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And see! upon the crowded street,
In motley groups

what
masquers

meet!
Banner and pageant, pipe and drum,
And merry morrice-dancers come.
I guess, by all this quaint array,
The burghers hold their sports to-day,
James will be there; he loves such show,
Where the good yeoman bends his bow,
And the tough wrestler foils his foe,
As well as where, in proud career,
The high-born tilter shivers spear.
I'll follow to the Castle-park,
And play my prize ;-King James shall mark,
If age has tamed these sinews stark,
Whose force so oft, in happier days,
His boyish wonder loved to praise.'

XXI.
The Castle gates were open flung,
The quivering drawbridge rock'd and rung,
And echo'd loud the flinty street
Beneath the coursers' clattering feet,
As slowly down the steep descent
Fair Scotland's King and nobles went,

1

[See Appendix, Note 0.]
2 (MS.—King James and all his nobles went -

Ever the King was bending low
To his white jennet's saddle-bow,
Doffing his cap to burgher dame.
Who smiling blush'd for pride and shame."]

While all along the crowded way
Was jubilee and loud huzza.
And ever James was bending low,
To his white jennet's saddle-bow,
Doffing his cap to city dame,
Who smiled and blush'd for pride and shame,
And well the simperer might be vain,-
He chose the fairest of the train,
Gravely he greets each city sire,
Commends each pageant's quaint attire,
Gives to the dancers thanks aloud,
And smiles and nods upon the crowd,
Who rend the heavens with their acclaims,
"Long live the Commons' King, King James !"
Behind the King throng'd peer and knight,
And noble dame and damsel bright,
Whose fiery steeds ill brook'd the stay
Of the steep street and crowded way.

-But in the train you might discern
Dark lowering brow and visage stern;
There nobles mourn'd their pride restrain'd,
And the mean burgher's joys disdain’d;

1

i (MS.--"Nobles who mourn'd their power restrain'de

And the poor burgher's joys disdain'd;
Dark chief, who, hostage for his clan,
Was from his home a banish'd man,
Who thought upon his own grey tower,
The waving woods, his feudal bower,
And deem'd himself a shameful part
Of pageant that he cursed in heart.”)

And chiefs, who, hostage for their clan,
Were each from home a banish'd man,
There thought upon their own grey tower,
Their waving woods, their feudal power,
And deem'd themselves a shameful part
Of pageant which they cursed in heart.

XXII.
Now, in the Castle-park drew out
Their chequer'd bands the joyous rout.
There morricers, with bell at heel,
And blade in hand, their mazes wheel; ?
But chief, beside the butts, there stand
Bold Robin Hood ? and all his band, -

[MS. adds :

“With awkward stride there city groom

Would part of fabled knight assume.”] 2 The exhibition of this renowned outlaw and his band was a favourite frolic at such festivals as we are describing. This sporting, in which kings did not disdain to be actors, was prohibited in Scotland upon the Reformation, by a statute of the 6th Parliament of Queen Mary, c. 61, A. D. 1555, which ordered, under heavy penalties, that “na manner of person be chosen Robert Hude, nor Little John, Abbot of Unreason, Queen of May, nor otherwise.” But in 1561, the “rascal multitude," says John Knox,“ were stirred up to make a Robin Hude, whilk enormity was of many years left and damned by statute and act of Parliament; yet would they not be forbidden.” Accordingly, they raised a very serious tumult, and at length made pri. soners the magistrates who endeavoured to suppress it, and would not release them till they extorted a formal promise that no one should be punished for his share of the disturbance

Friar Tuck with quarterstaff and cowl,
Old Scathelocke with his surly scowl,
Maid Marion, fair as ivory bone,
Scarlet, and Mutch, and Little John;
Their bugles challenge all that will,
In archery to prove their skill.
The Douglas bent a bow of might,-
His first shaft centered in the white,
And when in turn he shot again,
His second split the first in twain.
From the King's hand must Douglas take
A silver dart, the archer's stake;

It would seem, from the complaints of the General Assembly of the Kirk, that these profane festivities were continued down to 1592. Bold Robin was, to say the least, equally successful in maintaining his ground against the reformed clergy of Eng. land; for the simple and evangelical Latimer complains of com. ing to a country church, where the people refused to hear him, because it was Robin Hood's day; and his mitre and rochet were fain to give way to the village pastime. Much curious information on this subject may be found in the Preliminary Dissertation to the late Mr Ritson's edition of the songs respecto ing this memorable outlaw. The game of Robin Hood was usually acted in May; and he was associated with the morricedancers, on whom so much illustration has been bestowed by the commentators on Shakspeare. A very lively picture of these festivities, containing a great deal of curious information on the subject of the private life and amusements of our ancestors, was thrown by the late ingenious Mr Strutt, into his romance entitled Queen-hoo Hall, published after his death, in 1808.

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1

Fondly he watch'd with watery eye,
Some answering glance of sympathy,--
No kind emotion made reply!
Indifferent as to archer wight,
The monarch gave the arrow bright.”

: [MS.—"Fondly he watch'd with watery eye,

For answering glance of sympathy,
But no emotion made reply!
Indifferent as to unknown

} wight,
Cold as to unknown yeoman

The King gave forth the arrow bright."] 2 The Douglas of the poem is an imaginary person, a supposed uncle of the Earl of Angus. But the king's behaviour during an unexpected interview with the Laird of Kilspindie, one of the banished Douglasses, under circumstances similar to those in the text, is imitated from a real story told by Home of Godscroft. I would have availed myself more fully of the simple and affecting circumstances of the old history, had they not been already woven into a pathetic ballad by my friend Mr Finlay. 3

“His (the king's) implacability (towards the family of Douglas) did also appear in his carriage towards Archibald of Kilspindie, whom he, when he was a child, loved singularly well for his ability of body, and was wont to call him his Grey-Steill.4 Archibald, being banished into England, could not well comport with the humour of that nation, which he thought to be too proud, and that they had too high a conceit of themselves, joinod with a contempt and despising of all others. Wherefore, being wearied of that life, and remembering the king's favour of old towards him, he determined to try the king's mercifulneas and clemency. So he comes into Scotland, and taking oc.

Glasgow, 1919, voi, i

3 See Scottish Ellstorical and Rornantic Baliais 2. 17.

• A champion nf popular romance. See Ellis

Romances, vol. iii.

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