From Bell's _Ballads of the Peasantry of England_, p. 122.
This ballad, which was printed by Bell from the recitation of an old Northumberland fiddler, is defective in the tenth and the last stanzas, and has suffered much from corruption in the course of transmission. The name of the hero, however, is uncommonly well preserved, and affords a link, rarely occurring in English, with the corresponding Danish and Swedish ballads, a good number of which have Hildebrand, though more have Ribold. It may be observed that in _Hildebrand og Hilde_ (Grundtvig, No. 83), the knight has the rank here ascribed to the lady.
"Hand heede hertug Hyldebraand, Kongens sonn aff Engeland."
The "old Carl Hood" who gives the alarm in this ballad, is called in most of the Danish ballads "a rich earl"; in one a treacherous man, in another a young Carl, and in a third an old man; which together furnish the elements of his character here of a treacherous old Carl.
O did you ever hear of the brave Earl Brand?
_Hey lillie, ho lillie lallie!_ He's courted the king's daughter o' fair England, _I' the brave nights so early._
She was scarcely fifteen years that tide, When sae boldly she came to his bed-side.
"O Earl Brand, how fain wad I see 5 A pack of hounds let loose on the lea."
"O lady fair, I have no steed but one, But thou shalt ride and I will run."
"O Earl Brand, but my father has two, And thou shalt have the best of tho." 10
Now they have ridden o'er moss and moor, And they have met neither rich nor poor.
Till at last they met with old Carl Hood, He's aye for ill, and never for good.
"Now, Earl Brand, an ye love me, 15 Slay this old carl, and gar him dee."
"O lady fair, but that would be sair, To slay an auld carl that wears grey hair.
"My own lady fair, I'll not do that, I'll pay him his fee......." 20
"O where have ye ridden this lee lang day, And where have ye stown this fair lady away?"
"I have not ridden this lee lang day, Nor yet have I stown this lady away.
"For she is, I trow, my sick sister, 25 Whom I have been bringing fra Winchester."
"If she's been sick, and nigh to dead, What makes her wear the ribbon so red?
"If she's been sick, and like to die, What makes her wear the gold sae high?" 30
When came the carl to the lady's yett, He rudely, rudely rapped thereat.
"Now where is the lady of this hall?"
"She's out with her maids a-playing at the ball."
"Ha, ha, ha! ye are all mista'en; 35 Ye may count your maidens owre again.
"I met her far beyond the lea, With the young Earl Brand, his leman to be."
Her father of his best men armed fifteen, And they're ridden after them bidene. 40
The lady looked owre her left shoulder then; Says, "O Earl Brand, we are both of us ta'en."
"If they come on me one by one, You may stand by till the fights be done.
"But if they come on me one and all, 45 You may stand by and see me fall."
They came upon him one by one, Till fourteen battles he has won.
And fourteen men he has them slain, Each after each upon the plain. 50
But the fifteenth man behind stole round, And dealt him a deep and deadly wound.
Though he was wounded to the deid, He set his lady on her steed.
They rode till they came to the river Doune, 55 And there they lighted to wash his wound.
"O Earl Brand, I see your heart's blood!"
"It's nothing but the glent and my scarlet hood."[L58]
They rode till they came to his mother's yett, So faint and feebly he rapped thereat. 60
"O my son's slain, he is falling to swoon, And it's all for the sake of an English loon!"
"O say not so, my dearest mother, But marry her to my youngest brother.
"To a maiden true he'll give his hand, 65 To the king's daughter o' fair England.
"[To the king's daughter o' fair England,]
_Hey lillie, ho lillie lallie!_ To a prize that was won by a slain brother's brand,"
_I' the brave nights so early._
58. Qy.? _of_ my scarlet hood.
LA VENDICATRICE. See p. 273.
From _Canti Popolari Inediti Umbri, Piceni, Piemontesi, Latini, raccolti e illustrati da_ ORESTE MARCOALDI. Genova, 1855. p.
"Oh varda ben, Munfrenna,[L1]
Oh varda qul caste:[L2]
I'e trentatre fantenni[L3]
Ch' a j' ho menaji me.[L4]
I m' han nega[L5] l' amure, La testa a j' ho taje."[L6]
"Ch' u 'm digga lu, Sior[L7] Conte; Ch' u 'm lassa la so' spa."[L8]
"Oh dim ti, Monfrenna, Cosa ch' a 't na voi fa'?"[L10]