"A grave, a grave!" lord Barnaby cried, "A grave to lay them in; My lady shall lie on the sunny side, 95 Because of her noble kin."
But oh, how sorry was that good lord, For a' his angry mood, Whan he beheld his ain young son All welt'ring in his blood! 100
26. For _slack'd_ read _bent_. J.
[NOTE.] [In v. 31] the term "_braid_ bow" has been altered by the editor into "_brent_ bow," i. e. _straight_, or _unbent_ bow. In most of the old ballads, where a page is employed as the bearer of a message, we are told, that,
"When he came to wan water, He _bent_ his bow and swam;"
"He set his _bent_ bow to his breast, And lightly lap the wa'," &c.
The application of the term _bent_, in the latter instance, does not seem correct, and is probably substituted for _brent_.
In the establishment of a feudal baron, every thing wore a military aspect; he was a warrior by profession; every man attached to him, particularly those employed about his person, was a soldier; and his little foot-page was very appropriately equipped in the light accoutrements of an archer. His bow, in the old ballad, seems as inseparable from his character as the bow of Cupid or of Apollo, or the caduceus of his celestial prototype Mercury. This bow, which he carried unbent, he seems to have _bent_ when he had occasion to swim, in order that he might the more easily carry it in his teeth, to prevent the string from being injured by getting wet. At other times he availed himself of its length and elasticity in the _brent_, or straight state, and used it (as hunters do a leaping pole) in vaulting over the wall of the outer court of a castle, when his business would not admit of the tedious formality of blowing a horn, or ringing a bell, and holding a long parley with the porter at the gate, before he could gain admission. This, at least, appears to the editor to be the meaning of these passages in the old ballads. JAMIESON.
CHILDE MAURICE. See p. 30.
From Jamieson's _Popular Ballads and Songs_, i. 8.
Childe Maurice hunted i' the silver[L1] wood, He hunted it round about, And noebody yt he found theren, Nor noebody without.
And tooke his silver combe in his hand 5 To kembe his yellow lockes.
He sayes, "come hither, thou litle footpage, That runneth lowly by my knee; Ffor thou shalt goe to John Steward's wiffe, And pray her speake with mee. 10
"And as it ffalls out,[L11] many times As knotts been knitt on a kell, Or merchant men gone to leeve London, Either to buy ware or sell,
And grete thou doe that ladye well, 15 Ever soe well ffroe mee.
"And as it ffalls out, many times As any harte can thinke, As schoole masters are in any schoole house, Writting with pen and inke, 20
Ffor if I might as well as shee may, This night I wold with her speake.
"And heere I send a mantle of greene, As greene as any grasse, And bid her come to the silver wood,[L25] 25 To hunt with Child Maurice.
"And there I send her a ring of gold, A ring of precyous stone; And bid her come to the silver wood, Let for no kind of man." 30
One while this litle boy he yode, Another while he ran; Until he came to John Steward's hall, Iwis he never blan.
And of nurture the child had good; 35 He ran up hall and bower ffree, And when he came to this lady ffaire, Sayes, "God you save and see.
"I am come ffrom Childe Maurice, A message unto thee, 40 And Childe Maurice he greetes you well, And ever soe well ffrom me.
"And as it ffalls out, oftentimes As knotts been knitt on a kell, Or merchant men gone to leeve London 45 Either to buy or sell;
"And as oftentimes he greetes you well, As any hart can thinke, Or schoolemaster in any schoole, Wryting with pen and inke. 50
"And heere he sends a mantle of greene, As greene as any grasse, And he bidds you come to the silver wood, To hunt with child Maurice.
"And heere he sends you a ring of gold, 55 A ring of precyous stone; He prayes you to come to the silver wood, Let for no kind of man."
"Now peace, now peace, thou litle fotpage, Ffor Christes sake I pray thee; 60 Ffor if my lord heare one of those words, Thou must be hanged hye."
John Steward stood under the castle wall, And he wrote the words every one; * * * * * * *
And he called unto his horssekeeper, 65 "Make ready you my steede;"
And soe he did to his chamberlaine, "Make readye then my weed."
And he cast a lease upon his backe, And he rode to the silver wood, 70 And there he sought all about, About the silver wood.
And there he found him Childe Maurice, Sitting upon a blocke, With a silver combe in his hand, 75 Kembing his yellow locke.
He sayes, "how now, how now, Childe Maurice, Alacke how may this bee?"
But then stood by him Childe Maurice, And sayd these words trulye: 80
"I do not know your ladye," he said, "If that I doe her see."
"Ffor thou hast sent her love tokens, More now than two or three.
"For thou hast sent her a mantle of greene, 85 As greene as any grasse, And bade her come to the silver wood, To hunt with Childe Maurice.
"And by my faith now, Childe Maurice, The tane of us shall dye;" 90 "Now by my troth," sayd Childe Maurice, "And that shall not be I."
But he pulled out a bright browne sword, And dryed it on the grasse, And soe fast he smote at John Steward, 95 Iwis he never rest.
Then hee pulled forth his bright browne sword, And dryed itt on his sleeve, And the ffirst good stroke John Steward stroke, Child Maurice head he did cleeve. 100
And he pricked it on his swords poynt, Went singing there beside, And he rode till he came to the ladye ffaire, Whereas his ladye lyed.
And sayes, "dost thou know Child Maurice head, 105 Iff that thou dost it see?
And llap it soft, and kisse itt offt, Ffor thou lovedst him better than mee."
But when shee looked on Child Maurice head, Shee never spake words but three: 110 "I never beare noe child but one, And you have slain him trulye."
Sayes, "wicked be my merry men all, I gave meate, drinke, and clothe; But cold they not have holden me, 115 When I was in all that wrath!
"Ffor I have slaine one of the courteousest knights That ever bestrode a steede; Soe have I done one of the fairest ladyes That ever ware womans weede." 120