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LADY ANNE BOTHWELL's LAMENT.
A SCOTTISH SONG.
The subject of this pathetic Ballad the Editor once thought might posibly relate to the Earl of Bothwell, and his desertion of his wife Lady Jean Gordon, to make room for his marriage with the Queen of Scots: But this opinion he now believes to be groundless : indeed earl Bothwell's age, who was upwards of oo at the time of that marriage, renders it unlikely that he should be the obje 7 of so warm a pafion as this elegy supposes. He has been fince informed, that it entirely refers to a private fory: A young lady of the name of BOTHWELL, or rather Bos WILL, having been, together with her child, deferteit by her husband or lover, composed these affetiing lines herself; which here are given from a copy in the E itor's folio MS. corrected by another in Alan Ramsay's Miscellany.
A LOW, my babe, lye ftill and fleipe !
It grieves me fair to see thee weipe:
Balow, my babe, ly stil and sleipe,
Whan he began to court my luve,
Lye still, my darling, feipe a while,
I cannae chuse, but ever will
* When sugar was first imported into Europe, it was a very great dainty; and therefore the epithet sugred is used by all our old writers metaphorically to express extreme and delicate sweetness. (See above, No. XI. v. 10.) Sugar at present is cheap and common; and therefore fuggc/is now a coarse and vulgar idea.
Bot doe not, doe not, prettie mine,
Bairne, fin thy cruel father is gane,
Fareweil, fareweil, thou falsest youth,
Balow, my babe, ly ftil, and fleipe,
THE MURDER OF THE KING OF SCOTS.
The catastrophe of Henry Stewart, lord Darnley, the unfortunate husband of Mary 2 of Scots, is the subjext of this ballad. It is here related in that partial imperfect manner,
in which such an event would naturally Arike the subjects of another kingdom; of which he was a native. Henry appears to have been a vain capricious worthless young man, of weak undersianding, and dissolute morals. But the beauty of his person, and the inexperience of his youth, would dispose mankind to treat him with an indulgence, which the cruelty of his murder would afterwards convert into the most tender pity and regret: and then imagination would not fail to adorn his memory with all those virtues he ought to have podeled. This will account for the extravagant elogium bestowed upon him in the firf flanza, &'c.
Henry lord Darnley was eldest son of the earl of Lennox, by the lady Margaret Douglas, niece of Henry VIII. and daughter of Margaret queen of Scotland by the earl of Angus, whom that princess married after the death of James IV.-Darnley, who had been born and educated in England, was but in his 21st year, when be was murdered, Feb. 9, 1567-8. This crime was perpetrated by the E. of Bothwell, not out of respect to the memory of Riccio, but in order to pave
the way for his own marriage with the queen. This ballad (printed, with a few corrections, from the Editor's folio MS.) seems to have been written foon after Mary's escape into England in 1968, see v. 65.-It will be remembered at v. 5, that this princess was 2. dowager of France, having been first married to Francis II. who Lied Dec. 4, 1560.
OE worth, woe worth thee, false Scotlande! W°
For thou hast ever wrought by fleight; The worthyest prince that ever was borne,
You hanged under a cloud by night,
The queene of France a letter wrote,
And sealed itt with harte and ringe ; And bade him come Scotland within,
And Mee wold marry and crowne him kinge.
To be a king is a pleasant thing,
To bee a prince unto a peere: But you
have heard, and soe have I too, A man may well buy gold too deare.
There was an Italyan in that place,
Was as well beloved as ever was hee, Lord David was his name,
Chamberlaine tu the queene was hee.
If the king had risen forth of his place,
He wold have fate him downe in the cheare, And tho ite beseemed him not so well,
Altho the kinge had beene present there.
Some lords in Scotlande waxed wroth,
And quarrelled with him for the nonce ;
Ver. 15. fic MS.