Sidor som bilder

He had a bow bent in his hand,

Made of a trusty tree ;


An arrow of a cloth-yard long

Up to the head drew hee:

Against Sir Hugh Mountgomerye,
So right the shaft he sett,

The grey goose-winge that was thereon,


In his harts bloode was wett.

This fight did last from breake of day,

Till setting of the sun;

For when they rung the evening-bell,*

The battel scarce was done.

With stout Erle Percy, there was slaine

Sir John of Egerton,t

Sir Robert Ratcliff, and Sir John,

Sir James that bold barròn:


And with Sir George and stout Sir James, 205
Both knights of good account,

Good Sir Ralph Raby there was slaine,
Whose prowesse did surmount.

* Sc. the Curfew bell, usually rung at 8 o'clock; to which the modernizer apparently alludes, instead of the "Evensong bell," or bell for vespers of the original author, before the Reformation. Vide suprà pag. 13, v. 97.

For the surnames, see the Notes at the End of the Ballad.

For Witherington needs must I wayle,
As one in doleful dumpes ;*

For when his leggs were smitten off,

He fought upon his stumpes.


And with Erle Douglas, there was slaine
Sir Hugh Mountgomerye,

Sir Charles Murray, that from the feeld
One foote wold never flee.


Sir Charles Murray, of Ratcliff, too,
His sisters sonne was hee;

Sir David Lamb, so well esteem'd,

Yet saved cold not bee.


And the Lord Maxwell in like case

Did with Erle Douglas dye:

Of twenty hundred Scottish speres,
Scarce fifty-five did flye.

Of fifteen hundred Englishmen,

Went home but fifty-three;

The rest were slaine in Chevy-Chase,
Under the greene woode tree.

Next day did many widowes come,

Their husbands to bewayle;



* i. e. "I, as one in deep concern, must lament." The construction here has generally been misunderstood. The old MS. reads wofull dumpės.

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They washt their wounds in brinish teares,
But all wold not prevayle.

Theyr bodyes, bathed in purple gore,

They bare with them away:

They kist them dead a thousand times,
Ere they were cladd in clay.


The newes was brought to Eddenborrow,
Where Scottlands king did raigne,
That brave Erle Douglas suddenlye

Was with an arrow slaine:

O heavy newes, King James did say,

Scottland may witnesse bee,


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Now God be with him, said our king,


Sith it will noe better bee;
I trust I have, within my realme,
Five hundred as good as hee:



Yett shall not Scotts nor Scotland say,

But I will vengeance take:

I'll be revenged on them all,

For brave Erle Percyes sake.

This vow full well the king perform'd

After, at Humbledowne;

In one day, fifty knights were slayne,
With lords of great renowne:

And of the rest, of small account,

Did many thousands dye:

Thus endeth the hunting of Chevy-Chase,

Made by the Erle Percy.



God save our king, and bless this land


With plentye, joy, and peace;

And grant henceforth, that foule debate

'Twixt noblemen may cease.

**Since the former impression of these volumes hath been published, a new edition of Collins's Peerage, 1779, &c. ix vols. 8vo. which contains, in volume ii. p. 334, an historical passage, which may be thought to throw considerable light on the subject of the preceding Ballad: viz.

"In this... year, 1436, according to Hector Boe"thius, was fought the Battle of Pepperden, not far "from the Cheviot Hills, between the Earl of North"umberland [II Earl, son of Hotspur.] and Earl "William Douglas, of Angus, with a small army of "about four thousand men each, in which the latter

"had the advantage. As this seems to have been a "private conflict between these two great Chieftains "of the Borders, rather than a national war, it has "been thought to have given rise to the celebrated "old Ballad of Chevy Chace; which, to render it "more pathetic and interesting, has been heightened "with tragical incidents wholly fictitious." [See Ridpath's Border Hist. 4to. p. 401.]

THE surnames in the foregoing Ballad are altered, either by accident or design, from the old original copy, and in common editions extremely corrupted. They are here rectified, as much as they could be. Thus,

Pag. 283.

Ver. 202. Egerton.] This name is restored (instead of Ogerton, com. ed.) from the Editor's folio MS. The pieces in that MS. appear to have been collected, and many of them composed (among which might be this ballad,) by an inhabitant of Cheshire : who was willing to pay a Compliment here to one of his countrymen, of the eminent Family De or Of Egerton (so the name was first written) ancestors of the present Duke of Bridgwater; and this he could do with the more propriety, as the Percies had formerly great interest in that county: At the fatal battle of Shrewsbury all the flower of the Cheshire gentlemen lost their lives fighting in the cause of Hotspur.

Ver. 203. Ratcliff] This was a family much distinguished in Northumberland. Edw. Radcliffe mil. was sheriff of that county in 17 of Hen. VII. and others of the same surname afterwards. (See Fuller, p. 313.) Sir George Ratcliff, Knt. was one of the commissioners of inclosure in 1552. See Nicholson, p. 330.) Of this family was the late Earl of Derwentwater, who was beheaded in 1715. The Editor's folio MS. however, reads here, Sir Robert Harcliffe and Sir William.

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