« AnteriorContinuar »
For hurting of their feet;
They were so saulted 9 with this sew,
Durst noe man neigh her with his hand,
And haltered her full meete;
They hurled her forth against her will,
A little fro the street. 11
And there she made them such a fray,
Need were. Mr. Whitaker reads musters.-2 Lying.-3 A fierce countenance or manner. Saw.5 Wight, brave. The Rokeby MS. reads incounters, and Mr. Whitaker, auncestors.-6 Boldly.-7 On the beam above.-8 To prevent.-9 Assaulted.-10 Rope.- Watling Street. See the sequel. Dare. 13 Rushed.-14 Leave it.-15 Pulls. This line is wanting in Mr. Whitaker's copy, whence it has heen conjectured that something is wanting after this stanza, which now there is no occasion to suppose. 17 Evil device.-18 Blessed. Fr.
Took forth a book, began to reade
In St. John his gospell.
The sew she would not Latin beare,
But rudely rushed at the Frear,
That blinked all his blee;
And when she would have taken her hold,
The Fryar leaped as Jesus wold,
And bealed him with a tree.
She was as brim 3 as any beare,
Upon trees and bushes that by her stood,
She ranged as she was wood,5
And rave them up by roote.
Lost his colour.-2 Sheltered himself.-3 Fierce,-4 The MS. reads, to labour weere. The text seems to mean, that all their labour to obtain their intended meat was of no use to them. Mr. Whitaker reads,
"She was brim as any boar,
And gave a grisly hideous roar,
Besides the want of connexion between the last line and the two former, the second has a very modern sound, and the readings of the Rokeby Ms. with the slight alteration in the text, is much better.
5 Mad.-6 Torn, pulled.-7 Knew,-8 Combat, perilous fight.-9 This stanza, with the two following, and the fragment of a fourth, are not in Mr. Whitaker's edition.-10 The rope about the sow's neck.11 Knew. This line is almost illegible.-13 Each one.
He told them all unto the end,
"We gave her battell half a day,
And Peter Dale would never blinn,3
Till he came to his wife."
The warden said, "I am full of woe,
But wee with you had beene!
Fryar Middleton said soon, "Nay,
He look't so griesly all that night,
Yon guest 9 hath grieved him so sare,
The warden waged 10 on the morne,
I weine, or ever shall be;
The one was Gibbert Griffin's son,
Full mickle worship has he wonne,
The other was a bastard son of Spain,
His dint 1 hath gart them die.
That they should boldly bide and fight,
Or therefore should they die.
This condition make I:
"We shall for you pray, sing, and read
With all our progeny."
Then the letters well was made,
As deedes of armes should be.
These men of armes that weere so wight,
She made on them slike a rerd,'
She came roveing them egaine;
And rave in sunder half his shielde,
She would have riven his privich geare,
He strake at her full strong,
Since in his hands he hath her tane,
Then Gilbert grieved was sea sare,
And with all force he felled her there,
And band her him alone.
Such like a roar.-2 Drew out.-3 In the combat.-4 Bone.-5 Meeting, battle.- Hie, hasten.-? The MS. reads, mistakenly, every day.-8 Price.-9 The father of Sir Gawain, in the romance of Arthur and Merlin. The MS. is thus corrupted
More loth of Louth Ryme.
10 Well known, or perhaps kind, well disposed,
This sew to mend their fare:
The Filea of O'Neale was he.-P. 288.
The Filea, or Ollamh Re Dan, was the proper bard, or, as the name literally implies, poet. Each chieftain of distinction had one or more in his service, whose office was usually hereditary. The late ingenious Mr. Cooper Walker has assembled a curious collection of particulars concerning this order of men, in his Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards. There were itinerant bards of less elevated rank, but all were held in the highest veneration. The English, who considered them as chief supporters of the spirit of national independence, were much disposed to proscribe this race of poets, as Edward I. is said to have done in Wales. Spenser, while he admits the merit of the wild poetry, as "savouring of sweet wit and good invention, and sprinkled with some pretty flowers of their natural device," yet rigorously condemns the whole application of their poetry, as abased to "the gracing of wickedness and vice." The household minstrel was admitted even to the feast of the prince whom he served, and sat at the same table. It was one of the customs of which Sir Richard Sewry, to whose charge Richard II. committed the instruction of four Irish monarchs in the civilisation of the period, found it most difficult to break his royal disciples, though he had also much ado to subject them to other English rules, and particularly to reconcile them to wear breeches. "The kyng, my souerevigne lord's entent was, that in maner, countenaunce, and apparell of clothyng, they sholde use according to the maner of Englande, for the kynge thought to make them all four knyghtes: they had a fayre house to lodge in, in Duvelyn, and I was charged to abyde styll with them, and not departe; and so two or thee dayes I suffered them to do as they lyst, and sayde nothyng to them, but folowed their owne appétytes: they wolde sitte at the table, and make countenance nother good nor fayre. Than I thought I shulde cause them to chaunge that maner; they wolde cause their mynstrells, their seruantes, and varlettes to sytte with them, and to eate in their owne dyssche, and to drinke of their cuppes; and they shewed me that the usage of their cuntre was good, for they sayd in all thyngs (except their beddes) they were and lyved as comen. So the fourthe day I ordayned other tables to be couered in the hall, after the usage of England, and I made these four knyghtes to sytte at the hyghe table, and there mynstrels at another borde, and their seruantes and varlettes at another byneth them, wherof by semynge they were displeased, and beheld each other, and wolde not eate, and sayde, how I wolde take fro them their good usage, wherin they had been norished. Then I answered them, smyling, to apeace them, that it was not honourable for their estates to do as they dyde before, and that they must leave it, and use the custom of Englande, and that it was the kynge's pleasure they shulde so do, and how he was charged so to order them. When they harde that, they suffred it, bycause they had putte themselfe under the obeysance of the Kynge of England, and parceuered in the same as long as I was with them; yet they had one use which I knew was well used in their cuntre, and that was, they dyde were no breches; I caused breches of lynen clothe to be made for them. Whyle I was with them I caused them to leaue many rude thynges, as well in clothying as in other causes. Moche ado I had at the fyrst to cause them to weare gownes of sylke, furred with myneuere and gray; for before these kynges thought themselfe well apparelled whan they had on a mantell. They rode always without saddles and styropes, and with great payne I made them to ride after our usage."-LORD BERNERS' Froissart. Lond. 1812, 4to, vol. ii. p. 621.
The influence of these bards upon their patrons, and their admitted title to interfere in matters of the weightiest concern, may be also proved from the behaviour of one of them at an interview between Thomas Fitzgerald, son of the Earl of Kildare, then about to renounce the English allegiance, and the Lord Chancellor Cromer, who made a long and goodly oration to dissuade him from his purpose. The young lord had come to the council"armed and weaponed," and attended by seven score horsemen in their shirts of mail; and we are assured that the chancellor, having set forth his oration "with such a lamentable action as his cheekes were all beblubbered with teares, the horsemen, namelie, such as understood not English, began to diuine what the lord-chancellor meant with all this long circumstance; some of them reporting that he was preaching a sermon, others said that he stood making of some heroicall poetry in the praise of the Lord Thomas. And. thus as every idiot shot his foolish bolt at the wise chancellor his discourse, who in effect had nought else but drop pretious stones before hogs, one Bard de Nelan, an Irish rithmour,