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“Makyne, to-morn be this ilk tyde,

Gif ye will meit me heir,
Maybe my sheip may gang besyde,

Quhyle we have liggd full neir;
But maugre haif I, gif I byde,

Frae thay begin to steir; Quhat lyes on heart I will nocht hyd,

Then Makyne mak gude cheir.”

“Robin, thou reivs me of my rest;

I luve bot thee alane." “ Makyne, adieu ! the sun goes west,

The day is neir-hand gane." “Robin, in dule I am so drest,

That luve will be my bane.” “Makyn, gae luv quhair-eir ye list,

For leman I luid nane.”

“ Robin, I stand in sic a style,

I sich and that full sair.” “ Makyne, I have bene here this quyle:

At hame I wish I ware.” “Robin, my hinny, talk and smyle,

Gif thou will do nae mair.” “ Makyne, som other man beguyle,

For hameward I will fare.”

Syne Robin on his ways he went,

As light as leif on tree; But Makyne murnt and made lament,

Scho trow'd him neir to see. Robin he brayd attowre the bent;

Then Makyne cried on hie, “ Now may thou sing, for I am shent !

Quhat ailis luve at me?'

Makyne went hame withouten fail,

And weirylie could weip; Then Robin in a full fair dale

Assemblit all his sheip.

Be that some part of Makyne's ail

Out-throw his heart could creip; Hir fast he followt to assail,

And till her tuke gude keip.

“ Abyd, abyd, thou fair Makyne,

A word for ony thing;
For all my luve it sall be thyne,

Withouten departing.
All hale! thy heart for till have myne,

Is all my coveting :
My sheip to morn, quhyle houris nyne,

Will need of nae keiping."
“Robin, thou hast heard sung and say,

In gests and storys auld,
The man that will not when he may,

Sall have nocht when he wald.
I pray to heaven baith nicht and day,

Be eiked their cares sae cauld,
That presses first with thee to play

Be forrest, firth, or fauld."


- Makyne, the nicht is soft and dry,

The wether warm and fair,
And the grene wod richt neir-hand by

To walk attowre all where :
There may nae janglers us espy,

That is in luve contrair;
Therin, Makyne, baith you and I,

Unseen may mak repair.”
“Robin, that warld is now away,

And quyt brocht till an end,
And nevir again thereto, perfay,

Sall it be as thou wend;
For of my pain thou made but play,

I words in vain did spend :
As thou hast done, sae sall I say,

Murn on, I think to mend.”



V. 99, Bannatyne's MS. has woid, not woud, as in ed. 1770.

“Makyne, the hope of all my heil,

My heart on thee is set,
I'll evermair to thee be leil,

Quhyle I may live but lett,
Never to fail as uthers feill,

Quhat grace so eir I get."
“Robin, with thee I will not deill;
Adieu, for this we met.”

120 Makyne went hameward blyth enough,

Outowre the holtis hair;
Pure Robin murnd, and Makyne leugh;

Scho sang, and he sicht sair:
And so left him, bayth wo and wreuch, 125

In dolor and in care,
Keipand his herd under a heuch,

Amang the rushy gair.
V. 117, Bannatyne's MS. reads as above feill, not faill, as in ed. 1770.


Bentle Herdsman, tell to Me.


The scene of this beautiful old ballad is laid near Walsingham in Norfolk, where was anciently an image of the Virgin Mary, famous over all Europe for the numerous pilgrimages made to it, and the great riches it possessed. Erasmus has given a very exact and humorous description of the superstitions practised there in his time. See his account of the Virgo Parathalassia, in his Colloquy, entitled, Peregrinatio Religionis Ergo. He tells us, the rich offerings in silver, gold, and precious stones, that were there shown him, were incredible, there being scarcely a person of any note in England but what some time or other paid a visit, or sent a present, to Our Lady of Walsingham. At the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, this splendid image, with another from Ipswich, was carried to Chelsea, and there burnt in the presence of commissioners, who, we trust, did not burn the jewels and the finery.

See at the end of this ballad an account of the annual offerings of the Earls of Northumberland.

This poem is printed from a copy in the Editor's folio MS., which had greatly suffered by the hand of time; but vestiges of several of the lines reinaining, some conjectural supplements have been attempted, which, for greater exactness, are in this one ballad distinguished by italics.

GENTLE heardsman, tell to me,

Of curtesy I thee pray,
Unto the towne of Walsingham

Which is the right and ready way.
“ Unto the towne of Walsingham

The way is hard for to be gon;
And verry crooked are those pathes

For you to find out all alone.”
Weere the miles doubled thrise,

And the way never soe ill,
Itt were not enough for mine offence,

Itt is soe grievous and soe ill.
“ Thy yeeares are young, thy face is faire,

Thy witts are weake, thy thoughts are greene;
Time hath not given thee leave, as yett,

For to committ so great a sinne.”
Yes, heardsman, yes, soe woldest thou say,

If thou knewest soe much as I;
My witts, and thoughts, and all the rest,

Have well deserved for to dye.
I am not what I seeme to bee,

My clothes and sexe doe differ farr :
I am a woman, woe is me!

Born to greeffe and irksome care.
For my beloved, and well-beloved,

My wayward cruelty could kill :
And though my teares will nought avail,

Most dearely I bewail him still.
He was the flower of noble wights,

None ever more sincere colde bee;
Of comely mien and shape hee was,

And tenderlye hee loved mee.


When thus I saw he loved me well,

I grewe so proud his paine to see,
That I, who did not know myselfe,

Thought scorne of such a youth as hee.
2 And grew soe coy and nice to please,

As women's lookes are often soe,
He might not kisse, nor hand forsooth,

Unlesse I willed him soe to doe.
Thus being wearyed with delayes

To see I pittyed not his greeffe,
He gott him to a secrett place,

And there he dyed without releeffe.
And for his sake these weeds I weare,

And sacriffice my tender age;
And every day Ile begg my bread,

To undergoe this pilgrimage.
Thus every day I fast and pray,

And ever will doe till I dye;
And gett me to some secrett place,

For soe did hee, and soe will I.

? Three of the following stanzas have been finely paraphrased by Dr. Goldsmith, in his charming ballad of Edwin and Emma; the reader of taste will have a pleasure in comparing them with the original.

And still I try'd each fickle art,

Importunate and vain;
And while his passion touch'd my heart,

I triumph'd in his pain.
'Till quite dejected with my scorn,

He left me to my pride;
And sought a solitude forlorn,

In secret, where he dy'd.
But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,

And well my life shall pay;
I'll seek the solitude he sought,

And stretch me where he lay.
And there forlorn, despairing hid,

I'll lay me down and die :
'Twas so for me that Edwin did,

And so for him will I.

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