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The wear twenty hondrith spear-men Then bespayke a squyar off Northom


Withouten any fayle;

The wear borne a-long be the watter a Twyde,

Yth 12 bowndes of Tividale.

Leave off the brytlyng of the dear, he sayde, [heed;

And to your bowys look ye tayk good For never sithe ye wear on your mothars borne

Had ye never so mickle need.

The dougheti Dogglas on a stede
He rode att his men beforne;
His armor glytteryde as dyd a glede;
A bolder barne was never born.
Tell me what' men ye ar, he says,
Or whos men that ye be :
Who gave youe leave to hunte in this

Chyviat chays in the spyt of me?


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The Yngglishe men hade ther bowys yebent,

The hartes were good yenoughe; The first of arros that the shote off,

Seven skore spear-men the sloughe.19 Yet bydys the yerle Doglas uppon the bent

A captayne good yenoughe,
And that was sene verament,

For he wrought hom both woo and

The Dogglas pertyd his ost in thre,
Lyk a cheffe cheften 21 off pryde,
With suar 22 speares off myghttè tre
The cum in on every syde.
Thrughe our Yngglishe archery

Gave many a wounde full wyde;
Many a doughete the garde to dy,
Which ganyde 23 them no pryde.

The Yngglishe men let thear bowys


And pulde 24 owt brandes that wer bright;

It was a hevy syght to se

Bryght swordes on basnites 25 lyght. Thorowe ryche male, and myne-ye-ple Many sterne the stroke downe streight: Many a freyke 26 that was full free,

That undar foot dyd lyght.

At last the Duglas and the Persè met, Lyk to captayns of myght and mayne; The swapte togethar tyll the both swat With swordes, that wear of fyn myllàn. 16 Earl. 17 Know. 18 Are. 19 Slew. 24 Pulled. 23 Helmets. 26 Fellow.

15 One.
23 Gained.

Thes worthè freckys for to fyght

Ther-to the wear full fayne,

Tyll the bloode owte off their basnites sprente,27

As ever dyd heal 28 or rayne. Holde the, Persè, sayd the Doglas, And i' feth I shall the brynge Wher thowe shalte have a yerls wagis Of Jamy our Scottish kynge. Thoue shalte have thy ransom fre,

I hight 29 the hear this thinge,
For the manfullyste man yet art thowe,
That ever I conqueryd in filde fightyng.

Nay 'then' sayd the lord Persè,
I tolde it the beforne,
That I wolde never yeldyde be

To no man of a woman born.

With that ther cam an arrowe hastely
Forthe off a mightie wane,30
Hit hathe strekene the yerle Duglas
In at the brest bane.
Thoroue lyvar and longs bathe 31

The sharp arrowe ys gane,
That never after in all his lyffe days,
He spayke mo wordes but ane,
That was, Fyghte ye, my merry men
whyllys 32 ye may,

For my lyff days ben 33


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Athe 42 tothar syde, that a man myght se,
A large cloth yard and mare:
Towe bettar captayns wear nat in Chris-

Then that day slain wear ther.
An archar off Northomberlonde

Say slean was the lord Persè, He bar a bende-bow in his hande, Was made off trusti tre:

An arow, that a cloth yarde was lang, To th' hard stele haylde 43 he;

A dynt, that was both sad and sore,

He sat on Sir Hewe the Mongon-

The dynt yt was both sad and sar,
That he of Mongon-byrry sete;
The swane-fethars, that his arrowe

With his hart blood the wear wete.

Ther was never a freake wone foot wolde fle,

But still in stour 45 dyd stand, Heawying on yche othar, whyll the myght dre,

With many a bal-ful brande.
This battell begane in Chyviat
An owar 46 befor the none,
And when even song bell was rang
The battell was nat half done.

The tooke'on' on ethar hand
Be the lyght off the mone;
Many hade no strength for to stande,
In Chyviat the hyllys aboun.47
Of fifteen hondrith archars of Yng-

Went away but fifti and thre; Of twenty hondrith spear-men of Skotlonde,

But even five and fifti:

But all wear slayne Cheviat within:

The hade no strengthe to stand on hie;

The chylde may rue that

It was the mor pittè.

ys un-borne,

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30 Ane, one, c. man. 37 Saw. 38 Put. 39 Grasped. 45 Fight 46 Hour. 47 Above.

For Wetharryngton my harte was wo,
That ever he slayne shulde be;
For when both his leggis wear hewyne
in to,

Yet he knyled and fought on hys kne.

Ther was slayne with the dougheti

Sir Hewe the Mongon-byrry,
Sir Davye Lwdale, that worthè was,
His sistars son was he :

Sir Charles a Murrè, in that place,

That never a foot wolde fle;
Sir Hewe Maxwell, a lorde he was,
With the Duglas dyd he dey.

So on the morrowe the mayde them byears

Off byrch, and hasell so gray;' Many wedous with wepyng tears Cam to fach 48 ther makys a-way. Tivydale may carpe 49 off care, Northombarlond may mayk grat mone, For towe such captayns, as slayne wear thear,

On the march perti shall never be none. Wordeys commen to Edden burrowe, To Jamy the Skottishe kyng, That dougheti Duglas, lyff-tenant of the Merches,

He lay slean Chyviot with-in. His handdes did he weal 50 and wryng, He sayd, Alas, and woe ys me! Such another captayn Skotland within, He sayd, y-feth shud never be. Worde ys commyn to lovly Londone Till the fourth Harry our kyng, That lord Persè, leyff-tennante of the Merchis,

He lay slayne Chyviat within.

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Good lord, yf thy will it be !

I have a hondrith captayns in Ynglonde,

As good as ever was hee:
But Persè, and I brook 51 my lyffe,
Thy deth well quyte 52 shall be.

As our noble kyng made his a-vowe,
Lyke a noble prince of renowen,
For the deth of the lord Persè,

He dyd the battel of Hombyll-down :
Wher syx and thritte 53 Skottish knyghtes
On a day wear beaten down:
Glendale glytteryde on ther armor

Over castill, towar, and town. This was the hontynge off the Cheviat; That tear begane this spurn :

Old men that knowen the grownde well yenoughe,

Call it the Battell of Otterburn. At Otterburn began this spurne

Uppon a monnyn day :

Ther was the dougghtè Doglas slean,
The Persè never went away.

Ther was never a tym on the march partes

Sen 54 the Doglas and the Persè met, But yt was marvele, and the redde blude ronne not,

As the reane doys in the stret. Jhesue Christ our balys bete,

And to the blys us brynge! Thus was the hountynge of the Chevyat :

God send us all good ending!

48 Fetch. 49 Lament. 50 Wail.

51 Enjoy.

52 Paid. 53 Thirty.

54 Since.

33. The more modern Ballad of Chevy Chase.

This form of the Ballad was probably written not much later than It is the one criticised by Addison in

the time of Queen Elizabeth. the 'Spectator,' Nos. 70 and 74.

God prosper long our noble king,
Our lives and safetyes all;

A woefull hunting once there did
In Chevy-Chace befall;

To drive the deere with hound and horne,
Erle Percy took his way;

The child may rue that is unborne,
The hunting of that day.

The stout Erle of Northumberland
A vow to God did make,
His pleasure in the Scottish woods
Three summers days to take;

The cheefest harts in Chevy-Chace
To kill and beare away.
These tydings to Erle Douglas came,
In Scottland where he lay :

Who sent Erle Percy present word,

He wold prevent his sport.
The English Erle, not fearing that,
Did to the woods resort
With fifteen hundred bow-men bold;
All chosen men of might,
Who knew full well in time of neede
To ayme their shafts arright.
The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran,
To chase the fallow deere :
On munday they began to hunt,

Ere day-light did appeare;

And long before high noone they had
An hundred fat buckes slaine;
Then having dined, the drovyers went
To rouze the deare againe.

The bow-men mustered on the hills,
Well able to endure;

Theire backsides all, with speciall care,

That day were guarded sure.

The hounds ran swiftly through the


The nimble deere to take,

Erle Douglas on his milke-white steede, Most like a baron bold,

Rode formost of his company,

Whose armour shone like gold. "Show me," sayd hee, "whose men you bee,

That hunt soe boldly heere,
That, without my consent, doe chase
And kill my fallow-deere."

The first man that did answer make,
Was noble Percy hee;

Who sayd, "Wee list not to declare,
Nor shew whose men wee bee:

Yet wee will spend our deerest blood,
Thy cheefest harts to slay."
Then Douglas swore a solempne oathe,
And thus in rage did say,
"Ere thus I will out-braved bee,

One of us two shall dye :

I know thee well, an erle thou art;
Lord Percy, soe am I.

But trust me, Percy, pittye it were,
And great offence to kill

That with their cryes the hills and dales Any of these our guiltlesse men,

An eccho shrill did make.

Lord Percy to the quarry went,

To view the slaughter'd deere ;
Quoth he, "Erle Douglas promised
This day to meet me heere :

But if I thought he wold not come,
Noe longer wold I stay."
With that, a brave younge gentleman
Thus to the Erle did say:

"Loe, yonder doth Erle Douglas come,
His men in armour bright;
Full twenty hundred Scottish speres
All marching in our sight;
All men of pleasant Tivydale,

Fast by the river Tweede :"
"O, cease your sports," Erle Percy said,
And take your bowes with speede :
And now with me, my countrymen,
Your courage forth advance;
For there was never champion yett,
In Scotland or in France,

That ever did on horsebacke come,
But if my hap it were,

I durst encounter man for man,
With him to break a spere."

For they have done no ill.

Let thou and I the battell trye,
And set our men aside."
"Accurst bee he," Erle Percy sayd,
"By whome this is denyed."
Then stept a gallant squier forth,
Witherington was his name,
Who said, "I wold not have it told
To Henry our king for shame,
That ere my captaine fought on foote,
And I stood looking on,
You bee two erles," sayd Witherington,
"And I, a squier alone :

Ile doe the best that doe I may,

While I have power to stand: While I have power to weeld my sword, Ile fight with hart and hand." Our English archers bent their bowes, Their harts were good and trew; Att the first flight of arrowes sent,

Full four-score Scots they slew.

[Yet bides Earl Douglas on the bent, As Chieftain stout and good.

As valiant Captain, all unmov'd
The shock he firmly stood.

1 The 4 stanzas here inclosed in Brackets, which are borrowed chiefly from the ancient Copy are offered to the Reader instead of the following lines, which occur in the Editor's folio MS. :

To drive the deere with hound and horne,

Douglas bade on the bent;

Two captaines moved with mickle might
Their speres to shivers went.

His host he parted had in three,

As Leader ware and try'd,
And soon his spearmen on their foes
Bare down on every side.
Throughout the English archery

They dealt full many a wound :
But still our valiant Englishmen
All firmly kept their ground:
And throwing strait their bows away,
They grasp'd their swords so bright:
And now sharp blows, a heavy shower,
On shields and helmets light.]

They closed full fast on everye side,
Noe slacknes there was found;
And many a gallant gentleman
Lay gasping on the ground.

O Christ! it was a griefe to see,

And likewise for to heare,
The cries of men lying in their gore,

And scattered here and there.

At last these two stout erles did meet,
Like captaines of great might:
Like lyons wood, they layd on lode,
And made a cruell fight:

They fought untill they both did sweat,

With swords of tempered steele ; Until the blood, like drops of rain,

They trickling downe did feele.

"Yeeld thee, Lord Percy," Douglas sayd;

"In faith I will thee bringe, Where thou shalt high advanced bee

By James our Scottish king:

Thy ransome I will freely give,

And this report of thee,
Thou art the most couragious knight,
That ever I did see."

"Noe, Douglas," quoth Erle Percy then,

"Thy proffer I doe scorne; I will not yeelde to any Scott,

That ever yett was borne."

With that, there came an arrow keene Out of an English bow,

O Christ! my verry hart doth bleed
With sorrow for thy sake;

For sure, a more redoubted knight
Mischance cold never take."

A knight amongst the Scotts there was,
Which saw Erle Douglas dye,

Who streight in wrath did vow revenge

Upon the Lord Percye :

Sir Hugh Mountgomery was he call'd,
Who, with a spere most bright,
Well-mounted on a gallant steed,

Ran fiercely through the fight;
And past the English archers all,.
Without all dread or feare;
And through Earl Percyes body then
He thrust his hatefull spere;

With such a vehement force and might
He did his body gore,

The staff ran through the other side
A large cloth-yard, and more.
So thus did both these nobles dye,

Whose courage none could staine :
An English archer then perceiv'd
The noble erle was slaine;
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,

Sir Robert Ratcliff, and Sir John,

Sir James that bold barròn:

And with Sir George and stout Sir

Both knights of good account,

Which struck Erle Douglas to the heart, Good Sir Ralph Raby there was slaine

A deepe and deadlye blow:

Who never spake more words than


66 Fight on, my merry men all; For why, my life is at an end;

Lord Percy sees my fall."

Then leaving liffe, Erle Percy tooke
The dead man by the hand;
And said, "Erle Douglas, for thy life
Wold I had lost my land.

Whose prowesse did surmount.

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.

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