ページの画像
PDF
[blocks in formation]

These three men went at God's will,
This wicked sew while they come till,

Liggan 1 under a tree;
Rage and rusty was ber haire ;
She raise ber up with a felon fare,

To fight against the three.

She was so grisley for to meete,
She rave the earth up with her feete,

And bark came fro the tree;
When Fryar Middleton ber saagh,
Weet ye well he might not laugh,

Full earnestly look't bee.

She was as brim as any beare,
For all their meete to labour there,

To them it was no boote:
Upon tress and bushes that by her stood,
She ranged as she was wood,"

And rave them up by roote.
He said, Alas, that I was frear!
And I shall be rugged " in sunder here,

Hard is my destinie!
Wist's my brethren in this houre,
That I was sett in snch a stoure, 14

They would pray for me..
This wicked beast that wrought this woe,
Took that rape from the other two,

And then they fledd all three ; They fledd away by Watling-streete, They had no succour but their feet,

It was the more piuy. The feild it was both lost and wonne;" The sew went hame, and that full soone,

To Morton on the Greene; When Ralph of Rokeby saw the rape, " He wist" that there had been debate,

Whereat the sew bad beene.

These men of aupters that was so wight, 19 They bound them bauldly 28 for to fight,

And strike at her full sare ; Catill a kila they carred ber flee, Would God send them the victory,

They would ask him noa mare. The sew was in the kiln bole down, As they were on the balko aboon, 1

Fors hurting of their feet; They were so saulted 23 with this sow, That among them was a stalworth stew,

Tbe kiloe began to recke.
Darst noe man beigb ber with his hand,
But put a rape 4 down with his wand,

And haltered her full meete;
They hurled her forth against her will,
Wbiles tbey came unto a hill

A little fro the streete.23

He bad them stand out of her way, For she had had a sudden fray,

I saw never so keene ;

And there sbe made them such a fray, If they should live to Doomes-day,

They tharrów * it ne'er forgett;

Sow, according to provincial pronunciation.
S; Yorkshire dialect.

• Fele, mapy, Sax.
* A corruption of quell, to kill. $ More, greater.
• Vet.

Alive. Along the side of Greta, • Barn, child, man in general. From. a Make.

11 Since. * Flerce as a bear. Mr Whitaker's copy reads, perhaps in conse49 of mistaking ibe MS-T other was Bryan of Bear. * Seed were. Mr Whitaker reads inusleri, 4 Lying. T' A Aeree countenance or manner.

15 Saw. * Wight, brave. The Rokeby MS. reads incounters, and Mr Whitwer, a cestora.

* Boldly. 1. On the beam above. 22 To prevent. 25 Assaulted. ** Rope.

* Watling-street; see the sequel. 36 Dare.

1 Rusbed.

Leave it.

Pells. * This line is wanting in Mr Whitaker's copy, whence it has been conjectured that something is wanting after this stanza, which now there is no occasion to suppose. 5 Evil device. Blessed, Fr.

Lost his colour. • Sheltered himself. Fierce.

10 The MS. reads to labour weere. The text seems to mean that all their labour to obtain their intended meat was of no use to them. Mr Whitaker reads,

She was as brim as any boar,
And gare a grisly hideous roar,

To them it was no boot.
Besides the want of connexion between the last line and the two
former, the second has a very modern sound, and the reading of the
Rokeby MS, with the slight alteration in the text, is much better.

1 Mad. 12 Torn, pulled. 13 Knew + Combat, perilous fight.

15 This stanza, with the two following, and the fragment of a fourth, are not in Mr Whitaker's edition. 15 The rope about the sow's Rock,

» Koew.

Some new things shall we beare Of her and Middleton the frear,

Some battell bath there beene.

. We shall for you pray, sing, and read To doomesday with bearty speede,

With all our progeny..
Then the letters well was made,
Bands bound with sea les brade,

As doedes of armes sbould be.

But all that served him for nought,
Had they not better succour sought,

They were served therefore loe.
Tben Mistress Rokeby came anon,
And for her brought shee meate full soone,

The sow came her unto.

These men of armes weere soe wight,
With armour and with brandes bright,

They went this sew to see;
She made on them slike a rerd,
That for ber tbey were sare aferd,

And almost bound to flee.

She gave her meate upon the flower.

(Hiatus valde defiendus)

When Fryer Middleton came home,
His brethren was full fain ilkone,?

And thanked God of his life;
He told them all up to the end,
How he had foughten with a fiend,

And lived through mickle strife. . We gave him battell half a day, And sithen' was fain to fly away,

For saving of our life.
And Pater Dale would never blinn,
But as fast as he could ryo,

Till he came to his wife.,
The warden said, I am full woe,
That ever you should be torment so,

But wee with you bad beene!
Had wee been there your brethren all,
Wee sbould have garred the warle? fall,

That wrought you all this teyne."
Fryer Middleton said soon, Nay.
In faith you would have fled away,

When most mistero had been;
You will all speake words at hame,
A man will ding " you every ilk ane,

And if it be as I weine.
He look't so griesly all that night,
The warden said, . Yon mon will fight

If you say ought but good : Yon guest" bath grieved him so sare, Hold your tongues and speak noe mare,

He looks as he were wood..
The warden waged " on the morne,
Two boldest men that ever were borne,

I weine, or ever shall be ;
The one was Gilbert Griffin's son,
Full mickle worship has he wonne,

Both by land and sea.
The other was a bastard son of Spain,
Many a Sarazin bath he slain,

His dint') hath gart them die.
These two men the battle undertooke
Against the sew, as says the booke,

And sealed security, That they should boldly bide and fight, And skomfit her in maine and might,

Or therefore should they die. The warden sealed to them againe, And said, «In field if ye be slain,

This condition make 1:

She came roveing them againe;
That saw the bastard son of Spaine,

He braded out his brand;
Full spiteously at her he strake,
For all the fence that he could make,

She gat sword out of band;
And rave in sunder half his sbielde,
And bare him backward in the fielde,

He might not ber gainstand.
She would have riven his privich geare,
Bat Gilbert with his sword of werre,

He strake at ber full strong,
On ber shoulder till sbe held the sword;
Then was good Gilbert sore aferd,

When the blade brake in throng.
Since in his hands he hath her tane,
She tooke him by the shoulder bane,

And beld her hold fall fast,
She strave so stiffy in that stower,
That thorough all his rich armour

The blood came at the last,
Then Gilbert grieved was sea sare,
That he rave off both hide and baire.

The flesh came fro the bone:
And all with force he felled her there,
And wan her worthily in werre,

And band her hame alone.
And lift her on a horse sea hee,
Into two panyers well made of a tree,

And to Richmond they did bay:
When they saw ber come,
They sang merrily Te Deum,

The fryers on that day."
They thanked God and St Francis,
As they had won the beast of pris,

And never a man was slaine :
There did never a man more manly,
Knight Marcus, nor yet Sir Gai,

Nor Loth of Louthayne."
If ye will any more of this,
In the fryars of Richmond 't is

In parchment good and fine ;
And how Fryer Middleton that was so kend."
At Greta-bridge conjured a fieod

In likeness of a swine.
It is well known to many a man,
That Fryer Theobald was warden than,

And this fell in his time;
And Christ them bless both farre and neare,
All that for solace list this to heare,

And him that made the rhime.
Ralph Rokeby with full good will,
The Fryers of Richmond he gave ber till

This sew to mend their fare:
Fryer Middleton by his name,
Would needs bring the fat sew hame,

That rued him since fall sare.

[ocr errors]

This line is almost illegible.

• Each one. Since then, after that. • The above lines are wanting in Mr Whitaker's copy. » Cease, stop.

6 Run.

? Warlock, or wizard.

Need. 10 Beat. The copy in Mr Whitaker's History of Craven reads, perhaps better,

The fend would ding you down ilk one. " Yon guest may be yon gest, i.e. that adventure; or it may ! mean yon ghaist, or apparition, which in old poems is applied sometimes to what is supernaturally hideous. The printed copy reads, The beast bath, etc.

" Hired, a Yorkshire phrase. " Blow.

"Broad, large. • Such like a roar.

Drew bal. 4 In the combat.

. Done.

Meeting, bearbe ? Hie, hasten. $ The MS. reads mistakenly every day.

Price. 10 The father of Sir Gawain, in the romance of Arthur and Merlin The MS. is thus corrupted,

More loth of Louth Ryme. " Well kdown, or perhaps kind, well disposed.

Note 4. Stapza x. .

had at the fyrst to cause them to weare gownes of sylke, The Filea of O'Neale was he.

furred with myneuere and gray; for before these kynges The Filea, or Ollamh Re Dan, was the proper bard, thought themselfe well apparelled whan they had on a #ty as the name literally implies, poet. Each chieftain mantell. They rode always without saddles and styif distinction had one or more in his service, whose ropes, and with great payne I made them to ride after office was usually hereditary. The late ingenious Mr our usage.»—LORD BERNERS' Froissart, Lond. 1812. 4to. Casper Walker has assembled a curious collection of II, 621. particulars concerning this order of men in his His- The influence of these bards upon their patrons, and lorical Memoirs of the Irish Bards. There were itinerant their admitted title to interfere in matters of the bards of less elevated rank, but all were held in the weightiest concern, may be also proved from the behighest veneration. The English, who considered them haviour of one of them at an interview between Thomas a chief supporters of the spirit of national indepen- Fitzgerald, son of the Earl of Kildare, then about to deace, were much disposed to proscribe this race of renounce the English allegiance, and the Lord Chan

els, as Edward I. is said to have done in Wales. cellor Cromer, who made a long and goodly oration to Spenser, while he admits the merit of their wild poetry, dissuade him from his purpose. The young lord had 15 avouring of sweet wit and good invention, and come to the council carmed and

come to the council a armed and weaponed, and nakled with some pretty flowers of their natural de-attended by seven score horsemen in their shirts of rices vet rigorously condemns the whole application mail: and we are assured that the chancellor, having of their poetry, as abased to «the gracing of wicked | set forth his oration « with such a lamentable action as Des and vice. The household minstrel was admitted his cheeks were all beblubbered with teares, the horseson to the feast of the prince whom he served, and men, namelie, such as understood not English, began wat at the same table. It was one of the customs of to diuine what the lord-chancelor meant with all this Tlucha Sir Richard Sewry, to whose charge Richard II. long circumstance; some of them reporting that he committed the instruction of four Irish monarchs in was preaching a sermon, others said that he stood the civilization of the period, found it most difficult to making of some heroicall poetry in the praise of the break his royal disciples, though he had also much ado Lord Thomas. And thus as every ideot shot his foolish to sabject them to other English rules, and particularly bolt at the wise chancellor his discourse, who in effect lo reconcile them to wear breeches. « The kyng, my did nought else but drop pretious stones before hogs, Stancverigne lords entent was, that in maner, counte-one Bard de Nelan, an Irish rithmour, and a rotten munce, and apparell of clothyng, they sholde use ac- sheepe to infect a whole flocke, was chatting of Irish cording to the maner of Englande, for the kyoge verses, as though his toong had run on pattens, in thought to make thern all four knyghtes: they had a commendation of the Lord Thomas, investing him favre house to lodge in, in Duvelyn, and I was charged with the title of Silken Thomas, bicause his horsemens to abyde styll with them, and not to departe; and so jacks were gorgeously imbrodered with silke: and in two or three dayes I suffered them to do as they lyst, the end he told him that he lingered there ouer long. and sayde nothyng to them, but folowed their owne Whereat the Lord Thomas being quickened,»! as appetytes; they wolde sytte at the table, and make Hollinshed expresses it, bid defiance to the chancellor, countenance nother good nor fayre. Than I thought I threw down contemptuously the sword of office, shulde cause them to chaunge that maner; they wolde which, in his father's absence, he held as deputy, and cause their mynstrells, their seruauntes, and varlettes to rushed forth to engage in open insurrection. sytle with them, and to eate in their owne dyssche, and

Note 5. Stanza x. te drinke of their cuppes; and they shewed me that the

Ab, Clandeboy! thy friendly floor, ssage of their countre was good, for they sayd in all

Slieve-Donard's oak shall ligbt no more. | Chyngs (except their beddes) they were and lyved as

Clandeboy is a district of Ulster, formerly possessed comen. So the fourthe day I ordayned other tables

by the sept of the O'Neales, and Slieve-Donard a roto be couered in the hall, after the usage of Englande,

mantic mountain in the same province. The clan was and I made these four knyghtes to sytte at the hyghe

ruined after Tyrone's great rebellion, and their places table, and their mynstrels at another borde, and their

of abode laid desolate. The ancient Irish, wild and unxruzantes and varlettes at another byneth them,

cultivated in other respects, did not yield even to their whereof by semynge they were displeased, and beheld

descendants in practising the most free and extended each other, and wolde not eate, and sayde, how I wolde

hospitality, and doubtless the bards mourned the decay I take fro them their good usage, wherein they had been

of the mansions of their chiefs in strains similar to the Borished. Then I answered them smylyng, to apeace

verses of the British Llywarch Hen on a similar occather, that it was not honourable for their estates to

sion, which are affecting, even through the discouraging 1 do as they dyde before, and that they must leave it,

medium of a literal translation:, and use the custom of Englande, and that it was the kynges pleasure they shulde do so, and how he was Silent-broathing gale, long wilt thou be heard ! charged so to order them. Whan they harde that, they

There is scarcely another deserving praise,

Since Crien is no more. suffred it, bycause they had putte themselfe under the obeysance of the kynge of Englande, and parceuered in

Many a dog ibat scepted well the prey, and aerial hawk,

Have been trained on this floor the same as long as I was with them; yet they had one

Before Erlloon became polluted ... se which I knew was well used in their countre, and

This bearth, ab, will it not be covered with nettles ! that was, they dyde were no breches; I caused breches

Whilst its defender lived, of lynen clothe to be made for them. Whyle I was

More congenial to it was tho foot of the needy petitioner. with them I caused them to leaue many rude thynges, 1 as well in clothyog as in other causes. Moche ado I IIOLLINSOED, Lond. 1808. 4to. vol. VI, p. 391.

This hearth, will it not be covered with green sod!

Note 7. Stanza xiv. To the lifetime of Owain and Elphin,

--Hawthornden. Its ample cauldron boiled the prey taken from the foe.

Drummond of Hawthornden was in the zenith of This hearth, will it not be covered with toad-stools!

his reputation as a poet during the civil wars. He died, Around the viand it prepared, more cheering was

in 1649 The clattering sword of the fierce dauntless warrior.

Note 8. Stanza xiv.
This hearth, will it not be overgrown with spreading brambles !
Till now logs of burning wood lay on it,

Mac-Curtin's harp.
Accustomed to prepare the gifts of Reged !

« Mac-Cartin, hereditary Ollamh of North Munster, This hearth, will it not be covered with thorns !

and Filea to Donough, Earl of Thomond, and President More congenial on it would have been the mixed group

of Munster. This nobleman was amongst those who I Of Owain's social friends united in harmony.

were prevailed upon to join Elizabeth's forces. Soon This bearth, will it not be covered over with the ants !

as it was known that he had basely abandoned the inMore adapted to it would have been the bright torches

terests of his country, Mac-Curtin presented an adukAnd harmless festivities !

tory poem to Mac-Carthy, chief of South Munster, and This hearth, will it not be covered with dock-leaves!

of the Eugenian line, who, with O'Neil, O'Donnel, Lary. More congenial on its floor would have been The mead, and the talking of wine-cheer'd warriors.

and others, were deeply engaged in protecting their

violated country. In this poem he dwells with rapture This hearth, will it not be turned up by the swine !

on the courage and patriotism of Mac-Carthy; but the More congenial to it would have been the clamour of men, And the circling horns of the banquet.

verse that should (according to an established lay of Heroic Elegies of Llywarch Hen, by Owen, the order of the bards) be introduced in the praise of Lond. 1792, 8vo. p. 41.

O'Brien, he turns into severe satire:- How am I af flicted (says he), that the descendant of the great Bries

Boiromh cannot furnish me with a theme worthy the The ball of Cynddylan is gloomy this night,

honour and glory of his exalted race! Lord Thornood, Without fire, without bedI must woep aw bile, and then be silent!

hearing this, vowed vengeance on the spirited bard, who

fled for refuge to the county of Cork. One day, ab The hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night, Without fire, without candle

serving the exasperated nobleman and his equipage at Except God doth, who will endue me with patience ?

a small distance, he thought it was in vain to fly, and

pretended to be suddenly seized with the pangs of 1 Tbe hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night, Without fire, without being lighted

death ; directing his wife to lament over him, and tels Be tbou encircled with spreading silence !

his lordship that the sight of him, by awakeaing the

sense of his ingratitude, had so much affected him that The hall of Cynddylan, gloomy seems its roof, Since the sweet smile of humanity is no more

he could not support it; and desired her at the same Woe to him that saw it, if he neglects to do good!

time to tell his lordship that he entreated, as a dying The hall of Cynddylan, art thou not bereft of thy appearance !

request, his forgiveness. Soon as Lord Thomond arTby shield is in the grave;

rived, the feigned tale was related to him. The nobleWhilst he lived there was no broken roof!

man was moved to compassion, and not only declared The hall of Cynddylan is without love this night,

that he most heartily forgave him, but, opening his Since be that owned it is no more

purse, presented the fair mourner with some picces to Ah, death! it will be but a short time he will leave me!

inter him. This instance of his lordship's pity and geThe hall of Cynddylan is pot easy this night,

nerosity gave courage to the trembling bard, who, sud. } On the top of the rock of Hydwyth,

denly springing up, recited an extemporaneoas ode in Without its lord, without company, without the circling feasts!

praise of Donough, and re-entering into his service, bei The hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night,

came once more his favourite.»— WALKER'S Memoirs of Without fire, without songs

the Irish Bards, Lond. 1786, 4to. p. 141. Tears afflict the cheeks! The ball of Cyaddylan is gloomy this night,

Note 9. Stanza rv. Without fire, without family

The ancient English miastrel's dress. My overflowing tears cash out!

Among the entertainments presented to Elizabeth ar

Kenilworth Castle, was the introduction of a persoa de The hall of Cynddylan pierces me to see it, Without a covering, without fire

signed to represent a travelling minstrel, who enter My general dead, and I alive myself!

tajned her with a solemn story out of the Acts of King The ball of Cynddylan is the seat of chill grief this night, Arthur. Of this person's dress and appearance Master After the respect I experienced ;

Lancham has given us a very accurate account, trao Without the men, without the women, wbo reside there!

ferred by Bishop Percy to the preliminary disunatios The ball of Cynddylan is silent this nicht,

on minstrels, prefixed to his Reliques of Ancient Poetry. After losing its master

vol. I. The great merciful God, what shall I do?

Ibid. p. 77.

Note 1o. Stanza xxvii.

---Littlecot-ball. Note 6. Stanza xii.

The tradition from which the ballad is founded was - Marwood-chase and Toller-hill.

supplied by a friend, whose account I will not do thue" Marwood-chase is the old park extending along the injustice to abridge, as it contains an admirable pac Durham side of the Tees, attached to Barnard Castle ture of an old English hall:Toller-hill is an eminence on the Yorkshire side of the Liule-cot house stands in a low and lonely situs river, commanding a superb view of the ruins. tion. On three sides it is surrounded by a park tra&.

preads over the adjoining hill; on the fourth, by mea- were the lady on whose account she had been sent for, ows which are watered by the river Kennet. Close on and a man of a haughty and ferocious aspect. The ne side of the house is a thick grove of lofty trees, lady was delivered of a fine boy. Immediately the loog the verge of which runs one of the principal ave- man commanded the midwife to give him the child, ves to it through the park. It is an irregular building and catching it from her, he hurried across the room, f great antiquity, and was probably erected about the and threw it on the back of the fire, that was blazing ime of the termination of feudal warfare, when defence in the chimney. The child, however, was strong, and anne no longer to be an object in a country mansion. by its struggles rolled itself off upon the hearth, when Larry circumstances, however, in the interior of the the ruffian again seized it with fury, and, in spite of house, seem appropriate to feudal times. The hall is the intercession of the midwife, and the more piteous ery spacious, floored with stones, and lighted by large entreaties of the mother, thrust it under the grate, and, ransom windows, that are clothed with casements. Its raking the live coals upon it, soon put an end to its malls are bung with old military accoutrements, that life. The midwife, after spending some time in affordhave long been left a prey to rust. At one end of the ing all the relief in her power to the wretched mother, ball is a ringe of coats of mail and helmets, and there was told that she must begone. Her former conductor i on every side abundance of old-fashioned pistols and appeared, who a gain bound her eyes, and conveyed her curs, many of them with matchlocks. Immediately behind him to her own home: he then paid her handbelow the cornice hangs a row of leathern jerkins, made somely, and departed. The midwife was strongly agito the form of a shirt, supposed to have been worn as tated by the horrors of the preceding night; and she armour by the vassals. A large oak table, reaching nearly immediately made a deposition of the fact before the from one end of the room to the other, might have magistrate. Two circumstances afforded hopes of defeasted the whole neighbourhood, and an appendage to tecting the house in which the crime had been comoge end of it made it answer at other times for the old mitted ; one was, that the midwife, as she sate by the game of shuffle-board. The rest of the furniture is in bedside, had, with a view to discover the place, cut out a suitable style, particularly an arm-chair of cumbrous a piece of the bed-curtain, and sewn it in again; the vorkmanship, constructed of wood, curiously turned, other was, that as she had descended the staircase, she with a high back and triangular seat, said to have been had counted the steps. Some suspicions fell upon one wed by Judge Popham in the reign of Elizabeth. The Darrell, at that time the proprietor of Littlecot-house, entrance into the hall is at one end by a low door, com- and the domain around it. The house was examined, municating with a passage that leads from the outer and identified by the midwife, and Darrell was tried at door in the front of the house to a quadrangle' within; / Salisbury for the murder. By corrupting his judge, hel at the other, it opens upon a gloomy staircase, by which escaped the sentence of the law, but broke his neck by you ascend to the first floor, and, passing the doors of a fall from his horse in hunting, in a few months after. some bed-chambers, enter a narrow gallery which ex- The place where this happened is still known by the tends along the back front of the house from one end name of Darrell's Stile,-a spot to be dreaded by the to ibe other of it, and looks upon an old garden. This peasant whom the shades of evening have overtaken gallery is bung with portraits, chiefly in the Spanish on his way. dress of the sixteenth century. In one of the bed « Littlecot-house is two miles from Hungerford, in chambers, which you pass in going towards the gallery, Berkshire, through which the Bath road passes. The

bedstead with blue furniture, which time has now | fact occurred in the reign of Elizabeth. All the immade dingy and threadbare, and in the bottom of one portant circumstances I have given exactly as they are of the bed-curtains you are shown a place where a told in the country ; some trifles only are added, either small piece has been cut out and sewn in again,--a cir- to render the whole connected, or to increase the imcumstance which serves to identify the scene of the fol- pression. loving story :

With this tale of terror the author has combined It was on a dark rainy night in the month of No-some circumstances of a similar legend, which was vember, that an old midwife sate musing by her cottage current at Edinburgh, during his childhood. kre-ade, when on a sudden she was startled by a loud About the beginning of the eighteenth century, when knocking at the door. On opening it she found a horse- the large castles of the Scottish nobles, and even the seman, who told ber that her assistance was required im- cluded hotels, like those of the French noblesse, which mediately by a person of rank, and that she should be they possessed in Edinburgh, were sometimes the scenes handsomely rewarded, but that there were reasons for of strange and mysterious transactions, a divine of sinkeeping the affair a strict secret, and, therefore, she cular sanctity was called up at midnight, to pray with must submit to be blind-folded, and to be conducted in a person at the point of death. This was no unusual that condition to the bed-chamber of the lady. With summons; but wbat followed was alarming. He was some hesitation the midwife consented; the horseman put into a sedan-chair, and, after he had been transbound her eyes, and placed her on a pillion behind him. ported to a remote part of the town, the bearers inAfuer proceeding in silence for many miles, through sisted upon his being blindfolded. The request was rough and dirty lanes, they stopped, and the midwife enforced by a cocked pistol, and submitted to; but in was led into a house, which from the length of her the course of the discussion be conjectured, from the walk through the apartments, as well as the sounds phrases employed by the chairmen, and from some part about her, she discovered to be the seat of wealth and of their dress, not completely concealed by their cloaks, pover. When the bandage was removed from her that they were greatly above the menial station they es, she found herself in a bed-chamber, in which | had assumed. After many turns and windings, the

chair was carried up stairs into a lodging, where his eyes "I think there is a chapel on one side of it, but am not quite sure. were uncovered, and he was introduced into a bed

« 前へ次へ »