"Sleepe you, wake you, faire Sir Gyles?
Or be you not within?
Sleepe you, wake you, faire Sir Gyles, 15 Arise and let me inn."
"O I am waking, sweete," he said, "Sweete ladye, what is your will?"
"I have onbethought me of a wile[L19]
How my wed lord weel spill. 20
"Twenty-four good knights," shee sayes, "That dwell about this towne, Even twenty-four of my next cozens Will helpe to dinge him downe."
All that beheard his litle footepage, 25 As he watered his masters steed; And for his masters sad perille His verry heart did bleed.
He mourned, sighed and wept full sore; I sweare by the holy roode, 30 The teares he for his master wept Were blent water and bloude.[L32]
And that beheard his deare master As he stood at his garden pale: Sayes, "Ever alacke, my litle foot-page, 35 What causes thee to wail?
"Hath any one done to thee wronge, Any of thy fellowes here?
Or is any of thy good friends dead, That thou shedst manye a teare? 40
"Or, if it be my head bookes-man, Aggrieved he shal bee: For no man here within my howse Shall doe wrong unto thee."
"O it is not your head bookes-man, 45 Nor none of his degree: But, on to-morrow ere it be noone[L47]
All deemed to die are yee: "And of that bethank your head steward, And thank your gay ladye." 50
"If this be true, my litle foot-page, The heyre of my land thoust bee:"
"If it be not true, my dear master, No good death let me die:"
"If it be not true, thou litle foot-page, 55 A dead corse shalt thou bee.
"O call now downe my faire ladye, O call her downe to mee; And tell my ladye gay how sicke, And like to die I bee." 60
Downe then came his ladye faire, All clad in purple and pall: The rings that were on her fingers, Cast light thorrow the hall.
"What is your will, my own wed-lord? 65 "What is your will with mee?"
"O see, my ladye deere, how sicke, And like to die I bee."
"And thou be sicke, my own wed-lord, Soe sore it grieveth me: 70 But my five maydens and myselfe Will make the bedde for thee.
"And at the waking of your first sleepe, We will a hott drinke make; And at the waking of your next sleepe,[L75] 75 Your sorrowes we will slake."
He put a silk cote on his backe, And mail of manye a fold; And hee putt a steele cap on his head, Was gilt with good red gold. 80
He layd a bright browne sword by his side, And another att his feete: [And twentye good knights he placed at hand, To watch him in his sleepe.]
And about the middle time of the night, 85 Came twentye-four traitours inn; Sir Giles he was the foremost man, The leader of that ginn.
Old Robin with his bright browne sword, Sir Gyles head soon did winn; 90 And scant of all those twenty-four Went out one quick agenn.
None save only a litle foot-page, Crept forth at a window of stone; And he had two armes when he came in, 95 And he went back with one.
Upp then came that ladie gaye, With torches burning bright; She thought to have brought Sir Gyles a drinke, Butt she found her owne wedd knight. 100
The first thinge that she stumbled on It was Sir Gyles his foote; Sayes, "Ever alacke, and woe is mee!
Here lyes my sweete hart-roote."
The next thinge that she stumbled on 105 It was Sir Gyles his heade; Sayes, "Ever alacke, and woe is me!
Heere lyes my true love deade."
Hee cutt the pappes beside her brest, And didd her body spille; 110 He cutt the eares beside her heade, And bade her love her fille.
He called up then up his litle foot-page, And made him there his heyre; And sayd, "Henceforth my worldlye goodes, 115 And countrie I forsweare."
He shope the crosse on his right shoulder,[L117]
Of the white clothe and the redde,[L118]
And went him into the holy land, Wheras Christ was quicke and dead. 120
MS. 32, blend.
47, or to-morrow.
MS. 75, first.
117. Every person who went on a Croisade to the Holy Land usually wore a cross on his upper garment, on the right shoulder, as a badge of his profession. Different nations were distinguished by crosses of different colors: the English wore white, the French red, &c. This circumstance seems to be confounded in the ballad. PERCY.
MS. 118, fleshe.
First published in _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, iii. 220.
"This ballad has been popular in many parts of Scotland. It is chiefly given from Mrs. Brown of Falkland's MSS. The expression,
"The boy stared wild like a gray goss-hawk," _v._ 31,
strongly resembles that in _Hardyknute_,
"Norse e'en like gray goss-hawk stared wild;"
a circumstance which led the Editor to make the strictest inquiry into the authenticity of the song. But every doubt was removed by the evidence of a lady of high rank, who not only recollected the ballad, as having amused her infancy, but could repeat many of the verses, particularly those beautiful stanzas from the 20th to the 25th. The Editor is, therefore, compelled to believe, that the author of _Hardyknute_ copied the old ballad, if the coincidence be not altogether accidental." SCOTT.
King Easter has courted her for her lands, King Wester for her fee, King Honour for her comely face, And for her fair bodie.
They had not been four months married, 5 As I have heard them tell, Until the nobles of the land Against them did rebel.