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was buried on a height that overlooks the valley of the Calder, at the distance of a mighty bow-shot froin Kirklees.
To the end of the fifteenth century belongs the charming dialogue-ballad of The Nut Brown Maid. She was a baron's daughter, and her love had been won by a suitor who came as
a squyer of lowe degree." Her faith was tried by her lover's feigning himself one who must die or fly as an outlaw to live by his bow like Robin Hood. As he urged the difficulties and dangers that must part them, in stanzas ending with the refrain, *For I must to the greenwood go, alone, a banished man,” the Nut Brown Maid met every argument with faithful resolve to bear all and follow him, the stanzas in which she answered closing steadily with the refrain, “For in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone.” When she had borne the trial of her faith, she learnt that “the squire of low degree” was neither squire nor banished man, but an earl's son, come to marry her and take her to Westmoreland, which was his heritage. The ballad ended with a moral like that attached by Petrarch and Chaucer to Boccaccio's tale of the “Patient Griselda” (ch.iv. § 46):
For sith men wolde that wymen sholde be meke to them eche on,
The ballads of The Battle of Otterburn and Chevy Chase do not reinain to us in their first form. There is no copy of them written so early as the fifteenth century, to which doubtless they belong. The battle of Otterburn was fought on the 19th of August, 1388, between Scots under James Earl of Douglas, and English under the two sons of the Duke of Northumberland. It began with a sudden entering of England by the Earl of Douglas with 3,800 men, who advanced to Brancepeth, ravaging the country they passed through. In the warfare against English settlements in France, such a raid was called by the French allies of Scotland a chevauchée, and, by a common process, that name was corrupted into Chevy Chase. It lives yet among schoolboys as a “chivy." Now, since there are in Northumberland Cheviot Hills as well as an Otterburn, Chevy Chase was interpreted into the Hunting of the Cheviot. The old ballad of the “Battle of Otterburn,” or “Chevy Chase”—the battle of the chevauchée which was its crowning incident-was therefore recast as The Hunting of the Cheviot, always with some confused sense of identity between one incident and the other. The battle of Otterburn is an incident minutely described
TO A.D. 1500) BALLADS. CHEVY CHASE
209 by Froissart; but there is no record whatever of any similar battle that arose out of a Hunting on the Cheviots. The author of the ballad of the “Hunting” was, in fact, quite right when he said :
“ This was the Hontynge of the Cheviot ;
That tear began this spurn :
Call it the Battell of Otterburn."
The ballad literature to which these poems belong came into strong life in Europe during the thirteenth, and especially the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the thirteenth century Spain uttered through national ballads the soul of freedom in her struggle against the Moors. Our English ballads are akin to those which also among the Scandinavians became a familiar social amusement of the people. They were recited by one of a company with animation and with varying expression, while the rest kept time, often with joined hands forming a circle, advancing, retiring, balancing, sometimes remaining still, and, by various movements and gestures, followed changes of emotion in the story. Not only in Spain did the people keep time by dance movement to the measure of the ballad, for even to this day one may see, in the Faroe Islands, how winter evenings of the North were cheered with ballad recitations, during which, according to the old northern fashion, gestures and movements of the listeners expressed emotions of the story as the people danced to their old ballads and songs. From this manner of enjoying them the ballads took their name. Ballare is a Middle Latin word, meaning to incline to this side and that, with which the Italians associate their name for dancing, and we the word “ball” for the name of a dancing party. The balade of Southern Europe (ch. iv. § 25), a wholly different production, which is not in the least remarkable for life and energy, took its name from the same word for another reason. It inclines to this side and that, in see-saw with a single pair of rhymes. There is some reason to think that educated gentlewomen were often the unknown writers of the ballads of England and the North of Europe.
FROM THE YEAR 1500 TO THE YEAR 1558. 1. Of the reign of Henry VII. (1485-1509), the last nine years have now to be accounted for. They were a time of rest from the feud between the English crown and Scottish people. Perkin Warbeck was, in 1495, a visitor at the court of James IV. of Scotland, and he was there married to a lady of the royal family. James made some attempts to maintain his guest's quarrel with England, but they came to little ; and Henry VII. worked for a reversal of the policy that made an enemy of Scotland. Scotland, during the English civil wars free from attack, had increased in prosperity and power. Henry VII.'s England needed peace at home; and in 1502, Margaret Tudor, Henry's daughter, aged thirteen, was affianced to King James IV. of Scotland, then aged thirty. The princess entered Edinburgh a year later, marriage took place on the 8th of August, 1503, and was celebrated by William Dunbar (ch. v. $ 36), in bis poem of The Thistle and the Rose, not without the homespeaking which usually passed between a Scottish subject and his sovereign. For Dame Nature says to "the thistle keepit with a bush of spears :"
"And sen thou art a king, be thou discreet:
Herb without virtue hald not of sic price
And let no nettle vile and full of vice
Her fellow to the guidly flour de lis,
Compare her to the lilie's nobleness." James IV. of Scotland, to whom such counsel was given, was a handsome man with uncut hair and beard, liberal, active in war or chase, familiar with his people, brave to rashness, well read, and of good address. He could speak Latin, French, German, Flemish, Italian, Spanish, Gaelic, and broad Scotch. He was attentive to priests, and gave by his life good reason for Dunbar's especial warning in “The Thistie and the Rose" of the Thistle's solemn trust to
Hold no other flow'r in sic deuty
For gif thou does, hurt is thine honesty."
TO A.D. 1503] DUNBAR : THE THISTLE AND THE ROSE cajoled in his youth by those who led him to unite with them against his father.
Dunbar's poem of “The Thrissil and the Rois," upon the marriage of James IV. of Scotland to Margaret Tudor, is a court poem in Chaucer's stanza, planned to a form that had already become traditional in Chaucer's time (ch. iv. $ 13, 16, 20). When he was in bed on a May morning, Aurora looked in at his window, with a pale green face, and on her hand a lark, whose song bade lovers wake from slumber. Fresh May stood then before his bed, and bade the sluggard rise and write some thing in her honour. Why should he rise, he asked, for few birds sang, and May brought only cold and wind that caused him to forbear walking among her boughs ? She smiled, and yet bade him rise to keep his promise that he would describe " the rose of most pleasaunce." So she departed into a fair garden; and it seemed to him that he went hastily after her, among the flowers, under the bright sunrise, where the birds sang for comfort of the light. They sang Hail to the May, Hail to the Morning, Hail to Princess Nature before whom birds, beasts, flowers, and herbs were about to appear, “ as they had wont in May from year to year,” and pay due reverence. First of the beasts came the Lion, whom Dunbar's description pleasantly associated with the lion on the arms of Scotland. Nature, while crowning him, gave him a lesson in just rule. A like lesson she gave to the Eagle, when she crowned him King of Birds; and, as we have seen, to the Thistle, who personified King James of Scotland, when she “saw him keepit with a bush of spears,” crowned him with ruby, and bade him defend all others in the field. Then came the poet's welcome of the Tudor Margaret, when Nature glorified her as the Rose, the freshest Queen of Flowers ; and the poem closed with a song of hail and welcome to her from the merle, the lark, the nightingale, and from the common voice of the small birds, who, by their shrill chorus, woke the poet from his dream.
2. In this poem, as in “The Golden Terge,” Dunbar was a follower of Chaucer, constructing his own work on a timehonoured model. The “ Thistle and the Rose” was written in 1503 ; The Golden Terge was first printed by Chepman and Myllar, in 1508, when the printing-press was new to Scotland, Printing did not begin in Edinburgh till about thirty years after Caxton brought it to London. The art is said to have been taken to Scotland by the priests who fled thither from persecu
tion in the Low Countries. But the first patent for establishing a press in Scotland was granted, in 1507, by James IV., to Walter Chepman, a merchant, and Andrew Myllar, a working printer. Poems of Dunbar were among the first works of their printing. “The Golden Terge” is in stanzas of nine ten-syllabled lines, forming a peculiar measure allied to that of the balade, each stanza having a musical cadence of two rhymes thus interlaced-a aba a b bab. This poem also begins with the conventional May morning. The poet rose with the sun, saw the dew on the flowers, heard the songs of the birds, while a brook rushed, over pebbles and little waterfalls, among the bushes. The sound of the stream and song of the birds caused him to sleep on the flowers. In dream he then saw the river, over which there came swiftly towards him a sail, white as blossom, on a mast of gold, bright as the sun. A hundred ladies in green kirtles landed from the ship. Among them were Nature and Queen Venus, Aurora, Flora, and many more. May walked up and down in the garden between her sisters April and June, and Nature gave her a rich, painted gown. The ladies saluted Flora, and sang of love. Cupid and Mars, Saturn, Mercury, and other gods were there, also playing and singing, all arrayed in green. The poet crept through the leaves to draw nearer, was spied by love's queen, and arrested. Then the ladies let fall their green mantles, and were armed against him with bows, but looked too pleasant to be terrible. Dame Beauty came against him, followed by the damsels Fair Having, Fine Portraiture, Pleasaunce, and Lusty Cheer. Then came Reason in plate and mail, as Mars armipotent, with the Golden Targe, or shield, to be his defender. Youth, Innocence, and other maids did no harm to the shield of Reason. Sweet Womanhood, with all her good company, Nurture and Loveliness, Patience, Good Fame and Steadfastness, Benign Look, Mild Cheer, Soberness, and others, found their darts powerless against the Golden Targe. High Degree failed also; Estate and Dignity, Riches, and others, loosed against him in vain a cloud of arrows. Venus then brought in allegorical recruits, and rearranged her forces. But Reason, with the Shield of Gold, sustained the shock, till * Presence threw a powder in his eyes that blinded him. Then Reason was jested at, and banished into the greenwood. The poet was wounded nearly to the death, and in a moment was Dame Beauty's prisoner. Fair Calling siniled upon him ; Cherishing fed him with fair words ; Danger came to him