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King James and Brown

No: 180; variant: 180A

  1. AS I did walke my selfe alone, And by one garden greene, I heard a yonge prince make great moane, Which did turne my hart to teene.
  2. 'O Lord!' he then said vntou me, 'Why haue I liued soe long? For yonder comes a cruell Scott,' Quoth hee, 'that will doe me some ronge.'
  3. And then came traitor Douglas there, He came for to betray his king; Some they brought bills, and some they brought bowes, And some the brought other things.
  4. The king was aboue in a gallery, With a heauy heart; Vnto his body was sett about With swords and speares soe sharpe.
  5. 'Be you the lordes of Scottland,' he said, 'That hither for councell seeke to me? Or bee you traitors to my crowne, My blood that you wold see?'
  6. 'Wee are the lords of Scottland,' they said, 'Nothing we come to craue of thee; But wee be traitors to thy crowne, Thy blood that wee will see.'
  7. 'O fye vpon you, you false Scotts! For you neuer all trew wilbe; My grandfather you haue slaine, And caused my mother to flee.
  8. 'My grandfather you haue slaine, And my owne father you hanged on a tree; And now,' quoth he, 'The like treason You haue now wrought for me.
  9. 'Ffarwell hart, and farwell hand! Farwell all pleasures alsoe! Farwell th . . my head . . . .
  10. . . . . . . . . 'If thou wilt . . And soe goe away with mee.'
  11. 'Goe marry thy daughter to whome thou wilt,' Quoth Browne; 'Thou marrys none to me; For I'le not be a traitor,' quoth Browne, 'For all the gold that euer I see.'
  12. This Douglas, hearing Browne soe say, Began to flee away full fast; 'But tarry a while,' saies lusty Browne, 'I'le make you to pay before you passe.'
  13. He hath taken the Douglas prisoner, And hath brought him before the king; He kneeled low vpon the knee, For pardon there prainge.
  14. 'How shold I pardon thee,' saith the king, 'And thou'le remaine a traitor still? For euer since that I was borne,' Quoth he, 'Thou hast sought my blood to spill.'
  15. 'For if you will grant me my pardon,' he said, 'Out of this place soe free, I wilbe sworne before your Grace A trew subiect to bee.'
  16. 'God for-gaue his death,' said the king, 'When he was nayled vpon a tree; And as free as euer God forgaue his death, Douglas,' quoth he, 'I'le forgiue thee.
  17. 'And all the traitors in Scottland,' Quoth he, 'Both great and small; As free as euer God forgaue his death, Soe free I will forgiue them all.'
  18. 'I thanke you for your pardon, king, That you haue granted forth soe plaine; If I liue a twelue month to an end, You shall not aliue remaine.
  19. 'Tomorrow yet, or ere I dine, I meane to doo thee one good turne; For Edenborrow, that is thine owne,' Quoth he, 'I will both h[arry] and [burne].'
  20. Thus Douglas hied towards Edenborrow, And many of his men were gone beffore; And after him on euery side, With him there went some twenty score.
  21. But when that they did see him come, They cryed lowd with voices, saying, 'Yonder comes a false traitor, That wold haue slaine our king.'
  22. They chaynd vp the gates of Edenborrow, And there the made them wonderous fast, And there Browne sett on Douglas againe, And quicklye did him ouer cast.
  23. But worde came backe againe to the king, With all the speed that euer might bee, That traitor Douglas there was taken, And his body was there to see.
  24. 'Bring me his taker,' quoth the king, 'Come, quickly bring him vnto me! I'le giue a thousand pound a yeere, What man soeuer he bee.'
  25. But then they called lusty Browne; Sayes, 'Browne, come thou hither to mee. How oft hast thou foughten for my sake, And alwayes woone the victory?'
  26. 'The first time that I fought for you, It was in Edenborrow, king; If there I had not stoutly stood, My leege, you neuer had beene king.
  27. 'The second time I fought for you, Here I will tell you in this place; I killd the sheriffs sonne of Carlile,' Quoth he, 'That wold haue slaine your Grace.
  28. 'The third time that I fought for you, Here for to let you vnderstand, I slew the Bishopp of St Andrew[s],' Quoth he, 'with a possat in [his hand],'
  29. . . . quoth hee, 'That euer my manhood I did trye; I'le make a vow for Englands sake That I will neuer battell flee.'
  30. 'God amercy, Browne,' then said the king, 'And God amercy heartilye! Before I made thee but a knight, But now an earle I will make thee.
  31. 'God saue the queene of England,' he said, 'For her blood is verry neshe; As neere vnto her I am As a colloppe shorne from the fleshe.
  32. 'If I be false to England,' he said, 'Either in earnest or in iest, I might be likened to a bird,' Quoth he, 'That did defile it nest.'