« PreviousContinue »
To dance thir damsellis them dight,
Thir lasses light of laits,
Their gloves were of the raffel right,
Their shoon were of the Straits,
Their kirtles were of Lincoln light,
Weel prest with many plaits,
They were so nice when men them nicht,
They squealit like ony gaits
At Christ's Kirk of the Green that day.
Of all thir maidens mild as mead,
Was nane so jimp as Gillie,
As ony rose her rood was red,
Her lyre was like the lily.
Fu' yellow, yellow was her head,
But she of love was silly ;
Though all her kin had sworn her dead,
She would have but sweet Willie
At Christ's Kirk of the Green that day.
Happy he was, took fish abundantly.
Or of the day ten hours o'er couth pass.
Ridand there came, near by where Wallace was, riding
'The Lord Percy, was captain than of Ayr;
Frae then' he turned, and couth to Glasgow fare.
Part of the court had Wallace' labour seen,
Till him rade five, clad into ganand green,
And said soon : 'Scot, Martin's fish we wald have !'
Wallace meekly again answer him gave:
• It were reason, methink, ye should have part,
Waith should be dealt, in all place, with free heart.'
He bade his child, 'Give them of our waithing.' sport
The Southron said ; 'As now of thy dealing
We will not tak ; thou wald give us o'er small.'
He lighted down and frae the child took all.
Wallace said then : 'Gentlemen gif ye be,
Leave us some part, we pray for charity.
Ane aged knight serves our lady to-day :
Gude friend, leave part, and tak not all away,'
• Thou shall have leave to fish, and tak thee mae,
All this forsooth shall in our flitting gae.
We serve a lord ; this fish shall till hîm gang.'
Wallace answered, said: “Thou art in the wrang.'
"Wham thous thou, Scot? in faith thou 'serves a blaw. blow
Till him he ran, and out a swerd gan draw.
William was wae he had nae wappins there
But the poutstaff, the whilk in hand he bare. fishing-rod
Wallace with it fast on the cheek him took,
With sae gude will, while of his feet he shook.
The swerd flew frae him a fur-breid on the land.
Wallace was glad, and hint it soon in hand ;
And with the swerd awkward he him gave
Under the hat, his craig in sunder drave.
By that the lave lighted about Wallace,
He had no help, only but God's grace.
On either side full fast on him they dang,
Great peril was gif they had lasted lang.
Upon the head in great ire he strak ane;
The shearand swerd glade to the collar bane.
Ane other on the arm he hit so hardily,
While hand and swerd baith in the field gan lie.
The tother twa fled to their horse again ;
He stickit him was last upon the plain.
Three slew he there, twa iled with all their might
After their lord ; but he was out of sight,
Takand the muir, or he and they couth twine.
Till him they rade anon, or they wald blin,
And cryit: 'Lord abide ; your men are martyred down
Right cruelly, here in this false region.
Five of our court here at the water bade,
Fish for to bring, though it nae profit made.
We are scaped, but in field slain are three.'
The lord speirit: 'How mony might they be?
"We saw but ane that has discomfist us all.'
Then leugh he loud, and said: 'Foul mot you fall!
Sin' ane you all has put to confusion.
Wha meins it maist the devil of hell him drown!
This day for me, in faith, he bees not sought.'
When Wallace thus this worthy wark had wrought,
Their horse he took, and gear that left was there, goods
Gave ower that craft, he yede to fish nae mair.
to 1460. (as author of this remarkable ballad is Richard Sheale, an Englishman, bat the date is unknown. This modernised version was made about 1420 to 1460.
God prosper long our noble king,
Our lives and safeties all ;
A woful hunting once there did
In Chevy-Chase befall.
To drive the deer with hound and horn
Earl Percy took his way ;
The child may rue that is unborn
The hunting of that day.
The stout Earl of Northumberland
A vow to God did make,
His pleasure in the Scottish woods
Three summer days to take;
'The chiefest harts in Chevy-Chase
To kill and bear away.
These tidings to Earl Douglas came,
In Scotland where he lay :
Who sent Earl Percy present word
He would prevent his sport.
The English Earl, not fearing that,
Did to the woods resort
With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,
All chosen men of might,
Who knew full well in time of need
To aim their shafts aright.
The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran
To chase the fallow deer :
On Monday they began to hunt,
When daylight did appear ;
And long before high noon they had
A hundred fat bucks slain ;
Then having dined, the drovers went
To rouse the deer again.
The bowmen mustered on the hills,
Well able to endure;
And all their rear, with special care,
That day was guarded sure.
The hounds ran swiftly through the woods,
The nimble deer to take ;
That with their cries the hills and dales
An echo shrill did make.
Lord Percy to the quarry went,
To view the slaughtered deer ;
Quoth he, “ Earl Douglas promised
This day to meet me here:
But if I thought he would not come,
No longer would I stay;"
With that a brave young gentleman
Thus to the Earl did say:
“Lo, yonder doth Earl Douglas come,
His men in armour bright;
Full twenty hundred Scottish spears
All marching in our sight;
All men of pleasant Teviotdale,
Fast by the river Tweed :" " Then cease your sports,” Earl Percy said,
“ And take your bows with speed :
And now with me my countrymen,
Your courage forth advance ;
For never was there champion yet,
In Scotland or in France,
That ever did on horseback come,
But if my hap it were,
I durst encounter man for man,
With him to break a spear.”
Earl Douglas on his milk-white steed,
Most like a baron bold,
Rode foremost of his company,
Whose armour shone like gold. “ Show me,” said he, “whose men you be,
That hunt so boldly here,
That, without my consent, do chase
And kill my fallow-deer.”
The first man that did answer make,
Was noble Percy he;
Who said, “We list not to declaro,
Nor show whose men we be :
Yet will we spend our dearest blood,
Thy chiefest harts to slay.”
Then Douglas swore a solemn oath,
And thus in rage did say--
“ Ere thus I will out-braved be,
One of us two shall die :
I know thee well, an earl thou art,
Lord Percy, so am I.
But trust me, Percy, pity it were,
And great offence to kill
Any of these our guiltless men,
For they have done no ill.
Let you and me the battle try,
And set our men aside."
“ Accursed be he," Earl Percy said.
By whom this is denied.”
Then stepped a gallant squire forth,
Witherington was his name,
Who said, “I would not have it told
To Henry, our king, for shame,