With that start out a lodly feend, With seven heads, and one body; The fier towarde the element flaugh, Out of his mouth, where was great plenty. 225
The knight stood in the middle....
[_Half a page is wanting._]
... the space of an houre, I know not what they did.
And then bespake him the Greene Knight, And these were the words said he: 230 Saith, "I coniure thee, thou fowle feend, That thou feitch downe the steed that we see."
And then forth is gone Burlow-beanie, As fast as he cold hie; And feitch he did that faire steed, 235 And came againe by and by.
Then bespake him Sir Marramile, And these were the words said hee: "Riding of this steed, brother Bredbeddle, The mastery belongs to me." 240
Marramiles tooke the steed to his hand, To ryd him he was full bold; He cold noe more make him goe, Then a child of three yeere old.
He laid[L245] uppon him with heele and hand, 245 With yard that was soe fell; "Helpe! brother Bredbeddle," says Marramile, "For I thinke he be the devill of hell.
"Helpe! brother Bredbeddle," says Marramile.
"Helpe! for Christs pittye; 250 For without thy help, brother Bredbeddle, He will never be rydden for me."[L252]
Then bespake him Sir Bredbeddle, These were the words said he: "I coniure thee, thou Burlow-beane,[L255] 255 Thou tell me how this steed was riddin in his country."
He saith, "There is a gold wand, Stands in King Cornwalls study windowe.
"Let him take that wand in that window, And strike three strokes on that steed; 260 And then he will spring forth of his hand, As sparke doth out of gleede."
Then bespake him the Greene Knight,
[_Half a page is wanting._]
A lowd blast....
And then bespake Sir Bredbeddle, 265 To the feend these words said hee: Says, "I coniure thee, thou Burlow-beanie, The powder-box thou feitch me."
Then forth is gone Burlow-beanie, As fast as he cold hie; 270 And feich he did the powder-box, And came againe by and by.
Then Sir Tristeram tooke powder forth of that box, And blent it with warme sweet milke; And there put it unto the horne, 275 And swilled it about in that ilke.
Then he tooke the horne in his hand, And a lowd blast he blew; He rent the horne up to the midst, All his fellowes this they knew.[L280] 280
Then bespake him the Greene Knight, These were the words said he: Saies. "I coniure thee, thou Burlow-beanie, That thou feitch me the sword that I see."
Then forth is gone Burlow-beanie, 285 As fast as he cold hie; And feitch he did that faire sword, And came againe by and by.
Then bespake him Sir Bredbeddle, To the king these words said he: 290 "Take this sword in thy hand, thou noble King, For the vowes sake that thou made Ile give it thee; And goe strike off King Cornewalls head, In bed where he doth lye."[L294]
Then forth is gone noble King Arthur, 295 As fast as he cold hye; And strucken he hath King Cornwalls head, And came againe by and by.
He put the head upon a swords point,
[_The poem terminates here abruptly._]
161, they words.
210, The Greene Knight is Sir Bredbeddle.
252, p' me, _i.e._ pro or per.
280, the knew.
FRAGMENT OF CHILD ROWLAND AND BURD ELLEN.
It is not impossible that this ballad should be the one quoted by Edgar in _King Lear_, (Act iii. sc. 4:)
"Child Rowland to the dark tower came."
We have extracted the fragment given by Jamieson, with the breaks in the story filled out, from _Illustrations of Northern Antiquities_, p.
397; and we have added his translation of the Danish ballad of _Rosmer Hafmand_, which exhibits a striking similarity to _Child Rowland_, from _Popular Ballads and Songs_, ii. 202. The tale of the _Red Etin_, as given in Chamber's _Pop. Rhymes of Scotland_, p. 56, has much resemblance to Jamieson's story, and, like it, is interspersed with verse.
The occurrence of the name Merlin is by no means a sufficient ground for connecting this tale, as Jamieson would do, with the cycle of King Arthur. For Merlin, as Grundtvig has remarked (_Folkeviser_, ii. 79), did not originally belong to that cycle, and again, his name seems to have been given in Scotland to any sort of wizard or prophet.
["King Arthur's sons o' merry Carlisle]
Were playing at the ba'; And there was their sister Burd Ellen, I' the mids amang them a'.
"Child Rowland kick'd it wi' his foot, 5 And keppit it wi' his knee; And ay, as he play'd out o'er them a', O'er the kirk he gar'd it flee.
"Burd Ellen round about the isle To seek the ba' is gane; 10 But they bade lang and ay langer, And she camena back again.
"They sought her east, they sought her west, They sought her up and down; And wae were the hearts [in merry Carlisle,] 15 For she was nae gait found!"
At last her eldest brother went to the Warluck Merlin, (_Myrddin Wyldt_,) and asked if he knew where his sister, the fair Burd Ellen, was. "The fair Burd Ellen," said the Warluck Merlin, "is carried away by the fairies, and is now in the castle of the king of Elfland; and it were too bold an undertaking for the stoutest knight in Christendom to bring her back." "Is it possible to bring her back?" said her brother, "and I will do it, or perish in the attempt." "Possible indeed it is," said the Warluck Merlin; "but woe to the man or mother's son who attempts it, if he is not well instructed beforehand of what he is to do."
Influenced no less by the glory of such an enterprise, than by the desire of rescuing his sister, the brother of the fair Burd Ellen resolved to undertake the adventure; and after proper instructions from Merlin, (which he failed in observing,) he set out on his perilous expedition.