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32. The Ancient Ballad of Chevy Chase. (Manual,
Sir Philip Sydney, in his Discourse of Poetry, speaks of this Ballad in the following words :—“I never heard the old song of Piercy and Douglas, that I found not my heart more moved than with a trumpet; and yet it is sung by some blind crowder with no rougher voice than rude stile; which being so evil apparelled in the dust and cobweb of that uncivil age, what would it work trimmed in the gorgeous eloquence of Pindar?”
THE FIRST Fit.'
The Persè owt? of Northombarlande,
And a vowe to God mayd he,
Off Chyviat within dayes thre,
And all that ever with him be.
The fattiste hartes in all Cheviat
He sayd he wold kill, and cary them away:
I wyll let* that hontyng yf that I may.
Grea-hondes thorowe the greves glent
For to kyll thear dear.
The begane in Chyviat the hyls above
Yerly on a monnyn day;
A hondrith fat hartes ded ther lay.
The blewe a mort uppone the bent,
The semblyd on sydis shear;
To se the bryttlynge off the deare.
He sayd, It was the Duglas promys
This day to meet me hear;
A gret oth the Persè swear.
At the laste a squyar of Northombelonde
Lokyde at his hand full ny,
With him a mightè meany.
Both with spear, byll,' and brande: 11
Yt was a myghti sight to se,
Were not in Christiante.
The wear twenty hondrith spear-men good
Withouten any fayle;
Yth 12 bowndes of Tividale.
Leave off the brytlyng of the dear, he sayde,
And to your bowys look ye tayk good heed; For never sithe ye wear on your mothars borne
Had ye never so mickle need.
12 In the
13 A red-hot coal.
The first mane that ever him an answear mayd,
Yt was the good lord Perse:
Nor whos men that we be;
In the spyte of thyne, and of the.
We have kyld, and cast 14 to carry them a-way.
Ther-for the ton 1 of us shall de this day.
Then sayd the doughtè Doglas
Unto the lord Perse:
A-las! it wear great pittè.
But, Persè, thowe art a lord of lande,
I am a yerle 18 callyd within my contre;
And do the battell off the and of me.
Now Cristes cors on his crowne, sayd the lord Persè,
Who-soever ther-to says nay.
Thow shalt never se that day;
Nethar in Ynglonde, Skottlonde, nar France,
Nor for no man of a woman born,
I dar met him on man for on.
Then bespayke a squyar off Northombarlonde,
Ric. Wytharynton was him nam;
To kyng Herry the fourth for sham.
I wat 17
youe byn "8 great lordes twaw,
And stande my-selffe, and looke on,
I wyll not ‘fayl’ both harte and hande.
That day, that day, that dredfull day;
The first fit here I fynde.
Yet ys ther mor behynde.
THE SECOND FIT.
The Yngglishe men hade ther bowys yebent,
The hartes were good yenoughe;
Seven skore spear-men the sloughe. 19
A captayne good yenoughe,
For he wrought hom both woo and wouche.90
Thes worthè freckys for to fyght
Ther-to the wear full fayne,
Holde the, Persè, sayd the Doglas,
And i' feth I shall the brynge
Of Jamy our Scottish kynge.
19 Slew. 20 Mischief.
21 Chieftain. 23 Fellow.
24 Pulled. 8 Hail.
Thoroue lyvar and longs bathe 31
The sharp arrowe ys gane,
He spayke mo wordes but ane,
For my lyff days ben gan.
To have sayvde thy lyffe I wold have pertyd 36 with
My landes for years thre,
Was not in all the north countré.
Of all that se
He spendyd 39 a spear a trusti tre:
He rod uppon a corsiare
Throughe a hondrith archery;
Tyll he cam to the good lord Persè.
He set uppone the lord Persè
A dynte that was full soare;
Clean thorow the body he the Persè bore,
20 Entroat. 80 Ane, one, sc. man. 31 Both. 32 Whilst. 83 Are.
88 Put. 36 Parted.
89 Grasped. 40 Stopped.