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On Norways coast the widowit dame
May wash the rocks with teirs,
Befoir hir mate appears.
Thy lord lyis in the clay;
To carry lyfe away.
There on a lie, quhair stands a cross
Filld kene waris black intent.
Let Norse the name ay dreid,
Loud and chill blew the westlin wind,
Sair beat the heavy showir,
Wan neir his stately towir.
To myne fae far at nicht,
Nae marvel fair he fichd.
“ Thairs nae licht in my ladys bowir,
Thairs nae licht in my hall;
Nor ward stands on my wall. “ Quhat bodes it? Robert, Thomas, fay;" 325
Nae answer fits their dreid. “ Stand-back, my sons, I'll be zour gyde :"
But by they paft with fpeid.
“ As fast I haif sped owre Scotlands facs,"
There ceist his brag of weir,
And maiden Fairly fair.
He wist not zit with dreid;
And all the warrior Aed.
THE END OF THE FIRST BOOK.
1. ABALLAD OF LUTHER, THE POPE, A
CARDINAL, AND A HUSBANDMAN.
In the former Book we brought down this second Series of poems, as low as about the middle of the fixteenth century. We now find the Muses deeply engaged in religious controversy. The sudden revolution, wrought in the opinions. of mankind by the Reformation, is one of the most friking events in the hiftory of the human mind. It could
not but engross the attention of every individual in that age, and therefore no other writings would have any chance to be read, but such as related to this grand topic. The alterations made in the establifhed religion by Henry VIII, the sudden changes it underwent in the three fucceeding reigns with. in lo sport a space as,eleven or twelve years, and the violent struggles between expiring Popery, and growing Protestantism, could not but interest all mankind. Accordingly every pen was engaged in the dispute. Tbe followers of the old and New Profesion (as it was called) bad their respective Ballad-makers; and every day produced some popular sonnet for, or againft'the Reformation. The following ballad, and that intitled LITTLE JOHN NOBODY, may serve for specimens of the writings of each party. Both were written in the reign of Edward VI ; and are not the worst that were composed upon the occahon. Controversial divinity is mo friend to poetic flights. Yet this ballad of “ Luther and the Pope," is not altogether devoid of spirit; it is of the dramatic kind, and the characters are tolerably well fusainbd; especially that of Luther, which is made to speak in a manner not unbecoming the spirit and courage of that vigor, ous Reformer. It is printed from the original black-lètter copy (in the Pepys collection, vol. I. folio,) to which is prefixed a large wooden cut, designed and executed by some eminent mofler. This is copied in miniature in the small Engraving inserted above.
We are not to wonder that the Ballad-writers of that age frould be inspired with the zeal of controversy, when the very stage teemed with polemic divinity. I have now before me two very ancient quarto black-letter plays: the one published in the time of Henry VIII, intitled, Every Man; the otier, called Lustp Iuventus, printed in the reign of Edward V]. In the former of thele, occafion is taken to inculcate
great reverence for old mother church and her superAitions : in the other, the poet (one R. Wever ) with great
juccess attacks both. So that the Stage in those days literally was, what wise men have always wished it,-a supplement
E to the Pulpit :-This was fo much the case, that in the play
of Lufty Juventus, chapter and verse are every where quoted
" Be converted, Oye children, &c.” From this play we learn, that most of the young feople were New Gospellers, or friends to the Reformation; and that the old were tenacious of the doctrines imbibed in their youth: for thus the Devil is introduced lamenting the downfal of Superftition,
“ The olde people would believe fil in my lawes,
" In olde traditions, and made by men, &c." And in another place Hypocrisy urges,
ss The worlde was never meri
“ The father a foole, the chyld a preacher."
The other is intitled, Xn encerlude called Tuftp Insendus: and is thus diftinguished at the end : Finis. quod R. Wever. Imprinted at London in Paules churche peard, bị Xbraham Dele at the figne of the Lambe. Of this too Mr. Garrick has an imperfect copy of a different edition.