Rising in the North LISTEN liuely lordings all, And all ithart beene this place within: If you'le giue eare vnto my songe, I will tell you how this geere did begin. It was the good Erle Of Westmorlande, A noble erle was called hee, And he wrought treason against the crowne; Alas, itt was the more pittye! And soe itt was the Erle of Northumberland, Another good noble erle was hee; They tooken both vpon one part, Against the crowne they wolden bee. Earle Pearcy is into his garden gone, And after walkes his awne ladye: `I heare a bird sing in my eare That I must either fight or flee.' `God forbidd,' shee sayd, 'good my lord, iThart euer soe ithart it shalbee! But goe to London to the court, And faire fall truth and honestye!' `But nay, now nay, my ladye gay, That euer it shold soe bee; My treason is knowen well enoughe; Att the court I must not bee.' `But goe to the court yet, good my lord, Take men enowe with thee; If any man will doe you wronge, Your warrant they may bee.' `But nay, now nay, my lady gay, For soe itt must not bee; If I goe to the court, ladye, Death will strike me, and I must dye.' `But goe to the court yett, good my lord, I my-selfe will ryde with thee; If any man will doe you wronge, Your borrow I shalbee.' `But nay, now nay, my lady gay, For soe it must not bee; For if I goe to the court, ladye, Thou must me neuer see. `But come hither, thou litle foot-page, Come thou hither vnto mee, For thou shalt goe a message to Master Norton, In all the hast that euer may bee. Comend me to that gentleman; Bring him here this letter from mee, And say, I pray him earnestlye That hee will ryde in my companye.' But one while the foote-page went, Another while he rann; Vntill he came to Master Norton, The foot-page, neuer blanne. And when he came to Master Nortton, He kneeled on his knee, And tooke the letter betwixt his hands, And lett the gentleman it see. And when the letter itt was reade, Affore all his companye, I-wis, if you wold know the truth, There was many a weeping eye. He said, Come hither, Kester Nortton, A fine fellow thou seemes to bee; Some good councell, Kester Nortton, This day doe thou giue to mee. `Marry, I'le giue you councell, father, If you'le take councell att me, That if you haue spoken the word, father, That backe againe you doe not flee.' `God a mercy! Christopher Nortton, I say, God a mercye! If I doe liue and scape with liffe, Well advanced shalt thou bee. `But come you hither, my nine good sonnes, In mens estate I thinke you bee; How many of you, my children deare, On my part that wilbe?' But eight of them did answer soone, And spake full hastilye; Sayes, We wilbe on your part, father, Till the day that we doe dye. `But God a mercy! my children deare, And euer I say God a mercy! And yett my blessing you shall haue, Whether-soeuer I liue or dye. `But what sayst thou, thou francis Nortton, Mine eldest sonne and mine heyre trulye? Some good councell, francis Nortton, This day thou giue to me.' `But I will giue you councell, father, If you will take councell att mee; For if you wold take my councell, father, Against the crowne you shold not bee.' `But ffye vpon thee, francis Nortton! I say ffye vpon thee! When thou was younge and tender af age I made full much of thee.' `But your head is white, father,' he sayes, `And your beard is wonderous gray; Itt were shame for your countrye If you shold rise and flee away.' `But ffye vpon thee, thou coward francis! Thou neuer tookest that of mee! When thou was younge and tender of age I made too much of thee.' `But I will goe with you, father,' quorth hee; `Like a naked man will I bee; He that strikes the first stroake against the crowne, An ill death may hee dye!' But then rose vpp Master Nortton, that esquier, With him a full great companye; And then the erles they comen downe To ryde in his companye. Att Whethersbye the mustered their men, Vpon a full fayre day; Thirteen thousand there were seene To stand in battel ray. The Erle of Westmoreland, he had in his ancyent The dunn bull in sight most hye, And three doggs with golden collers Were sett out royallye. The Erle of Northumberland, he had in his ancyent The halfe moone in sight soe hye, As the Lord was crucifyed on the crosse, And set forth pleasantlye. And after them did rise good Sir George Bowes, After them a spoyle to make; The erles returned backe againe, Thought euer that knight to take. This barron did take a castle then, Was made of lime and stone; The vttermost walls were ese to be woon; The erles haue woon them anon. But tho they woone the vttermost walls, Quickly and anon, The innermust walles the cold not winn; The were made of a rocke of stone. But newes itt came to leeue London, In all the speede that euer might bee; And word it came to our royall queene Of all the rebells in the north countrye. Shee turned her grace then once about, And like a royall queene shee sware; Sayes, I will ordaine them such a breake-fast As was not in the north this thousand yeere! Shee caused thirty thousand men to be made, With horse and harneis all quicklye; And shee caused thirty thousand men to be made, To take the rebells in the north countrye. They tooke with them the false Erle of Warwicke, Soe did they many another man; Vntill they came to Yorke castle, I-wis they neuer stinted nor blan. . . . . . . . . `Spread thy ancyent, Erle of Westmoreland! The halfe-moone faine wold wee see!' But the halfe-moone is fled and gone, And the dun bull vanished awaye; And francis Nortton and his eight sonnes Are fled away most cowardlye. Ladds with mony are counted men, Men without mony are counted none; But hold your tounge! why say you soe? Men wilbe men when mony is gone. Child #175 version in Child, from Percy's Reliques, 1765 incident from 1569 LMP
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!