Sidor som bilder

of a bad age." Hawes was a native of Suffolk, but the dates of his birth and death are not known. He studied in the University of Oxford and afterwards travelled much, becoming "a complete master of the French and Italian poetry."]


LOKED about and saw a craggy roche,
Farre in the west, neare to the element,
And as I dyd then unto it approche,
Upon the toppe I sawe refulgent

The royal tower of MORALL Document,
Made of fine copper with turrettes fayre and hye,
Which against Phebus shone so marveylously,

That for the very perfect bryghtnes

What of the tower, and of the cleare sunne,

I could nothyng behold the goodlines

Of that palaice, whereas Doctrine did wonne :' Tyll at the last, with mysty wyndes donne, The radiant brightnes of golden Phebus Auster gan cover with clowde tenebrus.'




Then to the tower I drewe nere and nere,
And often mused of the great hyghnes
Of the craggy rocke, which quadrant did appeare:
But the fayre tower, so much of ryches
Was all about, sexangled doubtles;

Gargeyld' with grayhoundes, and with manylyons,20
Made of fyne golde; with divers sundry dragons.*

* Greyhounds, Lions, Dragons, were at that time the royal supporters.

[1 dwell.

2 dark. 3 from gargoyle the spout of a gutter.]

The little turrets with ymages of golde

About was set, whiche with the wynde aye moved. Wyth propre vices,' that I did well beholde

About the towers, in sundry wyse they hoved'
With goodly pypes, in their mouthes i-tuned,
That with the wynde they pyped a daunce,
I-clipped' Amour de la hault plesaunce.


The toure was great and of marvelous wydnes,
To whyche ther was no way to passe but one,

Into the toure for to have an intres :*

A greces there was y-chesyled all of stone
Out of the rocke, on whyche men dyd gone
Up to the toure, and in lykewyse dyd I
Wyth bothe the Grayhoundes in my company :*
Tyll that I came unto a ryall gate,

Where I sawe stondynge the goodly Portres,
Whiche axed me, from whence I came a-late?
To whome I gan in every thynge expresse
All myne adventure, chaunce, and busynesse,
And eke my name; I tolde her every
Whan she herde this, she lyked me right well.
Her name, she sayd, was called COUNTENAUNCE;
Into the besy courte she dyd me then lede,
Where was a fountayne depured' of pleasance,
A noble sprynge, a ryall conduyte hede,
Made of fyne golde enameled with reed;
And on the toppe four dragons blewe and stoute
Thys dulcet water in foure partyes dyd spout.

* This alludes to a former part of the Poem.

[1 devices.






2 heaved. 3 called. 4 entrance. a flight of steps. 6 busy. Percy reads base or lower court. 7 purified.]

Of whyche there flowed foure ryvers ryght clere, 50 Sweter than Nylus* or Ganges was theyr odoure; Tygrys or Eufrates unto them no pere:

I dyd than taste the aromatyke lycoure,
Fragraunt of fume, swete as any floure;
And in my mouthe it had a marveylous cent1
Of divers spyces, I knewe not what it ment.
And after thys farther forth me brought

Dame Countenaunce into a goodly Hall,
Of jasper stones it was wonderly wrought:
The wyndowes cleare depured all of crystall,
And in the roufe on hye over all
Of golde was made a ryght crafty vyne;
In stede of grapes the rubies there did shyne.

The flore was paved with berall clarified,
With pillers made of stones precious,
Like a place of pleasure so gayely glorified,
It myght be called a palaice glorious,
So muche delectable and solacious;2
The hall was hanged hye and circuler
With cloth of arras in the rychest maner.

That treated well of a ful noble story,

Of the doubty waye to the Tower Perillous;t Howe a noble knyght should wynne the victory Of many a serpente fowle and odious.





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S given from a fragment in the Editor's folio MS. which, tho' extremely defective and mutilated, appeared to have so much merit, that it excited a strong desire to attempt a completion of the story. The Reader will easily discover the supplemental stanzas by their inferiority, and at the same time be inclined to pardon it, when he considers how difficult it must be to imitate the affecting simplicity and artless beauties of the original.

Child was a title sometimes given to a knight.

[The Child of Ell, as it appears in the folio MS., is a fragment without beginning or ending, so that Percy was forced to add some verses in order to fit it for his book, but the above note does not give any adequate notion of his contributions to the ballad. The verses that are entirely due to the bishop's pen are placed between brackets, and it will be seen from the copy of the original printed at the end that the remaining thirty lines are much altered from it. It is unfortunate that Percy's taste was not sufficient to save him from adding sentimental verses so out of character with the directness of the original as—

"Fair Emmeline sighed, fair Emmeline wept,

And aye her heart was woe:

At length he seized her lilly-white hand,

And downe the ladder he drewe."

On the other hand, the poem as it stands is certainly elegant, and Sir Walter Scott was justified in his high praise when he pointed out the beauty of verses 181-184.

"The baron he stroked his dark brown cheek,

And turned his head aside

To wipe away the starting tear,

He proudly strave to hide."


Scott published a ballad called "Erlinton" for the first time in his Border Minstrelsy, which he says seems to be the rude original, or perhaps a corrupt and imperfect copy of The Child of Elle."

The original fragment from the MS. is worth reading for its own sake as a genuine antique, which must outweigh in interest all manufactured imitations.]

N yonder hill a castle standes

With walles and towres bedight,1
And yonder lives the Child of Elle,
A younge and comely knighte.

The Child of Elle to his garden wente,
And stood at his garden pale,

Whan, lo! he beheld fair Emmelines page
Come trippinge downe the dale.

The Child of Elle he hyed him thence,
Y-wis he stoode not stille,

And soone he mette faire Emmelines page
Come climbing up the hille.

Nowe Christe thee save, thou little foot-page,
Now Christe thee save and see!

Oh telle me how does thy ladye gaye,
And what may thy tydinges bee?

My lady shee is all woe-begone,

And the teares they falle from her eyne;
And aye she laments the deadlye feude
Betweene her house and thine.

And here shee sends thee a silken scarfe
Bedewde with many a teare,

And biddes thee sometimes thinke on her,
Who loved thee so deare.

And here shee sends thee a ring of golde
The last boone thou mayst have,
And biddes thee weare it for her sake,
Whan she is layde in grave.

[1 bedecked.]






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