Anonymous Olde English

The Rising In The North - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

Listen, lively Lordings all,
Lithe and listen unto mee,
And I will sing of a noble earle,
The noblest earle in the north countrie.

Earle Percy is into his garden gone,
And after him walkes his faire Ladie:
'I heare a bird sing in mine eare,
That I must either fight or flee.'

'Now heaven forfend, my dearest Lord,
That ever such harm should hap to thee:
But goe to London to the court,
And faire fall truth and honestie.'

'Now nay, now nay, my Ladye gay,
Alas! thy counsell suits not mee;
Mine enemies prevail so fast,
That at the court I may not bee.'

'O goe to the court yet, good my Lord,
And take thy gallant men with thee:
If any dare to doe you wrong,
Then your warrant they may bee.'

'O goe to the court yet, good my Lord,
And take thy gallant men with thee:
If any dare to doe you wrong,
Then your warrant they may bee.'

'Now nay, now nay, thou Lady faire,
The court is full of subtiltie;
And if I goe to the court, Lady,
Never more I may thee see.'

'Yet goe to the court, my Lord,' she sayes,
'And I myselfe will ryde wi' thee;
At court then for my dearest Lord,
His faithfull borrow I will bee.'

'Now nay, now nay, my Lady deare;
Far lever had I lose my life,
Than leave among my cruell foes
My love in jeopardy and strife.

'But come thou hither, my little foot-page,
Come thou hither unto mee;
To maister Norton thou must go
In all the haste that ever may bee.

'Commend me to that gentleman,
And beare this letter here fro mee;
And say that earnestly I praye,
He will ryde in my companie.'

One while the little foot-page went,
And another while he ran;
Untill he came to his journeys end,
The little foot-page never blan.

When to that gentleman he came,
Down he kneeled on his knee,
And took the letter betwixt his hands,
And lett the gentleman it see.

And when the letter it was redd
Affore that goodlye companye,
I wis, if you the truthe wold know,
There was many a weeping eye.

He sayd, 'Come hither, Christopher Norton,
A gallant youth thou seemst to bee;
What doest thou counsell me, my sonne,
Now that good erle's in jeopardy?'

'Father, my counselle's fair and free;
That erle he is a noble lord,
And whatsoever to him you hight,
I wold not have you breake your word.'

'Gramercy, Christopher, my sonne,
Thy counsell well it liketh me,
And if we speed and scape with life,
Well advanced shalt thou bee.

'Come you hither, my nine good sonnes,
Gallant men I trowe you bee:
How many of you, my children deare,
Will stand by that good erle and mee?'

Eight of them did answer make,
Eight of them spake hastilie,
'O father, till the daye we dye
We'll stand by that good erle and thee.'

'Gramercy now, my children deare,
You showe yourselves right bold and brave;
And whethersoe'er I live or dye,
A fathers blessing you shal have.

'But what sayst thou, O Fancis Norton?
Thou art mine eldest sonn and heire;
Somewhat lyes brooding in thy breast;
Whatever it bee, to mee declare.'

'Father, you are an aged man;
Your head is white, your bearde is gray;
It were a shame at these your yeares
For you to ryse in such a fray.'

'Now fye upon thee, coward Francis,
Thou never learndest this of mee;
When thou wert yong and tender of age,
Why did I make soe much of thee?'

'But, father, I will wend with you,
Unarm'd and naked will I bee;
And he that strikes against the crowne,
Ever an ill death may he dee.'

Then rose that reverend gentleman,
And with him came a goodlye band,
To join with the brave Erle Percy,
And all the flower o' Northumberland.

With them the noble Nevill came,
The Erle of Westmorland was hee.
At Wetherbye they mustred their host,
Thirteen thousand faire to see.

Lord Westmorland his ancyent raisde,
The Dun Bull he rays'd on hye,
And three dogs with golden collars
Were there sett out most royallye.

Erle Percy there his ancyent spred,
The Halfe-Moone shining all soe faire:
The Nortons ancyent had the crosse,
And the five wounds our Lord did beare.

Then Sir George Bowes he straitwaye rose,
After them some spoyle to make;
Those noble erles turn'd backe againe,
And aye they vowed that knight to take.

That baron he to his castle fled,
To Barnard castle then fled hee;
The uttermost walles were eathe to win,
The earles have won them presentlie.

The uttermost walles were lime and bricke,
But thoughe they won them soon anone,
Long e'er they wan the innermost walles,
For they were cut in rocke of stone.

Then newes unto leeve London came,
In all the speede that ever might bee,
And word is brought to our royall queene
Of the rysing in the North countrie.

Her grace she turned her round about,
And like a royall queene shee swore,
'I will ordayne them such a breakfast,
As never was in the North before.'

Shee caus'd thirty thousand men be rays'd,
With horse and harneis faire to see;
She causd thirty thousand men be raised,
To take the earles i' th' North countrie.

Wi' them the false Erle Warwick went,
Th' Erle Sussex and the Lord Hunsden;
Untill they to Yorke castle came,
I wiss, they never stint ne blan.

Now spred thy ancyent, Westmorland,
Thy dun bull faine would we spye:
And thou, the Erle o' Northumberland,
Now rayse thy half-moone up on hye.

But the dun bulle is fled and gone,
And the halfe-moone vanished away:
The earles, though they were brave and bold,
Against soe many could not stay.

Thee, Norton, wi' thine eight good sonnes,
They doom'd to dye, alas for ruth!
Thy reverend lockes thee could not save,
Nor them their faire and blooming youthe.

Wi' them full many a gallant wight
They cruellye bereav'd of life:
And many a childe made fatherlesse,
And widowed many a tender wife.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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