« EdellinenJatka »
THE TWELFTI SONG.
in Wales) forty. Cornwal (because of the Britons name have they been humbly desired by the sub. there planted) until the Conqueror gave the ject, granted with qualification, and contr sverted, county to his brother, Robert of Moreton, con as a main and first part of liberty, in the next age tinued out of the division. Cumberland, North- following the Norman conquest. umberland, Westmoreland, and Durham, being all northern, seem to have been then under Scotish or Danish power. But the two first received their division, as it seems, before the conquest: for
POLY-OLBION. Cumberland had its particular governors (m), and Northumberland earls (n): Westmoreland, perhaps, began when king John gave it Robert Vipont, ancestor to the Cliffords, holding by that patent to this day the inheritance of the sheriffdom. Durham religiously was with large immu
The Muse, that part of Shropshire plies nities (o) given to the bishop since the Norman
Which on the east of Severn lies : invasion. Lancaster, until Henry III. created his
Where mighty Wrekin from his height, younger son, Erdmund Crook-back, earl of it, I
In the proud Cambrian mountains' spite, think, was no county : for in one of our old year
Sings those great Saxons ruling here, books a learned judge affirms (p), that in this
Which the most famous warriors were. Henry's time, was the first sheriff's tourn held
And as she in her course proceeds, there. Nor until Edward (first son to Edmund
Relating many glorious deeds
With Colebrond, that renowned Dane, any earls. I know, for number and time of those,
And of the famous battles try'd all authority agrees not with me; but I conjecture
"Twixt Knute and Edmond Ironside, only upon selected. As Alured divided the shires
To the Staffordian fields doth rove, first; so to him is owing the constitution of hun
Visits the springs of Trent and Dove; drels, tithings, lathes, and wapentakes, to the
Of Moreland, Cank, and Needwood sings; end that whosoever were not lawfully, upon credit
An end which to this canto brings. of his boroughs, i. e. pledges, admitted in some of them for a good subject, should be reckoned as suspicious of life and loyalty. Some steps thereof The haughty Cambrian hills enamour'd of their remain in our ancient and later law-books.
(As they who only sought ambitiously to raise Which he an heirloom left unto the English throne. The blood of godlike Brute) their heads do proudThe first healing of the king's evil is referred to ly bear :
(air this Edward the Confessor (9) : and of a particular And having crown'd themselves sole regents of the example in his curing a young married woman, an
(Another war with Heaven as though they meant old monument is left to posterity (r). In France,
to make) such a kind of cure is attributed to their kings Did seem jo great disdain the bold affront to take, also; both of that and this, if you desire parti- That any petty hill upon the English side, (pride. cular inquisition, take Dr. Tooker's Charisma sa
Should dare, not (with a crouch) to veil unto their nationis.
When W’rekin, as a hill his proper worth that
knew, Our country's common laws did faithfully produce. And understood from whence their insolency grew,
In Lambard's Archæonomy, and Roger of Ho. For all that thev appear'd so terrible in sight. veden's Henry 11, are laws ander the name of the Yet would not once forego a jot that was his right. Confessor and Conqueror, joined and deduced, for And when they star'd on him, to them the like he the most part, out of their predecessors; but
(brave: those of the Confessor seem to be the same, if And answerd glance for glance, and brave for Malmesbury deceive not (s), which king Cnut That, when some other hills which English dwellers collected, of whom his words are, Omnes lo
were, ab antiquis regibus & maximè antecessore suo The Insiy Wrekin saw himself so well to bear Ethelredlo latas, sub interminatione regiæ mulctæ, | Against the Cambrian part, respectless of their perpetuis temporibus observari præcepit, in qua
power; rum custodiam etiam nunc tempore bonorum sub
His eminent disgrace expecting every hour, (look) Domine regis Edwardi juratur, non quod ille Those flatterers that before (with many cheerful statuerit, sed quod observaverit; and under this Had grac'd his goodly sight, him utterly forsook,
And muffled them in clouds, like mourners veil'd (m) Mat. West. fol. 366.
[wrack: (") Inguph. hist. Crouland.
Which of their utmost hope attend the ruinous (0) Thorp. 17 Ed. 3. *»l. 56. h.
That those delicious nymphs, fạir Tearn and (p) Bract. lib. 3. tract. de Corona, cap. 10.
[him dear; Quàinplurimi casus in annis Ed. 3. & 5. Jacob. (Two brooks of him helor'd, and two that beld apud Dom. Ed. Cok. lib. 6. fol. 77. maximè vero He, having none but them, they having none but huc faciunt Itin. illa H. 3. & Ed. 1.
he, (9) Polydor. hist. 8.
Which to their mutualjny might either's object be) (1) Eilred. Rhivallens. ap. Took. in Charismat. Within their secret breasts conceived sundry fears, Saoat. c. 6.
And as they mix'd their streams, for him so mix'd (s) De gest. Reg. 2. cap. 11.
Whom, in their coming down, when plainly he The most redoubted spirits that Denmark bere discerns,
address'd. For them his nobler heart in his strong hosom “ And Alured, not much inferior to the rest : yearps:
Who having in his days so many dangers past, But, constantly resolv'd, that (dearer if they were) In seven brave foughten fields their champion The Britons should not yet all from the English
Hubba chas', bear;
[by Cambria' brought, And slew bim in the end, at Abington, that day, " Therefore," quoth he, * brave tiood, tho’ forth | Whose like the Sun ne'er saw in his diurnal way: Yet as fair England's friend, or mine thou would'st Where those, that from the field sore wounded be thought [take:" sadly fled,
[dead, (O Severn!) let thine ear my just defence par Were well-near overwhelm'd with mountains of the Which said, in the behalf of th' English thus he His force and fortune made the foes so much to fear, spake;
As they the land at last did utterly forswear. “Wise Weever (I suppose) sufficiently hath said “ And when proud Rollo?, next, their former Of those our princes here, which fasted, watch'd
powers repair'd and pray'd,
[deeds: (Yea, when the worst of all it with the English far'd) Whose deep devotion went for other's vent'rous Whose countries near at hand, his force did still But in this song of mine, he scriously that reads,
[mandy, Shall find, ere i have done, the Briton (so extolid, And Denmark to her drew the strengths of NorWhose height each mountain strives so vainly to This prince in many a fight their forces still defy'd. uphold)
(might, The goodiy river Lee he wisely did divide, Match'd with as valiant men, and of as clean a By which the Danes had then their full-fraught As skilful to command, and as inur'd to fight.
navies tew'd :
(ru'd. Who, when their fortune will'd that after they The greatness of whose stream besieged Hartford should scorse
[for force, | This Alfred, whose foresight had politicly found Blows with the big-bon'd Dane, exchanging force Betwixt them and the Thames advantage of the (When first he put from sea to forage on this shore,
ground, Iwo hundred years? distain'd with either's egnal A puissant hand thereto laboriously did put, gore;
$. And into lesser streams that spacious current cut. Now this aloft, now that, oft did the English reign, Their ships thus set on shore(to frustrate their desire) And oftentimes again depressed by the Dane) Those Danish hulks became the food of English fire. The Saxons then, I say, themselves as bravely “ Great Alfred left his life: when Eldida up show'd,
grew, As those on whom the Welsh such glorious praise That far beyond the pitch of other women flew : “ Nor could his angry sword, who Egbert over Who having in her youth of childing felt the wbe, tbrew,
[subdue) 4. Her lord's embraces vow'd she never more would (Through which he thought at once the Saxons to
know : His kingly courage quell: but from his short retire, But differing from her sex (as, full of manly fire) His reinforced troops (new forg'd with sprightly fire) This most courageous queen, by conquest to aspire, Before them drave the Dane, and made the Briton The puissant Danish powers victoriously pursu'd,
And resolutely here through their thick squadrons (Whom he by liberal wage here to his aid hard won) hew'd Upou their 'recreant backs, which both in flight Her way into the north. Where Derby having won, were slain,
[neighb’ring plain. And things beyond belief upon the enemy done, Till their huge murthered heaps manur'd each She sav'd besieged York; and in the Danes' de. “ As Ethelwolf again, his utmost powers that spite,
(mark sent When most they were upheld with all the eastern Against those fresh supplies each year from Den More towns and cities built out of her wealth and (Which prowling up and down in their rude Danish
(shores) | Than all their hostile fames could any way devour. Here put themselves by stealth upon the pest'red And, when the Danish here the country most deIn many a doubtful fight much fame in England stroy'd,
Yet all our powers on them not wholly were emSo did the king of Kent, courageous Athelstan, But some we still reserv'd abroad for us to roam, Which here against the Dane got such victorious To fetch in foreign spoils, to help our loss at home. days.
[rraise, And all the land, from us they never clearly wan: “ So we the Wiltshire men as worthily may But to his endless praise, our English Athelstan, That buckled with those Danes, by Ceorl and In the Northumbrian fields, with most victorious Osrick brought.
(that fought, might " And Ethelred, with them nine sundry fields Put Alafi' and his powers to more inglorious flight; Recorded in his praise, the conquests of one year. And more than any king of th’ English him before, You right-nam'd English then, courageous men Each way from north to wuth, from west to th' you were,
eastern shore, When Reading ye regain'd, led by that valiant Made all the isle his own : his seat who firmly fix'd, Where Basrig ye out-brav'd, and Halden, sword The Caledonian hills and Caithness point betwixt, to sword;
. And Constantine their king (a prisoner) hither brought;
(sought: "Out of Plinilimon, in the confines of Cardigan Then over Severn's banks the warlike Britons and Montgomery. . See to song 1.
See to the next song of Rollo.
Where he their princes forc'd from that their strong With mild and princely words bespeaking him ; la England to appear at his imperial seat. [retreat, quoth he,
sthan me “ But after, when the Danes, who never wearied • Par better you are known to Heaven (it seems) were,
For this great action fit: by whose most dread comCame with intent to make a general conquest here, mand They brought with them a man deem'd of so (Before a world of men) it's laid upon your hand. wondrous might,
Then, stout and valiant koight, here to my court As was not to be match'd by any mortal wight:
repair, For, one could scarcely bear his ax into the field; Refresh you in my baths, and mollify your care Which as a little wand the Dane would lightly With comfortable wines and meats what you will wield:
(spirit, ask: And (to enforce that strength) of such a dauntless And chuse my richest arms to fit you for this task. A man (in their conceit) of so exceeding merit, " The palmer (gray with age) with countenance
That to the English oft they off'red him. in. pride) | His head een to the earth before the king did how,
[will: Wħen, some out of their love, and some spur'd on (A wretched man) L'oppose high Heaven's eternal By envy soine provok’d, some out of courage, fain Yet my most sovereign liege, no more of me esteem Would undertake the cause to combat with the Than this poor habit shows, a pilgrim as I seem; Dane.
But yet I must confess, have seen in former days, But Athelstan the while, in settled judgment found, The best knights of the world, and scuffled in some Should the defendant fail, how wide and decp a
frays. It likely was to leave to his defensive war. (wound Those times are gone with me, and, being aged “ Thus, whilst with sundry doubls his thoughts
(vow perplexed are,
[famons Guy Hare ofl’red up my arms, to Heav'n and made my It pleas'd all-powerful Heaven, that Warwirk's Ne'er more to bear a shield, nor my declining age (The knight through all the world renown'd for (Except some palmer's tent, or homely hermitage) chivalry)
[long. Shall ever enter roof : but if, by Heaven and thee, Antiv'd from foreign parts, where he had held hiin This action be impos'd, great English king, on me, His honourable arms devoutly having hung Send to the Danish camp, their challenge to In a religious house, the off’rings of his praise
accept, To his redeeiner Christ, bis help at all assays In some convenient place proclaiming it be kept: (Those arms, by whose strong proof be many a Where, by th' Almighty's power, for England I'll Christian freed,
[wonted cheer, And bore the perfect marks of many a worthy decd) “ The king, much pleas'd in mind, assumes his Himself, a palmer poor, in homely russet clad And to the Danish power bis choicest herald sent. (And only in bis hand his hermit's staff he had) When, both through camp and court, this combat
Tbw'rds Winchester alone (80) sadly took his way; quickly went. Where Athelstan, that time the king of England, Which suddenly divulg'd, whilst ev'ry listning ear, lay;
(abide, As thirsting after news, desirous was to hear, And where the Danish camp theo strongly did Who for the English side durst undertake the day, Near to a goodly mead, which men there call the The puissant kings accord, that in the middle way Hide.
(bring Betwixt the tent and town, to either's equal sight, “The day that Guy arrivd (when silent night did Witbin a goodly mead, most fit for such a fight, Sleep both on friend and foe) that most religious The lists should be prepard for this material prize. king
[suppress'd) “ The day prefix'd once com'n, both Dane and (Whose strong and constant heart all grievous cares
[throng; His due devotion done, betook himself to rest. And to th' appointed place th' unnumber'd people To whom it seer'd by night an angel did appear, The weaker female sex, old men, and children Seat to him from that God whom he invok'd by
Into the windows get, and up on stalls, to see Commanding him the time not idly to fore-slow, The man on whose brave band their hope that day Bat rathe as he could rise, to such a gate to go,
must be. Whereas he should not fail to find a goodly knight | In noting of it well, there might a man behold In palmer's poor attire: though very meanly More sundry forms of fear than thought imagine diyht,
could. Yet by his comely shape, and limbs exceeding One looks upon his friend with sad and heavy cheer, strong,
Who seems in this distress a part with him to bear: He eas'ly might him know the other folk among; Their passions do express much pity mix'd with And bade bim not to fear, but chuse him for the
[stan; Whilst one his wife's laments is labonring to assuage, “ No sooner brake the day, but up rose Athel His little infant near, ju childish gibberish shows, And as the vision show'd, he such a palmer found, What addeth to his grief who sought to calm her With others of his sort, there sitting on the ground :
[«lescry Where, for some poor repast they only se m'd to One having climb'd some roof, the concourse to stay,
From thence upon the earth dejects his humble eye, Else ready to depart each one upon his way: As since he thither came he suddenly had found When secretly the king revealed to the knight Some danger them amongst which lurk'd upon the His comfortable dreams that lately-passed night : ground. VOL IV.
One stands with fixed eyes, as though he were of many there the least might many men have aghast :
[they sustain; Another sadly comes, as though his hopes were Which none but they could strike, nor none but past.
[hirn to break The most relentless eye that had the power to gwe,
(pursue So that the perfect'st sight beholding could not “ Look how two lions fierce, both hungry, both What looks most sorrow show'd; their griefs so One sweet and self-same prey, at one another fly, equal were.
(so near And with their arıned paws iugrappled dreadfully, Upon the heads of two, whose cheeks were join'd The thunder of their rage, and boist'rous strug. As if together grown, a third bis chin doth rest :
(quake: Another looks.o'er his: and others hardly prest, The neighbouring forests round affrightedly to Look'd underneath their arms. Thus, whilst in Their sad encounter such. The mighty Colebrond crowds they throng
(broke, (Led by the king hiinself) the champion comes A cruel blow at Guy: which though he finely A man well strook in years, in homely palmer's Yet (with the weapon's weight) his ancient hilt it gray,
(hit And in his hand his staff, his reverend steps to stay, And (thereby lessened much) the champion lightly Holding a comely pace : wbich at his passing by, Upon the reverend brow : immediately from whence In every censuring tongue, as every serious eye, The blood dropt softly down, as if the wound had Compassion mix'd with fear, distrust and courage
(ireful red ; Of their much inward woe that it with grief should “ Then Colebrond for the Danes came forth in The Danes, a deadly blow supposing it to be, Before him (from the camp) an ensign first dis- Sent such an echoing shout, that rent the troubled play'd
(fear, Amidst a guard of gleaves: then sumptuously The English, at the noise, wax'd all so wan with array'd
(sound | As though they lost the blood their aged champion Were twenty gallant yonths, that to the warlike
(red: Of Danish brazen drums, with many a lofty bound, Yet were not these 30 pale, but th' other were as Come with their country's march, as they to Mars As though the blood that fell, upon their cheeks had should dance.
(advance : staid. Thus, forward to the fight, both champions them “ Here Guy, his better spirits recalling to. bis aid, And each without respect doth resolutely chuse Came fresh upon his foe; when mighty Colebrond The weapon that he brought, nor doth his foe's
[feel, Another desperate stroke: which Guy of Warwick The Dave prepares his ax, that pond'rous was to L'ndauntedly aloft; and followed with a blow Whose squares were laid with plates, and riveted Upon his shorter ribs, that the excessive flow with steel,
(points Stream'd up unto his bilts: the wound so gap'd And armed down along with pikes; whose hard'ned withal,
(fall (Forc'd with the weapon's weight) had power to As though it meant to say, 'Behold your champion's tear the joints
By this proud palmer's hand.' Such claps again Of cuirass or of mail, or whatsoe'er they took :
and cries Which caus'd him at the knight disdainfully to look. The joyful English gave, as cleft the very skies. “ When our stout palmer soon (unknown for Which coming on along from these that were valiant Guy)
[shont, The cord from his straight loins doth presently When those within the town receiv'd this cheerful uutie,
[bore They answer'd them with like ; as those their joy Puts off his palmer's weed unto his truss, which
(pursue, The stains of ancient arms, but show'd it had before “ Then with such eager blows each other they Been costly cloth of gold; and off his hood he As every offer made should threaten imminent throw:
(breath, Out of his bermit's staff his two-hand sword he drew Until, through heat and toil both hardly drawing (The unsuspected sheath which long to it had been) | They desperately do close. Look how two boars Which till that instant time the people bad not being set
Together side to side, their threat'ning tusks do A sword so often try'd. Then to himself, quoth he, And with their gnashing teeth their angry foam da · Arms, let me crave your aid, to set my country bite, free:
Whilst still they should'ring seek, each other where And never shall my heart your help again require, to smite :
(at length But only to my God to lift you up in pray'r.' Thus stood those ireful knights; till flying back, “ Here, Colebrond forward made, and soon the The palmer, of the two the first recovering strength, Christian knight
l'pon the left arm lent great Culebrond such a Encouuters him again with equal power and spite : wound,
(ground, Whereas, betwixt them two, might eas'ly have That whilst his weapon's point fell well-near to the been seen
(been, and slowly he it rais'd, the valiant Guy again such blows, in public throngs as used had they Sent thro' his cloven scalp his blade into his brain.
When downward went his head, and up his heels he, And all the southern shores from Kent to Cornwal threw;
spread, As wanting hands to bid his countrymen adien. With those disorder'd troops by Alaff bither led, “ The English part, which thought an end he In seconding their Swane, which cry'd to them for would have made,
(said, And seeming as they much would in his praise have their multitudes so much sad Ethelred dismay'd, He bid them yet forbear, whilst he pursu'd bis As froin his country forc'd the wretched king to iy. fame,
An English yet there was, when England seem'd That to this passed king next in succession came;
to lie That great and puissant knight (in whose victorious Under the heaviest yoke that ever kingdom bore, days
[serving praise) Who wash'd his secret knife in Swane's relentless Those knight-like deeds were done, no less de
gore, Brave Exmond, Edward's son, that Stafford having Whilst (swelling in excess) his lavish cups he ply'd. ta'en,
Such means t redeem themselves th' afflicted With as successful speed won Derby from the Danè. nation try'd.
[Swanus' son, From Lie'ster then again, and Lincoln at the length, And when courageous Knute, th' late murther'd Drave out the Dacian powers by his resistless Came in t' revenge that act on his great father strength: [flood, done,
(rose, And this his England clear'd beyond that raging He found so rare a spirit that here against him Which that prond king of Huns once christined with As though ordain'd by Heaven his greatness to his blood.
(stand By which, great Edmond's power apparently was Who with him foot to foot, and face to face durst The land from Humber south recovering for his When Knute, which here alone affected the comown;
mand, That Edgar after him so much disdain'd the Dane The crown upon his head at fair South-hampton Loworthy of a war that should disturb his reign,
(get, As generally he seem'd regardless of their hate. And Edmond, loth to lose what Knute desir'd to And studying every way magnificence in state, At London caus'd bimself inaugurate to be. At Chester whilst he liv'd at more than kingly King Knute would conquer all, king Edmond would charge,
(prest: Eight tributary kings' there row'd him in his The kingdom is the prize for which they both are His shorcs from pirates sack the king that strongly and with their equal powers both meeting in the kept :
west, & A Neptune, whose proud sails the British Ocean The green Dorsetian fields a deep vermillion dy'd: “ But after bis decease, when bis more hopeful Where Gillingham gave way to their great hosts son,
[done, (in pride) 6. By cruel stepdame's hate to death was lastly Abundantly their blood that each on other spent. To set his rightful crown upon a wrongful bead But Edmond, on whose side that day the better (When by thy fatal curse, licentious Ethelred,
[suppress Through dissoluteness, sloth, and thy abhorred life, (And with like fortune thought the remnant to As grievous were thy sins, so were thy sorrows rife) | That Sarum then besieg'd, which was in great disThe Dane, possessing all, the English forc'd to tress) bear
[were; With his victorious troops to Salisbury retires : A beavier yoke than first those heathen slaveries When with fresh bleeding wounds, Knute, as with Subjected, bought, and sold, in that most wretched fresh desires,
[yet unsubdu'd, plight,
[affright. Whose might though somewhat maim'd, bis inind As even their thraldom seem'd their weighbours to His lately conquering fue courageously pursu'd : Yet could not all their plagues the English height And finding out a way, sent to his friends with abate :
speed, But even in their low'st ebb, and miserablest state, who him supply'd with aid : and being help'd at Courageously themselves they into action put,
need, $. And in one night, the throats of all the Danish Tempts Edmond still to fight, still hoping for a day. cut.
[Dane Towards Wor'stershire their powers both well upon " And when in their revenge, the most insatiate Uushipp'd them on our shores, under their puissant There, falling to the field, in a continnal fight Swane :
[force Two days the angry bosts still parted were by night: And swoln with hate and ire, their huge unwieldy Where twice the rising Sun, and twice the settmy, Came clust'ring like the Greeks out of the wooden
[to draw: horse :
Them with their equal wounds their wearied breath And the Norfolcian towns, the near'st unto the east, “ Great London to surprise, then (next) Canutus With sacrilege and rape did terriblest infest;
makes : Those Danes yet from the shores we with such And thitherward as fast king Edmond Ironside violence drave,
[gate, That from our swords their ships could them but Whilst Knute set down bis siege before the eastern “And to renew the war, that year ensuing, King Edmond through the west past in triumphal when,
(pride, Witb fit supplies for spoil they landed here agen, But this courageous king, that scorned, in his
A town shonld be besieg'd wherein he did abide, * Huinber.
Into the fields again the valiant Fdmond goes. See to song X.
Canutus, yet that hopes to win what he did lose,