte that oure syre at home, 
QShold wy t] that we had this game, 
Notte for fourty pens, 

Good gosyp. 

), g ,:,« ^GoogIe 


Gadyr the scote and lette us wend. 
And lette ua goo home by lurctis ende, 
For dred we mete note with owre frend 
Or that we come home, 

Good gosyp. 
When they had there countes caste, 
Everyche of hem spend six pens at the last, 
Alas, cothe Scyscely, I am agnate; 
We schall be achent evrychone, 

Good gosyp. 

Fro the taveme be they all goone, 
And everyche of hem schewythe her wysdom, 
And there ache telly the her huabond anone, 
Shee had been at the chyrche, 

Gode gosyp 
Off her werke she takythe no kepe, 
Sche muste as for anowe go sclepe, 
And ells for ' angeyr * wyll sche wepe, 
She may ho werkes wurche, 

Good gosyp. 

Off her-slepe when ache clothe wake, 
Faste in hey then gan sche arake. 
And cawthe her serwantes abowte the bake, 
Yff to here they outhe had sayd, 

Good gosyp. 

[y. 88- aggeyr. MS.] 

:.,.-.■,, Cookie 


Off this proses I make an end 

Becawse I will have women to be my ffrend, 

Of there dewosyon they wold lend 

A peny for to drynke at the end, 

Oode gosyp. 100 


Frtjn the glome MS. No. 2633. 

Wolcum yol, thu mery man. 
In worchepe of this holy day. 

Wolcum be thu, hevene kyng, 
Wolcum, born in on morwenyng, 
Wolcum for bom we sal syng, 

Wolcum yol. 

Wolcum be ye Sterne and Jon, 
Wolcum Innocentea everychon, 
Wolcum Thomas martyr on, 

Wolcum yol. 

Wolcum be ye, good newe yere, 
Wolcum twelthe-day, bothe infer, 
Wolcum teyntes lef and der, 

Wolcum yol. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Wolcum be ye Candylmesse, 
Wolcum be ye qwyn of blys, 
Wolcum bothe to mor and lease, 

Wolcum yol. 

Wolcum be' ye that am her, 
Wolcum alle and mak good cher, 
Wolcum alle another yer, 

Wolcum yol. 


Sbtnt Stevene was a clerk 
In kyng Herowdes halle. 

And servyd him of bred and cloth, 
As ever kyng befalle. 

Stevyu out of kechon cam, 
Wyth boris hed on honde, 

He saw a sterr was f'ayr and bryght 
Over Bedlem stonde. 

He kyst adoun the borea hed, 
And went into the halle : 

" I forsake the, kyng * Herowde, ' 
And thi werkea alle. 

)#,«* * Google 


I forsak the, kyng ' Herowde, ' 

And thi werkes alle : 
Tlier is a chyld, in Bedlem bom, 

Is beter than we alle." 

" Quhat eylyt the, Stevene ? 

Quhat is thebefalle? 
Lakkyt the eyther mete at drynk 

In kyng Herowdea halle f" 

" Lakit me neyther mete ne drynk 

In kyng Herowdes halle : 
Ther is a chyld, in Bedlem born, 

Is beter than we alle." 
" Quhat eylyt the, Stevyn, art thu wod ? 

Or thu gynnyst to brede? 
Lakkyt the eythar gold or fe, 

Or any ryche wede?" 
" Lakyt ' me ' neyther gold ne fe, 

Ne non ryche wede; 
Ther is a chyld, in Bedlem born, 

Xal helpyn us at our nede." 
" That is al so soth, Stevyn, 

Al so soth, i wys, 
As this capon crowe ral 

That lyth her in myn dych." 

That word was not so gone seyd, 
That word in that halle, 

\VV.\l. 13. Herowdes. MS.] 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


The capon crew, Ckriitua natut ettt 
Among the tardea alle. 

" Rysyt up, myn turmentowres 

Be to and al be on, 
And ledyt Stevyn out of thia town, 

And Stonyt hym wyth ston." 

Tokyn * hem ' Stevcne, 

And stonyd hym in the -way : ' 
And therfor ia hia evyn 

On Cryates owyn day. 

From the aame MS. 

A news aong i wil begynne, 

Of kyng Edmund that was so fre, 

How he deyid withoute synne, 

And bow[n]dyn hia body was to a tre. 

Wyth arwys scharpe they guraie hym prykke, 

For non rewthe wold they lete, 
As dropys of reyn they comyn thikke, 

And every arwe with other gan mete. 

And hia hed also thei of smette, 
Among the breres thei it keat. 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


A wolf it kept witoutyn lette, 
A blynd man fond it at the last. 

Prey we to that worthi kyng 
That sufferid ded this same day, 

He aaf ub, bothe eld and yyng, 
And scheld us fro the fendes fray. 


extracted, from the " Faicti et dictt de fen maistre Jehan 

Molinet [chanoirje de Valenciennes,]" Paris, 1631, folio; under 
the title of " Recollection dee meneOlciuea advenue* en noitre 
tempi, par tree-etegant orateur mearire George ' Cbaatellain.' " 

Qui veult ouyr nouvellea 

Estranges a compter, 
Je scay lea nompareilles 

Que hommefjie] s^auroit chanter, 
Et Unites advenues 

Depuis long-temps en ca; 
Je le« ay retenueB, 

Et scay comment il va. 

Les unes §ont piteuses, 

Et pour gens esbahir ; 10 

Et les autres doubteuses, 

De meschef advenir ; 

), i:, E e ^ Google 


Les tierces sont estranges, 
Et passent sens humain, 

Aucunes en louenges, 
Autrea par autre main. 

En France la tres-belle, 

Fleur de crestiente, 
Je veiz une pucelle 

Sourdre en auctorite, 
Qui fit lever le siege 

D'Orfeans, en sea mains ; 
Pius le roy par prodiege 

Mena gacrer a Reims. 

Saincte fut aoree 

Par les oeuvres que fist ; 
Mais puis fut rencontree 

Et prise sans prouffit, 
Arse a Rouen en cendre, 

Au grant dur des Francois, 
Donnant depuis entendre 

Son revivre autres ibis. 

J'ay veu ung petit moysne 

En Romme dominer, 
Et en tres grant ensoigne 

Le pape gouvemer : 
Dont depuis l'adventure 

Fut d'estre escartell£, 
A honte et a" laidure 

Comme traistre appellr. 

), i:, E e ^ Google 


J 'ay vu ung ypocrite, 

Pour le monde preacher, 
Soy-disant carmelite, 

Et fol soy advancer 
De dire mease sainte, 

Sana de preatxise adveu ; 
Laquelle chose atteinte 

Flit condarane en feu. 

Depuia veiz en Eaooase 

Le roy ' Jacquea' meordrir, 
D'espce et de talloce, 

Et luy convint aoiurrir 
Et prendre en pacience 

A aa noble moullier, 
La roy we, qui en ce 

Prist peine a se venger. 

J'ay un due de Savoye 

Veu pape devenir, 
Ce qui fut hors de voye 

Pour a aalut venir ; 
Si en vint dure playe 

En l'esgliae de dieu, 
Mais il en reoeut paye 

A Ripaille son lieu. 

J'ay veu a la grant Rpmme 
. Meurdrir ung cardinal, 

lF.60.D«Tiil. P. C] 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Par ung faulx mauvais homme. 

Son barbier desloyal : 
Gisant en lit paisible, 

Querant sa coyete, 
Dont en tourment horrible 

II fut execute. 

J'ay puis veu sourdre en France, 

Par grant derision. 
La racine et la branche 

De toute abusion. 
Chef de l'orguejl du monde, 

Et de lubricite; 
Fenune oil tel mal habonde 

Rend povre utilite. 

Puis ay veu, par mistere 

Monter ung argentier, 
Le plus grant de la terre, 

Marchant et financier, 
Que depuis la fortune 

Veiz mourir en aril, 
Apres frauldes mainte une 

Faicte au roy par cas vil. 

J'ay veu par excellence 
Ung jeune de vingtz ana, 

Avoir toute science 
Et lea degree montans, 

Soy vantant scavoir dire 
Ce qu'oncques rut escript, 

), oi :, E ed ^ Google 


Par senile ftriz le lire, 

Coinine ung jeune * antecrist. ' 
Bar fortune senestre, 

Veia a l'oeil vivement 
Le grand due de Glocestre 

Meurdrir piteusement ; 
En via plain une cave 

Failloit qu'estrangle fust, 
Cuidant par celle estruve 

Que la tnort n'y parust. 

Ung Gilles de Bretaigne, 

Nepveu au roy Charlon, 
Vebs je, par mode estrange, 

Estrangler en prison 
Par l'adveu de bod frere, 

Dont cite devant dieu, 
Mourut de mort amere 

Tout soubdain corarae aieu. 

D'Espaigne ung conneatable 

Haultainnement regnant, 
Grant maistre redoubtable 

De Sainct- Jacques le grant, 
D'or riche oultre mesure, 

Celluy veiz-je mourir 
De mort confuse et dure, 

Ce fist son demerir. . 
Le tresor de Venige, 

Oil si grant apporta, 

), i:, E e ^ Google 


Veiz-je embler par I'emprise 
D'ung Grec, qui l'empofta ; 

Depuis ung sien compere 
■ Fiat accusation. 

Bout dommaige grant ere 
De pendreung tel larron, 

Depuis en ung province 

Trouvay ung accuseur, 
Qui me disok que ung prince 

Concha avec sa seur, 
Soubz une faulse bulle, 

Cuidant dispense avoir, 
Dont honneur le reculle- 

Et non qu'a bon debvoir. 

J'ay veu Millan conquerre 

Par ung povre routier, 
Et plus los y acquerre, 

Qu'ung roy vray heritier ; 
Se luy en est bien deue 

La gloire de l'arroy , 
Car sa vertu congneue 

Vault couronne de roy. 

J'ay veu de trois cenfcaines 

Vielle possession, 
Ezposer d'Acquitaine 

Angloise nation, 
Et Bordeaulx et Bayonne 

Prise du roy Francois 

, y Cookie 


Louenge a la couronhe . 
Qui fist »y hault exploix. 

J'ay veu Ik Nonuandie, 

Et la noble Rouen, 
Submise a la ' maiatrie ' 

Du roy et de aon ban, 
Monstrant la tea banierea 

Sur ' lea ' vielz ennemya. 
Lea quel* par armes fibres 
. Vainqueura il a remya. 

J'ay veu ung hault emprendre 

Pour advenir gratia mauls, 
De tuer et de pendre, 

Beaucoup de cardinaulx, 
Et du pape ainsy faire, 

Se dieu n'y euat pourveu, 
Estieime de Procaire * 

A Homme en fut pendu. 

J'ay veu grand' invaincu'e, 

Subjuguer a mea yards, 
D'ung prince soubz la nue 

Le plus victorieux, 
Et d'eapee mortoire 

Vaincre sea habitans, 
Dont caa de telle gloire 

Ne fut passe mil ana. 

P. C] [P. 158. le. P. CJ 

), oi :, E ed by Google 


J'ay veux extreme chose, 

Chevalier soubz trente ana 
Combatre en lice close 

Vingt-deux nobles gene, 
Par tant de foys diverges, 

Comme II y a de noma, - 
Sans foulle et sans traverse, 

Ce qu'oncques ne fiat homs. 

La cite Constantine 

Depuis veiz envabir 
De la gent Sarrazine, 

Qui la vindrent saisir, 
Et la teste copperent 

Au vieillart empereur, 
Sans ce que ailleurs monstrerent 

Mamie aultre grant horreur. 

J'ay veu une Lucrece 

En Ronune dominer, 
De Naples; non de Orece, 

Pour le pape.bonnorer, 
Aller au devant d'elle 

Cardinaulx et prelatz, 
Et ay n'estoit que ancelle 

Du roy, pour son sou las. 

J'ay veu roy de Honguerie 

Faire preparement 
De haulte drurie, 

Trea glorieusement, 

)#,«* by Google 


Qui attendoit la chore 

Da nuptial atour ; 
Trouve fut mort en biere, 

Ne agayt-on par quel tour?- 

Luy mort, prit la couronne 

Le fibs d'ung compaignon, 
Vertueiise peraonne, 

Et de trea grant renom ; 
Ainsi royal ' racine 

Prist la son dernier plong, 
Et la basse origine 

Monta en royal tronc. 

J'ay veu 1'aisnc de France 

Fuytif de son aourgeon, 
Venir prendre umbroiance 

Soubz le due Bourguignon, 
Et le mettre en couronne 

Non gueres biens venu ; 
Dieu congnoist en aon throsne 

S'il l'a bien recongneu. 

J'ay veu peuple confondre, 

Et royaulme trembler, 
Chaateaulx et villes fondre, 

Et citez abiamer, 
Craventer les egliaea, 

Fendana toutea parray, 
En Naploises pourpriees, 

Ce fiat ce grant ay my. 

D, gl :,« ^Google 


.Fay veu descendre en France 

Anglais encontre Angles, 
Pat contrainte et puissance, 

Four contendre au posses, 
Pour Cales et pour Guinea, 

Ce flit tout cest eameu ; 
Ce sont estranges signes, 

Le cas bien entendu. 

Passant par Engleterre 

Je veu en grant tourment, 
Les seigneurs de la terre 

S'entretuer torment, 
Avec ung tel deluge. 

Qui cueura eabahissoit, 
Qu' a peine y eut refuge 

Ou mort n'apparoiasoit. 

Ung nouveau roy creerent, 

Par despiteux vouloir, 
Le vieil en debouterent, 

Et son legitime hoir, 
Qui fuytyf alia prendre 

D'Escoase le garand, 
De tous siecles le mendre, 

Et le plus tollerant. 

J'ay veu en grant fortune 

Une dea fleura de lis 
Tenir en prison brune, 

En tres povres delictz, 

■-.,- Google 


Prive de Bcigneurie 
Et de royal honneur, 

Dont 1b gloir e peri e 
Est en aa prime fleur. 

De Cypre la couronne 

Ay je veu emprunter 
Au chef de Babilone, 

Pour le roy en jecter ; 
Bastard est et d'esgllse 

Cclluy qui le maintient, 
Et n'a eompte a reprise, 

Ny a mal qui en vient 

La royne veiz deecendre 

Dedans le m&rin cours, 
Par ung ardant contendre 

Vers France pour secours. 
Qui depuis fut pillee, 

Et mis au sacqueman, 
Par pillars de Gallee 

Du port Venician. 

J'ay veu de deux royaulmes 

Deux roys contemporains, 
Confesser en leur aiues 

Haulx motz et souverains, 
De tenir leur couronne, 

Et leur pourpre vestu, ' 
D'une senile personne, 

Le grant due de Vertu, 



J'ay ung roy de Cecille 

Veu devenir berger, 
Et la fenune gentille 

De ce propre meatier, 
Portant la pennetitre, 

La houllete et chappeau, 
Logeant sur la bruyere, 

Aupres de leur troppeau. 

J'ay veu de Georgie 

Et du hault orient, 
De Perse et d'Armenie, 

Diverse estrange gent, 
Mesme d' ung infidelle 

Transmettre au roy Charlon, 
Four luy dormer querelle 

Contra le Turc felon. 

Le hault due de Bourgoigne 

Fort Wen le recoeillit, 
Dont 1'oeuvre aasez tesmoigne 

Quel honneur il leur fist 
L'honneur fut si profonde 

Et de si haultain faict, 
Que jusques au bout du monde 

La memoire s'en fait 

J'ay veu deux ' fois ' commettes 

Manifester au del, 
Et d'estranges pianettes 

Plus ameres que fiel, 

[P. 313, trois, P. C) 



Dont 1 es fins non congneues 
Stmt d'eabahisaement, 

E t de non ad venues 

N'est nul vray jugemenL 

J'ay veu chose mhumaine 

Et cruelle, en la foy, 
Tuer a force pleine 

Gens d'eglise a desroy ; 
La cite de Mayence 

En est tournee en feu 
Et a si grelVe oultrance, 

Que oncques tel mal ne fu. 

O ! hault due, plein de gloire 

Et vous, son noble filz! 
Ceste brefve mi-moire, 

De tant de divers dis, 
Ay fait en vox louanges, 

D'ung cueur non vermolut ; 
II plaise au roy des ' anges ' 

Qu'il vous tourne a salut- 

J'ay veu dure vieillesse. 

Qui me vint tourmenter, 
Se fault que je delaisse 

I/escripre et le dieter, 
En rime telle quelle, 

Puisque je vois mourant ; 
Molinbt, mon sequelle, 

Fera le demourant 

[ V, 335. Angdi. P. C] 

), g ,:,« ^Goo§Ie 



He that will hear of marvela strange 

As story e'er enroll'd, 
Of me shall learn such matchless change 

As ne'er in song was told. 
Each wondrous hap since first my eyes 

The living light did view, 
From memorys faithful treasuries 

I know to tell it true. 

And some are piteous all to know, 

And draw the listeners tears ; 10 

And some that augur future woe, 
. Impress with boding fears ; 
Of some the dark mysterious maze 

Exceeds our human skill ; 
And some record the herns praise. 

And some the felons ill. 

* The prelect editor had the honour of being originally engaged 
by hie relation and friend to render this rude chronicle into English 
rhime; ■ talk which he willingly resigned to abler hands. The 
version here given was not however found amongst Mr. Ritaona 
manuscripts after his death, though undertaken at his request, but 
has been since obligingly communicated by die author. 

)#,«* by Google 


All in fair Prance, that lovely land, 

The flower of Christentie, 
I saw lead on an armed band 

A maid of low degree ; 
I saw her sweep the siege away, 

Which girt fair Orleans round ; 
By her in Rheims' cathedral grey 

I saw her monarch crown" d. 

I saw her as a saint adored, 

Who broke her country* chain ; 
Yet, changeful fortune of the sword! 

At length I saw her ta'en. 
Mourn, Gallia, mourn ! from Ron ens walls 

Her death-smoke Mots the skies ; 
Yet, when again her country calls. 

The martyred maid shall rise. 

And next I saw a petty friar 

Assume the sacred sway, 
And dictate to our holy sire, 

And bid the church obey. 
The saucy priest, his power down-bome, 

Incurr'd a traitors doom ; 
His loathsome corpse in quarters shorn 

Defiled the streets of Rome. 

I saw a feigned Carmelite 

Roam through the land to preach ; 
And there the frantic hypocrite 

Foul heresy did teach ; 

)#,«* * Google 


Unlicensed by the priestly name. 

The holy mass he sung ; 
For which upon a pile of flame 

Convicted he was flung. 

Even in fair Scotland's kingly hall 

I saw her royal lord] 
The gallant Stuart, butcher' d, fall. 

By halberd and by sword. 
Vainly his lovely contort strove 

To ward their traiterous blows ( 
Yet well, though late, her injured love 

Wreaked vengeance on his foes. 

I saw proud Savoy strive to seize, 

With ill-considered aim, 
The Roman pontiffs holy keys 

And triple diadem. 
Irregular ambitions wiles 

Dealt holy church a wound ;. 
For which, long after, at Repailles, 

The duke his guerdon found. 

At Rome I saw an ancient, grave, 

And pious cardinal 
Murder' d by a domestic slave. 

Within his palace hall-. 
Him on his peaceful couch, at noon. 

The faithless ruffian slew ; 
For which in many a torment soon 

He paid the vengeance due. ' 

)#,«* by Google 


"Midst hoots of shame I saw, in France, 

With boughs in triumph borne. 
The root of all abuse advance, 

The nations plague and scorn ; 
A female fiend, whose pride and lust 

Exceed all earthly measure ; 
From such a stem could spring, I trust, 

Small profit and small pleasure. 80 

And next I saw, by secret means, 

A money-broker rise ; 
In trade and lucres sordid scenes 

Was none so wondrous wise ; 
I saw him too in exile die, 

His fortune chang'd and gone, 
Because full often fraudfully 
' His craft had robb'd the throne. 

A youth of twenty years, no more, 

A wondrous sight to see, QQ 

I saw attain each varied lore, 

And win each learn' d degree. 
Whate'er his eye had once perused 

His tongue could say again ; 
But the young antichrist abused 

His gifts in science vain. 

Then saw I well duke Glo'ster reel. 

And hurled from on high, 
Crush 'd beneath fortunes restless wheel, 

By felon murder die. 100 

)#,«* by Google 


Immersed within the luscious tun 
The villains choak'd his breath, 

That wine quafTd on till life was gone, 
Might drown the sense of death, 

I saw the nephew of king Charles, 

Sir Giles of Britany, 
Spite of his birth from ancient earls, 

A strangled captive die. 
Such was his cruel brothers doom, 

Who cited from on high, 
By ways as wondrous, to the tomb *■ 

Was brought as suddenly. 

Grand master of saint James's knights 

I saw triumphant reign 
Alvarez, in his haughty might. 

High constable of Spain ; 
Not all the barons hoarded wealth, 

Not all his power and state, 
Could shield him, when crept on by stealth 

His dark and doubtful fate. 

I saw the wealth which Venice piles 

In piles, where long it lay, 
By a shrewd Grecians crafty wiles 

Bereft and borne away ; 
Doom'd I saw the thief, detected 

By his comrades treachery, 
On a gibbet high erected. 

Far too mild a death to die. 

)#,«* * Google 


A distant province next I saw. 

Where stern accusers said 130 

How that their prince, 'gainst natures law, 

Defiled hit sisters bed ; 
In Tain a forged bull he pleads, 

To screen a crime so foul, 
For honour spurns his vicious deeds, 

And conscience wrings his soul. 

I saw a poor adventurers prise 

Lie conqiier'd Milan fair ; 
More honour gain'd his high emprise 

Than if the rightful heir. 140 

To the bold knight is justly due 

Such tribute of renown ; 
His valour, known the nations through, 

Might grace a kingly crown. 

I saw the English race expeU'd 

From fruitful Aquitaine, 
Which, for three hundred years, they held 

Their ancient rich domain ; 
And Bayonne fiur and Bordeaux, now. 

The king of France has won : 150 

Praise to the monarchs laurell'd brow 

By whom such deeds are done. 

Eke have I seen fair Normandy 

To France's crown restored ; 
And Rouens turrets blaze on high 

The banners of her lord ; 

)#,«* by Google 


Against the ancient enemy 

Defiance now they wave : 
Such are the fruits of victory 

By France's conquering glaive. 160 

I saw devised in Roman walls 

A plot of horror dread, 
To murder holy cardinals. 

And seize the churches head ; 
But god, who made hie church his care, 

Soon quell'd the enemy ; 
And daring Stephen de Procaire 

Did on the gallows die. 

Old Ghent, invincible esteem' d, 

I saw it storm'd and won 170 

By one, the most victorious deem'd 

Beneath the rolling sun. 
The town was given to the flame. 

The people to the sword ; 
No deed of such deserved fame 

Snail ages ten afford. 

I saw within a listed field 

A noble youth contend 
'Gainst twenty-two, with spear and shield. 

To vanquish or defend. 180 

So many noble knights were there. 

So many faiths they bore ; 
A field so strange, And fought so fair, 

Shall ne'er be heard of more. 

iffia* * Google 


I saw the seat of Constantine 

Storm' d by a heathen host ; 
Destroy 'd, alas I her ancient line, 

Her ancient honours lost. 
The aged emperor of Greece 

The caitiff' miscreants slew; 190 

But let the tale of horror cease, 

Nor vain regrets renew. 

And I have seen a fair Lucrece 

Unbounded homage claim ; 
Of Naples she, and not of Greece, 

And least of Roman fame. 
- Proud priests and prelates, roanv a one. 

Came bending to her knee ; 
Yet but a- rampant courtezan. 

To speak the sooth, was she. 200 

I saw the king of Hungary 

His marriage feast prepare, 
And celebrate his nuptials high, 

With princely pomp and care. 
The wedding cheer was richly dight, 

The bridal couch was spread ; 
But on that couch lay stretch'd at night 

The royal bridegroom dead. 

And after him I saw arise 

A wandering soldiers son ; 210 

By feats of worth and bold emprise 

The kingdom he has won. 

)#,«* * Google 


Thus fail'd the ancient royal root, 
Its branches shrunk and gone, 

And thus a foreign lowly shoot 
Was grafted on the throne. 

The first of France's royal line 

I saw his kindred flee, 
And shelter seek beneath the vine 

Of ducal Burgundy; 
A royal crown, back'd by his aid, 

Unhappily he won ; 
But god be judge how he repaid 

The mighty service done. 

On Naples' fair and fertile coast 

I saw the firm earth rend, 
Towns, castles, cities, sunk and lost 

Through the dark gulph descend. 
The column \l churches rock'd and reel'd, 

The air with flames was red, 
A trembling people pray'd and kneel'd. 

For earthly hope was fled. 

I saw even in the land of France 

Full many an English lord 
'Gainst English bosoms couch the lance, 

And wield the civil sword ; 
For Calais and for Gaines' they fought : 

Such discord dire and strange 
Within a hostile land, methought, 

Must bode some wondrous change. 

)#,«* ^-Google 


I turn'd my eyes to England* soil, 

'Twos slaughter over all ; 
In mutual fight and wild turmoil 

I saw her mightiest falL 
To tell how wide the whirlwind reign'd 

Would chill your soul with fcara ; 
No spot in all the land remain'd 

Undrench'd by blood and tears. 

In high despiteoui wilful mood, 

Another king they chow ; 
Their aged monarch, mild and good. 

Took refuge with his foes. 
To Scotlands kind, though hostile, coast 

With his young heir he came ; 
Scotland that can for ages boast 

Her hospitable fame. 

A royal fleur-de-lis of France 

I saw in dungeon thrown ; 
By fickle fate and fell mischance 

His honours past and gone. 
His princely state and seignorie 

Were reft before the time ; 
Of France the royal fleur-de-lis 

Has perish 'd ere the prime. 

I saw the crown of Cyprus' isle 

To a proud soldan lent, 
Of Babylon the tyrant vile, 

Her king to exile sent ; 

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Of holy church a bastard bold, 

All reckless of the end, 
I saw him the foul deed uphold, 

Nor care for foe nor friend. 

The queen of Cyprus next I saw 

Through ocean plow her way ; 
From France some succours meet to draw 

To fence the christian fay. 
But still her evil fates pursue, 

From watery Venice came, 
Of loose corsairs a lawless crew, 

Who robh'd the royal dame. 

Two monarchs whom two kingdoms own 

I saw high worth avow, 
And swear before one power alone 

Their royalty should bow. 
They own'd one master, and no more, 

For him to wield the sword, 
Of him to hold their crowns they swore, 

Fair Virtues sovereign lord. 

Sicilias monarch have I seen 

Assume the shepherd swain, 
And tending, with his lovely queen, 

Their sheep upon the plain. 
The shepherds hat, the shepherds hook, 

The shepherds cloak they wear, 
And rest at eve beside the brook 

Amid their fleecy care. 

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And stranger men of eastern lands, 

From climes remote, I saw, 
From Georgian hills and Persian sands, 

And old Armenia ; 300 

Both christian chiefs, and heathen too 

Who Mahounds maxims hold, 
Against the tyrant Turk did sue 

For aid to Charles the Bold. 

Of Burgundy the noble duke 

Received them wondrous well) 
And honour'd them, as word and look, 

But best his actions, tell. 
For them he did such actions high, 

And honour so profound, 310 

The memory shall never die, 

Till the last trumpet sound. 

And I have seen strange signs in heaven 

Of wondrous blazing stars, 
Wnose fiery trains have signal given 

Of bitter plagues and wars. 
To seek what evils they portend 

In vain we may explore ; 
Enough for us to wait the end, 

And trembling to adore. 330 

And have I seen a savage scene 
In Christendom display'd ; 

For holy churchmen have I seen 
Fall by the bloody blade. 

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In fair Mayencc, to flames a prey. 

Such outrage foul was done 
As never, till that direful day. 

Was witness' d by the sun. 

High duke, in whom we glory all. 

And thou, his son so bold, 
Accept this brief memorial 

Of deeds which I have told. 
Framed for your lesson and your praise, 

In heart devoid of flaw, 
Heaven grant ye from my humble lays 

The wholesome moral draw. 

And now chill age, I see, is nigh, 

To freeze my future time. 
And check my hand and dim my eye. 

For record or for rhime ; 
Last, last of all, stem death I see 

To shut the scene draw near — 
The sequel, Molinet, from thee 

The listening world shall hear. 


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)#,«* by Google 


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)#,«* by Google