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practised in the West after Monmouth's rebellion : but that was not the age of tenderness and humanity.

Such is the account collected from Stow, Speed, Camden, Guthrie, Carte, and Rapin ; it agrees in most particulars with the following ballad, which was apparently the production of some northern minstrel, who was well affected to the two noblemen. It is here printed from two MS. copies, one of them in the Editor's folio collection. They contained considerable variations, out of which such readings were chosen as seemed most poetical and consonant to history.

LISTEN, lively Lordings all,

Lithe and listen unto mee,
And I will sing of a noble earle,

The noblest earle in the north countrie.
Earle Percy is into his garden gone,

And after him walkes his faire Ladie : 3
“I heare a bird sing in mine eare,

That I must either fight or flee."
“ Now heaven forefend, my dearest Lord,

That ever such harm should hap to thee:
But goe to London to the court,

And faire fall truth and honestìe.”

10

“Now nay, now nay, my Ladye gay,

Alas! thy counsell suits not mee;
Mine enemies prevail so fast,

That at the court I may not bee."
“O goe to the court yet, good my Lord,

And take thy gallant men with thee :
If any dare to doe you wrong,

Then your warrant they may bee."
.“Now nay, now nay, thou Lady faire,

The court is full of subtiltie;
And if I goe to the court, Lady,

Never more I may thee see.”
“ Yet goe to the court, my Lord,” she sayes,

“ And I myselfe will ryde wi' thee:
At court then for my dearest Lord,

His faithfull borrowe I will bee." 3 This was Anne, daughter of Henry Somerset, Earl of Worcester.

“Now nay, now nay, my Lady deare;

Far lever had I lose my life,
Than leave among my cruell foes

My love in jeopardy and strife.
“But come thou hither, my little foot-page,

Come thou hither unto mee;
To maister Norton thou must goe

In all the haste that ever may bee.
“ Commend me to that gentlemàn,

And beare this letter here fro mee;
And say that earnestly I praye,

He will ryde in my companie.”
One while the little foot-page went,

And another while he ran;
Untill he came to his journeys end,

The little foot-page never blan.
When to that gentleman he came,

Down he kneeled on his knee,
And took the letter betwixt his hands,

And lett the gentleman it see.
And when the letter it was redd

Affore that goodlye companye,
I wis, if you the truthe wold know,

There was many a weeping eye.
He sayd, “ Come hither, Christopher Norton,

A gallant youth thou seemst to bee;
What doest thou counsell me, my sonne,

Now that good erle's in jeopardy ?”
“Father, my counselle's fair and free ;

That erle he is a noble lord,
And whatsoever to him you hight,

I wold not have you breake your word.”
“Gramercy, Christopher, my sonne,

Thy counsell well it liketh me,
And if we speed and scape with life,

Well advanced shalt thou bee.

60

V. 35, It is well known that the fate of the Nortons forms the theme of Wordsworth's White Doe of Rylstone. - Editor.

“Come you hither, my nine good sonnes,

Gallant men I trowe you bee: .
How many of you, my children deare,

Will stand by that good erle and mee?”
Eight of them did answer make,

Eight of them spake hastilie, “O father, till the daye we dye

We'll stand by that good erle and thee." “ Gramercy now, my children deare,

You showe yourselves right bold and brave; And whethersoe'er I live or dye,

A fathers blessing you shal have. “ But what sayst thou, O Francis Norton ?

Thou art mine eldest sonn and heire; Somewhat lyes brooding in thy breast;

Whatever it bee, to mee declare.” “Father, you are an aged man;

Your head is white, your bearde is gray; It were a shame at these your yeares

For you to ryse in such a fray." “Now fye upon thee, coward Francis,

Thou never learnedst this of mee; When thou wert yong and tender of age,

Why did I make soe much of thee?“ But, father, I will wend with you,

Unarm’d and naked will I bee;
And he that strikes against the crowne,

Ever an ill death may he dee.”
Then rose that reverend gentleman,

And with him came a goodlye band, To join with the brave Erle Percy,

And all the flower o' Northumberland. With them the noble Nevill came,

The Erle of Westmorland was hee: At Wetherbye they mustred their host,

Thirteen thousand faire to see.

Lord Westmorland his ancyent raisde,

The Dun Bull he rays'd on hye,
And three dogs with golden collars

Were there sett out most royallye.
Erle Percy there his ancyent spred,

The Halfe-Moone shining all soe faire : 5
The Nortons ancyent had the crosse,

And the five wounds our Lord did beare.

105

4 Ver. 102, Dun Bull, &c.] The supporters of the Nevilles, Earls of Westmoreland, were two bulīs argent, ducally collar'd gold, armed or, &o. But I ve not discovered the device mentioned in the ballad among the badges, &c., given by that house. This, however, is certain, that among those of the Nevilles, Lords Abergavenny. (who were of the same family is a dun cow with a golden collar: and the Nevilles of Chyte in Yorkshire (of the Westmoreland branch) gave for their crest in 1513, a dog's (greyhound's) head, erased. So that it is not improbable but Charles Neville, the unhappy Earl of Westmoreland here mentioned, might on this occasion give the above device on his banner. After all, our old minstrel's verses here may have undergone some corruption; for, in another ballad in the same folio MS., and apparently written by the same hand, containing the Sequel of this Lord Westmoreland's history, his banner is thus described, more conformable to his known bearings:

“ Sette me up my faire Dun Bull,

Wi' th' Gilden Hornes, hee beares so hye."

5 Ver. 106, The Halfe-Moone, &c.] The silver crescent is a well-known crest or badge of the Northumberland family. It was probably brought home from some of the crusades against the Sarazens. In an ancient Pedigree in verse, finely illuminated on a roll of vellum, and written in the reign of Henry VII. (in possession of the family), we have this fabulous account given of its original. The author begins with accounting for the name of Gernon or Algernon, often borne by the Percies: who, he says, were

. Gernons fyrst named of Brutys bloude of Troy :
Which valliantly fyghtynge in the land of Persè (Persia)
At pointe terrible ayance the miscreants on nyght,
An hevynly mystery was schewyd him, old bookys reherse;
In hys scheld did schyne a MONE veryfying her lyght,
Which to all the ooste yave a perfytte syght,
To vaynquys his enmys, and to deth them persue;
Ard therefore the Persès (Percies) the Cressant doth renew."

In the dark ages, no family was deemed considerable that did not derivo its descent from the Trojan Brutus; or that was not distinguished by prodigies and miracles.

Then Sir George Bowes he straitwaye rose,
After them some spoyle to make;

110 Those noble erles turn'd backe againe,

And aye they vowed that knight to take.
That baron he to his castle fled,

To Barnard castle then fled hee;
The uttermost walles were eathe to win,

115
The earles have won them presentlìe.
The uttermost walles were lime and bricke,

But thoughe they won them soon anone,
Long e'er they wan the innermost walles,
For they were cut in rocke of stone.

120 Then newes unto leeve London came,

In all the speede that ever might bee,
And word is brought to our royall queene

Of the rysing in the North countrie.
Her grace she turned her round about,

125
And like a royall queene shee swore,6
“I will ordayne them such a breakfast,

As never was in the North before.”
Shee caus'd thirty thousand men be rays'd,
With horse and harneis faire to see;

130 She caused thirty thousand men be raised,

To take the earles i' th' North countrie.
Wi' them the false Erle Warwick went,

Th' Erle Sussex and the Lord Hunsdèn;
Untill they to Yorke castle came,

I wiss, they never stint ne blan.
Now spred thy ancyent, Westmorland,

Thy dun bull faine would we spye :
And thou, the Erle o' Northumberland,

Now rayse thy half-moone up on hye.
But the dun bulle is fled and gone,

And the halfe-moone vanished away :
The erles, though they were brave and bold,

Against soe many could not stay. 6 This is quite in character: her majesty would sometimes swear at her nobles, as well as box their ears.

135

140

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