« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
And out and cam the thick thick bluid,
And out and cam the thin;
Thair was nae life left in.
Scho laid him on a dressing borde,
And drest him like a swine,
With zour sweit play-feres nine.
Scho rowd him in a cake of lead,
Bade him lie stil and sleip.
Was fifty fadom deip.
Quhan bells wer rung, and mass was sung,
And every lady went hame :
Bot lady Helen had none.
Scho rowd hir mantil hir about,
And sair sair gan she weip : And she ran into the Jewis castèl,
Quhan they were all asleip.
My bonny sir Hew, my pretty sir Hew,
I pray thee to me speik :
Lady Helen ran to the deip draw-well,
And knelt upon her kne:
I pray thee speik to me.
The lead is wondrous heavy, mither,
The well is wondrous deip,
A word I dounae speik.
Gae hame, gae hame, my mither deir,
Fetch me my windling sheet,
Its thair we twa sall meet.
This old romantic tale was preserved in the Editor's folio MS., but in so very defective and mutilated a condition, (not from any chasm in the MS., but from great omission in the transcript, probably copied from the faulty recitation of some illiterate minstrel,) that it was necessary to supply several stanzas in the first part, and still more in the second, to connect and complete the story.
There is something peculiar in the metre of this old ballad: it is not unusual to meet with redundant stanzas of six lines; but the occasional insertion of a double third or fourth line, as ver. 31, 44, &c. is an irregularity I do not remember to have seen elsewhere. It may
be proper to inform the reader before he comes to Pt. 2, v. 110, 111, that the ROUND TABLE was not peculiar to the reign of K. Arthur, but was common in all the
ages of chivalry. The proclaiming a great tournament (probably with some peculiar solemnities) was called "holding a Round Table.” Dugdale tells us, that the great baron Roger de Mortimer “ having procured the honour of knighthood to be conferred on his three sons' by K. Edw. I. he, at his own costs, caused a tourneament to be held at Kenilworth; where he sumptuously entertained an hundred knights, and as many ladies for three days; the like whereof was never before in England; and there began the ROUND TABLE, (so called by reason that the place wherein they practised those feats, was environed with a strong wall made in a round form). And upon the fourth day, the golden lion, in sign of triumph, being yielded to him, he carried it (with all the company) to Warwick.”—It may further be added, that Matthew Paris frequently calls jousts and tournaments Hastiludia Mense Rotundæ.
As to what will be observed in this ballad of the art of healing being practised by a young princess, it is no more than what is usual in all the old romances, and was conformable to real manners: it being a practice derived from the earliest times among all the Gothic and Celtic nations, for women, even of the highest rank, to exercise the art of surgery. In the Northern Chronicles we always find the young damsels stanching the wounds of their lovers, and the wives those of their husbands.* And even so late as the time of Q. Elizabeth, it is mentioned among the accomplishments of the ladies of her court, that the
* See Northern Antiquities, &c., vol. 1, p. 318. vol. 2, p. 100. Mémoires de lu Chevalerie, tom. 1, p. 44.
“eldest of them are skilful in surgery.” See Harrison's Description of England, prefixed to Holingshed's Chronicle, &c.
THE FIRST PART.
In Ireland, ferr over the sea,
There dwelleth a bonnye kinge ;
The kinge had a ladye to his daughter,
In fashyon she hath no peere;
To be theyr wedded feere.
Syr Cauline loveth her best of all,
But nothing durst he saye;
But deerlye he lovde this may.
Till on a daye it so beffell,
Great dill to him was dight;
To care-bed went the knighte.
One while he spred his armes him fro,
One while he spred them nye:
For dole now I mun dye.
And whan our parish-masse was done,
Our kinge was bowne to dyne: He says, Where is syr Cauline,
That is wont to serve the wyne?
Then aunswerde him a courteous knighte,
And fast his handes gan wringe: Sir Cauline is sicke, and like to dye
Without a good leechinge.
Fetche me downe my daughter deere,
She is a leeche fulle fine:
Lothe I were him to tine.
Fair Christabelle to his chaumber goes,
Her maydens followyng nye:
O sicke, thou fayr ladyè.
Nowe ryse up wightlye, man, for shame,
Never lye soe cowardlee;
You dye for love of mee.
Fayre ladye, it is for your love
That all this dill I drye: