Sidor som bilder

Thee, Norton, wi' thine eight good sonnes,
They doom'd to dye, alas for ruth!
Thy reverend lockes thee could not save,


Nor them their faire and blooming youthe.

Wi' them full many a gallant wight


They cruellye bereav'd of life :
And many a childe made fatherlesse,
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 the thievish borderers, was stript and otherwise illtreated by them. At length he reached the house of Hector of Harlow, an Armstrong, with whom he hoped to lie concealed; for Hector had engaged his honour to be true to him, and was under great obligations to this unhappy nobleman. But this faithless wretch betrayed his guest for a sum of money to Murray, the regent of Scotland, who sent him to the castle of Lough-leven, then belonging to William Douglas. All the writers of that time assure us that Hector, who was rich before, fell shortly afterwards into poverty, and became so infamous, that to take Hector's cloak, grew into a proverb, to express a man who betrays his friend. See Camden, Carleton, Holingshed, &c.

Lord Northumberland continued in the castle of Lough-leven, till the year 1572; when James Douglas, Earl of Morton, being elected regent, he was given up to the Lord Hunsden at Berwick, and being carried to York, suffered death. As Morton's party depended on Elizabeth for protection, an elegant historian thinks "It was scarce possible for them to refuse putting into her hands a person who had taken up arms against her. But as a sum of money was paid on that account, and shared between Morton and his kinsman Douglas, the former of whom during his exile in England had been much indebted to Northumberland's friendship, the abandoning this unhappy nobleman to inevitable destruction was deemed an ungrateful and mercenary act."-Robertson's Hist.

So far history coincides with this ballad, which was apparently written by some northern bard, soon after the event. The interposal of the witch-lady (v. 53) is probably his own invention; yet even this hath some countenance from history; for about 25 years before, the Lady Jane Douglas, Lady Glamis, sister of the Earl of Angus, and nearly

related to Douglas of Lough-leven, had suffered death for the pretended crime of witchcraft; who, it is presumed, is the witch lady alluded to in v. 133.

The following is selected (like the former) from two copies, which contained great variations: one of them in the Editor's folio MS. In the other copy, some of the stanzas at the beginning of this ballad are nearly the same with what in that MS. are made to begin another ballad on the escape of the Earl of Westmoreland, who got safe into Flanders, and is feigned in the ballad to have undergone a great variety of adventures.

"How long shall fortune faile me nowe,

And harrowe me with fear and dread?

How long shall I in bale abide,
In misery my life to lead?

"To fall from my bliss, alas the while!
It was my sore and heavye lott:
And I must leave my native land,
And I must live a man forgot.


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To shew him where his guest did hide,

Who sent him to the Lough-levèn,

With William Douglas to abide.

And when he to the Douglas came,
He halched him right curteouslìe ;
Say'd, "Welcome, welcome, noble earle,

Here thou shalt safelye bide with mee."


When he had in Lough-leven been

Many a month and many a day,


To the regent1 the lord warden 2 sent,
That banisht erle for to betray.


He offered him great store of gold,

And wrote a letter fair to see,

Saying, "Good my Lord, grant me my boon,


And yield that banisht man to mee.

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Erle Percy at the supper sate,

With many a goodly gentleman; The wylie Douglas then bespake, And thus to flyte with him began.

"What makes you be so sad, my Lord,

And in your mind so sorrowfullyè ?
To-morrow a shootinge will bee held

Among the lords of the North countryè.


"The butts are sett, the shooting's made,
And there will be great royaltye;


And I am sworne into my bille,

Thither to bring my Lord Percye."

"I'll give thee my hand, thou gentle Douglas,
And here by my true faith," quoth hee,


"If thou wilt ride to the worldes end

I will ryde in thy companye."

And then bespake a lady faire,

Mary à Douglas was her name;

"You shall bide here, good English Lord,


My brother is a traiterous man.

"He is a traitor stout and stronge,
As I tell you in privitie;

For he hath tane liverance of the erle,3

Into England nowe to 'liver thee."


1 James Douglas, Earl of Morton, elected regent of Scotland Nov. 24,


2 Of one of the English Marches. Lord Hunsden.

Of the Earl of Morton, the regent.

"Now nay, now nay, thou goodly lady,

The regent is a noble lord:
Ne for the gold in all England,

The Douglas wold not break his word.

"When the regent was a banisht man,
With me he did faire welcome find;
And whether weal or woe betide,

I still shall find him true and kind.

"Between England and Scotland it wold breake truce,

And friends againe they wold never bee,

If they shold 'liver a banisht erle,

Was driven out of his own countrìe."

"Alas! alas! my Lord," she sayes,
"Nowe mickle is their traitorìe;



Then lett my brother ryde his wayes,


And tell those English lords from thee,

"How that you cannot with him ryde,
Because you are in an ile of the sea,*
Then ere my brother come againe,
To Edenborrow castle 5 Ile carry


“To the Lord Hume I will thee bring;
He is well knowne a true Scots lord,

And he will lose both land and life,

Ere he with thee will break his word."

"Much is my woe," Lord Percy sayd,

"When I thinke on my own countrìe,

When I thinke on the heavye happe



My friends have suffered there for mee.

"Much is my woe," Lord Percy sayd,

"And sore those wars my minde distresse ;


Where many a widow lost her mate,
And many a child was fatherlesse.

4 i. e. Lake of Leven, which hath communication with the sea.

5 At that time in the hands of the opposite faction.

"And now that I, a banisht man,

Shold bring such evil happe with mee,
To cause my faire and noble friends
To be suspect of treacherie,

"This rives my heart with double woe;
And lever had I dye this day,
Than thinke a Douglas can be false,
Or ever he will his guest betray."

"If you'll give me no trust, my Lord,
Nor unto mee no credence yield,

Yet step one moment here aside,




Ile showe you all your foes in field.”


Lady, I never loved witchcraft,
Never dealt in privy wyle;

But evermore held the high-waye

Of truth and honours, free from guile."

"If you'll not come yourselfe, my Lorde,
Yet send your chamberlaine with mee,


Let me but speak three words with him,
And he shall come again to thee."

James Swynard with that lady went,

She showed him through the weme of her ring

How many English lords there were


Waiting for his master and him.

"And who walkes yonder, my good lady,

So royallyè on yonder greene?


"O yonder is the Lord Hunsdèn :
Alas! he'll doe you drie and teene.”
"And who beth yonder, thou gay ladye,
That walkes so proudly him beside ? "
"That is Sir William Drury,'
"7 shee sayd,
"A keene captàine hee is and tryde.'

"How many miles is itt, madàme,


Betwixt yond English lords and mee?" 'Marry it is thrice fifty miles,

To saile to them upon the sea.

The Lord Warden of the East Marches.



7 Governor of Berwick.

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