« ZurückWeiter »
No more shall the war-cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Waiting the judgment-day;
FRANCIS MILES FINCH.
GOD prosper long our noble king,
To drive the deer with hound and horn
The child may rue that is unborn
The stout earl of Northumberland
Three summer days to take —
1 Chev'y-Chase: that is, the hunt among the Chev'i-ot Hills which separate England from Scotland. This ballad contains an account not only of Chevy-Chase, but also of the Battle of Otterburn; in fact it is this latter battle, fought between the English and the Scotch in 1388 at Otterburn, in the border county of Northumberland, England, which gives the poem its real significance.
The Scots gained a decisive victory. Burton, in his history of Scotland, says that the fight "marks the fading from the defenders of Scotland of the dread of immediate absolute conquest by England."
2 Earl Percy: Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. His son Henry -Shakespeare's "Hotspur," see "Henry IV.," Part 1st-killed the Scotch Earl of Douglas in the battle of Otterburn; though in the ballad Douglas is represented as meeting his death from the arrow of an English archer.
The chiefest harts 1 in Chevy-Chase
These tidings to Earl Douglas came,
Who sent Earl Percy present word
With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,
Who knew full well in time of need
The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran
And long before high noon they had
Then having dined, the drovers 3 went
The bowmen mustered on the hills,
Well able to endure;
And all their rear, with special care,
The hounds ran swiftly through the woods,
1 Harts: bucks.
2 Fallow pale red or pale yellow.
3 Drovers: those whose duty it was to rouse or beat up the game for the archers.
That with their cries the hills and dales
Lord Percy to the quarry 1 went,
"But if I thought he would not come,
With that a brave young gentleman
"Lo, yonder doth Earl Douglas come,
Full twenty hundred Scottish spears
"All men of pleasant Teviotdale,
"Then cease your sports," Earl Percy said,
"And now with me, my countrymen,
"That ever did on horseback come,
But if my hap1 it were,
1 Quarry a heap of dead game.
2 Fast by: near by.
8 Tweed: the Tweed forms part of the boundary between England and Scotland. It empties into the North Sea, or German Ocean.
4 Hap: chance, luck.
Earl Douglas on his milk-white steed,
Rode foremost of his company,
Whose armor shone like gold.
"Show me," said he, "whose men you be, That hunt so boldly here,
That, without my consent, do chase
The first man that did answer make,
Was noble Percy he
Who said, "We list not to declare,
"Yet will we spend our dearest blood
"Ere thus I will out-braved be,
One of us two shall die;
I know thee well, an earl thou art
“But trust me, Percy, pity it were,
1 Break a spear: to fight with spears on horseback.