He strucke upon his harpe agayne, And playd both fayre and free; The ladye was so pleasde theratt, 235 She laught loud laughters three.
"Nowe sell me thy harpe," sayd the kyng of Spayne, "Thy harpe and stryngs eche one, And as many gold nobles thou shalt have, As there be stryngs thereon." 240
"And what wold ye doe with my harpe," he sayd, Iff I did sell it yee?"
"To playe my wiffe and me a fitt, When abed together we bee."
"Now sell me," quoth hee, "thy bryde soe gay, 245 As shee sitts laced in pall, And as many gold nobles I will give, As there be rings in the hall."
"And what wold ye doe with my bryde soe gay, Iff I did sell her yee? 250 More seemelye it is for her fayre bodye To lye by mee than thee."
Hee played agayne both loud and shrille, And Adler he did syng, "O ladye, this is thy owne true love; 255 Noe harper, but a kyng.
"O ladye, this is thy owne true love, As playnlye thou mayest see; And Ile rid thee of that foule paynim, Who partes thy love and thee." 260
The ladye looked, the ladye blushte, And blushte and lookt agayne, While Adler he hath drawne his brande, And hath the Sowdan slayne.
Up then rose the kemperye men, 265 And loud they gan to crye: "Ah! traytors, yee have slayne our kyng, And therefore yee shall dye."
Kyng Estmere threwe the harpe asyde, And swith he drew his brand; 270 And Estmere he, and Adler yonge, Right stiffe in stour can stand.
And aye their swordes soe sore can byte, Through helpe of gramarye, That soone they have slayne the kempery men, 275 Or forst them forth to flee.
Kyng Estmere tooke that fayre ladye, And marryed her to his wiffe, And brought her home to merrye England, With her to leade his life. 280
27. MS. Many a man ... is.
136. MS. ryde, but see v. 140.
Then they pulled out a ryng of gold, Layd itt on the porters arme.
The rings so often used in ballads to conciliate the porter would seem to be not personal ornaments, but coins. For an account of Ring Money, see the paper of Sir William Betham, in the seventeenth volume of the _Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy_.
From _Reliques of English Poetry_, i. 44.
"This old romantic tale," says Percy, "was preserved in the Editor's folio MS., but in so very defective and mutilated a condition, (not from any chasm in the MS., but from great omission in the transcript, probably copied from the faulty recitation of some illiterate minstrel,) that it was necessary to supply several stanzas in the first part, and still more in the second, to connect and complete the story."
Many of the interpolations acknowledged in such general terms might with some confidence be pointed out. Among them are certainly most, if not all, of the last twelve stanzas of the Second Part, which include the catastrophe to the story. It is difficult to believe that this charming romance had so tragic and so sentimental a conclusion.
The first part of this ballad is preserved in Scotland, under the title of _King Malcolm and Sir Colvin_, and is printed in our Appendix from Buchan's collection. In this, Sir Colvin weds the princess after his victory over the Elrick knight.
THE FIRST PART.
In Ireland, ferr over the sea, There dwelleth a bonnye kinge; And with him a yong and comlye knighte, Men call him Syr Cauline.
The kinge had a ladye to his daughter, 5 In fashyon she hath no peere; And princely wightes that ladye wooed To be theyr wedded feere.
Syr Cauline loveth her best of all, But nothing durst he saye, 10 Ne descreeve his counsayl to no man, But deerlye he lovde this may.
Till on a daye it so beffell Great dill to him was dight; The maydens love removde his mynd, 15 To care-bed went the knighte.
One while he spred his armes him fro, One while he spred them nye: "And aye! but I winne that ladyes love, For dole now I mun dye." 20
And whan our parish-masse was done, Our kinge was bowne to dyne: He sayes, "Where is Syr Cauline, That is wont to serve the wyne?"
Then aunswerde him a courteous knighte, 25 And fast his handes gan wringe: "Syr Cauline is sicke, and like to dye, Without a good leechinge."
"Fetche me downe my daughter deere, She is a leeche fulle fine; 30 Goe take him doughe and the baken bread, And serve him with the wyne soe red: Lothe I were him to tine."
Fair Christabelle to his chaumber goes, Her maydens followyng nye: 35 "O well," she sayth, "how doth my lord?"
"O sicke, thou fayr ladye."
"Nowe ryse up wightlye, man, for shame, Never lye soe cowardlee; For it is told in my fathers halle 40 You dye for love of mee."
"Fayre ladye, it is for your love That all this dill I drye: For if you wold comfort me with a kisse, Then were I brought from bale to blisse, 45 No lenger wold I lye."
"Sir knighte, my father is a kinge, I am his onlye heire; Alas! and well you knowe, syr knighte, I never can be youre fere." 50
"O ladye, thou art a kinges daughter, And I am not thy peere; But let me doe some deedes of armes, To be your bacheleere."
"Some deedes of armes if thou wilt doe, 55 My bacheleere to bee, (But ever and aye my heart wold rue, Giff harm shold happe to thee,)
"Upon Eldridge hill there groweth a thorne, Upon the mores brodinge; 60 And dare ye, syr knighte, wake there all nighte, Untile the fayre morninge?
"For the Eldridge knighte, so mickle of mighte, Will examine you beforne; And never man bare life awaye, 65 But he did him scath and scorne.
"That knighte he is a foul paynim, And large of limb and bone; And but if heaven may be thy speede, Thy life it is but gone." 70
"Nowe on the Eldridge hilles Ile walke, For thy sake, fair ladie; And Ile either bring you a ready token, Or Ile never more you see."
The lady has gone to her own chaumbere, 75 Her maydens following bright; Syr Cauline lope from care-bed soone, And to the Eldridge hills is gone, For to wake there all night.
Unto midnight, that the moone did rise, 80 He walked up and downe; Then a lightsome bugle heard he blowe Over the bents soe browne; Quoth hee, "If cryance come till my heart, I am ffar from any good towne." 85
And soone he spyde on the mores so broad A furyous wight and fell; A ladye bright his brydle led, Clad in a fayre kyrtell:
And soe fast he called on Syr Cauline, 90 "O man, I rede thee flye, For but if cryance come till thy heart,[L92]
I weene but thou mun dye."
He sayth, "No cryance comes till my heart,[L94]
Nor, in faith, I wyll not flee; 95 For, cause thou minged not Christ before, The less me dreadeth thee."