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Thus have you won an erlys son,
And not a banyshed man.'
Than were the case worse than it was,
And I more wo-begone :
I love but you alone.'
• Ye shall not nede farther to drede;
1 wyll not dy sparàge You, (God defend !) syth ye descend
Of so grete a lynàge. Nowe undyrstande; to Westmarlande,
Which is myne herytage, I wyll you brynge; and with a rynge, By way
maryage, I wyll you take, and lady make,
As shortely as I can:
Here may ye se, that women be,
In love, meke, kynde, and stable:
Or call them variable ;
To them be comfortable;
Yf they be charytable.
Be meke to them each one,
And serve but hym alone.
We are again indebted for this ballad to the “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border." It is there given
" chiefly from Mrs. Brown's MS., with corrections from a revised fragment.” How the knights of the olden time slew huge dragons and other monsters, has been sufficiently said and sung in all countries. Scott, in his introduction to this ballad, alludes to several stories of their prowess still current in Scotland and on the Borders. England and Ireland have their own, and to this day the very scenes of supposed encounters between man and beast are pointed out with superstitious awe. “ The ballad of Kempion," writes Sir Walter Scott,“ seems, from the names of the personages, and the nature of the adventure, to have been an old metrical romance, degraded into a ballad by the lapse of time and the corruption of reciters.” Its peculiarity consists in the fact of the hero put. ting himself within the power of the monster, in order to dissolve a charm by his "kisses three,'' instead of making a fierce onslaught according to the more usual and approved mode. The courage. of the knight, however, seems to have been tried by a test more than commonly severe.
• Cum heir, cum heir, ye freely fee'd, * And by my sooth,' said Segramour.
And lay your head low on my knee, • My ae broiher, I 'll gang wi' thee.'— The heaviest weird I will you read, That ever was read to gay ladye. Then bigged hae they a bonny boat,
And they hae set her to the sea ; .O meikle dolour sall ye dree,
But a mile before they reached the shore,' And aye the salt seas o'er ye 'se swim ;
Around them she gared the red fire flee. And far mair dolour sall ye dree On Estmere crags, when ye them climb. O Segramour, keep the boat afloat,
And let her na the land o'er near; 'I weird ye to a fiery beast,
For this wicked beast will sure gae mad, And relieved sall ye never be,
And set fire to a' the land and mair.? "Till Kempion, the kingis son, Cum to the crag, and thrice kiss thee.' –
Syne has he bent an arblast bow,
And aimed an arrow at her head ; O meikle dolour did she dree,
And swore if she didna quit the land, And aye the salt seas o'er she swam;
Wi' that same shaft to shoot her dead. And far mair dolour did she dree On Estmere crags, when she them out of my stythe I winna rise, clamb:
(And it is not for the awe o' thee,) And aye she cried for Kempion,
Till Kempion, the kingis son, Gin he would but come to her hand. Cum to the crag, and thrice kiss me.'Now word has gane to Kempion, That sicken a beast was in his land.
He has louted him o'er the dizzy crag,
And gien the monster kisses ane; Now, by my sooth,' said Kempion, Awa she gaed, and again she cam,
• This fiery beast I'll gang and see.'- The fiery est beast that ever was seen.
THE CHILDE OF ELLE.
In first publishing this delightful ballad in his “ Reliques of Ancient English Poetry,” Dr. Percy admits
that he put it into its present shape, the fragment which served him as an original being mutilated and defective. He modestly says that "the reader will easily discover the supplemental stanzas by their inferiority, and at the same time be inclined to pardon it, when he considers how difficult it must be to imitate the affecting simplicity and artless beauty of the original.” Mr. Hall, however, thinks it probable from his researches, that the original manuscript furnished only a rough outline, and that in truth, the Childe of Elle may fairly be called the composition of Dr. Percy. It is undoubtedly of Scottish origin, and there are several other versions of the same story current. But the accomplished prelate has given a more pleasant finale to his tale than that usually received. The ballad, as given by Sir Walter Scott, portrays a most tragical adventure, Lord William, the hero, having slain his lady love's father and seven brethren, who interfered to arrest his progress, he himself dying of his wounds, and the Lady Margaret, we presume, of a broken heart. The concluding ejaculation of the last stanza of that version is natural enough after so deep a tragedy.
Lord William was dead lang ere midnight,
Lady Marg’ret lang ere the day,
May they have mair luck than they !"