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“I dought neither speak to prince or peer,
Nor ask of grace from fair ladye.”
say, so it must be."
He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
And a pair of shoes of velvet green ;
True Thomas on earth was never seen.
This ancient and beautiful romantic ballad is given from Percy's Reliques, in which it was first published, from that folio MS. about whose existence the late Mr Ritson was so sceptical. Percy confessed that he was tempted to add several stanzas to the first part, and still more in the second, to connect and complete the story in the manner which appeared to him most interesting and affecting. How much it owes to his taste and genius we have not the means of ascertaining ; but that his interpolations and additions have been very considerable, any one acquainted with ancient minstrelsy will have little room to doubt. We suspect, too, that the original ballad had a less melancholy catastrophe, and that the brave Sir Cauline, after his combat with the “hend Soldan,” derived as much benefit from the leechcraft of fair Christabelle, as he did after winning the Eldritch sword.
Between this ballad and some parts of the metrical romance of Sir Tristrem, the late Mr Finlay of Glasgow affects to discover a resemblance, but he has not condescended to trace a parallel between them. Indeed, we cannot help thinking, for all he says to the contrary, that his reasoning is no whit superior to Fluellin's : “There is a river at Macedon, and there is also moreover a river at Monmouth :” and, according to Mr Finlay,
There is an Irish king and his daughter in Sir Cauline ;” and there is
“also moreover an Irish king and his daughter in Sir Tristrem." The concealed love of Sir Cauline for one so much above him in station will remind the reader of the gentle
Squyer of lowe degré
That loved the king's doughter of Hungre." -MOTHERWELL.
THE FIRST PART.
IN Ireland, ferr over the sea,
There dwelleth a bonnye kinge;
Men call him Sir Cauline.
The kinge had a ladye to his daughter,
In fashyon she hath no peere;
To be theyr wedded feere.
Sir Cauline loveth her best of all,
But nothing durst he saye;
But deerlye he loved this may.
Till on a day it so befell
Great dool to him was dight;
To care-bed went the knighte.
One while he spred his armes him fro,
One while he spred them nye;
For dole now I mun dye.”
And when our parish mass was done,
Our king was bowne to dyne : He says, "Where is Sir Cauline,
That is wont to serve the wyne?
Then aunswerde him a courteous knighte,
And fast his handes gan wringe: “Sir Cauline is sicke, and like to dye,
Without a good leechinge.” "Fetche me downe my daughter deere,
She is a leeche fulle fine; Goe take him doughe and the baken bread, And serve him with the wyne so red;
Lothe I were him to tine.”
Fair Christabelle to his chamber goes,
Her maydens following nye; “O well,” she saith, “how doth my lord ?”
O sicke, thou fair ladye." “Now ryse up, wightyle man, for shame,
Never lye soe cowardlee,
You dye for love of me."
That all this dill I drye. For if you wold comfort me with a kisse, Then were I brought from bale to blisse,
No longer would I lye.”
I am his onlye heire;
I never can be your fere.”
“O ladye, thou art a kinge's daughter,
And I am not thy peere;
To be your bacheleere."
“Some deeds of armes, if thou wilt doe,
My bacheleere to be,
Giff harm should happe to thee.)
"Upon Eldritch hill there groweth a thorne
Upon the mores brodinge ;
"For the Eldritch knight, so mickle of
But he did him scaith and scorne.
“That knight he is a foul paynim,
And large of limb and bone;
Thy life it is but gone."
“Now on the Eldritch hill I'll walk
For thy sake, fair ladye;
Or I'll never more you see.”
The lady has gone to her own chaumbere,
Her maidens following bright;
For to walk there all night.
He walked up and down;
Over the bents so brown;
I am far from any good town.” And soon he spied on the mores so broad,
A furious wight and fell;
Clad in a fayre kyrtle :
“O man I rede thee fly,
I weene but thou mun dye.” He saith, “No cryance comes till my heart,
Nor in faith, I will not flee; For cause thou minged not Christ before,
The less me dreadeth thee.”
Sir Cauline bold abode :
Soe soone in sunder slode.
And layden on full faste, Till helme and howberke, mail and shield,
They all were well-nye brast.