No: 167; variant: 167B
- 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,
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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.’
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The merchant then made him answer soon,
With heavy heart and careful mind,
‘My lord, my ship it doth belong
Unto Newcastle upon Tine.’
- ‘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?’
- 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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.
- ‘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.
- ‘With beams for his top-castle,
As also being huge and high,
That neither English nor Portugal
Can pass Sir Andrew Barton by.’
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- Sir Andrew Barton seeing him
Thus scornfully to pass by,
As though he cared not a pin
For him and all his company,
- 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.’
- A piece of ordnance soon was shot
By this proud pirate fiercely then
Into Lord Howards middle deck,
Which cruel shot killd fourteen men.
- 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.’
- 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.
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- 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.’
- 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.’
- 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.’
- Then up [the] mast-tree swarved he,
This stout and mighty Gordion;
But Horsly, he most happily
Shot him under the collar-bone.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- 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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.’
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.’
- Thus from the wars Lord Howard came,
With mickle joy and triumphing;
The pyrates head he brought along
For to present unto our king:
- 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.’
- ‘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:
- ‘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.’
- 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:
- ‘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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.’