Imagens da página

thering, or confluence, of the people towards the place of sport,) the poet proceeds

Ane young man stert into that steid,

As cant as ony colt,
Ane birken hat upon his heid,

With ane bow and ane bolt;
Said, Merrie maidens, think not lang;

The weather is fair and smolt;
He cleikit up ane hie rough sang,
66 There fure * ane man to the holt,” +

Quod he,

Of Peblis to the Play. Another allusion occurs in the twenty-fifth stanza :

He fippilit like ane fatherless foal,

And said, Be still, my sweit thing.
By the Haly Rude of Peblis,

I may nocht rest for greiting.
He quissilit and he pypit baith,

To mak her blythe that meiting:
My bonny heart, how says the sang,
ós There sall be mirth at our meiting


Of Peblis to the Play. It is thus established, that songs were common mat


peasantry in the earlier half of the fifteenth century; and also that there were, in particular, two songs, now lost, one beginning, “ There fure ane man to the holt," and another, “ There shall be mirth at our meeting yet.”

But by far the most valuable illustration of the state of song about the era of King James, [1424–37,] is to be found in a ludicrous vernacular poem, called Cockelby's Sow, which is known, from internal and external evidence, to have been written before the middle of the fifteenth century, although the earliest copy of it is in the Bannatyne Manuscript, dated only 1568. Cockelby's Sow, in language, and style of description, makes a much nearer approach to the mo• Went.

+ Wood. b

ters among

dern productions of the Scottish muse, than any other work produced before the days of Semple and Ramsay. On this account, and as it describes a scene of coarse rustic festivity, there is the strongest probability that the names of tunes contained in the following extract, refer expressly to those ballads and songs which were popular at the time when the poem was composed.

And his cousin Copyn Cull
Foul of bellis ful full,
Led the dance and began,
Play us Joly Lemmane.
Sum trottit Tras and Trenass,
Sum balterit The Bass,
Sum Perdolly, sum Trolly lolly,
Sum, Cok craw thou all day,

Treysbank and Terway,
Sum Lincolne, sum Lindsay,
Sum Joly Lemman, dawis it not day,
Sum Be yon wodsyd singis,
Sum Lait lait in evinnynis,
Sum, Joly Martene with a mók,
Sum, Lulalow lute cok.
Sum bakkit, sum beingit,
Sum crakkit, sum cringit;
Sum movit Most mak revell,
Sum Symon sonis of Quhynfell,
Sum Maister Peir de Cougate,
And uther sum in Cousate
At leser drest to dance.
Sum Ourfute, sum Orliance,
Sum Rusty Bully with a bek,
And every note in utheris nek.
Sum usit the dansis to dame
Of Cipres and Boheme;
Sum the faitis full yarne
Off Portugall and Naverne ;
Sum counterfeitit the gyis of Spane,
Sum Italy, sum Almaine;
Sum noisit Napillis anone,
And uthir sum of Arragone;
Sum The Cane of Tartary,
Sum The Soldane of Surry.

Than all arrayit in a ring,
Dancit My deir derling.
Thay movit in their mad meeting,
And all thay falit in feeting ;
For werit wes their menstralis,
Thair instrumentis in tonis falis;
And all thair plat pure pansis,
Coud not the fete of ony dansis ;
Bot such thing us affeiris
To hirdis, and thair maneris ;
For they hard speik of men gud,
And small thereof understood;
Bot harlit forth uponn heid,
A cojoyne cull coud thame lede ;
And so thay wend thay weill dansit,
And did bot practit and pransit ;
Bot quhen thay had all done,
It was a tratlyng out of tune.

“ Of the airs mentioned in this poem,” says Mr Leyden, in bis Notes to “ The Complaynt of Scotland,” “ I suspect Twysbank to be the appropriate tune of a song preserved in the Bannatyne MS., which com


When Tayis bank wes blomit brycht. Owirfute and Orliance are mentioned, in a curious poem on the ? Laying of a Ghaist,' in the Bannatyne MS., which begins

Listis, lordis, I sall you tell. Lutecok is mentioned in Mr Constable's Cantus of the end of the 17th century, as likewise My deir derling, which is there termed. My dayes darling.""

I may further venture to express a conjecture, that Trolly lolly is the same song with Trollee lollee lemman-dow, which is mentioned in the Complaynt of Scotland, 1549, and also with that wbich Mr Ritson has printed in his “ Ancient Songs,” under the title of Trolley lollee. Cok craw thou qll day, may be the same with the well-known song called “ Saw ye my

Father ?” in which a lover, entering his mistress's bower, gives direction to the cock, as follows:

Flee up, flee up, my bonnie gray cock,

And craw when it is day;
And your neck sall be like the bonnie beaten gowd,

And your wings o' the siller gray. Upwards of half a century elapses after the period of Cockelby's Sow, before any other traces of the existence of song are to be found in authentic memoirs. The prologues to Gawin Douglas's translation of Vir. gil, written at latest in 1513, contain the names or first lines of a few, as follow :

[ocr errors]

On salt stremis walk Dorida and Thetis,
By runnand strands, nymphes and Naiades,
Sic as we clepe wenches and damosels, .
In gersy graves, wandering by spring wells,
Of bloomed branches and flouris whyte and red,
Plettand their lusty chaplets for their heid.
Some sang ring sangs,* dances, ledes, and rounds, t
With voices schill, while all the dale resounds;
Whereso they walk into their caroling,
For aniorous lays does all the rockis ring :

The ship sails ower the saut faem,
Will bring thir merchands and my leman hame."
Some other sings, “ I will be blythe and licht,

My heart is lent upon sae gude a wicht.In the same prologue-the twelfth,- another oc

Ane sang,


our awin native bird, gentil dow, Singand on her kynd, “ I come hither to wow." Could this be a primitive version of the well-known song, “ Rob's Jock cam to woo our Jenny,” which was

• Probably songs with which the ring dance was accompanied.

+ Rounds is one of the denominations of song enumerated by Fabyan, in regard to a transaction already mentioned.

written down in the Bannatyne manuscript anno 1568, or of, “ I hae laid a herring in saut ?"

Allusion is made, in the thirteenth prologue, to a song which is fortunately preserved :

Thereto thir birdis singis in their schawis,
As menstralis playis, “ The joly day now dawis."


song here mentioned must unquestionably be the same with one which is found in a collection of musi. cal pieces written about the year 1500, out of compliment to Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV.,

and sort of Henry VII., and which is preserved in the Fairfax Ms.


This day day dawes,
This gentil day dawes,

And I must home gone.
In a glorious garden grene,
Saw I sittand a comely quene,
Among the flowers that fresh byn ;
She gathered a flowir and set betwene.
The lilye-white rose* methought I saw,

And ever she sang,
This day day dawes,
This gentil day dawes.

This fragment is extremely valuable, as proving that, at the commencement of the sixteenth century, there were songs common to the literate classes of both nations. Its tune, at least, seems to have continued a favourite in Scotland, for a long period after the days of Gawin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld. Dunbarthe cleverest of all the old Scottish poets-who flourished

Elizabeth was herself called the White Rose, because she represented the House of York, whose cognizance it was, and might be said metaphorically to have added that flower to the Red Rose of the House of Lancaster, borne by her husband.

« AnteriorContinuar »