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Andrew Bartin

No: 167; variant: 167B

  1. WHEN Flora, with her fragrant flowers, Bedeckt the earth so trim and gay, And Neptune, with his dainty showers, Came to present the month of May,
  2. King Henry would a progress ride; Over the river of Thames past he, Unto a mountain-top also Did walk, some pleasure for to see.
  3. Where forty merchants he espy’d, With fifty sail, come towards him, Who then no sooner were arriv’d, But on their knees did thus complain.
  4. ‘An ‘t please Your Grace, we cannot sail To France no voyage, to be sure, But Sir Andrew Barton makes us quail, And robs us of our merchant-ware.’
  5. Vext was the king, and turned him, Said to the lords of high degree, Have I ner a lord within my realm Dare fetch that traytor unto me?
  6. To him repli’d Lord Charles Howard: I will, my liege, with heart and hand; If it please you grant me leave, he said, I will perform what you command.
  7. To him then spake King Henry: I fear, my lord, you are too young. ‘No whit at all, my liege,’ quoth he; ‘I hope to prove in valour strong.
  8. ‘The Scottish knight I vow to seek, In what place soever he be, And bring a shore, with all his might, Or into Scotland he shall carry me.’
  9. ‘A hundred men,’ the king then said, ‘Out of my realm shall chosen be, Besides sailors and ship-boys To guide a great ship on the sea.
  10. ‘Bow-men and gunners of good skill Shall for this service chosen be, And they at thy command and will In all affairs shall wait on thee.’
  11. Lord Howard calld a gunner then Who was the best in all the realm; His age was threescore years and ten, And Peter Simon was his name.
  12. My lord calld then a bow-man rare, Whose active hands had gained fame, A gentleman born in Yorkshire, And William Horsly was his name.
  13. ‘Horsly,’ quoth he, ‘I must to sea, To seek a traytor, with great speed; Of a hundred bow-men brave,’ quoth he, ‘I have chosen thee to be the head.’
  14. ‘If you, my lord, have chosen me Of a hundred men to be the head, Upon the main-mast I’le hanged be, If twelve-score I miss one shillings breadth.’
  15. Lord Howard then, of courage bold, Went to the sea with pleasant chear, Not curbd with winters piercing cold, Though it was the stormy time of the year.
  16. Not long he had been on the sea, No more in days then number three, Till one Henry Hunt he there espied, A merchant of Newcastle was he.
  17. To him Lord Howard cald out amain, And strictly charged him to stand; Demanding then from whence he came, Or where he did intend to land.
  18. The merchant then made him answer soon, With heavy heart and careful mind, ‘My lord, my ship it doth belong Unto Newcastle upon Tine.’
  19. ‘Canst thou shew me,’ the lord did say, ‘As thou didst sail by day and night, A Scottish rover on the sea, His name is Andrew Barton, knight?’
  20. Then to him the merchant sighd and said, With grieved mind and well a way, ‘But over well I know that wight, I was his prisoner but yesterday.
  21. ‘As I, my lord, did pass from France, A Burdeaux voyage to take so far, I met with Sir Andrew Barton thence, Who robd me of my merchant-ware.
  22. ‘And mickle debts, God knows, I owe, And every man did crave his own; And I am bound to London now, Of our gracious king to beg a boon.’
  23. ‘Shew me him,’ said [Lord] Howard then, ‘Let me but once the villain see, And one penny he hath from the tane, I’le double the same with shillings three.’
  24. ‘Now, God forbid,’ the merchant said; ‘I fear your aim that you will miss; God bless you from his tyranny, For little you know what man he is.
  25. ‘He is brass within and steel without, His ship most huge and mighty strong, With eighteen pieces strong and stout, He carrieth on each side along.
  26. ‘With beams for his top-castle, As also being huge and high, That neither English nor Portugal Can pass Sir Andrew Barton by.’
  27. ‘Hard news thou shewst,’ then said the lord, ‘To welcome strangers to the sea; But, as I said, I’le bring him aboard, Or into Scotland he shall carry me.’
  28. The merchant said, If you will do so, Take counsel, then, I pray withal: Let no man to his top-castle go, Nor strive to let his beam[s] down fall.
  29. ‘Lend me seven pieces of ordnance then, Of each side of my ship,’ quoth he, ‘And to-morrow, my lord, twixt six and seven, Again I will Your Honour see.
  30. ‘A glass I’le set that may be seen Whether you sail by day or night; And to-morrow, be sure, before seven, You shall see Sir Andrew Barton, knight.’
  31. The merchant set my lord a glass, So well apparent in his sight That on the morrow, as his promise was, He saw Sir Andrew Barton, knight.
  32. The lord then swore a mighty oath, ‘Now by the heavens that be of might, By faith, believe me, and by troth, I think he is a worthy knight.
  33. ‘Fetch me my lyon out of hand,’ Saith the lord, ‘with rose and streamer high; Set up withal a willow-wand, That merchant-like I [may] pass by.’
  34. Thus bravely did Lord Howard pass, And did on anchor rise so high; No top-sail at all he cast, But as his foe he did him defie.
  35. Sir Andrew Barton seeing him Thus scornfully to pass by, As though he cared not a pin For him and all his company,
  36. Then called he his men amain, ‘Fetch back yon pedler now,’ quoth he, ‘And against this way he comes again I’le teach him well his courtesie.’
  37. A piece of ordnance soon was shot By this proud pirate fiercely then Into Lord Howards middle deck, Which cruel shot killd fourteen men.
  38. He calld then Peter Simon, he; ‘Look now thy word do stand in stead, For thou shalt be hanged on main-mast If thou miss twelve score one penny breadth.’
  39. Then Peter Simon gave a shot Which did Sir Andrew mickle scare, In at his deck it came so hot, Killd fifteen of his men of war.
  40. ‘Alas!’ then said the pyrate stout, ‘I am in danger now, I see; This is some lord, I greatly doubt, That is set on to conquer me.’
  41. Then Henry Hunt, with rigor hot, Came bravely on the other side, Who likewise shot in at his deck, And kild fifty of his men beside.
  42. Then ‘Out, alas!’ Sir Andrew cri’d, ‘What may a man now think or say! Yon merchant thief that pierceth me, He was my prisoner yesterday.’
  43. Then did he on Gordion call, Unto top-castle for to go, And bid his beams he should let fall, ‘For I greatly fear an overthrow.’
  44. The lord cald Horsly now in hast: ‘Look that thy word stand now in stead, For thou shalt be hanged on main-mast If thou miss twelve score one Shillings breadth.’
  45. Then up [the] mast-tree swarved he, This stout and mighty Gordion; But Horsly, he most happily Shot him under the collar-bone.
  46. Then calld he on his nephew then, Said, Sisters sons I have no mo; Three hundred pound I will give thee, If thou wilt to top-castle go.
  47. Then stoutly he began to climb, From off the mast scornd to depart; But Horsly soon prevented him, And deadly piercd him to the heart.
  48. His men being slain, then up amain Did this proud pyrate climb with speed, For armour of proof he had put on, And did not dint of arrow dread.
  49. ‘Come hither, Horsly,’ said the lord, ‘See thine arrow aim aright; Great means to thee I will afford, And if you speed, I’le make you a knight.’
  50. Sir Andrew did climb up the tree, With right good will and all his main; Then upon the breast hit Horsly he, Till the arrow return again.
  51. Then Horsly spied a private place, With a perfect eye, in a secret part; His arrow swiftly flew apace, And smote Sir Andrew to the heart.
  52. ‘Fight on, fight on, my merry men all, A little I am hurt, yet not slain; I’le but lie down and bleed a while, And come and fight with you again.
  53. ‘And do not,’ he said, ‘Fear English rogues, And of your foes stand not in awe, But stand fast by St Andrews cross, Until you hear my whistle blow.’
  54. They never heard his whistle blow, Which made them [all] sore afraid: Then Horsly said, My lord, aboard, For now Sir Andrew Barton’s dead.
  55. Thus boarded they this gallant ship, With right good will and all their main, Eighteen score Scots alive in it, Besides as many more were slain.
  56. The lord went where Sir Andrew lay, And quickly thence cut off his head: ‘I should forsake England many a day, If thou wert alive as thou art dead.’
  57. Thus from the wars Lord Howard came, With mickle joy and triumphing; The pyrates head he brought along For to present unto our king:
  58. Who briefly then to him did say, Before he knew well what was done, ‘Where is the knight and pyrate gay? That I my self may give the doom.’
  59. ‘You may thank God,’ then said the lord, ‘And four men in the ship,’ quoth he, ‘That we are safely come ashore, Sith you had never such an enemy:
  60. ‘That is Henry Hunt, and Peter Simon, William Horsly, and Peters son; Therefore reward them for their pains, For they did service at their turn.’
  61. To the merchant then the king did say, ‘In lue of what he hath from the tane, I give to the a noble a day, Sir Andrews whistle and his chain:
  62. ‘To Peter Simon a crown a day, And half-a-crown a day to Peters son, And that was for a shot so gay, Which bravely brought Sir Andrew down.
  63. ‘Horsly, I will make thee a knight, And in Yorkshire thou shalt dwell: Lord Howard shall Earl Bury hight, For this title he deserveth well.
  64. ‘Seven shillings to our English men, Who in this fight did stoutly stand, And twelve pence a-day to the Scots, till they Come to my brother kings high land.’