By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Ballads of Romance and Chivalry - Popular Ballads of the Olden Times - First Series
Author: Sidgwick, Frank
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ballads of Romance and Chivalry - Popular Ballads of the Olden Times - First Series" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

  [Transcriber’s Note:

  The printed text used small capitals for emphasis. These have been
  replaced with +marks+ where appopriate. Missing lines were shown
  by rows of widely spaced dots (single lines) or asterisks (longer
  sections). They are shown here in groups of three:

    ...   ...   ...
    ***   ***   ***

  Variant forms such as “Maisry” : “Maisery” or “+Text(s)+” :
  “+The Text+” are unchanged. Brackets are in the original, except
  when enclosing footnotes or illustration markers. Errors are listed
  at the end of the text.]

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: Facsimile of the Percy Folio MS. (_British Museum_,
  Addit. MS. 27, 879, f. 46 _verso_). +Glasgerion+, first three verses
  (see p. 2), annotated by Percy. The full page is 15¼ x 6 inches.]



  First Series. Ballads of
  Romance and Chivalry

  ‘What hast here? Ballads?
  ‘Pray now, buy some.’

  47 Great Russell Street
  London. MCMIII

 ‘La rime n’est pas riche, et le style en est vieux:
  Mais ne voyez-vous pas que cela vaut bien mieux
  Que ces colifichets dont le bon sens murmure,
  Et que la passion parle là toute pure?’

    Molière, _Le Misanthrope_, I. 2.


  Preface                                           ix
  Introduction                                    xvii
  Ballads in the First Series                    xliii
  Glossary of Ballad Commonplaces                 xlvi
  List of Books for Ballad Study                   lii
  Note on the Illustrations                         lv

  Glasgerion                                         1
  Young Bekie                                        6
  Old Robin of Portingale                           13
  Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard                  19
  The Bonny Birdy                                   25
  Fair Annie                                        29
  The Cruel Mother                                  35
  Child Waters                                      37
  Earl Brand                                        44
    The Douglas Tragedy                             49
    The Child of Ell                                52
  Lord Thomas and Fair Annet                        54
  The Brown Girl                                    60
  Fair Margaret and Sweet William                   63
  Lord Lovel                                        67
  Lady Maisry                                       70
  The Cruel Brother                                 76
  The Nutbrown Maid                                 80
  Fair Janet                                        94
  Brown Adam                                       100
  Willie o’ Winsbury                               104
  The Marriage of Sir Gawaine                      107
  The Boy and the Mantle                           119
  Johney Scot                                      128
  Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet                       135
  The Twa Sisters o’ Binnorie                      141
  Young Waters                                     146
  Barbara Allan                                    150
  The Gay Goshawk                                  153
  Brown Robin                                      158
  Lady Alice                                       163
  Child Maurice                                    165
  Fause Footrage                                   172
  Fair Annie of Rough Royal                        179
  Hind Horn                                        185
  Edward                                           189
  Lord Randal                                      193
  Lamkin                                           196
  Fair Mary of Wallington                          201

  Index of Titles                                  209
  Index of First Lines                             211


Of making selections of ballads there is no end. As a subject for the
editor, they seem to be only less popular than Shakespeare, and every
year sees a fresh output. But of late there has sprung up a custom of
confusing the old with the new, the genuine with the imitation; and the
products of civilised days, ‘ballads’ by courtesy or convention, are set
beside the rugged and hard-featured aborigines of the tribe, just as the
delicate bust of Clytie in the British Museum has for next neighbour the
rude and bold ‘Unknown Barbarian Captive.’ To contrast by such enforced
juxtaposition a ballad of the golden world with a ballad by Mr. Kipling
is unfair to either, each being excellent in its way; and the
collocation of _Edward_ or _Lord Randal_ with a ballad of Rossetti’s is
only of interest or value as exhibiting the perennial charm of the

There exist, however, in our tongue--though not only in our
tongue--narratives in rhyme which have been handed down in oral
tradition from father to son for so many ages, that all record of their
authorship has long been lost. These are commonly called the Old
Ballads. Being traditional, each ballad may exist in more than one form;
in most cases the original story is clothed in several different forms.
The present series is designed to include all the best of these ballads
which are still extant in England and Scotland: Ireland and Wales
possess a similar class of popular literature, but each in its own
tongue. It is therefore necessary, in issuing this the first volume of
the series, to say somewhat as to the methods employed in editing and

Ballad editors of yore were confronted with perhaps two, perhaps twenty,
versions of each ballad; some unintelligibly fragmentary, some
intelligibly complete; some in print, some in manuscript, some,
perchance, in their own memories. Collating these, they subjected the
text to minute revision, omitting and adding, altering and inserting, to
suit their personal tastes and standards, literary or polite; and having
thus made it over, forgot to record the act, and saw no reason to
apologise therefor.

Pioneers like Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore, and Sir Walter Scott, may
well be excused the general censure. The former, living in and pandering
to an age which invented and applied those delightful literary
adjectives ‘elegant’ and ‘ingenious,’ may be pardoned with the more
sincerity if one recalls the influence exercised on English letters by
his publication. The latter, who played the part of Percy in the matter
of Scottish ballads, and was nourished from his boyhood on the
_Reliques_, printed for the first time many ballads which still are the
best of their class, and was gifted with consummate skill and taste.
Both, moreover, did their work scientifically, according to their
lights; and both have left at least some of their originals behind them.
There is, perhaps, one more exception to the general condemnation. Of
William Allingham’s _Ballad Book_, as truly a _vade mecum_ as Palgrave’s
lyrical anthology in the same ‘Golden Treasury’ series, I would speak,
perhaps only for sentimental reasons, always with respect, admiring the
results of his editing while looking askance at the method, for he mixed
his ingredients and left no recipe.

But in the majority of cases there is no obvious excuse for this ‘omnium
gatherum’ process. The self-imposed function of most ballad editors
appears to have been the compilation of _rifacimenti_ in accordance with
their private ideas of what a ballad should be. And that such a state of
things was permissible is doubtless an indication of the then prevalent
attitude of half-interested tolerance assumed towards these memorials of

To-day, however, the ballad editor is confronted with the results of the
labours, still unfinished, of a comparatively recent school in literary
science. These have lately culminated in _The English and Scottish
Popular Ballads_, edited by the late Professor Francis James Child of
Harvard University. This work, in five large volumes, issued in ten
parts at intervals from 1882 to 1898, and left by the editor at his
death complete but for the Introduction--_valde deflendus_--gives in
full all known variants of the three hundred and five ballads adjudged
by its editor to be genuinely ‘popular,’ with an essay, prefixed to each
ballad, on its history, origin, folklore, etc., and notes, glossary,
bibliographies, appendices, etc.; exhibiting as a whole unrivalled
special knowledge, great scholarly intuition, and years of patient
research, aided by correspondents, students, and transcribers in all
parts of the world, Lacking Professor Child’s Introduction, we cannot
exactly tell what his definition of a ‘popular’ ballad was, or what
qualities in a ballad implied exclusion from his collection--_e.g._ he
does not admit _The Children in the Wood_: otherwise one can find in
this monumental work the whole history and all the versions of nearly
all the ballads.

It will be obvious that Professor Child’s academic method is suited
rather to the scholar than the general reader. As a rule, one text of
each ballad is all that is required, which must therefore be chosen--but
by what rules? To the scholar, it usually happens that the most ancient
and least handled text is the most interesting; but these are too
frequently incomplete and unintelligible. The literary dilettante may
prefer tasteful decorations by a Percy or a Scott; doubtless Buchan has
some admirers: but the student abhors this painting of the lily.

Therefore I have compromised--always a dangerous practice--and I have
sought to give, to the best of my judgement, _that authorised text of
each ballad which tells in the best manner the completest form of the
story or plot_. I have been forced to make certain exceptions, but for
all departures from the above rule I have given reasons which, I trust,
will be found to justify the procedure; and in all cases the sources of
each text or part of the text are indicated.

I am quite aware that it may fairly be asked: Why not assume the
immemorial privilege of a ballad editor, and concoct a text for
yourself? Why, when any text of a ballad is, as you admit, merely a
representative of parallel and similar traditional versions, should you
not compile from those other variants a text which should combine the
excellences of each, and give us the cream?

There are several objections to this course. However incompetent,
I should not shrink from the labour involved; nor do I entirely approve
the growing demand for German minuteness and exactitude in editors. But,
firstly, the ballad should be subject to variation only while it is in
oral circulation. Secondly, editorial garnishing has been overdone
already, and my unwillingness to adopt that method is caused as much by
the failure of the majority of editors as by the success of the few.
Lastly, _chacun a son goût_; there is a kind of literary selfishness in
emending and patching to suit one’s private taste, and, if any one
wishes to do so, he will be most pleased with the result if he does it
for himself.

This lengthy _apologia_ is necessitated by a departure from the usual
custom of ballad-editing. For the rest, my indebtedness to the work of
Professor Child will be obvious throughout. Many of his most interesting
texts were printed for the first time from manuscripts in private hands.
These I have not sought to collate, which would, indeed, insult his
accuracy and care. But in the case of texts from the Percy Folio, where
the labour is rather to decipher than to transcribe accurately, I have
resorted not only to the reprint of Hales and Furnivall, but to the
Folio itself. The whimsical spelling of this MS. pleases me as often as
it irritates, and I have ventured in certain ballads, _e.g._
_Glasgerion_, to modernise it, and in others, _e.g._ _Old Robin of
Portingale_, to retain it _literatim_: in either case I have reduced to
uniformity the orthography of the proper names. Transcripts from other
MSS. are reproduced as they stand.

In the general Introduction I have tried to sketch the genesis and
history of the ballad impartially in its several aspects, not for
scholars and connoisseurs, but for those ready to learn. To supply
deficiencies, I have added a list of books useful to the student of
English ballads--to go no further afield. Each ballad also is prefaced
with an introduction setting forth, besides the source of the text, as
succinctly as is consistent with accuracy, the derivation, when known,
of the story; the plot of similar foreign ballads; and points of
interest in folklore, history, or criticism attached to the particular
ballad. Where the story is fragmentary, I have added an argument. It
will be realised that such introductions at the best are but a
thousandth part of what might be written; but if they shall play the
part of _hors d’œuvres_, and whet the appetite to proceed to more solid
food, the labour will not be lost.

Difficulties in the text are explained in footnotes. Few things are more
vexatious to a reader than constant reference to a glossary; but as
compensation for the educational value thus lost, the footnotes are, to
a certain extent, progressive; that is to say, a word already explained
in a foregoing ballad is not always explained again; and to the best of
my ability I have freed the notes from the grotesque blunders observable
in most modern editions of ballads.

Besides my indebtedness to the books mentioned in the bibliographical
list, I have to acknowledge my thanks to the Rev. Sabine Baring Gould,
for permission to use his version of _The Brown Girl_; to Mr. E. K.
Chambers, for kindly reading the general Introduction; and to my friend
and partner Mr. A. H. Bullen, for constant suggestions and assistance.

  F. S.


  ‘Y-a-t-il donc, dans les contes populaires, quelque chose
  d’intéressant pour un esprit sérieux?’--Cosquin.

The old ballads of England and Scotland are fine wine in cobwebbed
bottles; and many have made the error of paying too much attention to
the cobwebs and not enough attention to the wine. This error is as
blameworthy as its converse: we must take the inside and the outside

+I. What is a Ballad?+

The earliest sense of the word ‘ballad,’ or rather of its French and
Provençal predecessors, _balada_, _balade_ (derived from the late Latin
_ballare_, to dance), was ‘a song intended as the accompaniment to a
dance,’ a sense long obsolete.[1] Next came the meaning, a simple song
of sentiment or romance, of two verses or more, each of which is sung to
the same air, the accompaniment being subordinate to the melody. This
sense we still use in our ‘ballad-concerts.’ Another meaning was that of
simply a popular song or ditty of the day, lyrical or narrative, of the
kind often printed as a broadsheet. Lyrical _or_ narrative, because the
Elizabethans appear not to distinguish the two. Read, for instance, the
well-known scene in _The Winter’s Tale_ (Act IV. Sc. 4); here we have
both the lyrical ballad, as sung by Dorcas and Mopsa, in which Autolycus
bears his part ‘because it is his occupation’; and also the ‘ballad in
print,’ which Mopsa says she loves--‘for then we are sure it is true.’
Immediately after, however, we discover that the ‘ballad in print’ is
the broadside, the narrative ballad, sung of a usurer’s wife brought to
bed of twenty money-bags at a burden, or of a fish that appeared upon
the coast on Wednesday the fourscore of April: in short, as _Martin
Mar-sixtus_ says (1592), ‘scarce a cat can look out of a gutter but out
starts a halfpenny chronicler, and presently a proper new ballet of a
strange sight is indited.’ Chief amongst these ‘halfpenny chroniclers’
were William Elderton, of whom Camden records that he ‘did arm himself
with ale (as old father Ennius did with wine) when he ballated,’ and
thereby obtained a red nose almost as celebrated as his verses; Thomas
Deloney, ‘the ballating silkweaver of Norwich’; and Richard Johnson,
maker of Garlands. Thus to Milton, to Addison, and even to Johnson,
‘ballad’ essentially implies singing; but from about the middle of the
eighteenth century the modern interpretation of the word began to come
into general use.

  [Footnote 1: For the subject of the origin of the ballad and its
  refrain in the _ballatio_ of the dancing-ring, see _The Beginnings
  of Poetry_, by Professor Francis B. Gummere, especially chap. v. The
  beginning of the whole subject is to be found in the universal and
  innate practices of accompanying manual or bodily labour by a
  rhythmic chant or song, and of festal song and dance.]

In 1783, in one of his letters, the poet Cowper says: ‘The ballad is a
species of poetry, I believe, peculiar to this country.... Simplicity
and ease are its proper characteristics.’ Here we have one of the
earliest attempts to define the modern meaning of a ‘ballad.’ Centuries
of use and misuse of the word have left us no unequivocal name for the
ballad, and we are forced to qualify it with epithets. ‘Traditional’
might be deemed sufficient; but ‘popular’ or ‘communal’ is more
definite. Here we adopt the word used by Professor Child--‘popular.’

What, then, do we intend to signify by the expression ‘popular ballads’?
Far the most important point is to maintain an antithesis between the
poetry of the people and the consciously artistic poetry of the schools.
Wilhelm Grimm, the less didactic of the two famous brothers, said that
the ballad says nothing unnecessary or unreal, and despises external
adornment. Ferdinand Wolf, the great critic of the Homeric question,
said the ballad must be naïve, objective, not sentimental, lively and
erratic in its narrative, without ornamentation, yet with much
picturesque vigour.

It is even more necessary to define sharply the line between poetry _of_
the people and poetry _for_ the people.[2] The latter may still be
written; the making of the former is a lost art. Poetry of the people is
either lyric or narrative. This difference is roughly that between song
and ballad. ‘With us,’ says Ritson, ‘songs of sentiment, expression, or
even description, are properly termed songs, in contradistinction to
mere narrative compositions which we now denominate Ballads.’ This
definition, of course, is essentially modern; we must still insist on
the fact that genuine ballads were sung: ‘I sing Musgrove,’[3] says Sir
Thwack in Davenant’s _The Wits_, ‘and for the Chevy Chase no lark comes
near me.’ Lastly, we must emphasise that the accompaniment is
predominated by the air to which the words are sung. I have heard the
modern comic song described as ‘the kind in which you hear the words,’
thus differentiating it from the drawing-room song, in which the words
are (happily) as a rule less audible than the melody. In the ballad, as
sung, the words are most important; but it is of vital importance to
remember that the ballads were chanted.

  [Footnote 2: See the first essay, ‘What is “Popular Poetry”?’ in
  _Ideas of Good and Evil_, by W. B. Yeats (1903), where this
  distinction is not recognised.]

  [Footnote 3: _Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard_ (see p. 19, etc.).]

+II. Poetry of the People.+

Now what is this ‘poetry of the people’? One theory is as follows. Every
nation or people in the natural course of its development reaches a
stage at which it consists of a homogeneous, compact community, with its
sentiments undivided by class-distinctions, so that the whole active
body forms what is practically an individual. Begging the question, that
poetry can be produced by such a body, this poetry is naturally of a
concrete and narrative character, and is previous to the poetry of art.
‘Therefore,’ says Professor Child, ‘while each ballad will be
idiosyncratic, it will not be an expression of the personality of
individuals, but of a collective sympathy; and the fundamental
characteristic of popular ballads is therefore the absence of
subjectivity and self-consciousness. Though they do not “write
themselves,” as Wilhelm Grimm has said--though a man and not a people
has composed them, still the author counts for nothing, and it is not by
mere accident, but with the best reason, that they have come down to us

By stating this, the dictum of one of the latest and most erudite of
ballad-scholars, so early in our argument, we anticipate a century or
more of criticism and counter-criticism, during which the giants of
literature ranged themselves in two parties, and instituted a
battle-royal which even now is not quite finished. It will be most
convenient if we denominate the one party as that which holds to the
communal or ‘nebular’ theory of authorship, and the other as the
anti-communal or ‘artistic’ theory. The tenet of the former party has
already been set forth, namely, that the poetry of the people is a
natural and spontaneous production of a community at that stage of its
existence when it is for all practical purposes an individual. The
theory of the ‘artistic’ school is that the ballads and folk-songs are
the productions of skalds, minstrels, bards, troubadours, or other
vagrant professional singers and reciters of various periods; it is
allowed, however, that, being subject entirely to oral transmission,
these ballads and songs are open to endless variation.

On the Continent, Herder was pioneer, both of the claims of popular
poetry and of the nebular theory of authorship. Traditions of chivalry,
he says, became poetry in the mouths of the people; but his definition
of popular poetry has rather extended bounds. Herder’s enthusiasm fired
Goethe (who, however, did not wholly accede to the ‘nebular’ theory) to
study the subject, and the effect was soon noticeable in his own poetry.
Next came the two great brothers, whose names are ever to be held in
honour wherever folklore is studied or folktales read, Jacob and Wilhelm
Grimm. Jacob, the more ardent and polemical, insisted on the communal
authorship of the poetry of the people; ballad or song ‘sings itself.’

Both the Grimms, and especially Jacob, were severely handled by the
critic Schlegel, who insisted on the artist. To Schlegel we owe the
famous image in which popular poetry is a tower, and the poet an
architect. Hundreds may fetch and carry, but all are useless without the
direction of the architect. This is specious argument; but we might
reply to Schlegel that an architect is only wanted when the result is
required to be an artistic whole. The tower of Babel was built by
hundreds of men under no superintendence. Schlegel’s intention, however,
is no less clear than that of Jacob Grimm, and the two are diametrically

In England, literary prejudice against the unpolished barbarities and
uncouthnesses of the ballad was at no time so pronounced as it was on
the Continent, and especially in Germany, during the latter half of the
eighteenth century. Indeed, at intervals, the most learned and fantastic
critics in England would call attention to the poetry of the people. Sir
Philip Sidney’s apologetic words are well known:-- ‘Certainly I must
confesse my own barbarousnes, I never heard the olde song of _Percy_ and
_Duglas_, that I found not my heart mooved more then with a Trumpet.’
Addison was bolder. ‘It is impossible that anything should be
universally tasted and approved by a Multitude, tho’ they are only the
Rabble of a Nation, which hath not in it some peculiar Aptness to please
and gratify the Mind of Man.’ With these and other encouragements the
popular poetry of England was not lost to sight; and in 1765 the work of
the good Bishop of Dromore gave the ballads a place in literature.

Percy’s opening remarks, attributing the ballads to the minstrels, are
as well known as the scoffs of the hard-hitting Joseph Ritson, who
contemptuously dismissed Percy’s theories,[4] and refused to believe any
ballad to be of earlier origin than the reign of Elizabeth. Sir Walter
Scott was quite ready to accept the ballads as the productions of the
minstrels, either as ‘the occasional effusions of some self-taught
bard,’ or as abridged from the tales of tradition after the days when,
as Alfred de Musset says, ‘our old romances spread their wings of gold
towards the enchanted world.’

  [Footnote 4: ‘The truth really lay between the two, for neither
  appreciated the wide variety covered by a common name’ (_The
  Mediæval Stage_, E. K. Chambers, 1903). See especially chapters iii.
  and iv. of this work for an admirably complete and illuminating
  account of minstrelsy.]

This brings us nearer to our own day. The argument is not closed,
although we can discern offers of concession from either side. Svend
Grundtvig, editor of the enormous collection of Danish ballads,
distinguished the ballad from all forms of artistic literature, and
would have the artist left out of sight; Nyrop and the Scandinavian
scholars, on the other hand, entirely gave up the notion of communal
authorship. Howbeit, the trend of modern criticism,[5] on the whole, is
towards a common belief regarding most ballads, which may be stated
again, in Professor Child’s words: ‘Though a man and not a people has
composed them, still the author counts for nothing, and it is not by
mere accident, but with the best reason, that they have come down to us

  [Footnote 5: For the most recent discussions, see Bibliography,
  p. lii.]

+III. The Growth of Ballads.+

Let us then picture, however vaguely and uncertainly, the growth of a
ballad. It is well known that the folklores of the various races of the
world exhibit common features, and that the beliefs, superstitions,
tales, even conventionalities of expression, of one race, are found to
present constant and remarkable similarities to those of another.
Whether these similarities are to be held mere coincidences, or whether
they are to be explained by the theory of a common ancestry in the
cradle of the world, is a side-issue into which I do not intend to
enter. Suffice it that the fact is true, especially of the peoples who
speak the Indo-European tongues. The lore which has for its foundation
permanent and universal acceptance in the hearts of mankind is preserved
by tradition, and remains independent of the criteria applied
instinctively and unconsciously to artistic compositions. The community
is one at heart, one in mind, one in method of expression. Tales are
recited, verses chanted, and the singer of a clan makes his version of a
popular story. Simultaneously other singers, it may be of other clans of
the same race, or of another race altogether, elaborate their versions
of the common theme. Meanwhile the first singer has again recited or
chanted his ballad, and, having forgotten the exact wording, has altered
it, and perhaps introduced improvements. The same happens in the other
cases. The various audiences carry away as much as they can remember,
and recite their versions, again with individual omissions, alterations,
and additions. Thus, by ever-widening circles, the tale is distributed
in countless forms over an unlimited area. The elements of the story
remain, wholly or in part, while the literary clothing is altered
according to the ‘taste and fancy’ of the reciter. The lore is now
traditional, whether it be in prose, as Märchen, or in verse, as ballad.
And so it remains in oral circulation--and therefore still liable to
variation--until it is written down or printed. It is left ‘masterless,’
unsigned; for of the original author’s composition, may be, only a word
or two remains. It has passed through many mouths, and has been made
over countless times. But once written down it ceases _virûm volitare
per ora_; the invention of printing has spoiled the powers of man’s

We can now take up the tale at the fifteenth century; let us henceforth
confine our attention to England. It is agreed on all sides that the
fifteenth century was the period when, in England at least, the ballads
first became a prominent feature. Of historical ballads, _The Hunting of
the Cheviot_ was probably composed as early as 1400 or thereabouts. The
romances contemporaneously underwent a change, and took on a form nearer
to that of the ballad. Whatever may be the date of the origin of the
subject-matter, the literary clothing--language, mode of expression,
colour--of no ballad, as we now have it, is much, earlier than 1400. The
only possible exceptions to this statement are one or two of the Robin
Hood ballads--attributed to the thirteenth century by Professor Child,
but _adhuc sub judice_--and a ballad of sacred legend--_Judas_--which
exists in a thirteenth-century manuscript in the library of Trinity
College, Cambridge.

During the fifteenth century, the ballads, still purely narrative, were
cast abroad through the length and breadth of the land, undergoing
continual changes, modifications, enlargements, for better or for worse.
They told of romance and chivalry, of historical, quasi-historical, and
mythico-historical deeds, of the traditions of the Church and sacred
legend, and of the lore that gathers round the most popular of heroes,
Robin Hood. The earliest printed English ballad is the _Gest of Robyn
Hode_, which now remains in a fragment of about the end of the fifteenth

The sixteenth century continued the process of the popularisation of
ballads. Minstrels, who, as a class, had been slowly perishing ever
since the invention of printing, were now vagrants, and the profession
was decadent. Towards the end of the century we hear of Richard Sheale,
whom we may describe as the first of the so-called ‘Last of the
Minstrels.’ He describes himself as a minstrel of Tamworth, his business
being to chant ballads and tell tales. We know that the ballad of _The
Hunting of the Cheviot_ was part of his repertory, for he wrote down his
version, which is still preserved in the Ashmolean MSS. At the end of
the sixteenth century the minstrels had fallen, in England at least,
into entire degradation. In 1597, Percy notes, a statute of Elizabeth
was passed including ‘minstrels, wandering abroad,’ amongst the other
‘rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars’; and fifty years later Cromwell
made a very similar ordinance.[6]

  [Footnote 6: But these were only re-enactments of existing laws. See
  Chambers, _Mediæval Stage,_ i. p. 54.]

In Elizabeth’s reign we first meet with the ballad-mongers and
professional authors of ballads. Simultaneously, or nearly so, comes the
degradation of the word ‘ballad,’ until it signifies either the genuine
popular ballad, or a satirical song, or a broadside, or almost any ditty
of the day. Of the ballad-mongers, we have mentioned Elderton, Deloney,
and Johnson. We might add a hundred others, from Anthony Munday to
Martin Parker, and even Tom Durfey, each of whom contributed largely to
the vast mushroom-literature that sprang up and flourished vigorously
for the next century. Chappell mentions that seven hundred and
ninety-six ballads remained at the end of 1560 in the cupboards of the
council-chamber of the Stationers’ Company for transference to the new
wardens of the succeeding year. These, of course, would consist chiefly
of broadsides: the narrations of strange events, monstrosities, or ‘true
tales’ of the day.

It is true that many of the genuine popular ballads were rewritten to
suit contemporary taste. But the style of the seventeenth century
ballads cannot be compared to the noble straightforwardness and
simplicity of the ancient ballad. Let us place side by side the first
stanza of the _Hunting of the Cheviot_ and the first few verses of _Fair
Rosamond_, a very fair specimen of Deloney’s work.

The popular ancient ballad wastes no time on preliminaries[7]:--

  [Footnote 7: A good notion of the way in which the old ballads
  plunge _in medias res_ may be obtained by reading the Index of First

  ‘The Persé owt off Northombarlonde
    And avowe to God mayd he,
  That he wold hunte in the mowntayns
    Off Chyviat within days thre,
  In the magger of doughté Dogles;
    And all that ever with him be.’

Now for the milk-and-water:--

  ‘Whenas King Henry rulde this land,
    The second of that name,
  Besides the queene, he dearly lovde
    A faire and comely dame.

  Most peerlesse was her beautye founde,
    Her favour and her face;
  A sweeter creature in this worlde
    Could never prince embrace.

  Her crisped lockes like threads of golde
    Appeard to each man’s sight;
  Her sparkling eyes, like Orient pearles,
    Did cast a heavenly light.’

Ritson’s taste actually led him, in comparing the above two first
verses, to prefer the latter.

Or again we might contrast _Sir Patrick Spence_--

  ‘The King sits in Dumferling towne
    Drinking the blude reid wine:
  “O whar will I get a guid sailor,
    To sail this ship of mine?”’

with the _Children in the Wood_:--

  ‘Now ponder well, you parents deare,
    These wordes, which I shall write;
  A doleful story you shall heare,
    In time brought forth to light.’

Artificial, tedious, didactic. The author of the ancient ballad seldom
points, and never draws, a moral, and has unbounded faith in the
credulity of the audience. The seventeenth century balladists
pitchforked Nature into the midden.

These compositions were printed as soon as written, or, to be exact,
they were written for the press. We now class them as broadsides, that
is, ballads printed on one side of the paper. The difference between
these and the true ballad is the difference between art and nature. The
broadside ballad was a form of art, and a low form of art. They were
written by hacks for the press, sold in the streets, and pasted on the
walls of houses or rooms: Jamieson had a copy of _Young Beichan_ which
he picked off a wall in Piccadilly. They were generally ornamented with
crude woodcuts, remarkable for their artistic shortcomings and
infidelity to nature. Dr. Johnson’s well-known lines--though in fact a
caricature of Percy’s _Hermit of Warkworth_--ingeniously parody their

  ‘As with my hat upon my head,
    I walk’d along the Strand,
  I there did meet another man,
    With his hat in his hand.’

Broadside ballads, including a few of the genuine ancient ballads, still
enjoy a certain popularity. The once-famous Catnach Press still survives
in Seven Dials, and Mr. Such, of Union Street in the Borough, still
maintains what is probably the largest stock of broadsides now in
existence, including _Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight_ (or _May Colvin_),
perhaps the most widely dispersed ballad of any.

Minstrels of all sorts were by this time nearly extinct, in person if
not in name; their successors were the vendors of broadsides.
Nevertheless, survivors of the genuine itinerant reciters of ballads
have been discovered at intervals almost to the present day. Sir Walter
Scott mentions a person who ‘acquired the name of Roswal and Lillian,
from singing that romance about the streets of Edinburgh’ in 1770 or
thereabouts. He further alludes to ‘John Graeme, of Sowport in
Cumberland, commonly called the Long Quaker, very lately alive.’ Ritson
mentions a minstrel of Derbyshire, and another from Gloucester, who
chanted the ballad of _Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor_. In 1845 J. H.
Dixon wrote of several men he had met, chiefly Yorkshire dalesmen, not
vagrants, but with a local habitation, who at Christmas-tide would sing
the old ballads. One of these was Francis King, known then throughout
the western dales of Yorkshire, and still remembered, as ‘the Skipton
Minstrel.’ After a merry Christmas meeting, in the year 1844, he walked
into the river near Gargrave, in Craven, and was drowned. In Gargrave
church-yard lie the remains of perhaps the actual ‘last of the

  [Footnote 8: Unless we may attribute that distinction to the blind
  Irish bard Raftery, who flourished sixty years ago. See various
  accounts of him given by Lady Gregory (_Poets and Dreamers_) and
  W. B. Yeats (_The Celtic Twilight_, 1902). But he appears to have
  been more of an improviser than a reciter.]

+IV. Collectors and Editors.+

Now a word or two as to the collectors and editors. To take the
broadsides first, the largest collections are at Magdalene College,
Cambridge (eighteen hundred broadsides collected by Selden and Pepys),
in the Bodleian at Oxford, and in the British Museum. The Bodleian
contains collections made by Anthony-à-Wood, Douce, and Rawlinson; the
British Museum, the great Roxburghe and Bagford collections, which have
been reprinted and edited by William Chappell and the Rev. J. W.
Ebsworth for the Ballad Society, as well as other smaller volumes of

But it is not among the broadsides that our noblest ballads are found.
The first attempt to collect popular ballads was made by the compiler of
three volumes issued in 1723 and 1725. The editor is said to have been
Ambrose Phillips, whose name and style combined to produce the word
‘namby-pamby.’ Next came Allan Ramsay, with ‘the _Evergreen_,
a collection of Scots poems wrote by the ingenious before 1600.’--‘By
the ingenious,’ we note; not by the ‘elegant.’ The tide is already
beginning to turn; pitch-forked Nature will ever come back. Followed the
_Tea-Table Miscellany_, also compiled by Allan Ramsay, which contained
about twenty popular ballads, the rest being songs and ballads of modern
composition. The texts were, of course, chopped about and pruned to suit
contemporary taste. It was still necessary to adopt an apologetic
attitude on behalf of these barbarous and crude relics of antiquity.

These books paved the way to the great literary triumph of the century.
The first edition of Percy’s _Reliques_ was issued in three volumes, in
1765. He received for it one hundred guineas, instant popularity and
patronage, and subsequently, the gratitude of succeeding centuries.

Nevertheless, Percy himself was so far under the influence of his
contemporaries that he felt it necessary to adopt the apologetic
attitude. In his preface he wrote:-- ‘In a polished age like the
present, I am sensible that many of these reliques of antiquity will
require great allowances to be made for them.’ And again:-- ‘To atone
for the rudeness of the more obsolete poems, each volume concludes with
a few modern attempts in the same kind of writing; and to take off from
the tediousness of the longer narratives, they are everywhere
intermingled with little elegant pieces of the lyrical kind.’ In short,
he could not trust that large child, the people of England, to take its
dose of powder without the conventional treacle. To vary the metaphor,
his famous Folio Manuscript he regarded as a Cinderella, and in his
capacity as fairy godmother refused to introduce her to the world
without hiding the slut’s uncouth attire under fine raiment. To which
end, besides adding ‘little elegant pieces,’ he recast and rewrote ‘the
more obsolete poems,’ many of which came direct from the Folio
Manuscript. Are we to blame him for yielding to the taste of his day?

He did not satisfy every one. Ritson’s immediate outcry is famous--and
Ritson stood almost alone. He did, indeed, go so far as to deny the
existence of the Folio Manuscript, and Percy was forced to confute him
by producing it. In the later editions of the _Reliques_, Percy sought
to conciliate him by revising his texts, so as to approximate them more
closely to his originals, but still Ritson cried out for the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth. And by this time he had supporters.
But the whole truth as regards the Folio was not to be divulged yet. The
manuscript was most jealously guarded.

Meanwhile the influence of the publication was having its effect. The
poetry of the schools, the poetry of the intellect, the poetry of art,
brought to its highest pitch by writers like Dryden and Pope, was
shelved; metrically exact diction, artificiality of expression,
carefully balanced antitheses, and all the mechanical devices of the
school were placed in abeyance. There was a general return to Nature, to
simplicity, to straightforwardness--not without imagination, however.
Wordsworth, besides insisting, in a famous passage, the Preface to the
_Lyrical Ballads_, on the spontaneity of good poetry, recorded his
tribute to the _Reliques_: ‘I do not think that there is an able writer
in verse of the present day who would not be proud to acknowledge his
obligation to the _Reliques_.’ While failing often to catch the gusto of
ancient poetry--witness his translations from Chaucer--Wordsworth was
full of the spirit--witness his rifacimento of _The Owl and the
Nightingale_--and, best of all, handed it on to Coleridge.[9] These two
fought side by side against the conventions of the preceding century,
against Dryden, Addison, Pope, and last, but not least, Johnson. Some
have gone so far as to place the definite turning-point in the year
1798, the year of the publication of the _Lyrical Ballads_. Coleridge’s
_annus mirabilis_ was 1797, and the publication of _The Ancient Mariner_
is significant of the change. But we need not bind ourselves down to any
given year. Enough that the revolution was effected, and that it is
scarcely exaggeration to say that it was almost entirely due to the
publication of the _Reliques_.

  [Footnote 9: ‘He [Coleridge] said the _Lyrical Ballads_ were an
  experiment about to be tried by him and Wordsworth, to see how far
  the public taste would endure poetry written in a more natural and
  simple style than had hitherto been attempted; totally discarding
  the artifices of poetical diction, and making use only of such words
  as had probably been common in the most ordinary language since the
  days of Henry II.’--_Hazlitt._]

Sir Walter Scott remembered to the day of his death the place where he
first made acquaintance with the _Reliques_ in his thirteenth year. ‘I
remember well the spot where I read those volumes for the first time. It
was beneath a large platanus-tree, in the ruins of what had been
intended for an old-fashioned arbour in the garden I have mentioned. The
summer day sped onward so fast, that, notwithstanding the sharp appetite
of thirteen, I forgot the hour of dinner, was sought for with anxiety,
and was still found entranced in my intellectual banquet.’

Almost immediately competitors appeared in the field, and especial
attention was given to Scotland, exceedingly rich ground, as it proved.
In 1769, David Herd published his collection of _Ancient and Modern
Scots Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc._ Then, at intervals of two or three
years only, came the compilations of Evans, Pinkerton, Ritson, Johnson;
in 1802 Sir Walter Scott’s _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, fit to
be placed side by side with the _Reliques_; in 1806 Jamieson’s _Popular
Ballads and Songs_; then Finlay, Gilchrist, Laing, and Utterson. In 1828
the egregious Peter Buchan produced _Ancient Ballads and Songs of the
North of Scotland, hitherto unpublished_. Buchan hints that he kept a
pedlar or beggarman--‘a wight of Homer’s craft’--travelling through
Scotland to pick up ballads; and one of the two--probably Buchan--must
have been possessed of powerful inventive faculties. Each of Buchan’s
ballads is tediously spun out to enormous and unnecessary length, and is
filled with solecisms and inanities quite inconsistent with the spirit
of the true ballad. But Buchan undoubtedly gained fresh material,
however much he clothed it; and his ballads are now reprinted, as
Professor Child says, for much the same reason that thieves are

Scotland continued the work with two excellent students and pioneers,
George Kinloch and William Motherwell. Next, Robert Chambers published a
collection of eighty ballads, some being spurious. This was in 1829.
Thirty years later Chambers came to the conclusion that ‘the high-class
romantic ballads of Scotland ... are not older than the early part of
the eighteenth century, and are mainly, if not wholly, the production of
one mind.’ And this one mind, he thinks, was probably that of Elizabeth,
Lady Wardlaw, the acknowledged forger of the ballad _Hardyknute_, which
deceived so many. Chambers, of course, was absurdly mistaken.

So the work of collecting and editing progressed through the nineteenth
century, till it culminated in the final edition of Professor Child’s
_English and Scottish Popular Ballads_. But even this is scarcely his
greatest benefaction to the study of ballads. We must confess that had
it not been for the insistence of this American scholar, the Percy Folio
Manuscript would remain a sealed book. For six years Professor Child
persecuted Dr. Furnivall, who persecuted in turn the owners of the
Folio, even offering sums of money, for permission to print the MS.
Eventually they succeeded, and not only succeeded in giving to the world
an exact reprint,[10] but also once for all secured the precious
original for the British Museum, where it now remains.[11]

  [Footnote 10: _Bishop Percy’s Folio Manuscript_, edited by J. W.
  Hales and F. J. Furnivall, 4 vols., 1867-8. Printed for the Early
  English Text Society and subscribers.]

  [Footnote 11: Additional MS. 27, 879.]

And what is this manuscript? In brief, it is an example of the
commonplace books which abounded in the seventeenth century. But it is
unique in containing a large proportion of early romances and ballads,
as well as the lyrics of the day. Of the hundreds of commonplace books
made during that century, no other example is known which contains such
matter, for the obvious and simple reason that such matter was
despised.[12] The handwriting is put by experts at about 1650; it cannot
be much later, and one song in it contains a passage which fixes the
date of that song to the year 1643. Percy discovered the book ‘lying
dirty on the floor under a bureau in the parlour’ of his friend Humphrey
Pitt of Shifnal, in Shropshire, ‘being used by maids to light the fire.’
Mr. Pitt’s fires were lighted with half-pages torn out from incomparably
early and precious versions of certain Robin Hood and other ballads.
Percy notes that he was very young when he first got possession of the
MS., and had not then learned to reverence it. When he put it into
boards to lend to Dr. Johnson, the bookbinder pared the margins, and cut
away top and bottom lines. In editing the _Reliques_, Percy actually
tore out pages ‘to save the trouble of transcribing.’ In spite of all,
it remains a unique and inestimably valuable manuscript. Its writer was
presumably a Lancashire man, from his use of certain dialect words, and
was assuredly a man of slight education; nevertheless a national

  [Footnote 12: Cp. _Love’s Labour’s Lost_:--

  +Armado.+ Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?

  +Moth.+ The world was very guilty of such a ballad some three ages
  since; but I think now ’tis not to be found.]

In speaking of manuscripts, we must not omit to mention the Scottish
collectors. Most of them went to work in the right way, seeking out aged
men and women in out-of-the-way corners of Scotland, and taking down
their ballads from their lips. If we condemn these editors for
subsequently adorning the traditional versions, we must be grateful to
them for preserving their manuscripts so that we can still read the
ballads as they received them. The old ladies of Scotland seem to have
possessed better memories than the old men. Besides Sir Walter Scott’s
anonymous ‘Old Lady,’ there was another to whom we owe some of the
finest versions of the Scottish ballads. This was Mrs. Brown, daughter
of Professor Gordon of Aberdeen. Born in 1747, she learned most of her
ballads before she was twelve years old, or before 1759, from the
singing of her aunt, Mrs. Farquhar of Braemar. From about twenty to
forty years later, she repeated her ballads, first to Jamieson, and
afterwards to William Tytler, each of whom compiled a manuscript. The
latter, the Tytler-Brown MS., unfortunately is lost, but the ballads are
practically all known from the other manuscript and various sources.

Perhaps the richest part of our stock are the Scottish and Border
ballads. Beside them, most of our mawkish English ballads look pale and
withered. The reason, perhaps, may be traced to the effect of natural
surroundings on literature. The English ballads were printed or written
down at a period which is early compared with the date of collection of
the Scottish ballads. In fact, it is only during the last hundred and
thirty years that the ballads of Scotland have been recovered from oral
tradition. In mountainous districts, where means of communication and
intercourse are naturally limited, tradition dies more hard than in
countries where there are no such barriers. Moreover, as Professor Child
points out, ‘oral transmission by the unlettered is not to be feared
nearly so much as by minstrels, nor by minstrels nearly so much as
modern editors.’ Svend Grundtvig illustrates this from his twenty-nine
versions of the Danish ballad ‘Ribold and Guldborg.’ In versions from
recitation, he has shown that there occur certain verses which have
never been printed, but which are found in old manuscripts; and these
recited versions also contain verses which have never been either
printed or written down in Danish, but which are to be found still in
recitation, not only in Norwegian and Swedish versions, but even in
Icelandic tradition of two hundred years’ standing.

Such, then, is the history of our ballads, so far as it may be stated in
a few pages. With regard to origins, the ‘nebular’ theory cannot be
summarily dismissed;[13] but, after weighing the evidence and arguments,
the balance of probability would seem to lie with the supporters of the
‘artistic’ theory in a modified form. The ballad may say, with Topsy,
‘Spec’s I growed’; but _vires adquirit eundo_ is only true of the ballad
to a certain point; progress, which includes the invention of printing
and the absorption into cities of the unsophisticated rural population,
has since killed the oral circulation of the ballad. Thus it was not an
unmixed evil that in the Middle Ages, as a rule, the ballads were
neglected; for this neglect, while it rendered the discovery of their
sources almost impossible, gave the ballads for a time into the
safe-keeping of their natural possessors, the common people.
Civilisation, advancing more swiftly in some countries than in others,
has left rich stores here, and little there. Our close kinsmen of
Denmark, and the rest of Scandinavia, possess a ballad-literature of
which they do well to be proud; and Spain is said to have inherited even
better legacies. A study of our native ballads yields much interest,
much delight, and much regret that the gleaning is comparatively so
small. But what we still have is of immense value. The ballads may not
be required again to revoke English literature from flights into
artificiality and subjectivity; but they form a leaf in the life of the
English people, they uphold the dignity of human nature, they carry us
away to the legends, the romances, the beliefs, the traditions of our
ancestors, and take us out of ourselves to ‘fleet the time carelessly,
as they did in the golden world.’

  [Footnote 13: Professor Gummere (_The Beginnings of Poetry_) is
  perhaps the strongest champion of this theory, and takes an extreme


The only possible method of classifying ballads is by their
subject-matter; and even thus the lines of demarcation are frequently
blurred. It is, however, possible to divide them roughly into several
main classes, such as ballads of romance and chivalry; ballads of
superstition and of the supernatural; Arthurian, historical, sacred,
domestic ballads; ballads of Robin Hood and other outlaws; and so forth.

The present volume is concerned with ballads of romance and chivalry;
but it is useless to press too far the appropriateness of this title.
_The Nutbrown Maid_, for instance, is not a true ballad at all, but an
amœbæan idyll, or dramatic lyric. But, on the whole, these ballads
chiefly tell of life, love, death, and human passions, of revenge and
murder and heroic deed.

                  ‘These things are life:
  And life, some think, is worthy of the Muse.’

They are left unexpurgated, as they came down to us: to apologise for
things now left unsaid would be to apologise not only for the heroic
epoch in which they were born, but also for human nature.

And how full of life that heroic epoch was! Of what stature must Lord
William’s steed have been, if Lady Maisry could hear him sneeze a mile
away! How chivalrous of Gawaine to wed an ugly bride to save his king’s
promise, and how romantic and delightful to discover her on the morrow
to have changed into a well-fared may!

The popular Muse regards not probability. Old Robin, who hails from
Portugal, marries the daughter of the mayor of Linne, that unknown town
so dear to ballads. In _Young Bekie_, Burd Isbel’s heart is wondrous
sair to find, on liberating her lover, that the bold rats and mice have
eaten his yellow hair. We must not think of objecting that the boldest
rat would never eat a live prisoner’s hair, but only applaud the
picturesque indication of durance vile.

In the same ballad, Burd Isbel, ‘to keep her from thinking
lang’--a prevalent complaint--is told to take ‘twa marys’ on her
journey. We suddenly realise how little there was to amuse the Burd
Isbels of yore. Twa marys provide a week’s diversion. Otherwise her only
occupation would have been to kemb her golden hair, or perhaps, like
Fair Annie, drink wan water to preserve her complexion.

But if their occupations were few, their emotions and affections were
strong. Ellen endures insult after insult from Child Waters with the
faithful patience of a Griselda. Hector the hound recognises Burd Isbel
after years of separation. Was any lord or lady in need of a messenger,
there was sure to be a little boy at hand to run their errand soon,
faithful unto death. On receipt of painful news, they kicked over the
table, and the silver plate flew into the fire. When roused, men
murdered with a brown sword, and ladies with a penknife. We are left
uncertain whether the Cruel Mother did not also ‘howk’ a grave for her
murdered babe with that implement.

But readers will easily pick out and enjoy for themselves other
instances of the naïve and picturesque in these ballads.


There survive in ballads a few conventional phrases, some of which
appear to have been preserved by tradition beyond an understanding of
their import. I give here short notes on a few of the more interesting
phrases and words which appear in the present volume, the explanations
being too cumbrous for footnotes.


‘bent his bow and swam,’ _Lady Maisry_, 21.2; _Johney Scot_, 10.2; _Lord
Ingram and Chiel Wyet_, 12.2; etc.

‘set his bent bow to his breast,’ _Lady Maisry_, 22.3; _Lord Ingram and
Chiel Wyet_, 13.3; _Fause Footrage_, 33.1; etc.

  Child attempts no explanation of this striking phrase, which,
  I believe, all editors have either openly or silently neglected.
  Perhaps ‘bent’ may mean _un_-bent, _i.e._ with the string of the bow
  slacked. If so, for what reason was it done before swimming? We can
  understand that it would be of advantage to keep the string dry, but
  how is it better protected when unstrung? Or, again, was it carried
  unstrung, and literally ‘bent’ before swimming? Or was the bow solid
  enough to be of support in the water?

  Some one of these explanations may satisfy the first phrase (as
  regards swimming); but why does the messenger ‘set his bent bow to
  his breast’ before leaping the castle wall? It seems to me that the
  two expressions must stand or fall together; therefore the entire
  lack of suggestions to explain the latter phrase drives me to
  distrust of any of the explanations given for the former.

  A suggestion recently made to me appears to dispose of all
  difficulties; and, once made, is convincing in its very obviousness.
  It is, that ‘bow’ means ‘elbow,’ or simply ‘arm.’ The first phrase
  then exhibits the commonest form of ballad-conventionalities,
  picturesque redundancy: the parallel phrase is ‘he slacked his shoon
  and ran.’ In the second phrase it is, indeed, necessary to suppose
  the wall to be breast-high; the messenger places one elbow on the
  wall, pulls himself up, and vaults across.

  Lexicographers distinguish between the Old English _bōg_ or _bōh_
  (O.H.G. buog = arm; Sanskrit, bahu-s = arm), which means arm, arch,
  bough, or bow of a ship; and the Old English _boga_ (O.H.G. bogo),
  which means the archer’s bow. The distinction is continued in Middle
  English, from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. Instances of the
  use of the word as equivalent to ‘arm’ may be found in Old English
  in _King Alfred’s Translation of Gregory’s Pastoral Care_ (E.E.T.S.,
  1871, ed. H. Sweet) written in West Saxon dialect of the ninth

  It is true that the word does not survive elsewhere in this meaning,
  but I give the suggestion for what it is worth.


‘briar and rose,’ _Douglas Tragedy_, 18, 19, 20; _Fair Margaret and
Sweet William_, 18, 19, 20; _Lord Lovel_, 9, 10; etc.

‘briar and birk,’ _Lord Thomas and Fair Annet_, 29, 30; _Fair Janet_,
30; etc.

‘roses,’ _Lady Alice_, 5, 6. (See introductory note to _Lord Lovel_,
p. 67.)

  The ballads which exhibit this pleasant conception that, after
  death, the spirits of unfortunate lovers pass into plants, trees, or
  flowers springing from their graves, are not confined to European
  folklore. Besides appearing in English, Gaelic, Swedish, Norwegian,
  Danish, German, French, Roumanian, Romaic, Portuguese, Servian,
  Wendish, Breton, Italian, Albanian, Russian, etc., we find it
  occurring in Afghanistan and Persia. As a rule, the branches of the
  trees intertwine; but in some cases they only bend towards each
  other, and kiss when the wind blows.

  In an Armenian tale a curious addition is made. A young man,
  separated by her father from his sweetheart because he was of a
  different religion, perished with her, and the two were buried by
  their friends in one grave. Roses grew from the grave, and sought to
  intertwine, but a _thorn-bush_ sprang up between them and prevented
  it. The thorn here is symbolical of religious belief.


‘thrilled upon a pin,’ _Glasgerion_, 10.2.

‘knocked at the ring,’ _Fair Margaret and Sweet William_, 11.2.

(_Cp._ ‘lifted up the pin,’ _Fair Janet_, 14.2.)

  Throughout the Scottish ballads the expression is ‘tirl’d at the pin,’
  _i.e._ rattled or twisted the pin.

  The pin appears to have been the external part of the door-latch,
  attached by day thereto by means of a leathern thong, which at night
  was disconnected with the latch to prevent any unbidden guest from
  entering. Thus any one ‘tirling at the pin’ does not attempt to open
  the door, but signifies his presence to those within.

  The ring was merely part of an ordinary knocker, and had nothing to
  do with the latching of the door.


‘bright brown sword,’ _Glasgerion_, 22.1; _Old Robin of Portingale_,
22.1; _Child Maurice_, 26.1, 27.1; ‘good browne sword,’ _Marriage of Sir
Gawaine_, 24.3; etc.

‘dried it on his sleeve,’ _Glasgerion_, 22.2; _Child Maurice_, 27.2 (‘on
the grasse,’ 26.2); ‘straiked it o’er a strae,’ _Bonny Birdy_, 15.2;
‘struck it across the plain,’ _Johney Scot_, 32.2; etc.

  In Anglo-Saxon, the epithet ‘brún’ as applied to a sword has been
  held to signify either that the sword was of bronze, or that the
  sword gleamed. It has further been suggested that sword-blades may
  have been artificially bronzed, like modern gun-barrels.

  ‘Striped it thro’ the straw’ and many similar expressions all refer
  to the whetting of a sword, generally just before using it. Straw
  (unless ‘strae’ and ‘straw’ mean something else) would appear to be
  very poor stuff on which to sharpen swords, but Glasgerion’s sleeve
  would be even less effective; perhaps, however, ‘dried’ should be
  ‘tried.’ Johney Scot sharpened his sword on the ground.


‘gare’ = gore, part of a woman’s dress; _Brown Robin_, 10.4; cp.
_Glasgerion_, 19.4.

  Generally of a knife, apparently on a chatelaine. But in _Lamkin_
  12.2, of a man’s dress.

‘Linne,’ ‘Lin,’ _Young Bekie_, 5.4; _Old Robin of Portingale_, 2.1.

  A stock ballad-locality, castle or town. Perhaps to be identified
  with the city of Lincoln, perhaps with Lynn, or King’s Lynn, in
  Norfolk, where pilgrims of the fourteenth century visited the Rood
  Chapel of Our Lady of Lynn, on their way to Walsingham; with equal
  probability it is not to be identified at all with any known town.

‘shot-window,’ _Gay Goshawk_, 8.3; _Brown Robin_, 3.3; _Lamkin_, 7.3;

  This commonplace phrase seems to vary in meaning. It may be ‘a
  shutter of timber with a few inches of glass above it’ (Wodrow’s
  _History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland_, Edinburgh,
  1721-2, 2 vols., in vol. ii. p. 286); it may be simply ‘a window to
  open and shut,’ as Ritson explains it; or again, as is implied in
  Jamieson’s _Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language_, an
  out-shot window, or bow-window. The last certainly seems to be
  intended in certain instances.

‘thought lang’ _Young Bekie_, 16.4; _Brown Adam_, 5.2; _Johney Scot_,
6.2; _Fause Footrage_, 25.2; etc.

  This simply means ‘thought it long,’ or ‘thought it slow,’ as we
  should say in modern slang; in short, ‘was bored,’ or ‘weary.’

‘wild-wood swine,’ a simile for drunkenness, _Brown Robin_, 7.4; _Fause
Footrage_, 16.4.

  _Cp._ Shakespeare, _All’s Well that Ends Well_, Act IV. 3, 286:
  ‘Drunkenness is his best virtue; for he will be swine-drunk.’ It
  seems to be nothing more than a popular comparison.


A.--The Literary History of Ballads

The Introductions, etc., to the Collections of Ballads in List B.

1861. _David Irving._ History of Scottish Poetry.

1871. _Thomas Warton._ History of English Poetry, ed. W. Carew Hazlitt.
4 vols.

1875. _Andrew Lang._ Article in Encyclopædia Britannica (9th edition),
vol. iii.

1876. _Stopford Brooke._ English Literature. New edition, enlarged,

1883. _W. W. Newell._ Games and Songs of American Children. New York.

1887. _Andrew Lang._ Myth, Ritual, and Religion. 2 vols.

1893. _John Veitch._ History and Poetry of the Scottish Border. 2 vols.

1893. _F. J. Child._ Article ‘Ballads’ in Johnson’s Cyclopædia, vol. i.
pp. 464-6.

1895-97. _W. J. Courthope._ A History of English Poetry. Vols. i.
and ii.

1897. _G. Gregory Smith._ The Transition Period: being vol. iv. of
Periods of English Literature, ed. G. Saintsbury.

1898. _Andrew Lang_ in _Quarterly Review_ for July.

1901. _F. B. Gummere._ The Beginnings of Poetry.

1903. _E. K. Chambers._ The Mediæval Stage. 2 vols.

1903. _Andrew Lang_ in _Folk-Lore_ for June.

1903. _J. H. Millar._ A Literary History of Scotland.

B.--Collections of Ballads

[_This list does not pretend to be exhaustive, but to give the more
important collections, especially those containing trustworthy

1723-25. A Collection of Old Ballads, corrected from the best and most
ancient copies extant. 3 vols. London.

1724. _Allan Ramsay._ The Ever-Green. 2 vols. Edinburgh.

1724-27. _Allan Ramsay._ The Tea-Table Miscellany. First eight editions
in 3 vols., Edinburgh, Dublin, and London. Ninth and subsequent editions
in four volumes, or four volumes in one, London.

1765. _Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore._ Reliques of Ancient English
Poetry. 3 vols. London.

1769. _David Herd._ The Ancient and Modern Scots Songs, Heroic Ballads,
etc. Edinburgh. The second edition, 1776, under a slightly different
title. 2 vols. Edinburgh.

1781. _John Pinkerton._ Scottish Tragic Ballads. London.

1787-1803. _James Johnson._ The Scots Musical Museum. 6 vols. Edinburgh.

1790. _Joseph Ritson._ Ancient Songs, etc. London. (Printed 1787, dated
1790, and published 1792.)

1791. _Joseph Ritson._ Pieces of Ancient Popular Poetry. London.

1794. _Joseph Ritson._ Scotish Song. 2 vols. London.

1795.   „    „   Robin Hood. 2 vols. London.

1802-3. _Walter Scott._ Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. 3 vols. Kelso
and Edinburgh.

1806. _Robert Jamieson._ Popular Ballads and Songs from Tradition,
Manuscripts, and Scarce Editions. 2 vols. Edinburgh.

1808. _John Finlay._ Scottish Historical and Romantic Ballads, chiefly
ancient. 2 vols. Edinburgh.

1822. _Alexander Laing._ Scarce Ancient Ballads. Aberdeen.

1823. _Alexander Laing._ The Thistle of Scotland. Aberdeen.

1823. _Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe._ A Ballad Book. Edinburgh.

1824. _James Maidment._ A North Countrie Garland. Edinburgh.

1826. _Robert Chambers._ The Popular Rhymes of Scotland. Edinburgh.

1827. _George Kinloch._ Ancient Scottish Ballads. London and Edinburgh.

1827. _William Motherwell._ Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern. Glasgow.

1828. _Peter Buchan._ Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of
Scotland. 2 vols. Edinburgh.

1834. The Universal Songster. 3 vols. London.

1845. _Alexander Whitelaw._ The Book of Scottish Ballads. Glasgow,
Edinburgh, and London.

1846. _James Henry Dixon._ Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the
Peasantry of England. London.

1847. _John Matthew Gutch._ A Lytyll Geste of Robin Hode. 2 vols.

1855-59. _William Chappell._ Popular Music of the Olden Time. 2 vols.

1857. _Robert Bell._ Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry
of England. London.

1857-59. _Francis James Child._ English and Scottish Ballads. 8 vols.
2nd edition, 1864.

1864. _William Allingham._ The Ballad Book. London.

1867-68. _J. W. Hales_ and _F. J. Furnivall_. Bishop Percy’s Folio
Manuscript. 4 vols. London.

1882-98. _Francis James Child._ The English and Scottish Popular
Ballads. 5 vols. Boston, New York, and London.

1895. _Andrew Lang._ Border Ballads. London: Lawrence and Bullen.

1897. _Andrew Lang._ A Collection of Ballads. London: Chapman and Hall’s
‘Diamond Library.’

1897. _Francis B. Gummere._ Old English Ballads. Boston, U.S.A. Athenæum
Press Series.

1902. _T. F. Henderson._ Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, by Sir
Walter Scott. New edition. 3 vols. London.


The illustrations on pp. 28, 75, and 118 are taken from Royal MS. 10. E.
iv. (of the fourteenth century) in the British Museum, where they occur
on folios 34 _verso_, 215 _recto_, and 254 _recto_ respectively. The
designs in the original form a decorated margin at the foot of each
page, and are outlined in ink and roughly tinted in three or four
colours. Much use is made of them in the illustrations to J. J.
Jusserand’s _English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages_, where
M. Jusserand rightly points out that this MS. ‘has perhaps never been so
thoroughly studied as it deserves.’


  Ther herde I pleyen on an harpe
  That souned bothe wel and sharpe,
  Orpheus ful craftely,
  And on his syde, faste by,
  Sat the harper Orion,
  And Eacides Chiron,
  And other harpers many oon,
  And the Bret[A] Glascurion.

      --Chaucer, _Hous of Fame_, III.

+The Text+, from the Percy Folio, luckily is complete, saving an
omission of two lines. A few obvious corrections have been introduced,
and the Folio reading given in a footnote. Percy printed the ballad in
the _Reliques_, with far fewer alterations than usual.

+The Story+ is also told in a milk-and-water Scotch version,
_Glenkindie_, doubtless mishandled by Jamieson, who ‘improved’ it from
two traditional sources. The admirable English ballad gives a striking
picture of the horror of ‘churlës blood’ proper to feudal days.

In the quotation above, Chaucer places Glascurion with Orpheus, Arion,
and Chiron, four great harpers. It is not improbable that Glascurion and
Glasgerion represent the Welsh bard Glas Keraint (Keraint the Blue Bard,
the chief bard wearing a blue robe of office), said to have been an
eminent poet, the son of Owain, Prince of Glamorgan.

The oath taken ‘by oak and ash and thorn’ (stanza 18) is a relic of very
early times. An oath ‘by corn’ is in _Young Hunting_.

  [Footnote A: From Skeat’s edition: elsewhere quoted ‘gret


  Glasgerion was a king’s own son,
    And a harper he was good;
  He harped in the king’s chamber,
    Where cup and candle stood,
  And so did he in the queen’s chamber,
    Till ladies waxed wood.

  And then bespake the king’s daughter,
    And these words thus said she:
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...

  Said, ‘Strike on, strike on, Glasgerion,
    Of thy striking do not blin;
  There’s never a stroke comes over this harp
    But it glads my heart within.’

  ‘Fair might you fall, lady,’ quoth he;
    ‘Who taught you now to speak?
  I have loved you, lady, seven year;
    My heart I durst ne’er break.’

  ‘But come to my bower, my Glasgerion,
    When all men are at rest;
  As I am a lady true of my promise,
    Thou shalt be a welcome guest.’

  But home then came Glasgerion,
    A glad man, Lord, was he!
  ‘And come thou hither, Jack, my boy,
    Come hither unto me.

  ‘For the king’s daughter of Normandy
    Her love is granted me,
  And before the cock have crowen
    At her chamber must I be.’

  ‘But come you hither, master,’ quoth he,
    ‘Lay your head down on this stone;
  For I will waken you, master dear,
    Afore it be time to gone.’

  But up then rose that lither lad,
    And did on hose and shoon;
  A collar he cast upon his neck,
    He seemed a gentleman.

  And when he came to that lady’s chamber,
    He thrilled upon a pin.
  The lady was true of her promise,
    Rose up, and let him in.

  He did not take the lady gay
    To bolster nor no bed,
  But down upon her chamber-floor
    Full soon he hath her laid.

  He did not kiss that lady gay
    When he came nor when he yode;
  And sore mistrusted that lady gay
    He was of some churlës blood.

  But home then came that lither lad,
    And did off his hose and shoon.
  And cast that collar from about his neck;
    He was but a churlës son:
  ‘Awaken,’ quoth he, ‘my master dear,
    I hold it time to be gone.

  ‘For I have saddled your horse, master,
    Well bridled I have your steed;
  Have not I served a good breakfast?
    When time comes I have need.’

  But up then rose good Glasgerion,
    And did on both hose and shoon,
  And cast a collar about his neck;
    He was a kingës son.

  And when he came to that lady’s chamber,
    He thrilled upon a pin;
  The lady was more than true of her promise,
    Rose up, and let him in.

  Says, ‘Whether have you left with me
    Your bracelet or your glove?
  Or are you back returned again
    To know more of my love?’

  Glasgerion swore a full great oath
    By oak and ash and thorn,
  ‘Lady, I was never in your chamber
    Sith the time that I was born.’

  ‘O then it was your little foot-page
    Falsely hath beguiled me’:
  And then she pull’d forth a little pen-knife
    That hanged by her knee,
  Says, ‘There shall never no churlës blood
    Spring within my body.’

  But home then went Glasgerion,
    A woe man, good [Lord], was he;
  Says, ‘Come hither, thou Jack, my boy,
    Come thou thither to me.

  ‘For if I had killed a man to-night,
    Jack, I would tell it thee;
  But if I have not killed a man to-night,
    Jack, thou hast killed three!’

  And he pull’d out his bright brown sword,
    And dried it on his sleeve,
  And he smote off that lither lad’s head,
    And asked no man no leave.

  He set the sword’s point till his breast,
    The pommel till a stone;
  Thorough that falseness of that lither lad
    These three lives were all gone.

  1.4: Folio:-- ‘where cappe & candle yoode.’ Percy in the _Reliques_
    (1767) printed ‘cuppe and _caudle_ stoode.’
  1.6: ‘wood,’ mad, wild (with delight).
  3.2: ‘blin,’ cease.
  4.4: _i.e._ durst never speak my mind.
  6.1: ‘home’; Folio _whom_.
  7.3,4: These lines are reversed in the Folio.
  9.1: ‘lither,’ idle, wicked.
  10.2: ‘thrilled,’ twirled or rattled; cp. ‘tirled at the pin,’ a stock
    ballad phrase (Scots).
  12.2: ‘yode,’ went.
  14.4: ‘time’: Folio _times_.
  17.3: Folio _you are_.
  22.2: Another commonplace of the ballads. The Scotch variant is
    generally, ‘And striped it thro’ the straw.’ See special section
    of the Introduction.
  23.1,2: ‘till,’ to, against.]


+The Text+ is that of the Jamieson-Brown MS., taken down from the
recitation of Mrs. Brown about 1783. In printing the ballad, Jamieson
collated with the above two other Scottish copies, one in MS., another a
stall-copy, a third from recitation in the north of England, a fourth
‘picked off an old wall in Piccadilly’ by the editor.

+The Story+ has several variations of detail in the numerous versions
known (Young Bicham, Brechin, Bekie, Beachen, Beichan, Bichen, Lord
Beichan, Lord Bateman, Young Bondwell, etc.), but the text here given is
one of the most complete and vivid, and contains besides one feature
(the ‘Belly Blin’) lost in all other versions but one.

A similar story is current in the ballad-literature of Scandinavia,
Spain, and Italy; but the English tale has undoubtedly been affected by
the charming legend of Gilbert Becket, the father of Saint Thomas, who,
having been captured by Admiraud, a Saracen prince, and held in durance
vile, was freed by Admiraud’s daughter, who then followed him to
England, knowing no English but ‘London’ and ‘Gilbert’; and after much
tribulation, found him and was married to him. ‘Becket’ is sufficiently
near ‘Bekie’ to prove contamination, but not to prove that the legend is
the origin of the ballad.

The Belly Blin (Billie Blin = billie, a man; blin’, blind, and so Billie
Blin = Blindman’s Buff, formerly called Hoodman Blind) occurs in certain
other ballads, such as _Cospatrick_, _Willie’s Lady_, and the _Knight
and the Shepherd’s Daughter_; also in a mutilated ballad of the Percy
Folio, _King Arthur and King Cornwall_, under the name Burlow Beanie. In
the latter case he is described as ‘a lodly feend, with seuen heads, and
one body,’ breathing fire; but in general he is a serviceable household
demon. Cp. German _bilwiz_, and Dutch _belewitte_.


  Young Bekie was as brave a knight
    As ever sail’d the sea;
  An’ he’s doen him to the court of France,
    To serve for meat and fee.

  He had nae been i’ the court of France
    A twelvemonth nor sae long,
  Til he fell in love with the king’s daughter,
    An’ was thrown in prison strong.

  The king he had but ae daughter,
    Burd Isbel was her name;
  An’ she has to the prison-house gane,
    To hear the prisoner’s mane.

  ‘O gin a lady woud borrow me,
    At her stirrup-foot I woud rin;
  Or gin a widow wad borrow me,
    I woud swear to be her son.

  ‘Or gin a virgin woud borrow me,
    I woud wed her wi’ a ring;
  I’d gi’ her ha’s, I’d gie her bowers,
    The bonny tow’rs o’ Linne.’

  O barefoot, barefoot gaed she but,
    An’ barefoot came she ben;
  It was no for want o’ hose an’ shoone,
    Nor time to put them on;

  But a’ for fear that her father dear,
    Had heard her making din:
  She’s stown the keys o’ the prison-house dor
    An’ latten the prisoner gang.

  O whan she saw him, Young Bekie,
    Her heart was wondrous sair!
  For the mice but an’ the bold rottons
    Had eaten his yallow hair.

  She’s gi’en him a shaver for his beard,
    A comber till his hair,
  Five hunder pound in his pocket,
    To spen’, and nae to spair.

  She’s gi’en him a steed was good in need,
    An’ a saddle o’ royal bone,
  A leash o’ hounds o’ ae litter,
    An’ Hector called one.

  Atween this twa a vow was made,
    ’Twas made full solemnly,
  That or three years was come and gane,
    Well married they shoud be.

  He had nae been in’s ain country
    A twelvemonth till an end,
  Till he’s forc’d to marry a duke’s daughter,
    Or than lose a’ his land.

  ‘Ohon, alas!’ says Young Bekie,
    ‘I know not what to dee;
  For I canno win to Burd Isbel,
    And she kensnae to come to me.’

  O it fell once upon a day
    Burd Isbel fell asleep,
  An’ up it starts the Belly Blin,
    An’ stood at her bed-feet.

  ‘O waken, waken, Burd Isbel,
    How [can] you sleep so soun’,
  Whan this is Bekie’s wedding day,
    An’ the marriage gain’ on?

  ’Ye do ye to your mither’s bow’r,
    Think neither sin nor shame;
  An’ ye tak twa o’ your mither’s marys,
    To keep ye frae thinking lang.

  ‘Ye dress yoursel’ in the red scarlet,
    An’ your marys in dainty green,
  An’ ye pit girdles about your middles
    Woud buy an earldome.

  ‘O ye gang down by yon sea-side,
    An’ down by yon sea-stran’;
  Sae bonny will the Hollans boats
    Come rowin’ till your han’.

  ‘Ye set your milk-white foot abord,
    Cry, Hail ye, Domine!
  An’ I shal be the steerer o’t,
    To row you o’er the sea.’

  She’s tane her till her mither’s bow’r,
    Thought neither sin nor shame,
  An’ she took twa o’ her mither’s marys,
    To keep her frae thinking lang.

  She dress’d hersel’ i’ the red scarlet.
    Her marys i’ dainty green,
  And they pat girdles about their middles
    Woud buy an earldome.

  An’ they gid down by yon sea-side,
    An’ down by yon sea-stran’;
  Sae bonny did the Hollan boats
    Come rowin’ to their han’.

  She set her milk-white foot on board,
    Cried ‘Hail ye, Domine!’
  An’ the Belly Blin was the steerer o’t,
    To row her o’er the sea.

  Whan she came to Young Bekie’s gate,
    She heard the music play;
  Sae well she kent frae a’ she heard,
    It was his wedding day.

  She’s pitten her han’ in her pocket,
    Gin the porter guineas three;
  ‘Hae, tak ye that, ye proud porter,
    Bid the bride-groom speake to me.’

  O whan that he cam up the stair,
    He fell low down on his knee:
  He hail’d the king, an’ he hail’d the queen,
    An’ he hail’d him, Young Bekie.

  ‘O I’ve been porter at your gates
    This thirty years an’ three;
  But there’s three ladies at them now,
    Their like I never did see.

  ‘There’s ane o’ them dress’d in red scarlet,
    And twa in dainty green,
  An’ they hae girdles about their middles
    Woud buy an earldome.’

  Then out it spake the bierly bride,
    Was a’ goud to the chin:
  ‘Gin she be braw without,’ she says,
    ‘We’s be as braw within.’

  Then up it starts him, Young Bekie,
    An’ the tears was in his ee:
  ‘I’ll lay my life it’s Burd Isbel,
    Come o’er the sea to me.’

  O quickly ran he down the stair,
    An’ whan he saw ’twas she,
  He kindly took her in his arms,
    And kiss’d her tenderly.

  ‘O hae ye forgotten, Young Bekie
    The vow ye made to me,
  Whan I took ye out o’ the prison strong
    Whan ye was condemn’d to die?

  ‘I gae you a steed was good in need,
    An’ a saddle o’ royal bone,
  A leash o’ hounds o’ ae litter,
    An’ Hector called one.’

  It was well kent what the lady said,
    That it wasnae a lee,
  For at ilka word the lady spake,
    The hound fell at her knee.

  ‘Tak hame, tak hame your daughter dear,
    A blessing gae her wi’,
  For I maun marry my Burd Isbel,
    That’s come o’er the sea to me.’

  ‘Is this the custom o’ your house,
    Or the fashion o’ your lan’,
  To marry a maid in a May mornin’,
    An’ send her back at even?’

  4.1: ‘borrow,’ ransom.
  6.1,2: ‘but ... ben,’ out ... in.
  7.3: ‘stown,’ stolen.
  8.3: ‘rottons,’ rats.
  15.2: The MS. reads ‘How y you.’
  16.3: ‘marys,’ maids.
  29.1: ‘bierly,’ stately.]


+Text.+-- The Percy Folio is the sole authority for this excellent
ballad, and the text of the MS. is therefore given here _literatim_, in
preference to the copy served up ‘with considerable corrections’ by
Percy in the _Reliques_. I have, however, substituted a few obvious
emendations suggested by Professor Child, giving the Folio reading in a

+The Story+ is practically identical with that of _Little Musgrave and
Lady Barnard_; but each is so good, though in a different vein, that
neither could be excluded.

The last stanza narrates the practice of burning a cross on the flesh of
the right shoulder when setting forth to the Holy Land--a practice which
obtained only among the very devout or superstitious of the Crusaders.
Usually a cross of red cloth attached to the right shoulder of the coat
was deemed sufficient.


  God! let neuer soe old a man
    Marry soe yonge a wiffe
  As did old Robin of Portingale!
    He may rue all the dayes of his liffe.

  Ffor the Maior’s daughter of Lin, God wott,
    He chose her to his wife,
  & thought to haue liued in quiettnesse
    With her all the dayes of his liffe.

  They had not in their wed bed laid,
    Scarcly were both on sleepe,
  But vpp she rose, & forth shee goes
    To Sir Gyles, & fast can weepe.

  Saies, ‘Sleepe you, wake you, faire Sir Gyles
    Or be not you within?’
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...

  ‘But I am waking, sweete,’ he said,
    ‘Lady, what is your will?’
  ‘I haue vnbethought me of a wile,
    How my wed lord we shall spill.

  ‘Four and twenty knights,’ she sayes,
    ‘That dwells about this towne,
  Eene four and twenty of my next cozens,
    Will helpe to dinge him downe.’

  With that beheard his litle foote page,
    As he was watering his master’s steed,
  Soe ...   ...   ...
    His verry heart did bleed;

  He mourned, sikt, & wept full sore;
    I sweare by the holy roode,
  The teares he for his master wept
    Were blend water & bloude.

  With that beheard his deare master
    As in his garden sate;
  Sayes, ‘Euer alacke, my litle page,
    What causes thee to weepe?

  ’Hath any one done to thee wronge,
    Any of thy fellowes here?
  Or is any of thy good friends dead,
    Which makes thee shed such teares?

  ‘Or if it be my head kookes man
    Greiued againe he shalbe,
  Nor noe man within my howse
    Shall doe wrong vnto thee.’

  ‘But it is not your head kookes man,
    Nor none of his degree,
  But or tomorrow ere it be noone,
    You are deemed to die;

  ‘& of that thanke your head steward,
    & after your gay ladie.’
  ‘If it be true, my litle foote page,
    Ile make thee heyre of all my land.’

  ‘If it be not true, my deare master,
    God let me neuer thye.’
  ‘If it be not true, thou litle foot page,
    A dead corse shalt thou be.’

  He called downe his head kooke’s man:
    ‘Cooke, in kitchen super to dresse’:
  ‘All & anon, my deare master,
    Anon att your request.’

  ‘& call you downe my faire Lady,
    This night to supp with mee.’
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...

  & downe then came that fayre Lady,
    Was cladd all in purple & palle,
  The rings that were vpon her fingers
    Cast light thorrow the hall.

  ‘What is your will, my owne wed Lord,
    What is your will with me?’
  ‘I am sicke, fayre Lady,
    Sore sicke, & like to dye.’

  ‘But & you be sicke, my owne wed Lord,
    Soe sore it greiueth mee,
  But my 5 maydens & my selfe
    Will goe & make your bedd,

  ‘& at the wakening of your first sleepe,
    You shall haue a hott drinke made,
  & at the wakening of your next sleepe
    Your sorrowes will haue a slake.’

  He put a silke cote on his backe,
    Was 13 inches folde,
  & put a steele cap vpon his head,
    Was gilded with good red gold;

  & he layd a bright browne sword by his side
    & another att his ffeete,
  & full well knew old Robin then
    Whether he shold wake or sleepe.

  & about the middle time of the night
    Came 24 good knights in,
  Sir Gyles he was the formost man,
    Soe well he knew that ginne.

  Old Robin with a bright browne sword
    Sir Gyles’ head he did winne,
  Soe did he all those 24,
    Neuer a one went quicke out [agen];

  None but one litle foot page
    Crept forth at a window of stone,
  & he had 2 armes when he came in
    And [when he went out he had none].

  Vpp then came that ladie light
    With torches burning bright;
  Shee thought to haue brought Sir Gyles a drinke,
    But shee found her owne wedd knight;

  & the first thing that this ladye stumbled vpon,
    Was of Sir Gyles his ffoote;
  Sayes, ‘Euer alacke, & woe is me,
    Heere lyes my sweete hart roote!’

  & the 2d. thing that this ladie stumbled on,
    Was of Sir Gyles his head;
  Sayes, ‘Euer alacke, & woe is me,
    Heere lyes my true loue deade!’

  Hee cutt the papps beside her brest,
    & bad her wish her will,
  & he cutt the eares beside her heade,
    & bade her wish on still.

  ‘Mickle is the man’s blood I haue spent
    To doe thee & me some good’;
  Sayes, ‘Euer alacke, my fayre Lady,
    I thinke that I was woode!’

  He call’d then vp his litle foote page,
    & made him heyre of all his land,
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...

  & he shope the crosse in his right sholder
    Of the white flesh & the redd,
  & he went him into the holy land,
    Wheras Christ was quicke and dead.

  2.1: ‘Lin,’ a stock ballad-locality: cp. _Young Bekie_, 5.4.
  5.3: ‘vnbethought.’ The same expression occurs in two other places
    in the Percy Folio, each time apparently in the same sense of
    ‘bethought [him] of.’
  6.1,3: ‘Four and twenty’: the Folio gives ‘24’ in each case.
  8.1: ‘sikt,’ sighed. The Folio reads _sist_.
  11.1, 12.1: The Folio reads _bookes man_; but see 15.1.
  14.2: ‘thye,’ thrive: the Folio reads _dye_.
  19.1: ‘&’ = an, if.
  20.3: ‘next’: the Folio reads _first_ again; probably the copyist’s
  23.4: ‘ginne,’ door-latch.
  24.4: ‘quicke,’ alive. The last word was added by Percy in the Folio.
  25.4: Added by Hales and Furnivall.
  26.1,2: _light_ and _bright_ are interchanged in the Folio.
  32.3: ‘went’: the Folio gives _sent_.]


+The Text+ here given is the version printed, with very few variations,
in _Wit Restor’d_, 1658, _Wit and Drollery_, 1682, Dryden’s
_Miscellany_, 1716, etc. The Percy Folio contains a fragmentary version,
consisting of some dozen stanzas. Child says that all the Scottish
versions are late, and probably derived, though taken down from oral
tradition, from printed copies. As recompense, we have the Scotch _Bonny

+The Story+ would seem to be purely English. That it was popular long
before the earliest known text is proved by quotations from it in old
plays: as from _Fair Margaret and Sweet William_. Merrythought in _The
Knight of the Burning Pestle_ (1611) sings from this ballad a version of
stanza 14, and Beaumont and Fletcher also put quotations into the mouths
of characters in _Bonduca_ (circ. 1619) and _Monsieur Thomas_ (circ.
1639). Other plays before 1650 also mention it.

The reader should remember, once for all, that burdens are to be
repeated in every verse, though printed only in the first.


  As it fell one holy-day,
        _Hay downe_
    As many be in the yeare,
  When young men and maids together did goe,
    Their mattins and masse to heare;

  Little Musgrave came to the church-dore;--
    The preist was at private masse;--
  But he had more minde of the faire women
    Then he had of our lady[’s] grace.

  The one of them was clad in green,
    Another was clad in pall,
  And then came in my lord Barnard’s wife,
    The fairest amonst them all.

  She cast an eye on Little Musgrave,
    As bright as the summer sun;
  And then bethought this Little Musgrave,
    ‘This lady’s heart have I woonn.’

  Quoth she, ‘I have loved thee, Little Musgrave,
    Full long and many a day’;
  ‘So have I loved you, fair lady,
    Yet never word durst I say.’

  ‘I have a bower at Bucklesfordbery,
    Full daintyly is it deight;
  If thou wilt wend thither, thou Little Musgrave,
    Thou’s lig in mine armes all night.’

  Quoth he, ‘I thank yee, fair lady,
    This kindnes thou showest to me;
  But whether it be to my weal or woe,
    This night I will lig with thee.’

  With that he heard, a little tynë page,
    By his ladye’s coach as he ran:
  ‘All though I am my ladye’s foot-page,
    Yet I am Lord Barnard’s man.

  ‘My lord Barnard shall knowe of this,
    Whether I sink or swim’;
  And ever where the bridges were broake
    He laid him downe to swimme.

  ‘A sleepe or wake, thou Lord Barnard,
    As thou art a man of life,
  For Little Musgrave is at Bucklesfordbery,
    A bed with thy own wedded wife.’

  ‘If this be true, thou little tinny page,
    This thing thou tellest to me,
  Then all the land in Bucklesfordbery
    I freely will give to thee.

  ‘But if it be a ly, thou little tinny page,
    This thing thou tellest to me,
  On the hyest tree in Bucklesfordbery
    Then hanged shalt thou be.’

  He called up his merry men all:
    ‘Come saddle me my steed;
  This night must I to Bucklesfordbery,
    For I never had greater need.’

  And some of them whistled, and some of them sung,
    And some these words did say,
  And ever when my lord Barnard’s horn blew,
    ‘Away, Musgrave, away!’

  ‘Methinks I hear the thresel-cock,
    Methinks I hear the jaye;
  Methinks I hear my Lord Barnard,
    And I would I were away!’

  ‘Lye still, lye still, thou little Musgrave,
    And huggell me from the cold;
  ’Tis nothing but a shephard’s boy
    A driving his sheep to the fold.

  ‘Is not thy hawke upon a perch,
    Thy steed eats oats and hay,
  And thou a fair lady in thine armes,
    And wouldst thou bee away?’

  With that my lord Barnard came to the dore,
    And lit a stone upon;
  He plucked out three silver keys
    And he open’d the dores each one.

  He lifted up the coverlett,
    He lifted up the sheet:
  ‘How now, how now, thou Little Musgrave,
    Doest thou find my lady sweet?’

  ‘I find her sweet,’ quoth Little Musgrave,
    ‘The more ’tis to my paine;
  I would gladly give three hundred pounds
    That I were on yonder plaine.’

  ‘Arise, arise, thou Little Musgrave,
    And put thy clothës on;
  It shall nere be said in my country
    I have killed a naked man.

  ‘I have two swords in one scabberd,
    Full deere they cost my purse;
  And thou shalt have the best of them,
    And I will have the worse.’

  The first stroke that Little Musgrave stroke,
    He hurt Lord Barnard sore;
  The next stroke that Lord Barnard stroke,
    Little Musgrave nere struck more.

  With that bespake this faire lady,
    In bed whereas she lay:
  ‘Although thou’rt dead, thou Little Musgrave,
    Yet I for thee will pray.

  ‘And wish well to thy soule will I,
    So long as I have life;
  So will I not for thee, Barnard,
    Although I am thy wedded wife.’

  He cut her paps from off her brest;
    Great pitty it was to see
  That some drops of this ladies heart’s blood
    Ran trickling downe her knee.

  ‘Woe worth you, woe worth, my mery men all,
    You were nere borne for my good;
  Why did you not offer to stay my hand,
    When you see me wax so wood?

  ‘For I have slaine the bravest sir knight
    That ever rode on steed;
  So have I done the fairest lady
    That over did woman’s deed.

  ‘A grave, a grave,’ Lord Barnard cry’d,
    ‘To put these lovers in;
  But lay my lady on the upper hand,
    For she came of the better kin.’

  3.2: ‘pall,’ a cloak: some versions read _pale_.
  6.2: ‘deight,’ _i.e._ dight, decked, dressed.
  15.1: ‘thresel-cock,’ throstle, thrush.
  27.4: ‘wood,’ wild, fierce.]


+Text.+--From the Jamieson-Brown MS. Jamieson, in printing this ballad,
enlarged and rewrote much of it, making the burden part of the dialogue

+The Story+ is much the same as that of _Little Musgrave and Lady
Barnard_; but the ballad as a whole is worthy of comparison with the
longer English ballad for the sake of its lyrical setting.


  There was a knight, in a summer’s night,
    Was riding o’er the lee, _(diddle)_
  An’ there he saw a bonny birdy,
    Was singing upon a tree. _(diddle)_

      O wow for day! _(diddle)_
      An’ dear gin it were day! _(diddle)_
      Gin it were day, an’ gin I were away,
      For I ha’ na lang time to stay. _(diddle)_

  ‘Make hast, make hast, ye gentle knight,
    What keeps you here so late?
  Gin ye kent what was doing at hame,
    I fear you woud look blate.’

  ‘O what needs I toil day an’ night,
    My fair body to kill,
  Whan I hae knights at my comman’,
    An’ ladys at my will?’

  ‘Ye lee, ye lee, ye gentle knight,
    Sa loud’s I hear you lee;
  Your lady’s a knight in her arms twa
    That she lees far better nor thee.’

  ‘Ye lee, ye lee, you bonny birdy,
    How you lee upo’ my sweet!
  I will tak’ out my bonny bow,
    An’ in troth I will you sheet.’

  ‘But afore ye hae your bow well bent,
    An’ a’ your arrows yare,
  I will flee till another tree,
    Whare I can better fare.’

  ‘O whare was you gotten, and whare was ye clecked?
    My bonny birdy, tell me’;
  ‘O I was clecked in good green wood,
    Intill a holly tree;
  A gentleman my nest herryed
    An’ ga’ me to his lady.

  ’Wi’ good white bread an’ farrow-cow milk
    He bade her feed me aft,
  An’ ga’ her a little wee simmer-dale wanny,
    To ding me sindle and saft.

  ‘Wi’ good white bread an’ farrow-cow milk
    I wot she fed me nought,
  But wi’ a little wee simmer-dale wanny
    She dang me sair an’ aft:
  Gin she had deen as ye her bade,
    I wouldna tell how she has wrought.’

  The knight he rade, and the birdy flew,
    The live-lang simmer’s night,
  Till he came till his lady’s bow’r-door,
    Then even down he did light:
  The birdy sat on the crap of a tree,
    An’ I wot it sang fu’ dight.

  ‘O wow for day! _(diddle)_
    An’ dear gin it were day! _(diddle)_
  Gin it were day, and gin I were away,
    For I ha’ na lang time to stay.’ _(diddle)_

  ‘What needs ye lang for day, _(diddle)_
    An’ wish that you were away? _(diddle)_
  Is no your hounds i’ my cellar.
    Eating white meal and gray?’ _(diddle)_
              ‘O wow for day,’ _etc._

  ‘Is nae you[r] steed in my stable,
    Eating good corn an’ hay?
  An’ is nae your hawk i’ my perch-tree,
    Just perching for his prey?
  An’ is nae yoursel i’ my arms twa?
    Then how can ye lang for day?’

  ‘O wow for day! _(diddle)_
    An’ dear gin it were day! _(diddle)_
  For he that’s in bed wi’ anither man’s wife
    Has never lang time to stay.’ _(diddle)_

  Then out the knight has drawn his sword,
    An’ straiked it o’er a strae,
  An’ thro’ and thro’ the fa’se knight’s waste
    He gard cauld iron gae:
  An’ I hope ilk ane sal sae be serv’d
    That treats ane honest man sae.

  2.4: ‘blate,’ astonished, abashed.
  7.1: ‘clecked,’ hatched.
  8.1: ‘A Farrow Cow is a Cow that gives Milk in the second year after
    her Calving, having no Calf that year.’--Holme’s _Armoury_, 1688.
  8.3: ‘wanny,’ wand, rod: ‘simmer-dale,’ apparently = summer-dale.
  8.4: ‘sindle,’ seldom.
  10.5: ‘crap,’ top.
  10.6: ‘dight,’ freely, readily.
  15.1-4: Cp. _Clerk Sanders_, 15.]



+The Text+ is that of Scott’s _Minstrelsy_, ‘chiefly from the recitation
of an old woman.’ Scott names the ballad ‘Lord Thomas and Fair Annie,’
adding to the confusion already existing with ‘Lord Thomas and Fair

+The Story.+--Fair Annie, stolen from the home of her father, the Earl
of Wemyss, by ‘a knight out o’er the sea,’ has borne seven sons to him.
He now bids her prepare to welcome home his real bride, and she meekly
obeys, suppressing her tears with difficulty. Lord Thomas and his
new-come bride hear, through the wall of their bridal chamber, Annie
bewailing her lot, and wishing her seven sons had never been born. The
bride goes to comfort her, discovers in her a long-lost sister, and
departs, thanking heaven she goes a maiden home.

Of this ballad, Herd printed a fragment in 1769, some stanzas being
incorporated in the present version. Similar tales abound in the
folklore of Scandinavia, Holland, and Germany. But, three hundred years
older than any version of the ballad, is the lay of Marie de France, _Le
Lai de Freisne_; which, nevertheless, is only another offshoot of some
undiscovered common origin.

It is imperative (in 4.4) that Annie should _braid_ her hair, as a sign
of virginity: married women only bound up their hair, or wore it under a


  ‘It’s narrow, narrow, make your bed,
    And learn to lie your lane;
  For I’m ga’n o’er the sea, Fair Annie,
    A braw bride to bring hame.
  Wi’ her I will get gowd and gear;
    Wi’ you I ne’er got nane.

  ‘But wha will bake my bridal bread,
    Or brew my bridal ale?
  And wha will welcome my brisk bride,
    That I bring o’er the dale?’

  ‘It’s I will bake your bridal bread,
    And brew your bridal ale;
  And I will welcome your brisk bride,
    That you bring o’er the dale.’

  ‘But she that welcomes my brisk bride
    Maun gang like maiden fair;
  She maun lace on her robe sae jimp,
    And braid her yellow hair.’

  ‘But how can I gang maiden-like,
    When maiden I am nane?
  Have I not born seven sons to thee,
    And am with child again?’

  She’s taen her young son in her arms,
    Another in her hand,
  And she’s up to the highest tower,
    To see him come to land.

  ‘Come up, come up, my eldest son,
    And look o’er yon sea-strand,
  And see your father’s new-come bride,
    Before she come to land.’

  ‘Come down, come down, my mother dear,
    Come frae the castle wa’!
  I fear, if langer ye stand there,
    Ye’ll let yoursell down fa’.’

  And she gaed down, and farther down,
    Her love’s ship for to see,
  And the topmast and the mainmast
    Shone like the silver free.

  And she’s gane down, and farther down,
    The bride’s ship to behold,
  And the topmast and the mainmast
    They shone just like the gold.

  She’s taen her seven sons in her hand,
    I wot she didna fail;
  She met Lord Thomas and his bride,
    As they came o’er the dale.

  ‘You’re welcome to your house, Lord Thomas,
    You’re welcome to your land;
  You’re welcome with your fair ladye,
    That you lead by the hand.

  ‘You’re welcome to your ha’s, ladye,
    You’re welcome to your bowers;
  You’re welcome to your hame, ladye,
    For a’ that’s here is yours.’

  ‘I thank thee, Annie, I thank thee, Annie,
    Sae dearly as I thank thee;
  You’re the likest to my sister Annie,
    That ever I did see.

  ‘There came a knight out o’er the sea,
    And steal’d my sister away;
  The shame scoup in his company,
    And land where’er he gae!’

  She hang ae napkin at the door,
    Another in the ha’,
  And a’ to wipe the trickling tears,
    Sae fast as they did fa’.

  And aye she served the long tables,
    With white bread and with wine;
  And aye she drank the wan water,
    To had her colour fine.

  And aye she served the lang tables,
    With white bread and with brown;
  And ay she turned her round about
    Sae fast the tears fell down.

  And he’s taen down the silk napkin,
    Hung on a silver pin,
  And aye he wipes the tear trickling
    A’ down her cheek and chin.

  And aye he turned him round about,
    And smil’d amang his men;
  Says, ‘Like ye best the old ladye,
    Or her that’s new come hame?’

  When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
    And a’ men bound to bed,
  Lord Thomas and his new-come bride
    To their chamber they were gaed.

  Annie made her bed a little forbye,
    To hear what they might say;
  ‘And ever alas,’ Fair Annie cried,
    ‘That I should see this day!

  ‘Gin my seven sons were seven young rats
    Running on the castle wa’,
  And I were a gray cat mysell,
    I soon would worry them a’.

  ‘Gin my seven sons were seven young hares,
    Running o’er yon lilly lee,
  And I were a grew hound mysell,
    Soon worried they a’ should be.’

  And wae and sad Fair Annie sat,
    And drearie was her sang,
  And ever, as she sobb’d and grat,
    ‘Wae to the man that did the wrang!’

  ‘My gown is on,’ said the new-come bride,
    ‘My shoes are on my feet,
  And I will to Fair Annie’s chamber,
    And see what gars her greet.

  ‘What ails ye, what ails ye, Fair Annie,
    That ye make sic a moan?
  Has your wine barrels cast the girds,
    Or is your white bread gone?

  ‘O wha was’t was your father, Annie,
    Or wha was’t was your mother?
  And had ye ony sister, Annie,
    Or had ye ony brother?’

  ‘The Earl of Wemyss was my father,
    The Countess of Wemyss my mother;
  And a’ the folk about the house
    To me were sister and brother.’

  ‘If the Earl of Wemyss was your father,
    I wot sae he was mine;
  And it shall not be for lack o’ gowd
    That ye your love sall tyne.

  ‘For I have seven ships o’ mine ain,
    A’ loaded to the brim,
  And I will gie them a’ to thee,
    Wi’ four to thine eldest son:
  But thanks to a’ the powers in heaven
    That I gae maiden hame!’

  15.3: ‘scoup,’ fly, hasten.
  17.4: ‘had’ = haud, hold.
  22.1: ‘forbye,’ apart.
  24.2: ‘lilly lee,’ lovely lea.
  30.4: ‘tyne,’ lose.]


+The Text+ is given from Motherwell’s _Minstrelsy_, earlier versions
being only fragmentary.

+The Story+ has a close parallel in a Danish ballad; and another,
popular all over Germany, is a variation of the same theme, but in place
of the mother’s final doom being merely mentioned, in the German ballad
she is actually carried away by the devil.

In a small group of ballads, the penknife appears to be the ideal weapon
for murder or suicide. See the _Twa Brothers_ and the _Bonny Hind_.


  She leaned her back unto a thorn;
    _Three, three, and three by three_
  And there she has her two babes born.
    _Three, three, and thirty-three_.

  She took frae ’bout her ribbon-belt,
  And there she bound them hand and foot.

  She has ta’en out her wee pen-knife,
  And there she ended baith their life.

  She has howked a hole baith deep and wide,
  She has put them in baith side by side.

  She has covered them o’er wi’ a marble stane,
  Thinking she would gang maiden hame.

  As she was walking by her father’s castle wa’,
  She saw twa pretty babes playing at the ba’.

  ‘O bonnie babes, gin ye were mine,
  I would dress you up in satin fine.

  ‘O I would dress you in the silk,
  And wash you ay in morning milk.’

  ‘O cruel mother, we were thine,
  And thou made us to wear the twine.

  ‘O cursed mother, heaven’s high,
  And that’s where thou will ne’er win nigh.

  ‘O cursed mother, hell is deep,
  And there thou’ll enter step by step.’

  9.2: ‘twine,’ coarse cloth; _i.e._ shroud.]


+The Text+ is here given from the Percy Folio, with some emendations as
suggested by Child.

+The Story+, if we omit the hard tests imposed on the maid’s affection,
is widely popular in a series of Scandinavian ballads,--Danish, Swedish,
and Norwegian; and Percy’s edition (in the _Reliques_) was popularised
in Germany by Bürger’s translation.

The disagreeable nature of the final insult (stt. 27-29), retained here
only for the sake of fidelity to the original text, may be paralleled by
the similarly sudden lapse of taste in the _Nut-Brown Maid_. We can but
hope--as indeed is probable--that the objectionable lines are in each
case interpolated.

‘Child,’ as in ‘Child Roland,’ etc., is a title of courtesy = Knight.


  Childe Watters in his stable stoode,
    & stroaket his milke-white steede;
  To him came a ffaire young ladye
    As ere did weare womans weede.

  Saies, ‘Christ you saue, good Chyld Waters!’
    Sayes, ‘Christ you saue and see!
  My girdle of gold which was too longe
    Is now to short ffor mee.

  ‘& all is with one chyld of yours,
    I ffeele sturre att my side:
  My gowne of greene, it is to strayght;
    Before it was to wide.’

  ‘If the child be mine, faire Ellen,’ he sayd,
    ‘Be mine, as you tell mee,
  Take you Cheshire & Lancashire both,
    Take them your owne to bee.

  ‘If the child be mine, ffaire Ellen,’ he said,
    ‘Be mine, as you doe sweare,
  Take you Cheshire & Lancashire both,
    & make that child your heyre.’

  Shee saies, ‘I had rather haue one kisse,
    Child Waters, of thy mouth,
  Then I would have Cheshire & Lancashire both,
    That lyes by north & south.

  ‘& I had rather haue a twinkling,
    Child Waters, of your eye,
  Then I would have Cheshire & Lancashire both,
    To take them mine oune to bee!’

  ‘To-morrow, Ellen, I must forth ryde
    Soe ffar into the north countrye;
  The ffairest lady that I can ffind,
    Ellen, must goe with mee.’
  ‘& euer I pray you, Child Watters,
    Your ffootpage let me bee!’

  ‘If you will my ffootpage be, Ellen,
    As you doe tell itt mee,
  Then you must cut your gownne of greene
    An inch aboue your knee.

  ‘Soe must you doe your yellow lockes
    Another inch aboue your eye;
  You must tell no man what is my name;
    My ffootpage then you shall bee.’

  All this long day Child Waters rode,
    Shee ran bare ffoote by his side;
  Yett was he neuer soe curteous a knight,
    To say, ‘Ellen, will you ryde?’

  But all this day Child Waters rode,
    She ran barffoote thorow the broome!
  Yett he was neuer soe curteous a knight
    As to say, ‘Put on your shoone.’

  ‘Ride softlye,’ shee said, ‘Child Watters:
    Why do you ryde soe ffast?
  The child, which is no mans but yours,
    My bodye itt will burst.’

  He sayes, ‘Sees thou yonder water, Ellen,
    That fflowes from banke to brim?’
  ‘I trust to God, Child Waters,’ shee sayd,
    ‘You will neuer see mee swime.’

  But when shee came to the waters side,
    Shee sayled to the chinne:
  ‘Except the lord of heauen be my speed,
    Now must I learne to swime.’

  The salt waters bare vp Ellens clothes,
    Our Ladye bare vpp her chinne,
  & Child Waters was a woe man, good Lord,
    To ssee faire Ellen swime.

  & when shee ouer the water was,
    Shee then came to his knee:
  He said, ‘Come hither, ffaire Ellen,
    Loe yonder what I see!

  ‘Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen?
    Of redd gold shine the yates;
  There’s four and twenty ffayre ladyes,
    The ffairest is my wordlye make.

  ‘Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen?
    Of redd gold shineth the tower;
  There is four and twenty ffaire ladyes,
    The fairest is my paramoure.’

  ‘I doe see the hall now, Child Waters,
    That of redd gold shineth the yates;
  God giue good then of your selfe,
    & of your wordlye make!

  ‘I doe see the hall now, Child Waters,
    That of redd gold shineth the tower;
  God giue good then of your selfe,
    And of your paramoure!’

  There were four and twenty ladyes,
    Were playing att the ball;
  & Ellen, was the ffairest ladye,
    Must bring his steed to the stall.

  There were four and twenty faire ladyes
    Was playing att the chesse;
  & Ellen, shee was the ffairest ladye,
    Must bring his horsse to grasse.

  & then bespake Child Waters sister,
    & these were the words said shee:
  ‘You haue the prettyest ffootpage, brother,
    That ever I saw with mine eye;

  ‘But that his belly it is soe bigg,
    His girdle goes wonderous hye;
  & euer I pray you, Child Waters,
    Let him go into the chamber with me.’

  ‘It is more meete for a litle ffootpage,
    That has run through mosse and mire,
  To take his supper vpon his knee
    & sitt downe by the kitchin fyer,
  Then to go into the chamber with any ladye
    That weares so [rich] attyre.’

  But when thé had supped euery one,
    To bedd they tooke the way;
  He sayd, ‘Come hither, my litle footpage,
    Hearken what I doe say!

  ‘& goe thee downe into yonder towne,
    & low into the street;
  The ffarest ladye that thou can find,
    Hyer her in mine armes to sleepe,
  & take her vp in thine armes two,
    For filinge of her ffeete.’

  Ellen is gone into the towne,
    & low into the streete:
  The fairest ladye that shee cold find
    She hyred in his armes to sleepe,
  & tooke her in her armes two,
    For filing of her ffeete.

  ‘I pray you now, good Child Waters,
    That I may creepe in att your bedds feete,
  For there is noe place about this house
    Where I may say a sleepe.’

  This [night] & itt droue on affterward
    Till itt was neere the day:
  He sayd, ‘Rise vp, my litle ffoote page,
    & giue my steed corne & hay;
  & soe doe thou the good blacke oates,
    That he may carry me the better away.’

  And vp then rose ffaire Ellen,
    & gave his steed corne & hay,
  & soe shee did and the good blacke oates,
    That he might carry him the better away.

  Shee layned her backe to the manger side,
    & greiuouslye did groane;
  & that beheard his mother deere,
    And heard her make her moane.

  Shee said, ‘Rise vp, thou Child Waters!
    I thinke thou art a cursed man;
  For yonder is a ghost in thy stable,
    That greiuously doth groane,
  Or else some woman laboures of child,
    Shee is soe woe begone!’

  But vp then rose Child Waters,
    & did on his shirt of silke;
  Then he put on his other clothes
    On his body as white as milke.

  & when he came to the stable dore,
    Full still that hee did stand,
  That hee might heare now faire Ellen,
    How shee made her monand.

  Shee said, ‘Lullabye, my owne deere child!
    Lullabye, deere child, deere!
  I wold thy father were a king,
    Thy mother layd on a beere!’

  ‘Peace now,’ he said, ‘good faire Ellen!
    & be of good cheere, I thee pray,
  & the bridall & the churching both,
    They shall bee vpon one day.’

  2.2: ‘see,’ protect. So constantly in this phrase.
  18.2: ‘yates,’ gates.
  18.3: In each case the Folio gives ‘24’ for ‘four and twenty.’
  18.4: ‘wordlye make,’ worldly mate.
  26.6: ‘rich’ added by Percy.
  28.6: ‘For filinge,’ to save defiling.
  30.4: ‘say,’ essay, attempt.
  31.1: ‘night.’ Child’s emendation. Percy read: ‘This done, the nighte
    drove on apace.’
  32.3: ‘and’; Folio _on_.
  36.4: ‘monand,’ moaning.]


There are here put in juxtaposition three versions in ballad-form of the
same story, though fragmentary in the two latter cases, not only because
each is good, but to show the possibilities of variation in a popular
story. There is yet another ballad, _Erlinton_, printed by Sir Walter
Scott in the _Minstrelsy_, embodying an almost identical tale. _Earl
Brand_ preserves most of the features of a very ancient story with more
exactitude than any other traditional ballad. But in this case, as in
too many others, we must turn to a Scandinavian ballad for the complete
form of the story. A Danish ballad, _Ribold and Guldborg_, gives the
fine tale thus:--

Ribold, a king’s son, in love with Guldborg, offers to carry her away
‘to a land where death and sorrow come not, where all the birds are
cuckoos, where all the grass is leeks, where all the streams run with
wine.’ Guldborg is willing, but doubts whether she can escape the strict
watch kept over her by her family and by her betrothed lover. Ribold
disguises her in his armour and a cloak, and they ride away. On the moor
they meet an earl, who asks, ‘Whither away?’ Ribold answers that he is
taking his youngest sister from a cloister. This does not deceive the
earl, nor does a bribe close his mouth; and Guldborg’s father, learning
that she is away with Ribold, rides with his sons in pursuit. Ribold
bids Guldborg hold his horse, and prepares to fight; he tells her that,
whatever may chance, she must not call on him by name. Ribold slays her
father and some of her kin and six of her brothers; only her youngest
brother is left: Guldborg cries, ‘Ribold, spare him,’ that he may carry
tidings to her mother. Immediately Ribold receives a mortal wound. He
ceases fighting, sheathes his sword, and says to her, ‘Wilt thou go home
to thy mother again, or wilt thou follow so sad a swain?’ And she says
she will follow him. In silence they ride on. ‘Why art not thou merry as
before?’ asks Guldborg. And Ribold answers, ‘Thy brother’s sword has
been in my heart.’ They reach his house: he calls for one to take his
horse, another to fetch a priest; for his brother shall have Guldborg.
But she refuses. That night dies Ribold, and Guldborg slays herself and
dies in his arms.

A second and even more dramatic ballad, _Hildebrand and Hilde_, tells a
similar story.

A comparison of the above tale with _Earl Brand_ will show a close
agreement in most of the incidents. The chief loss in the English ballad
is the request of Ribold, that Guldborg must not speak his name while he
fights. The very name ‘Brand’ is doubtless a direct derivative of
‘Hildebrand.’ Winchester (13.2), as it implies a nunnery, corresponds to
the cloister in the Danish ballad. Earl Brand directs his mother to
marry the King’s daughter to his youngest brother; but her refusal, if
she did as Guldborg did, has been lost.

_The Douglas Tragedy_, a beautiful but fragmentary version, is, says
Scott, ‘one of the few to which popular tradition has ascribed complete
locality.’ The ascribed locality, if more complete, is no more probable
than any other: to ascribe any definite locality to a ballad is in all
cases a waste of time and labour.

_The Child of Ell_, in the Percy Folio, _may_ have contained anything;
but immediately we approach a point where comparison would be of
interest, we meet an _hiatus valde deflendus_. Percy, in the _Reliques_,
expanded the fragment here given to about five times the length.


(From +R. Bell’s+ _Ancient Poems, Ballads_, etc.)

  Oh did ye ever hear o’ brave Earl Bran’?
    _Ay lally, o lilly lally_
  He courted the king’s daughter of fair England
    _All i’ the night sae early_.

  She was scarcely fifteen years of age
  Till sae boldly she came to his bedside.

  ‘O Earl Bran’, fain wad I see
  A pack of hounds let loose on the lea.’

  ‘O lady, I have no steeds but one,
  And thou shalt ride, and I will run.’

  ‘O Earl Bran’, my father has two,
  And thou shall have the best o’ them a’.’

  They have ridden o’er moss and moor,
  And they met neither rich nor poor.

  Until they met with old Carl Hood;
  He comes for ill, but never for good.

  ‘Earl Bran’, if ye love me,
  Seize this old earl, and gar him die.’

  ‘O lady fair, it wad be sair,
  To slay an old man that has grey hair.

  ‘O lady fair, I’ll no do sae,
  I’ll gie him a pound and let him gae.’

  ‘O where hae ye ridden this lee lang day?
  O where hae ye stolen this lady away?’

  ‘I have not ridden this lee lang day,
  Nor yet have I stolen this lady away.

  ‘She is my only, my sick sister,
  Whom I have brought from Winchester.’

  ‘If she be sick, and like to dead,
  Why wears she the ribbon sae red?

  ‘If she be sick, and like to die,
  Then why wears she the gold on high?’

  When he came to this lady’s gate,
  Sae rudely as he rapped at it.

  ‘O where’s the lady o’ this ha’?’
  ‘She’s out with her maids to play at the ba’.’

  ‘Ha, ha, ha! ye are a’ mista’en:
  Gae count your maidens o’er again.

  ‘I saw her far beyond the moor
  Away to be the Earl o’ Bran’s whore.’

  The father armed fifteen of his best men,
  To bring his daughter back again.

  O’er her left shoulder the lady looked then:
  ‘O Earl Bran’, we both are tane.’

  ‘If they come on me ane by ane,
  Ye may stand by and see them slain.

  ‘But if they come on me one and all,
  Ye may stand by and see me fall.’

  They have come on him ane by ane,
  And he has killed them all but ane.

  And that ane came behind his back,
  And he’s gi’en him a deadly whack.

  But for a’ sae wounded as Earl Bran’ was,
  He has set his lady on her horse.

  They rode till they came to the water o’ Doune,
  And then he alighted to wash his wounds.

  ‘O Earl Bran’, I see your heart’s blood!’
  ‘’Tis but the gleat o’ my scarlet hood.’

  They rode till they came to his mother’s gate,
  And sae rudely as he rapped at it.

  ‘O my son’s slain, my son’s put down,
  And a’ for the sake of an English loun.’

  ‘O say not sae, my dear mother,
  But marry her to my youngest brother.

  ‘This has not been the death o’ ane,
  But it’s been that o’ fair seventeen.’


(From +Scott’s+ _Minstrelsy_)

  ‘Rise up, rise up now, Lord Douglas,’ she says,
    ‘And put on your armour so bright;
  Let it never be said that a daughter of thine
    Was married to a lord under night.

  ‘Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons,
    And put on your armour so bright;
  And take better care of your youngest sister,
    For your eldest’s awa’ the last night!’

  He’s mounted her on a milk-white steed,
    And himself on a dapple grey,
  With a bugelet horn hung down by his side,
    And lightly they rode away.

  Lord William lookit o’er his left shoulder,
    To see what he could see,
  And there he spy’d her seven brethren bold
    Come riding over the lee.

  ‘Light down, light down, Lady Margret,’ he said,
    ‘And hold my steed in your hand,
  Until that against your seven brethren bold,
    And your father, I mak’ a stand.’

  She held his steed in her milk-white hand,
    And never shed one tear,
  Until that she saw her seven brethren fa’,
    And her father hard fighting, who lov’d her so dear.

  ‘O hold your hand, Lord William!’ she said,
    ‘For your strokes they are wondrous sair;
  True lovers I can get many a ane,
    But a father I can never get mair.’

  O she’s ta’en out her handkerchief,
    It was o’ the holland sae fine,
  And aye she dighted her father’s bloody wounds,
    That were redder than the wine.

  ‘O chuse, O chuse, Lady Margret,’ he said,
    ‘O whether will ye gang or bide?’
  ‘I’ll gang, I’ll gang, Lord William,’ she said,
    ‘For ye have left me no other guide.’

  He’s lifted her on a milk-white steed,
    And himself on a dapple grey,
  With a bugelet horn hung down by his side,
    And slowly they baith rade away.

  O they rade on, and on they rade,
    And a’ by the light of the moon,
  Until they came to yon wan water,
    And there they lighted down.

  They lighted down to tak’ a drink
    Of the spring that ran sae clear:
  And down the stream ran his gude heart’s blood,
    And sair she gan to fear.

  ‘Hold up, hold up, Lord William,’ she says,
    ‘For I fear that you are slain!’
  ‘’Tis naething but the shadow of my scarlet cloak,
    That shines in the water sae plain.’

  O they rade on, and on they rade,
    And a’ by the light of the moon,
  Until they cam’ to his mother’s ha’ door,
    And there they lighted down.

  ‘Get up, get up, lady mother,’ he says,
    ‘Get up, and let me in!
  Get up, get up, lady mother,’ he says,
    ‘For this night my fair ladye I’ve win.

  ‘O mak’ my bed, lady mother,’ he says,
    ‘O mak’ it braid and deep,
  And lay Lady Margret close at my back,
    And the sounder I will sleep.’

  Lord William was dead lang ere midnight,
    Lady Margret lang ere day,
  And all true lovers that go thegither,
    May they have mair luck than they!

  Lord William was buried in St. Mary’s kirk,
    Lady Margret in Mary’s quire;
  Out o’ the lady’s grave grew a bonny red rose,
    And out o’ the knight’s a briar.

  And they twa met, and they twa plat,
    And fain they wad be near;
  And a’ the warld might ken right weel,
    They were twa lovers dear.

  But bye and rade the Black Douglas,
    And wow but he was rough!
  For he pull’d up the bonny brier,
    And flang’t in St. Mary’s Loch.

  8.3: ‘dighted,’ dressed.]


  (_Fragment: from the Percy Folio_)

  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...
  Sayes, ‘Christ thee saue, good child of Ell,
    Christ saue thee & thy steede!

  ‘My father sayes he will noe meate,
    Nor his drinke shall doe him noe good,
  Till he haue slaine the child of Ell,
    & haue seene his hart’s blood.’

  ‘I wold I were in my sadle sett,
    & a mile out of the towne,
  I did not care for your father
    & all his merrymen.

  ‘I wold I were in my sadle sett
    & a litle space him froe,
  I did not care for your father
    & all that long him to!’

  He leaned ore his saddle bow,
    To kisse this lady good;
  The teares that went them 2 betweene
    Were blend water & blood.

  He sett himselfe on one good steed,
    This lady on one palfray,
  & sett his litle horne to his mouth,
    & roundlie he rode away.

  He had not ridden past a mile,
    A mile out of the towne,
  Her father was readye with her 7 brether,
    He said, ‘Sett thou my daughter downe!
  For it ill beseemes thee, thou false churles sonne,
    To carry her forth of this towne!’

  ‘But lowd thou lyest, Sir Iohn the Knight,
    Thou now doest lye of me;
  A knight me gott, & a lady me bore;
    Soe neuer did none by thee.

  ‘But light now downe, my lady gay,
    Light downe & hold my horsse,
  Whilest I & your father & your brether
    Doe play vs at this crosse.

  ‘But light now downe, my owne trew loue,
    & meeklye hold my steede,
  Whilest your father [and your brether] bold
  ...   ...   ...

  1.3: The maiden is speaking.
  5.4: ‘blend,’ blended, mixed.
  6.2: ‘on’: the MS. gives ‘of.’
  10.3: The rest (about nine stt.) is missing.]


+The Text+ is from Percy’s _Reliques_ (vol. ii., 1765: vol. iii., 1767).
In the latter edition he also gives the English version of the ballad
earlier in the same volume.

+The Story.+--This ballad, as it is one of the most beautiful, is also
one of the most popular. It should be compared with _Fair Margaret and
Sweet William_, in which the forlorn maid dies of grief, not by the hand
of her rival.

  A series of Norse ballads tell much the same tale, but in none is the
‘friends’ will’ a crucial point. Chansons from Burgundy, Bretagne,
Provence, and northern Italy, faintly echo the story.

  Lord Thomas his mither says that Fair Annet has no ‘gowd and gear’;
yet later on we find that Annet’s father can provide her with a horse
shod with silver and gold, and four-and-twenty silver bells in his mane;
she is attended by a large company, her cleading skinkles, and her belt
is of pearl.


  Lord Thomas and Fair Annet
    Sate a’ day on a hill;
  Whan night was cum, and sun was sett,
    They had not talkt their fill.

  Lord Thomas said a word in jest,
    Fair Annet took it ill:
  ‘A, I will nevir wed a wife
    Against my ain friends’ will.’

  ‘Gif ye wull nevir wed a wife,
    A wife wull neir wed yee’:
  Sae he is hame to tell his mither,
    And knelt upon his knee.

  ‘O rede, O rede, mither,’ he says,
    ‘A gude rede gie to mee:
  O sall I tak the nut-browne bride,
    And let Faire Annet bee?’

  ‘The nut-browne bride haes gowd and gear,
    Fair Annet she has gat nane;
  And the little beauty Fair Annet haes,
    O it wull soon be gane.’

  And he has till his brother gane:
    ‘Now, brother, rede ye mee;
  A, sall I marrie the nut-browne bride,
    And let Fair Annet bee?’

  ‘The nut-browne bride has oxen, brother,
    The nut-browne bride has kye:
  I wad hae ye marrie the nut-browne bride,
    And cast Fair Annet bye.’

  ‘Her oxen may dye i’ the house, billie,
    And her kye into the byre,
  And I sall hae nothing to mysell
    Bot a fat fadge by the fyre.’

  And he has till his sister gane:
    ‘Now sister, rede ye mee;
  O sall I marrie the nut-browne bride,
    And set Fair Annet free?’

  ‘I’se rede ye tak Fair Annet, Thomas,
    And let the browne bride alane;
  Lest ye sould sigh, and say, Alace,
    What is this we brought hame!’

  ‘No, I will tak my mither’s counsel,
    And marrie me owt o’ hand;
  And I will tak the nut-browne bride;
    Fair Annet may leive the land.’

  Up then rose Fair Annet’s father,
    Twa hours or it wer day,
  And he is gane into the bower
    Wherein Fair Annet lay.

  ‘Rise up, rise up, Fair Annet,’ he says,
    ‘Put on your silken sheene;
  Let us gae to St. Marie’s kirke,
    And see that rich weddeen.’

  ‘My maides, gae to my dressing-roome,
    And dress to me my hair;
  Whaireir yee laid a plait before,
    See yee lay ten times mair.

  ‘My maides, gae to my dressing-room,
    And dress to me my smock;
  The one half is o’ the holland fine,
    The other o’ needle-work.’

  The horse Fair Annet rade upon,
    He amblit like the wind;
  Wi’ siller he was shod before,
    Wi’ burning gowd behind.

  Four and twanty siller bells
    Wer a’ tyed till his mane,
  And yae tift o’ the norland wind,
    They tinkled ane by ane.

  Four and twanty gay gude knichts
    Rade by Fair Annet’s side,
  And four and twanty fair ladies,
    As gin she had bin a bride.

  And whan she cam to Marie’s kirk,
    She sat on Marie’s stean:
  The cleading that Fair Annet had on
    It skinkled in their een.

  And whan she cam into the kirk,
    She shimmered like the sun;
  The belt that was about her waist,
    Was a’ wi’ pearles bedone.

  She sat her by the nut-browne bride,
    And her een they wer sae clear,
  Lord Thomas he clean forgat the bride,
    Whan Fair Annet drew near.

  He had a rose into his hand,
    He gae it kisses three,
  And reaching by the nut-browne bride,
    Laid it on Fair Annet’s knee.

  Up than spak the nut-browne bride,
    She spak wi’ meikle spite:
  ‘And whair gat ye that rose-water,
    That does mak yee sae white?’

  ‘O I did get the rose-water
    Whair ye wull neir get nane,
  For I did get that very rose-water
    Into my mither’s wame.’

  The bride she drew a long bodkin
    Frae out her gay head-gear,
  And strake Fair Annet unto the heart,
    That word spak nevir mair.

  Lord Thomas he saw Fair Annet wex pale,
    And marvelit what mote bee;
  But whan he saw her dear heart’s blude,
    A’ wood-wroth wexed hee.

  He drew his dagger, that was sae sharp,
    That was sae sharp and meet,
  And drave it into the nut-browne bride,
    That fell deid at his feit.

  ‘Now stay for me, dear Annet,’ he sed,
    ‘Now stay, my dear,’ he cry’d;
  Then strake the dagger untill his heart,
    And fell deid by her side.

  Lord Thomas was buried without kirk-wa’,
    Fair Annet within the quiere,
  And o’ the tane thair grew a birk,
    The other a bonny briere.

  And ay they grew, and ay they threw,
    As they wad faine be neare;
  And by this ye may ken right weil
    They were twa luvers deare.

  4.1: ‘rede,’ advise.
  4.3: ‘nut-browne’ here = dusky, not fair; cp.:--
    ‘In the old age black was not counted fair.’
      --Shakespeare, _Sonnet_ CXXVII.
  8.4: ‘fadge,’ _lit._ a thick cake; here figuratively for the thick-set
    ‘nut-browne bride.’
  17.3: ‘yae tift,’ [at] every puff.
  19.2: ‘stean,’ stone.
  19.3: ‘cleading,’ clothing.
  19.4: ‘skinkled,’ glittered.
  24.3,4: _i.e._ I was born fair.
  26.4: ‘wood-wroth,’ raging mad.
  29, 30: This conclusion to a tragic tale of true-love is common to
    many ballads; see _Fair Margaret and Sweet William_ and especially
    _Lord Lovel_.
  30.1: ‘threw,’ intertwined.]


+The Text+ of this ballad was taken down before the end of the
nineteenth century by the Rev. S. Baring Gould, from a blacksmith at
Thrushleton, Devon.

+The Story+ is a simple little tale which recalls _Barbara Allen_,
_Clerk Sanders_, _Lord Thomas and Fair Annet_, and others. I have placed
it here for contrast, and in illustration of the disdain of ‘brown’


  ‘I am as brown as brown can be,
    And my eyes as black as sloe;
  I am as brisk as brisk can be,
    And wild as forest doe.

  ‘My love he was so high and proud,
    His fortune too so high,
  He for another fair pretty maid
    Me left and passed me by.

  ‘Me did he send a love-letter,
    He sent it from the town,
  Saying no more he loved me,
    For that I was so brown.

  ‘I sent his letter back again,
    Saying his love I valued not,
  Whether that he would fancy me,
    Whether that he would not.

  ‘When that six months were overpass’d,
    Were overpass’d and gone,
  Then did my lover, once so bold,
    Lie on his bed and groan.

  ‘When that six months were overpass’d,
    Were gone and overpass’d,
  O then my lover, once so bold,
    With love was sick at last.

  ‘First sent he for the doctor-man:
    “You, doctor, me must cure;
  The pains that now do torture me
    I can not long endure.”

  ‘Next did he send from out the town,
    O next did send for me;
  He sent for me, the brown, brown girl
    Who once his wife should be.

  ‘O ne’er a bit the doctor-man
    His sufferings could relieve;
  O never an one but the brown, brown girl
    Who could his life reprieve.’

  Now you shall hear what love she had
    For this poor love-sick man,
  How all one day, a summer’s day,
    She walked and never ran.

  When that she came to his bedside,
    Where he lay sick and weak,
  O then for laughing she could not stand
    Upright upon her feet.

  ‘You flouted me, you scouted me,
    And many another one,
  Now the reward is come at last,
    For all that you have done.’

  The rings she took from off her hands,
    The rings by two and three:
  ‘O take, O take these golden rings,
    By them remember me.’

  She had a white wand in her hand,
    She strake him on the breast:
  ‘My faith and troth I give back to thee,
    So may thy soul have rest.’

  ‘Prithee,’ said he, ‘forget, forget,
    Prithee forget, forgive;
  O grant me yet a little space,
    That I may be well and live.’

  ‘O never will I forget, forgive,
    So long as I have breath;
  I’ll dance above your green, green grave
    Where you do lie beneath.’


+The Text+ is from a broadside in the Douce Ballads, with a few
unimportant corrections from other stall-copies, as printed by Percy
and Ritson.

+The Story+ is much the same as _Lord Thomas and Fair Annet_, except in
the manner of Margaret’s death.

  None of the known copies of the ballad are as early in date as _The
Knight of the Burning Pestle_ (a play by Beaumont and Fletcher, first
produced, it is said, in 1611), in which the humorous old Merrythought
sings two fragments of this ballad; stanza 5 in Act II. Sc. 8, and the
first two lines of stanza 2 in Act III. Sc. 5. As there given, the lines
are slightly different.

  The last four stanzas of this ballad again present the stock ending,
for which see the introduction to _Lord Lovel_. The last stanza condemns


  As it fell out on a long summer’s day,
    Two lovers they sat on a hill;
  They sat together that long summer’s day,
    And could not talk their fill.

  ‘I see no harm by you, Margaret,
    Nor you see none by me;
  Before tomorrow eight a clock
    A rich wedding shall you see.’

  Fair Margaret sat in her bower-window,
    A combing of her hair,
  And there she spy’d Sweet William and his bride,
    As they were riding near.

  Down she lay’d her ivory comb,
    And up she bound her hair;
  She went her way forth of her bower,
    But never more did come there.

  When day was gone, and night was come,
    And all men fast asleep,
  Then came the spirit of Fair Margaret,
    And stood at William’s feet.

  ‘God give you joy, you two true lovers,
    In bride-bed fast asleep;
  Loe I am going to my green grass grave,
    And am in my winding-sheet.’

  When day was come, and night was gone,
    And all men wak’d from sleep,
  Sweet William to his lady said,
    ‘My dear, I have cause to weep.

  ‘I dream’d a dream, my dear lady;
    Such dreams are never good;
  I dream’d my bower was full of red swine,
    And my bride-bed full of blood.’

  ‘Such dreams, such dreams, my honoured lord,
    They never do prove good,
  To dream thy bower was full of swine,
    And thy bride-bed full of blood.’

  He called up his merry men all,
    By one, by two, and by three,
  Saying, ‘I’ll away to Fair Margaret’s bower,
    By the leave of my lady.’

  And when he came to Fair Margaret’s bower,
    He knocked at the ring;
  So ready was her seven brethren
    To let Sweet William in.

  He turned up the covering-sheet:
    ‘Pray let me see the dead;
  Methinks she does look pale and wan,
    She has lost her cherry red.

  ‘I’ll do more for thee, Margaret,
    Than any of thy kin;
  For I will kiss thy pale wan lips,
    Tho’ a smile I cannot win.’

  With that bespeak her seven brethren,
    Making most pitious moan:
  ‘You may go kiss your jolly brown bride,
    And let our sister alone.’

  ‘If I do kiss my jolly brown bride,
    I do but what is right;
  For I made no vow to your sister dear,
    By day or yet by night.

  ‘Pray tell me then how much you’ll deal
    Of your white bread and your wine;
  So much as is dealt at her funeral today
    Tomorrow shall be dealt at mine.’

  Fair Margaret dy’d today, today,
    Sweet William he dy’d the morrow;
  Fair Margaret dy’d for pure true love,
    Sweet William he dy’d for sorrow.

  Margaret was buried in the lower chancel,
    Sweet William in the higher;
  Out of her breast there sprung a rose,
    And out of his a brier.

  They grew as high as the church-top,
    Till they could grow no higher,
  And then they grew in a true lover’s knot,
    Which made all people admire.

  There came the clerk of the parish,
    As you this truth shall hear,
  And by misfortune cut them down,
    Or they had now been there.


                  ‘It is silly sooth,
    And dallies with the innocence of love,
    Like the old age.’

    --_Twelfth Night_, II. 4.

+The Text.+--This ballad, concluding a small class of three--_Lord
Thomas and Fair Annet_, and _Fair Margaret and Sweet William_ being the
other two--is distinguished by the fact that the lady dies of hope
deferred. It is a foolish ballad, at the opposite pole to _Lord Thomas
and Fair Annet_, and is pre-eminently one of the class meant only to be
sung, with an effective burden. The text given here, therefore, is that
of a broadside of the year 1846.

+The Story+ in outline is extremely popular in German and Scandinavian
literature. Of the former the commonest is _Der Ritter und die Maid_,
also found north of Germany; twenty-six different versions in all, in
some of which lilies spring from the grave. In a Swedish ballad a
linden-tree grows out of their bodies; in Danish ballads, roses, lilies,
or lindens. This conclusion, a commonplace in folk-song, occurs also in
a class of Romaic ballads, where a clump of reeds rises from one of the
lovers, and a cypress or lemon-tree from the other, which bend to each
other and mingle their leaves whenever the wind blows. Classical readers
will recall the tale of Philemon and Baucis.

For further information on this subject, consult the special section of
the Introduction.

Various other versions of this ballad are named _Lady Ouncebell_, _Lord
Lavel_, _Lord Travell_, and _Lord Revel_.


  Lord Lovel he stood at his castle-gate,
    Combing his milk-white steed,
  When up came Lady Nancy Belle,
    To wish her lover good speed, speed,
    To wish her lover good speed.

  ‘Where are you going, Lord Lovel?’ she said,
    ‘Oh where are you going?’ said she;
  ‘I’m going, my Lady Nancy Belle,
    Strange countries for to see.’

  ‘When will you be back, Lord Lovel?’ she said,
    ‘Oh when will you come back?’ said she;
  ‘In a year, or two, or three at the most,
    I’ll return to my fair Nancy.’

  But he had not been gone a year and a day,
    Strange countries for to see,
  When languishing thoughts came into his head,
    Lady Nancy Belle he would go see.

  So he rode, and he rode, on his milk-white steed,
    Till he came to London town,
  And there he heard St. Pancras’ bells,
    And the people all mourning round.

  ‘Oh what is the matter?’ Lord Lovel he said,
    ‘Oh what is the matter?’ said he;
  ‘A lord’s lady is dead,’ a woman replied,
    ‘And some call her Lady Nancy.’

  So he ordered the grave to be opened wide,
    And the shroud he turned down,
  And there he kissed her clay-cold lips,
    Till the tears came trickling down.

  Lady Nancy she died, as it might be, today,
    Lord Lovel he died as tomorrow;
  Lady Nancy she died out of pure, pure grief,
    Lord Lovel he died out of sorrow.

  Lady Nancy was laid in St. Pancras’ Church,
    Lord Lovel was laid in the choir;
  And out of her bosom there grew a red rose,
    And out of her lover’s a briar.

  They grew, and they grew, to the church-steeple too,
    And then they could grow no higher;
  So there they entwined in a true-lovers’ knot,
    For all lovers true to admire.

  1.4,5: A similar repetition of the last line of each verse makes the
    refrain throughout.
  10.1: Perhaps a misprint for ‘church-steeple top.’--+Child+.


+The Text.+--From the Jamieson-Brown MS. All the other variants agree as
to the main outline of the ballad.

+The Story.+--Lady Maisry, refusing the young lords of the north
country, and saying that her love is given to an English lord, is
suspected by her father’s kitchy-boy, who goes to tell her brother. He
charges her with her fault, reviles her for ‘drawing up with an English
lord,’ and commands her to renounce him. She refuses, and is condemned
to be burned. A bonny boy bears news of her plight to Lord William, who
leaps to boot and saddle; but he arrives too late to save her, though he
vows vengeance on all her kin, and promises to burn himself last of all.

Burning was the penalty usually allotted in the romances to a girl
convicted of unchastity.


  The young lords o’ the north country
    Have all a wooing gone,
  To win the love of Lady Maisry,
    But o’ them she woud hae none.

  O they hae courted Lady Maisry
    Wi’ a’ kin kind of things;
  An’ they hae sought her Lady Maisry
    Wi’ brotches an’ wi’ rings.

  An’ they ha’ sought her Lady Maisry
    Frae father and frae mother;
  An’ they ha’ sought her Lady Maisry
    Frae sister an’ frae brother.

  An’ they ha’ follow’d her Lady Maisry
    Thro’ chamber an’ thro’ ha’;
  But a’ that they coud say to her,
    Her answer still was Na.

  ‘O ha’d your tongues, young men,’ she says,
    ‘An’ think nae mair o’ me;
  For I’ve gi’en my love to an English lord,
    An’ think nae mair o’ me.’

  Her father’s kitchy-boy heard that,
    An ill death may he dee!
  An’ he is on to her brother,
    As fast as gang coud he.

  ‘O is my father an’ my mother well,
    But an’ my brothers three?
  Gin my sister Lady Maisry be well,
    There’s naething can ail me.’

  ‘Your father an’ your mother is well,
    But an’ your brothers three;
  Your sister Lady Maisry’s well,
    So big wi’ bairn gangs she.’

  ‘Gin this be true you tell to me,
    My mailison light on thee!
  But gin it be a lie you tell,
    You sal be hangit hie.’

  He’s done him to his sister’s bow’r,
    Wi’ meikle doole an’ care;
  An’ there he saw her Lady Maisry
    Kembing her yallow hair.

  ‘O wha is aught that bairn,’ he says,
    ‘That ye sae big are wi’?
  And gin ye winna own the truth,
    This moment ye sall dee.’

  She turn’d her right and roun’ about,
    An’ the kem fell frae her han’;
  A trembling seiz’d her fair body,
    An’ her rosy cheek grew wan.

  ‘O pardon me, my brother dear,
    An’ the truth I’ll tell to thee;
  My bairn it is to Lord William,
    An’ he is betroth’d to me.’

  ‘O coud na ye gotten dukes, or lords,
    Intill your ain country,
  That ye draw up wi’ an English dog,
    To bring this shame on me?

  ‘But ye maun gi’ up the English lord,
    Whan youre young babe is born;
  For, gin you keep by him an hour langer,
    Your life sall be forlorn.’

  ‘I will gi’ up this English blood,
    Till my young babe be born;
  But the never a day nor hour langer,
    Tho’ my life should be forlorn.’

  ‘O whare is a’ my merry young men,
    Whom I gi’ meat and fee,
  To pu’ the thistle and the thorn,
    To burn this wile whore wi’?’

  ‘O whare will I get a bonny boy,
    To help me in my need,
  To rin wi’ hast to Lord William,
    And bid him come wi’ speed?’

  O out it spake a bonny boy,
    Stood by her brother’s side:
  ‘O I would run your errand, lady,
    O’er a’ the world wide.

  ‘Aft have I run your errands, lady,
    Whan blawn baith win’ and weet;
  But now I’ll rin your errand, lady,
    Wi’ sa’t tears on my cheek.’

  O whan he came to broken briggs,
    He bent his bow and swam,
  An’ whan he came to the green grass growin’,
    He slack’d his shoone and ran.

  O whan he came to Lord William’s gates,
    He baed na to chap or ca’,
  But set his bent bow till his breast,
    An’ lightly lap the wa’;
  An’, or the porter was at the gate,
    The boy was i’ the ha’.

  ‘O is my biggins broken, boy?
    Or is my towers won?
  Or is my lady lighter yet,
    Of a dear daughter or son?’

  ‘Your biggin is na broken, sir,
    Nor is your towers won;
  But the fairest lady in a’ the lan’
    For you this day maun burn.’

  ‘O saddle me the black, the black,
    Or saddle me the brown;
  O saddle me the swiftest steed
    That ever rade frae a town.’

  Or he was near a mile awa’,
    She heard his wild horse sneeze:
  ‘Mend up the fire, my false brother,
    It’s na come to my knees.’

  O whan he lighted at the gate,
    She heard his bridle ring;
  ‘Mend up the fire, my false brother,
    It’s far yet frae my chin.

  ‘Mend up the fire to me, brother,
    Mend up the fire to me;
  For I see him comin’ hard an’ fast,
    Will soon men’ ’t up to thee.

  ‘O gin my hands had been loose, Willy,
    Sae hard as they are boun’,
  I would have turn’d me frae the gleed,
    And castin out your young son.’

  ‘O I’ll gar burn for you, Maisry,
    Your father an’ your mother;
  An’ I’ll gar burn for you, Maisry,
    Your sister an’ your brother.

  ‘An’ I’ll gar burn for you, Maisry,
    The chief of a’ your kin;
  An’ the last bonfire that I come to,
    Mysel’ I will cast in.’

  5.1: ‘ha’d’ = _haud_, hold.
  9.2: ‘mailison,’ curse.
  11.1: ‘is aught,’ owns.
  15.4: ‘forlorn,’ forfeit.
  20.2: _i.e._ in driving wind and rain.
  21: A stock ballad-stanza.
  22.2: ‘baed,’ stayed; ‘chap,’ knock.
  22.4: ‘lap,’ leapt.
  23.1: ‘biggins,’ buildings.
  29.3: ‘gleed,’ burning coal, fire.
  30.1: ‘gar,’ make, cause.]



+The Text+ is that obtained in 1800 by Alexander Fraser Tytler from Mrs.
Brown of Falkland, and by him committed to writing. The first ten and
the last two stanzas show corruption, but the rest of the ballad is in
the best style.

+The Story+ emphasises the necessity of asking the consent of a brother
to the marriage of his sister, and therefore the title _The Cruel
Brother_ is a misnomer. In ballad-times, the brother would have been
well within his rights; it was rather a fatal oversight of the
bridegroom that caused the tragedy.

Danish and German ballads echo the story, though in the commonest German
ballad, _Graf Friedrich_, the bride receives an _accidental_ wound, and
that from the bridegroom’s own hand.

The testament of the bride, by which she benefits her friends and leaves
curses on her enemies, is very characteristic of the ballad-style, and
is found in other ballads, as _Lord Ronald_ and _Edward, Edward_. In the
present case, ‘sister Grace’ obtains what would seem to be a very
doubtful benefit.


  There was three ladies play’d at the ba’,
    _With a hey ho and a lillie gay_
  There came a knight and played o’er them a’,
    _As the primrose spreads so sweetly_.

  The eldest was baith tall and fair,
  But the youngest was beyond compare.

  The midmost had a graceful mien,
  But the youngest look’d like beautie’s queen.

  The knight bow’d low to a’ the three,
  But to the youngest he bent his knee.

  The ladie turned her head aside;
  The knight he woo’d her to be his bride.

  The ladie blush’d a rosy red,
  And say’d, ‘Sir knight, I’m too young to wed.’

  ‘O ladie fair, give me your hand,
  And I’ll make you ladie of a’ my land.’

  ‘Sir knight, ere ye my favour win,
  You maun get consent frae a’ my kin.’

  He’s got consent frae her parents dear,
  And likewise frae her sisters fair.

  He’s got consent frae her kin each one,
  But forgot to spiek to her brother John.

  Now, when the wedding day was come,
  The knight would take his bonny bride home.

  And many a lord and many a knight
  Came to behold that ladie bright.

  And there was nae man that did her see,
  But wish’d himself bridegroom to be.

  Her father dear led her down the stair,
  And her sisters twain they kiss’d her there.

  Her mother dear led her thro’ the closs,
  And her brother John set her on her horse.

  She lean’d her o’er the saddle-bow,
  To give him a kiss ere she did go.

  He has ta’en a knife, baith lang and sharp,
  And stabb’d that bonny bride to the heart.

  She hadno ridden half thro’ the town,
  Until her heart’s blude stain’d her gown.

  ‘Ride softly on,’ says the best young man,
  ‘For I think our bonny bride looks pale and wan.’

  ‘O lead me gently up yon hill,
  And I’ll there sit down, and make my will.’

  ‘O what will you leave to your father dear?’
  ‘The silver-shod steed that brought me here.’

  ‘What will you leave to your mother dear?’
  ‘My velvet pall and my silken gear.’

  ‘What will you leave to your sister Anne?’
  ‘My silken scarf and my gowden fan.’

  ‘What will you leave to your sister Grace?’
  ‘My bloody cloaths to wash and dress.’

  ‘What will you leave to your brother John?’
  ‘The gallows-tree to hang him on.’

  ‘What will you leave to your brother John’s wife?’
  ‘The wilderness to end her life.’

  This ladie fair in her grave was laid,
  And many a mass was o’er her said.

  But it would have made your heart right sair,
  To see the bridegroom rive his hair.

  1.2,4: It should be remembered that the refrain is supposed to be
    sung with each verse, here and elsewhere.
  15.1: ‘closs,’ close.
  28.2: ‘rive,’ tear.


+The Text+ is from Arnold’s _Chronicle_, of the edition which, from
typographical evidence, is said to have been printed at Antwerp in 1502
by John Doesborowe. Each stanza is there printed in six long lines.
Considerable variations appear in later editions. There is also a
Balliol MS. (354), which contains a contemporary version, and the Percy
Folio contains a corrupt version.

This should not be considered as a ballad proper; it is rather a
‘dramatic lyric.’ Its history, however, is quite as curious as that of
many ballads. It occurs, as stated above, in the farrago known as the
_Chronicle_ of Richard Arnold, inserted between a list of the ‘tolls’
due on merchandise entering or leaving the port of Antwerp, and a table
giving Flemish weights and moneys in terms of the corresponding English
measures. Why such a poem should be printed in such incongruous
surroundings, what its date or who its author was, are questions
impossible to determine. Its position here is perhaps almost as
incongruous as in its original place.

From 3.9 to the end of the last verse but one, it is a dialogue between
an earl’s son and a baron’s daughter, in alternate stanzas; a prologue
and an epilogue are added by the author.

Matthew Prior printed the poem in his works, in order to contrast it
with his own version, _Henry and Emma_, which appealed to contemporary
taste as more elegant than its rude original.


  Be it right, or wrong, these men among
    On women do complaine;
  Affermyng this, how that it is
    A labour spent in vaine,
  To loue them wele; for neuer a dele,
    They loue a man agayne;
  For lete a man do what he can,
    Ther fouour to attayne,
  Yet, yf a newe to them pursue,
    Ther furst trew louer than
  Laboureth for nought; and from her though[t]
    He is a bannisshed man.

  I say not nay, bat that all day
    It is bothe writ and sayde
  That womans fayth is as who saythe
    All utterly decayed;
  But neutheles, right good wytnes
    In this case might be layde;
  That they loue trewe, and contynew,
    Recorde the Nutbrowne maide:
  Which from her loue, whan, her to proue,
    He cam to make his mone,
  Wolde not departe, for in her herte,
    She louyd but hym allone.

  Than betwene us lete us discusse,
    What was all the maner
  Betwene them too; we wyll also
    Tell all they payne in fere,
  That she was in; now I begynne,
    Soo that ye me answere;
  Wherfore, ye, that present be
    I pray you geue an eare.
  I am the knyght; I cum be nyght,
    As secret as I can;
  Sayng, alas! thus stondyth the cause,
    I am a bannisshed man.

  And I your wylle for to fulfylle
    In this wyl not refuse;
  Trusting to shewe, in wordis fewe,
    That men haue an ille use
  To ther owne shame wymen to blame,
    And causeles them accuse;
  Therfore to you I answere nowe,
    All wymen to excuse,--
  Myn owne hert dere, with you what chiere?
    I prey you, tell anoon;
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you allon.

  It stondith so; a dede is do,
    Wherfore moche harme shal growe;
  My desteny is for to dey
    A shamful dethe, I trowe;
  Or ellis to flee: the ton must bee.
    None other wey I knowe,
  But to withdrawe as an outlaw,
    And take me to my bowe.
  Wherefore, adew, my owne hert trewe,
    None other red I can:
  For I muste to the grene wode goo,
    Alone a bannysshed man.

  O Lorde, what is this worldis blisse,
    That chaungeth as the mone!
  My somers day in lusty may
    Is derked before the none.
  I here you saye farwel: nay, nay,
    We depart not soo sone.
  Why say ye so? wheder wyll ye goo?
    Alas! what haue ye done?
  Alle my welfare to sorow and care
    Shulde chaunge, yf ye were gon;
  For, in [my] mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  I can beleue, it shal you greue,
    And somwhat you distrayne;
  But, aftyrwarde, your paynes harde
    Within a day or tweyne
  Shall sone aslake; and ye shall take
    Comfort to you agayne.
  Why shuld ye nought? for, to make thought,
    Your labur were in vayne.
  And thus I do; and pray you, loo,
    As hertely as I can;
  For I must too the grene wode goo,
    Alone a banysshed man.

  Now, syth that ye haue shewed to me
    The secret of your mynde,
  I shalbe playne to you agayne,
    Lyke as ye shal me fynde.
  Syth it is so, that ye wyll goo,
    I wol not leue behynde;
  Shall neuer be sayd, the Nutbrowne mayd,
    Was to her loue unkind:
  Make you redy, for soo am I,
    All though it were anoon;
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  Yet I you rede take good hede
    Whan men wyl thynke, and sey;
  Of yonge, and olde, it shalbe tolde,
    That ye be gone away,
  Your wanton wylle for to fulfylle,
    In grene wood you to play;
  And that ye myght from your delyte
    Noo lenger make delay:
  Rather than ye shuld thus for me
    Be called an ylle woman,
  Yet wolde I to the grene wodde goo,
    Alone a banyshed man.

  Though it be songe of olde and yonge,
    That I shuld be to blame,
  Theirs be the charge, that speke so large
    In hurting of my name:
  For I wyl proue that feythful loue
    It is deuoyd of shame;
  In your distresse and heuynesse,
    To parte wyth you, the same:
  And sure all thoo, that doo not so,
    Trewe louers ar they noon;
  But, in my mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  I councel yow, remembre howe
    It is noo maydens lawe,
  Nothing to dought, but to renne out
    To wod with an outlawe;
  For ye must there in your hande bere
    A bowe to bere and drawe;
  And, as a theef, thus must ye lyeue,
    Euer in drede and awe,
  By whiche to yow gret harme myght grow:
    Yet had I leuer than,
  That I had too the grenewod goo,
    Alone a banysshyd man.

  I thinke not nay, but as ye saye,
    It is noo maydens lore:
  But loue may make me for your sake,
    As ye haue said before
  To com on fote, to hunte, and shote,
    To gete us mete and store;
  For soo that I your company
    May haue, I aske noo more:
  From whiche to parte, it makith myn herte
    As colde as ony ston;
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  For an outlawe, this is the lawe,
    That men hym take and binde;
  Wythout pytee hanged to bee,
    And wauer with the wynde.
  Yf I had neede, (as God forbede!)
    What rescous coude ye finde?
  Forsothe, I trowe, you and your bowe
    Shuld drawe for fere behynde:
  And noo merueyle; for lytel auayle
    Were in your councel than:
  Wherfore I too the woode wyl goo
    Alone a banysshd man.

  Ful wel knowe ye, that wymen bee
    Ful febyl for to fyght;
  Noo womanhed is it in deede
    To bee bolde as a knight:
  Yet, in suche fere, yf that ye were
    Amonge enemys day and nyght,
  I wolde wythstonde, with bowe in hande,
    To greue them as I myght,
  And you to saue; as wymen haue
    From deth many one:
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  Yet take good hede, for euer I drede
    That ye coude not sustein
  The thorney wayes, the depe valeis,
    The snowe, the frost, the reyn,
  The colde, the hete: for drye, or wete,
    We must lodge on the playn;
  And, us abowe, noon other roue
    But a brake bussh or twayne:
  Which sone shulde greue you, I beleue;
    And ye wolde gladly than
  That I had too the grenewode goo,
    Alone a banysshyd man.

  Syth I haue here ben partynere
    With you of joy and blysse,
  I must also parte of your woo
    Endure, as reason is:
  Yet am I sure of oon plesure;
    And, shortly, it is this:
  That, where ye bee, me semeth, perde,
    I coude not fare amysse,
  Wythout more speche, I you beseche
    That we were soon agone;
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde,
    I loue but you alone.

  Yef ye goo thedyr, ye must consider,
    Whan ye haue lust to dyne
  Ther shal no mete before to gete,
    Nor drinke, beer, ale, ne wine;
  Ne shetis clene, to lye betwene,
    Made of thred and twyne;
  Noon other house but leuys and bowes
    To keuer your hed and myn,
  Loo, myn herte swete, this ylle dyet
    Shuld make you pale and wan;
  Wherfore I to the wood wyl goo,
    Alone, a banysshid man.

  Amonge the wylde dere, suche an archier,
    As men say that ye bee,
  Ne may not fayle of good vitayle
    Where is so grete plente:
  And watir cleere of the ryuere
    Shalbe ful swete to me;
  Wyth whiche in hele I shal right wele
    Endure, as ye shal see;
  And, or we goo, a bed or twoo
    I can prouide anoon;
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  Loo, yet before ye must doo more,
    Yf ye wyl goo with me;
  As cutte your here up by your ere,
    Your kirtel by the knee;
  Wyth bowe in hande, for to withstonde
    Your enmys, yf nede bee:
  And this same nyght before daylyght,
    To woodwarde wyl I flee.
  And ye wyl all this fulfylle,
    Doo it shortely as ye can:
  Ellis wil I to the grenewode goo,
    Alone, a banysshyd man.

  I shal as now do more for you
    That longeth to womanhed;
  To short my here, a bowe to bere,
    To shote in tyme of nede.
  O my swete mod[er], before all other
    For you haue I most drede:
  But now, adiew! I must ensue
    Wher fortune duth me leede.
  All this make ye: now lete us flee;
    The day cum fast upon;
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  Nay, nay, not soo; ye shal not goo,
    And I shal telle you why,--
  Your appetyte is to be lyght
    Of loue, I wele aspie:
  For, right as ye haue sayd to me,
    In lyke wyse hardely
  Ye wolde answere who so euer it were,
    In way of company.
  It is sayd of olde, sone hote, sone colde;
    And so is a woman.
  Wherfore I too the woode wly goo,
    Alone, a banysshid man.

  Yef ye take hede, yet is noo nede
    Suche wordis to say by me;
  For ofte ye preyd, and longe assayed,
    Or I you louid, parde:
  And though that I of auncestry
    A barons doughter bee,
  Yet haue you proued how I you loued
    A squyer of lowe degree;
  And euer shal, whatso befalle--
    To dey therfore anoon;
  For, in my mynde, of al mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  A barons childe to be begyled,
    It were a curssed dede;
  To be felow with an outlawe,
    Almyghty God forbede.
  Yet bettyr were the power squyere
    Alone to forest yede,
  Than ye shal saye another day,
    That, be [my] wyked dede,
  Ye were betrayed: wherfore, good maide,
    The best red that I can,
  Is, that I too the grenewode goo,
    Alone, a banysshed man.

  Whatso euer befalle, I neuer shal
    Of this thing you upbrayd:
  But yf ye goo, and leue me soo,
    Than haue ye me betraied.
  Remembre you wele, how that ye dele
    For, yf ye as the[y] sayd,
  Be so unkynde, to leue behynde
    Your loue, the notbrowne maide,
  Trust me truly, that I [shall] dey
    Sone after ye be gone;
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  Yef that ye went, ye shulde repent;
    For in the forest nowe
  I haue purueid me of a maide,
    Whom I loue more than you;
  Another fayrer, than euer ye were,
    I dare it wel auowe;
  And of you bothe eche shulde be wrothe
    With other, as I trowe;
  It were myn ease, to lyue in pease,
    So wyl I, yf I can:
  Wherfore I to the wode wyl goo,
    Alone a banysshid man.

  Though in the wood I undirstode
    Ye had a paramour,
  All this may nought reineue my thought,
    But that I wil be your;
  And she shal fynde me soft and kynde,
    And curteis euery our;
  Glad to fulfylle all that she wylle
    Commaunde me to my power:
  For had ye, loo, an hundred moo,
    Yet wolde I be that one,
  For, in my mynde, of all mankynde,
    I loue but you alone.

  Myn owne dere loue, I see the proue
    That ye be kynde and trewe,
  Of mayde, and wyf, in al my lyf,
    The best that euer I knewe.
  Be mery and glad, be no more sad,
    The case is chaunged newe;
  For it were ruthe, that, for your trouth,
    Ye shuld haue cause to rewe.
  Be not dismayed; whatsoeuer I sayd
    To you, whan I began,
  I wyl not too the grene wod goo,
    I am noo banysshyd man.

  This tidingis be more glad to me,
    Than to be made a quene,
  Yf I were sure they shuld endure;
    But it is often seen,
  When men wyl breke promyse, they speke
    The wordis on the splene;
  Ye shape some wyle me to begyle
    And stele fro me, I wene:
  Than were the case wurs than it was,
    And I more woobegone:
  For, in my mynde, of al mankynde
    I loue but you alone.

  Ye shal not nede further to drede;
    I wyl not disparage
  You, (God defende!) syth you descend
    Of so grete a lynage.
  Now understonde; to Westmerlande,
    Whiche is my herytage,
  I wyl you brynge; and wyth a rynge,
    By wey of maryage
  I wyl you take, and lady make,
    As shortly as I can:
  Thus haue ye wone an erles son
    And not a banysshyd man.

  Here may ye see, that wymen be
    In loue, meke, kinde, and stable;
  Late neuer man repreue them than,
    Or calle them variable;
  But rather prey God that we may
    To them be comfortable;
  Whiche somtyme prouyth suche as loueth,
    Yf they be charitable.
  For sith men wolde that wymen sholde
    Be meke to them echeon,
  Moche more ought they to God obey,
    And serue but Hym alone.

  1.1: ‘among,’ from time to time.
  1.5: ‘neuer a dele,’ not at all.
  3.4: ‘they’ = the. ‘in fere,’ in company. ‘and fere’ (= fear) is
    usually printed.
  5.1: ‘do,’ done.
  5.5: ‘ton,’ one.
  5.10: _i.e._ I know no other advice.
  6.4: ‘derked,’ darkened.
  6.7: ‘wheder,’ whither.
  7.2: ‘distrayne,’ affect.
  7.5: ‘aslake,’ abate.
  10.9: ‘thoo,’ those.
  11.3: ‘renne,’ run.
  11.6: A later edition of the _Chronicle_ reads--
    ‘A bowe, redy to drawe.’
  13.6: ‘rescous,’ rescue. Another edition has ‘socurs.’
  15.7: ‘abowe,’ above; ‘roue,’ roof.
  18.7: ‘hele,’ health.
  19.3: ‘here,’ hair; ‘ere,’ ear.
  19.9: ‘And,’ If.
  20.7: ‘ensue,’ follow.
  22.2: The type is broken in the 1502 edition, which reads ‘to say
  23.6: ‘yede,’ went.
  25.3: ‘purueid (= purveyed) me,’ provided myself.
  26.9: ‘moo’ = mo, _i.e._ more.
  30.10: ‘echeon,’ each one.]


+The Text.+--Of seven or eight variants of this ballad, only three
preserve the full form of the story. On the whole, the one here
given--from Sharp’s _Ballad Book_, as sung by an old woman in
Perthshire--is the best, as the other two--from Herd’s _Scots Songs_,
and the Kinloch MSS.--are slightly contaminated by extraneous matter.

+The Story+ is a simple ballad-tale of ‘true-love twinned’; but the
episode of the dancing forms a link with a number of German and
Scandinavian ballads, in which compulsory dancing and horse-riding is
made a test of the guilt of an accused maiden. In the Scotch ballad the
horse-riding has shrunk almost to nothing, and the dancing is not
compulsory. The resemblance is faint, and the barbarities of the
Continental versions are happily wanting in our ballad.


  ‘Ye maun gang to your father, Janet,
    Ye maun gang to him soon;
  Ye maun gang to your father, Janet,
    In case that his days are dune.’

  Janet’s awa’ to her father,
    As fast as she could hie:
  ‘O what’s your will wi’ me, father?
    O what’s your will wi’ me?’

  ‘My will wi’ you, Fair Janet,’ he said,
    ‘It is both bed and board;
  Some say that ye lo’e Sweet Willie,
    But ye maun wed a French lord.’

  ‘A French lord maun I wed, father?
    A French lord maun I wed?
  Then, by my sooth,’ quo’ Fair Janet,
    ‘He’s ne’er enter my bed.’

  Janet’s awa’ to her chamber,
    As fast as she could go;
  Wha’s the first ane that tapped there,
    But Sweet Willie her jo?

  ‘O we maun part this love, Willie,
    That has been lang between;
  There’s a French lord coming o’er the sea,
    To wed me wi’ a ring;
  There’s a French lord coming o’er the sea,
    To wed and tak’ me hame.’

  ‘If we maun part this love, Janet,
    It causeth mickle woe;
  If we maun part this love, Janet,
    It makes me into mourning go.’

  ‘But ye maun gang to your three sisters,
    Meg, Marion, and Jean;
  Tell them to come to Fair Janet,
    In case that her days are dune.’

  Willie’s awa’ to his three sisters,
    Meg, Marion, and Jean:
  ‘O haste, and gang to Fair Janet,
    I fear that her days are dune.’

  Some drew to them their silken hose,
    Some drew to them their shoon,
  Some drew to them their silk manteils,
    Their coverings to put on,
  And they’re awa’ to Fair Janet,
    By the hie light o’ the moon.

  ...   ...   ...

  ‘O I have born this babe, Willie,
    Wi’ mickle toil and pain;
  Take hame, take hame, your babe, Willie,
    For nurse I dare be nane.’

  He’s tane his young son in his arms,
    And kisst him cheek and chin,
  And he’s awa’ to his mother’s bower,
    By the hie light o’ the moon.

  ‘O open, open, mother,’ he says,
    ‘O open, and let me in;
  The rain rains on my yellow hair,
    And the dew drops o’er my chin,
  And I hae my young son in my arms,
    I fear that his days are dune.’

  With her fingers lang and sma’
    She lifted up the pin,
  And with her arms lang and sma’
    Received the baby in.

  ‘Gae back, gae back now, Sweet Willie,
    And comfort your fair lady;
  For where ye had but ae nourice,
    Your young son shall hae three.’

  Willie he was scarce awa’,
    And the lady put to bed,
  When in and came her father dear:
    ‘Make haste, and busk the bride.’

  ‘There’s a sair pain in my head, father,
    There’s a sair pain in my side;
  And ill, O ill, am I, father,
    This day for to be a bride.’

  ‘O ye maun busk this bonny bride,
    And put a gay mantle on;
  For she shall wed this auld French lord,
    Gin she should die the morn.’

  Some put on the gay green robes,
    And some put on the brown;
  But Janet put on the scarlet robes,
    To shine foremost throw the town.

  And some they mounted the black steed,
    And some mounted the brown;
  But Janet mounted the milk-white steed,
    To ride foremost throw the town.

  ‘O wha will guide your horse, Janet?
    O wha will guide him best?’
  ‘O wha but Willie, my true love?
    He kens I lo’e him best.’

  And when they cam’ to Marie’s kirk,
    To tye the haly ban’,
  Fair Janet’s cheek looked pale and wan,
    And her colour gaed and cam’.

  When dinner it was past and done,
    And dancing to begin,
  ‘O we’ll go take the bride’s maidens,
    And we’ll go fill the ring.’

  O ben then cam’ the auld French lord,
    Saying, ‘Bride, will ye dance with me?’
  ‘Awa’, awa’, ye auld French Lord,
    Your face I downa see.’

  O ben then cam’ now Sweet Willie,
    He cam’ with ane advance:
  ‘O I’ll go tak’ the bride’s maidens,
    And we’ll go tak’ a dance.’

  ‘I’ve seen ither days wi’ you, Willie,
    And so has mony mae,
  Ye would hae danced wi’ me mysel’,
    Let a’ my maidens gae.’

  O ben then cam’ now Sweet Willie,
    Saying, ‘Bride, will ye dance wi’ me?’
  ‘Aye, by my sooth, and that I will,
    Gin my back should break in three.’

  She had nae turned her throw the dance,
    Throw the dance but thrice,
  Whan she fell doun at Willie’s feet,
    And up did never rise.

  Willie’s ta’en the key of his coffer,
    And gi’en it to his man:
  ‘Gae hame, and tell my mother dear
    My horse he has me slain;
  Bid her be kind to my young son,
    For father has he nane.’

  The tane was buried in Marie’s kirk,
    And the tither in Marie’s quire;
  Out of the tane there grew a birk,
    And the tither a bonny brier.

  5.4: ‘jo,’ sweetheart.
  15.3: ‘nourice,’ nurse.
  16.4: ‘busk,’ dress.
  24.1: ‘ben,’ into the house.
  24.4: ‘downa,’ like not to.]


+The Text+ is given from the Jamieson-Brown MS. It was first printed by
Scott, with the omission of the second stanza--perhaps justifiable--and
a few minor changes. He notes that he had seen a copy printed on a
single sheet.

+The Story+ has a remote parallel in a Danish ballad, extant in
manuscripts of the sixteenth century and later, _Den afhugne Haand_. The
tale is told as follows. Lutzelil, knowing the evil ways of Lawi
Pederson, rejects his proffered love. Lawi vows she shall repent it, and
the maiden is afraid for nine months to go to church, but goes at
Easter. Lawi meets her in a wood, and repeats his offer. She begs him to
do her no harm, feigns compliance, and makes an assignation in the
chamber of her maids. She returns home and tells her father, who watches
for Lawi. When he comes and demands admission, she denies the
assignation. Lawi breaks down the door, and discovers Lutzelil’s father
with a drawn sword, with which he cuts off Lawi’s hand.

The reason for objecting to the second stanza as here given is not so
much the inadequacy of a golden hammer, or the unusual whiteness of the
smith’s fingers, but the rhyme in the third line.


  O wha woud wish the win’ to blaw,
    Or the green leaves fa’ therewith?
  Or wha wad wish a leeler love
    Than Brown Adam the Smith?

  His hammer’s o’ the beaten gold,
    His study’s o’ the steel,
  His fingers white are my delite,
    He blows his bellows well.

  But they ha’ banish’d him Brown Adam
    Frae father and frae mither,
  An’ they ha’ banish’d him Brown Adam
    Frae sister and frae brither.

  And they ha’ banish’d Brown Adam
    Frae the flow’r o’ a’ his kin;
  An’ he’s biggit a bow’r i’ the good green wood
    Betwen his lady an’ him.

  O it fell once upon a day
    Brown Adam he thought lang,
  An’ he woud to the green wood gang,
    To hunt some venison.

  He’s ta’en his bow his arm o’er,
    His bran’ intill his han’,
  And he is to the good green wood,
    As fast as he coud gang.

  O he’s shot up, an’ he’s shot down,
    The bird upo’ the briar,
  An’ he’s sent it hame to his lady,
    Bade her be of good cheer.

  O he’s shot up, an’ he’s shot down,
    The bird upo’ the thorn,
  And sent it hame to his lady,
    And hee’d be hame the morn.

  Whan he came till his lady’s bow’r-door
    He stood a little forbye,
  And there he heard a fu’ fa’se knight
    Temptin’ his gay lady.

  O he’s ta’en out a gay gold ring,
    Had cost him mony a poun’:
  ‘O grant me love for love, lady,
    An’ this sal be your own.’

  ‘I loo Brown Adam well,’ she says,
    ‘I wot sae does he me;
  An’ I woud na gi’ Brown Adam’s love
    For nae fa’se knight I see.’

  Out he has ta’en a purse of gold,
    Was a’ fu’ to the string:
  ‘Grant me but love for love, lady,
    An’ a’ this sal be thine.’

  ‘I loo Brown Adam well,’ she says,
    ‘An’ I ken sae does he me;
  An’ I woudna be your light leman
    For mair nor ye coud gie.’

  Then out has he drawn his lang, lang bran’,
    An’ he’s flash’d it in her een:
  ‘Now grant me love for love, lady,
    Or thro’ you this sal gang!’

  ‘O,’ sighing said that gay lady,
    ‘Brown Adam tarrys lang!’
  Then up it starts Brown Adam,
    Says, ‘I’m just at your han’.’

  He’s gard him leave his bow, his bow,
    He’s gard him leave his bran’;
  He’s gard him leave a better pledge--
    Four fingers o’ his right han’.

  1.3: ‘leeler,’ more loyal.
  2.2: ‘study,’ stithy, anvil.
  4.3: ‘biggit,’ built.
  5.2: ‘thought lang,’ thought (it) tedious; _i.e._ was bored. Cp.
    _Young Bekie_, 16.4, etc.; _Johney Scot_, 6.2, and elsewhere.
  9.2: ‘forbye,’ apart.
  10.1: ‘he’ is of course the false knight.
  11.1: ‘loo,’ love.
  12.2: ‘string’: _i.e._ the top; purses were bags with a running string
    to draw the top together.
  15.2: ‘lang’: the MS. reads long.
  16.1: etc., ‘gard,’ made.]


+The Text+ is from the Campbell MSS.

+The Story+ was imagined by Kinloch to possess a quasi-historical
foundation: James V. of Scotland, who eventually married Madeleine,
elder daughter of Francis I., having been previously betrothed ‘by
treaty’ to Marie de Bourbon, daughter of the Duke of Vendôme, returned
to Scotland in 1537. The theory is neither probable nor plausible.


  The king he hath been a prisoner,
    A prisoner lang in Spain, O,
  And Willie o’ the Winsbury
    Has lain lang wi’ his daughter at hame, O.

  ‘What aileth thee, my daughter Janet,
    Ye look so pale and wan?
  Have ye had any sore sickness,
    Or have ye been lying wi’ a man?
  Or is it for me, your father dear,
    And biding sae lang in Spain?’

  ‘I have not had any sore sickness,
    Nor yet been lying wi’ a man;
  But it is for you, my father dear,
    In biding sae lang in Spain.’

  ‘Cast ye off your berry-brown gown,
    Stand straight upon the stone,
  That I may ken ye by yere shape,
    Whether ye be a maiden or none.’

  She’s coosten off her berry-brown gown,
    Stooden straight upo’ yon stone;
  Her apron was short, her haunches were round,
    Her face it was pale and wan.

  ‘Is it to a man o’ might, Janet?
    Or is it to a man of fame?
  Or is it to any of the rank robbers
    That’s lately come out o’ Spain?’

  ‘It is not to a man of might,’ she said,
    ‘Nor is it to a man of fame;
  But it is to William of Winsbury;
    I could lye nae langer my lane.’

  The king’s called on his merry men all,
    By thirty and by three:
  ‘Go fetch me William of Winsbury,
    For hanged he shall be.’

  But when he cam’ the king before,
    He was clad o’ the red silk;
  His hair was like to threeds o’ gold,
    And his skin was as white as milk.

  ‘It is nae wonder,’ said the king,
    ‘That my daughter’s love ye did win;
  Had I been a woman, as I am a man,
    My bedfellow ye should hae been.

  ‘Will ye marry my daughter Janet,
    By the truth of thy right hand?
  I’ll gi’e ye gold, I’ll gi’e ye money,
    And I’ll gi’e ye an earldom o’ land.’

  ‘Yes, I’ll marry yere daughter Janet,
    By the truth of my right hand;
  But I’ll hae nane o’ yer gold, I’ll hae nane o’ yer money,
    Nor I winna hae an earldom o’ land.

  ‘For I hae eighteen corn-mills
    Runs all in water clear,
  And there’s as much corn in each o’ them
    As they can grind in a year.’


+The Text+ is from the early part of the Percy Folio, and the ballad is
therefore deficient. Where gaps are marked in the text with a row of
asterisks, about nine stanzas are lost in each case--half a page torn
out by a seventeenth-century maidservant to light a fire! Luckily we can
supply the story from other versions.

+The Story+, also given in _The Weddynge of Sr Gawen and Dame Ragnell_
(in the Rawlinson MS. c. 86 in the Bodleian Library), runs as follows:--

Shortly after Christmas, Arthur, riding by Tarn Wadling (still so
called, but now pasture-land, in the forest of Inglewood), meets a bold
baron, who challenges him to fight, unless he can win his ransom by
returning on New Year’s Day with an answer to the question, What does a
woman most desire? Arthur relates the story to Gawaine, asks him and
others for an answer to the riddle, and collects their suggestions in a
book (‘letters,’ 24.1). On his way to keep his tryst with the baron, he
meets an unspeakably ugly woman, who offers her assistance; if she will
help him, Arthur says, she shall wed with Gawaine. She gives him the
true answer, A woman will have her will. Arthur meets the baron, and
after proffering the budget of answers, confronts him with the true
answer. The baron exclaims against the ugly woman, whom he asserts to be
his sister.

Arthur returns to his court, and tells his knights that a wife awaits
one of them on the moor. Sir Lancelot, Sir Steven (who is not mentioned
elsewhere in Arthurian tales), Sir Kay, Sir Bauier (probably Beduer or
Bedivere), Sir Bore (Bors de Gauves), Sir Garrett (Gareth), and Sir
Tristram ride forth to find her. At sight, Sir Kay, without overmuch
chivalry, expresses his disgust, and the rest are unwilling to marry
her. The king explains that he has promised to give her to Sir Gawaine,
who, it seems, bows to Arthur’s authority, and weds her. During the
bridal night, she becomes a beautiful young woman. Further to test
Gawaine, she gives him his choice: will he have her fair by day and foul
by night, or foul by day and fair by night? Fair by night, says Gawaine.
And foul to be seen of all by day? she asks. Have your way, says
Gawaine, and breaks the last thread of the spell, as she forthwith
explains: her step-mother had bewitched both her, to haunt the moor in
ugly shape, till some knight should grant her _all_ her will, and her
brother, to challenge all comers to fight him or answer the riddle.

Similar tales, but with the important variation--undoubtedly indigenous
in the story--that the man who saves his life by answering the riddle
has himself to wed the ugly woman, are told by Gower (_Confessio
Amantis_, Book I.) and Chaucer (_The Tale of the Wyf of Bathe_). The
latter, which is also Arthurian in its setting, was made into a ballad
in the _Crown Garland of Golden Roses_ (_circ._ 1600), compiled by
Richard Johnson. A parallel is also to be found in an Icelandic saga.


  Kinge Arthur liues in merry Carleile,
    & seemely is to see,
  & there he hath with him Queene Genever,
    That bride soe bright of blee.

  And there he hath with [him] Queene Genever,
    That bride soe bright in bower,
  & all his barons about him stoode,
    That were both stiffe and stowre.

  The king kept a royall Christmasse,
    Of mirth and great honor,
  And when . . .
  ...   ...   ...

  ***   ***   ***

  ‘And bring me word what thing it is
    That a woman [will] most desire;
  This shalbe thy ransome, Arthur,’ he sayes,
    ‘For I’le haue noe other hier.’

  King Arthur then held vp his hand,
    According thene as was the law;
  He tooke his leaue of the baron there,
    & homward can he draw.

  And when he came to merry Carlile,
    To his chamber he is gone,
  & ther came to him his cozen Sir Gawaine
    As he did make his mone.

  And there came to him his cozen Sir Gawaine
    That was a curteous knight;
  ‘Why sigh you soe sore, vnckle Arthur,’ he said,
    ‘Or who hath done thee vnright?’

  ‘O peace, O peace, thou gentle Gawaine,
    That faire may thee beffall!
  For if thou knew my sighing soe deepe,
    Thou wold not meruaile att all;

  ‘Ffor when I came to Tearne Wadling,
    A bold barron there I fand,
  With a great club vpon his backe,
    Standing stiffe and strong;

  ‘And he asked me wether I wold fight,
    Or from him I shold begone,
  Or else I must him a ransome pay
    & soe depart him from.

  ‘To fight with him I saw noe cause,
    Methought it was not meet,
  For he was stiffe & strong with-all,
    His strokes were nothing sweete;

  ‘Therefor this is my ransome, Gawaine,
    I ought to him to pay:
  I must come againe, as I am sworne,
    Vpon the Newyeer’s day.

  ‘And I must bring him word what thing it is
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...

  ***   ***   ***

  Then King Arthur drest him for to ryde
    In one soe rich array
  Toward the fore-said Tearne Wadling,
    That he might keepe his day.

  And as he rode over a more,
    Hee see a lady where shee sate
  Betwixt an oke & a greene hollen;
    She was cladd in red scarlett.

  Then there as shold haue stood her mouth,
    Then there was sett her eye,
  The other was in her forhead fast
    The way that she might see.

  Her nose was crooked & turnd outward,
    Her mouth stood foule a-wry;
  A worse formed lady than shee was,
    Neuer man saw with his eye.

  To halch vpon him, King Arthur,
    This lady was full faine,
  But King Arthur had forgott his lesson,
    What he shold say againe.

  ‘What knight art thou,’ the lady sayd,
    ‘That will not speak to me?
  Of me be thou nothing dismayd
    Tho’ I be vgly to see;

  ‘For I haue halched you curteouslye,
    & you will not me againe;
  Yett I may happen, Sir Knight,’ shee said,
    ‘To ease thee of thy paine.’

  ‘Giue thou ease me, lady,’ he said,
    ‘Or helpe me any thing,
  Thou shalt have gentle Gawaine, my cozen,
    & marry him with a ring.’

  ‘Why, if I help thee not, thou noble King Arthur,
    Of thy owne heart’s desiringe,
  Of gentle Gawaine . . .
  ...   ...   ...

  ***   ***   ***

  And when he came to the Tearne Wadling
    The baron there cold he finde,
  With a great weapon on his backe,
    Standing stiffe and stronge.

  And then he tooke King Arthur’s letters in his hands,
    & away he cold them fling,
  & then he puld out a good browne sword,
    & cryd himselfe a king.

  And he sayd, ‘I haue thee & thy land, Arthur,
    To doe as it pleaseth me,
  For this is not thy ransome sure,
    Therfore yeeld thee to me.’

  And then bespoke him noble Arthur,
    & bad him hold his hand;
  ‘& giue me leaue to speake my mind
    In defence of all my land.’

  He said, ‘As I came over a more,
    I see a lady where shee sate
  Betweene an oke & a green hollen;
    She was clad in red scarlett;

  ‘And she says a woman will haue her will,
    & this is all her cheef desire:
  Doe me right, as thou art a baron of sckill,
    This is thy ransome & all thy hyer.’

  He sayes, ‘An early vengeance light on her!
    She walkes on yonder more;
  It was my sister that told thee this;
    & she is a misshappen hore!

  ‘But heer He make mine avow to God
    To doe her an euill turne,
  For an euer I may thate fowle theefe get,
    In a fyer I will her burne.’

  ***   ***   ***

  1.4: ‘blee,’ complexion.
  2.4: Perhaps we should read ‘stiff in stowre,’ a constant expression
    in ballads, ‘sturdy in fight.’
  11: Arthur’s customary bravery and chivalry are not conspicuous in
    this ballad.
  18.1: ‘halch upon,’ salute.
  21.1: ‘Giue,’ If.
  27.3: ‘hollen,’ holly.
  28.3: ‘sckill,’ reason, judgment.]

+The 2d Part+

  Sir Lancelott & Sir Steven bold
    They rode with them that day,
  And the formost of the company
    There rode the steward Kay.

  Soe did Sir Bauier and Sir Bore,
    Sir Garrett with them soe gay,
  Soe did Sir Tristeram that gentle knight,
    To the forrest fresh & gay.

  And when he came to the greene fforrest,
    Vnderneath a greene holly tree
  Their sate that lady in red scarlet
    That vnseemly was to see.

  Sir Kay beheld this ladys face,
    & looked vppon her swire;
  ‘Whosoeuer kisses this lady,’ he sayes,
    ‘Of his kisse he stands in feare.’

  Sir Kay beheld the lady againe,
    & looked vpon her snout;
  ‘Whosoeuer kisses this lady,’ he saies,
    ‘Of his kisse he stands in doubt.’

  ‘Peace, cozen Kay,’ then said Sir Gawaine,
    ‘Amend thee of thy life;
  For there is a knight amongst vs all
    That must marry her to his wife.’

  ‘What! wedd her to wiffe!’ then said Sir Kay,
    ‘In the diuells name, anon!
  Gett me a wiffe whereere I may,
    For I had rather be slaine!’

  Then some tooke vp their hawkes in hast,
    & some tooke vp their hounds,
  & some sware they wold not marry her
    For citty nor for towne.

  And then bespake him noble King Arthur,
    & sware there by this day:
  ‘For a litle foule sight & misliking
  ...   ...   ...

  ***   ***   ***

  Then shee said, ‘Choose thee, gentle Gawaine,
    Truth as I doe say,
  Wether thou wilt haue me in this liknesse
    In the night or else in the day.’

  And then bespake him gentle Gawaine,
    Was one soe mild of moode,
  Sayes, ‘Well I know what I wold say,
    God grant it may be good!

  ‘To haue thee fowle in the night
    When I with thee shold play;
  Yet I had rather, if I might,
    Haue thee fowle in the day.’

  ‘What! when Lords goe with ther feires,’ shee said,
    ‘Both to the ale & wine?
  Alas! then I must hyde my selfe,
    I must not goe withinne.’

  And then bespake him gentle Gawaine;
    Said, ‘Lady, thats but skill;
  And because thou art my owne lady,
    Thou shalt haue all thy will.’

  Then she said, ‘Blessed be thou, gentle Gawaine,
    This day that I thee see,
  For as thou see[st] me att this time,
    From hencforth I wil be:

  ‘My father was an old knight,
    & yett it chanced soe
  That he marryed a younge lady
    That brought me to this woe.

  ‘Shee witched me, being a faire young lady,
    To the greene forrest to dwell,
  & there I must walke in womans likness,
    Most like a feend of hell.

  ‘She witched my brother to a carlish b . . . . .
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...

  ***   ***   ***

  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...
  That looked soe foule, & that was wont
    On the wild more to goe.

  ‘Come kisse her, brother Kay,’ then said Sir Gawaine,
    ‘& amend thé of thy liffe;
  I sweare this is the same lady
    That I marryed to my wiffe.’

  Sir Kay kissed that lady bright,
    Standing vpon his ffeete;
  He swore, as he was trew knight,
    The spice was neuer soe sweete.

  ‘Well, cozen Gawaine,’ sayes Sir Kay,
    ‘Thy chance is fallen arright,
  For thou hast gotten one of the fairest maids
    I euer saw with my sight.’

  ‘It is my fortune,’ said Sir Gawaine;
    ‘For my Vnckle Arthur’s sake
  I am glad as grasse wold be of raine,
    Great ioy that I may take.’

  Sir Gawaine tooke the lady by the one arme,
    Sir Kay tooke her by the tother,
  They led her straight to King Arthur
    As they were brother & brother.

  King Arthur welcomed them there all,
    & soe did lady Geneuer his queene,
  With all the knights of the round table
    Most seemly to be seene.

  King Arthur beheld that lady faire
    That was soe faire and bright,
  He thanked Christ in Trinity
    For Sir Gawaine that gentle knight;

  Soe did the knights, both more and lesse;
    Reioyced all that day
  For the good chance that hapened was
    To Sir Gawaine & his lady gay.

  34.2: ‘swire,’ neck: the Folio reads _smire_.
  37.4: ‘slaine’: the Folio gives _shaine_.
  41.2: ‘was’ (Child’s suggestion): the Folio reads _with_.
  43.1: ‘feires,’ = feres, mates: the Folio reads _seires_.
  44.2: Folio: _but a skill_: see note on 28.3.
  48.1: ‘carlish,’ churlish.]



+Text.+--The Percy Folio is the sole authority for this excellent lively
ballad. It is here given as it stands in the manuscript, except for
division into stanzas. Percy printed the ballad ‘_verbatim_,’--that is,
with emendations--and also a revised version.

+The Story+, which exists in countless variations in many lands, is told
from the earliest times in connection with the Arthurian legend-cycle.
Restricting the article used as a criterion of chastity to a mantle, we
find the elements of this ballad existing in French manuscripts of the
thirteenth century (the romance called _Cort Mantel_); in a Norse
translation of this ‘fabliau’; in the Icelandic _Mantle Rhymes_ of the
fifteenth century; in the _Scalachronica_ of Sir Thomas Gray of Heton
(_circ._ 1355); in Germany, and in Gaelic (a ballad known in Irish
writings, but not in Scottish); as well as in many other versions.

The trial by the drinking-horn is a fable equally old, as far as the
evidence goes, and equally widespread; but it is not told elsewhere in
connection with the parallel story of the mantle. Other tests used for
the purpose of discovering infidelity or unchastity are:-- a crown, a
magic bridge (German); a girdle (English; cp. Florimel’s girdle in the
_Faery Queen_, Book iv. Canto 5); a bed, a stepping-stone by the
bedside, a chair (Scandinavian); flowers (Sanskrit); a shirt (German and
Flemish); a picture (Italian, translated to England--cp. Massinger’s
_The Picture_ (1630), where he localises the story in Hungary); a ring
(French); a mirror (German, French, and Italian); and so forth.

Caxton, in his preface to _Kyng Arthur_ (1485), says:-- ‘Item, in the
castel of Douer ye may see Gauwayn’s skull and Cradok’s mantel.’ Sir
Thomas Gray says the mantle was made into a chasuble, and was preserved
at Glastonbury.

Thomas Love Peacock says (_The Misfortunes of Elphin_, chap. xii.),
‘Tegau Eurvron, or Tegau of the Golden Bosom, was the wife of Caradoc
[Craddocke], and one of the Three Chaste Wives of the island of
Britain.’ A similar statement is recorded by Percy at the end of his
‘revised and altered’ ballad, taking it from ‘the Rev. Evan Evans,
editor of the Specimens of Welsh Poetry.’


  In the third day of May
    to Carleile did come
  A kind curteous child
    that cold much of wisdome.

  A kirtle & a mantle
    this child had vppon,
  With brauches and ringes
    full richelye bedone.

  He had a sute of silke,
    about his middle drawne;
  Without he cold of curtesye,
    he thought itt much shame.

  ‘God speed thee, King Arthur,
    sitting at thy meate!
  & the goodly Queene Gueneuer!
    I canott her fforgett.

  ‘I tell you lords in this hall,
    I hett you all heede,
  Except you be the more surer,
    is you for to dread.’

  He plucked out of his potewer,
    & longer wold not dwell,
  He pulled forth a pretty mantle,
    betweene two nut-shells.

  ‘Haue thou here, King Arthure,
    haue thou heere of mee;
  Give itt to thy comely queene,
    shapen as itt is alreadye.

  ‘Itt shall neuer become that wiffe
    that hath once done amisse’:
  Then euery knight in the King’s court
    began to care for his wiffe.

  Forth came dame Gueneuer,
    to the mantle shee her bid;
  The ladye shee was new-fangle,
    but yett shee was affrayd.

  When shee had taken the mantle,
    shee stoode as she had beene madd;
  It was ffrom the top to the toe
    as sheeres had itt shread.

  One while was itt gaule,
    another while was itt greene;
  Another while was itt wadded;
    ill itt did her beseeme.

  Another while was it blacke,
    & bore the worst hue;
  ‘By my troth,’ quoth King Arthur,
    ‘I thinke thou be not true.’

  Shee threw downe the mantle,
    that bright was of blee,
  Fast with a rudd redd
    to her chamber can shee flee.

  Shee curst the weauer and the walker
    that clothe that had wrought,
  & bade a vengeance on his crowne
    that hither hath itt brought.

  ‘I had rather be in a wood,
    vnder a greene tree,
  Then in King Arthurs court,
    shamed for to bee.’

  Kay called forth his ladye,
    & bade her come neere;
  Saies, ‘Madam, & thou be guiltye,
    I pray thee hold thee there.’

  Forth came his ladye
    shortlye and anon,
  Boldlye to the mantle
    then is shee gone.

  When shee had tane the mantle,
    & cast it her about,
  Then was shee bare
    all aboue the buttocckes.

  Then euery knight
    that was in the Kings court
  Talked, laug[h]ed, & showted,
    full oft att that sport.

  Shee threw downe the mantle,
    that bright was of blee,
  Ffast with a red rudd
    to her chamber can shee flee.

  Forth came an old knight,
    pattering ore a creede,
  & he proferred to this litle boy
    20 markes to his meede,

  & all the time of the Christmasse
    willinglye to ffeede;
  For why this mantle might
    doe his wiffe some need.

  When shee had tane the mantle,
    of cloth that was made,
  Shee had no more left on her
    but a tassell and a threed:
  Then euery knight in the Kings court
    bade euill might shee speed.

  She threw downe the mantle,
    that bright was of blee,
  & fast with a redd rudd
    to her chamber can shee flee.

  Craddocke called forth his ladye,
    & bade her come in;
  Saith, ‘Winne this mantle, ladye,
    with a litle dinne.

  ‘Winne this mantle, ladye,
    & it shalbe thine
  If thou neuer did amisse
    since thou wast mine.’

  Forth came Craddockes ladye
    shortlye & anon,
  But boldlye to the mantle
    then is shee gone.

  When shee had tane the mantle,
    & cast itt her about,
  Vpp att her great toe
    itt began to crinkle & crowt;
  Shee said, ‘Bowe downe, mantle,
    & shame me not for nought.

  ‘Once I did amisse,
    I tell you certainlye,
  When I kist Craddockes mouth
    vnder a greene tree,
  When I kist Craddockes mouth
    before he marryed mee.’

  When shee had her shreeuen,
    & her sines shee had tolde,
  The mantle stoode about her
    right as shee wold,

  Seemelye of coulour,
    glittering like gold;
  Then euery knight in Arthurs court
    did her behold.

  Then spake dame Gueneuer
    to Arthur our king:
  ‘She hath tane yonder mantle,
    not with wright but with wronge.

  ‘See you not yonder woman
    that maketh her selfe soe cleane?
  I haue seene tane out of her bedd
    of men fiueteene;

  ‘Preists, clarkes, & wedded men,
    from her by-deene;
  Yett shee taketh the mantle,
    & maketh her selfe cleane!’

  Then spake the litle boy
    that kept the mantle in hold;
  Sayes, ‘King, chasten thy wiffe;
    of her words shee is to bold.

  ‘Shee is a bitch & a witch,
    & a whore bold;
  King, in thine owne hall
    thou art a cuchold.’

  A litle boy stoode
    looking ouer a dore;
  He was ware of a wyld bore,
    wold haue werryed a man.

  He pulld forth a wood kniffe,
    fast thither that he ran;
  He brought in the bores head,
    & quitted him like a man.

  He brought in the bores head,
    and was wonderous bold;
  He said there was neuer a cucholds kniffe
    carue itt that cold.

  Some rubbed their k[n]iues
    vppon a whetstone;
  Some threw them vnder the table,
    & said they had none.

  King Arthur & the child
    stood looking them vpon;
  All their k[n]iues edges
    turned backe againe.

  Craddoccke had a litle kniue
    of iron & of steele;
  He birtled the bores head
    wonderous weele,
  That euery knight in the Kings court
    had a morssell.

  The litle boy had a horne,
    of red gold that ronge;
  He said, ‘There was noe cuckolde
    shall drinke of my horne,
  But he shold itt sheede,
    either behind or beforne.’

  Some shedd on their shoulder,
    & some on their knee;
  He that cold not hitt his mouth
    put it in his eye;
  & he that was a cuckold,
    euery man might him see.

  Craddoccke wan the horne
    & the bores head;
  His ladye wan the mantle
    vnto her meede;
  Euerye such a louely ladye,
    God send her well to speede!

  2.3: ‘brauches,’ brooches.
  5.2: ‘hett,’ bid; ‘heede,’ MS. heate.
  6.1: ‘potewer.’ Child says:-- Read potener, French _pautonnière_,
    pouch, purse.
  8.4: Perhaps the line should end with ‘his,’ but ‘wiffe’ is the last
    word in the manuscript.
  9.3: ‘new-fangle,’ desirous of novelties.
  11.1: ‘gaule,’ perhaps = gules, _i.e._ red.
  11.3: ‘wadded,’ woad-coloured, _i.e._ blue.
  13.2: ‘blee,’ colour.
  13.3: ‘rudd,’ complexion.
  14.1: ‘walker,’ fuller.
  25.4: ‘dinne,’ trouble.
  28.4: ‘crowt,’ pucker.
  34.2: ‘by-deene,’ one after another.
  37 and 38: Evidently some lines have been lost here, and the rhymes
    are thereby confused.
  42.3: ‘birtled,’ cut up.
  43.2: ‘ronge,’ rang.]


+The Text+ of this popular and excellent ballad is given from the
Jamieson-Brown MS. It was copied, with wilful alterations, into Scott’s
Abbotsford MS. called _Scottish Songs_. Professor Child prints sixteen
variants of the ballad, nearly all from manuscripts.

+The Story+ of the duel with the Italian is given with more detail in
other versions. In two ballads from Motherwell’s MS., where ‘the
Italian’ becomes ‘the Tailliant’ or ‘the Talliant,’ the champion jumps
over Johney’s head, and descends on the point of Johney’s sword. This
exploit is paralleled in a Breton ballad, where the Seigneur Les Aubrays
of St. Brieux is ordered by the French king to combat his wild Moor, who
leaps in the air and is received on the sword of his antagonist. Again,
in Scottish tradition, James Macgill, having killed Sir Robert Balfour
about 1679, went to London to procure his pardon, which Charles +II.+
offered him on the condition of fighting an Italian gladiator. The
Italian leaped once over James Macgill, but in attempting to repeat this
manœuvre was spitted by his opponent, who thereby procured not only his
pardon, but also knighthood.


  O Johney was as brave a knight
    As ever sail’d the sea,
  An’ he’s done him to the English court,
    To serve for meat and fee.

  He had nae been in fair England
    But yet a little while,
  Untill the kingis ae daughter
    To Johney proves wi’ chil’.

  O word’s come to the king himsel’,
    In his chair where he sat,
  That his ae daughter was wi’ bairn
    To Jack, the Little Scott.

  ‘Gin this be true that I do hear,
    As I trust well it be,
  Ye pit her into prison strong,
    An’ starve her till she die.’

  O Johney’s on to fair Scotland,
    A wot he went wi’ speed,
  An’ he has left the kingis court,
    A wot good was his need.

  O it fell once upon a day
    That Johney he thought lang,
  An’ he’s gane to the good green wood,
    As fast as he coud gang.

  ‘O whare will I get a bonny boy,
    To rin my errand soon,
  That will rin into fair England,
    An’ haste him back again?’

  O up it starts a bonny boy,
    Gold yallow was his hair,
  I wish his mother meickle joy,
    His bonny love mieckle mair.

  ‘O here am I, a bonny boy,
    Will rin your errand soon;
  I will gang into fair England,
    An’ come right soon again.’

  O whan he came to broken briggs,
    He bent his bow and swam;
  An’ whan he came to the green grass growan,
    He slaikid his shoone an’ ran.

  Whan he came to yon high castèl,
    He ran it roun’ about,
  An’ there he saw the king’s daughter,
    At the window looking out.

  ‘O here’s a sark o’ silk, lady,
    Your ain han’ sew’d the sleeve;
  You’r bidden come to fair Scotlan’,
    Speer nane o’ your parents’ leave.

  ‘Ha, take this sark o’ silk, lady,
    Your ain han’ sew’d the gare;
  You’re bidden come to good green wood,
    Love Johney waits you there.’

  She’s turn’d her right and roun’ about,
    The tear was in her ee:
  ‘How can I come to my true-love,
    Except I had wings to flee?

  ‘Here am I kept wi’ bars and bolts,
    Most grievous to behold;
  My breast-plate’s o’ the sturdy steel,
    Instead of the beaten gold.

  ‘But tak’ this purse, my bonny boy,
    Ye well deserve a fee,
  An’ bear this letter to my love,
    An’ tell him what you see.’

  Then quickly ran the bonny boy
    Again to Scotlan’ fair,
  An’ soon he reach’d Pitnachton’s tow’rs,
    An’ soon found Johney there.

  He pat the letter in his han’
    An’ taul’ him what he sa’,
  But eer he half the letter read,
    He loote the tears doun fa’.

  ‘O I will gae back to fair Englan’,
    Tho’ death shoud me betide,
  An’ I will relieve the damesel
    That lay last by my side.’

  Then out it spake his father dear,
    ‘My son, you are to blame;
  An’ gin you’r catch’d on English groun’,
    I fear you’ll ne’er win hame.’

  Then out it spake a valiant knight,
    Johny’s best friend was he;
  ‘I can commaun’ five hunder men,
    An’ I’ll his surety be.’

  The firstin town that they came till,
    They gard the bells be rung;
  An’ the nextin town that they came till,
    They gard the mess be sung.

  The thirdin town that they came till,
    They gard the drums beat roun’;
  The king but an’ his nobles a’
    Was startl’d at the soun’.

  Whan they came to the king’s palace
    They rade it roun’ about,
  An’ there they saw the king himsel’,
    At the window looking out.

  ‘Is this the Duke o’ Albany,
    Or James, the Scottish king?
  Or are ye some great foreign lord,
    That’s come a visiting?’

  ‘I’m nae the Duke of Albany,
    Nor James, the Scottish king;
  But I’m a valiant Scottish knight,
    Pitnachton is my name.’

  ‘O if Pitnachton be your name,
    As I trust well it be,
  The morn, or I tast meat or drink,
    You shall be hanged hi’.’

  Then out it spake the valiant knight
    That came brave Johney wi’;
  ‘Behold five hunder bowmen bold,
    Will die to set him free.’

  Then out it spake the king again,
    An’ a scornfu’ laugh laugh he;
  ‘I have an Italian in my house
    Will fight you three by three.’

  ‘O grant me a boon,’ brave Johney cried;
    ‘Bring your Italian here;
  Then if he fall beneath my sword,
    I’ve won your daughter dear.’

  Then out it came that Italian,
    An’ a gurious ghost was he;
  Upo’ the point o’ Johney’s sword
    This Italian did die.

  Out has he drawn his lang, lang bran’,
    Struck it across the plain:
  ‘Is there any more o’ your English dogs
    That you want to be slain?’

  ‘A clark, a clark,’ the king then cried,
    ‘To write her tocher free’;
  ‘A priest, a priest,’ says Love Johney,
    ‘To marry my love and me.

  ‘I’m seeking nane o’ your gold,’ he says,
    ‘Nor of your silver clear;
  I only seek your daughter fair,
    Whose love has cost her dear.’

  5.2,4: ‘A wot’ = I wis.
  6.2: See _Young Bekie_, 16.4; _Brown Adam_, 5.2.
  10: See _Lady Maisry_, 21; _Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet_, 12, etc.:
    a stock ballad-phrase.
  12.1: ‘sark,’ shift.
  12.4: ‘Speer’ (speir), ask.
  13.2: ‘gare,’ gore: see _Brown Robin_, 10.4.
  18.4: ‘loote,’ let.
  22.4: ‘mess,’ mass.
  27.3: ‘or,’ ere.
  29.2: The second ‘laugh’ is the past tense of the verb.
  31.2: ‘gurious,’ grim, ugly.
  33.2: ‘tocher,’ dowry.]


+The Text+ is taken from Motherwell’s _Minstrelsy_, a similar version
being given in Maidment’s _North Countrie Garland_. A few alterations
from the latter version are incorporated.

+The Story+ bears tokens of confusion with _Lady Maisry_ in some of the
variants of either, but here the tragedy is that the bridegroom is
brother to the lover. The end of this ballad in all its forms is highly
unnatural in its style: why should Maisery’s remorse at having been such
an expense to Lord Ingram be three times as great as her grief for the
loss of her lover? It is by no means romantic.


  Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet
    Was baith born in one bower;
  Laid baith their hearts on one lady,
    The less was their honour.

  Chiel Wyet and Lord Ingram
    Was baith born in one hall;
  Laid baith their hearts on one lady,
    The worse did them befall.

  Lord Ingram woo’d her Lady Maisery
    From father and from mother;
  Lord Ingram woo’d her Lady Maisery
    From sister and from brother.

  Lord Ingram woo’d her Lady Maisery
    With leave of a’ her kin;
  And every one gave full consent,
   But she said no to him.

  Lord Ingram woo’d her Lady Maisery
    Into her father’s ha’;
  Chiel Wyet woo’d her Lady Maisery
    Amang the sheets so sma’.

  Now it fell out upon a day
    She was dressing her head,
  That ben did come her father dear,
    Wearing the gold so red.

  He said, ‘Get up now, Lady Maisery,
    Put on your wedding gown;
  For Lord Ingram he will be here,
    Your wedding must be done.’

  ‘I’d rather be Chiel Wyet’s wife,
    The white fish for to sell,
  Before I were Lord Ingram’s wife,
    To wear the silk so well.

  ‘I’d rather be Chiel Wyet’s wife,
    With him to beg my bread,
  Before I were Lord Ingram’s wife,
    To wear the gold so red.

  ‘Where will I get a bonny boy,
    Will win gold to his fee,
  And will run unto Chiel Wyet’s,
    With this letter from me?’

  ‘O here I am, the boy,’ says one,
    ‘Will win gold to my fee,
  And carry away any letter
    To Chiel Wyet from thee.’

  And when he found the bridges broke
    He bent his bow and swam;
  And when he found the grass growing,
    He hastened and he ran.

  And when he came to Chiel Wyet’s castle,
    He did not knock nor call,
  But set his bent bow to his breast,
    And lightly leaped the wall;
  And ere the porter open’d the gate,
    The boy was in the hall.

  The first line he looked on,
    A grieved man was he;
  The next line he looked on,
    A tear blinded his ee:
  Says, ‘I wonder what ails my one brother,
    He’ll not let my love be!

  ‘But I’ll send to my brother’s bridal--
    The bacon shall be mine--
  Full four and twenty buck and roe,
    And ten tun of the wine;
  And bid my love be blythe and glad,
    And I will follow syne.’

  There was not a groom about that castle,
    But got a gown of green,
  And all was blythe, and all was glad,
    But Lady Maisery she was neen.

  There was no cook about that kitchen,
    But got a gown of gray;
  And all was blythe, and all was glad,
    But Lady Maisery was wae.

  Between Mary Kirk and that castle
    Was all spread ower with garl,
  To keep Lady Maisery and her maidens
    From tramping on the marl.

  From Mary Kirk to that castle
    Was spread a cloth of gold,
  To keep Lady Maisery and her maidens
    From treading on the mold.

  When mass was sung, and bells was rung,
    And all men bound for bed;
  Then Lord Ingram and Lady Maisery
    In one bed they were laid.

  When they were laid into their bed,
    It was baith saft and warm,
  He laid his hand over her side,
    Says, ‘I think you are with bairn.’

  ‘I told you once, so did I twice,
    When ye came me to woo,
  That Chiel Wyet, your only brother,
    One night lay in my bower.

  ‘I told you twice, I told you thrice,
    Ere ye came me to wed,
  That Chiel Wyet, your one brother,
    One night lay in my bed.’

  ‘O will you father your bairn on me,
    And on no other man?
  And I’ll give him to his dowry
    Full fifty ploughs of land.’

  ‘I will not father my bairn on you,
    Nor on no wrongeous man,
  Though ye would give him to his dowry
    Five thousand ploughs of land.’

  Then up did start him Chiel Wyet,
    Shed by his yellow hair,
  And gave Lord Ingram to the heart
    A deep wound and a sair.

  Then up did start him Lord Ingram,
    Shed by his yellow hair,
  And gave Chiel Wyet to the heart,
    A deep wound and a sair.

  There was no pity for that two lords,
    Where they were lying slain;
  But all was for her Lady Maisery,
    In that bower she gaed brain.

  There was no pity for that two lords,
    When they were lying dead;
  But all was for her Lady Maisery,
   In that bower she went mad.

  Said, ‘Get to me a cloak of cloth,
    A staff of good hard tree;
  If I have been an evil woman,
    I shall beg till I dee.

  ‘For a bit I’ll beg for Chiel Wyet,
    For Lord Ingram I’ll beg three;
  All for the good and honourable marriage,
    At Mary Kirk he gave me.’

  1.4: ‘honour’: Motherwell printed _bonheur_.
  6.3: ‘ben,’ in.
  8.2: ‘sell’: Motherwell gave _kill_.
  12: Cp. _Lady Maisry_, 21.
  16.4: ‘neen,’ none, not.
  18.2: ‘garl,’ gravel.
  26.1: Motherwell gives _did stand_.
  28.4: ‘brain,’ mad.
  30.2: ‘tree,’ wood.
  31.1: ‘a’ = ae, each.]


+Texts.+--The version here given is compounded from two different
sources, almost of necessity. Stanzas 1-19 were given by Scott,
compounded from W. Tytler’s Brown MS. and the recitation of an old
woman. But at stanza 20 Scott’s version becomes eccentric, and he prints
such verses as:--

  ‘A famous harper passing by
  The sweet pale face he chanced to spy ...

  The strings he framed of her yellow hair,
  Whose notes made sad the listening air.’

Stanzas 20-25, therefore, have been supplied from the Jamieson-Brown
MS., which after this point does not descend from the high level of

+The Story.+--This is a very old and a very popular story. An early
broadside exists, dated 1656, and the same version is printed in _Wit
Restor’d_, 1658. Of Scandinavian ballads on the same subject, nine are
Danish, two Icelandic, twelve Norwegian, four Färöe, and eight or nine


  There were twa sisters sat in a bour,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  There came a knight to be their wooer,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  He courted the eldest wi’ glove and ring,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  But he lo’ed the youngest aboon a’ thing,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  He courted the eldest with broach and knife,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  But he lo’ed the youngest aboon his life,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  The eldest she was vexed sair,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  And sair envìed her sister fair,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  The eldest said to the youngest ane,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  ‘Will ye go and see our father’s ships come in?’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  She’s ta’en her by the lilly hand,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  And led her down to the river-strand,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  The youngest stude upon a stane,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  The eldest came and pushed her in,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  She took her by the middle sma’,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  And dashed her bonnie back to the jaw,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie/_

  ‘O sister, sister, reach your hand!’
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  ‘And ye shall be heir of half my land,’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  ‘O sister, I’ll not reach my hand,’
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  ‘And I’ll be heir of all your land,’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  ‘Shame fa’ the hand that I should take,’
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  ‘It’s twin’d me and my world’s make,’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  ‘O sister, reach me but your glove,’
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  ‘And sweet William shall be your love,’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  ‘Sink on, nor hope for hand or glove,’
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  ‘And sweet William shall better be my love,’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  ‘Your cherry cheeks and your yellow hair,’
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  ‘Garr’d me gang maiden evermair,’
    _By the bonnie mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  Sometimes she sunk, and sometimes she swam,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  Until she came to the miller’s dam,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  ‘O father, father, draw your dam!’
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  ‘There’s either a mermaid or a milk-white swan,’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  The miller hasted and drew his dam,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  And there he found a drowned woman,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  You could not see her yellow hair,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  For gowd and pearls that were sae rare,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  You could na see her middle sma’,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  Her gowden girdle was sae bra’,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  An’ by there came a harper fine,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  That harped to the king at dine,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  When he did look that lady upon,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  He sigh’d and made a heavy moan,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  He’s ta’en three locks o’ her yallow hair,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  And wi’ them strung his harp sae fair,
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  The first tune he did play and sing,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  Was, ‘Farewell to my father the king,’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  The nextin tune that he play’d syne,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  Was, ‘Farewell to my mother the queen,’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  The lasten tune that he play’d then,
    _Binnorie, O Binnorie!_
  Was, ‘Wae to my sister, fair Ellen!’
    _By the bonny mill-dams o’ Binnorie._

  8.3: ‘jaw,’ wave.
  11.3: ‘my world’s make,’ my earthly mate.]


+The Text+ is that of a copy mentioned by Percy, ‘printed not long since
at Glasgow, in one sheet 8vo. The world was indebted for its publication
to the lady Jean Hume, sister to the Earle of Hume, who died lately at
Gibraltar.’ The original edition, discovered by Mr. Macmath after
Professor Child’s version (from the _Reliques_) was in print, is:--
‘Young Waters, an Ancient Scottish Poem, never before printed. Glasgow,
printed and sold by Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1755.’ This was also known
to Maidment. Hardly a word differs from Percy’s version; but here I have
substituted the spellings ‘wh’ for Percy’s ‘quh,’ in ‘quhen,’ etc., and
‘y’ for his ‘z’ in ‘zoung, zou,’ etc.

+The Story+ has had historical foundations suggested for it by Percy and
Chambers. Percy identified Young Waters with the Earl of Murray,
murdered, according to the chronicle of Sir James Balfour, on the 7th of
February 1592. Chambers, in 1829, relying on Buchan’s version of the
ballad, had no doubt that Young Waters was one of the Scots nobles
executed by James I., and was very probably Walter Stuart, second son of
the Duke of Albany. Thirty years later, Chambers was equally certain
that the ballad was the composition of Lady Wardlaw.

In a Scandinavian ballad, Folke Lovmandson is a favourite at court;
a little wee page makes the fatal remark and excites the king’s
jealousy. The innocent knight is rolled down a hill in a barrel set with
knives--a punishment common in Scandinavian folklore.


  About Yule, when the wind blew cule,
    And the round tables began,
  A there is cum to our king’s court
    Mony a well-favor’d man.

  The queen luikt owre the castle-wa’,
    Beheld baith dale and down,
  And there she saw Young Waters
    Cum riding to the town.

  His footmen they did rin before,
    His horsemen rade behind;
  Ane mantel of the burning gowd
    Did keip him frae the wind.

  Gowden-graith’d his horse before,
    And siller-shod behind;
  The horse Young Waters rade upon
    Was fleeter than the wind.

  Out then spack a wylie lord,
    Unto the queen said he:
  ‘O tell me wha ’s the fairest face
    Rides in the company?’

  ‘I’ve sene lord, and I’ve sene laird,
    And knights of high degree,
  Bot a fairer face than Young Waters
    Mine eyne did never see.’

  Out then spack the jealous king,
    And an angry man was he:
  ‘O if he had bin twice as fair,
    You micht have excepted me.’

  ‘You’re neither laird nor lord,’ she says,
    ‘Bot the king that wears the crown;
  There is not a knight in fair Scotland
    Bot to thee maun bow down.’

  For a’ that she coud do or say,
    Appeas’d he wad nae bee,
  Bot for the words which she had said,
    Young Waters he maun die.

  They hae ta’en Young Waters,
    And put fetters to his feet;
  They hae ta’en Young Waters, and
    Thrown him in dungeon deep.

  ‘Aft have I ridden thro’ Stirling town,
    In the wind bot and the weit;
  Bot I neir rade thro’ Stirling town
    Wi’ fetters at my feet.

  ‘Aft have I ridden thro’ Stirling town,
    In the wind bot and the rain;
  Bot I neir rade thro’ Stirling town
    Neir to return again.’

  They hae ta’en to the heiding-hill
    His young son in his craddle,
  And they hae ta’en to the heiding-hill
    His horse bot and his saddle.

  They hae ta’en to heiding-hill
    His lady fair to see,
  And for the words the queen had spoke
    Young Waters he did die.

  1.2: ‘round tables,’ an unknown game.
  4.1: ‘graith’d,’ harnessed, usually; here perhaps shod.
  6.1: ‘laird,’ a landholder, below the degree of knight.--+Jamieson+.
  13.1: ‘heiding-hill’: _i.e._ heading (beheading) hill. The place of
    execution was anciently an artificial hillock.--+Percy+.]


+The Text+ is from Allan Ramsay’s _Tea-Table Miscellany_ (1763). It was
not included in the first edition (1724-1727), nor until the ninth
edition in 1740, when to the original three volumes there was added a
fourth, in which this ballad appeared. There is also a Scotch version,
_Sir John Grehme and Barbara Allan_. Percy printed both in the
_Reliques_, vol. iii.

+The Story+ of Barbara Allan’s scorn of her lover and subsequent regret
has always been popular. Pepys records of Mrs. Knipp, ‘In perfect
pleasure I was to hear her sing, and especially her little Scotch song
of Barbary Allen’ (January 2, 1665-6). Goldsmith’s words are equally
well known: ‘The music of the finest singer is dissonance to what I felt
when an old dairymaid sung me into tears with _Johnny Armstrong’s Last
Goodnight_, or _The Cruelty of Barbara Allen_.’ The tune is excessively
popular: it is given in Chappell’s _English Song and Ballad Music_.


  It was in and about the Martinmas time,
    When the green leaves were afalling,
  That Sir John Græme, in the West Country,
    Fell in love with Barbara Allan.

  He sent his men down through the town,
    To the place where she was dwelling;
  ‘O haste and come to my master dear,
    Gin ye be Barbara Allan.’

  O hooly, hooly rose she up,
    To the place where he was lying,
  And when she drew the curtain by,
    ‘Young man, I think you’re dying.’

  ‘O it’s I am sick, and very, very sick,
    And ’t is a’ for Barbara Allan.’
  ‘O the better for me ye ’s never be,
    Tho’ your heart’s blood were aspilling.’

  ‘O dinna ye mind, young man,’ said she,
    ‘When ye was in the tavern a drinking,
  That ye made the healths gae round and round,
    And slighted Barbara Allan?’

  He turn’d his face unto the wall,
    And death was with him dealing;
  ‘Adieu, adieu, my dear friends all,
    And be kind to Barbara Allan.’

  And slowly, slowly raise she up,
    And slowly, slowly left him,
  And sighing, said, she coud not stay,
    Since death of life had reft him.

  She had not gane a mile but twa,
    When she heard the dead-bell ringing,
  And every jow that the dead-bell geid,
    It cry’d, ‘Woe to Barbara Allan!’

  ‘O mother, mother, make my bed,
    O make it saft and narrow!
  Since my love died for me to-day,
    I’ll die for him to-morrow.’


+The Text+ is from the Jamieson-Brown MS., on which version Scott drew
partly for his ballad in the _Minstrelsy_. Mrs. Brown recited the ballad
again to William Tytler in 1783, but the result is now lost, with most
of the other Tytler-Brown versions.

+The Story.+--One point, the maid’s feint of death to escape from her
father to her lover, is the subject of a ballad very popular in France;
a version entitled _Belle Isambourg_ is printed in a collection called
_Airs de Cour_, 1607. Feigning death to escape various threats is a
common feature in many European ballads.

It is perhaps needless to remark that no goshawk sings sweetly, much
less talks. In Buchan’s version (of forty-nine stanzas) the goshawk is
exchanged for a parrot.


  ‘O well’s me o’ my gay goss-hawk,
    That he can speak and flee;
  He’ll carry a letter to my love,
    Bring back another to me.’

  ‘O how can I your true-love ken,
    Or how can I her know?
  When frae her mouth I never heard couth,
    Nor wi’ my eyes her saw.’

  ‘O well sal ye my true-love ken,
    As soon as you her see;
  For, of a’ the flow’rs in fair Englan’,
    The fairest flow’r is she.

  ‘At even at my love’s bow’r-door
    There grows a bowing birk,
  An’ sit ye down and sing thereon
    As she gangs to the kirk.

  ‘An’ four-and-twenty ladies fair
    Will wash and go to kirk,
  But well shall ye my true-love ken,
    For she wears goud on her skirt.

  ‘An’ four-and-twenty gay ladies
    Will to the mass repair,
  But well sal ye my true-love ken,
    For she wears goud on her hair.’

  O even at that lady’s bow’r-door
    There grows a bowin’ birk,
  An’ she sat down and sang thereon,
    As she ged to the kirk.

  ‘O eet and drink, my marys a’,
    The wine flows you among,
  Till I gang to my shot-window,
    An’ hear yon bonny bird’s song.

  ‘Sing on, sing on, my bonny bird,
    The song ye sang the streen,
  For I ken by your sweet singin’,
    You ’re frae my true-love sen’.’

  O first he sang a merry song,
    An’ then he sang a grave,
  An’ then he peck’d his feathers gray,
    To her the letter gave.

  ‘Ha, there’s a letter frae your love,
    He says he sent you three;
  He canna wait your love langer,
    But for your sake he’ll die.

  ‘He bids you write a letter to him;
    He says he’s sent you five;
  He canno wait your love langer,
    Tho’ you’re the fairest woman alive.’

  ‘Ye bid him bake his bridal bread,
    And brew his bridal ale,
  An’ I’ll meet him in fair Scotlan’
    Lang, lang or it be stale.’

  She’s doen her to her father dear,
    Fa’n low down on her knee:
  ‘A boon, a boon, my father dear,
    I pray you, grant it me.’

  ‘Ask on, ask on, my daughter,
    An’ granted it sal be;
  Except ae squire in fair Scotlan’,
    An’ him you sall never see.’

  ‘The only boon my father dear,
    That I do crave of the,
  Is, gin I die in southin lans,
    In Scotland to bury me.

  ‘An’ the firstin kirk that ye come till,
    Ye gar the bells be rung,
  An’ the nextin kirk that ye come till,
    Ye gar the mess be sung.

  ‘An’ the thirdin kirk that ye come till,
    You deal gold for my sake,
  An’ the fourthin kirk that ye come till,
    You tarry there till night.’

  She is doen her to her bigly bow’r,
    As fast as she coud fare,
  An’ she has tane a sleepy draught,
    That she had mix’d wi’ care.

  She’s laid her down upon her bed,
    An’ soon she’s fa’n asleep,
  And soon o’er every tender limb
    Cauld death began to creep.

  Whan night was flown, an’ day was come,
    Nae ane that did her see
  But thought she was as surely dead
    As ony lady coud be.

  Her father an’ her brothers dear
    Gard make to her a bier;
  The tae half was o’ guid red gold,
    The tither o’ silver clear.

  Her mither an’ her sisters fair
    Gard work for her a sark;
  The tae half was o’ cambrick fine,
    The tither o’ needle wark.

  The firstin kirk that they came till,
    They gard the bells be rung,
  An’ the nextin kirk that they came till,
    They gard the mess be sung.

  The thirdin kirk that they came till,
    They dealt gold for her sake,
  An’ the fourthin kirk that they came till,
    Lo, there they met her make!

  ‘Lay down, lay down the bigly bier,
    Lat me the dead look on’;
  Wi’ cherry cheeks and ruby lips
    She lay an’ smil’d on him.

  ‘O ae sheave o’ your bread, true-love,
    An’ ae glass o’ your wine,
  For I hae fasted for your sake
    These fully days is nine.

  ‘Gang hame, gang hame, my seven bold brothers,
    Gang hame and sound your horn;
  An’ ye may boast in southin lan’s
    Your sister’s play’d you scorn.’

  2.3: ‘couth,’ word.--+Jamieson+. The derivation, from Anglo-Saxon
    _cwide_, is hard.
  7.3: ‘she’ is the goshawk; called ‘he’ in 1.2.
  8.3: ‘shot-window,’ here perhaps a bow-window.
  9.2: ‘streen’ = yestreen, last evening.
  19.1: ‘bigly,’ _lit._ habitable; the stock epithet of ‘bower.’
  25.4: ‘make,’ mate, lover.
  27.1: ‘sheave,’ slice.]


+The Text+ is here given from the Jamieson-Brown MS. Versions,
lengthened and therefore less succinct and natural, are given in
Christie’s _Traditional Ballad Airs_ (_Love Robbie_) and in Buchan’s
_Ballads of the North of Scotland_ (_Brown Robyn and Mally_).

+The Story+ is a genuine bit of romance. The proud porter is apparently
suspicious, believing that the king’s daughter would not have made him
drunk for any good purpose. In spite of that he cannot see through Brown
Robin’s disguise, though the king remarks that ‘this is a sturdy dame.’
The king’s daughter, one would think, who conceals Robin’s bow in her
bosom, must also have been somewhat sturdy. Note the picturesque touch
in 8.2.


  The king but an’ his nobles a’ } _bis_
    Sat birling at the wine;     }
  He would ha’ nane but his ae daughter
    To wait on them at dine.

  She’s served them butt, she’s served them ben,
    Intill a gown of green,
  But her e’e was ay on Brown Robin,
    That stood low under the rain.

  She’s doen her to her bigly bow’r,
    As fast as she coud gang,
  An’ there she’s drawn her shot-window,
    An’ she’s harped an’ she sang.

  ‘There sits a bird i’ my father’s garden,
    An’ O but she sings sweet!
  I hope to live an’ see the day
    When wi’ my love I’ll meet.’

  ‘O gin that ye like me as well
    As your tongue tells to me,
  What hour o’ the night, my lady bright,
    At your bow’r sal I be?’

  ‘Whan my father an’ gay Gilbert
    Are baith set at the wine,
  O ready, ready I will be
    To lat my true-love in.’

  O she has birl’d her father’s porter
    Wi’ strong beer an’ wi’ wine,
  Untill he was as beastly drunk
    As ony wild-wood swine:
  She’s stown the keys o’ her father’s yates
    An latten her true-love in.

  When night was gane, an’ day was come,
    An’ the sun shone on their feet,
  Then out it spake him Brown Robin,
    ‘I’ll be discover’d yet.’

  Then out it spake that gay lady:
    ‘My love ye need na doubt,
  For wi’ ae wile I’ve got you in,
    Wi’ anither I’ll bring you out.’

  She’s ta’en her to her father’s cellar,
    As fast as she can fare;
  She’s drawn a cup o’ the gude red wine,
    Hung ’t low down by her gare;
  An’ she met wi’ her father dear
    Just coming down the stair.

  ‘I woud na gi’ that cup, daughter,
    That ye hold i’ your han’,
  For a’ the wines in my cellar,
    An’ gantrees whare the[y] stan’.’

  ‘O wae be to your wine, father,
    That ever ’t came o’er the sea;
  ’Tis pitten my head in sic a steer
    I’ my bow’r I canna be.’

  ‘Gang out, gang out, my daughter dear,
    Gang out an’ tack the air;
  Gang out an’ walk i’ the good green wood,
    An’ a’ your marys fair.’

  Then out it spake the proud porter--
    Our lady wish’d him shame--
  ‘We’ll send the marys to the wood,
    But we’ll keep our lady at hame.’

  ‘There’s thirty marys i’ my bow’r,
    There’s thirty o’ them an’ three;
  But there ’s nae ane amo’ them a’
    Kens what flow’r gains for me.’

  She’s doen her to her bigly bow’r
    As fast as she could gang,
  An’ she has dresst him Brown Robin
    Like ony bow’r-woman.

  The gown she pat upon her love
    Was o’ the dainty green,
  His hose was o’ the saft, saft silk,
    His shoon o’ the cordwain fine.

  She’s pitten his bow in her bosom,
    His arrow in her sleeve,
  His sturdy bran’ her body next,
    Because he was her love.

  Then she is unto her bow’r-door
    As fast as she coud gang;
  But out it spake the proud porter--
    Our lady wish’d him shame--
  ‘We’ll count our marys to the wood,
    And we’ll count them back again.’

  The firsten mary she sent out
    Was Brown Robin by name;
  Then out it spake the king himsel’,
    ‘This is a sturdy dame.’

  O she went out in a May morning,
    In a May morning so gay,
  But she never came back again,
    Her auld father to see.

  1.2: ‘birling,’ drinking: cf. 7.1.
  3.1: ‘bigly,’ commodious: see _The Gay Goshawk_, 19.1.
  3.3: ‘shot-window,’ here perhaps a shutter with a pane of glass let
  7.1: ‘birl’d,’ plied: cf. 1.2.
  7.4: Cf. _Fause Footrage_ 16.4: a popular simile.
  7.5: ‘stown,’ stolen: ‘yates,’ gates.
  10.4: ‘gare,’ gore; _i.e._ by her knee: a stock ballad phrase.
  11.4: ‘gantrees,’ stands for casks.
  12.3: ‘sic,’ such: the MS. gives _sick_: ‘steer,’ disturbance.
  13.4: ‘marys,’ maids.
  15.4: ‘gains for,’ suits, is meet (Icelandic, _gegna_). Cf. Jamieson’s
    version of _Sir Patrick Spence_:--
      ‘For I brought as much white money
      As will gain my men and me.’
  17.4: ‘cordwain,’ Cordovan (Spanish) leather.
  21.2: ‘gay’: the MS. gives _gray_. This is Child’s emendation, who
    points out that the sun was up, 8.2.]


+The Text+ of this little ballad is given from Bell’s _Ancient Poems,
Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England_.

It should be compared with _Lord Lovel_.


  Lady Alice was sitting in her bower-window,
    At midnight mending her quoif,
  And there she saw as fine a corpse
    As ever she saw in her life.

  ‘What bear ye, what bear ye, ye six men tall?
    What bear ye on your shoulders?’
  ‘We bear the corpse of Giles Collins,
    An old and true lover of yours.’

  ‘O lay him down gently, ye six men tall,
    All on the grass so green,
  And to-morrow, when the sun goes down,
    Lady Alice a corpse shall be seen.

  ‘And bury me in Saint Mary’s church,
    All for my love so true,
  And make me a garland of marjoram,
    And of lemon-thyme, and rue.’

  Giles Collins was buried all in the east,
    Lady Alice all in the west,
  And the roses that grew on Giles Collins’s grave,
    They reached Lady Alice’s breast.

  The priest of the parish he chanced to pass,
    And he severed those roses in twain;
  Sure never were seen such true lovers before,
    Nor e’er will there be again.

  1.2: ‘quoif,’ cap. The line should doubtless be:--
    ‘Mending her midnight quoif.’]


+The Text+ is from the Percy Folio, given _literatim_, with two
rearrangements of the lines (in stt. 4 and 22) and a few obvious
corrections, as suggested by Hales, and Furnivall, and Child. The Folio
version was printed by Jamieson in his _Popular Ballads and Songs_.

The Scotch version, _Gil Morrice_, was printed by Percy in the
_Reliques_ in preference to the version of his Folio. He notes that the
ballad ‘has lately run through two editions in Scotland: the second was
printed at Glasgow in 1755.’ Thanks to an advertisement prefixed to
these Scottish editions, sixteen additional verses were obtained and
added by Percy, who thought that they were ‘perhaps after all only an
ingenious interpolation.’ _Gil Morrice_ introduces ‘Lord Barnard’ in
place of ‘John Steward,’ adopted, perhaps, from _Little Musgrave and
Lady Barnard_. Motherwell’s versions were variously called _Child
Noryce_, _Bob Norice_, _Gill Morice_, _Chield Morice_. Certainly the
Folio ballad is unsurpassed for its vigorous, objective style, and
forcible, vivid pictures.

+The Story+ of this ballad gave rise to Home’s _Douglas_, a tragedy,
produced in the Concert Hall, Canongate, Edinburgh, 1756 (on which
occasion the heroine’s name was given as ‘Lady Barnard’), and
transferred to Covent Garden Theatre, in London, in 1757, the heroine’s
name being altered to ‘Lady Randolph.’

Perhaps in the same year in which the play was produced in London, the
poet Gray wrote from Cambridge:-- ‘I have got the old Scotch ballad on
which _Douglas_ was founded; it is divine, and as long as from hence to
Aston. Aristotle’s best rules are observed in it in a manner which shows
the author never had heard of Aristotle. It begins in the fifth act of
the play. You may read it two-thirds through without guessing what it is
about; and yet, when you come to the end, it is impossible not to
understand the whole story.’


  Child Maurice hunted ithe siluer wood,
    He hunted itt round about,
  And noebodye that he ffound therin,
    Nor none there was with-out.

  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...
  And he tooke his siluer combe in his hand,
    To kembe his yellow lockes.

  He sayes, ‘Come hither, thou litle ffoot-page,
    That runneth lowlye by my knee,
  Ffor thou shalt goe to Iohn Stewards wiffe
    And pray her speake with mee.

  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...
  I, and greete thou doe that ladye well,
    Euer soe well ffroe mee.

  ‘And, as itt ffalls, as many times
    As knotts beene knitt on a kell,
  Or marchant men gone to leeue London
    Either to buy ware or sell;

  ‘And, as itt ffalles, as many times
    As any hart can thinke,
  Or schoole-masters are in any schoole-house
    Writting with pen and inke:
  Ffor if I might, as well as shee may,
    This night I wold with her speake.

  ‘And heere I send her a mantle of greene,
    As greene as any grasse,
  And bid her come to the siluer wood,
    To hunt with Child Maurice.

  ‘And there I send her a ring of gold,
    A ring of precyous stone,
  And bidd her come to the siluer wood,
    Let ffor no kind of man.’

  One while this litle boy he yode,
    Another while he ran,
  Vntill he came to Iohn Stewards hall,
    I-wis he never blan.

  And of nurture the child had good,
    Hee ran vp hall and bower ffree,
  And when he came to this lady ffaire,
    Sayes, ‘God you saue and see!

  ‘I am come ffrom Child Maurice,
    A message vnto thee;
  And Child Maurice, he greetes you well,
    And euer soe well ffrom mee;

  ‘And, as itt ffalls, as oftentimes
    As knotts beene knitt on a kell,
  Or marchant-men gone to leeue London
    Either ffor to buy ware or sell;

  ‘And as oftentimes he greetes you well
    As any hart can thinke,
  Or schoolemasters are in any schoole,
    Wryting with pen and inke.

  ‘And heere he sends a mantle of greene,
    As greene as any grasse,
  And he bidds you come to the siluer wood,
    To hunt with Child Maurice.

  ‘And heere he sends you a ring of gold,
    A ring of the precyous stone;
  He prayes you to come to the siluer wood,
    Let ffor no kind of man.’

  ‘Now peace, now peace, thou litle ffoot-page,
    Ffor Christes sake, I pray thee!
  Ffor if my lord heare one of these words,
    Thou must be hanged hye!’

  Iohn Steward stood vnder the castle-wall,
    And he wrote the words euerye one,
  ...   ...   ...
  ...   ...   ...

  And he called vnto his hors-keeper,
    ‘Make readye you my steede!’
  I, and soe he did to his chamberlaine,
    ‘Make readye thou my weede!’

  And he cast a lease vpon his backe,
    And he rode to the siluer wood,
  And there he sought all about,
    About the siluer wood.

  And there he ffound him Child Maurice
    Sitting vpon a blocke,
  With a siluer combe in his hand,
    Kembing his yellow locke.

  ...   ...   ...

  But then stood vp him Child Maurice,
    And sayd these words trulye:
  ‘I doe not know your ladye,’ he said,
    ‘If that I doe her see.’

  He sayes, ‘How now, how now, Child Maurice?
    Alacke, how may this bee?
  Ffor thou hast sent her loue-tokens,
    More now then two or three;

  ‘Ffor thou hast sent her a mantle of greene,
    As greene as any grasse,
  And bade her come to the siluer woode
    To hunt with Child Maurice.

  ‘And thou [hast] sent her a ring of gold,
    A ring of precyous stone,
  And bade her come to the siluer wood,
    Let ffor noe kind of man.

  ‘And by my ffaith, now, Child Maurice,
    The tone of vs shall dye!’
  ‘Now be my troth,’ sayd Child Maurice,
    ‘And that shall not be I.’

  But hee pulled forth a bright browne sword,
    And dryed itt on the grasse,
  And soe ffast he smote att Iohn Steward,
    I-wisse he neuer rest.

  Then hee pulled fforth his bright browne sword,
    And dryed itt on his sleeue,
  And the ffirst good stroke Iohn Stewart stroke,
    Child Maurice head he did cleeue.

  And he pricked itt on his swords poynt,
    Went singing there beside,
  And he rode till he came to that ladye ffaire,
    Wheras this ladye lyed.

  And sayes, ‘Dost thou know Child Maurice head,
    If that thou dost itt see?
  And lap itt soft, and kisse itt oft,
    For thou louedst him better than mee.’

  But when shee looked on Child Maurice head,
    She neuer spake words but three:
  ‘I neuer beare no child but one,
    And you haue slaine him trulye.’

  Sayes, ‘Wicked be my merrymen all,
    I gaue meate, drinke, and clothe!
  But cold they not haue holden me
    When I was in all that wrath!

  ‘Ffor I haue slaine one of the curteousest knights
    That euer bestrode a steed,
  Soe haue I done one [of] the fairest ladyes
    That euer ware womans weede!’

  1.1: ‘siluer’: the Folio gives _siluen_.
  4.3,4: These lines in the Folio precede st. 6.
  5.2: _i.e._ as many times as there are knots knit in a net for the
    hair; cf. French _cale_.
  5.3: ‘leeue,’ lovely.
  8.4: ‘Let,’ fail: it is the infinitive, governed by ‘bidd.’
  9.1: ‘yode,’ went.
  9.4: ‘blan,’ lingered.
  13.3: ‘are’: omitted in the Folio.
  18.3: ‘I,’ aye.
  19.1: ‘lease,’ leash, thong, string: perhaps for bringing back any
    game he might kill.
  After 20 at least one verse is lost.
  22.1,2: In the Folio these lines precede 21.1,2.
  24.1: ‘hast’ omitted in the Folio.
  25.2: ‘tone,’ the one (or other).]


+The Text+ is from Alexander Fraser Tytler’s Brown MS., which was also
the source of Scott’s version in the _Minstrelsy_. One line (31.1),
closely resembling a line in Lady Wardlaw’s forged ballad _Hardyknute_,
caused Sir Walter to investigate strictly the authenticity of the
ballad, but the evidence of Lady Douglas, that she had learned the
ballad in her childhood, and could still repeat much of it, removed his
doubts. It is, however, quite possible, as Professor Child points out,
‘that Mrs. Brown may unconsciously have adopted this verse from the
tiresome and affected _Hardyknute_, so much esteemed in her day.’

+The Story.+--In _The Complaynt of Scotlande_ (1549) there is mentioned
a tale ‘how the King of Estmure Land married the King’s daughter of
Westmure Land,’ and it has been suggested that there is a connection
with the ballad.

This is another of the ballads of which the English form has become so
far corrupted that we have to seek its Scandinavian counterpart to
obtain the full form of the story. The ballad is especially popular in
Denmark, where it is found in twenty-three manuscripts, as follows:--

The rich Svend wooes Lisbet, who favours William for his good qualities.
Svend, ill with grief, is well-advised by his mother, not to care for a
plighted maid, and ill-advised by his sister, to kill William. Svend
takes the latter advice, and kills William. Forty weeks later, Lisbet
gives birth to a son, but Svend is told that the child is a girl.
Eighteen years later, the young William, sporting with a peasant,
quarrels with him; the peasant retorts, ‘You had better avenge your
father’s death.’ Young William asks his mother who slew his father, and
she, thinking him too young to fight, counsels him to bring Svend to a
court. William charges him in the court with the murder of his father,
and says that no compensation has been offered. Not a penny shall be
paid, says Svend. William draws his sword, and slays him.

Icelandic, Swedish, and Färöe ballads tell a similar story.


  King Easter has courted her for her gowd,
    King Wester for her fee;
  King Honor for her lands sae braid,
    And for her fair body.

  They had not been four months married,
    As I have heard them tell,
  Until the nobles of the land
    Against them did rebel.

  And they cast kaivles them amang,
    And kaivles them between;
  And they cast kaivles them amang,
    Wha shoud gae kill the king.

  O some said yea, and some said nay,
    Their words did not agree;
  Till up it gat him Fa’se Footrage,
    And sware it shoud be he.

  When bells were rung, and mass was sung,
    And a’ man boon to bed,
  King Honor and his gay ladie
    In a hie chamer were laid.

  Then up it raise him Fa’se Footrage,
    While a’ were fast asleep,
  And slew the porter in his lodge,
    That watch and ward did keep.

  O four and twenty silver keys
    Hang hie upon a pin,
  And ay as a door he did unlock,
    He has fasten’d it him behind.

  Then up it raise him King Honor,
    Says, ‘What means a’ this din?
  Now what’s the matter, Fa’se Footrage,
    Or wha was’t loot you in?’

  ‘O ye my errand well shall learn
    Before that I depart’;
  Then drew a knife baith lang and sharp
    And pierced him thro’ the heart.

  Then up it got the Queen hersell,
    And fell low down on her knee:
  ‘O spare my life now, Fa’se Footrage!
    For I never injured thee.

  ‘O spare my life now, Fa’se Footrage!
    Until I lighter be!
  And see gin it be lad or lass,
    King Honor has left me wi’.’

  ‘O gin it be a lass,’ he says,
    ‘Weel nursed she shall be;
  But gin it be a lad-bairn,
    He shall be hanged hie.

  ‘I winna spare his tender age,
    Nor yet his hie, hie kin;
  But as soon as e’er he born is,
    He shall mount the gallows-pin.’

  O four and twenty valiant knights
    Were set the Queen to guard,
  And four stood ay at her bower-door,
    To keep baith watch and ward.

  But when the time drew till an end
    That she should lighter be,
  She cast about to find a wile
    To set her body free.

  O she has birled these merry young men
    Wi’ strong beer and wi’ wine,
  Until she made them a’ as drunk
    As any wall-wood swine.

  ‘O narrow, narrow is this window,
    And big, big am I grown!’
  Yet thro’ the might of Our Ladie,
    Out at it she has won.

  She wander’d up, she wander’d down,
    She wander’d out and in;
  And at last, into the very swines’ stye,
    The Queen brought forth a son.

  Then they cast kaivles them amang
    Wha should gae seek the Queen;
  And the kaivle fell upon Wise William,
    And he’s sent his wife for him.

  O when she saw Wise William’s wife,
    The Queen fell on her knee;
  ‘Win up, win up, madame,’ she says,
    ‘What means this courtesie?’

  ‘O out of this I winna rise,
    Till a boon ye grant to me,
  To change your lass for this lad-bairn,
    King Honor left me wi’.

  ‘And ye maun learn my gay gos-hawke
    Well how to breast a steed;
  And I shall learn your turtle-dow
    As well to write and read.

  ‘And ye maun learn my gay gos-hawke
    To wield baith bow and brand;
  And I sall learn your turtle-dow
    To lay gowd wi’ her hand.

  ‘At kirk and market where we meet,
    We dare nae mair avow
  But--“Dame, how does my gay gose-hawk?”
    “Madame, how does my dow?”’

  When days were gane, and years come on,
    Wise William he thought long;
  Out has he ta’en King Honor’s son,
    A hunting for to gang.

  It sae fell out at their hunting,
    Upon a summer’s day,
  That they cam’ by a fair castle,
    Stood on a sunny brae.

  ‘O dinna ye see that bonny castle
    Wi’ wa’s and towers sae fair?
  Gin ilka man had back his ain,
    Of it you shoud be heir.’

  ‘How I shoud be heir of that castle,
    In sooth I canna see;
  When it belongs to Fa’se Footrage,
    And he’s nae kin to me.’

  ‘O gin ye shoud kill him Fa’se Footrage,
    You woud do what is right;
  For I wot he kill’d your father dear,
    Ere ever you saw the light.

  ‘Gin you shoud kill him Fa’se Footrage,
    There is nae man durst you blame;
  For he keeps your mother a prisoner,
    And she dares no take you hame.’

  The boy stared wild like a gray gose-hawk,
    Says, ‘What may a’ this mean?’
  ‘My boy, you are King Honor’s son,
    And your mother’s our lawful queen.’

  ‘O gin I be King Honor’s son,
    By Our Ladie I swear,
  This day I will that traytour slay,
    And relieve my mother dear!’

  He has set his bent bow till his breast,
    And lap the castle-wa’;
  And soon he’s siesed on Fa’se Footrage,
    Wha loud for help gan ca’.

  ‘O haud your tongue now, Fa’se Footrage,
    Frae me ye shanno flee.’
  Syne pierced him through the foul fa’se heart,
    And set his mother free.

  And he has rewarded Wise William
    Wi’ the best half of his land;
  And sae has he the turtle dow
    Wi’ the truth o’ his right hand.

  3.1: ‘kaivles,’ lots.
  13.4: ‘gallows-pin,’ the projecting beam of the gallows.
  16.1: ‘birled,’ plied.
  16.4: ‘wallwood,’ wild wood: a conventional ballad-phrase.
  25.2: A stock ballad-phrase.
  33.1: A ballad conventionality.]


 ‘Ouvre ta port’, Germin’, c’est moi qu’est ton mari.’
 ‘Donnez-moi des indic’s de la première nuit,
  Et par là je croirai que vous et’s mon mari.’


+The Text+ is Fraser Tytler’s, taken down from the recitation of Mrs.
Brown in 1800, who had previously (1783) recited a similar version to
Jamieson. The later recitation, which was used by Scott, with others,
seems to contain certain improvisations of Mrs. Brown’s which do not
appear in the earlier form.

+The Story.+--A mother, who feigns to be her own son and demands tokens
of the girl outside the gate, turns her son’s love away, and is cursed
by him. Similar ballads exist in France, Germany, and Greece.

There is an early eighteenth-century MS. (Elizabeth Cochrane’s
_Song-Book_) of this ballad, which gives a preliminary history. Isabel
of Rochroyal dreams of her love Gregory; she rises up, calls for a swift
steed, and rides forth till she meets a company. They ask her who she
is, and are told that she is ‘Fair Isabel of Rochroyal,’ seeking her
true-love Gregory. They direct her to ‘yon castle’; and thenceforth the
tale proceeds much as in the other versions.

‘Lochryan,’ says Scott, ‘lies in Galloway; Roch--or Rough--royal, I have
not found, but there is a Rough castle in Stirlingshire’ (Child).


  ‘O wha will shoe my fu’ fair foot?
    And wha will glove my hand?
  And wha will lace my middle jimp,
    Wi’ the new-made London band?

  ‘And wha will kaim my yellow hair,
    Wi’ the new-made silver kaim?
  And wha will father my young son,
    Till Love Gregor come hame?’

  ‘Your father will shoe your fu’ fair foot,
    Your mother will glove your hand;
  Your sister will lace your middle jimp
    Wi’ the new-made London band.

  ‘Your brother will kaim your yellow hair,
    Wi’ the new-made silver kaim;
  And the king of heaven will father your bairn,
    Till Love Gregor come haim.’

  ‘But I will get a bonny boat,
    And I will sail the sea,
  For I maun gang to Love Gregor,
    Since he canno come hame to me.’

  O she has gotten a bonny boat,
    And sail’d the sa’t sea fame;
  She lang’d to see her ain true-love,
    Since he could no come hame.

  ‘O row your boat, my mariners,
    And bring me to the land,
  For yonder I see my love’s castle,
    Closs by the sa’t sea strand.’

  She has ta’en her young son in her arms,
    And to the door she’s gone,
  And lang she’s knock’d and sair she ca’d,
    But answer got she none.

  ‘O open the door, Love Gregor,’ she says,
    ‘O open, and let me in;
  For the wind blaws thro’ my yellow hair,
    And the rain draps o’er my chin.’

  ‘Awa’, awa’, ye ill woman,
    You ’r nae come here for good;
  You ’r but some witch, or wile warlock,
    Or mer-maid of the flood.’

  ‘I am neither a witch nor a wile warlock,
    Nor mer-maid of the sea,
  I am Fair Annie of Rough Royal;
    O open the door to me.’

  ‘Gin ye be Annie of Rough Royal--
    And I trust ye are not she--
  Now tell me some of the love-tokens
    That past between you and me.’

  ‘O dinna you mind now, Love Gregor,
    When we sat at the wine,
  How we changed the rings frae our fingers?
    And I can show thee thine.

  ‘O yours was good, and good enneugh,
    But ay the best was mine;
  For yours was o’ the good red goud,
    But mine o’ the dimonds fine.

  ‘But open the door now, Love Gregor,
    O open the door I pray,
  For your young son that is in my arms
    Will be dead ere it be day.’

  ‘Awa’, awa’, ye ill woman,
    For here ye shanno win in;
  Gae drown ye in the raging sea,
    Or hang on the gallows-pin.’

  When the cock had crawn, and day did dawn,
    And the sun began to peep,
  Then it raise him Love Gregor,
    And sair, sair did he weep.

  ‘O I dream’d a dream, my mother dear,
    The thoughts o’ it gars me greet,
  That Fair Annie of Rough Royal
    Lay cauld dead at my feet.’

  ‘Gin it be for Annie of Rough Royal
    That ye make a’ this din,
  She stood a’ last night at this door,
    But I trow she wan no in.’

  ‘O wae betide ye, ill woman,
    An ill dead may ye die!
  That ye woudno open the door to her,
    Nor yet woud waken me.’

  O he has gone down to yon shore-side,
    As fast as he could fare;
  He saw Fair Annie in her boat
    But the wind it toss’d her sair.

  And ‘Hey, Annie!’ and ‘How, Annie!
    O Annie, winna ye bide?’
  But ay the mair that he cried ‘Annie,’
    The braider grew the tide.

  And ‘Hey, Annie!’ and ‘How, Annie!
    Dear Annie, speak to me!’
  But ay the louder he cried ‘Annie,’
    The louder roar’d the sea.

  The wind blew loud, the sea grew rough,
    And dash’d the boat on shore;
  Fair Annie floats on the raging sea,
    But her young son raise no more.

  Love Gregor tare his yellow hair,
    And made a heavy moan;
  Fair Annie’s corpse lay at his feet,
    But his bonny young son was gone.

  O cherry, cherry was her cheek,
    And gowden was her hair,
  But clay cold were her rosey lips,
    Nae spark of life was there.

  And first he’s kiss’d her cherry cheek,
    And neist he’s kissed her chin;
  And saftly press’d her rosey lips,
    But there was nae breath within.

  ‘O wae betide my cruel mother,
    And an ill dead may she die!
  For she turn’d my true-love frae the door,
    When she came sae far to me.’

  10.3: ‘warlock,’ wizard, magician.
  18.2: ‘gars me greet,’ makes me weep.]


+The Text+ is from Motherwell’s MS., written from the recitation of a
Mrs. King of Kilbarchan.

+The Story+ of the ballad is a mere remnant of the story told in the
Gest of King Horn, preserved in three manuscripts, the oldest of which
belongs to the thirteenth century. Similar stories are given in a French
romance of the fourteenth century, and an English manuscript of the same
date. The complete story in the Gest may be condensed as follows:--

Horn, son of Murry, King of Suddenne, was captured by Saracens, who
killed his father, and turned him and his twelve companions adrift in a
boat, which was eventually beached safely on the coast of Westerness,
and Ailmar the king took them in and brought them up. Rymenhild his
daughter, falling in love with Horn, offered herself to him. He refused,
unless she would make the king knight him. She did so, and again claimed
his love; but he said he must first prove his knighthood. She gave him a
ring set with stones, such that he could never be slain if he looked on
it and thought of her. His first feat was the slaying of a hundred
heathens; then he returned to Rymenhild. Meanwhile, however, one of his
companions had told the king that Horn meant to kill him and wed his
daughter. Ailmar ordered Horn to quit his court; and Horn, having told
Rymenhild that if he did not come back in seven years she might marry
another, sailed to the court of King Thurston in Ireland, where he
stayed for seven years, performing feats of valour with the aid of
Rymenhild’s ring.

At the end of the allotted time, Rymenhild was to be married to King
Modi of Reynis. Horn, hearing of this, went back to Westerness, arrived
on the marriage-morn, met a palmer (the old beggar man of the ballad),
changed clothes with him, and entered the hall. According to custom,
Rymenhild served wine to the guests, and as Horn drank, he dropped her
ring into the vessel. When she discovered it, she sent for the palmer,
and questioned him. He said Horn had died on the voyage thither.
Rymenhild seized a knife she had hidden to kill King Modi and herself if
Horn came not, and set it to her breast. The palmer threw off his
disguise, saying, ‘I am Horn.’ Still he would not wed her till he had
regained his father’s kingdom of Suddenne, and went away and did so.
Meanwhile a false friend seized Rymenhild; but on the marriage-day Horn
returned, killed him, and finally made Rymenhild his wife and Queen of

Compare the story of Torello and the Saladin in the _Decameron_, Tenth
Day, Novel 9.


  In Scotland there was a babie born,
      _Lill lal, etc._
  And his name it was called young Hind Horn,
      _With a fal lal, etc._

  He sent a letter to our king
  That he was in love with his daughter Jean.[A]

  ...   ...   ...

  He’s gi’en to her a silver wand,
  With seven living lavrocks sitting thereon.

  She’s gi’en to him a diamond ring,
  With seven bright diamonds set therein.

  ‘When this ring grows pale and wan,
  You may know by it my love is gane.’

  One day as he looked his ring upon,
  He saw the diamonds pale and wan.

  He left the sea and came to land,
  And the first that he met was an old beggar man.

  ‘What news, what news?’ said young Hind Horn;
  ‘No news, no news,’ said the old beggar man.

  ‘No news,’ said the beggar, ‘no news at a’,
  But there is a wedding in the king’s ha’.

  ‘But there is a wedding in the king’s ha’,
  That has halden these forty days and twa.’

  ‘Will ye lend me your begging coat?
  And I’ll lend you my scarlet cloak.

  ‘Will you lend me your beggar’s rung?
  And I’ll gi’e you my steed to ride upon.

  ’Will you lend me your wig o’ hair,
  To cover mine, because it is fair?’

  The auld beggar man was bound for the mill,
  But young Hind Horn for the king’s hall.

  The auld beggar man was bound for to ride,
  But young Hind Horn was bound for the bride.

  When he came to the king’s gate,
  He sought a drink for Hind Horn’s sake.

  The bride came down with a glass of wine,
  When he drank out the glass, and dropt in the ring.

  ‘O got ye this by sea or land?
  Or got ye it off a dead man’s hand?’

  ‘I got not it by sea, I got it by land,
  And I got it, madam, out of your own hand.’

  ‘O I’ll cast off my gowns of brown,
  And beg wi’ you frae town to town.

  ‘O I’ll cast off my gowns of red,
  And I’ll beg wi’ you to win my bread.’

  ‘Ye needna cast off your gowns of brown,
  For I’ll make you lady o’ many a town.

  ‘Ye needna cast off your gowns of red,
  It’s only a sham, the begging o’ my bread.’

  The bridegroom he had wedded the bride,
  But young Hind Horn he took her to bed.

  [Footnote A: After stanza 2 there is a gap in the story. Other
  versions say that Hind Horn goes, or is sent, to sea.]

  10.2: The bride has lingered six weeks in hopes of Hind Horn’s return.
  12.1: ‘rung,’ staff.]


+The Text+ is that given by Percy in the _Reliques_ (1765), with the
substitution of _w_ for initial _qu_, and _y_ for initial _z_, as in
_Young Waters_ (see p. 146). In the fourth edition of the _Reliques_
Percy states that ‘this curious song was transmitted to the editor by
Sir David Dalrymple, Bart., late Lord Hailes.’

Percy’s adoption of antique spelling in this ballad has caused some
doubt to be thrown on its authenticity; but there is also a version _Son
Davie_, given in his _Minstrelsy_ by Motherwell, who, in referring to
the version in the _Reliques_, said there was reason for believing that
Lord Hailes ‘made a few slight verbal improvements in the copy he
transmitted, and altered the hero’s name to Edward, a name which, by the
bye, never occurs in a Scottish ballad except where allusion is made to
an English king.’

+The Story+ has a close parallel in Swedish, the form of the ballad
remaining in dialogue.

Motherwell points out that the verses of which _Edward_ consists
generally form the conclusion of the ballad of _The Twa Brothers_, and
also of certain versions of _Lizie Wan_; and is inclined to regard
_Edward_ as detached from one of those ballads. More probably the
reverse is the case, that the story of _Edward_ has been attached to the
other ballads.

The present version of the ballad exhibits an unusual amplification of
the refrain. The story is told in two lines of each eight-lined stanza;
but the lyrical effect added by the elaborate refrain is almost unique.


  ‘Why dois your brand sae drap wi’ bluid,
                  Edward, Edward?
  Why dois your brand sae drap wi’ bluid,
      And why sae sad gang yee, O?’
  ‘O, I hae killed my hauke sae guid,
                  Mither, mither:
  O, I hae killed my hauke sae guid,
      And I had nae mair bot hee, O.’

  ‘Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,
                  Edward, Edward.
  Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid,
      My deir son I tell thee, O.’
  ‘O, I hae killed my reid-roan steid,
                  Mither, mither:
  O, I hae killed my reid-roan steid,
      That erst was sae fair and frie, O.’

  ‘Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair,
                  Edward, Edward:
  Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair,
      Sum other dule ye drie, O.’
  ‘O, I hae killed my fadir deir,
                  Mither, mither:
  O, I hae killed my fadir deir,
      Alas! and wae is mee, O!’

  ‘And whatten penance wul ye drie for that,
                  Edward, Edward?
  And whatten penance will ye drie for that.
      My deir son, now tell me, O,
  ‘Ile set my feit in yonder boat,
                  Mither, mither:
  Ile set my feit in yonder boat,
      And Ile fare ovir the sea, O.’

  ‘And what wul ye doe wi’ your towirs and your ha’,
                  Edward, Edward?
  And what wul ye doe wi’ your towirs and your ha’,
      That were sae fair to see, O?’
  ‘Ile let thame stand tul they doun fa’,
                  Mither, mither:
  Ile let thame stand tul they doun fa’,
      For here nevir mair maun I bee, O.’

  ‘And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife,
                  Edward, Edward?
  And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife,
      Whan ye gang ovir the sea, O?’
  ‘The warldis room, late them beg thrae life,
                  Mither, mither:
  The warldis room, let them beg thrae life,
      For thame nevir mair wul I see, O.’

  ‘And what wul ye leive to your ain mither deir,
                  Edward, Edward?
  And what wul ye leive to your ain mither deir?
      My deir son, now tell me, O.’
  ‘The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
                  Mither, mither:
  The curse of hell frae me sall ye beir,
      Sic counseils ye gave to me, O.’

  3.4: ‘dule,’ grief; ‘drie,’ suffer.
  6.5,7: _i.e._ The world is wide.]


+The Text+ is from Scott’s _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_ (1803).
Other forms give the name as _Lord Ronald_, but Scott retains _Randal_
on the supposition that the ballad originated in the death of ‘Thomas
Randolph, or Randal, Earl of Murray, nephew to Robert Bruce, and
governor of Scotland,’ who died at Musselburgh in 1332.

+The Story+ of the ballad is found in Italian tradition nearly three
hundred years ago, and also occurs in Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish,
Magyar, Wendish, etc.

Certain variants of the ballad bear the title of _The Croodlin Doo_, and
the ‘handsome young man’ is changed for a child, and the poisoner is the
child’s step-mother. Scott suggests that this change was made ‘to excite
greater interest in the nursery.’ In nearly all forms of the ballad, the
poisoning is done by the substitution of snakes (‘eels’) for fish, a
common method amongst the ancients of administering poison.

Child gives a collation of seven versions secured in America of late
years, in each of which the name of Lord Randal has become corrupted to

The antiphonetic form of the ballad is popular, as being dramatic and
suitable for singing. Compare _Edward_, also a dialogue between mother
and son.


  ‘O where hae ye been, Lord Randal, my son?
  O where hae ye been, my handsome young man?’
  ‘I hae been to the wild wood; mother, make my bed soon,
  For I’m weary wi’ hunting, and fain wald lie down.’

  ‘Where gat ye your dinner, Lord Randal, my son?
  Where gat ye your dinner, my handsome young man?’
  ‘I din’d wi’ my true-love; mother, make my bed soon,
  For I’m weary wi’ hunting, and fain wald lie down.’

  ‘What gat ye to your dinner, Lord Randal, my son?
  What gat ye to your dinner, my handsome young man?’
  ‘I gat eels boil’d in broo’; mother, make my bed soon,
  For I’m weary wi’ hunting, and fain wald lie down.’

  ‘What became of your bloodhounds, Lord Randal, my son?
  What became of your bloodhounds, my handsome young man?’
  ‘O they swell’d and they died; mother, make my bed soon,
  For I’m weary wi’ hunting, and fain wald lie down.’

  ‘O I fear ye are poison’d, Lord Randal, my son!
  O I fear ye are poison’d, my handsome young man!’
  ‘O yes, I am poison’d; mother, make my bed soon,
  For I’m sick at the heart, and I fain wald lie down.’

  3.3: ‘broo’,’ broth.]


+The Text+ is from Jamieson’s _Popular Ballads_. He obtained it from
Mrs. Brown. It is by far the best version of a score or so in existence.
The name of the hero varies from Lamkin, Lankin, Lonkin, etc., to Rankin
and Balcanqual. I have been informed by Andrew McDowall, Esq., of an
incomplete version in which Lamkin’s name has become ‘Bold Hang’em.’

Finlay (_Scottish Ballads_) remarks:-- ‘All reciters agree that
Lammikin, or Lambkin, is not the name of the hero, but merely an

+The Story+ varies little throughout all the versions, though in some,
as in one known to Percy, it lacks much of the detail here given.


  It’s Lamkin was a mason good
    As ever built wi’ stane;
  He built Lord Wearie’s castle,
    But payment got he nane.

  ‘O pay me, Lord Wearie,
    Come, pay me my fee’:
  ‘I canna pay you, Lamkin,
    For I maun gang o’er the sea.’

  ‘O pay me now, Lord Wearie,
    Come, pay me out o’ hand’:
  ‘I canna pay you, Lamkin,
    Unless I sell my land.’

  ‘O gin ye winna pay me,
    I here sail mak’ a vow,
  Before that ye come hame again,
    Ye sall hae cause to rue.’

  Lord Wearie got a bonny ship,
    To sail the saut sea faem;
  Bade his lady weel the castle keep,
    Ay till he should come hame.

  But the nourice was a fause limmer
    As e’er hung on a tree;
  She laid a plot wi’ Lamkin,
    Whan her lord was o’er the sea.

  She laid a plot wi’ Lamkin,
    When the servants were awa’,
  Loot him in at a little shot-window,
    And brought him to the ha’.

  ‘O whare’s a’ the men o’ this house,
    That ca’ me Lamkin?’
  ‘They’re at the barn-well thrashing;
    ’Twill be lang ere they come in.’

  ‘And whare’s the women o’ this house,
    That ca’ me Lamkin?’
  ‘They’re at the far well washing;
    ’Twill be lang ere they come in.’

  ‘And whare’s the bairns o’ this house,
    That ca’ me Lamkin?’
  ‘They’re at the school reading;
    ’Twill be night or they come hame.’

  ‘O whare’s the lady o’ this house,
    That ca’s me Lamkin?’
  ‘She’s up in her bower sewing,
    But we soon can bring her down.’

  Then Lamkin’s tane a sharp knife,
    That hung down by his gaire,
  And he has gi’en the bonny babe
    A deep wound and a sair.

  Then Lamkin he rocked,
    And the fause nourice sang,
  Till frae ilkae bore o’ the cradle
    The red blood out sprang.

  Then out it spak’ the lady,
    As she stood on the stair:
  ‘What ails my bairn, nourice,
    That he’s greeting sae sair?

  ‘O still my bairn, nourice,
    O still him wi’ the pap!’
  ‘He winna still, lady,
    For this nor for that.’

  ‘O still my bairn, nourice,
    O still him wi’ the wand!’
  ‘He winna still, lady,
    For a’ his father’s land.’

  ‘O still my bairn, nourice,
    O still him wi’ the bell!’
  ‘He winna still, lady,
    Till ye come down yoursel’.’

  O the firsten step she steppit,
    She steppit on a stane;
  But the neisten step she steppit,
    She met him Lamkin.

  ‘O mercy, mercy, Lamkin,
    Hae mercy upon me!
  Though you’ve ta’en my young son’s life,
    Ye may let mysel’ be.’

  ‘O sall I kill her, nourice,
    Or sall I lat her be?’
  ‘O kill her, kill her, Lamkin,
    For she ne’er was good to me.’

  ‘O scour the bason, nourice,
    And mak’ it fair and clean,
  For to keep this lady’s heart’s blood,
    For she’s come o’ noble kin.’

  ‘There need nae bason, Lamkin,
    Lat it run through the floor;
  What better is the heart’s blood
    O’ the rich than o’ the poor?’

  But ere three months were at an end,
    Lord Wearie came again;
  But dowie, dowie was his heart
    When first he came hame.

  ‘O wha’s blood is this,’ he says,
    ‘That lies in the chamer?’
  ‘It is your lady’s heart’s blood;
    ’T is as clear as the lamer.’

  ‘And wha’s blood is this,’ he says,
    ‘That lies in my ha’?’
  ‘It is your young son’s heart’s blood;
    ’Tis the clearest ava.’

  O sweetly sang the black-bird
    That sat upon the tree;
  But sairer grat Lamkin,
    When he was condemn’d to die.

  And bonny sang the mavis
    Out o’ the thorny brake;
  But sairer grat the nourice,
    When she was tied to the stake.

  6.1: ‘limmer,’ wretch, rascal.
  7.3: ‘shot-window’: see special section of the Introduction.
  12.2: ‘gaire’; _i.e._ by his knee: see special section of the
  13.3: ‘bore,’ hole, crevice.
  14.4: ‘greeting,’ crying.
  23.3: ‘dowie,’ sad.
  24.2: ‘chamer,’ chamber.
  24.4: ‘lamer,’ amber.
  25.4: ‘ava,’ at all.
  26.3: ‘grat,’ greeted, wept.]


+The Text+ is from _Lovely Jenny’s Garland_, as given with emendations
by Professor Child. There is also a curiously perverted version in
Herd’s manuscript, in which the verses require rearrangement before
becoming intelligible.

+The Story+ can be gathered from the version here given without much
difficulty. It turns on the marriage of Fair Mary, who is one of seven
sisters fated to die of their first child. Fair Mary seems to be a
fatalist, and, after vowing never to marry, accepts as her destiny the
hand of Sir William Fenwick of Wallington. Three-quarters of a year
later she sends to fair Pudlington for her mother. Her mother is much
affected at the news (st. 22), and goes to Wallington. Her daughter, in
travail, lays the blame on her, cuts open her side to give birth to an
heir, and dies.

In a Breton ballad Pontplancoat thrice marries a Marguerite, and each of
his three sons costs his mother her life.

In the Scottish ballad, a ‘scope’ is put in Mary’s mouth when the
operation takes place. In the Breton ballad it is a silver spoon or a
silver ball. ‘Scope,’ or ‘scobs’ as it appears in Herd, means a gag, and
was apparently used to prevent her from crying out. But the silver spoon
and ball in the Breton ballad would appear to have been used for
Marguerite to bite on in her anguish, just as sailors chewed bullets
while being flogged.


  When we were silly sisters seven,
    Sisters were so fair,
  Five of us were brave knights’ wives,
    And died in childbed lair.

  Up then spake Fair Mary,
    Marry woud she nane;
  If ever she came in man’s bed,
    The same gate wad she gang.

  ‘Make no vows, Fair Mary,
    For fear they broken be;
  Here’s been the Knight of Wallington,
    Asking good will of thee.’

  ‘If here’s been the knight, mother,
    Asking good will of me,
  Within three quarters of a year
    You may come bury me.’

  When she came to Wallington,
    And into Wallington hall,
  There she spy’d her mother dear,
    Walking about the wall.

  ‘You’re welcome, daughter dear,
    To thy castle and thy bowers’;
  ‘I thank you kindly, mother,
    I hope they’ll soon be yours.’

  She had not been in Wallington
    Three quarters and a day,
  Till upon the ground she could not walk,
    She was a weary prey.

  She had not been in Wallington
    Three quarters and a night,
  Till on the ground she coud not walk,
    She was a weary wight.

  ‘Is there ne’er a boy in this town,
    Who’ll win hose and shun,
  That will run to fair Pudlington,
    And bid my mother come?’

  Up then spake a little boy,
    Near unto a-kin;
  ‘Full oft I have your errands gone,
    But now I will it run.’

  Then she call’d her waiting-maid
    To bring up bread and wine;
  ‘Eat and drink, my bonny boy,
    Thou’ll ne’er eat more of mine.

  ‘Give my respects to my mother,
    She sits in her chair of stone,
  And ask her how she likes the news,
    Of seven to have but one.

  ‘Give my respects to my mother,
    As she sits in her chair of oak,
  And bid her come to my sickening,
    Or my merry lake-wake.

  ‘Give my love to my brother
    William, Ralph, and John,
  And to my sister Betty fair,
    And to her white as bone:

  ‘And bid her keep her maidenhead,
    Be sure make much on ’t,
  For if e’er she come in man’s bed,
    The same gate will she gang.’

  Away this little boy is gone,
    As fast as he could run;
  When he came where brigs were broke,
    He lay down and swum.

  When he saw the lady, he said,
    ‘Lord may your keeper be!’
  ‘What news, my pretty boy,
    Hast thou to tell to me?’

  ‘Your daughter Mary orders me,
    As you sit in a chair of stone,
  To ask you how you like the news,
    Of seven to have but one.

  ‘Your daughter gives commands,
    As you sit in a chair of oak,
  And bids you come to her sickening,
    Or her merry lake-wake.

  ‘She gives command to her brother
    William, Ralph, and John,
  [And] to her sister Betty fair,
    And to her white as bone.

  ‘She bids her keep her maidenhead,
    Be sure make much on ’t,
  For if e’er she came in man’s bed,
    The same gate woud she gang.’

  She kickt the table with her foot,
    She kickt it with her knee,
  The silver plate into the fire,
    So far she made it flee.

  Then she call’d her waiting-maid
    To bring her riding-hood,
  So did she on her stable-groom
    To bring her riding-steed.

  ‘Go saddle to me the black, [the black,]
    Go saddle to me the brown,
  Go saddle to me the swiftest steed
    That e’er rid [to] Wallington.’

  When they came to Wallington,
    And into Wallington hall,
  There she spy’d her son Fenwick,
    Walking about the wall.

  ‘God save you, dear son,
    Lord may your keeper be!
  Where is my daughter fair,
    That used to walk with thee?’

  He turn’d his head round about,
    The tears did fill his e’e:
  ‘’Tis a month’ he said, ‘since she
    Took her chambers from me.’

  She went on . . .
    And there were in the hall
  Four and twenty ladies,
    Letting the tears down fall.

  Her daughter had a scope
    Into her cheek and into her chin,
  All to keep her life
    Till her dear mother came.

  ‘Come take the rings off my fingers,
    The skin it is so white,
  And give them to my mother dear,
    For she was all the wite.

  ‘Come take the rings off my fingers,
    The veins they are so red,
  Give them to Sir William Fenwick,
    I’m sure his heart will bleed.’

  She took out a razor
    That was both sharp and fine,
  And out of her left side has taken
    The heir of Wallington.

  There is a race in Wallington,
    And that I rue full sare;
  Tho’ the cradle it be full spread up
    The bride-bed is left bare.

  1.1: ‘silly,’ simple.
  1.4: ‘lair,’ lying-in.
  2.4: ‘gate,’ way.
  5.3: ‘her mother’ is, of course, her mother-in-law.
  9.2: ‘shun’ = shoon, shoes.
  13: This stanza is not in the original, but is supplied from the boy’s
    repetition, st. 19.
  13.4: ‘lake-wake’ = lyke-wake: watching by a corpse.
  22: This, in ballads, is a customary method of giving expression to
    strong emotion.
  29.1: ‘scope,’ a gag.
  30.4: ‘wite,’ blame: _i.e._ her mother was the cause of all her




  Barbara Allan                                150
  Brown Adam                                   100
  Brown Robin                                  158

  Child Maurice                                165
  Child Waters                                  37

  Earl Brand                                    44
  Edward                                       189

  Fair Annie                                    29
  Fair Annie of Rough Royal                    179
  Fair Janet                                    94
  Fair Margaret and Sweet William               63
  Fair Mary of Wallington                      201
  Fause Footrage                               172

  Glasgerion                                     1

  Hind Horn                                    185

  Johney Scot                                  128

  Lady Alice                                   163
  Lady Maisry                                   70
  Lamkin                                       196
  Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard              19
  Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet                   135
  Lord Lovel                                    67
  Lord Randal                                  193
  Lord Thomas and Fair Annet                    54

  Old Robin of Portingale                       13

  The Bonny Birdy                               25
  The Boy and the Mantle                       119
  The Brown Girl                                60
  The Child of Ell                              52
  The Cruel Brother                             76
  The Cruel Mother                              35
  The Douglas Tragedy                           49
  The Gay Goshawk                              153
  The Marriage of Sir Gawaine                  107
  The Nutbrown Maid                             80
  The Twa Sisters o’ Binnorie                  141

  Willie o’ Winsbury                           104

  Young Bekie                                    6
  Young Waters                                 146


  About Yule, when the wind blew cule                147
  As it fell one holy-day                             19
  As it fell out on a long summer’s day               63

  Be it right, or wrong, these men among              81

  Child Maurice hunted ithe siluer wood              166
  Childe Watters in his stable stoode                 37

  Glasgerion was a king’s own son                      2
  God! let neuer soe old a man                        13

 ‘I am as brown as brown can be                       60
  In Scotland there was a babie born                 186
  In the third day of May                            120
  It’s Lamkin was a mason good                       196
 ‘It’s narrow, narrow, make your bed                  30
  It was in and about the Martinmas time             150

  Kinge Arthur liues in merry Carleile               109
  King Easter has courted her for her gowd           173

  Lady Alice was sitting in her bower-window         163
  Lord Ingram and Chiel Wyet                         135
  Lord Lovel he stood at his castle-gate              68
  Lord Thomas and Fair Annet                          54

  O Johney was as brave a knight                     129
 ‘O well’s me o’ my gay goss-hawk                    153
 ‘O wha will shoe my fu’ fair foot?                  180
  O wha woud wish the win’ to blaw                   101
 ‘O where hae ye been, Lord Randal, my son?          194
 ‘Oh did ye ever hear o’ brave Earl Bran’?            46

 ‘Rise up, rise up now, Lord Douglas,’ she says       49

  Sayes, ‘Christ thee saue, good child of Ell         52
  She leaned her back unto a thorn                    35

  The king but an’ his nobles a’                     158
  The king he hath been a prisoner                   104
  The young lords o’ the north country                70
  There was a knight, in a summer’s night             25
  There was three ladies play’d at the ba’            77
  There were twa sisters sat in a bour               141

  When we were silly sisters seven                   202
 ‘Why dois your brand sae drap wi’ bluid             190

 ‘Ye maun gang to your father, Janet                  94
  Young Bekie was as brave a knight                    7

  Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty
  at the Edinburgh University Press

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *



[Footnote 3: _Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard_ (see p. 19, etc.).]
  _footnote marker missing from text_
[Footnote 5: For the most recent discussions, see Bibliography,
  p. lii.]
  _footnote marker missing or invisible_
carefully balanced antitheses, and all the mechanical devices
  _text reads “aud”_
Coleridge’s _annus mirabilis_ was 1797
  _“Cole/ridge’s” printed at line break without visible hyphen_
his friend Humphrey Pitt of Shifnal, in Shropshire,
  _text has extra close quote after “Shropshire,”_
1794. _Joseph Ritson._ Scotish Song. 2 vols. London.
  _spelling unchanged_


The Douglas Tragedy
  [Stanza 5.]
  ‘Light down, light down, Lady Margret,’ he said,
    _close quote after “Lady Margret,” not visible_
  [Annotation to 8.3]
  ‘dighted,’ dressed.
    _reference “8.3” missing in text_
Lord Lovel
  Of the former the commonest is _Der Ritter und die Maid_
    _spelling unchanged_
Fair Annie of Rough Royal
  ‘Lochryan,’ says Scott, ‘lies in Galloway;
    _text has extra close quote after “Galloway”_
Lord Randal
  [Stanza 2.]
  ‘Where gat ye your dinner, Lord Randal, my son?
  Where gat ye your dinner, my handsome young man?’
    _text has empty line where “man?’” is expected_

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ballads of Romance and Chivalry - Popular Ballads of the Olden Times - First Series" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.