Legends & Sagas
162A: The Hunting of the Cheviot
162A.1 THE Pers owt off Northombarlonde,
and avowe to God mayd he
That he wold hunte in the mowntayns
off Chyviat within days thre,
In the magger of dought Dogles,
and all that euer with him be.
162A.2 The fattiste hartes in all Cheviat
he sayd he wold kyll, and cary them away:
Be my feth, sayd the dougheti Doglas agayn,
I wyll let that hontyng yf that I may.
162A.3 The[n] the Pers owt off Banborowe cam,
with him a myghtee meany,
With fifteen hondrith archares bold off blood and bone;
the wear chosen owt of shyars thre.
162A.4 This begane on a Monday at morn,
in Cheviat the hillys so he;
The chylde may rue that ys vn-born,
it wos the mor pitt .
162A.5 The dryvars thorowe the woodees went,
for to reas the dear;
Bomen byckarte vppone the bent
with ther browd aros cleare.
162A.6 Then the wyld thorowe the woodees went,
on euery syd shear;
Greahondes thorowe the grevis glent,
for to kyll thear dear.
162A.7 This begane in Chyviat the hyls abone,
yerly on a Monnyn-day;
Be that it drewe to the oware off none,
a hondrith fat hartees ded ther lay.
162A.8 The blewe a mort vppone the bent,
the semblyde on sydis shear;
To the quyrry then the Pers went,
to se the bryttlynge off the deare.
162A.9 He sayd, It was the Duglas promys
this day to met me hear;
But I wyste he wolde faylle, verament;
a great oth the Pers swear.
162A.10 At the laste a squyar off Northomberlonde
lokyde at his hand full ny;
He was war a the doughetie Doglas commynge,
with him a myghtt meany.
162A.11 h with spear, bylle, and brande,
yt was a myghtti sight to se;
Hardyar men, both off hart nor hande,
wear not in Cristiant .
162A.12 The wear twenti hondrith spear-men good,
withoute any feale;
The wear borne along be the watter a Twyde,
yth bowndees of Tividale.
162A.13 Leave of the brytlyng of the dear, he sayd,
a+end to your boys lock ye tayk good hede;
For neuer sithe ye wear on your mothars borne
had ye neuer so mickle nede.
162A.14 The dougheti Dogglas on a stede,
he rode alle his men beforne;
His armor glytteryde as dyd a glede;
a boldar barne was never born.
162A.15 Tell me whos men ye ar, he says,
or whos men that ye be:
Who gave youe leave to hunte in this Chyviat chays,
in the spyt of myn and of me.
162A.16 The first mane that ever him an answear mayd,
yt was the good lord Pers :
We wyll not tell the whoys men we ar, he says,
Nor whos men that we be;
But we wyll hounte hear in this chays,
in the spyt of thyne and of the.
162A.17 The fattiste hartees in all Chyviat
we haue kyld, and cast to carry them away:
Be my troth, sayd the doughet Dogglas agay[n],
therfor the ton of vs shal de this day.
162A.18 Then sayd the dought Doglas
unto the lord Pers :
To kyll alle thes giltles men,
alas, it wear great pitt !
162A.19 But, Pers, thowe art a lord of lande,
I am a yerle callyd within my contr ;
Let all our men vppone a parti stande,
and do the battell off the and of me.
162A.20 Nowe Cristes cors on his crowne, sayd the lorde Pers,
who-so-euer ther-to says nay!
Be my troth, doughtte Doglas, he says,
Thow shalt neuer se that day.
162A.21 Nethar in Ynglonde, Skottlonde, nar France,
nor for no man of a woman born,
But, and fortune be my chance,
I dar met him, on man for on.
162A.22 Then bespayke a squyar off Northombarlonde,
Richard Wytharyngton was him nam;
It shal neuer be told in Sothe-Ynglonde, he says,
To Kyng Herry the Fourth for sham.
162A.23 I wat youe byn great lordees twaw,
I am a poor squyar of lande;
I wylle neuer se my captayne fyght on a fylde,
and stande my selffe and loocke on,
But whylle I may my weppone welde,
I wylle not [fayle] both hart and hande.
162A.24 That day, that day, that dredfull day!
the first fit here I fynde;
And youe wyll here any mor a the hountynge a the Chyviat,
yet ys ther mor behynde.
162A.25 The Yngglyshe men hade ther bowys yebent,
ther hartes wer good yenoughe;
The first off arros that the shote off,
seven skore spear-men the sloughe.
162A.26 Yet byddys the yerle Doglas vppon the bent,
a captayne good yenoughe,
And that was sene verament,
for he wrought hom both woo and wouche.
162A.27 The Dogglas partyd his ost in thre,
lyk a cheffe cheften off pryde;
With suar spears off myghtt tre,
the cum in on euery syde;
162A.28 Thrughe our Yngglyshe archery
gave many a wounde fulle wyde;
Many a doughet the garde to dy,
which ganyde them no pryde.
162A.29 The Ynglyshe men let ther boys be,
and pulde owt brandes that wer brighte;
It was a hevy syght to se
bryght swordes on basnites lyght.
162A.30 Thorowe ryche male and myneyeple,
many sterne the strocke done streght;
Many a freyke that was fulle fre,
ther vndar foot dyd lyght.
162A.31 At last the Duglas and the Pers met,
lyk to captayns of myght and of mayne;
The swapte toghethar tylle the both swat,
with swordes that wear of fyn myllan.
162A.32 Thes worth freckys for to fyght,
ther-to the wear fulle fayne,
Tylle the bloode owte off thear basnetes sprente,
as euer dyd heal or ra[y]n.
162A.33 Yelde the, Pers, sayde the Doglas,
a+end i feth I shalle the brynge
Wher thowe shalte haue a yerls wagis
of Jamy our Skottish kynge.
162A.34 Thoue shalte haue thy ransom fre,
I hight the hear this thinge;
For the manfullyste man yet art thowe
that euer I conqueryd in filde fighttynge.
162A.35 Nay, sayd the lord Pers,
I tolde it the beforne,
That I wolde neuer yeldyde be
to no man of a woman born.
162A.36 With that ther cam an arrowe hastely,
forthe off a myghtt wane;
Hit hathe strekene the yerle Duglas
in at the brest-bane.
162A.37 Thorowe lyvar and longees bathe
the sharpe arrowe ys gane,
That neuer after in all his lyffe-days
he spayke mo wordees but ane:
That was, Fyghte ye, my myrry men, whyllys ye may,
for my lyff-days ben gan.
162A.38 The Pers leanyde on his brande,
and sawe the Duglas de;
He tooke the dede mane by the hande,
and sayd, Wo ys me for the!
162A.39 To haue savyde thy lyffe, I wolde haue partyde with
my landes for years thre,
For a better man, of hart nare of hande,
was nat in all the north contr .
162A.40 Off all that se a Skottishe knyght,
was callyd Ser Hewe the Monggombyrry;
He sawe the Duglas to the deth was dyght,
he spendyd a spear, a trusti tre.
162A.41 He rod vppone a corsiare
throughe a hondrith archery:
He neuer stynttyde, nar neuer blane,
tylle he cam to the good lord Pers .
162A.42 He set vppone the lorde Pers
a dynte that was full soare;
With a suar spear of a myghte tre
clean thorow the body he the Pers ber,
162A.43 A the tothar syde that a man myght se
a large cloth-yard and mare:
Towe bettar captayns wear nat in Cristiant
then that day slan wear ther.
162A.44 An archar off Northomberlonde
say slean was the lord Pers ;
He bar a bende bowe in his hand,
was made off trusti tre.
162A.45 An arow that a cloth-yarde was lang
to the harde stele halyde he;
A dynt that was both sad and soar
he sat on Ser Hewe the Monggombyrry.
162A.46 The dynt yt was both sad and sar
that he of Monggomberry sete;
The swane-fethars that his arrowe bar
with his hart-blood the wear wete.
162A.47 Ther was neuer a freake wone foot wolde fle,
but still in stour dyd stand,
Heawyng on yche othar, whylle the myghte dre,
with many a balfull brande.
162A.48 This battell begane in Chyviat
an owar befor the none,
And when even-songe bell was rang,
the battell was nat half done.
162A.49 The tocke . . on ethar hande
be the lyght off the mone;
Many hade no strenght for to stande,
in Chyviat the hillys abon.
162A.50 Of fifteen hondrith archars of Ynglonde
went away but seuenti and thre;
Of twenti hondrith spear-men of Skotlonde,
but even five and fifti.
162A.51 But all wear slayne Cheviat within;
the hade no streng[th]e to stand on hy;
The chylde may rue that ys unborne,
it was the mor pitt .
162A.52 Thear was slayne, withe the lord Pers,
Ser Johan of Agerstone,
Ser Rogar, the hinde Hartly,
Ser Wyllyam, the bolde Hearone.
162A.53 Ser Jorg, the worth Loumle,
a knyghte of great renowen,
Ser Raff, the ryche Rugbe,
with dyntes wear beaten dowene.
162A.54 For Wetharryngton my harte was wo,
that euer he slayne shulde be;
For when both his leggis wear hewyne in to,
yet he knyled and fought on hys kny.
162A.55 Ther was slayne, with the dougheti Duglas,
Ser Hewe the Monggombyrry,
Ser Dauy Lwdale, that worth was,
his sistars son was he.
162A.56 Ser Charls a Murr in that place,
that neuer a foot wolde fle;
Ser Hewe Maxwelle, a lorde he was,
with the Doglas dyd he dey.
162A.57 So on the morrowe the mayde them byears
off birch and hasell so g[r]ay;
Many wedous, with wepyng tears,
cam to fache ther makys away.
162A.58 Tivydale may carpe off care,
Northombarlond may mayk great mon,
For towe such captayns as slayne wear thear
on the March-parti shall neuer be non.
162A.59 Word ys commen to Eddenburrowe,
to Jamy the Skottishe kynge,
That dougheti Duglas, lyff-tenant of the Marches,
he lay slean Chyviot within.
162A.60 His handd s dyd he weal and wryn7 he sayd, Alas, and woe ys me!
Such an othar captayn Skotland within,
he sayd, ye-feth shuld neuer be.
162A.61 Worde ys commyn to lovly Londone,
till the fourth Harry our kynge,
That lord Pers, leyff-tenante of the Marchis,
he lay slayne Chyviat within.
162A.62 God haue merci on his solle, sayde Kyng Harry,
good lord, yf thy will it be!
I haue a hondrith captayns in Ynglonde, he sayd,
a+es good as euer was he:
But, Pers, and I brook my lyffe,
thy deth well quyte shall be.
162A.63 As our noble kynge mayd his avowe,
lyke a noble prince of renowen,
For the deth of the lord Pers
he dyde the battell of Hombyll-down;
162A.64 Wher syx and thritt Skottishe knyghtes
on a day wear beaten down;
Glendale glytteryde on ther armor bryght,
over castille, towar, and town.
162A.65 This was the hontynge off the Cheviat,
that tear begane this spurn;
Old men that knowen t8e grownde well yenoughe
call it the battell of Otterburn.
162A.66 At Otterburn begane this spurne,
vppone a Monnynday;
Ther was the dought Doglas slean,
the Pers neuer went away.
162A.67 Ther was neuer a tym on the Marche-part s
sen the Doglas and the Pers met,
But yt ys mervele and the rede blude ronne not,
as the reane doys in the stret.
162A.68 Ihesue Crist our balys bete,
and to the blys vs brynge!
Thus was the hountynge of the Chivyat:
God send vs alle good endyng!
162B: The Hunting of the Cheviot
162B.1 GOD prosper long our noble king,
our liffes and saftyes all!
A woefull hunting once there did
in Cheuy Chase befall.
162B.2 To driue the deere with hound and horne
Erle Pearcy took the way:
The child may rue that is vnborne
the hunting of that day!
162B.3 The stout Erle of Northumberland
a vow to God did make
His pleasure in the Scottish woods
three sommers days to take,
162B.4 The cheefest harts in Cheuy C[h]ase
to kill and beare away:
These tydings to Erle Douglas came
in Scottland, where he lay.
162B.5 Who sent Erle Pearcy present word
he wold prevent his sport;
The English erle, not fearing that,
did to the woods resort,
162B.6 With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,
all chosen men of might,
Who knew full well in time of neede
to ayme their shafts arright.
162B.7 The gallant greyhound[s] swiftly ran
to chase the fallow deere;
On Munday they began to hunt,
ere daylight did appeare.
162B.8 And long before high noone the had
a hundred fat buckes slaine;
Then hauing dined, the drouyers went
to rouze the deare againe.
162B.9 The bowmen mustered on the hills,
well able to endure;
Theire backsids all with speciall care
that day were guarded sure.
162B.10 The hounds ran swiftly through the woods
the nimble deere to take,
That with their cryes the hills and dales
an eccho shrill did make.
162B.11 Lord Pearcy to the querry went
to veiw the tender deere;
Quoth he, Erle Douglas promised once
this day to meete me heere;
162B.12 But if I thought he wold not come,
noe longer wold I stay.
With that a braue younge gentlman
thus to the erle did say:
162B.13 Loe, yonder doth Erle Douglas come,
hys men in armour bright;
Full twenty hundred Scottish speres
all marching in our sight.
162B.14 All men of pleasant Tiuydale,
fast by the riuer Tweede:
O ceaze your sportts! Erle Pearcy said,
a+end take your bowes with speede.
162B.15 And now with me, my countrymen,
your courage forth advance!
For there was neuer champion yett,
in Scottland nor in Ffrance,
162B.16 That euer did on horsbacke come,
[but], and if my hap it were,
I durst encounter man for man,
with him to breake a spere.
162B.17 Erle Douglas on his milke-white steede,
most like a baron bold,
Rode formost of his company,
whose armor shone like gold.
162B.18 Shew me, sayd hee, whose men you bee
that hunt soe boldly heere,
That without my consent doe chase
and kill my fallow deere.
162B.19 The first man that did answer make
was noble Pearcy hee,
Who sayd, Wee list not to declare
nor shew whose men wee bee;
162B.20 Yett wee will spend our deerest blood
thy cheefest harts to slay.
Then Douglas swore a solempne oathe,
and thus in rage did say:
162B.21 Ere thus I will outbraued bee,
one of vs tow shall dye;
I know thee well, an erle thou art;
Lord Pearcy, soe am I.
162B.22 But trust me, Pearcye, pittye it were,
and great offence, to kill
Then any of these our guiltlesse men,
for they haue done none ill.
162B.23 Let thou and I the battell trye,
and set our men aside:
Accurst bee [he!] Erle Pearcye sayd,
By whome it is denyed.
162B.24 Then stept a gallant squire forth-+-
Witherington was his name-+-
Who said, I wold not haue it told
to Henery our king, for shame,
162B.25 That ere my captaine fought on foote,
and I stand looking on.
You bee two Erles, quoth Witheringhton,
and I a squier alone;
162B.26 Ile doe the best that doe I may,
while I haue power to stand;
While I haue power to weeld my sword,
Ile fight with hart and hand.
162B.27 Our English archers bent their bowes;
their harts were good and trew;
Att the first flight of arrowes sent,
full foure score Scotts the slew.
162B.28 To driue the deere with hound and horne,
Dauglas bade on the bent;
Two captaines moued with mickle might,
their speres to shiuers went.
162B.29 They closed full fast on euerye side,
noe slacknes there was found,
But many a gallant gentleman
lay gasping on the ground.
162B.30 O Christ! it was great greeue to see
how eche man chose his spere,
And how the blood out of their brests
did gush like water cleare.
162B.31 At last these two stout erles did meet,
like captaines of great might;
Like lyons woode they layd on lode;
the made a cruell fight.
162B.32 The fought vntill they both did sweat,
with swords of tempered steele,
Till blood downe their cheekes like raine
the trickling downe did feele.
162B.33 O yeeld thee, Pearcye! Douglas sayd,
a+end in faith I will thee bringe
Where thou shall high advanced bee
by Iames our Scottish king.
162B.34 Thy ransome I will freely giue,
and this report of thee,
Thou art the most couragious knight
[that ever I did see.]
162B.35 Noe, Douglas! quoth Erle Percy then,
Thy profer I doe scorne;
I will not yeelde to any Scott
that euer yett was borne!
162B.36 With that there came an arrow keene,
out of an English bow,
Which stroke Erle Douglas on the brest
a deepe and deadlye blow.
162B.37 Who neuer sayd more words then these:
Fight on, my merry men all!
For why, my life is att [an] end,
lord Pearcy sees my fall.
162B.38 Then leauing liffe, Erle Pearcy tooke
the dead man by the hand;
Who said, Erle Dowglas, for thy life,
wold I had lost my land!
162B.39 O Christ! my verry hart doth bleed
for sorrow for thy sake,
For sure, a more redoubted knight
mischance cold neuer take.
162B.40 A knight amongst the Scotts there was
which saw Erle Douglas dye,
Who streight in hart did vow revenge
vpon the Lord Pearcye.
162B.41 Sir Hugh Mountgomerye was he called,
who, with a spere full bright,
Well mounted on a gallant steed,
ran feircly through the fight,
162B.42 And past the English archers all,
without all dread or feare,
And through Erle Percyes body then
he thrust his hatfull spere.
162B.43 With such a vehement force and might
his body he did gore,
The staff ran through the other side
a large cloth-yard and more.
162B.44 Thus did both these nobles dye,
whose courage none cold staine;
An English archer then perceiued
the noble erle was slaine.
162B.45 He had [a] good bow in his hand,
made of a trusty tree;
An arrow of a cloth-yard long
to the hard head haled hee.
162B.46 Against Sir Hugh Mountgomerye
his shaft full right he sett;
The grey-goose-winge that was there-on
in his harts bloode was wett.
162B.47 This fight from breake of day did last
till setting of the sun,
For when the rung the euening-bell
the battele scarse was done.
162B.48 With stout Erle Percy there was slaine
Sir Iohn of Egerton,
Sir Robert Harcliffe and Sir William,
Sir Iames, that bold barron.
162B.49 And with Sir George and Sir Iames,
both knights of good account,
Good Sir Raphe Rebbye there was slaine,
whose prowesse did surmount.
162B.50 For Witherington needs must I wayle
as one in dolefull dumpes,
For when his leggs were smitten of,
he fought vpon his stumpes.
162B.51 And with Erle Dowglas there was slaine
Sir Hugh Mountgomerye,
And Sir Charles Morrell, that from feelde
one foote wold neuer flee;
162B.52 Sir Roger Heuer of Harcliffe tow,
his sisters sonne was hee;
Sir David Lambwell, well esteemed,
but saved he cold not bee.
162B.53 And the Lord Maxwell, in like case,
with Douglas he did dye;
Of twenty hundred Scottish speeres,
scarce fifty-fiue did flye.
162B.54 Of fifteen hundred Englishmen
went home but fifty-three;
The rest in Cheuy Chase were slaine,
vnder the greenwoode tree.
162B.55 Next day did many widdowes come
their husbands to bewayle;
They washt their wounds in brinish teares,
but all wold not prevayle.
162B.56 Theyr bodyes, bathed in purple blood,
the bore with them away;
They kist them dead a thousand times
ere the were cladd in clay.
162B.57 The newes was brought to Eddenborrow,
where Scottlands king did rayne,
That braue Erle Douglas soddainlye
was with an arrow slaine.
162B.58 O heauy newes! King Iames can say;
Scottland may wittenesse bee
I haue not any captaine more
of such account as hee.
162B.59 Like tydings to King Henery came,
within as short a space,
That Pearcy of Northumberland
was slaine in Cheuy Chase.
162B.60 Now God be with him! said our king,
Sith it will noe better bee;
I trust I haue within my realme
fiue hundred as good as hee.
162B.61 Yett shall not Scotts nor Scottland say
but I will vengeance take,
And be revenged on them all
for braue Erle Percyes sake.
162B.62 This vow the king did well performe
after on Humble-downe;
In one day fifty knights were slayne,
with lords of great renowne.
162B.63 And of the rest, of small account,
did many hundreds dye:
Thus endeth the hunting in Cheuy Chase,
made by the Erle Pearcye.
162B.64 God saue our king, and blesse this land
with plentye, ioy, and peace,
And grant hencforth that foule debate
twixt noble men may ceaze!
Next: 163. The Battle of Harlaw