Page images
PDF
EPUB

265

HE.
“A barons chylde to be begylde,

It were a cursed dede!
To be felàwe with an outlawe,

Almighty God forbede!
Yet beter were the pore squyère

Alone to forest yede,
Than ye sholde say another day,

That by my cursed dede
Ye were betrayed; wherfore, good mayd,

The best rede that I can
Is that I to the grene wode go

Alone, a banyshed man.”

270

275

280

285

SHE.
“ Whatever befall, I never shall

Of this thyng you upbrayd;
But yf ye go, and leve me so,

Than have ye me betrayd.
Remember you wele, howe that ye dele,

For yf ye, as ye sayd,
Be so unkynde to leve behynde

Your love, the Not-Browne Mayd,
Trust me truly, that I shall dy,

Sone after ye be gone;
For in my mynde, of all mankynde
I love but you alone.”

HE.
“ Yf that ye went, ye sholde repent,

For in the forest nowe
I have purvayed me of a mayd,

Whom I love more than you:
Another fayrère than ever ye were,

I dare it wele avowe;
And of you bothe eche sholde be wrothe

With other, as I trowe.

290

295

V. 278, outbrayd. Prol. and Mr. W.

V. 282, ye be as. Prol. and Mr. W. V. 283, Ye were unkynde to leve me behynde. Prol. and Mr. W, 300

305

310

It were myne ese to lyve in pese;

So wyll I, yf I can;
Wherfore I to the wode wyll go
Alone, a banyshed man.”

SHE.
« Though in the wode I undyrstode

Ye had a paramour,
All this may nought remove my thought,

But that I wyll be your;
And she shall fynde me soft and kynde,

And courteys every hour,
Glad to fulfyll all that she wyll

Commaunde me, to my power;
For had ye, lo, an hundred mo,

Of them I wolde be one.'
For in my mynde, of all mankynde
I love but you alone.”

HE.
“Myne own dere love, I se the prove

That ye be kynde and true;
Of mayde and wyfe, in all my lyfe

The best that ever I knewe.
Be mery and glad, be no more sad,

The case is chaunged newe;
For it were ruthe, that for your truthe

Ye sholde have cause to rewe.
Be nat dismayed : whatsoever I sayd

To you, whan I began,
I wyll nat to the grene wode go;
I am no banyshed man.”

SHE.
“ These tydings be more gladd to me

Than to be made a quene,
Yf I were sure they sholde endure;

But is often sene,

315

320

325

V. 310, So the Editor's MS. All the printed copies read,

Yet wold I be that one. V. 315, of all. Prol. and Mr. W. V. 325, gladder. Prol. and Mr. W. 330

Whan men wyll breke promyse, they speke

The wordès on the splene.
Ye shape some wyle me to begyle,

And stele from me, I wene;
Than were the case worse than it was,

And I more wo-begone;
For in my mynde, of all mankynde

I love but you alone.”

335

HE.

340

“ Yo shall nat nede further to drede :

I wyll nat dysparàge
You, (God defend !) syth ye descend

Of so grete a lynàge.
Now undyrstande, to Westmarlande,

Which is myne herytage,
I wyll you brynge, and with a rynge,

By way of maryage,
I wyll you take, and lady make,

As shortely as I can:
Thus have you won an erlys son,

And not a banyshed man.”

345

AUTHOR.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Here may ye se, that women be

In love meke, kynde, and stable :
Late never man reprove them than,

Or call them variable;
But rather pray God that we may

To them be comfortable,
Which sometyme proveth such as he loveth,

Yf they be charytable.
For syth men wolde that women sholde

Be meke to them each one,
Moche more ought they to God obey,

And serve but hym alone.

355

360

V. 340, grete lynyage. Prol. and Mr. W. V. 347, Then have. Prol.
V. 348, And no banyshed. Prol, and Mr. W. V. 352, This line wanting
in Prol. and Mr. W. V. 355, proved-loved. Prol, and Mr. W.
Ib. as loveth. Camb. V. 357, Forsoth. Prol. and Mr. W.

VII.

A Balet by the Earl Rivers. The amiable light in which the character of Anthony Widville, the gallant Earl Rivers, has been placed by the elegant author of the Catalogue of Noble Writers, interests us in whatever fell from his pen. It is presumed, therefore, that the insertion of this little sonnet will be pardoned, though it should not be found to have much poetical merit. It is the only original poem known of that nobleman's; his more voluminous works be‘ng only translations. And if we consider that it was written during his cruel confinement in Pomfret Castle, a short time before his execution in 1483, it gives us a fine picture of the composure and steadiness with which this stout earl beheld his approaching fate.

This ballad we owe to Rouse, a contemporary historian, who seems to have copied it from the earl's own handwriting. In tempore, says this writer, incarcerationis apud Pontem-fractum edidit unum BALET in anglicis, ut mihi monstratum est, quod subsequitur sub his verbis : Sum what musyng, &c. Rossi.Hist. 8vo, 2d edit. p. 213. In Rouse the second stanza, &c., is imperfect, but the defects are here supplied from a more perfect copy, printed in “Ancient Songs, from the Time of K. Henry III. to the Revolution,” p. 87.

This little piece, which perhaps ought rather to have been printed in stanzas of eight short lines, is written in imitation of a poem of Chaucer's, that will be found in Urry's edit. 1721, p. 555, beginning thus :

“ Alone walkyng, In thought plainyng,

And sore sighyng, All desolate.
My remembrying Of my lyving

My death wishyng Both erly and late.
“ Infortunate Is so my fate

That wote ye what, Out of mesure
My life I hate; Thus desperate

In such pore estate, Doe I endure,” &c.
SUMWHAT musyng, And more mornyng,

In remembring The unstydfastnes ;
This world being Of such whelyng,

Me contrarieng, What may I gesse ?
I fere dowtles, Remediles,

Is now to sese My wofull chaunce.
[For unkyndness, Withouten less,

And no redress, Me doth avaunce,

With displesaunce, To my grevaunce,

And no suraunce Of remedy.]
Lo in this traunce, Now in substaunce,

Such is my dawnce, Wyllyng to dye.
Me thynkys truly, Bowndyn am I,

And that gretly, To be content:
Seyng playnly, Fortune doth wry

All contrary From myn entent.
My lyff was lent Me to on intent,

Hytt is ny spent. Welcome fortune!
But I ne went Thus to be shent,

But sho hit ment; Such is her won.
Ver. 15, That fortune. Rossi Hist. v. 19, went, i, e. weened.

VIII.

Cupid's Assault: by Lord Đaur. The reader will think that infant Poetry grew apace between the times of Rivers and Vaux, though nearly contemporaries, if the following song is the composition of that Sir Nicholas (afterwards Lord) Vaux, who was the shining ornament of the court of Henry VII., and died in the year 1523.

And yet to this lord it is attributed by Puttenham, in his Art of Eng. Poesie, 1589, 4to, a writer commonly well informed: take the passage at large. “In this figure [Counterfait Action] the Lord Nicholas Vaux, a noble gentleman and much delighted in vulgar making, and a man otherwise of no great learning, but having herein a marvelous facilitie, made a dittie representing the Battayle and Assault of Cupide, so excellently well, as for the gallant and propre application of his fiction in every part, I cannot choose but set downe the greatest part of his ditty, for in truth it cannot be amended, “When Cupid scaled,' &c.p. 200. For a farther account of Nicholas Lord Vaux, see Mr. Walpole's Noble Authors, vol. i.

The following copy is printed from the first edit. of Surrey's Poems, 1557, 4to. See another song of Lord Vaux's, book ii. No. 2.

WHEN Cupide scaled first the fort

Wherein my hart lay wounded sore,
The batry was of such a sort,

That I must yelde or die therfore,

« PreviousContinue »