The king he turned him round aboute, And in his heart was woe: 100 "Is there never a knighte of my round table This matter will undergoe?
"Is there never a knighte amongst yee all Will fight for my daughter and mee?
Whoever will fight yon grimme Soldan, 105 Right fair his meede shall bee.
"For hee shall have my broad lay-lands, And of my crowne be heyre; And he shall winne fayre Christabelle To be his wedded fere." 110
But every knighte of his round table Did stand both still and pale; For, whenever they lookt on the grim Soldan, It made their hearts to quail.
All woe-begone was that fayre ladye, 115 When she sawe no helpe was nye: She cast her thought on her owne true-love, And the teares gusht from her eye.
Up then sterte the stranger knighte, Sayd, "Ladye, be not affrayd; 120 Ile fight for thee with this grimme Soldan, Thoughe he be unmacklye made.
"And if thou wilt lend me the Eldridge sworde, That lyeth within thy bowre, I truste in Christe for to slay this fiende, 125 Thoughe he be stiff in stowre."
"Goe fetch him downe the Eldridge sworde,"
The kinge he cryde, "with speede: Nowe, heaven assist thee, courteous knighte; My daughter is thy meede." 130
The gyaunt he stepped into the lists, And sayd, "Awaye, awaye!
I sweare, as I am the hend Soldan, Thou lettest me here all daye."
Then forthe the stranger knight he came, 135 In his blacke armoure dight: The ladye sighed a gentle sighe, "That this were my true knighte!"
And nowe the gyaunt and knight be mett Within the lists soe broad; 140 And now, with swordes soe sharpe of steele, They gan to lay on load.
The Soldan strucke the knighte a stroke That made him reele asyde: Then woe-begone was that fayre ladye, 145 And thrice she deeply sighde.
The Soldan strucke a second stroke, And made the bloude to flowe: All pale and wan was that ladye fayre, And thrice she wept for woe. 150
The Soldan strucke a third fell stroke, Which brought the knighte on his knee: Sad sorrow pierced that ladyes heart, And she shriekt loud shriekings three.
The knighte he leapt upon his feete, 155 All recklesse of the pain: Quoth hee, "But heaven be now my speede, Or else I shall be slaine."
He grasped his sworde with mayne and mighte, And spying a secrette part, 160 He drave it into the Soldans syde, And pierced him to the heart.
Then all the people gave a shoute, Whan they sawe the Soldan falle: The ladye wept, and thanked Christ 165 That had reskewed her from thrall.
And nowe the kinge, with all his barons, Rose uppe from offe his seate, And downe he stepped into the listes That curteous knighte to greete. 170
But he, for payne and lacke of bloude, Was fallen into a swounde, And there, all walteringe in his gore, Lay lifelesse on the grounde.
"Come downe, come downe, my daughter deare, 175 Thou art a leeche of skille; Farre lever had I lose halfe my landes Than this good knighte sholde spille."
Downe then steppeth that fayre ladye, To helpe him if she maye: 180 But when she did his beavere raise, "It is my life, my lord!" she sayes, And shriekte and swound awaye.
Sir Cauline juste lifte up his eyes, When he heard his ladye crye: 185 "O ladye, I am thine owne true love; For thee I wisht to dye."
Then giving her one partinge looke, He closed his eyes in death, Ere Christabelle, that ladye milde, 190 Begane to drawe her breathe.
But when she found her comelye knighte Indeed was dead and gone, She layde her pale, cold cheeke to his, And thus she made her moane: 195
"O staye, my deare and onlye lord, For mee, thy faithfulle feere; 'Tis meet that I shold followe thee, Who hast bought my love so deare."
Then fayntinge in a deadlye swoune, 200 And with a deep-fette sighe That burst her gentle heart in twayne, Fayre Christabelle did dye.
69. "Syr Cauline here acts up to the genuine spirit of perfect chivalry.
In old romances no incident is of more frequent occurrence than this, of knights already distinguished for feats of arms laying aside their wonted cognizances, and, under the semblance of stranger knights, manfully performing right worshipful and valiant deeds. How often is the renowned Arthur, in such exhibitions, obliged to exclaim, "O Jhesu, what knight is that arrayed all in grene (or as the case may be)? he justeth myghtily!" The Emperor of Almaine, in like manner, after the timely succor afforded him by Syr Gowghter, is anxious to learn the name of his modest but unknown deliverer." [So in the romance of _Roswall and Lillian_, &c.]--MOTHERWELL.
_Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii. 252.
The story of _Fair Annie_ is widely disseminated. The substance of it is found in the beautiful romance of Marie de France, the _Lai le Frein_, of which an ancient English translation is printed in Weber's _Metrical Romances_, i. 357. The Swedish and Danish ballads go under the same name of _Fair Anna_, and may be seen in Arwidsson's _Svenska Fornsnger_, i.
291; Geijer's _Svenska Folk-Visor_, i. 24; and Nyerup's _Danske Viser_, iv. 59. Jamieson has rendered the Danish ballad very skilfully, in the Scottish dialect, from Syv's edition of the _Kaempe Viser_. In Dutch, the characters are Maid Adelhaid and King Alewijn (Hoffmann's _Hollandische Volkslieder_, 164.) The story as we have found it in German is considerably changed. See _Die wiedergefundene Konigstochter_, in _Des Knaben Wunderhorn_, ii. 274, and _Sudeli_, Uhland's _Volkslieder_, i.
The Scottish versions of _Fair Annie_ are quite numerous. A fragment of eight stanzas was published in Herd's collection, (_Wha will bake my bridal bread_, ed. 1776, i. 167.) Sir Walter Scott gave a complete copy, from recitation in the _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_. Two other copies, also from oral tradition, were inserted by Jamieson in the Appendix to his _Popular Ballads_, (_Lady Jane_, ii. 371, _Burd Helen_, ii. 376,) and from these he constructed the edition of _Lady Jane_, printed at p. 73 of the same volume. Motherwell (_Minstrelsy_) affords still another variety, and Chambers has compiled a ballad from all these sources and a manuscript furnished by Mr. Kinloch, (_Scottish Ballads_, p. 186.)
In this collection we have adopted the versions of Scott and Motherwell, giving Jamieson's translation of _Skj[oe]n Anna_ in our Appendix.
"It's narrow, narrow, make your bed, And learn to lie your lane; For I'm gaun o'er the sea, Fair Annie, A braw bride to bring hame.
Wi' her I will get gowd and gear; 5 Wi' you I ne'er got nane.
"But wha will bake my bridal bread, Or brew my bridal ale?
And wha will welcome my brisk bride, That I bring o'er the dale?"-- 10
"It's I will bake your bridal bread, And brew your bridal ale; And I will welcome your brisk bride, That you bring o'er the dale."--
"But she that welcomes my brisk bride 15 Maun gang like maiden fair; She maun lace on her robe sae jimp, And braid her yellow hair."--
"But how can I gang maiden-like, When maiden I am nane? 20 Have I not born seven sons to thee, And am with child again?"--
She's ta'en her young son in her arms, Another in her hand; And she's up to the highest tower, 25 To see him come to land.
"Come up, come up, my eldest son, And look o'er yon sea-strand, And see your father's new-come bride, Before she come to land."-- 30
"Come down, come down, my mother dear, Come frae the castle wa'!
I fear, if langer ye stand there, Ye'll let yoursell down fa'."--
And she gaed down, and farther down, 35 Her love's ship for to see; And the topmast and the mainmast Shone like the silver free.
And she's gane down, and farther down, The bride's ship to behold; 40 And the topmast and the mainmast They shone just like the gold.
She's ta'en her seven sons in her hand; I wot she didna fail!
She met Lord Thomas and his bride, 45 As they came o'er the dale.