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Come you hither, my nine good sonnes,
Gallant men I trowe you bee:
Will stand by that good erle and mee?
Eight of them did answer make,
Eight of them spake hastilie, O father, till the daye we dye
We'll stand by that good erle and thee.
Gramercy now, my children deare,
You showe yourselves right bold and brave; And whethersoe'er I live or dye,
75 A fathers blessing you shal have.
But what sayst thou, O Francis Norton,
Thou art mine eldest sonn and heire : Somewhat lyes brooding in thy breast;
Whatever it bee, to mee declare.
Father, you are an aged man,
Your head is white, your bearde is gray; It were a shame at these your yeares
For you to ryse in such a fray.
Now fye upon thee, coward Francis,
Thou never learnedst this of mee : When thou wert yong and tender of age, Why did I make soe much of thee ?
But, father, I will wend with you,
Unarm’d and naked will I bee;
Ever an ill death may he dee.
Then rose that reverend gentleman,
And with him came a goodlye band
And all the flower o’ Northumberland.
With them the noble Nevill came,
The erle of Westmorland was hee:
Thirteen thousand faire to see.
Lord Westmorland his ancyent raisde,
The Dun Bull he rays’d on hye,
Were there sett out most royallye. *
Ver. 102, Dun Bull, &c.] The supporters of the Nevilles, Earls of Westmoreland were two bulls argent, ducally collar'd gold, armed or, &c. But I have not discovered the device mentioned in the ballad among the badges, &c., given by that house. This however is certain, that among those of the Nevilles Lords Abergavenny (who were of the same family) is a dun cow with a golden collar : and the Nevilles of Chyte in Yorkshire (of the Westmoreland branch) gave for their crest in 1513, a dog's (greyhound's) head, erased. So that it is not improbable but Charles Neville, the unhappy Earl of Westmoreland here mentioned, inight on this occasion give the above device on his ban
After all, our old minstrel's verses here may have undergone some corruption ; for, in another ballad in the same folio MS. and apparently written by the same hand, containing the Sequel of
Erle Percy there his ancyent spred,
The Half-Moone shining all soe faire: *
And the five wounds our Lord did beare.
Then Sir George Bowes he straitwaye rose,
After them some spoyle to make :
And aye they vowed that knight to take.
That baron he to his castle fled,
To Barnard castle then fled hee.
this Lord Westmoreland's history, his banner is thus described, more conformable to his known bearings :
“ Sette me up my faire Dun Bull,
Wi' th' Gilden Hornes, hee beares soe hye.” * Ver. 106, The Half-Moone, &c.] The silver crescent is a well. known crest or badge of the Northumberland family. It was probably brought home from some of the Crusades against the Sarazens. In an ancient Pedigree in verse, finely illuminated on a roll of vellum, and written in the reign of Henry VII. (in possession of the family,) we have this fabulous account given of its original. The author begins with accounting for the name of Gernon or Algernon, often borne by the Percies: who, he says, were
... Gernons fyrst named of Brutys bloude of Troy : Which valliantly fyghtynge in the land of Persè (Persia) At pointe terrible ayance the miscreants on nyght, An hevynly mystery was schewyd hym, old bookys reherse ; In hys scheld did schyne a Mone veryfying her lyght, Which to all the ooste yave a perfytte syght, To vaynquys his enmys, and to deth them persue ;
And therefore the Persès (Percies) the Cressant doth renew. In the dark ages, no family was deemed considerable that did not derive its descent from the Trojan Brutus ; or that was not distinguished by prodigies and miracles.
The uttermost walles were eathe to win,
The earles have won them presentlìe.
The uttermost walles were lime and bricke;
But thoughe they won them soon anone,
For they were cut in rocke of stone.
Then newes unto leeve London came
In all the speede that ever might bee,
Of the rysing in the North countrie.
Her grace she turned her round about,
And like a royall queene shee swore, *
As never was in the North before.
Shee caus'd thirty thousand men be rays'd
With horse and harneis faire to see ;
To take the earles i' th' North countrie.
Wi' them the false Erle Warwick went,
Th'erle Sussex and the lord Hunsdèn;
I wiss, they never stint ne blan.
This is quite in character: her majesty would sometimes swear at her nobles, as well as box their ears.
Now spred thy ancyent, Westmorland,
Thy dun bull faine would we spye:
Now rayse thy half moone up on hye.
But the dun bulle is fled and gone,
And the halfe moone vanished away:
Against soe many could not stay.
Thee, Norton, wi' thine eight good sonnes, 145
They doom'd to dye, alas ! for ruth !
Nor them their faire and blooming youthe.
Wi’ them full many a gallant wight
They cruellye bereay'd of life:
And widowed many a tender wife.
Northumberland betrayed by Douglas. This ballad may be considered as the sequel of the preceding. After the unfortunate Earl of Northumberland had seen himself forsaken of his followers, he endeavoured to withdraw into Scotland, but falling into the hands of