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This vow full well the king perform'd,
In one day fifty knights were slain,
Thus ended the hunting of Chevy Chase,
God save the king, and bless the land
And grant henceforth, that foul debate
§ 103. Song. Sir Cauline. There is something peculiar in the metre of this old
ballad; it is unusual to meet with redundant stanzas of six lines; but the occasional insertion of a double third or fourth line, as ver. 31, 44, &c. is an irregularity I do not remember to have seen elsewhere. It may be proper to inform the reader before he comes to Pt. 2, ver. 110, 111, that the round table was not peculiar to the reign of king Arthur, but was common in all the ages of chivalry. The proclaiming a great tournament (probably with some peculiar solemnities) was called "holding a Round Table." Dugdale tells
that the great baron Roger de Mortimer, "having procured the honor of knighthood to be conferred 'on his three sons' by king Edward I. he, at his own costs, caused a tournament to be held at Kenilworth, where he sumptuously entertained an hundred knights and as many ladies, for three days; the Kke whereof was never before in England; and there began the round table, (so called by reason that the place wherein they practised those feats was environed with a strong wall made in a round form :) and upon the fourth day, the golden lion, in sign of triumph, being yielded to him, he carried it (with all the company) to Warwick." It may further be added that Matthew Paris frequently
calls justs and tournaments Hastilulia Mensa Rotundæ.
As to what will be observed in this ballad, of the art of healing being practised by a young princess; it is no more than what is usual in all the old romances, and was conformable to real manners; it being a practice derived from the earliest times among all the Gothic and Celtic nations, for women, even of the highest rank, to exercise the art of surgery. In the Northern Chronicles we also find the young damsels stanching the wounds of their lovers, and the wives those of their husbands. And even so late as the time of queen Elizabeth, it is mentioned among the accomplishments of the ladies of her court, that "the eldest of them are skilful in surgery." See Harrison's Description of England, prefixed to Hollingshed's Chronicle, &c.
The First Part.
IN Ireland, ferr over the sea,
There dwelleth a bonnye kinge;
The kinge had a lady to his daughter,
Ne descreeve his counsayl to no man
Till on a daye it so beffell,
Great dill to him was dight;
One while he spred his arms him fro,
Fetche me downe my daughter deere,
Goe take him doughe, and the baken bread,
Lothe I were him to tine.
Fair Christabelle to his chaumber goes,
ryse up wightlye, man, for shame,
For if you wold comfort me with a kisse,
Some deeds of armes if thou wilt doe,
(But ever and aye my heart would rue,
And dare ye, syr knighte, wake there all nighte,
For the Eldridge knighte, so mickle of mighte,
But he did him scath and scorne.
And large of limb and bone;
And but if heaven may be thy specde,
Nowe on the Eldridge hills Ile walke,
And Ile either bring you a ready tokén,
The ladye is gone to her own chaumbère,
For to wake there all night.
Unto midnight, that the moone did rise,
Quoth hee, If cryance come till my heart,
I am far from any good towne.
And soon he spyde on the mores so broad
Clad in a fayre kyrtèll :
And soe fast he called on syr Cauline,
He sayth, No cryance comes till my heart,
For, cause thou minged not Christ before, The less me dreadeth thee.
The Eldridge knighte he pricked his steed;
Then either shooke his trustye speare,
Then took they out theyr two good swordes,
Till helme and hawk bere, mail and sheelde, They all were well-nye brast.
The Eldridge knight was mickle of might, And stiffe in stower did stand;
But Cauline with a backward stroke syr
He smote off his right hand;
That soone he with paine and lacke of bloud
Then up syr Cauline lift his brande
For the maydens love, that most you love,
Now swear to mee, thou Eldridge knighte,
And that thou never on Eldridge come
The Eldridge knighte gave up
With many a sorrowfulle sighe;
That was so large of bone,
And he took off those ringès five
As light as leafe on tree:
O ladye, I have been on the Eldridge hills:
Now welcome, welcome, syr Cauline,
For now I perceive thou art a true knighte,
O ladye, I am thy own true knighte,
And mought I hope to winne thy love!-
The ladye blushed scarlette redde,
But sith thou hast hight, thou comely youth,
Ile promise if thee I may not wedde
Then shee held forthe her lily-white hand
He gave to it one gentill kisse,
But keep my counsayl, syr Cauline,
Ne let no man it knowe;
For an ever my father sholde it ken,
From that day forthe that ladye fayre
Lovde syr Cauline the knighte: From that daye forthe he only joyde Whan shee was in his sight.
Part the Second.
EVERYE white will have its blacke,
For so it befelle, as syr Cauline
To rest his wearye feet,
He found his daughter and syr Cauline
The kinge hee sterted forth, iwys,
And an angrye man was hee:
Now, traytoure, thou shalt hange or drawe,
Then forth syr Cauline he was ledde,
The queene she was syr Caulines friend,
Now, dame, that traitor shall be sent
But here I will make with thee a band,
A foule deathe is his doome.
Faire Christabelle, from thee to parte,
Faire Christabelle, that ladye brighte,
Doth some faire lillye flowre.
And ever shee doth lament and weepe
Syr Cauline, thou little think'st on mee,
Manye a kinge, and manye a duke,
And there came lords, and there came knightes,
To break a spere for theyr ladyes love,
And many a ladye there was sette
In purple and in palle;
But faire Christabelle soe woe-begone
Then many a knighte was mickle of might
But a stranger wight, whom no man knewe,
His acton it was all of blacke,
His hewberke and his sheelde,
When they came out the feelde.
A hugye giaunt stiff and starke,
All foule of limbe and lere;
And at his backe five heads he bare,
Sir, quoth the dwarffe, and louted lowe,
Behold these heads I bear with me!
They are kings which he hath slain. The Eldridge knighte is his own cousine,
Whom a knighte of thine hath shent a
But yette he will appease his wrath
Or else within these lists soe broad
Is there never a knighte of my round table,
Is there never a knighte amongst yee all
For he shall have my broad lay-lands,
But every knighte of his round table
For whenever they lookt on the grim soldàn,
When she saw no helpe was nye:
Ile fight for thee with this grimme soldan,
And if thou wilt lend me the Eldridge sworde,
I trust in Christe for to slay this fiende,
Goe fetch him downe the Eldridge sworde,
The gyaunt he stepped into the lists,
I sweare, as I am the hend soldàn,
Then forth the stranger knighte he came
"That this were my true knighte!" And now the gyaunt and knighte be mett Within the lists so broad:
And now with swordes so sharp of steele,
The soldan strucke the knighte a stroke,
And made the bloude to flowe:
The soldan strucke a third fell stroke,
And she shriekt loud shriekings three. The knighte he leapt upon his feete, All recklesse of the paine; Quoth he, But heaven be now my speede, Or else I shall be slaine.
He grasped his sword with mayne and mighte,
And spying a secrette part,
That had reskewed her from thrall.
Come downe, come downe, my daughter deare,
Than this good knighte sholde spille.
To helpe him if she maye;
And shriekte and swound awaye.
Then giving her one partinge looke,
But when she founde her comelye knighte
O staye, my deare and onlye lord,
$104. Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne. "In this time (about the year 1190, in the reign of Richard I.) were many robbers and out-lawes, among the which Robin Hood and Little John, renowned theeves, continued in woods, despoyling and robbing the goods of the rich. They killed none but such as would invade them; or by resistance for their own defence.
"The said Robert entertained an hundred tall men and good archers with such spoiles and thefts as he got, upon whom four hundred (were they ever so strong) durst not give the onset. He suffered no woman to be oppressed, violated, or otherwise molested; poore men's goods he spared, abundantlie relieving them with that, which by theft he got from abbeys and the houses of rich carles; whom Maior the historian blameth for his rapine and theft, but of all theeves he affirmeth him to be the prince and the most gentle theefe." Stowe's Annals, p. 159.
WHAN shaws beene sheene, and shraddes full fayre,
And leaves both large and longe,
So lowde, he wakened Robin Hood,
Ile be wroken on them towe.
Buske vee, bowne yee, my merry men all,
Untill they came to the merry greenwood,
A sworde and a dagger he wore by hís side,
Stand still, master, quoth Lyttle John,
And I will go to youd wight yeoman
Ah! John, by me thou settest noe store,
It is no cunning a knave to ken,
An a man but heare him speake;
Great heavinesse there hee hadd,
And Scarlette he was flying a-foote
Fast over stocke and stone,
For the proud sheriffe with seven score men
One shoote now I will shoote, quoth John,
Then John bent up his long bende-bowe,
The bow was made of tender boughe,
And fell downe at his foote.
Woe worth, woe worth thee, wicked wood,
For now this day thou art my bale,
Yet flew not the arrowe in vaine,
And William a Trent was slaine.
It had bene better of William a Trent
The sheriffe hath taken Little John,
And bound him fast to a tree.
Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe,
But thou mayst fayle of thy purpose, quoth
Lett us leave talking of Little John, And thinke of Robin Hood,
How he is gone to the wight yeomàn,
Good morrow, good fellowe, sayd Robin so fayre,
Good morrow, good fellow, quo he: Methinks, by this bowe thou beares in thy hande,
A good archere thou sholdst bee.
I am wilfulle of my waye, quo' the yeman,
Ile lead thee through the wood, sayd Robin:
I seeke an outlawe, the straunger sayd,
Rather I'd meet with that proud outlawe
Now come with me, thou wighty yeman,
First let us some masterye make
We may chance to meet with Robin Hood
They cut them down two summer shroggs,
And set them threescore rood in twaine
Leade on, good fellowe, quoth Robin Hood,
Nay by my faith, good fellowe, hee sayd,
The first time Robin shot at the pricke,
The yeoman he was an archer good,
But he cold never do soe.
The second shoote had the wightye yeman,
A blessing upon thy heart, he sayd;
Goode fellowe, thy shooting is goode: For an thy heart be as good as thy hand, Thou wert better than Robin Hood.
Now tell me thy name, good fellowe, sayd he,
Nay by my faith, quoth bolde Robin,
I dwelle by dale and downe, quoth hee,
My dwelling is in this wood, says Robin,
I am Robin Hood of Barnesdale,
* Ways, passes, paths.