Home
  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: Brown William - The Power of the Harp and Other Ballads
Author: Borrow, George Henry, 1803-1881 [Translator], Wise, Thomas James, 1859-1937 [Editor]
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 "Brown William - The Power of the Harp and Other Ballads" ***

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



Transcribed from the 1913 Thomas J. Wise pamphlet by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org



                              BROWN WILLIAM
                         THE POWER OF THE HARP
                                   AND
                              OTHER BALLADS


                                    BY
                              GEORGE BORROW

                                 LONDON:
                     PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION

                                   1913

               _Copyright in the United States of America_
           _by Houghton_, _Mifflin & Co. for Clement Shorter_.



BROWN WILLIAM


_This ballad was written in consequence of the execution of William
Christian_, _generally called William Donn_, _or Brown William_, _from
the darkness of his complexion_, _who was shot at Hango Hill_, _near
Castletown_, _in the Isle of Man_, _shortly after the Restoration_, _for
alleged treason to the Derby family_, _who long possessed the sovereignty
of Man_. . . ._ The ballad of_ “_Brown William_,” _which gives an account
of the betrayal of the poor patriot_, _and the vengeance taken by the
hand of God upon his murderers_, _is the most popular of all the wild
songs of Ellan Vannin_.

Let no one in greatness too confident be,
Nor trust in his kindred, though high their degree;
For envy and rage will lay any man low:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

Thou wast the Receiver of Mona’s fair state,
Thy conduct was noble, thy wisdom was great,
And ne’er of thy rule did she weariness show:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

Thy right hand was Earley, and Theah thy right eye;
Thy state caused thy foemen with rage to swell high;
And envy and rage will lay any man low:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

How blest thy condition in fair Ronaldsway!
Thy mansion, how stately! thy garden, how gay!
But oh! what disasters from envy do flow:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

’Twas said at thy trial, by men void of faith,
The king, by a letter, demanded thy death;
The jury was frighten’d, and dared not say “No!”
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

The clan of wild Colcad could ne’er be at rest
Whilst the race of Christeen their own acres possess’d;
And envy and spite will bring any man low:
Thy murder Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

A band of adulterers, curst and unholy,
For Ronaldsway lust, as they did for Logh Molley;
Of Naboth, the tragedy’s played here anew:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

Not one of the band but received his just meed,
Who acted a part in that damnable deed;
To dwindle away the whole band was not slow:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

To Callaghyn-doo, and to Vannyster roam,
And call on the Colcad till hoarse ye become;
Gone, gone is the name so well known long ago:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

A cripple was Robin for many years long,
Who troubled and bullied the island when strong;
His own friends of tending him weary did grow:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

Sly Richard took ship with thy blood on his hand,
But God can avenge on the sea as on land;
The waves would not bear him, but whelm’d him, I trow:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

And now, if a few of the seed do remain,
They’re vile as the thistles and briars of the plain;
They ply for their neighbours the pick and the hoe:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

Should ye walk through all Man you’ll find no one, I reckon,
To mourn for the name that was once in Beemachan;
But thousands of poor who rejoice that ’tis low:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

Proceed to Creganyn, and Balla-logh green,
But where’s there a Colcad to bid ye walk in?
By strangers their homes and their lands are held now:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

Great Scarlett, in wealth who dwelt down by the bay,
Must toil now with paupers for sixpence a-day;
And oft, as I’ve heard, has no morsel to chew:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

The band by whose weapons the great Cæsar died
Were hunted by foes, and all peace were denied;
Not one died the death of kind Nature, O, no!
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

So it fared with the band by whom Willie did die,
Their lands are a waste, their names stink to the sky;
They melted like rime in the ruddy sun’s glow:
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

But comfort I take, for ’tis common report
There are shoots of dear Will who are sitting at court,
Who have punished his foes by king’s mandate, although
Thy murder, Brown William, fills Mona with woe.

O, ’tis pleasant to think, when one’s wither’d and grey,
There’s race of Brown William in fair Ronaldsway,
That his foemen are crush’d, and their faces can’t show,
While the clan of Christeen have no trouble or woe. {10}

To the counsellors false, both in church and in state,
Bear the public of Mona both loathing and hate,
Who set man against man, and the peace would break now,
As thy murder, Brown William, broke hearts long ago.

The lord of our island, Duke Athol the great,
They would gladly persuade, with their parle and their prate,
The corner-stones high of his house to lay low,
And to King, Duke and Mona are foemen, I trow.



THE POWER OF THE HARP


Sir Peter would forth from the castle ride,
Grieving and weeping did sit his young bride.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“Art grieving for saddle, or steed black or white,
Or because I have wed thee art thou in this plight?”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“I grieve not for saddle, or steed black or white,
Nor because thou hast wed me am I in this plight.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“Dost sorrow because little wealth I have got,
Or dost sorrow because thine equal I’m not?”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“I sorrow not because little of wealth thou hast got,
Nor grieve I because thou mine equal art not.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“Dost sorrow because thy fond father is dead,
Or dost sorrow because thou’rt no longer a maid?”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“I grieve not because my dear father is dead,
Nor sorrow I because that I am not a maid.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“I grieve and I weep, and to grieve I have need,
I know but too well what for me is decreed.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“For the bridge, the broad bridge, I sorrow much more,
For oh! my five sisters together fell o’er.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“I think of the stream, and I sorrow much more,
My sisters sank in it and never rose more.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“My dearest, my dearest, cast sorrow aside,
Before thee shall twelve of my merry men ride.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“Before thee shall twelve of my merry men speed,
And I will myself hold the reins of thy steed.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

And when they arrived in the green forest shade
A hart they beheld at gold tables that played.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

All stopped at the strange brown hart to take heed,
And allowed the young bride by herself to proceed.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

And as the broad bridge she went galloping o’er,
Stumbled her steed on his golden shoes four.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

Golden shoes four, each with golden nails three,
And the bride was cast into the boiling sea.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

Sir Peter he turned at her terrified cry,
But the bride she had sunk ’neath the waters high.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

He called to his men as their hands they wring:
“Bring quickly my harp with the golden string!”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

Sir Peter began with such sweetness to play,
That the birds all sang as they sat on the spray.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

The Merman rose from the depths of the sea,
And the fair young bride by the hand led he.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“Sir Peter, Sir Peter, thy playing give o’er,
Thy beautiful bride to thy arms I restore.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“For my bonny bride only I will not give o’er,
Her five sisters also thou must restore.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

Anew ’gan Sir Peter so sweetly to play,
That the birds came down from their seat on the spray.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

The Merman arose from the depth of the sea,
Five pretty maids by the hand led he.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

“Sir Peter, Sir Peter, thy playing give o’er,
For in truth have I now no maidens more.”
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?

From her anguish now is the Lady free,
In the arm of Sir Peter each night sleeps she.
   _Belov’d of my heart_, _wherefore sorrowest thou so_?



THE UNFORTUNATE MARRIAGE


Hildebrand gave his sister away,
Causing her many a mournful day.

She was given away and evilly wed,
Joy from her bosom quickly fled.

On Sunday she was a graceful bride,
On Monday a prisoner sad she sigh’d.

“O what, my Lord, have I done to thee?”
“Woman, I had no gold with thee.

“This have I, Dame, to say to thee,
Thou brought’st no silver home to me.”

“Thou knowest I brought thee as my dower
Eight full coffers to thy bower.

“Two filled with silver, white to see,
And two with gold so ruddy of blee.

“Two filled with sable and mard skins rare,
And two with pelts of deer and of bear.

“Upon thy father I bestow’d
Gilded saddle and courser proud.

“Upon thy mother did I bestow
Scarlet to place her feet below.

“To thy brother a ship from off the wave,
To your sister gold from my breast I gave.

“All thy courtiers I have dight
With little shirts as ivory white.

“No serving lass in the house is there
But I gave her silk to snood her hair.

“With what, my Lord, canst me upbraid,
And why in durance am I laid?”

“Woman, to thee I’ve this to say,
Thy brothers my father slew in fray.”

“If my brothers a deed so dire did dare,
I in that deed did in no ways share.

“And thou for thy father’s death wast paid
Seven tons of silver, and golden braid.

“What more, my Lord, canst thou require,
To remove from me thy anger dire?”

“Woman, with this I thee upbraid,
Thou cam’st not into my bed a maid.”

“So lend me, God, in my trouble aid,
As I came into thy bed a maid!

“And may God never give me grace,
If I came not a maid to thy embrace.”

“To-day thou shall sit within and mourn,
To-morrow at dawn on faggots burn.”

There she sits and her hands she wrings,
Till she heard the clang of the Raven’s wings.

“O Raven, Raven, stay thy wing,
Can’st thou the tune of the watchman sing?”

“O well can I, and well I ought,
So little was I when the tune I caught.”

“Wilt fly for me, Raven, to Tonne town,
For there my friends and kindred wone?

“I’ll give thee, Raven, a red gold band,
To carry my message to Hildebrand.

“A red gold band I’ll give to thee,
To tell him the tale of my misery.”

“Thy gold will do me little good,
Dearer to me my raven food.”

“O Raven, if thou wilt fly for me,
My husband’s eyes shall be thy fee.”

Abroad his black wings the Raven threw,
And over three kingly realms he flew.

The Raven into the chamber sped,
Where Hildebrand drank the wine so red.

“Hear thou, Hildebrand the young,
Thy sister’s into durance flung.

“Here art thou sitting and drinking wine,
To-morrow they’ll burn sweet sister thine.”

Hildebrand sprang the table o’er,
Dashing the wine on the marble floor.

Hildebrand hies him into the stall,
There he beholds the coursers all.

He viewed the brown, and the gray as well,
On the black he laid the gilded selle.

“Blacklille, Blacklille, if me thou’lt bear,
Thou on winnowed wheat all thy days shalt fare.”

“Then willingly, willingly, thee I’ll bear,
But to breathe my name thou must not dare.”

He placed himself Blacklille’s back upon,
And across the sea then away he ran.

And when to the midst of the Sound they came,
He in evil hour uttered Blacklille’s name.

Blacklille quickly swam to the land,
But down to the bottom sank Hildebrand.

On the Ting stood the damsel at break of day,
Then heard she afar off Blacklille neigh.

Blacklille ran towards the Ting in wrath,
Back scattered both women and men from his path.

Blacklille he kicked, the Raven he hewed,
With the blood of men was his beak embrued.

Black took on his back the fair young dame,
He went from the Ting and with her was tame.

And when they reached the yellow sand,
Upon it was standing Hildebrand.

“Welcome, sweet Kirsten, dear sister mine,
Why is so pallid that cheek of thine?”

“The reason my cheek so pale is seen,
Is because I’ve far from my dear home been.”

“Now let no honest man,” she said,
“Into foreign lands his daughter wed.

“Of gold perhaps he may get a store,
But her happiness goeth for evermore.”

Hildebrand kissed her o’er and o’er:
“My darling sister, pray sorrow no more.

“Kirsten, I pray thee, pardon me
For bringing thee into this misery.”

Then spake Blacklille as he stood:
“I’ve saved thee by shedding human blood.

“Give me, Kirsten, one little kiss,
And the Raven one on that beak of his.”

On their mouths she kissed them both with glee—
From hideous thrall were they both set free.

She kissed them both with good will, I ween,
They changed to her brothers who lost had been.

They all pressed her fondly to their breast,
From sorrow and woe she is now at rest.



THE WRESTLING-MATCH


As one day I wandered lonely, in extreme distress of mind,
I a pleasant garden entered, hoping comfort there to find.
Up and down I paced the garden till an open space I spied,
There I saw a crowd of people, and I heard a voice that cried:
“Come and see what Love is doing, here is Love performing more
Wondrous feats than e’er were witnessed at Olympian games of yore:
This he conquers, that he conquers, young and old before him lie,
Great and small alike he conquers, none with him a fall must try.

Hearing this at once I entered ’midst the crowd collected there,
Some of whom no doubt were eager like myself to banish care.
I would fain behold this being, this same wondrous lad survey,
Who ’twas said in each encounter bore with ease the prize away.
Quickly I the crowd divided, soon I pierced the multitude,
And this Love stood full before me, and what think you ’twas I view’d?
Why a boy, a little darling, full of captivating grace,
Rather roguish were his glances, but how lovely was his face!

Soon as I beheld this warrior gibings I began to throw
At the wretches who had suffered fell defeat from such a foe.
Then, to me his visage turning, of the conquered standing by
One replied, and in replying tears he shed abundantly:
“O, poor youth,” ’twas thus he answered, “little, little dost thou know
That in coming here thou comest not to joy, but bitter woe.
Tears, and pains, and wounds most ghastly, wounds for which there is no
cure,
Every kind of evil treatment such as no one can endure.”

When these words I heard him utter I was filled with bitter rage,
And forthwith made preparation with the warrior to engage.
“Hearken, Master Love,” I shouted, “from this spot stir not away,
You and I must have a battle, must engage in deadly fray;
That it may be known for certain which is strongest of us two.”
Then into the arena bounding there I stood in all men’s view,
In the midst of it expecting firm the onset of the foe,
Doubting not should he attack me him at once to overthrow.
Love he was not slow to follow with a blythe and joyous air,
Crying out, “My dearest fellow, for the fight yourself prepare!
Round the waist each other clasping now let’s strive like wrestlers true,
Do your best and I will show you what young Master Love can do.”

Then around the waist I clasped him, he his arms around me wound,
Long we hugged and hugged each other, each his match in t’other found.
Said at length the urchin to me: “Sadly tired, friend, am I,
Very much fatigued and weary, really friend just fit to die.
Therefore take from me, I prythee, what thou anxiously hast sought,
And for which in this arena with me gallantly hast fought.”

Then a blast of wild consuming fire he breathed into my breast,
Straight my breast it quick enkindled, all deprived was I of rest,
Then he ran away exulting to some other wretched wight,
Such a zest he has for conflict, in such fray is his delight.

As for me I fell half senseless on the fatal, fatal spot,
Fierce consuming fire within me, never sure was one so hot.
Rising up I followed shrieking, “Oh have mercy, Love, on me!
See my tears, my sad affliction, cure me of my misery!”

Then he cried, “Dost not remember all the boasts thy lips out-pour’d?
Know henceforth in every region Love is Conqueror and Lord.”

Thus he cried, and proudly left me, and wherever now I rove,
I reproach myself for thinking I could vanquish mighty Love.



THE WARRIOR
_From the Arabic_.


Thou lov’st to look on myrtles green,
   And the narcissus bright of hue;
I love the blaze of sabres keen,
   I love the dagger’s flash to view.

Thou, thou may’st drink the rosy wine
   From golden goblets sculptured o’er;
From foemen’s skulls the joy be mine
   To drink my foemen’s reeking gore.

                                * * * * *

                                  LONDON
               Printed for THOMAS J. WISE, Hampstead, N.W.
                   _Edition limited to Thirty Copies_.



Footnotes:


{10}  Here the old ballad—I speak of the original Manx—concludes.  The
two following stanzas are comparatively modern.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Brown William - The Power of the Harp and Other Ballads" ***

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.



Home