Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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" A grave, a grave!" lord Barnaby cried,
" A grave to lay them in; My lady shall lie on the sunny side,                    «
Because of her noble kin."
But oh, how sorry was that good lord,
For a' his angry mood, Whan he beheld his ain young son
All welf ring in his blood !                                  100
Notb. [In v. 81] the term " braid bow " has been altered by the editor into " brent bow," i. e. straight, or unbent bow. In most of the old ballads, where a page is employed as tho bearer of a message, we are told, that,
" When he came to wan water, He bent his bow and swam:" And
" He set his bent bow to his breast, And lightly lap the wa\" &o.
The application of the term bent, in the latter instance, does not seem correct, and is probably substituted for brent.
In the establishment of a feudal baron, every thing wore a military aspect; he was a warrior by profession; every man attached to him, particularly those employed abont his per­son, was a soldier; and his little foot-page was very appropri­ately equipped in the light accoutrements of an archer. His bow, in the old ballad, seems as inseparable from his charac­ter as the bow of Cupid or of Apollo, or the caduceus of his ce­lestial prototype Mercury. This bow, which he carried unbent, he seems to have bent when he had occasion to swim, in order that he might the more easily carry it in his teeth, to prevent the string from being injured by getting wet. At other times he availed himself of its length and elasticity in the brent, or straight state, and used it (as hunters do a leaping pole) in