Изображения страниц

Stand abacke, stand abacke, fayd Robin ;

Why draw you mee so neere?
Itt was never the use in our countryè,

Ones Thrift another shold heere,


But Robin pulled forth an Irysh knife,

And losed John hand and foote,
And gave him fir Guyes bowe into his hand, ,

And bade it be his boote.

Then John he tooke Guyes bowe in his hand, 225

His boltes and arrowes eche one :
When the sheriffe faw Little John bend his bow,

He fettled him to be gone.


Towards his house in Nottingham towne,

He fled full fast away ;
And foe did all the companye;

Not one behind wold ftay.

But he cold neither runne foe faft,

Nor away soe fast cold ryde,
But Little John with an arrowe foe broad,

He fhott him into the backe'-syde.


** The Title of Sir was not formerly peculiar to Knights, it was given to Priests, and sometimes to very inferior perfonages.




The Reader has here a specimen of the descriptive powers of Stephen Hawes, a celebrated poet in the reign of Hen. VII. tho' now little known. It is extracted from an allegorical poem of his (written in 1505.) intitled, The

* Hift. of Graunde Amoure & La Belle Pucel, called the Palace of Pleasure, &c.” 410. 1555. See more of Hawes in Ath. Ox. v. 1. p. 6. and Warton's Observ. v. 2. p. 105.

The following Stanzas are taken from Chap. III.How Fame departed from Graunde Amour and left him with Governaunce and Grace, and how he went to the Tower

of Do&trine.-- As we are able to give' no small lyric piece of Hawes's, the Reader will excuse the insertion of this extract.

Loked about and sawe a craggy roche,

Farre in the west neare to the element,
And as I dyd then unto it approche,

Upon the toppe I sawe refulgent

The royall tower of MORALL DOCUMENT, s Made of fine copper with turrets faire and hye, Which against Phebus shone so marveylously, That for the very perfect brighteness

What of the tower, and of the cleare funne, I could nothyng behold the goodliness

10 Of that palaice, whereas. Doctrine did wonne :

Till at the laft, with myftie wyndes donne,
The radiant brightness of golden Phebus
Auster gan cover with clowde tenebrous,



Then to the tower I drew nere and nere,

15 And often mused of the great hyghnes Of the craggy roche, which quadrant did appere:

But the fayre tower, (fo much of ryches

Was all about,) fexangled doubteless; Gargeyld with grayhounds, and with many lyons, 20 Made of fyne golde, with divers sundry dragons,

The little turrett with ymages of golde

About was set, which with the wynde aye moved With proper vices, that I did well beholde

About the towre: in fundry wyse they hoved 25

With goodly pypes, in their mouthes ituned, That with the winde they pyped a daunce Iclipped Amour de la hault plesaunce.

The toure was great of marveylous wydnes,

To which ther was no way to passe but one, 30 Into the toure for to have an intres : A

grece ther was ychyseled all of stone Out of the rocke, on whyche men did gone - Up to the toure, and in lykewyse did I Wyth both the Grayhoundes in my company ť: 35 Till that I came unto a ryall gate,

Wher I fawe stondynge the goodly Portres, Whych exed me from whence I came alate ;

To whom I gan in every thinge expreffe

All myne adventure, chaunce, and bufineffe, And cke my name; I tolde her every

dell: When she hard this the lyked me full well.

Her This alludes to a former part of the Poem.

Her name, the fayd, was called CounteNAUNCE;

Into the base courte she dyd me then lede, Where was a fountayne depured of pleafaunce, 45

A noble sprynge, a riall conduyte hede,

Made of fyne golde enameled with reed ;
And on the toppe four dragons blewe and stoute
The dulcet water in four parts dyd spoute.
Of whyche ther flowed foure ryvers ryght clere,

Sweter than Nylust or Ganges was ther odoure;
Tygres or Eufrates unto them no pere:

I did than taste th' aromatyke licoure

Fragrant of fume, and fwete as any floure, And in my mouthe it had a marveylous fcent

55 Of divers spyces, I knewe not what it ment. And after thys further forth me brought

Dame Countenaunce into a goodlye Hall,
Of jasper stones it was wonderly wrought:
The wyndowes clere depured all of crystall,

And in the roufe on hie over all
Of gold was made a ryght crafty vyne,
Instede of grapes the rubies there did shyne.


The fore was paved with berall clarified,

With pillars made of stones pretious,
Like a place of pleasure so gayely glorified,

It might be called a palace glorious,

So much delectable and folacious :
The hall was hanged hye and circuler
With clothe of arras in the richest manner.
Vol. III.

Nyfus. PC

70 That

That treated well of a ful noble story,

Of the doutye waye to the Tower Perillous ; + Howe a noble knyghte hould winne the victory

Of many a serpent foule and odious.

The Story of the Poem.



- is given from a fragment in the Editor's folio MS : which tho' extremely defective and mutilated, appeared to have so much merit, that it excited a firong desire to attempt a completion of the story. The Reader will easily discover the Jupplemental fanzas by their inferiority, and at the same time be inclined to pardon it, when be considers how difficult it must be to imitate the affe&ting fimplicity and artless beauties of the original. Child was a title sometimes given to a knight. See Glossa O

N yonder hill a castle standes,

With walles and towres bedight,
And yonder lives the Child of Elle,

A young and comely knighte.

[ocr errors]

The Child of Elle to his garden wente,

And stood at his garden pale,
Whan, lo! he beheld fair Emmelines page

Come trippinge downe the dale.


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »