"Now God be with him," said our king, "Sith 't will no better be; I trust I have within my realm Five hundred as good as he. 240
"Yet shall not Scot nor Scotland say, But I will vengeance take, And be revenged on them all, For brave Earl Piercy's sake."
This vow full well the king perform'd, 245 After, on Humbledown; In one day, fifty knights were slain, With lords of great renown.
And of the rest, of small account, Did many thousands dye: 250 Thus endeth the hunting of Chevy-Chace, Made by the Earl Piercy.
God save the king, and bless the land In plenty, joy, and peace; And grant henceforth, that foul debate 255 'Twixt noblemen may cease!
62. since.--O. B.
123. Percy has _lions wood_.
187. Sc. the Curfew bell, usually rung at eight o'clock; to which the modernizer apparently alludes, instead of the "Evensong bell," or bell for vespers of the original author, before the Reformation.--PERCY.
198. "I, as one in deep concern, must lament." The construction here has generally been misunderstood.--P.
This phrase may help us to determine the date of the authorship of the ballad. "Doleful dumps" suggested nothing ludicrous to a writer of the age of Elizabeth, but not long after became burlesque. The observation is Percy's.
220. They.--O. B.
SIR ANDREW BARTON.
From Percy's _Reliques_, ii. 193.
"The transactions which did the greatest honour to the Earl of Surrey and his family at this time [A. D. 1511], was their behaviour in the case of Barton, a Scotch sea-officer. This gentleman's father having suffered by sea from the Portuguese, he had obtained letters of marque for his two sons to make reprisals upon the subjects of Portugal. It is extremely probable, that the court of Scotland granted these letters with no very honest intention. The council-board of England, at which the Earl of Surrey held the chief place, was daily pestered with complaints from the sailors and merchants, that Barton, who was called Sir Andrew Barton, under pretence of searching for Portuguese goods, interrupted the English navigation. Henry's situation at that time rendered him backward from breaking with Scotland, so that their complaints were but coldly received. The Earl of Surrey, however, could not smother his indignation, but gallantly declared at the council-board, that while he had an estate that could furnish out a ship, or a son that was capable of commanding one, the narrow seas should not be infested.
"Sir Andrew Barton, who commanded the two Scotch ships, had the reputation of being one of the ablest sea officers of his time. By his depredations, he had amassed great wealth, and his ships were very richly laden. Henry, notwithstanding his situation, could not refuse the generous offer made by the Earl of Surrey. Two ships were immediately fitted out, and put to sea with letters of marque, under his two sons, Sir Thomas and Sir Edward Howard. After encountering a great deal of foul weather, Sir Thomas came up with the Lion, which was commanded by Sir Andrew Barton in person; and Sir Edward came up with the Union, Barton's other ship [called by Hall, the Bark of Scotland]. The engagement which ensued was extremely obstinate on both sides; but at last the fortune of the Howards prevailed. Sir Andrew was killed, fighting bravely, and encouraging his men with his whistle, to hold out to the last; and the two Scotch ships, with their crews, were carried into the River Thames [Aug. 2, 1511]." (Guthrie's _Peerage_, as quoted by Percy.)
An old copy in the precious Manuscript furnished the foundation for Percy's edition of this noble ballad. The editor states that the text of the original was so incorrect as to require emendations from black-letter copies and from conjecture. These emendations, where they are noted, we have for the most part disregarded. We would fain believe that nothing except a defect in the manuscript could have reconciled the Bishop to adopting the four lines with which the ballad now begins.
The common, or black-letter copies, are somewhat abridged as well as modernized. One of these is given in the Appendix.
THE FIRST PART.
When Flora with her fragrant flowers[L1]
Bedeckt the earth so trim and gaye, And Neptune with his daintye showers Came to present the monthe of Maye, King Henrye rode to take the ayre, 5 Over the river of Thames past hee; When eighty merchants of London came, And downe they knelt upon their knee.
"O yee are welcome, rich merchants, Good saylors, welcome unto mee:" 10 They swore by the rood, they were saylors good, But rich merchants they cold not bee.
"To France nor Flanders dare we pass, Nor Bordeaux voyage dare we fare; And all for a robber that lyes on the seas, 15 Who robbs us of our merchant ware."
King Henrye frownd, and turned him rounde, And swore by the Lord that was mickle of might, "I thought he had not beene in the world, Durst have wrought England such unright." 20 The merchants sighed, and said, "Alas!"
And thus they did their answer frame; "He is a proud Scott, that robbs on the seas, And Sir Andrewe Barton is his name."
The king lookt over his left shoulder, 25 And an angrye look then looked hee; "Have I never a lorde in all my realme, Will feitch yond traytor unto mee?"
"Yea, that dare I," Lord Charles Howard sayes; "Yea, that dare I, with heart and hand; 30 If it please your grace to give me leave, Myselfe will be the only man."
"Thou art but yong," the kyng replyed, "Yond Scott hath numbred manye a yeare:"
"Trust me, my liege, Ile make him quail, 35 Or before my prince I will never appeare."
"Then bowemen and gunners thou shalt have, And chuse them over my realme so free; Besides good mariners, and shipp-boyes, To guide the great shipp on the sea." 40
The first man that Lord Howard chose, Was the ablest gunner in all the realm, Thoughe he was threescore yeeres and ten; Good Peter Simon was his name.
"Peter," sais hee, "I must to the sea, 45 To bring home a traytor live or dead; Before all others I have chosen thee, Of a hundred gunners to be the head."
"If you, my lord, have chosen mee Of a hundred gunners to be the head, 50 Then hang me up on your maine-mast tree, If I misse my marke one shilling bread."
My lord then chose a boweman rare, Whose active hands had gained fame;[L54]
In Yorkshire was this gentleman borne, 55 And William Horseley was his name.
"Horsley," sayd he, "I must with speede Go seeke a traytor on the sea, And now of a hundred bowemen brave To be the head I have chosen thee." 60 "If you," quoth hee, "have chosen mee Of a hundred bowemen to be the head, On your main-mast Ile hanged bee, If I miss twelvescore one penny bread."
With pikes, and gunnes, and bowemen bold, 65 This noble Howard is gone to the sea; With a valyant heart and a pleasant cheare, Out at Thames mouth sayled he.
And days he scant had sayled three, Upon the journey he tooke in hand, 70 But there he mett with a noble shipp, And stoutely made itt stay and stand.
"Thou must tell me," Lord Howard said, "Now who thou art, and what's thy name; And shewe me where thy dwelling is, 75 And whither bound, and whence thou came."
"My name is Henry Hunt," quoth hee, With a heavye heart, and a carefull mind; "I and my shipp doe both belong To the Newcastle that stands upon Tyne." 80
"Hast thou not heard, nowe, Henrye Hunt, As thou hast sayled by daye and by night, Of a Scottish robber on the seas; Men call him Sir Andrew Barton, knight?"
Then ever he sighed, and sayd "Alas!" 85 With a grieved mind, and well-away, "But over-well I knowe that wight; I was his prisoner yesterday.
"As I was sayling uppon the sea, A Burdeaux voyage for to fare, 90 To his hach-borde he clasped me,[L91]
And robd me of all my merchant ware.
And mickle debts, God wot, I owe, And every man will have his owne, And I am nowe to London bounde, 95 Of our gracious king to beg a boone."
"That shall not need," Lord Howard sais; "Lett me but once that robber see, For every penny tane thee froe It shall be doubled shillings three." 100 "Nowe Gode forefend," the merchant said, "That you shold seek soe far amisse!
God keepe you out of that traitors hands!
Full litle ye wott what a man hee is.
"Hee is brasse within, and steele without, 105 With beames on his topcastle stronge; And eighteen pieces of ordinance He carries on each side along.
And he hath a pinnace deerlye dight, St. Andrewes crosse, that is his guide; 110 His pinnace beareth ninescore men, And fifteen canons on each side.
"Were ye twentye shippes, and he but one, I sweare by kirke, and bower, and hall, He wold overcome them everye one,[L115] 115 If once his beames they doe downe fall."
"This is cold comfort," sais my lord, "To wellcome a stranger thus to the sea: Yet Ile bring him and his shipp to shore, Or to Scotland hee shall carrye mee." 120
"Then a noble gunner you must have, And he must aim well with his ee, And sinke his pinnace into the sea, Or else hee never orecome will bee.
And if you chance his shipp to borde, 125 This counsel I must give withall, Let no man to his topcastle goe To strive to let his beams downe fall.
"And seven pieces of ordinance, I pray your honour lend to mee, 130 On each side of my shipp along, And I will lead you on the sea.
A glasse Ile sett, that may be seene, Whether you sayle by day or night; And to-morrowe, I sweare, by nine of the clocke, You shall meet with Sir Andrewe Barton, knight." 135
1-4. from the printed copy.