32. The Ancient Ballad of Chevy Chase. (Manual,

pp. 67–69.)

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 Persè owt? of Northombarlande,

And a vowe to God mayd he,
That he wolde hunte in the mountayns

Off Chyviat within dayes thre,
In the mauger of dougtè Dogles,

And all that ever with him be.

The fattiste hartes in all Cheviat

He sayd he wold kill, and cary them away:
Be my feth, says the dougheti Doglas agayn,

I wyll let* that hontyng yf that I may.

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Grea-hondes thorowe the greves glent

For to kyll thear dear.

The begane in Chyviat the hyls above

Yerly on a monnyn day;
Be that it drewe to the oware off none

A hondrith fat hartes ded ther lay.

The blewe a mort uppone the bent,

The semblyd on sydis shear;
To the quyrry 8 then the Persè went

To se the bryttlynge off the deare.


He sayd, It was the Duglas promys

This day to meet me hear;
But I wyste he wold faylle verament:

A gret oth the Persè swear.

At the laste a squyar of Northombelonde

Lokyde at his hand full ny,
He was war' ath the doughetie Doglas comynge :

With him a mightè meany.

Both with spear, byll,' and brande: 11

Yt was a myghti sight to se,
Hardyar men both off hart nar hande

Were not in Christiante.

The wear twenty hondrith spear-men good

Withouten any fayle;
The wear borne a-long be the watter a Twyde,

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.

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1 Hour.

8 Quarry.

9 Aware.

10 Battle-axe.

11 Sword.

12 In the

13 A red-hot coal.


The first mane that ever him an answear mayd,

Yt was the good lord Perse:
We wyll not tell the ' what’ men we ar, he says,

Nor whos men that we be;
But we wyll hount hear in this chays

In the spyte of thyne, and of the.
The fattiste hartes in all Chyviat

We have kyld, and cast 14 to carry them a-way.
Be my troth, sayd the doughtè Dogglas agayn,

Ther-for the ton 1 of us shall de this day.

Then sayd the doughtè Doglas

Unto the lord Perse:
To kyll all thes giltless men,

A-las! it wear great pittè.

But, Persè, thowe art a lord of lande,

I am a yerle 18 callyd within my contre;
Let all our men uppone a parti stande;

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.
Be my troth, doughtè Doglas, he says,

Thow shalt never se that day;

Nethar in Ynglonde, Skottlonde, nar France,

Nor for no man of a woman born,
But and fortune be my chance,

I dar met him on man for on.

Then bespayke a squyar off Northombarlonde,

Ric. Wytharynton was him nam;
It shall never be told in Sothe-Ynglonde,

To kyng Herry the fourth for sham.

I wat 17

youe byn "8 great lordes twaw,
I am a poor squyar of lande;
I will never se my captayne fyght on a fylde,

And stande my-selffe, and looke on,
But whyll I may my weppone welde,

I wyll not ‘fayl’ both harte and hande.

That day, that day, that dredfull day;

The first fit here I fynde.
And youe wyll here any mor athe hountyng athe Chyviat,

Yet ys ther mor behynde.

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The Yngglishe men hade ther bowys yebent,

The hartes were good yenoughe;
The first of arros that the shote off,

Seven skore spear-men the sloughe. 19
Yet bydys the yerle Doglas uppon the bent

A captayne good yenoughe,
And that was sene verament,

For he wrought hom both woo and wouche.90

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Thes worthè freckys for to fyght

Ther-to the wear full fayne,
Tyll the bloode owte off their basnites sprente,
As ever dyd heal

or rayne.


Holde the, Persè, sayd the Doglas,

And i' feth I shall the brynge
Wher thowe shalte have a yerls wagis

Of Jamy our Scottish kynge.

33 Gained.

19 Slew. 20 Mischief.

13 Helmets.

21 Chieftain. 23 Fellow.

2 Heavy.

27 Sprung

24 Pulled. 8 Hail.

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Thoroue lyvar and longs bathe 31

The sharp arrowe ys gane,
That never after in all his lyffe days,

He spayke mo wordes but ane,
That was, Fyghte ye, my merry men whyllys 32 ye may,

For my lyff days ben gan.


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To have sayvde thy lyffe I wold have pertyd 36 with

My landes for years thre,
For a better man of hart, nare of hande

Was not in all the north countré.

Of all that se


Skottishe knyght,
Was callyd Sir Hewe the Mongonbyrry,
He sawe the Duglas to the deth was dyght; 38

He spendyd 39 a spear a trusti tre:

He rod uppon a corsiare

Throughe a hondrith archery;
He never styntyde 40 nar never blane,“


Tyll he cam to the good lord Persè.

He set uppone the lord Persè

A dynte that was full soare;
With a suar spear of a myghtè tre

Clean thorow the body he the Persè bore,

20 Entroat. 80 Ane, one, sc. man. 31 Both. 32 Whilst. 83 Are.

87 Saw.

88 Put. 36 Parted.

89 Grasped. 40 Stopped.

85 Die.

84 Leaned.

41 Staid.

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