Sidor som bilder

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,


pray thee to me speik:

'O lady, rinn to the deip draw-well


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The lead is wondrous heavy, mither,

The well is wondrous deip,

A keen pen knife sticks in my hert,
A word I dounae speik.

Gae hame, gae hame, my mither deir,
Fetch me my windling sheet,

And at the back o' Mirry-land toun,
Its thair we twa sall meet.

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Sir Cauline.

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 Mensæ Rotunda.

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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 husbands1. And even so late as the time of Q. Elizabeth, it is mentioned among the accomplishments of the ladies of her court, that the "eldest of them are skilful in 1 See Northern Antiquities, &c., vol. i. p. 318; vol. ii. p. 100; Mémoires de la Chevalerie, tom. i. p. 44.

surgery." See Harrison's Description of England, prefixed to Holingshed's Chronicle, &c.


IN Ireland, ferr over the sea,

There dwelleth a bonnye kinge;

And with him a yong and comlye knighte,

Men call him syr Cauline.

The kinge had a ladye to his daughter,


In fashyon she hath no peere;

And princely wightes that ladye wooed
To be theyr wedded feere.

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One while he spred his armes him fro,
One while he spred them nye:

And aye! but I winne that ladyes love,
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.

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Fetche me downe my daughter deere,

She is a leeche fulle fine:

Goc take him doughe, and the baken bread,
And serve him with the wyne soe red;

Lothe I were him to tine.

Fair Christabelle to his chaumber goes,
Her maydens followyng nye:


O well, she sayth, how doth my lord?
O sicke, thou fayr ladyè.

Nowe ryse up wightlye, man, for shame,

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For if you wold comfort me with a kisse,

Then were I brought from bale to blisse,


No lenger wold I lye.

Sir knighte, my father is a kinge,

I am his onlye heire;

I never can be youre fere.

O ladye, thou art a kinges daughtèr,
And I am not thy peere,

Alas! and well you knowe, syr knighte,


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Upon Eldridge hill there groweth a thorne,
Upon the mores brodinge;



And dare ye, syr knighte, wake there all nighte
Untill the fayre morninge?

For the Eldridge knighte, so mickle of mighte,
Will examine you beforne;

And never man bare life awaye,

But he did him scath and scorne.

That knighte he is a foul paynìm,

And large of limb and bone;


And but if heaven may be thy speede,
Thy life it is but gone.


Nowe on the Eldridge hilles Ile walke2,
For thy sake, fair ladie;

And Ile either bring you a ready tokèn,
Or Ile never more you see.

The lady is gone to her own chaumbère,
Her maydens following bright:
Syr Cauline lope from care-bed soone,
And to the Eldridge hills is gone,
For to wake there all night.

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Unto midnight, that the moone did rise,
He walked up and downe;


Then a lightsome bugle heard he blowe

Over the bents soe browne:

Quoth hee, If cryance come till my heart,
I am ffar from any good towne3.


And soone he spyde on the mores so broad,
A furyous wight and fell;

A ladye bright his brydle led,

Clad in a fayre kyrtèll:

2 Perhaps wake, as in ver. 61.

3 This line is restored from the folio MS.

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