Word ys commen to Eddenburrowe, To Jamy the Skottishe kyng, 140 That dougheti Duglas, lyff-tenant of the Merches, He lay slean Chyviot with-in.
His handdes dyd he weal and wryng, He sayd, "Alas, and woe ys me!"
Such an othar captayn Skotland within, 145 He sayd, ye-feth shuld never be.
Worde ys commyn to lovly Londone, Till the fourth Harry our kyng, That lord Perse, leyff-tenante of the Merchis,[L149]
He lay slayne Chyviat within. 150
"God have merci on his soll," sayd kyng Harry, "Good lord, yf thy will it be!
I have a hondrith captayns in Ynglonde," he sayd, "As good as ever was he: But Perse, and I brook my lyffe, 155 Thy deth well quyte shall be."
As our noble kyng mayd his a-vowe, Lyke a noble prince of renowen, For the deth of the lord Perse He dyde the battell of Hombyll-down: 160
Wher syx and thritte Skottishe knyghtes On a day wear beaten down: Glendale glytteryde on ther armor bryght,[L163]
Over castill, towar, and town.
This was the Hontynge off the Cheviat; 165 That tear begane this spurn: Old men that knowen the grownde well yenoughe, Call it the Battell of Otterburn.
At Otterburn began this spurne Uppon a Monnyn day:[L170] 170 Ther was the dougghte Doglas slean, The Perse never went away.
Ther was never a tym on the March-partes Sen the Doglas and the Perse met, But yt was marvele, and the rede blude ronne not, 175 As the reane doys in the stret.
Jhesue Christ our ballys bete, And to the blys us brynge!
Thus was the Hountynge of the Chivyat: God send us all good endyng! 180
1-4. It is well known that the ancient English weapon was the long-bow, and that this nation excelled all others in archery, while the Scottish warriors chiefly depended on the use of the spear. This characteristic difference never escapes our ancient bard.--PERCY.
26. to, i. e. tow.
45. a narrowe. So again in v. 83, and a nowar in v. 96. This transference of final n to the succeeding word is of common occurrence in old poetry.
99. a word has dropped out.
125. Lwdale, i. e. Liddel.
163. Glendale is one of the seven wards of Northumberland. In this district the village of Homildown is situated, about a mile from Wooler. On the 14th of September, 1402, a battle was fought at this place between the Percys and Archibald, Earl of Douglas, in which the Scots were totally routed, and Douglas taken prisoner.
The text of this later ballad of _Chevy-Chace_ is given as it appears in _Old Ballads_ (1723), vol. i. p. 111, and in Durfey's _Pills to Purge Melancholy_, vol. iv. p. 289, and differs very slightly from that of the _Reliques_ (i. 265), where the ballad was printed from the folio MS., compared with two other black-letter copies.
The age of this version of the story is not known, but it is certainly not later, says Dr. Rimbault, than the reign of Charles the Second.
Addison's papers in the _Spectator_ (Nos. 70 and 74) evince so true a perception of the merits of this ballad, shorn as it is of the most striking beauties of the grand original, that we cannot but deeply regret his never having seen the ancient and genuine copy, which was published by Hearne only a few days after Addison died. Well might the Spectator dissent from the judgment of Sidney, if _this_ were the rude and ill-apparelled song of a barbarous age.
God prosper long our noble king, Our lives and safeties all; A woful hunting once there did In Chevy-Chace befall.
To drive the deer with hound and horn, 5 Erle Piercy took his way; The child may rue that is unborn, The hunting of that day.
The stout Earl of Northumberland A vow to God did make, 10 His pleasure in the Scottish woods Three summer's days to take;
The chiefest harts in Chevy-Chace To kill and bear away: The tidings to Earl Douglas came, 15 In Scotland where he lay.
Who sent Earl Piercy present word, He would prevent his sport; The English earl not fearing this, Did to the woods resort, 20
With fifteen hundred bow-men bold All chosen men of might, Who knew full well in time of need To aim their shafts aright.
The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran, 25 To chase the fallow deer; On Monday they began to hunt, When day-light did appear.
And long before high noon they had An hundred fat bucks slain; 30 Then having din'd, the drovers went To rouze them up again.
The bow-men muster'd on the hills, Well able to endure; Their backsides all, with special care, 35 That day were guarded sure.
The hounds ran swiftly thro' the woods, The nimble deer to take, And with their cries the hills and dales An eccho shrill did make. 40
Lord Piercy to the quarry went, To view the tender deere; Quoth he, "Earl Douglas promised This day to meet me heer.
"If that I thought he would not come, 45 No longer would I stay."
With that, a brave young gentleman Thus to the Earl did say: