Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thus in no place, this Nobody, in no time I met, Where no man, (ne 1] NOUGHT was, nor NOTHING did

appear; Through the sound of a synagogue for sorrow I swett, That (Aeolus 27 through the eccho did cause me to hear. Then I drew me down into a dale, whereas the dumb

deer Did shiver for a shower; but I shunted from a freyke: For I would no wight in this world wist who I were,

But little John Nobody, that dare not once speake.

[ocr errors]

IV.

Q. ELIZABETH'S VERSES, WHILE PRISONER

AT WOODSTOCK,3

WRIT WITH CHARCOAL ON A SHUTTER, -are preserved by Hentzner, in that part of his Travels, which has been reprinted in so elegant a manner at STRAWBERRY HILL. In Hentzner's book they were wretchedly corrupted, but are here given as amended by his ingenious editor. The old orthography, and one or two ancient readings of Hentzner's copy are here restored. OH, Fortune! how thy restlesse wavering state

Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt!
Witnes this present prisonn, whither fate

Could beare me, and the joys I quit.
Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed
From bandes, wherein are innocents inclosed :

Causing the guiltles to be straite reserved,

And freeing those that death had well deserved.
But by her envie can be nothing wroughte,
So God send to my foes all they have thoughte.
A.D. MDLV.

ELIZABETHE, PRISONNER. Ver. 4, Could beare, is an ancient idiom, equivalent to Did bear or Hath borne. See below the · Beggar of Bednal Green,' ver. 57, Could say.

1 then, MSS. and PC.—2 Hercules, MSS. and PC.—3 This happened in the reign of Mary, and three years ere Elizabeth was crowned Queen.-ED.

THE HEIR OF LINNE. The original of this Ballad is found in the Editor's folio MS. the breaches and defects in which rendered the insertion of supplemental stanzas necessary. These it is hoped the reader will pardon, as indeed the conclusion of the story was suggested by a modern ballad on a similar subject.

From the Scottish phrases here and there discernable in this poem, it should seem to have been originally composed beyond the Tweed.

The Heir of Linne appears not to have been a Lord of Parliament, but a Laird, whose title went along with his estate.

PART THE FIRST.
LITHE and listen, gentlemen,

To sing a song I will beginne:
It is of a lord of faire Scotland,

Which was the unthrifty heire of Linne.

His father was a right good lord,

His mother a lady of high degree;
But they, alas! were dead, him froe,

And he lov'd keeping companie.

10

To spend the daye with merry cheare,

To drinke and revell every night,
To card and dice from eve to morne,

It was, I ween, his hearts delighte.

To ride, to runne, to rant, to roare,

To alwaye spend and never spare,
I wott, an' it were the king himselfe,

Of gold and fee he mote be bare.

15

Soe fares the unthrifty lord of Linne

Till all his gold is gone and spent;
And he maun sell his landes so broad,

His house, and landes, and all his rent.

20

His father had a keen stewarde,

And John o' the Scales was called hee:
But John is become a gentel-man,

And John has gott both gold and fee.

25

Sayes, “Welcome, welcome, lord of Linne,

Let nought disturb thy merry cheere;
Iff thou wilt sell thy landes soe broad,

Good store of gold Ile give thee heere.'

30

• My gold is gone, my money is spent;

My lande nowe take it unto thee:
Give me the golde, good John o' the Scales,

And thine for aye my lande shall bee.'

Then John he did him to record draw,

And John he cast him a gods-pennie;1
But for every pounde that John agreed,

The lande, I wis, was well worth three.

35

He told him the gold upon the borde,

He was right glad his land to winne: “The gold is thine, the land is mine,

And now Ile be the lord of Linne.'

40

Thus he hath sold his land soe broad,

Both hill and holt, and moore and fenne,
All but a poore and lonesome lodge,

That stood far off in a lonely glenne.

[ocr errors]

For soe he to his father hight;

“My sonne, when I am gonne,' sayd hee, 1 i.e. earnest-money; from the French · Denier à Dieu.' At this day, when application is made to the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle to accept an exchange of the tenant under one of their leases, a piece of silver is presented by the new tenant, which is still called a Gods-penny.'

. Then thou wilt spend thy lande so broad,

And thou wilt spend thy gold so free:

But sweare me nowe upon the roode,

That lonesome lodge thou'lt never spend; 50 For when all the world doth frown on thee,

Thou there shalt find a faithful friend.'

The heire of Linne is full of golde:

* And come with me,' my friends, “sayd hee, 'Let's drinke, and rant, and merry make, 55

And he that spares, ne'er mote he thee.'

They ranted, drank, and merry made,

Till all his gold it waxed thinne;
And then his friendes they slunk away;

They left the unthrifty heire of Linne.

[ocr errors]

He had never a penny left in his purse,

Never a penny left but three,
And one was brass, another was lead,

And another it was white money.

[ocr errors]

•Nowe well-aday,' sayd the heire of Linne,

'Nowe well-aday, and woe is mee, For when I was the lord of Linne,

I never wanted gold nor fee.

But many a trustye friend have I,

And why shold I feel dole or care? Ile borrow of them all by turnes,

Soe need I not be never bare.'

[ocr errors]

But one, I wis, was not at home;
Another had payd his gold away;

Ver. 63, 4, 5, &c. Sic MS.

[ocr errors]

Another call'd him thriftless loone,

And bade him sharpely wend his way.

• Nowe well-aday,' sayd the heire of Linne,

Now well-aday, and woe is me! For when I had my landes so broad,

On me they liv'd right merrilee.

To beg my bread from door to door

I wis, it were a brenning shame: To rob and steal it were a sinne:

To worke my limbs I cannot frame.

[ocr errors]

Now Ile away to [the] lonesome lodge,

For there my father bade me wend; When all the world should frown on mee,

I there shold find a trusty friend.'

PART THE SECOND.
Away then hyed the heire of Linne

O’er hill and holt, and moor and fenne,
Untill he came to [the] lonesome lodge,

That stood so lowe in a lonely glenne.

He looked up, he looked downe,

In hope some comfort for to winne: But bare and lothly were the walles.

*Here's sorry cheare,' quo' the heire of Linne.

10

The little windowe dim and darke

Was hung with ivy, brere, and yewe; No shimmering sunn here ever shone;

No halesome breeze here ever blew.

« PreviousContinue »