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Probably the before-going Ballad is only a part of the original Cornish May Song, the remainder is now forgotten; some of it evidently appears to be ancient, and part modern; that is, some verses have been added at different periods, according to the circumstances of the times, like those of God save the King. Aunt Mary, mentioned in the 5t" stanza, may probably allude to Queen Mary, in whose reign, the war was not alltogether successful: Also, according to tradition there was an old Lady at Helston, whose name was Mary, who used to give libations of liquor to the inhabitants, on the eve of Flora-day, thinking she was remembered in their Song.
The Town Arms of Heuston, is s! Michael slaying the Dragon. The common tradition is that a fiery-Dragon in days of old, threatened destruction to the Town; but that the goddess FLORA, having collected such powerful odours of flowers, whose perfumes filled the air, the monster kept aloof,and by that means, the place was preserved.
"Take it upon this condition;
"It holds, credit by tradition." Merry MICHAEL, the celebrated Cornish poet, who flourished about the year 12.50, wrote against HENRY of AURANCHES, poet Laureat to King Henry the third, (who had play'd upon the Cornish-men,as the fag-end of the world,) in defence of his Country, has these verses;
“'Twere needless to recount their wondrous store,
“In Fish, and Tinn, they know no rival shore.” The Cornwallians are also famous for wrestling, and hurling. And in King Arthur's time, they were honoured with the post of honour, of being placed in the front of Battle.