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"Hold upp thy head, man," quoth his lord, "Nor therefore lett thy courage fayle; He did it but to prove thy heart, To see if he cold make it quail."

When they had other fifty sayld, 205 Other fifty mile upon the sea, Lord Percy called to Douglas himselfe, Sayd, "What wilt thou nowe doe with mee?"

"Looke that your brydle be wight, my lord, And your horse goe swift as shipp att sea; 210 Looke that your spurres be bright and sharpe, That you may pricke her while shee'll away."

"What needeth this, Douglas?" he sayth; "What needest thou to flyte with mee?

For I was counted a horseman good 215 Before that ever I mett with thee.

"A false Hector hath my horse, Who dealt with mee so treacherousle; A false Armstrong hath my spurres, And all the geere belongs to mee." 220

When they had sayled other fifty mile, Other fifty mile upon the sea, They landed low by Berwicke side, A deputed laird landed Lord Percye.[L224]

Then he at Yorke was doomde to die, 225 It was, alas! a sorrowful sight; Thus they betrayed that noble earle, Who ever was a gallant wight.

59. Of the Earl of Morton, the Regent.--P.

78. i. e. Lake of Leven, which hath communication with the sea.

Edinburgh was at that time in the hands of the opposite faction.--P.

119. The Lord Warden of the East Marches.--P.

123. Governor of Berwick.--P.

139. Warden of the Middle-march.--P.

224. fol. MS. reads _land_, and has not the following stanza.


From _Reliques of English Poetry_, ii. 217.

"This ballad is a proof of the little intercourse that subsisted between the Scots and English, before the accession of James I. to the crown of England. The tale which is here so circumstantially related, does not appear to have had the least foundation in history, but was probably built upon some confused hearsay report of the tumults in Scotland during the minority of that prince, and of the conspiracies formed by different factions to get possession of his person. It should seem from ver. 97 to have been written during the regency, or at least before the death, of the Earl of Morton, who was condemned and executed June 2, 1581; when James was in his fifteenth year.

"The original copy (preserved in the archives of the Antiquarian Society, London,) is entitled, _A new ballad, declaring the great treason conspired against the young king of Scots, and how one Andrew Browne, an English-man, which was the king's chamberlaine, prevented the same. To the tune of Milfield, or els to Green-sleeves_. At the end is subjoined the name of the author, W. Elderton. 'Imprinted at London for Yarathe James, dwelling in Newgate Market, over against Ch.

Church,' in black-letter folio."--PERCY.

This ballad was licensed to James on the 30th of May, 1581.

Out alas! what a griefe is this, That princes subjects cannot be true, But still the devill hath some of his, Will play their parts whatsoever ensue; Forgetting what a grievous thing 5 It is to offend the anointed king!

Alas for woe, why should it be so?

This makes a sorrowful heigh ho.

In Scotland is a bonnie kinge, As proper a youth as neede to be, 10 Well given to every happy thing, That can be in a kinge to see: Yet that unluckie country still, Hath people given to craftie will.

Alas for woe, &c. 15

On Whitsun eve it so befell, A posset was made to give the king, Whereof his ladie nurse hard tell, And that it was a poysoned thing: She cryed, and called piteouslie, 20 "Now help, or else the king shall die!"

Alas for woe, &c.

One Browne, that was an English man, And hard the ladies piteous crye, Out with his sword, and bestir'd him than, 25 Out of the doores in haste to flie; But all the doores were made so fast, Out of a window he got at last.

Alas for woe, &c.

He met the bishop coming fast, 30 Having the posset in his hande: The sight of Browne made him aghast, Who bad him stoutly staie and stand.

With him were two that ranne awa, For feare that Browne would make a fray. 35 Alas, for woe, &c.

"Bishop," quoth Browne, "what hast thou there?"

"Nothing at all, my friend," sayde he, "But a posset to make the king good cheere."

"Is it so?" sayd Browne, "that will I see. 40 First I will have thyself begin, Before thou go any further in; Be it weale or woe, it shall be so.

This makes a sorrowful heigh ho."

The bishop sayde, "Browne, I doo know, 45 Thou art a young man poore and bare; Livings on thee I will bestowe; Let me go on, take thou no care."

"No, no," quoth Browne, "I will not be A traitour for all Christiantie: 50 Happe well or woe, it shall be so.

Drink now with a sorrowfull," &c.

The bishop dranke, and by and by His belly burst and he fell downe: A just rewarde for his traitery! 55 "This was a posset indeed," quoth Brown.

He serched the bishop, and found the keyes, To come to the kinge when he did please.

Alas for woe, &c.

As soon as the king got word of this, 60 He humbly fell uppon his knee, And praysed God that he did misse To tast of that extremity: For that he did perceive and know, His clergie would betray him so: 65 Alas for woe, &c.

"Alas," he said, "unhappie realme, My father, and grandfather slaine:[L68]

My mother banished, O extreame Unhappy fate, and bitter bayne! 70 And now like treason wrought for me-- What more unhappie realme can be!"

Alas for woe, &c.

The king did call his nurse to his grace, And gave her twenty poundes a yeere; 75 And trustie Browne too in like case, He knighted him with gallant geere, And gave him lands and livings great, For dooing such a manly feat, As he did showe, to the bishop's woe, 80 Which made, &c.

When all this treason done and past Tooke not effect of traytery, Another treason at the last, They sought against his majestie; 85 How they might make their kinge away By a privie banket on a daye.

Alas for woe, &c.

'Another time' to sell the king Beyonde the seas they had decreede: 90 Three noble Earles heard of this thing, And did prevent the same with speede.

For a letter came, with such a charme, That they should doo their king no harme: For further woe, if they did soe, 95 Would make a sorrowful heigh hoe.

The Earle Mourton told the Douglas then, "Take heede you do not offend the king; But shew yourselves like honest men Obediently in every thing; 100 For his godmother will not see[L101]

Her noble child misus'd to be With any woe; for if it be so, She will make," &c.

God graunt all subjects may be true, 105 In England, Scotland, every where, That no such daunger may ensue, To put the prince or state in feare: That God, the highest king, may see Obedience as it ought to be. 110 In wealth or woe, God graunt it be so, To avoide the sorrowful heigh ho.

68. His father was Henry Lord Darnley. His grandfather, the old Earl of Lenox, regent of Scotland, and father of Lord Darnley, was murdered at Stirling, Sept. 5, 1571.--P.

101. Queen Elizabeth.


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