All woe-begone was that faire damselle, And the salt teares fell from her eye; When lo! as she rode by a rivers side, She met with a tinye boye. 120
A tinye boy she mette, God wot, All clad in mantle of golde; He seemed noe more in mans likenesse, Then a childe of four yeere olde.
"Why grieve you, damselle faire?" he sayd, 125 "And what doth cause you moane?"
The damsell scant wolde deigne a looke, But fast she pricked on.
"Yet turne againe, thou faire damselle, And greete thy queene from mee; 130 When bale is at hyest, boote is nyest; Nowe helpe enoughe may bee.
"Bid her remember what she dreamt, In her bedd wheras shee laye; How when the grype and the grimly beast 135 Wolde have carried her crowne awaye,
"Even then there came the little gray hawke, And saved her from his clawes: Then bidd the queene be merry at hart, For heaven will fende her cause." 140
Back then rode that fair damselle, And her hart it lept for glee: And when she told her gracious dame, A gladd woman then was shee.
But when the appointed day was come, 145 No helpe appeared nye; Then woeful woeful was her hart, And the teares stood in her eye.
And nowe a fyer was built of wood, And a stake was made of tree; 150 And now queene Elinor forth was led, A sorrowful sight to see.
Three times the herault he waved his hand, And three times spake on hye; "Giff any good knight will fende this dame, 155 Come forth, or shee must dye."
No knight stood forth, no knight there came, No helpe appeared nye; And now the fyer was lighted up, Queene Elinor she must dye. 160
And now the fyer was lighted up, As hot as hot might bee; When riding upon a little white steed, The tinye boye they see.
"Away with that stake, away with those brands, 165 And loose our comelye queene: I am come to fight with Sir Aldingar, And prove him a traitor keene."
Forth then stood Sir Aldingar; But when he saw the chylde, 170 He laughed, and scoffed, and turned his backe, And weened he had been beguylde.
"Now turne, now turne thee, Aldingar, And eyther fighte or flee; I trust that I shall avenge the wronge, 175 Thoughe I am so small to see."
The boye pulld forth a well good sworde, So gilt it dazzled the ee; The first stroke stricken at Aldingar Smote off his leggs by the knee. 180
"Stand up, stand up, thou false traitor, And fighte upon thy feete, For, and thou thrive as thou beginst, Of height wee shall be meete."
"A priest, a priest," sayes Aldingar, 185 "While I am a man alive; "A priest, a priest," sayes Aldingar, "Me for to houzle and shrive.
"I wolde have laine by our comlie queene, But shee wolde never consent; 190 Then I thought to betraye her unto our kinge, In a fyer to have her brent.
"There came a lazar to the kings gates, A lazar both blind and lame; I tooke the lazar upon my backe, 195 And on her bedd had him layne.
"Then ranne I to our comlye king, These tidings sore to tell: But ever alacke!" sayes Aldingar, "Falsing never doth well. 200
"Forgive, forgive me, queene, madame, The short time I must live:"
"Nowe Christ forgive thee, Aldingar, As freely I forgive."
"Here take thy queene, our King Harrye, 205 And love her as thy life, For never had a king in Christentye A truer and fairer wife."
King Harrye ran to claspe his queene, And loosed her full sone; 210 Then turnd to look for the tinye boye:-- The boye was vanisht and gone.
But first he had touchd the lazar man, And stroakt him with his hand; The lazar under the gallowes tree 215 All whole and sounde did stand.
The lazar under the gallowes tree Was comelye, straight, and tall; King Henrye made him his head stewarde, To wayte withinn his hall. 220
SIR HUGH LE BLOND.
_Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii. 51.
"The tradition, upon which the ballad is founded, is universally current in the Mearns; and the Editor is informed, that, till very lately, the sword, with which Sir Hugh le Blond was believed to have defended the life and honour of the Queen, was carefully preserved by his descendants, the Viscounts of Arbuthnot. That Sir Hugh of Arbuthnot lived in the thirteenth century, is proved by his having, 1282, bestowed the patronage of the church of Garvoch upon the Monks of Aberbrothwick, for the safety of his soul.--_Register of Aberbrothwick, quoted by Crawford in Peerage._
"I was favoured with the following copy of _Sir Hugh le Blond_, by K.
Williamson Burnet, Esq. of Monboddo, who wrote it down from the recitation of an old woman, long in the service of the Arbuthnot family. Of course, the diction is very much humbled, and it has, in all probability, undergone many corruptions; but its antiquity is indubitable, and the story, though indifferently told, is in itself interesting. It is believed that there have been many more verses."
The birds sang sweet as ony bell, The world had not their make, The Queen she's gone to her chamber, With Rodingham to talk.
"I love you well, my Queen, my dame, 5 'Bove land and rents so clear, And for the love of you, my Queen, Would thole pain most severe."--
"If well you love me, Rodingham, I'm sure so do I thee: 10 I love you well as any man, Save the King's fair bodye."--
"I love you well, my Queen, my dame; 'Tis truth that I do tell: And for to lye a night with you, 15 The salt seas I would sail."--
"Away, away, O Rodingham!
You are both stark and stoor; Would you defile the King's own bed, And make his Queen a whore? 20
"To-morrow you'd be taken sure, And like a traitor slain; And I'd be burned at a stake, Although I be the Queen."--
He then stepp'd out at her room door, 25 All in an angry mood: Until he met a leper-man, Just by the hard way-side.
He intoxicate the leper-man, With liquors very sweet: 30 And gave him more and more to drink, Until he fell asleep.
He took him in his armis twa, And carried him along, Till he came to the Queen's own bed, 35 And there he laid him down.
He then stepp'd out of the Queen's bower, As swift as any roe, 'Till he came to the very place Where the King himself did go. 40
The King said unto Rodingham, "What news have you to me?"-- He said, "Your Queen's a false woman, As I did plainly see."--
He hasten'd to the Queen's chamber, 45 So costly and so fine, Until he came to the Queen's own bed, Where the leper-man was lain.
He looked on the leper-man, Who lay on his Queen's bed; 50 He lifted up the snaw-white sheets, And thus he to him said:--
"Plooky, plooky, are your cheeks, And plooky is your chin, And plooky are your armis twa, 55 My bonny Queen's layne in.
"Since she has lain into your arms, She shall not lye in mine; Since she has kiss'd your ugsome mouth, She never shall kiss mine."-- 60