Abbildungen der Seite

The mother with the new-born babe

Were both laid in one grave :
Their parents overcome with woe,

No joy of them could have.

Take heed, you dainty damsels all,

Of flattering words beware ;
And of the honour of your names

Have you a special care.
Too true, alas! this story is,

As many one can tell :
By others harms learn to be wise,

And you shall do full well.



As it fell one holiday,

As many be in the year,
When young men and maids together did go

Their masses and matins to hear,

* Here printed from a copy preserved in Dryden's “ Collection of Miscellaneous Poems :' the identical authority, without doubt, which the learned and ingenious editor, or rather author, of the · Reliques of Ancient English Poetry,' has there followed; though, from the affected parade of the antiquary, ever studious to conceal the real, if modern, sources of information, it is pretended to be given (with the assistance of his folio MS.) from an old printed copy in the British Museum. . In the Pepys collection,' says he, “is an imitation of the old song, • in a different measure, by a more modern pen, with many altera• tions, but evidently for the worse.' Would any person suspect that Little Musgrave came to the church-door,

The priest he was at mass ;
But he had more mind of the fair womèn,

Than he had of our lady's grace.

The one of them was clad in green,

The other was clad in pall ;
And then came in my Lord Barnard's wife,

The fairest among them all.

She cast an eye on little Musgrave,

As bright as the summer sun :
O then bethought this little Musgrave,

"This lady's heart I have won.'

Quoth she, ' I have lov'd thee, little Musgrave,

Full long and many a day :'
• So have I loved you, lady fair,

" Yet word I never durst say.'

* I have a bower at Bucklesford-Bury,

Full daintily bedight;
If thou will wend thither, my little Musgrave,
• Thou'st lig in my arms all night.'

the copies in the Museum (for there are two) were no more than much later impressions of this very initation? but it is even so. The criticism is notwithstanding just. And had the reverend gentlenian actually consulted his authority, it is scarcely probable he would have referred to it. The several old pieces preserved in the above miscellany, appear to have been printed with fidelity, at least; and it may be remembered, that few black letter copies, now extant, are more ancient than Mr. Dryden's own memory. [The Roxburghe collection of ballads, and others preserved in the society of Antiqnaries, completely refute this strange, ill-grounded assertion of Ritson.]

Quoth he, ' I thank ye, lady fair,

- This kindness you show to me; • And whether it be to my weal or woe,

• This night will I lig with thee.'

All this was heard by a little tiny page,

By his lady's coach as he ran :
Quoth he, though I am my lady's page,

• Yet I am my Lord Barnard's man.

[ocr errors]

• My Lord Barnard shall know of this,

Although I lose a limb :'
And ever whereas the bridges were broke,

He laid him down to swim,

Asleep or awake, thou Lord Barnard,

" As thou art a man of life, * For little Musgrave is at Bucklesford-Bury,

• A-bed with thine own wedded wife.'

• If this be true, thou little tiny page,

• This thing thou tell’st to me ; " Then all the land in Bucklesford-Bury,

I freely give to thee.

But if't be a lie, thou little tiny page,

* This thing thou tell'st to me; . On the highest tree in Bucklesford-Bury,

• Then hanged thou shalt be.'

He called up his merry men all,

• Come saddle me my steed; * This night must I go to Bucklesford-Bury;

• 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 as the Lord Barnard's horn blew,

*Away, thou little Musgrave, away.'

• Methinks I hear the throstle-cock,

• Methinks I hear the jay, • Methinks I hear my Lord Barnard's horn;

And I would I were away.'

Lie still, lie still, thou little Musgrave,
' And huggle me from the cold ;
'Tis nothing but a shepherd's boy,

A driving his sheep to fold.

[ocr errors]

• Is not thy hawk upon the perch?

Thy steed eats oats and hay ?
And thy fair lady in thine arms ;

And would'st thou be away!'

With that my Lord Barnard came to the door,

And lighted upon a stone ;
He plucked out three silver keys,

And open’d the doors each one.

He lifted up the coverlet,

He lifted up the sheet;
How now, how now, thou little Musgrave,
• Dost find my lady so sweet ?'

* I find her sweet, (quoth little Musgrave,)

" The more 'tis to my pain; "I would gladly give thee three hundred pounds

- That I were on yonder plain.' Vol, II.


Arise, arise, thou little Musgrave,

And put thy clothes on; " It shall never be said in my country,

"That I killed a naked man.

I have two swords in one scabbard,

* Full dear they cost my purse ; And thou shalt have the best of them, "And I will have the worse.'

The first stroke that little Musgrave struck,

He hurt lord Barnard sore ;
The next stroke that lord Barnard struck,

Little Musgrave ne'er struck more.

With that bespake the lady fair,

In bed where as she lay, * Although th' art dead, thou little Musgrave,

" Yet I for thee will pray :

• And wish well to thy soul will I,

So long as I have life ;
So will not I do for thee, Barnard,

Though I am thy wedded wife.'

He cut her paps from off her breasts ;

Great pity it was to see,
Some drops of this fair lady's heart-blood

Ran trickling down her knee.

'Woe worth you, woe worth, my merry men all,

- You never were born for my good ;

« ZurückWeiter »