Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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CHEVY-CHACE.
43
CHEVY-CHACE.
Ths text of this later ballad of Chevy-Chace is given as it appears in Old Ballads (1723), vol. i. p. Ill, and in Durfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, vol. iv. p. 289, and differs very slightly from that of the Reliques (i. 265), where the ballad was printed from the folio MS., compared with two other black-letter copies.
The age of this version of the story is not known, but it is certainly not later, says Dr. Rimbault, than the reign of Charles the Second. Addison's papers in the Spectator (Nos. 70 and 74) evince so true a percep­tion of the merits of this ballad, shorn as it is of the most striking beauties of the grand original, that we cannot but deeply regret his never having seen the ancient and genuine copy, which was published by Hearne only a few days after Addison died. Well might the Spectator dissent from the judgment of Sidney, if this were the rude and ill-apparelled song of a barbarous age.
God prosper long our noble king,
Our lives and safeties all; A woful hunting once there did
In Chevy-Chace befall.
To drive the deer with hound and horn, e
Erie Piercy took his way ; The child may rue that is unborn,
The hunting of that day.