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Full text of "Folio of Old English ballads and romances"

Of this Edition of The Percy Folio of Old English Ballads 
and Romances 320 Copies have been printed on Hand-made 
paper and 5 on Real \'ellum. The Vellum Copies and 300 on 
Hand-made paper are for sale in England. 

No. 136 



THE KING'S LIBRARY 

EDITED BY PROFESSOR GOLLANCZ, LITT.D. 

THE DE LA MORE PRESS FOLIOS 

IV. THE PERCY FOLIO 

FROM THE TEXT OF DR. F. J. FURNIVALL 
AND PROFESSOR J. W. HALES VOLUME II 



T]ie Publishers and General Editor of '■'■The Kings Library" desire 
to express their thanks to Dr. F. J. Furnivall and Prof. J. W. Hales 
for kindly allowing the use of their text for the present issue. 



THE PERCY FOLIO 
OF OLD ENGLISH 
BALLADS AND 
ROMANCES VOL.11 




LONDON 

AT THE DE LA MORE PRESS 

1906 






CONTENTS OF VOLUME II. 

PAGE 

Merline - - - - _ _ i 

Kinge Arthurs Death - ----- 69 

Kinge John and Bishoppe - - - - 79 

Marye Aumbree ----- 84 

Chevy Chase - - - - - - 88 

When Love with unconfined Wings - - 98 

Cloris - - - - - - -100 

The Kmge Enjoyes his Rights agame - - 10 1 

The iEgiptian Quene - - - - -103 

Hollowe, me Fancye ! - - - - 105 

Newarke - - - - - - -107 

Amongst the Mirtles - - - - -108 

The Worlde is Changed - - - - 109 

The Tribe of Banburye - - - - no 

Ay Me : Ay Me - - - - - e 1 2 

jfFaine Wolde I Change - - - - 114 

When First I Sawe - - - - -115 

How fayre Shee be- - - - -116 

Come, Come, Come !- - - - - 117 

The Grene Knight - - - - -120 

Sir Triamore - - - - - -i':8 



CONTENTS— co;///>///^^ 

Guye and Amarant - _ _ - 

Cales Voyage _ _ _ - . 

Kinge and Miller _ _ _ . 

Agincourte Battell _ _ _ . 

Conscience _ _ _ _ . 

Durham ffeilde - - - - - 

Guy and Phillis _ _ _ . 

John : A : Side - - - - - 
Risinge in the Northe 
Northumberland betrayd by Dowglas 

Guye of Gisborne _ _ _ . 
HerefFord and Norfolke 

Ladyes ffall _ _ _ _ . 
Buckingam betrayd by Banister 

Earle Bodwell _ - - - - 

Bishoppe and Browne - - - - 

Childe Waters - - - - - 

Bessie off Bednall _ _ - - 

Hugh Spencer - - - - ■ 

Kinge Adler _ - - - - 

Boy and Mantle - - - - 

White Rose and Red - - - • 

Bell my Wiffe - - - - ■ 

I Live where I Love - - - • 



191 
198 

200 
209 
216 
221 
231 

233 
239 
245 

253 
262 
269 

280 
283 

285 
291 

301 

307 

311 

318 

326 
329 



n. 



THE PERCY FOLIO 



MERLINE 



Hee that made with His hand 

Both winde, water, and lande, 

Give them all good ending 

That will listen to my talking ! 

And I shall you informe 

How Merlyn was gotten and borne, 

And of his wisdome alsoe, 

And other happs many mooe 

Which then befell in England, 

He that will this understand : lo 

In England there was a King, 

A noble man in all thinge, 

In warr he was ware and wight, 

Constantine forsooth he hight ; 

A doughtye man he was of deed, 

And right wise he was of reede ; 

King he was of great honor. 

And holden prince and Emperour. 

For King Anguish of Denmarke, 

And many a Sarazen stoute and starke, 20 

Warred on him withouten fayle, 

And he overcame them in battaile 

That they durst him not abyde, 

And drove them out of feild that tyde. 

Then had the Kinge sonnes three, 

The fairest children that might bee ; 

The eledest sonne, that shold be king. 

Was called Moyne, without leasing. 

The other were of great renowne, 

Both Uther and Pendragon. 30 



In that time (wee find in booke) 

A great sicknesse the King tooke, 

That out of this world he must wende ; 

And after his Barrons he did send, 

And wen they were comen everecheone 

The King said to them anon, 

" Lords," he said to them anon, 

" Out of this world must I gon : 

For Gods love and charitye, 

And for the love you owe to me, 40 

When I am dead and locked in clay, 

Helpe my children in what you may. 

And take Moyne my eldest sonne, 

And make him King, and give him crowne ; 

Hold him for your Lord," said hee. 

All they granted itt shold soe bee. 

Then had the King a steward fayre 

That was called Sir Vortiger ; 

His truth to the King he plight 

To helpe his children with all his might; 50 

But soone the traytor was forsworne. 

And brake troth he had made beforne. 

For the King out of this world went, 

And faire was buryed verament ; 

Att Winchester, without leasinge. 

There was made his buryinge. 

Erles and Barons soone anon 

Tooke them together everechone ; 

With-out any more dwellinge 

They made Moyne Lord and King. 60 

But the steward, Sir Vortiger, 

Was full wrath, as you may heere. 

And stoode there againe with all his might 

Both by day and eke by night. 

For he thought liimselfe with treason 

To be Lord and King with crowne. 



As soone as Moyne was chosen King, 

Into Denmarke the word can springe : 

King Anguis hard it then, 

And therof was both glad and £iine ; 70 

Soone messengers in that ilke tyde 

He sent over all the land wyde, 

After many Sarazens stout and starke. 

And of Saxons, and of Denmarke 

A hundred thousand, and yett moe, 

On horss backe and on foote alsoe. 

Then wold they noe longer abyde ; 

But dight them to shipp that tyde, 

And brought into England, I saine. 

Many a doughtye Sarazen. 80 

But England was called then 

Mikle Brittaine of every man. 

Then the word wyde sprange 

How the Danish King with wronge 

Wrought in England mickle woe. 

King Moyne heard that it was soe ; 

He went unto Sir Vortiger, 

And prayed him with lowlye cheere, 

And besought him of his honour 

For to be his governor 90 

Against his foemen to fight. 

He answered him anon-right. 

And fained himselfe sicke, as traytor strong, 

And said with wright and not with wrong, 

" He wold never come in battaile 

When his strenght began to faile ; " 

For all this he said aforehand. 

For he thought to be King of that land. 

The King, he wold him noe more pray. 

But tooke his leave and went his way. 100 

Messengers he sent that tyde 

To all the lands on every side, 



For erles, barons, and knights 

To come and helpe him in his fights. 

And when they were all come, 

And their armes done upon, 

They pricked forth without fayle 

To give the Danes King battaille. 

There was cloven many a sheeld, 

And many knight fallen in feild. no 

All that they mett in strond, 

Horsse and man fell to the ground. 

Soone the English men, the sooth to say, 

Were discomffitt and fled avvaye ; 

To Winchester they flledden thoe 

With much sorrow, care, and woe. 

But the Danish King before. 

Much of his ffblke he had forlore ; 

And then forthe he sent his sond 

Sone into his owne land, 120 

To all that might weapons beare, 

Shold come and helpe him in this warre. 

Of warre wold he never blinne, 

Cytyes and castles for to winne : 

In England he warrd full sore 

Halfe a yeare and some deale more. 

All the barons in England 

Took them together in that stond. 

What was best for them to done 

For to avenge them of their fone. 130 

When they were comen all arright, 

Erles and barrons, lords and knights. 

They said Moyne their young King 

Was but a brotherlinge, 

And said if Vortiger king were. 

He wold bring them out of care ; 

They said anon, both old and younge, 

That Vortiger shold be their King. 



And when they had spoken all this, 

Twelve Barrons they send, Iwis, 140 

To Sir Vortiger the bold. 

To witt whether he nay wold 

Against their foemen to stand, 

To drive them out ot England. 

And when the Barrons all in fere 

Were come to Sir Vortiger, 

Well and hendlye they him greete, 

And on they deske by him they seete ; 

And bade them with words still 

For to say what was their will. 150 

And they answered ffayre againe, 

And bade that he shold them saine 

Why he wold not with them gone 

ffor to avenge them of their fone, 

And sayden, " Sith Constantine was dead 

Wee have had a sorry read ; " 

And bade that he shold take in hand 

To warre them out of England. 

Then answered Sir Vortiger 

As a man of great power, 160 

" I was yett never your King ; 

Why pray you me of such a thinge ? 

Nor yett never here beforne, 

Nor to you was never sworne 

For to helpe you att your neede ; 

And therfore, soe God me speede, 

Wend home unto your King, 

And pray him in all thing 

To helpe you against your fone. 

For helpe of me gett you none." 170 

Then answered a bold Barron, 

" Our King is but a younge one ; 

For when he seeth a sword drawne, 

He weeneth to bee slowen ; 



Hee doth us noe other good, 

But flyeth away as he were wood. 

Had thou beene amongst us all, 

That chance had never beftalle ; 

Thus saine all our peeres." 

" I trow well," said Vortiger ; i8o 

" Certaine it was great dole 

To make a Kinge of such a foole ; 

Had you made a man your King, 

He had saved you in all thinge; 

But sithen siker you bee, 

Helpe gett you none of mee. 

But if your King were dead aplight, 

I wold helpe you with all my might." 

Then said the Barrons eche one, 

" Will yee that wee our King slowen? " 190 

" Nay," he sayd, " with-outen strife. 

While your younge King is alive, 

Helpe gett you none, I-wis." 

The Barrons tooke leave with this ; 

To Winchester they went all 

There the King was in halle; 

And as he sate att meate 

They run to him in great heate ; 

And as he sate att the bord, 

Or ever he spake any word, 200 

They run all to him anon 

And smitten of his head full soone. 

And when the King was thus slowe, 

Ereles, Barrons, hye and lowe, 

Tooken them all to reede 

That a King they must have need. 

All England for to warre 

Against them that will or darre. 

Then had Moyne brethren tow, 

Younge children they were alsoe, 210 



The one hight Uther, the other Pendragon. 

Then saiden the Barrons everye one 

That they shold never speede 

But if a doughtye man of deede 

Were chosen to be their King in fere ; 

And svveren that Sir Vortiger 

Was a doughtye man of deede, 

Stout and stale-worth of a steede ; 

They swearen then together eche one, 

That other King they wold have none, 220 

Then was there neither knight nor swaine 

That durst speake them againe. 

But granted it, both old and younge. 

To make Sir Vortiger their king. 

Soe in the time of Aprill, as yee may heere. 

The twelve Barrons came to Vortiger, 

And said that England's right 

Was lorne thorrow their King a-plight, 

And he was dead, without leasing. 

And his two brothers were to young 230 

To hold the kingdome in hand, 

" Therfore the commons of the land 

Have you chosen with honour 

For to be their emperour." 

Blithe and glad was Vortyger, 

And anon was King without danger. 



Second Parte 

Att the feast of the turnament 

The Barrons that were gent. 

That all the treason understoode. 

They had ruth of the right blood, 240 

That they children shold be done to dead ; 

Therfore they tooke another reade, 

7 



And tooken Uther and Pendragon, 

And passed over the seas anon. 

Of theire passage wist noe moe 

But the hend Barrens two. 

And when the feast was all hold, 

Vortiger the traitor bold 

Lett make accompackement 

Of cries and barrons that were gent, 250 

Att which Parlament they had hight 

For to have slaine they children right. 

Vortiger commanded anon 

For to feitch Uther and Pendragon. 

Fast about all they sought, 

But they cold find them nought. 

When Vortiger this understoode, 

Then hee waxed almost woode. 

But never-the-lesse Sir Vortiger 

Did give commandment far and neere 260 

To duke, erle, barron, and knight. 

To make them rydey for to fight ; 

And soone they dight them, I-wis, 

With armes and with horsses of price. 

And when they were ready dight. 

Forsooth it is a seemlye sight : 

With helme one head, and bright banner. 

All went forth with Vortiger. 

The King of Denmarke with pryde 

Brought his host by his syde ; 270 

Either host can other assayle ; 

There might you see a strong battele. 

The English tolkes, sooth to say. 

They foughten so well that day 

That King Anguish in that tyde 

Was upon the worsse side. 

And ffledd away as he were woode 

Into a castle faire and goode ; 

8 



And manye of his host alsoe, 

Fast away can they goe ; 280 

And Vortiger with his rowte 

Besett the castle all aboute. 

And when they had long laine, 

Vortiger send to them for to saine 

If he peace passe must, 

Hee wolde take all his host 

And wende into his countrye, 

And never after that day 

Wold he passe the sea stronde, 

Ne come to warr in Englande. 290 

And when this covenant was all done, 

That they wold not into England come, 

Vortiger tooke his councell 

And lett them passe certaine ; 

And soe they went to the sea. 

And passed to their owne countrye. 

Vortiger then tooke his ost 

And went thence with a great boaste ; 

He held feast many a day 

With much solace and with play. 300 

And when the feast was all helde. 

The twelve Barrons that I erst of told, 

That had slaine Moyne the King, 

They bethought them of a wonderous thing. 

That they wold wend to Vortiger 

And aske him meede and liverr. 

And said, " Vortiger, now you bee above. 

Now yeelde us meede ! for thy love 

Wee slew our right King by kind ; 

Now will wee see if thou bee hynde; 310 

For wee brought thee to thine above ; 

Thinke what wee did for your love ! " 

King Vortiger answered againe : 

With egar moode he can saine. 



" By the law that God made 

You shall have as yee bade ! 

For yee are traitors starke and stronge, 

And have slaine your King with wronge, 

And yee have wrought against the law ! 

And therfore yee shall both hang and draw." 320 

He did take horsses fleete, 

And tyed them to their ffeete, 

And then drew them on a pavement, 

And sithen hanged them verament. 

Then many an erle and barron hynde 

That were of the barrons kinde, 

To Vortiger they ran anon 

As his most deadlye fone ; 

Hard on him can they fight, 

For to slay him they thought right. 330 

Vortiger with might and maine, 

He with his host went them againe ; 

A strong battell there was dight. 

And many a head ther of smitt, 

Soe that Vortiger that day 

Was glad for to scape away. 

Anon the Barrons send their sonde 

Wyde over all England 

To all their ffreinds, sibb and couthe. 

East, west, north and southe, 340 

And told them that sooth tyde. 

How Vortiger with great despighte. 

With great treason and with wrong. 

Their kinred had drawen and honge. 

Wrath then was many a man, 

And al together swarren then 

That they wold not assunder breake 

Till they were on him wreake. 

Everye man on other besought, 

A great host on him they brought, 350 



10 



And fou"fhtcn with Sir Vortiger 

o to 

Nine monthes of this yeere, 

That many a lady tayre and free 

Lost her lord and her meanye. 

Then the vvarr endured long, 

And the Barrons waxed strong 

That Vortiger had not power 

Against them longer to endure. 

Messengers anon hee tooke, 

And made them sworne upon a booke 360 

That they shold his arrand gone ; 

And letters he tooke to them anon, 

And sent them over the seas, I-wis, 

To Denmarke, unto King Anguis, 

And that hee shold come att neede 

With all the power that he might lead, 

Against his foemen for to fight 

That wold deprive him of his right. 

Then was King Anguis blythe, 

And messengers hee sent swithe 370 

To duke, erle, barron, and knight. 

And to all that weapon beare might. 

Then to shipp they went blithe, 

And over the sea can they drive ; 

And when they came to Vortiger, 

He welcomed them with merry cheere, 

And seazed there into his hands 

Halfe the realme of England 

That he had, or have might, 

For to helpe him in his right. 380 

When this covenant was made fast. 

All they dighten them in hast 

Into battelle for to wend 

With the Barrons that were hende ; 

Besids Salsbury a lyte. 

There the battell can they smite. 

1 1 



Many a bold champion, 

And many a thousand, in that stonde 

Were slaine and brought to ground ; 

Many a ladye and damsell 390 

Can weepe that day with teares fell. 

Then had Vortiger ten 

Against one of the Barrons men ; 

Discomffitted they were that day ; 

With great sorrow they fled away ; 

And Vortiger, that wold not spare, 

But hunted them as hound doth hare, 

Them that he did overtake, 

Noe other peace did he make, 

But did them all to-draw and hange. 400 

But sithen all that was wrong ; 

Many a Barron hynde and free 

Fled out of his owne countrye, 

And dwelled out many a yeere 

For love of Sir Vortiger. 

Then Vortiger ceazed into his hands 

The lands and rents of all the Barrons ; 

And both wiffe, chyld and swaine. 

He drove out of the lannd certaine. 

King Anguis had verament 410 

A daughter that was faire and gent, 

That was heathen Sarazen ; 

And Vortiger for love line 

Undertooke her for his wiffe. 

And lived in cursing all his lifl^e, 

For he did make the Christen men 

To marry the heathen women, 

Soe that nighe all England 

Was fallen into the devills hand ; 

And thus they lived many a yeere. 420 

Soe on a day Sir Vortiger 

Bethought him on the children tow 



12 



That out of the land were fledden thoe, 

And alsoe he bethought him then 

Of many another doughtye man 

That hee had fleemed out of the hmd, 

And in his hart gan understand 

That it was a sorry happe, 

And doubted him of an afterclappe. 

Anon he sent messengers 430 

Over all the land for carpenters, 

And for good massons alsoe, 

The best that were in land thoe. 

Many a thousand there came anon 

That colde worke lime and stone ; 

And when they were comen all, 

The King anon to them gan call. 

And said, " Lordings, I have thought 

A strong castle to be wrought 

Of bigge timber, lime, and stone, 440 

That such another be noe-were none, 

If ever I have any need. 

My liffe therin that I may lead. 

The castle yee shall make surlye 

Upon the Plaine of Salsburye ; 

Goe and doe as I you bade, 

That itt be surlye and well made. 

And you shall have to your hyer 

As much as you shall desire." 

The workemen went forthe thoe, 450 

Fifteen thousand and yett moe, 

Hewen timber, carving stone. 

And laid a foundation there anon. 

Some laid, and some bore. 

And some can the worke arreare. 

That ilke day, round about 

Itt was brest high without doubt. 

When itt came to the night. 



To their bedd they went wright, 

And came againe upon the morrow 460 

And found a thing of much sorrow, 

For all the fondation they found 

Lying abroad upon the ground, 

And all to-torne, both lime and stone. 

They had great wonder, everye one : 

Better read then cold they none, 

But began it new againe. 

And sped as well, the sooth to say, 

As they did the first daye. 

And when the evening was comen, 470 

They went to bedd all soone. 

On morrow they came anon. 

And found it cast downe, lime and stone. 

And was spredd both heere and there \ 

And thus they faren halfe a yeere. 

When the King heard of this. 

Great wonder he had, I-wis, 

And oft asked both young and old, 

And of the wonder wold be told, 

And why the worke might not stand. 480 

There was none within the land, 

Highe nor lowe, learned nor clarke. 

That cold tell him of the worke. 

King Vortiger sate in his hall 

Amongst his barrons and knights all. 

And sware he wold never spare 

Untill he wist why it were ; 

And anon he sent his sonde 

Over all England 

After clerkes old and younges 490 

That cold tell him wonderous things. 

The messengers forth went. 

And did the Kings comandement ; 

Many a wise clarke they sought ; 

1 + 



Before the King they all were brought. 

King Vortiger opposed them all 

Why his vvorke did downe fall ; 

But there was none that cold him tell. 

Then he sware he wold them quell 

But if they wold say in hast 500 

Why this worke was downe cast. 

Ten masters he tooke anon, 

The wisest of them every one ; 

Into a chamber they were doe 

That noe man might come them to. 

Soe one day verament 

They looked into the firmament, 

And under the welkin their shewed a skye 

That shewedd them witterlye 

That in hve winters there beforne 510 

A knave child there was borne. 

Begotten without any man ; 

And if they had that child then, 

And sley him hastily e then, 

Or he spoke to any man, 

And smeere the worke with his blood. 

Then shold that worke be sure and goode : 

Thus the sky shewed them there, 

And passed away without more. 

Then were the clarkes gladd and blythe, 520 

And came to Vortiger sithe. 

And told him without lesse 

Of a knave child that was gotten, I-wis, 

Without seede of any man : 

Thus they saydden everye one, 

' Doe send and feitch that child 

Whether hee bee in towne or feild ; 

And doe him slay hastilye. 

And take the blood of his bodye 

And smere the worke rond about, 530 



15 



And it shall stand without doubt.' 

Glad and blithe was Vortiger, 

And called to him twelve messengers, 

And parted them in veritye, 

That never a one might other see ; 

He sent them forth upon his sond 

Unto four parts of England, 

And commanded that they stint nought 

Till he were befor him brought. 

Anon the messengers forth went 540 

And did the Kings commandement ; 

And Sir Vortiger the bold 

Caused the clarkes to be hold 

Till the messengers came againe, 

To witt what they wold saine, 

And sware by Jesu, heaven King, 

If they made any leasinge, 

Noe ransome shold for them gone, • 

But they shold dye everye one. 

Now let us tell of these messengers 550 

That went from Sir Vortigers 

For to seeke the child soe younge ; 

And yee shall heare a wonderous thing 

And if yee will a stond dwell ; 

Of that chyld I shall you tell. 

On what manner the messenger 

Brought liim to Sir Vortiger, 

And what hee hight withouten lesse. 

And of what kind he is, 

That yee may understand and witt 560 

Thorrow what skill he was gett. 

Third Parte 

David the prophet, and Moyses, 
Wittenesse and saith how itt was 

16 



That God had made thorrow his might 

Heaven full of angells bright : 

The joy that they hadden then, 

Forsooth no tounge tell can, 

Till Lwcifer, with guilt of pryde. 

And all that held with him that tyde, 

Such vengeance God on them can take 570 

That they are now feinds blake. 

And I find in holy ritt, 

They fell from heaven to hell pitt 

Six dayes and seven nights. 

As thicke as hayle in thunder lights ; 

And when it was our Ladyes will. 

Heaven closed againe full stilL 

The feendes that I told of ere, 

Fellen out of heaven with Lucifer ; 

Those that bidden on the ay re on haight, 580 

Fell they beene, stronge and sleight; 

Of they ayre they take their light, 

And have great strenght and might 

After man to make a bodye 

Fayre of coulour and rudye, 

Discending downe among mankind 

To tise men to deadlye sinne. 

All they wist well beforne 

That Jesu wold on Mary be borne ; 

Therto the feendes hadden envye, 590 

And said to the earth they wolden hye 

To neigh on earth a maiden mild. 

And begett on her a child. 

Thus they wend the world to have filed, 

But att the last they were beguiled : 

I shall you tell how itt was ; 

Now yee may heere a wonderous case. 

In that time, I undestand, 

A rich man was in England, 

D 17 



And had a good woman to his wiffe, 600 

And lived together a cleane Uffe ; 

A Sonne they had, and daughters three, 

The fairest children that might bee. 

Anon a feende that I of told, 

That woonen in the ayre soe bold ; 

And for to tempt that good woman 

He light on the earth then, 

And in her body had great might. 

And brought her into striffe and fight, 

And made her after with egar moode 610 

To cursse her child as shee was woode. 

Upon a day att even late, 

Thorrow the feend, with great hate 

With her sonne she gan to grame. 

And curst him fast by his name. 

And to the devill shee him behight 

With all her power and her might. 

Then was the feende glad and blythe. 

And thought to doe him shame swithe ; 

And when it was come to night, 620 

The feende went to her house right. 

And strangled her sonne where he lay. 

The wiffe rose up when it was day. 

And found her ssonne dead att morrow. 

And went and strangled her selfe for sorrowe ; 

And when her lord heard this. 

Anon swithe for sorrow, I-wis, 

Sodainlye he dyed thoe 

Without shrift or houzell alsoe. 

The folke of the cuntrye that tyde, 630 

That wooned there neere beside. 

Came together then to see. 

And had ruth and great pittye. 

And many a man that day 

Weeped, and sayd " well-away e " 

18 



For that good man and his wiffe 

That had Hved soe good a Hffe! 

An hcrmitt, that vvooned there beside, 

Came to see them there that tyde — 

Blasye forsooth his name was — 640 

And oft for them he sayd " alas ! " 

That it was beffallen soe, 

In his heart he was full woe, 

And said it was verament 

Thorrow the ffeendes incomberment. 

The daughters he found there alive ; 

The hermitt hee can them shrive ; 

And when he had done and sayd, 

Fayre penance on them he layd ; 

And when hee had done soe, 650 

Home again can he goe. 

Then the maydens all in fere 

Served God with blythe cheere. 

In all England then was the usage. 

If any woman did outrage 

(But if itt were in her spousage). 

If any man old or younge 

Might it witt of that countrye, 

All quicke shee shold dolven bee, 

But if it were a light woman called 660 

To all men that aske her wold. 

Soe the ffeend that had might. 

That wooned in the ayre light, 

Into the earth he light downe then. 

And went unto an old woman. 

And hight her both gold and fee 

To wende to the sisters three, 

The eldest mayden to enchant. 

Some younge mans body to enfante; 

And shee might bring her therto, 670 

He hett her gold for ever-mo. 

19 



That old queane was full glad, 

And did as the devill her badde, 

And went to the sisters three. 

As soone as shee might them see, 

To the eldest sister soone she saiyd 

" Alas, my deere sweete mayd ! 

Thou hast fayre feete and hande, , , 

A gentle body for to sounde. 

White hayre and long arme ; 680 

I-wise it is much harme 

That thy bodye might not assay 

With some younge man for to play. 

That yee might find in every place 

Game, mirth, and great solace." 

" Certaine," said the maiden then, 

" If that I take any man. 

But if it were in spousing. 

Any man either old or younge. 

And itt were knowen in this countrye, 690 

All quicke I shold dolven bee." 

"Nay, certaine," said the old queane, 

" Yee may it doe without deane 

Both in bower and in bedd, 

Although noe man doe you wedd; 

And therfore dread thee nought. 

For it needs never be forth brought; 

And if thou wilt doe by my read. 

Thou diddest never a better deede." 

Soe thorrow the queanes inchantment 700 

And the feends incumberment, 

The eldest sister, the sooth to say, 

Lett a young man with her play ; 

And when shee liked best the game. 

It turned her to much shame. 

For shee was taken and forth drawen. 

And of her game shee was knowen, 

20 



And for that worke dolven was. 

Many a man sayd for her " alas ! " 

The ffeende yett another while 710 

The other sister he can beguile, 

And made her to love a faire young man, 

And after was his lemman then. 

Shee was taken forth-wise, 

And brought before the hye Justice 

Her judgment to understand, 

As itt was the law of the land. 

The Justice opposed her thoe 

Wherfore shee had done soe ; 

Shee answered as shee was taught, 720 

And said shee forsooke itt nought. 

And said shee was a light woman 

To all that wold come to her common ; 

And soe shee scaped them away, 

Soe that her followed all that day 

Of harlotts a great race 

To fyle her body for that case. 

Yett the feende in that while 

The third sister can beguile. 

Then was the youngest sister soe woe 730 

That nye her hart burst in tow. 

For her mother had hangd her selfe. 

And her one sister quicke was delfe, 

And for that her father dyed amisse, 

And her brother was strangled, I-wis, 

Her other sister a whore stronge. 

That harlotts was ever among ; 

Almost for sorrow and for thought 

In wan-hope shee was brought. 

To the hermitt shee went then, 740 

To that hight Blassye, that good man. 

And told him all the sooth beforne. 

How all her kindred were forlorne. 



21 



The hermitt had wonder great; 

On Gods halfe he her besett, 

" I bid thee have God in thy mind, 

And let be the lore of the feende," 

And bade her ' forsake in any wise 

Pryde, hate, and covetise, 

Alsoe sloth and envye, 750 

And mans flesh in lecherye. 

All such workes for to flee ; ' 

And bade her ' Gods servant bee,' 

And bade her to ' take good keepe 

That shee layd her not downe to sleepe. 

And namelye not in the night, 

Unlesse shee had a candle light. 

And windowes and dores in that stond 

To be spurred to roafe and ground, 

And make there againe with good noyce 760 

The signe of the Holy Crosse.' 

And when he had taught her soe, 

Home againe can shee goe. 

And served God with hart glad, 

And did as the hermitt her bade ; 

And yett the feend thorrow envye 

Beguiled her with treacherye. 

And brought her into a dreerye cheere : 

I shall you tell in what manner. 

Upon a day verament 770 

With neighbors to ale shee went ; 

Long shee sate, and did amisse 

That drunken shee was, I-wis. 

Her other sister that I of told, 

That was a whore stout and bold, 

Came thither that same day 

With many harlotts for to play. 

And missaide her sister as shee was wood, 

And called her other then good, 

22 



Soe long shee chidd in a resse, 780 

The whore start up without lesse, 

And went to her sister in a rage, 

And smote her on the visage. 

Then home to her chamber shee can goe, 

And made to the dores betweene them tow, 

And cryed out ; and neighbors came, 

And the whore soone they name 

And droven her away anon. 

And the harlotts every e one. 

When they were driven away, 790 

The maid that in the chamber lay 

All made, as shee were woode, 

Weeped and fared as shee were with ill moode. 

And when it was come to night, 

Upon the bed shee fell downe right. 

All both shodd and cladde ; 

Shee fell on sleepe, and all was madd. 

And forgott her howse unblessed, 

As the hermitt had her vised. 

Then was the ffeende glad and blythe, 800 

And thought to doe her shame swithe ; 

Over all well hee might. 

For there was noe crosse made that night. 

And to the mayd anon he went. 

And thought all Christendome to have shent ; 

A traine of a childe he put in her thoe, 

And passed away where hee cam froe. 

And when that woman was awaked, 

And found her body lying naked, 

And shee grope with her hands, 810 

And some seed there shee found, 

Wherby shee wende witterlye 

That some man had lyen her by. 

Then shee rose up in hast. 

And found her dore sparred fast. 

23 



When shee found that it was soe, 

In her hart shee was full woe, 

And thought it was some wicked thinge 

That wold her to shame bringe. 

All the night shee made great sorrowe, 820 

And to the hermitt shee went att morrowe, 

And told him all the case. 

The hermitt sayd, ' alas ! alas ! 

That shee had broken her pennance ; ' 

And said it was the ffeends combrance. 

"A! good father! " said shee thoe, 

" What if itt be fallen soe 

That a child be on me gotten, 

And any man may it witten. 

Then shall I be delven anon 830 

All quicke, both bodye and bone." 

" Certaine," said the good man, 

" My deere daughter, after then 

I shall you helpe with all my might 

Till of itt I have sight. 

Goe home, daughter, now, mine. 

And have Gods blessing and mine. 

For He may — and His will bee — 

Out of thy sorrow bringe thee." 

Home shee went with dreerye moode, 840 

And served God with hart good ; 

And everye day after then 

Her wombe will greater began 

Soe that shee might it not hyde. 

But itt was perceived in that tyde. 

Then was shee taken forsoothe, I-wisse, 

And brought afore the hye Justice. 

The Justice opposed her thoe 

Why shee had done soe ; 

And for shee wrought against the law, 850 

He judged her for to be slowe. 

24 



And shee answered and said, " nay, 

I wrought never against the lay," 

And sware by Him that dyed on tree, 

" Was never man that neighed mee 

With fleshly lust or lecherye. 

Nor kissed my body with villanye." 

The Justice answered anon, 

" Dame, thou lyest, by St. John ! 

Thy words beene false and wylde, 860 

When men may see thou art with childe ! 

In this world was never childe borne 

But mans seede there was beforne. 

Save Jesu Christ thorrow His might 

Was borne of a Mayden bright. 

How may thou for shame then 

Say thou had never part of any man. 

When I myselfe they soothe may see 

That a child is gotten of thee ? " 

" Certaine, sir," shee said then, 870 

" I goe with child without any man. 

By Him," shee said, " that made this day. 

There was never mafi that by me lay ; 

But as I sleeped one night. 

By mee lay a selcoth wight ; 

But I wist never what it was, 

Therfore I doe me in thy grace." 

The Justice said with-outen fayle, 

" I never hard of such a marveil ! 

To-day nay shall the woman be delfe 880 

Till I have asked wiffes twelve 

If any child may be made 

Without getting of manhood ; 

And if they say itt may soe bee. 

All quitt shalt thou goe, and free ; 

And if they say that it may nay ; 

All quicke, men shall delfe thee to-day." 

E 25 



On twelve wives shee did her anon. 

And they answered every one, 

That " never child was borne of maiden 890 

But Jesu Christ," they all saydden. 

Blasye the hermitt upstart then. 

To answer the Justice he began; 

" Sir Justice," he sayd thoe, 

" Hear me in a word or tow : 

That this woman hath told eche deale, 

Certez, I beleeve itt weele ; 

And yee beleeven her right nought. 

By God and all this world wrought, 

I have her shriven and taught the law, 900 

To mee wold shee never a-know 

That any man for any meede 

Neighed her body with fleshlye deede; 

Therfore it is against the lay 

That shee dolven shold be this day. 

GiiT shee have served for to spilt. 

The chylde in her wombe hath not gilt ; 

Therfore, sir, doe by my reade. 

And put her not this time to dead. 

But doe her in warde before 9 1 o 

Till the childe be bore ; 

And then," he sayd, " God itt wott. 

Two yeere keepe it shee motte. 

And peradventure," he sayd, " then 

The child may prove a good man." 

Then said the Justice, 

" Hermitt, thy words are full wise ; 

Therfore by thy doome I will ; 

Noe man to-day shall her spill." 

They Justice commanded anon 920 

To lead her to a tower of stone. 

And that noe wight shold with her goe 

But a midswilfe, and noe moe. 

26 



The tower was strong and hye, 

That noe man might come her nye ; 

A window there was made thoe, 

And a cord tyed therto 

To draw therein all thinke, 

Fire and water, meate and drinke. 

And when the time was comen, 930 

Shee bare a selcoth sonne. 



Fourth Parte 

Right faire shape he had then, 

All the forme that fell for a man ; 

Blacke he was without lase, 

And rough as a swine he was. 

Then they midwiffe anon-right 

Was afeard of that sight ; 

And for he was soe rough of hyde, 

ffull well shee wist that tyde 

That he was never gotten by any man, 940 

And full faine shee wold then 

In hell that he had beene her froe. 

That never man had seene him moe. 

The hermitt that hight Blassye 

Wist fiill well sikerlye 

The time the child shold be borne. 

And to the tower he came att morne. 

And called upward to them yare, 

And asked them how they did fare. 

They midwiffe said without lesse 950 

A knave child there borne was. 

" Take him me," he sayd then, 

" And I shall make him a Christen man ; 

Whether he dye, or live abyde, 

The fairer grace he may betyde." 

27 



Full glad was the midwiffe, 

And caught the chyld be-live, 

And by a cord shee lett him downe, 

And Blassy gave him his benison, 

And bare him home with merry moode, 960 

And batptized him in the holy floode, 

And called him to his christendome, 

And named him Merlyin in Gods name. 

Thorrow that name, I you tell, 

All the ffeends that were in hell 

Were agreeved, and that full sore ; 

Therfore was their power bore. 

And when he had christened him soe. 

Home againe he bare him thoe, 

And in the cord he can him laine ; 970 

The midwiffe drew him up againe, 

And he bade her without blame 

Call him Merlyne by his name. 

The midwiffe bare him anon-right 

To the ffyer that was bright. 

And as shee warmed him by the fyer 

Shee beheld this lodlye cheere : 

"Alas," said shee, "art thou Merlyn? 

Whence art thou, of what kinne? 

Who whas thy father by night or day.? 980 

That noe man I-witt itt may. 

It is great ruth, by Heavens King, 

That for thy love, thou foule thinge, 

Thy mother shalbe slaine with woe! 

Alas the time it shalbe soe ! 

I wold thow were farr in the sea. 

That thy mother might scape free ! " 

When Merlyn hard her speake soe. 

He bradde open his eyen towe. 

And lodlye on her can hee looke, 990 

And his head on her hee shooke, 

28 



And gan to cry with lowd dinne : 

" Thou lyest," he sayd, " thou foule queane ! 

My mother," he sayd, " shall noe man quell 

For nothing that men can tell ; 

Whilest I may speak or gone, 

Mauger them that wold her slone, 

I shall save her liffe for this ; 

That you shall see and heare, I-wis." 

When the midwiffe shee heard that, looo 

Shee fell downe almost flatt ; 

Shee gan to quake as shee were wood, 

And had rather then any good 

That shee had beene farr away ; 

Soe had his mother where she lay ; 

Soe sore they were of him agast, 

They blessed them, and that full fast, 

And cryed on him in Gods name 

That he shold doe them noe shame ; 

And fast on him they can crye loio 

In Gods name and St. Marye 

He shold them tell what hee were. 

And what misadventure brought him there. 

He did lye and held him still. 

And lett them crye all their ffill ; 

And if they shold have slaine him tho. 

He wold not speake a word moe. 

And they three lived there 

With much sorrow and with care ; 

And for after halfe a yeere, 1020 

As shee held him by the fyer, 

Rufullye shee gan to greete, 

And said to him " my sonne sweete, 

For thy love, with-outen weene. 

All quicke dolve shall I beene." 

He answered and said, " Nay, 

Dame, thou gables, by this day ; 

29 



There is neither man nor Justice 

That shall yee deeme in noe wise 

Then whilest I may either goe or speak, 1030 

In earth thy body for to wreak." 

Then was his mother a blythe woman 

And everye day after then 

He made her gladd and bold, 

And marvelous tales to her he told. 

When he cold speake and gone. 

The Justice was ready anon, 

And bade bring forth anon then 

Befor him that ilke woman 

For to receive her judgment. 1040 

And when shee came in present, 

The Justice forgatt itt nought. 

But egerlye he said his thought. 

And sware anon by Heavens Queene 

All quicke shee shold dolven beene. 

Then the childe answered with words bold — 

And he was but two yeeres old — 

He sayd to the Justice with egar moode, 

" Sir Justice ! thou can but litle goode 

To doe my mother to the dead, 1050 

And wotts not by what reade. 

Save a chance that to her ffell ; 

Therfore thou dost not to her well ; 

For everye man will wott well then 

That against chance may be noe man. 

And thorrow chance I was begott ; 

Therfore everye man may well wott 

That my mother ought nought 

For my love to death be brought." 

Great wonder had both old and younge 1060 

Of the childs answering. 

Then the Justice was ffull wrath. 

And on loud sware an oathe. 



30 



All quicke shee shold dolven bee. 

" Nay ! " said Merlyn, " soe mote I thee, 

Thou shalt her never bring therto 

For ought that ever thou canst doe ! 

It shall not goe as thou wilt, 

For shee hath done no guiltt, 

And I shall prove itt through skill, 1070 

Mauger of them that wold her spill. 

My father that begatt mee 

Is a feende of great potencye, 

And is in the ayre above the light. 

And tempts men both day and night; 

And therfore to my mother he went. 

And wend all Christendome to have shent. 

And gott mee on her with-out leasinge. 

And shee therof wist no thing. 

And for shee wist not when it was, 1080 

I prove that shee is guiltlesse ; 

For all the feends wenden by mee 

To have shent all Christentye, 

And had of me a wicked ffoode ; 

But God hath turned me to goode ; 

For now I am of God sende 

For to helpe all Englande ; 

And forsoothe," hee said then, 

" Pardie, tell you I can 

All that ever was and now is. 1090 

I can you tell well, I-wis, 

Thou dost not wott. Justice, then, 

Who was thy father that thee wanne; 

And therfore I prove that mother thine 

Rather to be dolven then mine." 

Hearknen now all the strifte 

How Merlyne saved his mothers liffe ! 

Then was the Justice in hart woe. 

And to Merlyne he said thoe 

31 



" Thou lyest ! " he sayd, " thou glutton ! i lOO 

My father was a good barron, 

And my mother a ladye free ; 

Yett on live thou may her see." 

" Sir," said Merlyne then anon, 

" Saynd after her full soone. 

And I shall make her to be knowen, 

Or else hange me on to drawen." 

The Justice after his mother sent ; 

And when shee was comen present. 

The Justice before them all mo 

To Merlyn can he call ; 

He said to him, " Belanye, 

Be now soe bold and hardye 

To prove thy tale, if thou can. 

That thou saidest of this woman." 

Merlyn said to the Justice, 

" Sir, thy words be not wise ; 

If I tell theese folke beforne 

How thow was gotten and borne. 

Then shold it spring wyde and broad, 1120 

And thou shold lose thy manhood ; 

Then shall thy mother dolven bee. 

And all were for the love of thee." 

The Justice then understoode 

That Merlyn cold mikle good ; 

Then to a chamber can they goe. 

He and Merlyne, and noe moe. 

" Merlyn," he said, " I pray thee. 

What was that man that begatte me ? " 

" Sir," he said, " by St. Simon, 11 30 

It was the parson of the towne ! 

Hee thee gott, by St. Jane, 

Upon this woman that is thy dame." 

The lady said " thou fowle thinge ! 

Thou hast made a starke leasinge ! 

32 



His ffather was a noble baron, 

And a man holden of great renowne ; 

And thou art a misebegott wretch ; 

I pray thee God devill thee feitch ! 

In wyld fyer thou shalt be brent, 1140 

For with wronge thou hast my shent." 

*' Dame," sayd Merlyn, " hold thee still, 

For itt were both right and skill, 

For I wott withouten weene 

Thou deserve dolven to beene ; 

ffor sithe thou was to this world brought. 

All the worke that thou hast wrought, 

I can tell itt everye word 

Better then thou, by our Lord, 

How thy Sonne was begotten. 1150 

Dame, if thou have forgotten, 

I can tell you all the case. 

How, and where, and when itt was. 

And thou shalt be ashamed sore ; 

Thee were better speake noe more." 

The Lady was sore dismay d. 

And Merlyn forth his tale sayd : 

" Dame," he said verament, 

" That time thy lord to Carlile went, — 

Itt was by night and not by day, — 11 60 

The parson in thy bed lay ; 

Att thy chamber dore thy lord can knocke. 

And thou didest on thy smocke 

And was sore afrayd that tyde. 

And undidst a windowe wyde, 

And there the parson thou out lett. 

And he ran away full tyte. 

Dame," he sayd, " that ilke night 

Was begotten thy sonne the knight. 

Dame," he sayd, "lye I ought?" 11 70 

Shee stood still and sayd nought. 

F 33 



Then was the Justice wrath and woe, 

And to his mother he sayd thoe, 

" Dame," hee sayd, " how goeth this? " 

*' Sonne," shee said, "all sooth, I-wis! 

For if thou hang me with a corde, 

Hee belyeth me never a word." 

The Justice for shame waxes redd. 

And on his mother shooke his head. 

And bade her in hast wend home 1180 

With much shame as shee come. 

" Belyve," sayd Merlyn, " send after a spye. 

For to the parson shee will her hye, 

And all the sooth shee will him saine 

How that I have them betraine ; 

And when the parson hath hard this. 

Anon for shame and sorrowe, I-wis, 

To a bridge he will flee, 

And after noe man shall him see. 

Into the watter start he will, 11 go 

Liffe and soule for to spill : 

And but itt he sooth that I say, 

Boldlye hang me to day." 

The Justice withouten fayle 

Did after Merlyns counsayle ; 

He sent after a spye bold. 

And found itt as Merline told ; 

And the Justice, for Merlins sake. 

Him and his mother he lett take. 

And lett them goe quitt and free 1200 

Before the folke of that country e. 

And when Merlin was seven yeere old. 

He was both stout and bold ; 

His mother he did a nun make. 

And blacke habitt he let her take, 

And from that time verament 

Shee served God with good entent. 

34 



Fifth Parte 

Now let us of his mother fayle, 

And turne us to another tale, 

And speake wee of the messenger 1 2 1 o 

That wenten from Sir Vortiger 

For to seeke Merlin the bold, 

To have his blood, as I you told. 

Soe three of them came by chance 

Into the place where Merlyn was 

On playing, as he can goe 

With other children many moe. 

And as they played in that stead 

One of his ffellows him misdeed, 

And gan to crye on Merlyn thoe, 1220 

" Thou cursed srow, thou goe us froe ! 

Thou art a fowle thing gotten amisse ! 

Noe man wotts what thy father is ! " 

The messengers came fast bye, 

And hearden well the child crye : 

Soone anon they were bethought 

That it was the childe they after sought. 

And eche one his sword out droughe. 

And Merlin shooke his head and laughe, 

" Heere comen the Kings messengers 1230 

That have me sought both farr and neere 

For to have my harts blood ! 

Now they thinke itt in their moode 

For to slay me this day ; 

But by my truth, if that I may, 

Or that they part away from mee, 

Well good ffreinds shall wee bee." 

Merlyn anon to them ran : 

Hee greetes them fayre, as he well can, 

And welcomed the messenger, 1240 

And sayes, " Yee come from Sir Vortiger; 

35 



Me to slay is all your thought, 

Therof shall yee speed nought ; 

And for to beare your King my blood, 

That never shall doe him good ; 

For they that told him that tydinge, 

Lyed of me a strong leasing, 

And said my blood without wronge 

Shold make his castle stiffe and strong." 

The messengers had wonder then, 1250 

And sayd to Merlyn anon, 

" How can thou tell us this privitye? 

Tell us the sooth, I pray thee, 

That wee may have tokeinge 

To avow our tale before our King." 

Merlin led them a good pace 

Till hee came where his mother was ; 

Shee told them all the sooth beforne 

How Merlyne was gatten and borne. 

And of his wisdome and of his reede, 1260 

And how hee saved her from deade. 

The messengers, as I you tell. 

All night there did dwell ; 

Att morrow, soone when it was day, 

They tooke leave to wend awaye ; 

Alsoe Merlyn that ilke tyde 

Rode on a palfray them beside, 

And wentt forth all in fere 

Towards King Vortiger. 

As they thorrow the countrye came, 1270 

In a towne their inne they tane, 

Soe that Merlyne, as I you tell. 

Came there as shoone were to sell. 

A great laughter up he tooke ; 

The messengers fast on him can lookee, 

And full soone asked him thoe 

Wherfore that he laughed soe. 

36 



Then sayd Merlyne, " See yee nought 

The young man that the shoone hath bought ? 

He wendes to Hve them to vveare; 1280 

But by my hood I dare well sweare 

His wretched liffe hee shall forgoe 

Or that he is one gate come to." 

The messengers att that tyde, 

After that man can they ryde, 

And found him dead as any stone 

Or that he had a furlong gone. 

In that town they dwelled all night : 

On morrow, when it was daylight, 

They dight their horsses, and made them yare 1290 

On theire journey for to fare ; 

And as they went on their journey 

Thorrow a towne in that countrye, 

He came by a church yard ; 

He mett a course thither-ward. 

With preists and clarkes singing beforne ; 

The corpes were on a beere borne; 

Many a man therwith can gone. 

Merlyn beheld them everye one ; 

A great laughter he uptooke. 1300 

The messengers on him can looke, 

And asked him with hart free 

Why he laughed so hartilye ; 

He said, " Amongst these folkes then 

I see an old sillye man 

That doth sore and fast weepe ; 

He ought better to skipp and leape : 

And others here goe and singe 

That ought better their hands to wringe ; 

I shall you tell certainlye, 1310 

That you may know the cause whye : 

That corse that dead is and cold, 

Was a childe of ten yeeres old ; 

37 



That ilke preist," he sayd thoe, 

" That goeth before and singeth soe, 

He was the father that the child begott; 

And if he were bethought of that, 

He wold his hands wring sore, 

And for that child sorrow more ; 

Now he singeth with joy and blisse 1320 

As the chyld had never beene his ; 

And to see the seely husband 

For sorrow and care wring his hands, 

Therfore he is a mickle ffoole 

That for his foomen maketh dole." 

The messengers everiche one 

To the chylds mother went anon, 

And Merlyn in a litle throw 

Made the mother to be know, 

Wherfore shee cold not say nay, 1330 

But ever prayd them naught to say. 

Then were the messengers blythe. 

And on their journey ridden swithe. 

As they ridden on their way. 

It was upon the third daye. 

When it was about the prime. 

Then laughe Merlyne the third time; 

Then asked they all in fere 

Why he made such laughing cheere. 

Then said Merlyne, I-wisse, 1340 

" There-of I laugh, noe wonder is ; 

For sithe the time that yee were borne, 

Such wonder heard yee never beforne; 

I shall you tell with-outen othe 

That yee shall find trew and soothe. 

This ilke day, by my truth. 

In the Kings house is mickle ruth 

Of the Kings chamberlaine ; 

For the Qucene, sooth to sayne, 

38 



Hath lyed on him a leasing stronge ; 1350 

Therfore shee shall be dead with wronge ; 

For his chamberlaine is a woman, 

And goeth in the clothing as a man ; 

And for shee is fayre and bright of hew, 

The false Queene that is untrew. 

Besought her to her lemman dearne; 

And shee answered, and can her warne, 

And sayd, shee must that game forsake ; 

For noe comfort shee wold her make ; 

Therfore the Queene was a foole, 1360 

For had shee witt of her toole. 

And how short itt was wrought, 

Shee wold of love asked her nought. 

The Queene forthwith was affray d, 

And wend well to have beene bewray d. 

And thought that shee shold be shent ; 

And before the King anon shee went, 

And sayd that his chamberlaine 

With strenght wold have her forlaine. 

The King therof was wonderous wrath, 1370 

And swore many a great othe 

That shee shold both hang and draw : 

And that were against the law ; 

Therfore wend you whome belyve 

As fast as yee may drive, 

And say to Vortiger the King, 

The Queene hath made a strong leasing 

Upon his chamberlaine for hate ; 

Therfor bydd that shee be take ; 

And search the chamberlaine then, 1380 

And he shall find shee is a woman ! " 

A knight there was both stout and stearne, 

And pricked forth the truth to learne. 

And he made noe tarrying 

Till he came before the King. 



39 



when hee came into the hall, 

Downe on his knees can hee fall, 

And said, thorrow many a country he went 

" On thy message, as thou us sent, 

To seeke a child of selcoth land; 1390 

And such a one have wee founde 

That is but five wynters old : 

You heard never none soe bolde ; 

He is clypped child Merline, 

He can tell all mannour of thing ; 

Of all that was and now is 

He can tell you well, I-wis ; 

He can tell you full well 

What thing troubles your castell. 

Why itt may not stand on plaine, 1400 

And alsoe of your chamberlaine 

That yee have mentt to draw and hang : 

He saith ' forsoothe, itt is for wrong 

For to slay a woman 

That goeth in clothing as a man ; 

And therfore doe as I you sayne. 

And doe take the chamberlayne, 

And of her bonds yee her unbinde ; 

A woman fayre yee shall her finde ; 

And but itt be soe, with right lawe 1410 

Doe mee to hang and drawe.' " 

Vortiger a-wondred was. 

And all that hearden of that case. 

He commanded his men all 

His chamberlayne to bring in all ; 

Anon they serched her that stonde, 

And a woman shee was founde. 

Wrath then was Sir Vortiger, 

And asked of that messenger 

Who told him he was a woman. 1420 

" fforsooth. Sir," hee sayd then, 

40 



" Merlyn it was that this can say 

As wee rydden by the waye ; 

For he can tell — and lye nought — 

All things that ever were wrought ; 

And all that ever you can him saine, 

He will tell you sooth certaine." 

Vortiger was glad and blythe, 

And said to the messenger swithe, 

" I shall yee give both land and ploughe, 1430 

And make yee a man right good enoughe ; 

Therfore I command anon-right, 

Duke, erle, barron and knight, 

To dight their horsses, and make them yare 

Forth with Vortiger to fare." 

Then wold he noe longer abyde. 

But leapt to horsse, and forth gan ryde 

To speake with Merlyn the younge, 

For glad he was of his comminge. 

But when it was come to night, 1440 

With Merlyne he mett right ; 

As soone as he can him meete. 

With fayre words hee can him greete. 

Of many things he spoke then — 

Some of them tell I can — 

With much joy, and verament 

To the Kings court they went, 

And were att ease all that night. 

And on the morrow when it was light, 

To that steede they went by-deene 1450 

Where the castle shold have beene. 



Sixth Parte 

" Sonne," he sayd to Merlin then, 
" Tell me, chyld, if thou can, 



41 



why my castle in this stonde 

Is everye night fallen to ground, 

And why it may stand nought, 

Of soe strong things as itt is rought." ■ • 

Then said Merlyn to the King, 

" Yee shall heare a wonderous thing: 

Heere in this ground deepe 1460 

Is a water strong and steepe ; 

Under the watter are stones towe, 

Much and strong, and broad alsoe ; 

Beneathe the stones under, the mold. 

Tow dragons lyen there fould ; 

The one is white as milke reeme, 

The other red as any gleame ; 

Grislye they are of sight both. 

And fare together as the wrothe ; 

And everye day when itt is night 1470 

They begin a strong fight. 

That through the strenght of their blast 

The worke they can downe cast; 

And if the dragons were away. 

Then might they workemen worke everye day, 

And make thy worke both strong and still. 

And to stand att thy owne will. 

Doe now looke, and thou shalt see 

That it is soothe that I tell thee." 

Vortiger commanded anon 1480 

All his workemen everye one — 

Fifteen thousand and yett moe — 

He bade them looke whether it were soe. 

Anon they dolven in the ground. 

And a watter there they found : 

Amonge them all, the soothe to tell. 

They made a full deepe well, 

And the watter they brought out thoe ; 

And when they hadden done soe, 

42 



Beneath the watter in the ground 1490 

Two great stones there they found. 

Many men there they were 

The two stones up to reare ; 

And when they were up hent, 

Two dragons there were bent ; 

Foule they were for to behold ; 

And found itt right as Merlyn tolde, 

The one dragon as red as fyer, 

With bright eyen as bason cleare ; 

His tayle was great and nothing small, 1500 

His bodye was unryde with-all ; 

His shape may noe man tell, 

He looked like a feende of hell. 

The white dragon lay him by, 

Sterne of looke and grislye ; 

His mouth and throate yawned wide, 

The fyer brast out on every side ; 

His tayle was ragged like a feend, 

And upon his tayles end 

There was shaped a grislye head 1 5 i o 

To fight with that dragon redd ; 

For Merlyn said, forsooth I plight, 

Soe grislye they were both in sight. 

That when they shold uprise. 

Many a man they shall agrise. 

Anon they ryssden out of their den ; 

Then was feard many a man ; 

Of all the folke there was that tyde. 

Durst not one of them abyde. 

The redd dragon and the white, 1520 

Hard together can they smite 

Both with mouth and with tayle ; 

Betweene them was a hard battele 

That they earth quaked thoe ; 

And lodlye whether waxed alsoe ; 

43 



Soe strong fyer they cast anon 

That they plaines therof shone ; 

Soe they fought, forsoothe to say, 

All the long summers day 

They never stinted their fighting - ^530 

Till men to evensong did ringe. 

Soe in that time, as I you tell. 

The red dragon that was soe fell, 

Drave the white from a downe 

Into the plaines a great verome. 

Till they came into a valley ; 

And there they rested them both tway, 

And there the white recovered his flight 

And waxed egar for to fight. 

And egerlye with-out fayle 1540 

The redd dragon he can assayle ; 

And there the white with all his might 

Hent the red anon right. 

And to the ground he him cast. 

And with the fyer of his blast 

Altogether he brent the red. 

That never after was found shread, 

But dust upon the ground lay. 

And the white went away, 

And never sithe that time then 1550 

Heard noe man where he became. 

Then sayd Merlyn the younge 

Among them all before the King, 

And said to him with words bold, 

" Now is itt sooth that I you tolde? 

Itt is soothe ; yee may itt see ; 

Therfore, Sir King, I pray thee. 

Doe yee the clarkes afore mee bring 

That laid on mee that leasing." 

And he asked them, the King beforne, 1560 

Why they wold his blood were lorne. 

44 



And they answered with words myld, 

DreadRillye beforne the chylde, 

And sayden, they saw witterlye 

Beneath the welkin a skye, 

And shewed him all his begott, 

How hee was on earth lote, 

And thorrow his blood the Kings castle 

Shold stande both strong and weele. 

Then said Merlyn thoe, 157° 

" Hee was a shrew that told you soe ; 

That skye," he sayd, " that showed you that, 

He was the father that mee begatt, 

And for I serve him not att will, 

Therfore he wold my blood spill ; 

And for that he hath beguiled you soe. 

Sir Vortiger, I pray you thoe. 

That yee grant them their liffe ; 

All my wrath I them forgive." 

The King his asking granted swithe ; 1580 

Then were the clarkes glad and blythe ; 

Forth they went, both more and mynne, 

And with them went Merlyne. 

Merlyn was with Vortiger 

To his counsell all that yeere ; 

Through his wisdome and counsayle 

The castle was built strong and well ; 

And when the castle was all wrought, 

Erles and Barrons the King besought 

That he wold know att Merlyn thoe 1590 

Why the dragons foughten soe ; 

Itt was some tokening, they sayd all, 

That some adventure shold befall. 

Merlyn was brought befor the King, 

And he him asked without leasinge 

What that tokening might meane. 

The fighting of the dragons keene. 

45 



Merlyn stoode and made danger. 

Then bespake Sir Vortiger, 

And sayd, " Merlyn, but thou me tell, 1600 

Anon I shall cause thee to be quell." 

Then answered Merlyn a-plight 

With great wrath anon-wright, 

And sayd, " withouten weene 

That day shall never be seene ; 

If thou take thy sword in hand 

Me to slay or bring in band, 

Yett may thou fayle of all thy fare. 

As the hound doth of the hare. 

I warne you well, Sir Vortiger, 1610 

I give nothing of thy danger ! 

But if thou wilt find me a borrowe 

That thou shalt doe me noe sorrowe, 

Then will I tell you all bydeene 

The fightinge of the dragons keene." 

Then sayd Merlyn to the King, 

" Sir, understand well my sayinge ; 

The red dragon so foule of sight 

Betokeneth thy selfe and all thy might ; 

For through thy false procuringe 1620 

Moyne was slaine, the younge King. 

Thou see the red dragon the white drove 

ffar downe into the grove : 

That betoekneth the heyres that thou didst fleame 

With wrong out of the realme. 

Soe all the folke that with them held 

Both in towne and in feilde. 

The white dragon doth signiefie ; 

The right heyres have great envye 

That thou holdeth all their land 1630 

Against them with much wronge ; 

Alsoe the white, can you well say, 

Recovered his flyght into the valley, 

46 



And drove the redd dragon againe 

Till he came to the plaine, 

And to the ground he him cast, 

And with the fyer of his blast 

All to powder he burnt the redd, 

That never of him was found a shread. 

That betokens the heyres soe younge 1640 

Are now waxen, and succour found. 

And are readye with many a knight 

Against thee to hold fight. 

Into this castle they shall thee drive 

With thy child and thy wiffe ; 

And all beene with thee then, 

Into the ground shall the brenn ; 

And the King, Sir Anguis, 

Shall be slaine, and hold noe price ; 

His kingdome and thine alsoe 1650 

Shall doe England mickle woe. 

The head upon the white dragons tayle. 

That betokens withouten fayle, 

The heyres that be trew and good 

Shall destroy all thy blood : 

Sir Vortiger, this is the tokeninge 

Of the dragons fighting ! 

As I thee say, withouten othe. 

Thou shalt it find siker and troth." 

Still him stood Sir Vortiger, 1660 

And bote his lip with dreery cheere. 

And sayd to Merline withouten fayle, 

" You must tell mee some counsell 

Without any more striffe. 

How I may best leade my liffe." 

Then Merlyne sayd without weene, 

" Thus must itt needs beene. 

And therfore soe have I rest : 

I can noe read, but doe thy best." • 

47 



Vortiger sayd, "but thou me tell, 1670 

Anon I shall doe thee quell." 

He start up and wold him have wrought ; 

But where he was he wist nought, 

Soe soone hee was away then 

That in the hall wist noe man, 

Hye noe lowe, swaine nor groome, 

That whist where Merlyne was become. 

Then went Merlyn hastilye 

To the hermitt that hight Blassey, 

And told him without leasing 1680 

How he had served the King ; 

And told him without wronge 

The fighting of the dragons stronge. 

Of the red and of the white 

A great booke he did endite. 

And told that the red dragon 

Betokens much destruction 

Through Vortigers kinred, I-wis, 

And the heathen King Anguis ; 

In England shold be afterward 1690 

Strong battailes and happs hard. 

All that Merline tolde and sayd. 

In good writting itt was layd. 

Of all the ventures, I understand. 

That ever shold fill in England ; 

But for itt is soe darke a thing 

That Merlyn made in his sayinge. 

That few men withouten weene 

Can understand what itt meane; 

But on yee will a stond dwell, 1700 

Of other things I will you tell. 

Of the hend children tow, 

Uther and Pendragon alsoe, 

I told, as I you understand, 

How they were fleamed out of the land j 

4-8 



Now will I tell you in certaine, 

In what manner they came againe 

With great strenght and power, 

And how he drave Sir Vortiger 

Forth into his castle strong 17 lo 

For his unright and for his wronge ; 

And how they brent him flesh and bone, 

And how they can King Anguis slaine, 

I will yee tell in what mannour : 

Listen now and you shall heere. 



Seventh Parte 

The merryest time itt is in May ; 

Then springs the summers day ; 

Soe in that time, as yee may heere, 

The Barrons came to Vortiger, 

And said, " My Lord the Kinge, 1720 

Wee have brought you heard tydinge 

Of Pendragon that is thye foe, 

And of Uther his brother alsoe ; 

They are comen into this land 

With many a knight doughtye of hand, 

And they will stint nought 

Till thou be to ground brought ; 

They are att Winchester almost ; 

Therfore send about in hast 

To all thy freinds, I thee reed, 1730 

For thou had never soe much need." 

Up him start Vortigers, 

And called to him messengers ; 

To Winchester he them sent, 

And bade them, thorrow his commandement, 

' Against Uther and Pendragon 

They shold shutt the gates anon ; 

H 49 



As they wold his love winne, 

They shold not let them come in ; 

And he wold come anon-right 1740 

To helpe them with all his might,' 

Other messengers he sent anon 

To King Anguis soone, 

And bade him ' come to helpe att neede, 

With all the folke that he might leade, 

For to fight against his fone 

That were comen him to slone.' 

When King Anguis he was come, 

The way to Winchester they nume ; 

And or they were halfe way there, 1750 

Uther and Pendragon comen weare 

To Winchester towne soe nye, 

And reard their bannors on hye ; 

Armes they shewed rich there 

That had beene their fathers before. 

Then the burgesse that they banners knew, 

Att the first he can them rue 

The death of Constantine the King, 

And of Moyne that was slaine soe younge, 

And said ' Vortiger was a traitor, 1760 

And all that wold him succor ; ' 

And said ' they wold let into the towne 

Both Uther and Pendragon, 

And ceaze there into their hands, 

For they were right heyres of the land.' 

They sett open the gates wyde. 

And lett Pendragon in ryde. 

And Uther his brother alsoe. 

And all that came with them two ; 

And yeelden to them both towne and tower, 1770 

And didden them full great honor. 

That ever after Winchester then 

Great thanke and freedome wan. 



50 



when that Vortiger the fell 

The sooth tydings hard tell, 

That Uther and Pendragon 

Were let into Winchester towne, 

Then he comanded his men fast 

To goe to Winchester in hast. 

And when Pendragon under-nome 1780 

That Vortiger did thither come, 

He cast open the gates wyde ; 

And all they can out ryde. 

And dighten them without fayle 

To give Sir Vortiger battayle. 

But the English Barrons all in fere 

That were comen with Vortiger, 

When they can they folke scene 

That were some time of their kine, 

(With Vortiger was many a knight *790 

That knew the banners anon-right ; 

Well a hundred there were 

That had served their father deere, 

And saiden ' Vortiger was false in feild, 

And all that ever with him helde '), 

To Vortiger they ran soone. 

And thought for to have slaine him anon. 

They had ment to have slaine him there. 

But all too litle was their power, 

For against one of them 1800 

Vortiger had twenty men 

That were comen altogether 

With King Anguis thither. 

King Vortiger and Anguis 

For wrath were neere wood, I-wisse ; 

He commanded all his route 

To besett them all aboute, 

And sware there shold scape none. 

But they shold all be slaine. 

51 



Lance they broke, and shafts they drew, 1810 

Many of the Barrons they slew ; 

But they were strong and wight, 

And fought againe with all their might ; 

For nothing wold they yeeld then. 

But slew many a heathen man ; 

Fast on him they can hew. 

But alas, they were to few ! 

Yett one Baron was soe stronge 

That hee scaped out of the thronge ; 

Hee pricked his steed with great randome 1820 

Till he came to Pendragon ; 

He sayd " thou art heyre of this land, 

To my tale doe understand ! 

For the love of thy brother and thee 

Hither I come to helpe thee. 

And therfor now are wee shent ; 

For our good will to thee meant, 

King Vortiger and King Anguis, 

With many a Sarazen of great price 

Shall hew us downe to the ground, 1830 

But yee us helpe in this stonde." 

Itt was noe reed to bid him ryde : 

The folke spurred out on everye syde, ' 

And when they were together mett. 

There were strokes well besett : 

There fought Uther and Pendragon 

As they were woode lyons ; 

Many a Sarazens head anon 

They stroke of by the necke bone. 

Many folke that ilke tyde 1840 

Were slaine on both syds ; 

King Vortiger, without fayle. 

Was overcome in that battele ; 

And maugre him and all his 

That were with King Anguis, 

52 



They were driven soe nye 

That into a castle they can flee, 

And that was both strong and merrye, 

Upon the Plaine of Salsburye. 

Pendragon and his brother Uther 1850 

Pricked after Sir Vortiger ; 

And when they to the castle came, 

Wylde fyer soone them nume 

And cast itt in with a gynne ; 

And as soone as itt was within, 

Itt gann to bren out of witt 

That noe man might stanch itt ; 

And Vortiger, with child and wifl^e 

That were theere in their liffe, 

Beast and man, with lymes and lythe, i860 

Were brenned all forthwith. 

Vortiger raigned heere 

ffuUye the space of seven yeere. 

Now pray wee all the Heavens King, 

And His Mother, that sweet thinge, 

He blesse us all with His hand. 

And send us peace in England ! 



Eighth Parte 

Now when Vortiger was brent, 

Uther and Pendragon went 

For to beseege King Anguis 1870 

In his castle soe strong of price, 

Wither he was fled for dread and doubt. 

And Pendragon with all his rout 

Besett him soe on every side 

That noe man might scape that tyde. 

But King Anguis within that castle 

Was bestowed soe wonderous well. 



53 



And soe stronglye itt was wrought 

That noe man might deere itt nought. 

And when they had beseeged him longe 1880 

About they castle that was soe stronge, 

And when noe man might him deere, 

Five Barrons comen there 

That had beene with Vortiger, 

And told Pendragon and Uther 

How Merlyne was begotten and borne, 

And how he came the King beforne. 

And what words he him tolde 

Of the dragons under the mould. 

And how the King wold have him slaine, 1890 

And noe man wott where he become. 

And said, " Sir, verament 

And Merline were here present, 

Throughe his councell you shall anon 

Kinge Anguis over-come." 

Pendragon was woundred thoe. 

And soe was his brother Uther alsoe. 

And sent anon the Knights five 

For to seeke Merlyn belive, 

And bade them, if they found the child, 1900 

To pray him with words milde 

To " come and speake with Pendragon 

And Uther in his pavillyon, 

Him to wishe, and them to reade. 

And if hee might, helpe them att neede 

For to winne that strong hold. 

And he shold have what he wold." 

The messengers forth went 

To seeke Merlyn with good entent. 

And fare and wyde they him sought, 19 10 

But of him they heard right nought. 

Soe on a day the messengers, 

As they were sett att their dinners 

54 



In a taverne in the west countrye, 

With meate and drinke great plentye, — 

An old churle, hee came in 

With a white beard upon his chine, 

And a staffe in his hand he had, 

And shoone on feete full well made, 

And begunn to crave more, 1920 

And said he was an hungred sore. 

And praid them on the bench above 

To give him something for Gods love. 

And they then sayd, with-out leasinge, 

' That he shold have of them nothinge,' 

And sayd " if that the churle be old, 

He is a stronge man and a bolde. 

And might goe worke for his meate 

If he itt wold with truth gett j " 

And called to him evereche one, 1930 

And bade him trusse and away gone. 

And sware by the ruth that God them gave, 

He shold drinke with his owne staffe. 

Then Merlyn answered yorne 

" Fellow," hee sayd, " I am noe churle 

I am an old man of this worlde. 

And many wonders scene and hearde; 

And yee be wretches and younge of blood, 

And forsooth can litle good ; 

And if yee knew as yee nay can, 1940 

Yee shold scorne noe old man ; 

Yee shold be in the Kings neede. 

For old men can thee wishe and reede 

Where yee shold find Merlyn the chylde ; 

Therfore the King was full wilde 

To send madmen out off rage 

For to goe on such a message ; 

For Merlyn is of such manner. 

If he stood before you here 

55 



And spake to you right att this dore, 1950 

You shold know him never the more ; 

For thrise this day you have him mett, 

And yett yee know him never the bett. 

And therfore wend home, by my reed, 

For him to find you shall not speed ; 

And bydd that prince take Barrons five, 

And bydde come and speake to Merlyn belyve. 

And say that he shall them abyde 

Right here by this forrests side." 

And when he had said to them this, i960 

Anon he was away, I-wisse, 

And there wist none of them 

Where this old man was become. 

The messengers wondred all 

Where the churle was befall, 

And all about they him sought, 

But of him they heard nought ; 

For in story it is told. 

The churle that was soe stout and bold. 

That spake soe to the messengers 1970 

As they sate att their dinners. 

Forsooth itt was Merline the younge 

That made to them this scorninge. 

The messenger went soone anon. 

And told Uther and Fendragon, 

And how the churle to them had tolde 

And sware to them with words bold. 

And told them how Merlyne the chylde 

Was byding in the fforrest wylde, 

And bade them take Barrons five, 1980 

To come and speake with him belyve ; 

And sayd Merlyn wold them abyde 

Att such a place by the forrest syde. 

Fendragon had wonder thoe, 

And Uther his brother alsoe. 

56 



Pendragon bade his brother gent 

To the seege to take good tent, 

That king Anguis scaped not away 

Neither by night nor yett by day 

Till they were of him wreake, 1990 

For he wold goe with Merlyn speake. 

Then Pendragon with Barrons five 

Went forth alsoe belyve. 

And whe?i Pendragon was forth went, 

Merlyn anon verament 

Wist full well that he was gone, 

And to Uther he came anon, — 

As itt were a stout garrison 

He came to Uthers pavillyon, — 

And said, " Uther, listen to mee, 2000 

For of thy harme I will warne thee, 

ffor I know well with-outen fayle 

All King Angrius counsaile ; 

For he will come this ilke night 
With many a man full well dight. 
And into the forrest slippe anon 

For to waite thee for to sloen ; 

But herof have thou noe dowbt. 

But warne thy host all about 

That they be armed swithe and weele 2010 

Both in iron and eke in Steele, 

And gather to-gether all thy host. 

And hold yee still with-outen host 

Till that hee bee amonge ye comen, 

For he shalbe the first groome 

That shall upon thy pavillion ren ; 

And looke that thou be ready then. 

And heard on him looke thow hewe, 

And spare not that old shrewe, 

For thou shalt slay him with thy hand, 2020 

And winne the price from all this land." 

I 57 



And when he had told him all this case, 

He vanished away from that place. 

Great wonder had Uther thoe 

That he was escaped soe, 

And thought itt was Gods sonde 

That warned him that stonde, 

That had soe warned him of his fone, 

And was soe lightlye from him gone. 

And when itt drew unto the night, 2030 

King Anguis anon-right 

Did arme his men wrath and prest. 

Three thousand men of the best. 

And said how a spye had tolde 

That Pendragon, the prince bold, 

Forth into the countrye is gone, 

And left his brother Uther att home ; 

Therfore, he sayd, he will out breake, 

And on other he wold him wreake. 

And sware an othe by Mahound 2040 

He wold kill him in his pavillyon. 

And soone they were ready dight ; 

Then King Anguis anon-right 

Forthe of the castle he can ryde 

With three thousand by his syde. 

And forthe he went without host 

Untill he came to Uthers host. 

And when he was comen right 

Where Uthers pavillyon was pight. 

King Anguis, a fell felon, 2050 

He hyed him to the pavillyon 

And thought to slay Uther thcrin ; 

But he was beguiled thorrow Merlyine, 

For Merlyne had that ilke morrow 

Warned Uther of all the sorrow 

How King Anguis was bethought ; 

Therfore in his pavillyon was he nought ; 



But had taken the feild with-out, 

With many a hardye man and stout. 

And Uther was a hardy man ; 2060 

Upon King Anguis hee ran, 

And smote him att the first blow 

That he cane him over-throwe; 

And Uther with his sword soe smart 

He smote him thorrow the hart, 

And hent him by the head anon, 

And stroke itt from the necke bone. 

And when the Sarazens this can see. 

Fast away can they flee 

To the castle ever-eche one, 2070 

And left their lord all alone. 

But or they might scape againe. 

Five hundred were all slayne 

Of the stoutest that were there. 

That came with their King i-fere. 



Ninth Parte 

Now let us be for a season, 

And let us turne to Pendragon 

That was gone to the forrest wilde 

To speake with Merlyn the chylde. 

The first time he asked for Merlyn, 2080 

He see a heardsman keeping swine 

With an old hatt upon his head, 

And in gray russett was he cladd. 

And a good staffe in his hand, 

And a white whelpe him followande ; 

Stalworth he seemed, and well made. 

The prince anon to him roade ; 

59 



And well fayre he can him fraine 

Giff he heard ought of Merlyn, 

And whether hee cold tell him any tythands, 2090 

Where was his most wininge. 

" Yea, sir," he sayd, " by St, Marye, 

Right now was Merlyn here with mee ; 

And thou had comen eare, indeed. 

Thou might have found him in that stead ; 

And if thou can Merlyn ken. 

He is not yett far gone ; 

And therfore ryde forth in this way 

As fast as ever thou may. 

And on thy right hand rathe 2100 

Thou shalt find a verry faire path 

That thorrow the faire forrest lyeth. 

And in that way thou ryde swithe, 

And seekerlye with-outen weene 

Soone thou may Merlyn scene." 

Then was the prince glad and blythe, 

And sped him forth swithe ; 

And as he hard, soe he itt found, 

A well faire path on his right hand. 

They turned their horsses evereche one, 21 10 

And in that path they rydden anon. 

And with Merlyn they metten then. 

And as itt were a stout champyon. 

And bare a great packe on his backe ; 

And to him the prince full faire spake. 

And asked him if hee see Merlyn : 

" Yea," said he, " by St. Martin, 

A little heere before your sight ; 

He is not farr, I you plyght. 

To you I say by St. John, 2120 

He is not yett far gone ; 

And therfore ryde forth belive 

As fast as your horsses may drive, 

60 



And yee shall find him in a wyle : 

By then yee have rydden a myle, 

With Merlyn yee shall meete then, 

Or yee shall speake with some other man 

That shall you tell full right 

Where you shall have of Merlyn a sight." 

And when he had thus sayd, 2130 

They pricked forth in a brayd ; 

And by they had rydden a stonde, 

As he him said with-out wronge, 

He mett with Merlyn on the playne, 

As he were a doughtye swaine, 

All cloathed in robes soe gay 

As it had beene a monkes gray, 

And bare a gavelocke in his hand ; 

His speeche was of another land. 

He, when the prince had him mett, 2140 

Faire and hendlye he did him greete. 

Then the prince was all heavye, 

And asked him of his curtesie 

If he mett by the way 

With chyld Merlyn that day : 

" Yea, sir," hee said, " by St. Michaelle, 

Merlyn I know verry well ; 

For right now sikerlye 

Merlyin was here fast by ; 

And had yee rydden a litle bett, 2150 

With Merlyn yee might have mett ; 

But sir, I say with-out othee. 

He is a quante boy, for-soothe ; 

Soe well I know Merlyns thought, 

With-out my helpe you find him nought ; 

And if of him yee will have speech. 

Then must you doe as I to you teache : 

Att the next towne here beside. 

There you must Merlyn abyde, 

61 



And in the towne take your ine, 2160 

And certainly then child Merlyn 

Shall come to you this ilke night, 

And there yee shall of him have sight, 

And then yee may both lowed and still 

Speake with Merlyn all that you will." 

Then was the prince blythe and glad. 

And pricked forth as he were madd, 

And tooke his inne in the towne 

As shold a lord of great renowne. 

Now may you heare in this time 2170 

How Merlyn came the fifth time. 

And how he the prince mett, 

And on what manner he him grett. 

And became to him as councellour : 

Hearken to me and you shall heare. 

When itt was with-in the night, 

Merlyn came to the King full right, 

Right in the guise of a swayne 

As he was in the forrest scene. 

And sayd — as I find in the booke — 2180 

*' Sir Prince, God send you good lucke ! 

Loe, I am heere that thou hast sought ! 

Tell me what is thy thought, 

And what thou wilt to me saine. 

For I wold heare thee wonderous faine." 

Then upstart Pendragon, 

And into his armes he him nume ; 

To bide with him he did him crave. 

And what hee wold aske, he should have. 

And Merlyn sayd verament 2190 

' He wold be att his commandement ; 

Over all, where-soe he were, 

He wold be att his bydding yare.' 

Then was the prince gladd and blyth. 

And thanked Merlyn many a sythe. 

62 



Then sayd Merlyn, " Sir, will you heare? 

I come from thy brother deere ; 

For through my councell hee hath this night 

Slaine King Anguis, I you plight." 

Then was the prince blythe and gladd, 2200 

And great solace and myrth made ; 

And all that were there were full faine, 

And on the morrow rod home againe, 

And found King Anguis slaine, 

His head sett up, his body drawne. 

Pendragon asked Uther, I-wis, 

'• Who had slaine King Anguis.' 

And he answered and can saine 

That he was warned by a swayne. 

When he had told all how he did, 2210 

He thanked God in that steade. 

Then be-spake Pendragon, 

And sayd to Uther anon, 

" Hee that thee holpe att need thine, 

Forsooth itt was child Merlyn 

That standeth now here by thee." 

Uther him thanked with hart free. 

And prayd him then in all thing 

That he wold be att his bidding. 

Then they wenten to the castle with-out lesse, 2220 

Wherein many a Sarazen was, 

That noe man might to them winne 

By noe manner of gynne ; 

And therefore the oste still lay. 

Till after upon the third day 

Word came from the Sarazen 

Where they lay in castle hne. 

That they wold yeeld up the castle ; 

If they might passe well 

To their land with-outen dere, 2230 

Upon a Booke they wold sweare 

63 



That they shold never againe come. 

But Merlyn sent them word soone 

That they shold pass eache one 

By leave of his Pendragon. 

And when they had all sworne and some 

That they wold never in this land come, 

They passed anon to the sea strond 

And went into their owne land. 

Then to Pendragon the crowne they name, 2240 

And King of Englande he became. 

And in England he raigned king 

But three yeere with -out leasing. 

And after he was slaine rathe 

With Sarazens, and that was scathe ; 

I shall you tell in whatt manner; 

Listen a while and you shall heare. 

That time in the land of Denmarke 

Two Sarazens where, stout and starke. 

And were of King Anguis kinde, 2250 

Of his next blood that was soe hynde ; 

The one was come of the brother. 

And of the sister come the other ; 

Strong men thew were, and fell. 

And theire names I can you tell ; 

The one was called Sir Gamor, 

And the other Sir Malador. 

Gamor came of the brother beforne, 

The other was of the sister borne, 

Great lords were they of land : 2260 

Sir Malador held in his hand 

Two duchyes, and Gamor three ; 

Stowter men might none bee. 

When they heard how King Anguis 

In England was slaine, I-wis, 

Altogether can they speake, 

Theire unckles death they wold wreake ; 

64 



And soe great an oste together they brought 

That they number they can tell nought; 

But unto shipp they gone anon, 2270 

And the seas to flowe began. 

The vvinde soe well began to blow 

That they landed att Bristowe. 

Then Merlyn knew itt well anon, 

And told it Uther and Pendragon, 

* How there was comen from Denmarke 

A stronge oste stout and starke, 

With many Sarazens of price. 

For to avenge King Anguis.' 

" In England," sayd Merlyn then, 2280 

*' Such an oste was never scene; 

I say to you with-outen layne, 

The one of you shalbe slayne ; 

And whether of you soe ere it is. 

Shall have to meede heavens blisse." 

But for noe meede he wold not saine 

Whether of them shold be slaine ; 

But never-the-lesse yee shall heare. 

Merlyn loved well Uther, 

The least heere that was on his crowne, 2290 

Then all the body of Pendragon. 

Hee bade them dight them anon 

Against their foemen for to gone. 

And sayd ' Pendragon with-out fayle 

Uppon the land shold them assayle ; ' 

" And Uther, alsoe I bidd thee, 

Thou shalt wend by the sea. 

And looke that theere scapen none 

Till they be slaine everye-eche one." 

Pendragon was a doughty e knight, 2300 

And fell and egar for to fight ; 

He never for stroakes wold forbeare 

Against noe man with sheeld or speare, 

K 65 



Nor better did with-outen fayle, 

And that was seene in that battaile ; 

He tooke his oaste with might and mayne, 

And went the Sarazens fast againe ; 

And when they were together mett, 

There were strokes sadlye sett ; 

Many a heathen Sarazen 2310 

He clove downe to the chin ; 

Many a man was sticked tho, 

And many a good steed was slayne alsoe. 

The booke saith with-outen lye 

There was done such chivalrye ; 

Of the folke that [by] Pendragon fell, 

Noe man can the number tell. 

And Uther to the sea went, 

And Merlyn told him verament 

That he shold not that day be slaine. 2320 

Then was Uther wonderous fayne. 

And in his hart so wonderous lyght 

That hee was feirce and fell in fight, 

And egerlye with-out fayle 

The Sarazens he can assayle. 

And fast against them can stryde 

That many a Sarazen lost their liffe. 

Pendragon and his folke in hast 

The Sarazens fast to ground they cast. 

That there were none against them stoode, 2330 

But fledd away as they were wood. 

But Uther in that ilke tyde 

Kept them in on the other syde ; 

With strong battayle and strokes hard 

He drove them all againe backward ; 

And when that they noe further might, 

On Pendragon can they light ; 

A hundred Sarazens on a rowte 

Att once layd him all about. 

66 



Who-soe had scene Pendragon then, 2340 

He might have seene a doughtye man ; 

For all that he might ever reach, 

Trulye they need noe other leech. 

The Sarazens stout and grim, 

Slew his steed under him ; 

And when hee had lost his steed. 

Great ruthe itt is in bookes to reede 

How that he on foote stood 

Till that he lost his harts bloode. 

A hundred Sarazens att a brayd 2350 

All att once att him layd, 

And broken him body and arme. 

And slew him there ; and that was harme. 

And when that Uither understoode 

His brother was slaine, he waxt neere woode, 

And bade his men fast fight. 

And he bestirrde him like a knight : 

Of all the Sarazens that were left alive 

There scaped noe more but five. 

Of the Christian men were but slane 2360 

Three thousand and thirty-one certane ; 

And in that ilke country thoe 

A mile might noe man goe — 

Neither by dale nor by downe — 

But he shold tread on a dead man. 

And when itt was against the night, 

Uther had discomfited them in fight ; 

He went home into his inne. 

And asket councell of Merlyne. 

Pendragon was out sought, 2370 

And to the church full fayre brought ; 

He was graven and layd full merrye 1 

In the towne of Glasenburye, 

And thus ended that doughtye knight. 

God grant his soule to blisse soe bright ! 

67 



And all that done soe for the right, 
I pray Jesu for his might 
He grant them heavens blisse above ! 
Amen, Amen, for his mothers love ! 



ffinis 



68 



KINGE ARTHURS DEATH 



Off Briiite his blood in Brittaine borne, 
King Arthur I am to name ; 

Through Chrystendome and heathynesse 
Well knowen is my worthy fame. 

In Jesus Christ I doe beleeve, 

I am a Christyan borne ; 
The Father, Sone, and Holy Gost, 

One God, I doe adore. 



In the four hundred and ninetieth yeere 

Over Brittaine I did rayne lo 

After my Savior Christ His byrth. 

What time I did maintaine 



The fellow-shipp of the Table Round, 

Soe ffamous in those dayes, 
Wheratt one hundred noble knights 

And thirty sitt alwayes, 

Who for their deeds and martiall ffeates — 

As bookes done yett record — 
Amongst all nations 

Wer feared throwgh the world. 20 

And in the castle of Tyntagill 

King Uther mee begate 
Of Agyana, a bewtyous ladye. 

And come of his estate. 

69 



And when I was fifteen yeere old, 

Then was I crowned King ; 
All Brittaine was att an uprore, 

I did to quiett bringe, 

And drove the Saxons from the realme, 

Who had opprest this land; 30 

And then I conquered througe manly feats 

All Scottlande with my hands. 

Ireland, Denmarke, Norway, 

These countryes wan I all, 
Iseland, Gotheland, and Swethland, 

And made their kings my thrall. 

Five kings of Pavye I did kill 

Amidst that bloody strife; 
Besides the Grecian Emperour, 

Who alsoe lost his liffe. 40 

I conquered all Gallya 

That now is called ffrance, 
And I slew the hardy Froland feild, 

My honor to advance ; 

And the ugly gyant Danibus 

Soe terrible to vewe, 
That in St. Barnards mount did lye, 

By force of armes I slew ; 

And Lucyes, the Emperour of Roome, 

I brought to deadly wracke ; 50 

And a thousand more of noble knights 

For feare did turne their backes, 



Whose carkasse I did send to Roome, 

Cladd poorlye on a beere. 
And afterward I past Mountjoye, 

The next approching yeere ; 

Then I came to Roome, where I was mett 

Right as a conquerour, 
And by all the cardinalls solempnelye 

I was crowned an Emperour. 60 

One winter there I made abode, 

And then word to me was brought 
How Mordred, my sonne, had oppressed the crowne, 

What treason he had wrought 

Att home in Brittaine heere with my Queene ; 

Therfore I came with speede 
To Brittaine backe with all my power. 

To quitt that traiterous deede. 

And when att Sandwiche I did land, 

Where Mordred me with-stoode ; 70 

But yett att last I landed there 

With effusion of much blood, 

ffor there my nephew Sir Gawaine dyed. 

Being wounded on that sore 
That Sir Lancelott in fight 

Had given him before. 

Thence chased I Mordred away. 

Who ffledd to London wright; 
ffrom London to Winchester, 

And to Cornwalle, hee tooke his flyght ; 80 

71 



And still I him pursued with speed 

Till at the last wee mett, 
Wherby appointed day of fight 

Was agreede and sett, 

Where wee did fight soe mortallye 

Of live eche other to deprive, 
That of a hundred thousand men 

Scarce one was left alive ; 

There all the noble chivalrye 

Of Brittaine tooke their end ! 90 

O ! see how fickle is their state 

That doe upon feates depend ! 

There all the traiterous men were slaine. 

Not one escaped away ; 
And there dyed all my vallyant knights ! 

Alas, that woeflill day ! 



[Second Part] 



But upon a Monday after Trinity Sonday 

This battaile foughten cold bee. 
Where many a knight cryed well-away ! 

Alacke, the more pittye ! 100 

But upon Sunday in the evening then. 

When the King in his bedd did lye, 
He thought Sir Gawaine to him came. 

And thus to him did say : 

72 



" Now as you are my unckle deere, 

I pray you be ruled by mee, 
Doe not fight as to-morrow day, 

But put the battelle of if you may ; 

" For Sir Lancelott is now in France, 

And many knights with him full hardye, no 

And with-in this month here hee wilbe, 

Great aide wilbe to thee." 

Hee wakened forth of his dreames : 

To his nobles that told hee, 
How he thought Sir Gawaine to him came, 

And these words sayd certainly. 

And then they gave the King councell all, 

Upon Munday earlye 
That hee shold send one of his heralds of armes 

To parle with his sonne, if itt might bee. 120 

And twelve knights King Arthur chose. 

The best in his companye. 
That they shold goe to meete his sonne. 

To agree if itt cold bee. 

And the King charged all his host 

In readynesse for to bee, 
That noe man shold noe weapons sturr 

With-out a sword drawne amongst his knights they 
see. 

And Mordred upon the other part. 

Twelve of his knights chose hee 130 

That they shold goe to rneete his father 

Betweene those two hosts fayre and free. 

I' 73 



And Mordred charged his ost 

In like mannor most certainely, 
That noe man shold noe weapons sturre 

With-out a sword drawne amongst them they see ; 

For he durst not his father trust, 

Nor the father the sonne certainley. 
Alacke ! this was a woeRill case 

As ever was in Christentye ! 140 

But when they were mett together there, 

And agreed of all things as itt shold bee, 

And a monthes league then there was 

Before the battele foughten shold bee, 

An adder came forth of bush, 

Stunge one of King Arthirs knights below his knee ; 
Alacke ! this was a woefull chance 

As ever was in Christentye ! 

The knight he found him wounded there. 

And see the wild worme there to bee; 150 

His sword out of his scabberd he drew ; 
Alas ! itt was the more pittye ! 

And when these two osts saw they sword drawen, 

They joyned battell certainlye. 
Till of a hundred thousand men 

Of one side was left but three. 

But all were slaine that durst abyde, 

But some awaye that did flee. 
King Arthur upon his owne partye 

Himselfe alive cold be, 160 



74 



And Lukin the Duke of Gloster, 

And Bedever his Butler certainlye. 
The King looked about him there, 

And saw his knights all slaine to bee ; 

" Alas ! " then sayd noble King Arthur 

" That ever this sight I see! 
To see all my good knights lye slaine, 

And the traitor yett alive to bee ! 

" Loe where he leanes upon his sword hillts 

Amongst his dead men certainlye! 17° 

I will goe slay him att this time ; 

Never att better advantage I shall him see." 

" Nay ! stay here, my leege ! " then said the Duke, 

" For love and charitye ! 
For wee have the battell woone. 

For yett alive wee are but three : " 

The King wold not be perswaded then. 

But his horsse then mounted hee ; 
His Butler that helped him to horsse. 

His bowells gushed to his knee. 



i»o 



" Alas ! " then said noble King Arthur, 

" That this sight I ever see. 
To see this good knight for to be slaine 

For love for to helpe mee ! " 

He put his speare into his rest, 

And att his sonne he ryd feirclye, 

And through him there his speare he thrust 
A fatham thorrow his body. 



/i 



The Sonne he felld him wounded there, 

And knew his death then to bee; 190 

He thrust himselfe upon his speare, 

And gave his father a wound certainlye. 



But there dyed Sir Mordred 
Presently upon that tree. 

But or ere the King returned againe, 
His Butler was dead certainlye. 



Then bespake him noble King Arthur, 

These were the words sayd hee, 
Sayes, " Take my sword Escalberd 

From my side fayre and free, 200 

And throw itt into this river heere; 
For all the use of weapons He deliver uppe, 

Heere underneath this tree." 



The Duke to the river side he went. 
And his sword in threw hee ; 

And then he kept Escalberd, 
I tell you certainlye ; 



And then he came to tell the King. 

The King said, " Lukin, what did thou see? " 
" Noe thing, my leege," then sayd the Duke, 210 

" I tell you certainlye." 



" O goe againe," said the King, 
" For love and charitye. 

And throw my sword into that river. 
That never I doe itt sec." 



76 



The Duke to the river side he went, 

And the Kings scaberd in threw hee ; 

And still he kept Escalbard 

For vertue sake faire and free. 

He came againe to tell the King; 220 

The King sayd, "Lukin, what did thou see?" 

" Nothing, my leege," then sayd the Duke, 
" I tell you certainlye." 

" O goe againe, Lukin," said the King, 

" Or the one of us shall dye." 
Then the Duke to the river sid went, 

And the Kings sword then threw hee : 

A hand and an arme did meete that sword. 
And flourished three times certainlye. 

He came againe to tell the King, 230 

But the King was gone from under the tree, 

But to what place, he cold not tell. 

For never after hee did him see. 
But he see a barge from the land goe. 

And hearde ladyes houle and cry certainlye; 

But whether the King was there or noe 

He knew not certainlye. 
The Duke walked by that rivers side 

Till a chappell there found hee. 

And a preist by the aulter side there stood. 240 

The Duke kneeled downe there on his knee 

And prayed the preists, "for Christs sake 

The rights of the church bestow on mee ! " 

77 



For many dangerous wounds he had upon him, 

And liklye he was to dye. 
And there the Duke lived in prayer 

Till the time that hee did dye. 

King Arthur lived King twenty-two yeere 

In honor and great fame, 
And thus by death suddenlye 250 

Was deprived from the same. 



ffi 



nis. 



78 



KINGE JOHN AND BISHOPPE 



Off an ancient story He tell you anon, 

Of a notable prince that was called King John, 

In England was borne, with maine and with might 

Hee did much wrong, and mainteined litle right. 

This noble prince was vexed in veretye. 

For he was angry with the Bishopp of Canterbury 

ffor his house-keeping and his good cheere. 

They rode post for him, as you shall heare ; 

They rode post for him verry hastilye ; 

The King sayd the Bishopp kept a better house 

then hee; lo 

A hundred men even, as I say, 
The Bishopp kept in his house everye day, 
And fifty gold chaines, without any doubt, 
In velvett coates waited the Bishopp about. 
The Bishopp, he came to the court anon 
Before his prince that was called King John. 
As soone as the Bishopp the King did see, 
" O," quoth the King, " Bishopp, thow art welcome 

to mee ! 
There is noe man soe welcome to towne 
As thou that workes treason against my crowne." 20 
" My leege," quoth the Bishopp, " I wold it were 

knowne ; 
I spend, your Grace, nothing but that thats my owne ; 
I trust your Grace will doe me noe deare 
For spending my owne trew gotten geere." 
"Yes," quoth the King, "Bishopp, thou must needs dye: 
Eccept thou can answere mee questions three. 
Thy head shalbe smitten quite from thy bodye. 
And all thy living remayne unto mee. 
First," quoth the King, " tell me in this steade. 
With this crowne of gold heere upon my head, 30 



Amongst my nobilitye with joy and much mirth, 

Lett me know within one pennye what I am worth : 

Secondlye, tell me without any dowbt 

How soone I may goe the whole world about : 

And thirdly, tell mee or ever I stinte. 

What is the thing, Bishopp, that I doe thinke. 

Twenty dayes pardon thoust have trulye. 

And come againe and answere mee." 

The Bishopp bade the King ' god night ' att a word. 

He rode betwixt Cambridge and Oxenford, 40 

But never a Doctor there was soe wise 

Cold shew him these questions or enterprise ; 

Wherewith the Bishopp was nothing gladd. 

But in his hart was heavy and sadd. 

And hyed him home to a house in the countrye 

To ease some part of his melanchollye. 

His halfe brother dwelt there, was feirce and fell, 

Noe better but a shepard to the Bishoppe him-sell ; 

The shepard came to the Bishopp anon. 

Saying, " My lord, you are welcome home! 50 

What ayles you," quoth the shepard, " that you are 

soe sadd. 
And had wonte to have beene soe merry and gladd ? " 
"Nothing," quoth the Bishopp, "I ayle att this time. 
Will not thee availe to know, brother mine." 
*' Brother," quoth the shepeard, " you have heard itt, 
That a iToole may teach a wisemane witt ; 
Say me therfore what-soever you will. 
And if I doe you noe good, lie doe you noe ill." 
Quoth the Bishop : " I have beene att thy court anon, 
Before my prince is called King John, 60 

And there he hath charged mee 
Against his crowne with traitorye ; 
If I cannott answer his misterye. 
Three questions hcc hath propounded to mee, 
He will have my land soe faire and free, 

80 



And alsoe the head from my bodye. 
The first question was, ' to tell him in that stead 
With the crowne of gold upon his head, 
Amongst his nobilitye with joy and much mirth, 
To lett him know within one penye what hee is 

worth ; ' 70 

And secondlye, ' to tell him with-out any doubt 
How soone he may goe the whole world about ; ' 
And thirdlye, ' to tell him, or ere I stint, 
What is the thinge that he does think.' " 
" Brother," quoth the shepard, " you are a man of 

learninge ; 
What neede you stand in doubt of soe small a thinge ? 
Lend me," quoth the shepard, " your ministers apparrell, 
He ryde to the court and answere your quarrell ; 
Lend me your serving men, say me not nay ; 
With all your best horsses that ryd on the way, 80 

He to the court, this matter to stay ; 
He speake with King John and heare what heele say." 
The Bishopp with speed prepared then 
To sett forth the shepard with horsse and man ; 
The shepard was lively with-out any doubt ; 
I wott a royall companye came to the court. 
The shepard hee came to the court anon 
Before his prince that was called King John. 
As soone as the King the shepard did see, 
" O," quoth the King, " Bishopp, thou art welcome 

to me ! " 90 

The shepard was soe like the Bishopp his brother. 
The King cold not know the one from the other. 
Quoth the King, " Bishopp, thou art welcome to me 
If thou can answer me my questions three ! " 
Said the shepeard, " If it please your Grace, 
Show mee what the first question was." 
" First," quoth the King, " tell mee in this stead 
With the crowne of gold upon my head. 



M 



Amongst my nobilitye with joy and much mirth, 

Within one pennye what I am worth." loo 

Quoth the shepard, " To make your Grace noe offence, 

I thinke you are worth twenty-nine pence ; 

For our Lord Jesus, that bought us all, 

For thirty pence was sold into thrall 

Amongst the cursed Jewes, as I to you doe showe ; 

But I know Christ was one penye better then you." 

Then the King laught, and swore by St. Andrew 

He was not thought to bee of such a small value. 

" Secondlye, tell mee with-out any doubt 

How soone I may goe the world round about." no 

Saies the shepard, " It is noe time with your Grace 

to scorne ; 
But rise betime with the sun in the morne, 
And follow his course till his uprising. 
And then you may know with-out any leasing — 
And this your Grace shall prove the same — 
You are come to the same place from whence you came ; 
Twenty-four houres, with-out any doubt, 
Your Grace may the world goe round about ; 
The world round about, even as I doe say. 
If with the sun you can goe the next way." 120 

" And thirdlye tell me or ever I stint. 
What is the thing, Bishoppe, that I doe thinke." 
" That shall I doe," quoth the shepeard ; '* for veretye 
You thinke I am the Bishopp of Canterburye." 
"Why? art not thou? the truth tell to me; 
For I doe thinke soe," quoth the King, " by St. Marye." 
" Not soe," quoth the shepeard ; " the truth shalbe 

knowne, 
I am his poore shepeard ; my brother is att home." 
"Why," quoth the King, " if itt soe bee. 
He make thee Bishopp here to mee." 130 

"Noe, sir," quoth the shepard, "I pray you be still. 
For He not bcc Bishop but against my will ; 

82 



For I am not fitt for any such deede, 

For I can neither write nor reede." 

"Why, then," quoth the King, " He give thee cleere 

A patten of three hundred pound a yeere ; 

That I will give thee franke and free ; 

Take thee that, shepard, for coming to me. 

Free pardon He give," the Kings Grace said, 

"To save the Bishopp, his land and his head; 140 

With him nor thee lie be nothing wrath ; 

Here is the pardon for him and thee both." 

Then the shepard he had noe more to say. 

But tooke the pardon and rode his way. 

When he came to the Bishopps place. 

The Bishopp asket anon how all things was : 

" Brother," quoth the shepard, " I have well sped, 

For I have saved both your land and your head ; 

The King with you is nothing wrath, 

For heere is the pardon for you and mee both." 150 

Then the Bishopes h.art was of a merry cheere, 

" Brother, thy paines He quitt them cleare. 

For I will give thee a patent to thee and to thine 

Of fifty pounds a yeere land good and fine." 

" I will to thee noe longer croche nor creepe, 

Nor He serve thee noe more to keepe thy sheepe." 

Whereever wist you shepard before. 

That had in his head witt such store 

To pleasure a Bishopp in such a like case. 

To answer three questions to the Kings Grace? 160 

Whereever wist you shepard gett cleare 

Three hundred and fifty pound a yeere ? 

I never hard of his fellow before. 

Nor I never shall. Now I need to say noe more 

I never knew shepeard that gott such a livinge 

But David the shepeard that was a king. 

ffinis. 
83 



MARYE AUMBREE 



Captaine couragious, whome death cold [not] daunte, 
Beseeged the citye bravelye, the citty of Gaunt ! 
They mustered their soUders by two and by three : 
And the fformost in battele was Mary Aumbree ! 

When brave Sir John Major was slaine in that fight, 
That was her true lover, her joy and delight, 
Shee swore his death unrevenged shold not bee ; 
Was not this a brave, bonye lasse, Mary Aumbree? 

The death of her truelove shee meant to requite 

With fire and ifamine and sword shining bright, i o 

Which lately was slaine most villanouslye ; 

Was not this a brave, bonnye lasse, Mary Aumbree? 

Shee cladd her selfe from the top to the toe 

In buffe of the bravest most seemlye to show. 

And a faire shirt of male slipped on shee ; 

Was not this a brave, bonye lasse, Mary Aumbree ? 

A helmett of proofe shee tooke on her head. 

And a strong arminge sword shee wore by her side ; 

A goodly fayre gauntlett on her hand put shee ; 

Was not this, etc. 20 

Shee tooke her sword and her targett in hand, 
Bidding all such as wold, wayte on her band. 
To waite on her person there came thousands three : 
Was not this a brave, etc. 



" My soldiers," shee saith, " soe valiant and bold, 
Now fFollow your captain which you doe beholde ; 
In the right formost my selfe will I bee ! " 
Was not, etc. 

Then cryed out her souldiers, and loude they did say, 
" Soe well thou becomes this gallant array, 30 

Thy hands and thy weapons doe well soe agree. 
There was never none like to Mary Aumbree ! " 

Shee cheared her good souldiers that foughten for life, 
With the cominge of ancyents, with drum and with fife. 
That brave sonding trumpetts with ingines soe free, 
Att last they made mention of Mary Aumbree. 

" Before that I doe see the worst of you all 

Come in the danger of your enemyes thrall. 

This hand and this sword shall first sett him free ; " 

Was not, etc. 40 

Shee forward went on in battaile array, 
And straight shee did make her foes flye away ; 
Seven houres in sckirmish continued shee ; 
Was not, etc. 

The skyes shee did fill with the smoke of her shott, 
In her enemies bodyes with bulletts soe hott ; 
For one of her owne men, a sckore killed shee ; 
Was not, etc. 

Then did her gunner spoyle her intent, 

Pelletts and powder away had he sent: 50 

Then with her sword shee cut him in three, 

Was not, etc. 



Then was shee caused to make a retyre, 
Being falsely betrayd, as itt doth appeare ; 
Then to save her selfe into a castle went shee; 
Was not, etc. 

Her foes they besett her on everye side, 

Thinking in that castle shee wold not abyde ; 

To beate downe those walls they all did agree ; 

Was not, etc. 60 

Shee tooke her sword and her targett in hand, 
Shee came to the walls, and upon them did stand, 
Their daring their captaine to match any three. 
Was not, etc. 

" Thou English captain, what woldest thou give 
To ransome thy liffe which else must not live? 
Come downe quickly, and yeeld thee to mee ! " 
Then smiled sweetlye Mary Aumbree ; 

" Good gentle captain, what thinke you by mee, 
Or whom in my likenesse you take mee to bee? " 70 
" A knight, sir, of England, and captain soe free, 
That I meane to take away prisoner with me." 

" Good gentle captain, behold in your sight 
Two brests in my bosome, and therfore no knight ; 
Noe knight, sir, of England, nor captain soe free, 
But evene a pore bony lasse, Mary Aumbree." 

" If thou beest a woman as thou dost declare. 

That hast mangled our soliders, and made them soe bare ; 

The like in my liffe I never did see ; 

Therfore He honor thee, Mary Aumbree." 80 

86 



" Give I be a woman, as well thou doest see, 
Captain, thou gettst noe redemption of mee 
Without thou wilt fight with blowes two or three." 
Was not, etc. 

God send in warrs, such event I abide, 
God send such a solider to stand by my side ! 
Then safely preserved my person wilbe ; 
There was never none like to Mary Aumbree ! 



87 



CHEVY CHASE 



God prosper long our noble King, 

Our liffes and saftyes all ! 
A woefull hunting once there was 

In Chevy Chase befall. 

To drive the deere with hound and home 

Erie Pearcy took the way : 
The child may rue that is unborne 

The hunting of that day ! 

The stout Erie of Northumberland 

A vow to God did make, lo 

His pleasure in the Scottish woods 

Three sommers days to take ; 



The cheefest harts in Chevy Chase 
To kill and beare away. 

These tydings to Erie Douglas came 
In Scottland where he lay. 



Who sent Erie Pearcy present word 

He wold prevent his sport. 
The English Erie, not fearing that. 

Did to the woods resort 20 



With fifteen hundred bowmen bold. 
All chosen men of might, 

Who knew ffull well in time of neede 
To ayme their shafts arright. 



88 



The gallant greyhound swiftly ran 

To chase the fallow deere ; 
On Miinday they began to hunt 

Ere daylight did appeare ; 

And long before high noone they had 

A hundred fat buckes slaine. 30 

Then having dined, the drovyers went 

To rouze the deare againe; 

The bowmen mustered on the hills, 

Well able to endure ; 
Theire backsids all with speciall care 

That they were guarded sure. 

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. 40 

Lord Pearcy to the querry went 

To veiw the tender deere ; 
Quoth he, " Erie Douglas promised once 

This day to meete me heerej 

" But if I thought he wold not come, 

Noe longer wold I stay." 
With that a brave younge gentlman 

Thus to the Erie did say, 

" Loe, yonder doth Erie Douglas come, 

Hys men in armour bright, 50 

Full twenty hundred Scottish speres 

All marching in our sight, 

N 8g 



*' All pleasant men of Tivydale 

Fast by the river Tweede." 
" O ceaze your sportts ! " Erie Pearcy said, 

" And take your bowes with speede, 

" And now with me, my countrymen. 

Your courage forth advance! 
For there was never champion yett 

In Scottland nor in ffrance 60 

*' That ever did on horsbacke come. 

And if my hap it were, 
I durst encounter man for man. 

With him to breake a spere." 

Erie Douglas on his milke white steede, 

Most like a baron bold. 
Rode formost of his company. 

Whose armour shone like gold : 

" Shew me," sayd hee, " whose men you bee 

That hunt soe boldly heere, 70 

That without my consent doe chase 
And kill my fallow deere." 

The first man that did answer make 

Was noble Pearcy hee. 
Who sayd, " wee list not to declare, 

Nor shew whose men wee bee, 

" Yett wee will spend our deerest blood 

Thy cheefest harts to slay." 
Then Douglas swore a solempne oathe. 

And thus in rage did say, 80 

90 



" Ere thus I will outbraved bee, 

One of us tow shall dye ! 
I know thee well ! an erle thou art, 

Lord Pearcy ! soe am I ; 

" But trust me, Pearcye ! pittye it were. 

And great offence, to kill 
Then any of these our guiltlesse men. 

For they have done none ill ; 

" Let thou and I the battell trye, 

And set our men aside." 90 

" Accurst bee he ! " Erie Pearcye sayd, 

" By whome it is denyed." 

Then stept a gallant squire forth, — 

Witherington was his name, — 
Who said, " I wold not have it told 

To Henery our King, for shame, 

" That ere my captaine fought on foote. 

And I stand looking on : 
You bee two erles," quoth Witheringhton, 

And I a squier alone, 100 

" He doe the best that doe I may. 

While I have power to stand ! 
While I have power to weeld my sword. 

He fight with hart and hand ! " 

Our English archers bend their bowes — 

Their harts were good and trew, — 
Att the first flight of arrowes sent. 

Full foure score Scotts they slew. 

91 



To drive the deere with hound and home, 

Dauglas bade on the bent; i lo 

Two captaines moved with mickle might, 
Their speres to shivers went. 

They closed full fast on everye side, 

Noe slacknes there was found. 
But many a gallant gentleman 

Lay gasping on the ground. 

O Christ ! it was great greeve to see 

How eche man chose his spere. 
And how the blood out of their brests 

Did gush like water cleare! i2o 

At last these two stout erles did meet 

Like captaines of great might ; 
Like lyons moods they layd on lode. 

They made a cruell fight. 

They fought, untill they both did sweat. 

With swords of tempered Steele, 
Till blood a-downe their cheekes like raine 

They trickling downe did feele. 

" O yeeld thee, Pearcye ! " Douglas sayd, 

"And infaith I will thee bringe 130 

Where thou shall high advanced bee 

By James our Scottish king ; 

" Thy ransome I will freely give. 

And this report of thee. 
Thou art the most couragious knight 

T^hat ever I did see." 



92 



" No, Douglas ! " quoth Erie Percy then, 

" Thy profer I doe sconie ; 
I will not yeeldc to any Scott 

That ever yett was borne! " 140 

With tliat there came an arrow keene 

Out of an English bow, 
Who s[t]orke Erie Douglas on the brest 

A deepe and deadlye blow ; 

Who never sayd more words then these, 

" Fight on, my merrymen all! 
For why, my life is att att end. 

Lord Pearcy sees my fall." 

Then leaving liffe, Erie Pearcy tooke 

The dead man by the hand ; 150 

Who said, " Erie Dowglas ! for thy sake 

Wold I had lost my land ! 

" O Christ ! my verry hart doth bleed 

For sorrow for thy sake ! 
For sure, a more redoubted knight. 

Mischance cold never take!" 

A knight amongst the Scotts there was, 

Which saw Erie Douglas dye. 
Who streight in hart did vow revenge 

Upon the Lord Pearcye ; 160 

Second Parte 

Sir Hugh Mountgomerye was he called. 

Who, with a spere full bright. 
Well mounted on a gallant steed. 

Ran feircly through the fight, 

93 



And past the English archers all 

Without all dread or feare, 
And through Erie Percyes body then 

He thrust his hatfull spere 

With such a vehement force and might 

That his body he did gore, 170 

The staff ran through the other side 

A large cloth yard and more. 

Thus did both these nobles dye, 

Whose courage none cold staine. 
An English archer then perceived 

The noble Erie was slaine, 

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, 180 

Against Sir Hugh Mountgomerye 

His shaft full right he sett; 
The grey goose winge that was there-on, 

In his harts bloode was wett. 

This fight from breake of day did last 

Till setting of the sun, 
For when they rung the evening bell 

The battele scarse was done. 

With stout Erie Percy there was slaine, 

Sir John of Egerton, 190 

Sir Robert Harcliffe and Sir William, 

Sir James that bold barron ; 



94 



And with Sir George and Sir James, 

Both knights of good account; 
And good Sir Raphe Rebbye there was slaine, 

Whose prowesse did surmount. 

For Witherington needs must I wayle 

As one in [dole]-full dumpes, 
For when his leggs were smitten of, 

He fought upon his stumpes. 200 

And with Erie Dowglas there was slaine 

Sir Hugh Mountgomerye, 
And Sir Charles Morrell that from feelde 

One foote wold never flee ; 

Sir Roger Hever of HarclifFe tow, — 

His sisters sonne was hee, — 
Sir David Lambwell well esteemed, 

But saved he cold not bee; 

And the Lord Maxwell in like case 

With Douglas he did dye; 210 

Of twenty hundred Scottish speeres. 

Scarce fifty-five did flye; 

Of fifteen hundred Englishmen 

Went home but fifty-three ; 
The rest in Chevy Chase were slaine. 

Under the greenwoode tree. 

CD 

Next day did many widdowes come 

Their husbands to bewayle ; 
They washt their wounds in brinish teares. 

But all wold not prevayle. 220 

95 



Theyr bodyes, bathed in purple blood, 

They bore with them away, 
They kist them dead a thousand times 

Ere they were cladd in clay. 

The newes was brought to Eddenborrow 

Where Scottlands King did rayne, 
That brave Erie Douglas soddainlye 

Was with an arrow slaine. 

" O heavy newes ! " King James can say, 

" Scottland may wittenesse bee 230 

I have not any captaine more 

Of such account as hee ! " 

Like tydings to King Henery came 

Within as short a space, 
That Pearcy of Northumberland 

In Chevy Chase was slaine. 

" Now God be with him ! " said our King, 

" Sith it will noe better bee, 
I trust I have within my realme 

Five hundred as good as hee! 240 

" Yett shall not Scotts nor Scottland say 

But I will vengeance take. 
And be revenged on them all 

For brave Erie Percyes sake." 

This vow the King did well performe 

After on Humble Downe ; 
In one day fifty knights were slayne. 

With lords of great renowne, 

96 



And of the rest of small account, 

Did many hundreds dye: 250 

Thus endeth the hunting in Chevy Chase 

Made by the Erie Pearcye. 

God save our King, and blesse this land 

With plentye, joy, and peace ; 
And grant hencforth that foule debate 

Twixt noble men may ceaze ! 



ffi 



nis 



97 



WHEN LOVE WITH UNCONFINED WINGS 



When Love with unconfined wings 

Hovers within my gates, 
And my divine Althea brings 

To whisper at my grates, 
When I lye tangled in her heere 

And fettered with her eye. 
The burds that wanton in the ayre 

Enjoyes such lybertye. 



When, lynett-like confined, I 

With shriller note shall sing lo 

The mercy, goodnesse, majestye 

And glory of my Kinge, 
When I shall voice aloud how good 

He is, how great shold bee. 
The enlarged winds that curies the floods 

Enjoyes such lybertye. 



When flowing cupps run swiftly round 

With woe-allaying Theames, 
Our carlesse heads with roses crowned, 

Our harts with loyall flames, 2 

When thirsty soules in wine wee steepe. 

When cupps and bowles goe free, 
f^ishes that typle in the deepe 

Enjoyes such lybertye. 



Stone walls doe not a prison make. 
Nor iron barrs a cage ; 



98 



The spotlesse soule and inocent 

Calls this an hermitage. 
If I have freedome in my love, 

And in my soule am free, 30 

Angells alone that sores above 

Enjoyes such lybertye ! 



ffinis 



99 



CLORIS 

Cloris, farwell ! I needs must goe ! 

For if with thee I longer stay, 
Thine eyes prevayle upon me soe, 

I shall grow blynd and lose my way. 

ffame of thy bewty and thy youth, 

Amongst the rest me hither brought ; 

But finding fame fall short of truth. 

Made me stay longer then I thought. 

ffor I am engaged by word a?id othe 

A servant to anothers will ; i o 

But for thy love wold forfitt both. 

Were I but sure to keepe itt still. 

But what assurance can I take. 

When thou, fore-knowing this abuse, 

For some more worthy lovers sake 

May St leave me with soe just excuse. 

ffor thou wilt say it, " it was not thy fault 

That I to thee unconstant prove. 
But were by mine example taught 

To breake thy othe to mend thy love." 20 

Noe, Cloris, noe ! I will returne. 

And rayse thy story to that height 
That strangers shall att distance burne, 

And shee distrust thee reprobate. 

Then shall my love this doubt displace. 
And gaine the trust that I may come 

And sometimes banquett on thy face. 

But make my constant meales att home. 

100 



THE KINGE ENJOYES HIS RIGHTS AGAINE 



What Booker can prognosticate, 

Considering now the kingdomes state? 

I thinke my selfe to be as wise 

As he that gaseth on the skyes ; 

My skill goes beyond the depth ot Pond, 

Or Rivers in the greatest raine, 
Wherby I can tell that all things will goe well 

When the King enjoyes his rights againe. 



There is neither Swallow, Dove nor Dade, 

Can sore more high, or deeper wade lo 

To shew a reason from the starres. 

What causeth these our civill warres. 

The man in the moone may weare out his shoone 

In running after Charles his wayne ; 
But all is to noe end, for the times will not mend 

Till the King enjoyes his right againe. 



fFuU forty yeeres his royall crowne 

Hath beene his fathers and his owne. 

And is there any more nor hee 

That in the same shold sharrers bee, 20 

Or who better may the scepter sway 

Then he that hath such rights to raine? 
There is noe hopes of a peace, or the war to cease, 

Till the King enjoyes his right againe. 



Although for a time you see Whitehall 
With cobwebbs hanging on the wall, 

lOI 



Insteed of silkes and silver brave 
Which fformerly 'twas wont to have, 
With a sweete perfume in everye roome 

Delightfull to that princely traine : 30 

Which againe shalbe when the times you see 

That the King enjoyes his right againe. 



ffi 



nis 



102 



THE iEGIPTIAN QUENE 



When as the nightingale chanted her vesper, 

And the wyld [forester] coucht on the ground, 
Venus invited me to an evening wisper. 

To fragrant feelds with roses crounde. 
Which shee before had sent her cheefest complement. 

Unto my harts content sport with me on the greene ; 
Never Marke Anthony dallyed more wantonly 

With his fayre iEgiptian Queene ! 



ffirst on her cherry cheekes I my eyes feasted ; 

Thence feare of surffetting made me retyre, lo 
Then to her warmed lips^ which when I tasted, 

My spiritts duld were made active by fyer. 
This heat againe to calme, her moyst hand yeelded 
balme ; 

Whilest wee joyned palme to palme as if wee one 
had beene. 
Never Marke Anthony dallyed more wantonly 

With his fayre Egiptian Queene ! 



Then in her golden heere I my hands twined ; 

Shee her hands in my lockes twisted againe. 
As if her heere had beene fetters assigned. 

Sweet litle Cupid loose captive to chayne ; 20 

Soe did wee often dart one at anothers hart 

Arrows that felt noe smart, sweet lookes and smiles 
between. 
Never, etc. 



103 



Wa[n]//>2^ a glass to platt those amorus tresses 

Which like a bracelet deckt richly mine arme, 

Gaudyer then Juno was which when shee blessed 

Jove with [emb]races more richly thein warme. 

Shee sweetely peept in eyne that was more cristalline, 
Which by reflection shine ech eye and eye was 
scene. 

Never, etc. 30 



Misticall grammers of amorus glances, 

Feeling of pulses, the phisicke of love, 

Retoricall courtings and musicall dances, 

Numbring of kisses arithemeticke proves ; 

Eyes like astronomy, strayght limbes geometry. 

In her harts enginy ther eyes and eyes were scene. 

Never, etc. 



ffi 



nis 



104 



HOLLOWE, ME FANCYE 



In a melancholly fancy, out of my selfe, 

Thorrow the welkin dance I, 

All the world survayinge, noe where stayinge ; 

Like unto the fierye elfe, 

Over the topps of hyest mountaines skipping, 

Over the plaines, the woods, the valleys, tripping. 

Over the seas without oare of shipping, 

Hollow, me fancy ! wither wilt thou goe ? 

Amydst the cloudy vapors, faine wold I see 

What are those burning tapors lO 

Which benight us and affright us, 

And what the meetors bee. 

ffaine wold I know what is the roaring thunder, 

And the bright lightning which cleeves the clouds in 

sunder. 
And what the cometts are, att which men gaze and 

wonder. 
Hollow, me, etc. 

Looke but downe below me, where you may be bold, 

Where none can see or know mee ; 

All the world of gadding, running of madding. 

None can their stations hold: 20 

One, he sitts drooping all in a dumpish passion ; 

Another, he is for mirth and recreation ; 

The third, he hangs his head because hees out of fassion. 

Hollow, etc. 

See, see, see, what a bustling ! 

Now I descry one another justlynge ! 

How they are turmoyling, one another foyling. 

And how I past them bye ! 

p 105 



Hee thats above, him thats below despiseth ; 
Hee thats below, doth envye him that ryseth ; 30 

Everye man his plot and counter plott deviseth. 
Hollow, etc. 



Shipps, shipps, shipps, I descry now! 

Crossing the maine He goe too, and try now 

What they are projecting and protecting ; 

And when they turne againe. 

One, hees to keepe his country from invadinge ; 

Another, he is for merchandise and tradinge ; 

The other lyes att home like summers cattle shadding. 

Hollow, etc. 40 



Hollow, me fancy, hollow; 

I pray thee come unto mee, I can noe longer follow ! 

I pray thee come and try me ; doe not flye me ! 

Sithe itt will noe better bee. 

Come, come away ! Leave of thy lofty soringe ! 

Come stay att home, and on this booke be poring ; 

For he that gads abroad, he hath the lesse in storinge. 

Welcome, my fancye ! welcome home to mee ! 



ffinis 



106 



NEWARKE 



Our braines are asleepe, then fyll us a cupp 

Of cappering sacke and clarett ; 
Here is a health to King Charles! then drinke it all up, 

His cause will fare better for itt. 
Did not an ould Arke save Noye in a fflood ? 

Why may not a new arke to us be us good ? 
Wee dread not their forces, they are all made of wood. 

Then wheele and turne about againe. 

Though all beyond Trent be sold to the Scott, 

To men of a new protestation, lo 

If Sandye come there, twill fall to their lott 

To have a new signed possession ! 
But if once Lesly gett thetn in his power, 

Gods Leard ! heele play the devill and all ! 
But let him take heed how hee comes there. 

Lest Sweetelipps ring him a peale in his eare. 

Then tosse itt up merrilye, fill to the brim ! 

Wee have a new health to remember ; 
Heeres a health to our garrisons ! drink it to them, 

Theyle keepe us all warme in December. 20 

I care not a figg what enemy comes ; 

For wee doe account them but hop-of-my-thumbes. 
For Morrise our prince is coming amaine 

To rowte and make them run againe. 



ffi 



nis 



107 



AMONGST THE MIRTLES 

Amongst the mirtles as I walket, 

Love and my thoughts sights this inter-talket : 

" Tell me," said I in deepe distresse, 

" Where may I find my sheperdesse} " 

" Thou foole ! " said Love, " knowes thou not this? 

In everye thing thats good shee is. 

In yonder tulepe goe and seeke. 

There thou may find her lipp, her cheeke \ 

" In yonder enameled pancye, 

There thou shalt have her curyous eye; lO 

In bloome of peach and rosee budd, 

There wave the streamers of her blood ; 

" In brightest lyllyes that heere stand, 
The emblemes of her whiter hands ; 
In yonder rising hill, their smells 
Such sweet as in her bosome dwells." 

" It is trew," said I ; and thereupon 

I went to plucke them one by one 

To make of parts a unyon ; 

Butt on a sudden all was gone. 20 

With that I stopt, sayd, " Love, these bee. 
Fond man, resemblance-is of thee ; 
And as these flowers, thy joyes shall dye 
Even in the twinkling of an eye, 

*' And all thy hopes of her shall wither 
Like these short sweetes soe knitt together." 

ffinis 
108 



THE WORLDE IS CHANGED 



The world is changed, and wee have choyces, 
Not by most reason, but most voyces ; 
The lyon is trampled by the mouse, 
The Lower is the Upper House, 
And thus from la[w]s orders come, 
But now their orders [are] la[w]s frome. 

In all humilitye they crave 

Theire soveraigne to be their slave, 

Beseeching him that hee wold bee 

Betray d to them most loyallye ; lO 

For it were meeknesse soe in him 

To be a Vice-roy unto Pym. 

If that hee wold but once lay downe 
His scepter, majestye, and crowne, 
Hee shalbe made in time to come 
The greatest prince in Christendome. 
Charles, att this time having noe neede, 
Thankes them as much as if they did. 

Petitions none must be presented 

But what are by themselves invented, 20 

That once a month they thinke it ffitting 

To fast from s[in]ne because from sittinge ; 

Such blessings to the land are sent 

By priviledge of Parlaiment. 



ffinis 



109 



THE TRIBE OF BANBURYE 



On the seventh day on the seventh month, 

Most lamentablye 
The men of Babylon did spoyle 

The tribe of Banburye. 

A brother post from Coventry 

Ryding in a blew rockett, 
Sayes, " Colbronde Lunsford comes, I saw. 

With a childs arme hang in his pockett." 

Then wee called up our men of warr, 

Younge Vivers, Cooke and Denys, lo 

Whome our Lord Sea placed under 

His Sonne Master ffyenys. 

When hee came neere, he sent us word 

That hee was coming downe, 
And wold, unles wee lett him in, 

Granado all our towne. 



Then was our Colbronde — Fines — and me, 

In a most woefull case ; 
For neither he nor I did know 

Who this granado was. 20 



Wee had eight gunnes called ordinance, 
And foure score musquetiers, 

Yett all this wold not serve to stop 
Those Philistime Cavileeres. 

I lO 



Good people, they did send in men 

From Dorchester and Wickam ; 
But wher this gyant did them see, 

Good Lord, how he did kick han ! 

" You Round heads, rebells, rougs," quoth hee, 

" He crop and slitt eche eare, 30 

And leave you neither arme nor lege 
Much longer then your heere ! " 

Then wee sett ope our gates full wyde ; 

They swarmed in like bees, 
And they were all arraydd in buffe 

Thicker then our towne cheese. 



Now God deliver us, we pray. 

From such blood-thirstye men, 
From Levyathan Lunsford 

Who eateth our children ! 40 



ffor Banburye, the tinkers crye, 

You hanged us up by twelves ; 

Now since Lunsford hath plundred you. 
You may goe hang your selves. 



ffinis 



III 



AY ME: AY ME. 



" Ay me, ay me, pore Sisley, and undone ! 
I had twelve sutors, now I have but one ! 
They all were wealthy ; had I beene but wise ; 
Now have all left me since I have beene soe nice, 
But only one, and him all maidens scorne, 
For hees the worst, I thinke, that ere was borne." 
" Peace, good Sisley! peace, and say noe more! 
Bad mends in time ; good salve heales many a sore." 

" ffaith, such a one as I cold none but love. 

For few or none of them doe constant prove; lo 

A man in shape, proportion, looke, and showe. 

Much like a mushroome in one night doth grow ; 

Proud as a jay thats of a comely hew, 

Cladd like a musele in a capp of blew." 

" Peace, good Sisley ! peace, and say noe more ! 

Be merry, wench, and lett the welkin rore ! " 

" The first I had was framed in bewtyes mold. 
The second, third, and fourth had store of gold. 
The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth had trades eche one, 
The best had goods and lands to live upon ; 20 

Now may I weepe, sigh, sobb, and ring my hands, 
Since this hath neither witt, trade, goods, nor lands." 
" Peace, good Sisley ; peace, and take that one 
That stayes behind when all the rest are gone ! " 

" He /j-, as Turkes doe say, noe renegatoe, 
Noe Portugall, Gallowne, or reformato ; 
But in playne termes some say he is a Scott, 
That by his witts some old cast suite hath gott. 



1 12 



And now is as briske as my Bristow taylor, 
And swaggers like a pander or a saylor." 30 

" Kisse him, Sisley, kisse him, he may prove the best, 
And use him kindly, but w[oe] bee all the rest." 

" One was a Welchman, her wold scorne to crye ; 
And three were Dutchmen that sill drunke wold bee ; 
And six were Frenchemen that were pockye proude ; 
And one a Spanyard that cold bragg alowd. 
Now all are gone, and way not me a figge, 
But one poore Scott who can doe nought but begg." 
" Take him, Sisley ! take him, for itt is noe doubt. 
His trades that beggs, heele never proofe banquerout." 40 

" Nay, sure. He have him, for all people say 

That men by begging grow rich now a day. 

And that oftentimes is gotten with a word 

Att great mens hands that never was woone by sword. 

Then welcome, Scotchman, wee will weded bee. 

And one day thou shalt begg for thee and mee." 

"Well sayd, Sisley! well said! on another day. 

By begging thou maist weare a garland gay ! " 



113 



FFAINE WOLDE I CHANGE 



" Faine wold I change my maiden lifte 

To tast of loves true joyes." 
" What? woldest thou chuse to bee a wifFe? 

Maids wishes are but toyes." 
" How can there bee a greater hell 

Then live a maid soe long, 
a mayd soe long? 

" To the church ; ring out the marriage bell, — 
" Ding dong, ding dong, ding dong ! " 

" BeiTore that fifteen yeeres were spent, 

I knew, and have a sonne." lo 

" How old art thou ? " " Sixteene next Lent." 

" Alas, wee are both undone ! " 
" How can there bee, etc." 



" Besides, I heard an old wifFe tell 

That all true maids must dye." 
" What must they doe ? " " Lead apes in hell ! 

A dolefull destinye. 
" And wee will lead noe apes in hell ; 

Weele change our maiden song, 
our maiden song ; 
"To the church; ring out the marriage bell, — 20 

Wee have lived true mayds to longe." 



ffin 



IS 



114 



WHEN FIRST I SAWE 



When ffirst I saw [thee] I resolved 

To honor and renowne thee; 
But if I be disdayned, I wishe 

That I had never knovvne thee. 
I asked leave ; you bade me love ; 

Is itt now^ time to chyde mee? 
O no, no, no ! I love you still, what fortune ever betyde 
mee ! 



If I admire or praise you too much, 

That [fault] you might forgive mee ; 
Or that my hand hath straid to touch, lo 

Thenn might you justly leave mee. 
But I that liked, and you that loved, 

Is now a time to wrangle? 
O no, no, no, my hart is ffixt, and will not new entangle. 



The sun, whose beames most glorious are, 

Rejecteth noe beholder ; 
Your faire face, past all compare. 

Makes my faint hart the bolder. 
When bewtye likes, and witt delights. 

And showes of love doe bind mee; 20 

There, there ! O there ! whersoever I goe. 

He leave my hart behind mee ! 



ffinis 



115 



HOW FAYRE SHEE BE 

Shall I, wasting in dispayre, 

Dye because a vvomans fayre ? 

Or make pale my cheekes with care 

Because anothers roseye are? 

Be shee fairer then the day 

Or the flowry meads in May, 

If shee thinke not well of mee, 

What care I how fayre shee bee? 

Shall my foolish hart be pind 

Because I see a woman kind, lo 

Or a well disposed nature 

With a comlye feature ? 

Be shee meeker, kinder, then 

The turtledove or pelican, 

If shee be not soe to me. 

What care I how kind shee bee? 

Shall a womans vertues move 

Me to perish for her love. 

Or her worthy merritts knowne 

Make me quite forgett mine owne? 20 

Were shee with that goodness blest. 

As may meritt name of best, 

If shee be not soe to me. 

What care I how good shee bee ? 

Be shee good or kind or fayre, 

I will never more dispair; 

If shee love me, this beleeve, 

I will dye ere she shall greive ; 

If shee slight me when I woe, 

I will scorne and lett her goe. 30 

Or if she bee not for mee. 

What care I for whom shee bee ? 



116 



COME, COME, COME! 



Come, come, come ! shall wee masque or mum ? 

By my holly -d[om], what a coyle is heere ! 
Some must sway, and some obay, 

Or else, I pray, who stands in feare ? 
Though my toe, that I limpe on soe, 

Doe cause my woe and wellaway, 
Yett this sweet spring and another thing 
Will make you sing fa la la la la. 

ffellow gods, will you fall att odds ? 

What a fury madds your morttall braines! lo 

For a litle care of the worlds affare. 

Will you frett, will you square, will you vexe 
you[r] vai[nes] ? 
No, gods ! no ! let fury go. 

And morttalls doe as well as they may ! 
For this sweet, etc. 

God of moes, with thy toting nose. 

With thy mouth that growes to thy lolling eare, 
Stretch thy mouth from north to south. 

And quench thy drought in vinigar ! 
Though thy toung be too large and too longe 20 

To sing this song of fa la la la la, 
Joyne Momus grace to Vulcans pace. 

And with a filthy face crye " waw waw waw! " 

Brother mine, thou art god of wine ! 

Will you tast of the wine to the companye ? 
King of quaffe, carrouse and doffe 

Your liquor of, and follow mee ! 

117 



Sweete soyle of Exus lie, 

Wherin this coyle was every day, 
For this sweet, etc. 30 

Mercurye, thou Olimpian spye ! 

Wilt thou wash thine eye in this fontaine cleere ? 
When you goe to the world below, 

You shall light of noe such liquor there. 
Though you were a winged stare 

And flyeth farr as shineth day ; 
Yett heeres a thing your hart will wing. 

And make you sing, etc. 

You that are the god of warr, 

A cruell starr perverse and fro ward, 40 

Mars ! prepare thy warlicke speare. 

And targett ! heers a combatt toward ! 
Then fox me, and He fox thee ; 

Then lets agree, and end this fray, 
Since this sweet, etc. 

Venus queene, for bewtye scene. 

In youth soe greene, and loved soe young. 
Thou that art mine owne sweet hart, 

Shalt have a part in cuppe and songe ; 
Though my foot be wrong, my swords full long, 50 

And hart full strong ; cast care away. 
Since this sweet, etc. 

Great Appollo, crowned with yellow, 

Cynthi[a]'s fellow. Muses' deere ! 
Heere is wine, itt must be thine, 

Itt will refine thy musicke cleere ; 
To the wire of this sweet lire, 

You must aspire another day. 
For this sweet, etc. 

118 



Juno clere, and Mother dere, 60 

You come in the rere of a bowsing feast ; 
Thus I meet, your grace to greet ; 

The grape is sweet and the last is best. 
Now let fall your angry brawle 

From immortall and wayghtye sway ; 
Tis a gracious thing to please your King, 

And heare you sing, etc. 

Awfull Sire, and King of fire ! 

Let wine aspire to thy mighty throne. 
And in this quire of voices clere 70 

Come thou, and beare an imorttall drame; 
For fury ends, and grace desends 

With Stygian feinds to dwell for aye. 
Lett nectur spring and thunder ring 

When Jove doth sing, etc. 

Vulcan, Momus, Hermes, Bacchus, 

Mars and Venus, tooe and tooe, 
Phebus brightest, Juno rightest. 

And the mightyest of the crew, 
Jove, and all the heavens great hall, 80 

Keepe festivall and holy-day ! 
Since this sweete spring with her blacke thing 

Will make you sing fa la la la. 



ffinis. 



119 



THE GRENE KNIGHT 



List! wen Arthur he was King, 
He had all att his leadinge 

The broad He of Brittaine ; 
England and Scottland one was, 
And Wales stood in the same case. 

The truth itt is not to layne. 

He drive allyance out of this He, 
Soe Arthur lived in peace a while. 

As men of mickle maine. 
Knights strong of their degree i o 

Strove which of them hyest shold bee ; 

Therof Arthur was not faine ; 

Hee made the Round Table for their behove. 
That none of them shold sitt above. 

But all shold sitt as one, 
The King himselfe in state royall. 
Dame Guenever our Queene withall, 

Seemlye of body and bone. 

Itt fell againe the Christmase, 

Many came to that Lords place, 20 

To that worthye one 
With helme on head, and brand bright. 
All that tooke order of knight ; 

None wold linger att home. 

There was noe castle nor manour free 
That might harbour that companye. 
Their puissance was soe great. 

120 



Their tents up they pight 

For to lodge there all that night, 

Therto were sett to meate. 30 

Messengers there came a7id went 
With much victualls verament 

Both by way and streete ; 
Wine and wild fowle thither was brought, 
Within they spared nought 

For gold, and they might itt gett. 

Now of King Arthur noe more I mell ; 
But of a venterous knight I will you tell 

That dwelled in the west countrye; 
Sir Bredbeddle, for sooth he hett ; 40 

He was a man of mickele might, 

And lord of great bewtye. 

He had a lady to his wiffe, 

He loved her deerlye as his liffe, 

Shee was both blyth and blee ; 
Because Sir Gawaine was stiffe in stowre, 
Shee loved him privilye paramour, 

And shee never him see. - 

Itt was Agostes that was her mother ; 
Itt was witchcraft and noe other 50 

That shee dealt with all ; 

Shee cold transpose knights and swaine 
Like as in battaile they were slaine. 

Wounded both lim and Hghtt, 
Shee taught her sonne the knight alsoe 
In transposed likenesse he shold goe 

Both by fell and frythe ; 

R 121 



Shee said, " Thou shalt to Arthurs hall ; 
For there great adventures shall befall 

That ever saw king or knight." 60 

All was for her daughters sake, 
That which she soe sadlye spake 

To her sonne-in-law the knight, 
Because Sir Gawaine was bold and hardye, 
And therto full of curtesye, 

To bring him into her sight. 

The knight said " Soe mote I thee. 
To Arthurs court will I mee hye 

For to praise thee right, 
And to prove Gawaines points three ; yo 

And that be true that men tell me. 

By Mary most ot might." 

Earlye, soone as itt was day. 
The knight dressed him full gay, 

Umstrode a full good steede ; 
Helm and hawberke both he hent, 
A long fauchion verament 

To fend them in his neede. 

That was a jolly sight to seene. 

When horsse and armour was all greene, 80 

And weapon that hee bare. 
When that burne was harnisht still. 
His countenance he became right well, 

I dare itt safelye sweare. 

That time att Carleile lay our King ; 
Att a castle of Flatting was his dwelling, 

In the fforrest of Delamore. 
For sooth he rode, the sooth to say. 
To Carleile he came on Christmas Day, 

Into that fayre countrye. 90 



122 



When he into that place came, 

The porter thought him a marvelous groome : 

He saith, " Sir, wither wold yee? " 
Hee said, " I am a venterous knight. 
And of your King wold have sight. 

And other lords that heere bee." 



Noe word to him the porter spake, 
But left him standing att the gate. 

And went forth, as I weene. 
And kneeled downe before the King; lOO 

Saith, " In lifes dayes old or younge, 

Such a sight I have not seene ! 

" For yonder, att your gates right," 
He saith, " hee is a venterous knight ; 

All his vesture is greene." 
Then spake the King proudest in all, 
Saith, *' Bring him into the hall ; 

Let us see what hee doth meane." 

When the greene knight came before the King, 

He stood in his stirrops strechinge, iio 

And spoke with voice cleere. 
And saith, " King Arthur, God save thee, 
As thou sittest in thy prosperitye, 

And maintaine thine honor ! 

" Why thou wold me nothing but right ; 
I am come hither a venterous kiiight^ 

And kayred thorrow country e farr, 
To prove poynts in thy pallace 
That longeth to manhood in everye case 

Among thy lords deere." 120 



123 



The King, he sayd full still 
Till he had said all his will ; 

Certein thus can he say : 
" As I am true knight and King, 
Thou shalt have thy askinge ! 

I will not say th[ee] nay, 

" Whether thou wilt on foote fighting. 
Or on steed backe justing 

For love of ladyes gay. 
If and thine armor be not fine, 130 

I will give thee part of mine." 

" God amercy, Lord! " can he say, 

" Here I make a challenging 

Among the lords both old and younge 

That worthy beene in weede. 
Which of them will take in hand — 
Hee that is both stiffe and stronge 

And full good att need — 

" I shall lay my head downe, 

Strike itt of if he can, 14.0 

With a stroke to garr itt bleed. 
For this day twelve monthe another at his : 
Let me see who will answer this, 

A knight that is doughtye of deed j 

" For this day twelve month, the sooth to say. 
Let him come to me and seicth his praye, 

Rudlye, or ever hee blin ; 
Whither to come, I shall him tell. 
The readie way to the greene chappell. 

That place I will be in." 150 

124 



The King att ease sate full still, 
And all his lords said but litle 

Till he had said all his will. 
Upp stood Sir Kay, that crabbed knight, 
Spake mightye words that were of height. 

That were both loud and shrill ; 



" I shall strike his necke in tooe. 
The head away the body froe." 

They bade him all be still, 
Saith, " Kay, of thy dints make noe rouse, i6o 

Thou wottest full litle what thou does ; 

Noe good, but mickle ill." 

Eche man wold this deed have done. 
Up start Sir Gawaine soone, 

Upon his knees can kneele, 
He said, " That were great villanye 
Without you put this deede to me. 

My leege, as I have s[eele] ; 

" Remember, I am your sisters sonne." 

The King said, " I grant thy boone ; 170 

But mirth is best att meele ; 
Cheere thy guest, and give him wine. 
And after dinner, to itt fine. 

And sett the buffett well ! " 

Now the greene knight is set att meate, 
Seemlye served in his seate, 

Beside the Round Table. 
To talke of his welfare, nothing he needs. 
Like a knight himselfe he feeds. 

With long time reasnable. 180 

125 



when the dinner, it was done, 

The King said to Sir Gawaine soone, 

Withouten any fable 
He said, " On you will doe this deede, 
I pray Jesus be your speede ! 

This knight is nothing unstable." 

The greene knight his head downe layd ; 
Sir Gawaine, to the axe he braid 

To strike with eger will ; 
He stroke the necke bone in twaine, igo 

The blood burst out in everye vaine, 

The head from the body fell. 

The greene knight his head up hent. 
Into his saddle wightilye he sprent. 

Spake words both lowd and shrill, 
Saith : ''Gawaine! thinke on thy covenant! 
This day twelve monthes see thou ne want 

To come to the greene chappell ! " 

All had great marvell, that they see 

That he spake so merrilye, 200 

And bare his head in his hand. 
Forth att the hall dore he rode right. 
And that saw both King and knight 

And lords that were in land. 



Without the hall dore, the sooth to saine, 
Hee sett his head upon againe, 

Saics, " Arthur, have hecre my hand ! 
When-soever the knight cometh to mee, 
A better buffett sickcrlye 

I dare him well warrand." 2io 

126 



The greene knight away went. 
All this was done by enchantment 

That the old witch had wrought. 
Sore sicke fell Arthur the King, 
And for him made great mourning 

That into such bale was brought. 

The Queen, shee weeped for his sake ; 
Sorry was Sir Lancelott Dulake, 

And other were dreery in thought 
Because he was brought into great perill ; 2 20 

His mightye manhood will not availe. 

That before hath freshlye fought. 

Sir Gawaine comfort King and Queen, 
And all the doughtye there be-deene ; 

He bade they shold be still ; 
Said, " Of my deede I was never feard. 
Nor yett I am nothing a-dread, 

I swere by Saint Michaell ; 

" For when draweth toward my day, 

I will dresse me in mine array 230 

My promise to fulfill. 
Sir," he saith, " as I have blis, 
I wott not where the greene chappell is, 

Therfore seeke itt I will." 

The royall cou[r]tt verament 
All rought Sir Gawaines intent. 

They thought itt was the best. 
They went forth into the feild, 
Knights that ware both speare and sheeld 

They priced forth full prest ; 240 

127 



Some chuse them to justinge, 
Some to dance, revell, and sing; 

Of mirth they wold not rest. 
All they swore together in fere, 
That and Sir Gawaine over-come were, 

They wold bren all the west. 

Now leave wee the King in his pallace. 
The greene knight come home is 

To his owne castle ; 
This folke frend when he came home 250 

What doughtye deeds he had done. 

Nothing he wold them tell; 

Full well hee wist in certaine 
That his wiffe loved Sir Gawaine 

That comelye was under kell. 
Listen, lords ! and yee will sitt, 
And yee shall heere the second ffitt. 

What adventures Sir Gawaine befell. 



Second Parte 

The day is come that Gawaine must gone ; 

Knights and ladyes v/axed wann 260 

That were without in that place ; 
The King himselfe siked ill, 
Ther Queen a swounding almost fell 

To that jorney when he shold passe. 

When he was in armour bright, 

He was one of the goodlyest knights 

That ever in Brittaine was borne. 
They brought Sir Gawaine a steed. 
Was dapple gray and good att need, 

I tell withouten scorne ; 270 

128 



His bridle was with stones sett, 
With gold and pearle overfrett, 

And stones of great vertue ; 
He was of a furley kind ; 
His stirropps were of silke of Ynd ; 

I tell you this tale for true. 

When he rode over the mold, 
His geere glistered as gold. 

By the way as he rode. 
Many furleys he there did see, 280 

Fowles by the water did flee. 

By brimes and bankes soe broad. 

Many furleys there saw hee 

Of wolves and wild beasts sikerlye ; 

On hunting hee tooke most heede. 
Forth he rode, the sooth to tell. 
For to seeke the greene chappell. 

He wist not where indeed. 

As he rode in an evening late. 

Riding downe a greene gate, 290 

A faire castell saw hee. 
That seemed a place of mickle pride ; 
Thitherward Sir Gawaine can ryde 

To gett some harborrowe. 

Thither he came in the twylight. 
He was ware of a gentle knight, 

The lord of the place was hee. 
Meekly to him Sir Gawaine can speake. 
And asked him, " For King Arthurs sake. 

Of harborrowe I pray thee! 300 

s 129 



" I am a far labordd knight, 

I pray you lodge me all this night." 

He sayd him not nay, 
Hee tooke him by the arme and led him to the hall. 
A poore child can hee call, 

Saith, " Dight well this palfrey." 



Into a chamber they went a full great speed ; 
There they found all things readye att need, 

I dare safelye swere ; 
Fier in chambers burning bright, 310 

Candles in chandlers burning light ; 

To supper they went full yare. 



He sent after his ladye bright 

To come to supp with that gentle knight. 

And shee came blythe with-all ; 
Forth shee came then anon, 
Her maids following her eche one 

In robes of rich pall. 



As shee sate att her supper, 

Ever-more the ladye clere 320 

Sir Gawaine shee looked upon. 
When the supper it was done. 
She tooke her maids, and to her chamber gone. 



He cheered the knight and gave him wine. 
And said " Welcome, by St. Martine ! 

I pray you take itt for none ill ; 
One thing, Sir, I wold you pray ; 
What you make soe farr this way ? 

The truth you wold me tell j 

130 



" I am a knight, and soe are yee ; 330 

Your conccll, an you will tell mee, 

Forsooth keepe itt I will ; 
For if itt be poynt of any dread, 
Perchance I may helpe att need 

Either lowd or still." 



For his words that were soe smooth 
Had Sir Gawaine wist the soothe, 

All he wold not have told. 
For that was the greene knight 
That hee was lodged with that night, 340 

And harbarrowes in his hold. 

He saith, *' As to the greene chappell. 
Thitherward I can you tell, 

Itt is but furlongs three. 
The master of it is a venterous knight. 
And workes by witchcraft day and night. 

With many a great furley. 

*' If he worke with never soe much frauce. 
He is curteous as he sees cause. 

I tell you sikerlye, 350 

You shall abyde, and take your rest, 
And I will into yonder fforrest 

Under the greenwood tree." 

They plight their truthes to beleeve. 
Either with other for to deale, 

Whether it were silver or gold ; 
He said, " We two both swor?i wilbe. 
Whatsoever God sends you and mee. 

To be parted on the mold." 

131 



The greene knight went on hunting; 360 

Sir Gawaine in the castle beinge, 

Lay sleeping in his bed. 
Uprose the old witche with hast throwe, 
And to her dauhter can shee goe, 

And said " Be not adread ! " 



To her daughter can shee say, 

" The man that thou hast wisht many a day, 

Of him thou maist be sped ; 
For Sir Gawaine, that curteous knight, 
Is lodged in this hall all night." 370 

Shee brought her to his bedd. 

Shee saith, " Gentle knight, awake ! 
And for this faire ladies sake 

That hath loved thee soe deere. 
Take her boldly in thine armes. 
There is noe man shall doe thee harme ; " 

Now beene they both heere. 

The ladye kissed him times three, 
Saith, " Without I have the love of thee, 

My life standeth in dere." 380 

Sir Gawaine blushed on the lady bright, 
Saith, " Your husband is a gentle knight. 

By Him that bought mee deare ! 

" To me itt were great shame 
If I shold doe him any grame. 

That hath beene kind to mee; 
For I have such a deede to doe, 
That I can neyther rest nor roe, 

Att an end till itt bee." 



132 



Then spake that ladye gay, 390 

Saith, " Tell me some of your journey, 

Your succour I may bee; 
If itt be poynt of any warr. 
There shall noe man doe you noe darr, 

And yee wilbe governed by mee -, 

" For heere I have a lace of silke, 
It is as white as any milke, 

And of a great value." 
Shee saith, " I dare safelye sweare 
There shall noe man doe you deere 400 

When you have it upon you." 

Sir Gawaine spake mildlye in the place, 
He thanked the lady and tooke the lace. 

And promised her to come againe. 
The knight in the fforrest slew many a hind, 
Other venison he cold none find 

But wild bores on the plaine. 

Plentye of does and wild swine. 
Foxes and other ravine. 

As I hard true men tell. 410 

Sir Gawaine swore sickerlye 
" Home to your owne, welcome you bee, 

By Him that harrowes hell ! " 

The greene knight his venison downe layd ; 
Then to Sir Gawaine thus hee said, 

" Tell me anon in heght. 
What noveltyes that you have won, 
For heers plenty of venison." 

Sir Gawaine said full right, 

133 



Sir Gawaine sware by St. Leonard, 4.20 

*' Such as God sends, you shall have part : " 

In his amies he hent the knight. 
And there he kissed him times three, 
Saith, " Heere is such as God sends mee, 

By Mary most of might." 

Ever privilye he held the lace : 

That u^as all the villanye that ever was 

Prooved by Sir Gawaine the gay. 
Then to bed soone they went. 
And sleeped there verament ^30 

Till morrow itt was day. 

Then Sir Gawaine, soe curteous and free. 
His leave soone taketh hee 

Att the lady soe gaye ; 
Hee thanked her, and tooke the lace. 
And rode towards the chappell apace ; 

He knew noe whitt the way. 

Ever more in his thought he had 
Whether he shold worke as the ladye bade, 

That was soe curteous and sheene. 440 

The greene knight rode another way ; 
He transposed him in another array, 

Before as it was greene. 

As Sir Gawaine rode over the plaine. 
He hard one high upon a mountaine 

A home blowne full lowde. 
He looked after the greene chappell. 
He saw itt stand under a hill 

Covered with euyes about ; 

13+ 



He looked after the greene knight, 450 

He hard him vvehett a fauchion bright, 

That the hills rang about. 
The knight spake with strong cheere, 
Said, '' Yee be welcome. Sir Gawaine heere, 

It behooveth thee to lowte." 
He stroke, and litle perced the skin, 
Unneth the flesh within. 

Then Sir Gawaine had noe doubt ; 



He saith, "Thou shontest! why dost thou soe?" 
Then Sir Gawaine in hart waxed throe ; 460 

Upon his ffeete can stand, 
And soone he drew out his sword. 
And saith, " Traitor ! if thou speake a word. 

Thy lifl^e is in my hand ; 
I had but one stroke att thee. 
And thou hast had another att mee, 

Noe falshood in me thou found ! " 



The knight said withouten laine, 
" I wend I had Sir Gawaine slaine. 

The gentlest knight in this land; 470 

Men told me of great renowne. 
Of curtesie thou might have woon the crowne 

Above both free and bound. 



" And alsoe of great gentrye ; 

And now three points be put fro thee. 

It is the moe pittye : 
Sir Gawaine ! thou wast not leele 
When thou didst the lace conceale 

That my wiffe gave to thee ! 

135 



" ffor wee were both, thou wist full well, 480 

For thou hadst the halfe dale 

Of my venerye ; 
If the lace had never beene wrought, 
To have slaine thee was never my thought, 

I swere by God verelye ! 

" I wist it well my wifFe loved thee ; 
Thou wold doe me noe villanye. 

But nicked her with nay ; 
But wilt thou doe as I bidd thee, 
Take me to Arthurs court with thee, 490 

Then were all to my pay." 

Now are the knights accorded thore ; 
To the castle of Hutton can they fare, 

To lodge there all that night. 
Earlye on the other day 
To Arthurs court they tooke the way 

With harts blyth and light. 

All the court was full faine, 
Alive when they saw Sir Gawaine ; 

They thanked God abone. 500 

That is the matter and the case 
Why Knights of the Bathe weare the lace 

Untill they have wonen their shoen. 

Or else a ladye of hye estate 
From about his necke shall it take. 

For the doughtye deeds that hee hath done. 
It was confirmed by Arthur the King; 
Thorrow Sir Gawaines desiringc 

The King granted him his boone. 

136 



Thus endeth the tale of the greene knight. 510 

God, that is soe full of might, 

To heaven their soules bring 
That have hard this litle storye 
That fell some times in the west countrye 

In Arthurs days our King ! 



ffi 



nis 



137 



SIR TRIAMORE 



Lo[rd] Jesus Christ, o[f] heaven King, 
Grant you all his deare blessing. 

And his heaven for to win ! 
If you will a stond lay to your eare. 
Of adventures you shall heare 

That wilbe to your liking, 



Of a King and of a Queene, 

That had great joy them betweene ; 

Sir Arradas was his name ; 
He had a Queene named Margarett, lo 

Shee was as true as Steele, and sweet. 

And full false brought in fame 



By the Kings steward that Marrocke hight, 
A traitor and a false knight : 

Herafter yee will say all the same. 
Hee looved well that ladye gent ; 
And for shee wold not with him consent. 

He did that good Queene much shame. 



This King loved well his Queene 

Because shee was comlye to be scene, co 

And as true as the turtle on tree. 
Either to other made great moane, 
For children together had they none 

Begotten on their bodyc ; 

138 



Therfore the King, I understand, 
Made a vow to goe to the Holy Land, 

There for to fight and for to slay ; 
And praid God that He wold send him tho 
Grace to gett a child be-tweene them tow, 

That the right heire might bee. 30 

For his vow he did there make. 

And of the Pope the Crosse he did take. 

For to seek the land were God him; bought. 
The night of his departing, on the ladye mild, 
As God it wold, hee gott a child ; 

But they both wist itt naught. 

And on the morrow when it was day 
The King hyed on his journey ; 

For to tarry, he it not thought. 
Then the Queene began to mourne 4.0 

Because her lord wold noe longer sojourne ; 

Shee sighed full sore, and sobbed oft. 

The King and his men armed them right. 
Both lords, barrons, and many a knight. 

With him for to goe. 
Then betweene her and the King 
Was much sorrow and mourninge 

When they shold depart in too. 



-) 



He kissed and tooke his leave of the Queene, 

And other ladies bright and sheene, 50 

And of Marrocke his steward alsoe ; 
The King commanded him on paine of his life 
For to keepe well his Queene and wiffe 

Both in weale and woe. 



139 



Now is the King forth gone 

To the place where God was on the Crosse done, 

And warreth there a while. 
Then bethought this false steward — 
As yee shall here ahcvwarc/, — 

His lord and King to beguile; 60 

He wooed the Queene day and night 
For to lye with her, and he might ; 

He dread no creature thoe. 
ffull fayre hee did that lady speake. 
That he might in bed with that ladye sleepe ; 

Thus full oft he prayed her thoe. 

But shee was stedfast in her thought, 
And heard [him] speake, and said nought 

Till hee all his case had told. 
Then shee said, "Marrocke, hast thou not thought, 70 
All that thou speakeest is ffor nought? 

I trow not that thou wold ; 

" For well my lord did trust thee. 
When hee to you delivered mee 

To have me under the hold ; 
And t/iou woldest full faine 
To doe thy lord shame ! 

Traitor, thou art to bold ! " 

Then said Marrocke unto that ladye, 

" My lord is gone now verelye 80 

Against Gods foes for to ffight ; 
And, without the more wonder bee, 
Hee shall come noe more att thee. 

As I am a true knight. 

140 



** And Madam, wee will worke soe privilye, 
That wethere he doe live or dye, 

For of this shall witt noe wyght." 
Then waxed the Queene wonderous wroth^ 
And swore many a great othe 

As shee was a true woman, 90 

Shee said, " Traitor! if ever thou be soe hardiye 
To show me of such villanye, 

On a gallow tree I will thee hange! 
If I may know after this 
That thou tice me, I-wis, 

Thou shalt have the law of the land." 

Sir Marroccke said, " Ladye, mercye ! 
I said itt for noe villainey. 

By Jesu, heaven Kinge ! 
But only for to prove your will, too 

Whether that you were good or ill, 

And for noe other thinge ; 

" But now, Madam, I may well see. 
You are as true as turtle on the tree 

Unto my lord the King ; 
And itt is to me both glad and leefe ; 
Therfore take it not into greefe 

For noe manner of thinge." 

And soe the traitor excused him thoe, 

The lady wend itt had beene soe 1 1 o 

As the steward had said. 
He went forth, and held him still, 
And thought he cold not have his will \ 

Therfore hee was evill apayd. 

141 



Soe with treason and trecherye 
He thought to doe her villanye; 

Thus to himselfe he said. 
Night and day hee laboured then 
For to betray that good woman ; 

Soe att the last he her betraid. 120 

Now of this good Queene leave wee, 
And by the grace of the Holy Trinitye 

Full great with child did shee gone. 
Now of King Arradas speake wee, 
That soe farr in heathinnesse is hee 

To fight against Gods fone ; 

There with his army and all his might 
Slew many a Sarrazen in fight. 

Great words of them there rose 
In the heathen land, and alsoe in Pagainey ; 130 

And in everye other land that they come bye, 

There sprang of him great losse. 

When he had done his pilgrimage. 
And labored all that great voyage 

With all his good will and lybertye, — 
Att fflome Jorden and att Bethlem, 
And att Calvarye beside Jerusalem, 

In all the places was hee j — 

Then he longed to come home 

To see his ladye that lived at one; 140 

He thought ever on her greatlye. 
Soe long they sealed on the fome 
Till att the last they came home ; 

He arrived over the [salte] strond. 

142 



The shippes did strike their sayles eche one, 
The men were glad the King came home 

Unto his owne land. 
There was both mirth and game, 
The Queene of his cominge was glad and faine, 

Eche of them told other tydand. 150 

The King at last his Queene beheld, 
And saw heer goe great with childe : 

And hee wondred att that thinge. 
Many a time he did her kisse, 
And made great joy without misse ; 

His hart made great rejoceinge. 

Soone after the King hard tydinges newe 
By Marroccke : that false knight untrue 

With reason his lord gan fraine, 
" My lord," he sayd, " for Gods [p]yne ! 160 

For of that childe that never was thine. 

Why art thow soe fayne ? 

" You wend that itt your owne bee ; 
But," he said, " Sir, ffor certaintye 

Your Queene hath you betraine ; 
Another knight, soe God me speed, 
Begott this child sith you yeed. 

And hath thy Queene forlaine." 

" Alas! " said the King, " how may this bee? 

For I betooke her unto thee, 170 

Her to keepe in waile and woe ; 
And under thy keeping how fortuned this 
That thou suffered her doe amisse ? 

Alas, Marroccke ! why did thou soe ? " 
" Sir," said the steward, " blame not me ; 
For much mone shee made for thee, 

As though shee had loved noe moe ; 

143 



" I trowed on her noe villanye 
Till I saw one lye her by, 

As the mele had wrought. i8o 

To him I came with egar mood, 
And slew the traitor as he stood ; 

Full sore itt 7ne forethought. 

" Then shee trowed shee shold be shent, 
And promised me both land and rent ; 

Soe fayre shee me besought 
To doe with her all my will 
If that I wold keepe me still. 

And tell you naught." 

" Of this," said the King, " I have great wonder; 190 
For sorrow my hart will breake assunder ! 

Why hath shee done amisse ? 
Alas ! to whome shall I me mone, 
Sith I have lost my comlye Queene 

That I was wont to kisse ? " 

The King said, " Marroccke, what is thy read ? 
It is best to turne to dead 

My Ladye that hath done me this ; 
Now because that shee is false to mee, 
I will never more her see, 200 

Nor deale with her, I-wisse." 

The steward said, " Lord, doe not soe ; 
Thou shalt neither burne ne sloe. 

But doe as I you shall you tell." 
Marroccke sayd, " This councell I : 
Banish her out of your land privilye, 

Far into exile. 



144 



" Deliver her an ambling steede, 
And an old knight to her lead ; 

Thus by my councell see yee doe; 2io 

And give them some money [for] spending 
That may them out of the land bring ; 

I wold noe better then soe. 



" And an other mans child shalbe you[r] heyre, 
Itt were neither good nor fayre 

But if itt were of your kin." 
Then said the King, " Soe mote I thee, 
Right as thou sayest, soe shall it bee. 

And erst will I never blin." 



Loe, now is exiled that good Queene ; 220 

But shee wist not what it did meane. 

Nor what made him to begin. 
To speake to her he nay wold ; 
That made the Queenes hart full cold, 

And that was great pittye and sin. 

He did her cloth in purple weede, 
And set her on an old steed 

That was both crooked and almost blinde ; 
He tooke her an old knight, 
Kine to the Queene, Sir Rodger hight, 230 

That was both curteous and kind. 

Three dayes he gave them leave to passe. 
And after that day sett was, 

If men might them find, 
The Queene shold burned be starke dead 
In a ffyer with flames redd : 

This came of the stewards mind. 



145 



Forty florences for their expence 

The King did give them in his presence, 

And commanded them to goe. 240 

The Ladye mourned as shee shold dye ; 
For all this shee wist not whye 

Hee fared with her soe. 

That good knight comforted the Queene, 
And said, " Att Gods will all must beene ; 

Therfore, Madam, mourne you noe more," 
Sir Rodger for her hath much care, 
For ofte she mourned as she dyd fare^ 

And cryed and sighed full sore ; 

Lords, kniglits, and ladyes gent 250 

Mourned for her when shee went. 

And be-wayled her that season. 
The Queene began to make sorrow and care 
When shee from the King shold fire 

With wrong, against all reason. 
Forth they went, in number three. 
Sir Rodger, the Queene, and his greyhound Trulye ; 

Ah ! [w]o worth wicked treason ! 

Then thought the steward trulye 

To doe the Queene a villanye, 260 

And to worke with her his will. 
He ordained him a companye 
Of his owne men privilye 

That wold assent him till ; 

All under a wood side they did lye 
Wheras the Queene shold passe by, 

And held them wonderous still \ 
And there he thought verelye 
His good Queene for to lye by. 

His lusts for to fulfill. 270 

146 



And when [they] came into the wood, 
Sir Rodger and the Queene soe good, 

And there to passe with-out doubt ; 
With that they were ware of the steward, 
How hee was coming to them ward 

With a ffull great rout. 

" Heere is treason ! " then said the Queene. 
" Alas ! " said Roger, " what may this meane ? 

With foes wee be sett round about." 
The knight sayd, " Heere will wee dwell; 280 

Our liffe wee shall full deere sell, 

Be they never soe stout. 

" Madam," he sayd, " be not affrayd. 
For I thinke heere with this sword 

That I shall make them lowte." 
Then cryed the steward to Sir Rodger on hye. 
And said, "Lord, traitor! thou shalt dye! 

For that I goe about." 

Sir Roger said, " Not for thee ! 

My death shalt thou deare abye ; 290 

For with thee will I fight." 
He went to him shortlye. 
And old Sir Rodger bare him manfidlye 

Like a full hardye knight ; 

He hewed on them boldlye ; 
There was none of that companye 

Soe hardye nor sow wight. 
Sir Rodger hitt one on the head 
That to the girdle the sword yecd, 

Then was hee of them quitte ; 300 

147 



He smote a stroke with a sword good, 
That all about them ran the blood, 

Soe sore he did them smite ; 
Trulye-hee, his greyhound that was soo good, 
Did helpe his master, and by him stood. 

And bitterlye can hee byte. 

Then that Lady, that fayre foode. 
She feared Marrocke in her mood ; 

Shee light on foote, and left her steede, 
And ran fast, and wold not leave, -^lo 

And hid her under a greene greave. 

For shee was in great dread. 

Sir Rodger then the Queene can behold. 
And of his liffe he did nothing hold ; 

His good grayhound did help him indeed. 
And, as itt is in the Romans told, 
Fourteen he slew of yeomen bold ; 

Soe he quitted him in that steade. 

It hee had beene armed, I-wisse, 

All the masterye had been his; 320 

Alas, hee lacked weed. 
As good Sir Rodger gave a stroake, 
Behind him came Sir Marroccke, — 

That evill might he speed, — 

He smote Sir Rodger with a speare, 
And to the ground he did him beare. 

And fast that knij^ht did bleed. 
Sir Marroccke gave him such a wound 
That he dyed there on ground, 

And that was a sinfull deede. 330 

148 



Now is Rodger slaine certainlye. 
He rode forth and let him lye, 

And sought after the Queene. 
Fast hee rode, and sought everye way. 
Yet wist he not where the Queene laye. 

Then [had] the traitor teene ; 

Over all the wood hee her sought ; 
But as God wold, he found her nought. 

Then waxed he wrath, I weene, 
And held his journey evill besett, 340 

That with the Queene had not mett 

To have had his pleasure, the traitor keene. 

And when he cold not the Lady finde. 
Homeward they began to wend. 

Hard by where Sir Rodger lay. 
The steward him thrust throughout. 
For of his death he had noe doubt. 

And this the Storye doth say. 

And when the traitor had done soe. 

He let him lye and went him froe, 350 

And tooke noe thought that day ; 
Yett all his companye was nye gone. 
Fourteen he left there dead for one ; 

There passed but four away. 

Then the Queene was ftull woe. 
And shee saw that they were goe, 

Shee made sorrow and crye. 
Then shee rose and went againe 
To Sir Rodger, and found him slaine ; 

His grey-hound by his feet did lye. 360 

149 



"Alas," shee said, " that I was borne! 
My trew knight that I have lorne, 

They have him there slaine ! " 
Full pitteouslye shee mad her moane. 
And said, " Now must I goe alone! " 

The grey-hound shee wold have had full faine ; 

The hound still by his master did lye, 

He licked his wounds, and did whine and crye. 

This to see the Queene had paine. 
And said, '' Sir Roger, this hast thou for me! 370 

Alas that // shold ever bee ! " 

Her hayre shee tare in twayne ; 

And then shee went and tooke her steed. 
And wold noe longer there abyde 

Lest men shold find her there. 
Shee said, " Sir Roger, now thou art dead. 
Who will the right way now me lead ? 

For now thow mayst speake noe more." 

Right on the ground there as he lay dead, 

Shee kist him or shee from him yead. 380 

God wott, her hart was sore ! 
What for sorrow and dread, 
Fast away shee can her speede, 

Shee wist not wither nor where. 

The good gray hound, for vvaile and woe. 
From the knight hee wold not goe. 

But lay and licked his wound ; 
He waite to have healed them againe, 
And therto he did his paine : 

Loe, such love is in a hound! 390 



150 



This knight lay till he did stinke ; 
The greayhound he began to thinke, 

And scraped a pitt anon ; 
Therin he drew the dead corse, 
And covered itt with earth and mosse, 

And from him he wold not gone. 

The grayhound lay still there ; 
This Queene gan forth to fare 

For dread of her fone ; 
Shee had great sorrow in her hart, 400 

The thornes pricked her wonderous smart, 

Shee wist not wither to goe. 

This Lady forth fast can hye 
Into the land of Hu[n]garye ; 

Thither came shee with great woe. 
At last shee came to a wood side. 
But then cold shee noe further ryde. 

Her paynes tooke her soe. 

Shee lighted downe in that tyde, 

For there shee did her trau[ve]ell abyde; 410 

God wold that it shold be soe. 
Then shee with much paine 
Tyed her horsse by the rayne, 

And rested her there till her paynes were goe. 

Shee was delivered of a manchild sweete ; 
And when it began to crye and weepe. 

It joyed her hart greatlye. 
Soone after, when shee might stirr, 
Shee tooke her child to her full neere. 

And wrapt itt full softlye. 420 

151 



What for wearye and for woe, 
They fell a-sleepe both towe ; 

Her steed stood her behind. 
Then came a knight rydand there, 
And found this Ladye soe lovelye of cheere 

As hee hunted after the hind. 



The knight hight Bernard Mowswinge, 
That found the Queene sleepinge, 

Under the greenwoode lyande. 
Softly e he went neere and neere ; 430 

He went on foot, and beheld her cheere, 

As a knight curteous and kind. 

He awaked that Ladye of beawtye ; 
Shee looked on him pitteouslee. 

And was affrayd full sore. 
He said, " What doe you here, Madame? 
Of whence be you, or whats your name? 

Have you your men forlorne ? " 

" Sir," shee sayd, " if you will witt. 

My name is called Margerett ; 44.0 

In Arragon I was borne ; 
Heere I sufferd much greefe ; 
Helpe me, sir, out of this mischeefe ! 

Att some towne that I were." 

The knight beheld the Ladye good ; 
Hee thought shee was of gentle blood 

That was soe hard bestead ; 
He tooke her up curteouslye. 
And the child that lay her bye; 

Them both with him he led, 450 

152 



And made her have a woman att will, 
Tendinge of her, as itt was skill, 

All for to bring her a-bedd. 
Whatsoever shee wold have, 
Shee needed itt not long to crave. 

Her speech was right soone sped. 

They christened the child with great honour. 
And named him Sir Tryamore. 

Then they were of him glad ; 
Great gifts to him was given 460 

Of lords and ladyes by-deene, 

In bookes as I read. 

There dwelled that Ladye longe 
With much joy them amonge ; 

Of her they were never wearye. 
The child was taught great nurterye ; 
A master had him under his care. 

And taught him curtesie. 
This child waxed wonderous well. 
Of great stature both of fleshe and fell; 470 

Every man loved him trulye. 

Of his companye all folke were glad : 
Indeed, noe other cause they had, 

The child was gentle and bold. 
Now of the Queene let wee bee. 
And of the grayhound speake wee 

That I erst of told. 

Long seven yeeres, soe God me save, 
He did keepe his master's grave. 

Till that hee waxed old; 480 

This grayhound Sir Roger kept long, 
And brought him up sith he was younge. 

In Story as it is told ; 

X 153 



Therfore he kept soe there, 
For the space of seven yeere, 

And goe from him he ne wold. 
Ever upon his masters grave he lay, 
There might noe man have him away 

For heat neither for cold. 

Without it were once a day 490 

He ran about to gett his prey 

Of beasts that were bold, 
Conyes, when he can them gett ; 
Thus wold he labor for his meate, 

Yett great hungar he had in how. 

And seven yeeres he dwelled there. 
Till itt beffell on that yeere, 

Even on Christmasse Day, 
The gray-hound (as the Story sayes) 
Came to the Kings palace 500 

Without any delay. 
When they lords were sett at meate, soone 
The grayhound into the hall runn 

Amonge the knights gay ; 

All about he can behold, 

But he see not what hee wold ; 

Then went he his way full right 
When he had sought and cold not find ; 
ffull gentlye he did his kind, 

Speed better when he might. 510 

The grayhound ran forth his way 
Till he came where his master lay, 

As fast as ever he mought. 
The King marvelled at that deed. 
From whence he went, and whither he yeed, 

Or who him thither brought. 

15+ 



The King thought he had scene him ere, 
But he wist not well where, 

Therfor he said right nought. 
Soone he bethought him then 520 

That he did him erst ken, 

And still stayd in that thought. 

The other day, in the same wise, 

When the King shold from his meate rise. 

The grayhound came in thoe ; 
All about there he sought, 
But the steward found he nought ; 

Then againe he began to goe. 

Then sayd the King in that stond, 

" Methinkes it is Sir Rogers hound 530 

That went forth with the Queene ; 
I trow they be come againe to this land. 
Lords, all this I understand, 

It may right well soe bee[ne] ; 

" If that they be into this land come. 
We shall have word therof soone 

And within short space ; 
For never since they went, I-wisse, 
I saw not the gray hound ere this ; 

It is a marvellous case! 540 

" When he cometh againe, follow him. 
For evermore he will run 

To his masters dwelling place ; 
Run and goe, looke ye not spare, 
Till that yee come there 

To Sir Rodger and my Queene." 

155 



Then the third day, amonge them all 
The grayhound came into the hall, 

To meate ere they were sett. 
Marrocke the steward was within, 550 

The grayhound thought he wold not blin 

Till he with him had mett ; 

He tooke the steward by the throte, 
And assunder he it bote ; 

But then he wold not byde. 
For to his grave he rann. 
There followed him many a man, 

Some on horsse, some beside ; 



And when he came where his master was. 

He layd him downe beside the grasse 560 

And barked at the men againe. 
There might noe man him from the place gett. 
And yett with staves they did him beate, 

That he was almost slaine. 

And when the men saw noe better boote, 
Then the men yeed home on horsse and foote. 

With great wonder, I weene. 
The King said, " By Gods paine, 
I trow Sir Marrocke hath Sir Rodger slaine. 

And with treason famed my Queene. 570 

" Goe yee and seeke there againe ; 
For the hounds master there is slaine, 

Some treason there hath beene." 
Thither they went, soe God me save. 
And found Sir Roger in his grave, 

For that was soone scene : 

156 



And there they looked him there upon, 
For he was hole both flesh and bone, 

And to the court his body they brought. 
For when the King did him see, 580 

The teares ran downe from his eye. 

Full sore itt him forethought. 



The grayhound he wold not from his course fare ; 
Then was the King cast in care. 

And said, " Marroccke hath done me teene ; 
Slaine he hath a curteous knight, 
And fained my Queene with great unright. 

As a traitor keene." 



The King let draw anon-right 

The stewards bodye, that false knight, 590 

With horsse through the towne ; 
Then he hanged him on a tree. 
That all men might his body see, 

That he had done treason. 
Sir Rogers body the next day 
The King buryed in good array, 

With many a bold baron. 



The grayhound was never away 
By night nor yet by day. 

But on the ground he did dye. 600 

The King did send his messengere 
In everye place far and neere 

After the Queene to spye ; 
But for ought he cold enquire. 
He cold of that Ladye nothing heare ; 

Therfore the King was sorrye. 

157 



The King sayd, " I trow noe reed, 
For well I wott that shee is dead ; 

For sorrowe now shall I dye ! 
Alas, that ever shee from mee went! 6io 

This false steward hath me shent 

Throughe his false treacherye." 

This King lived in great sorrow 
Both evening and morrow 

Till that hee were brought to ground. 
He lived thus many a yeere 
With mourning and with evill cheere, 

His sorrowes lasted long : 

And ever it did him great paine 

When hee did thinke how Sir Roger was slaine, 620 

And how helped him his hound ; 
And of his Queene that was soe mylde, 
How shee went from him great with child ; 

For woe then did hee sound. 



Long time thus lived the King 
In great sorrow and mourning ; 

And oftentime did weepe ; 
He tooke great thought more and more, 
It made his hart verrye sore. 

His sighs were [f]ett soe deepe. 630 

Now of the King wee will bline, 
And of the Queene let us begin. 

And Sir Tryamore ; 
For when he was fourteen yeere old, 
There was noe man soe bold 

Durst doe him dishonor ; 

158 



In everye time both stout and stronge, 
And in stature large and longe, 

Comlye of hye color ; 
All that ever he dwelled amonge, 640 

He never did none of them vvronge, 

The more that was his honor. 

In that time sikerlye 

Dyed the King of Hungarye 

That was of great age, I-wiss ; 
He had no heire his land to hold 
But a daughter was fourteen yeers old ; 

Faire Helloi shee named is. 

Shee was as white as lilye flower, 

And comely, of gay color, 650 

The fairest of any towne or tower ; 
Shee was well shapen of foote and hand, 
Peere shee had none in noe land, 

Shee was soe fresh and soe amorous. 

For when her father was dead. 
Great warr began to spread 

In that land about ; 
Then the Ladyes councell gan her reade, 
* Gett her a lord her land to lead. 

To rule the realme without doubt; 660 

Some mightye prince that well might 
Rule her land with reason and right, 

That all men to him might lout.' 

And when her councell had sayd soe. 
For great need shee had therto, 

Shee graunted them without lye : 
The Lady said, " I will not feare 
But he be prince or princes peere, 

And cheefe of all chivalrye." 

159 



Therto shee did consent, 670 

And gave her lords commandement 

A great justing for to crye ; 
And at the Justine, shold soe bee. 
What man that shold win the degree, 

Shold win that Ladye trulye. 



The day of justing then was sett, 
Halfe a yeere without lett. 

Without any more delay, 
Because they might have good space. 
Lords, knights, dukes, in everye place, 680 

For to be there that day. 

Lords, the best in everye land. 
Hard tell of that rydand. 

And made them readye full gay ; 
Of everye land there was the best. 
Of the States that were honest 

Attyred many a lady gay. 

Great was that chivalrye 

That came that time to Hungarye, 

There for to just with might. 690 

At last Triamore hard tyding 
That there shold be a justing" ; 

Thither wold he wend [right]. 

If he wist that he might gaine 
With all his might, he wold be faine 

That gay Ladye for to win ; 
Hee had noe horsse nay noe other geere, 
Nor noe weapon with him to beare ; 

That brake his hart in twaine. 



160 



He thought both even and morrow 700 

Where he might some armour borrowe, 

Therof wold hee be faine 
To Sir Barnard then he can wend, 
That he wold armour lend 

To just against the knights amaine. 

Then said Sir Barnard, "What hast thou thought? 
Pardew ! of justing thou canst nought! 

For yee bee not able wepon to weld." 
" Sir," said Triamore, " what wott yee 
Of what strenght that I bee 710 

Till I have assayd in feeld ? " 

Then Sir Barnard that was full hend, 
Said, " Triamor, if thow wilt wend, 

Thou shalt lacke noe weed ; 
I will lend thee all my geere, 
Horsse and harneis, sheild and spere, 

Thou art nothing to dread ; 

" Alsoe thither with thee will I ryde, 
And ever nye be by thy side 

To helpe thee if thou have need; 720 

All things that thow wilt have, 
Gold and silver, if thow wilt crave. 

Thy journey for to speed." 

Then was Triamore glad and light. 
And thanked Barnard with all his might 

Of his great proferinge. 
That day the justing shold bee, 
Triamore sett him on his knee 

And asked his mother blessinge. 

Y 161 



At home shee wold have kept him faine; 730 

But all her labor was in vaine, 

There might be noe letting. 
Shee saw it wold noe better bee, 
Her blessing shee gave him verelye 

With full sore weepinge. 

And when it was on the morrow day, 
Triamore was in good array, 

Armed and well dight ; 
When he was sett on his steed. 
He was a man both lenght and bread, 740 

And goodlye in mans sight. 

Then Triamore to the feeld can ryde. 
And Sir Barnard by his side ; 

They were jocund and light ; 
There was none in all the feild 
That was more seemlye under sheild; 

He rode full like a knight. 

Then was the faire Lady sett 
Full hye uppon a turrett, 

For to behold that play; 750 

There was many a seemlye knight, 
Princes, lords, and dukes of might, 

Themselves for to assay. 

With helme on theire heads bright 
That all the feelds shone with light, 

They were soe stout and gay : 
Then Sir Triamore and Sir Barnard 
They pressed them into the feeld forward. 

There durst noe man say nay. 

162 



There was much price and pride 760 

When everye man to other can ryde, 

And lords of great renowne ; 
It bcffell Triamore that tyde 
For to be on his fathers side, 

The King of Arragon. 



The first that rode forth certainlye 
Was a great lord of Lumbardye, 

A vvonderfull bold barron. 
Triamor rode him againe : 
For all that lord had might and maine, 

The child bare him downe. 



770 



Then cryed Sir Barnard with honor, 
" A Triamor, a Triamore ! " 

For men shold him ken. 
Mayd Hellen that was soe mild, 
More shee beheld Triamore the child 

Then all the other men. 



Then the Kings sonne of Navarrne 
Wold not his body warne ; 

He pricked forth on the plaine. 780 

Then young Triamore that was stout, 
Turned himselfe round about. 

And fast rode him againe ; 

Soe neither of them were to ground cast. 
They sate soe wonderous fast, 

Like men of much might. 
Then came forth a bachelour, 
A prince proud without peere ; 

Sir James, forsooth, he hight ; 

163 



He was the Emperours sonne of Almaigne ; 790 

He rode Sir Triamore againe, 

With hard strenght to fight. 
Sir James had such a stroake indeed 
That he was tumbled from his steed ; 

Then failed all his might. 
There men might see swords brast, 
Helmes ne sheilds might not last ; 

And thus it dured till night ; 

But when the sun drew neere west, 

And all the lords went to rest, 800 

Not so the maide EIy?ie. 
The knights attired them in good arraye. 
On steeds great, with trappers gaye. 

Before the sun can shine ; 

Then to the feeld they pricked prest. 
And everye man thought himselfe best 

u4s the tnayden faire they paste. 
Then they feirclye ran together, 
Great speres in peeces did shi[vv]er, 

Their timber might not last. 810 

And at that time there did run 
The King Arradas of Arragon : 

His Sonne Triiamore mett him in that tyde. 
And gave his father such a rebound 
That harse and man fell to the ground, 

Soe stoutlye gan he ryde. 

Then the next knight that hee mett 
Was Sir James ; and such a stroake him sett 
Upon the sheild ther on the plaine 

164 



That the blood brast out at his nose and eares, 820 

His steed unto the ground him beares ; 
Then was Sir Barnard faine. 

That maid of great honor 

Sett her love on younge Triamore 

That fought alvvayes as a feirce lyon. 
Speres that day many were spent, 
And with swords there was many a stripe lent, 

Till there failed light of the sunne. 

On the morrow all they were faine 

For to come into the feild againe 830 

With great spere and sheild. 
Then the Duke of Siville, Sir Phylar, 
That was a doughtye knight in everye warr, 

He rode first into the feild ; 

And Triamore tooke his spere. 
Against the Duke he can it beare, 

And smote him in the sheild ; 
A-sunder in two peeces it went ; 
And then many a lovelye lady gent 

Full well they him beheld. 840 

Then came forth a knight that hight Terrey, 
Hee was a great lord of Surrey, 

He thought noble Triamore to assayle ; 
And Triamore rode to him bli[v]e 
In all the strenght that he might drive, 

He thought he wold not fayle ; 

He smote him soe in that stond 
That horsse and man fell to the ground, 
Soe sore his stroke he sett. 

165 



Then durst noe man att Triamore ride^ 850 

For fortune held all on his side 

All those dayes three. 
Sir James, sonne unto the Emperour, 
Had envye to Sir Triamore, 

And laid wait for him privilye. 

Att the last Triamore came ryding bye : 
Sir James said, " Triamore, thou shalt dye. 

For thou hast done me shame." 
He rode to Triamore with a spere. 
And thorrow the thigh he can him beare ; 860 

He had almost him slaine. 



But Tryamore hitt him in the head 
That he fell downe starke dead. 

Then was all his men woe ; 
Then wold they have slaine Tryamore 
Without he had had great succour ; 

They purposed to doe soe. 



With that came King Arradas then. 
And reschued Tryamore with all his men, 

That stood in great doubt. 870 

Then Sir Barnard was full woe 
That Tryamore was hurt soe ; 

Then to his owne house he him brought. 



But when the mother saw her sonns wound, 
Shee fell downe for sorrow to the ground. 

And after a leeche shee sent. 
Of this, all the lords that were justinge, 
To the pallace made highinge, 

And to that Ladye went. 

166 



Truly, as the Story sayes, 880 

They pricked forth to the pallace 

The Ladyes will to heare, 
Bachelours and knights prest, 
That shee might choose of them the best 

Which to her fiynest were. 

The Ladye beheld all that fayre meanye, 
But Tryamore shee cold not see : 

Tho chaunged all her cheere, 
Then shee sayd, " Lord, where is hee 
That every e day wan the degree? 890 

I chuse him to my peere." 

Al about they Tryamore sought ; 

He was ryddn home ; they found him nought ; 

Then was that Ladye woe. 
The knights were afore her brought. 
And of respite shee them besought, 

A yeare and noe moe : 

Shee said, " Lords, soe God me save ! 
He that wan me, he shall me have ; 

Ye wot well that my cry was soe." 900 

They all consented her untill. 
For shee said nothing ill, 

They said it shold be soe. 

For when they had all sayd. 
Then answered that fayre mayd, 

"I will have none but Tryamore." 
Then all the lords that were present 
Tooke their leave and home went; 

There wan they litle honor. 

167 



Sir James men were nothing faine 910 

Because their master he was slaine, 

That was soe stout in stowre ; 
In chaire his body they layd, 
And led him home, as I have sayd, 

Unto his father the Emperour; 

And when that hee his sonne gan see, 
A sorrye man then was hee. 

And asked ' who had done that dishonor.' 
They sayd, " Wee 7ie wott who it is, I-wisse, 
But Sir Tryamore he named is, 920 

Soe they called him in the [stowre] ; 



" The King of Arragon alsoe 
He helped thy sonne to sloe, 

With all his companye." 
They said, " They be good warryoirs ; 
They byte us with sharpe showers 

With great villanye." 



"Alas!" said the Emperour, 

" Till I be revenged on that traytour, 

Now shall I never cease ! 
They shall have many a sharpe shower, 
Both the King and Tryamore, 

They shall never have peace ! " 

The Emperour sayd they shold repent ; 
And after great companye he sent 

Of princes bold in presse, 
Dukes, earles, and lords of price. 
With a great armye, the Duke sayes. 

They yeed to Arragon without lesse. 

168 



King Arradas was a-dread g^o 

For the Emperour such power had, 

That battell hee wold him bid ; 
He saw his land nye over-gon, 
And to a castle hee fledd anon, 

And victualls it for dread. 



The Emperour was bold and stout. 
And beseeged the castle about; 

His banner he began to spread, 
And arrayd his host full well and wiselye. 
With wepons strong and mightye 950 

He thought to make them dread. 

The Emperour was bold and stout. 
And beseeged the castle about. 

And his banner he gan to spread ; 
He gave assault to the hold. 
King Arradas was stout and bold, 

Ordayned him full well. 

With gunes and great stones round 
Were throwne downe to the ground. 

And on the men were cast; g6o 

They brake many backes and bones. 
That they fought everye day ones 

While seven weekes did last. 



The Emperour was hurt ill therfore. 
His men were hurt sore. 

All his joy was past. 
King Arradas thought full longe 
That hee was beseeged soe stronge, 

With soe much might and maine 

z 169 



Two lords forth a message he sent, 970 

And straight to the Emperour they went, 

Soe when they cold him see. 
Of peace they can him pray. 
To take truce till a certaine day ; 

They kneeled downe on their knee. 



And said, " Our King sendeth word to thee 
That he never your sonne did slay, 

Soe he wold quitt him faine ; 
He was not then present. 
Nor did noe wise consent g8o 

That your sonne was slaine. 
That he will prove, if you will soe. 
Your selfe and he betweene you tow. 

If you will it sayne ; 



" Or else take your selfe a knight. 
And he will gett another to fight 

On a certaine day : 
If that your knight hap soe 
Ours for to discomfort or sloe. 

As by fortune itt may, 990 

Our King then will doe your will. 
Be att your bidding lowde and still 

Without more delay ; 



" And alsoe if it you betyde 
That your knight on your syde 

Be slaine by mischance. 
My lord shall make your warr to cease. 
And we shall after be at pease^ 

Without any distance." 



The Emperour said without fayle looo 

" Sett a day of battell 

By assent of the King of France ; " 
For he had a great campiowne, 
In everye real me he wan renowne ; 

Soe the Emperour ceased his distance. 

When peace was made, and truce came, 
Then King Arradas were a joyfull man. 

And trusted unto Tryamore. 
Soe after him he went without fayle. 
For to doe the great battelle loio 

To his helpe and succour. 

His messengers were come and gone, 
Tydings of him hard they none. 

The King Arradas thought him long, 
*' And he be dead, I may say ' alas ! ' 
Who shall then fight with Marradais 

That is soe stout and stronge ? " 

When Tryamore was whole and sound. 
And well healed of his wound. 

He busked him for to fare; 1020 

He sayd, " Mother," with mild cheere, 
" And I wist what my father were. 

The less were my care." 

" Sonne," shee said, " thou shalt witt; 
When thou hast marryed that Ladye sweet. 

Thy father thou shalt ken." 
" Mother," he said, " if you will soe^ 
Have good day, for now I goe 

To doe my masteryes if I can." 



171 



Then rode he over dale and dovvne 1030 

Untill he came to Arragon, 

Over many a weary way. 
Adventures many him befell, 
And all he scaped full well, 

In all his great journey. 



He saw many a wild beast 
Both in heath and in forrest ; 

He had good grey-hounds three ; 
Then to a hart he let them run 
Till fourteen fosters spyed him soone, 1040 

Soe threatened him greatlye ; 



They yeede to him with weapons on everye side ; 
It was noe boote to bid them byde ; 

Tryamore was loth to llye. 
And said unto them, " Lords, I you pray, 
Lett me in peace wend my way 

To seeke my grayhounds three." 



Then said Tryamore as in this time, 
" Gold and silver take all mine. 

If that I have trespassed ought." 1050 



They said, " Wee will meete with th[ee] anon. 
There shall noe gold borrow thee soone. 

But in prison thou shalt be brought, 
Such is the law of the ground ; 
Whosoever therin may be found. 

Other way goe they nought." 



172 



Then Sir Tryamore was full woe 
That to prison he shold goe ; 

Hee thought the flesh to deare bought. 
There was no more to say, 1060 

The fosters att him gan lay 

With strokes sterne and stout. 



There Tryamore with them fought ; 
Some to the ground be brought ; 

He made them lowe to looke; 
Some of them fast gan pray, 
The other fled fast away 

With wounds wyde that they sought. 

Tryamore sought and found his gray-hounds ; 

He hearkned to their yerning sounds, 1070 

And thought not for to leave them soe. 
At last he came to a water side ; 
There he saw the beast abyde 

That had slaine two of his grayhounds ; 

The third full sore troubled the hind,' 
And he hurt him with his trinde 5 

Then was Tryamore woe. 
If the battaile had lasted a while. 
The hart wold the hound beguile, 

And take his life for evermore. 1080 



Tryamore smote att the deere, 
And to the hart went the spere ; 

Then his home he blewe full sore. 
The King lay there beside 
At mannour that same tide; 

He hard a home blowe ; 

173 



They had great wonder in hall, 
Both knights, squiers, and all, 

For noe man cold it know. 
With that ran in a foster 1090 

Into the hall with evill cheere. 

And was full sorry, I trow. 

The King of tydings gan him fraine ; 

He answered, " Sir King, your keepers be slaine, 

And lye dead on a rowe. 
There came a knight that was mightye. 
He let three grayhounds that were wightye. 

And laid my fellowes full lowe." 

He sayd it was full true 

That the same that the home blewe 1 100 

That all this sorrow hath wrought. 
King Arradas said then, 
" I have great need of such of a man ; 

God hath him hither brought." 

The King commanded knights three ; 

He said, " Goe feitch yond gentleman to me 

That is now at his play ; 
Looke noe ill words with him yee breake. 
But pray him with me for to speake ; 

I trow he will not say nay." 11 10 

Everye knight his steed hent, 

And lightlye to the wood they went 

To seeke Tryamore that child. 
They found him by a water side 
Where he brake the beast that tyde. 

That hart that was soe wylde. 

17+ 



They said, " Sir! God be at your game! " 
He answered them even the same ; 

Then was he frayd of guile. 
" Sir knight ! " they said, " is itt your will 1 1 20 

To come and speake our King untill 

With wordes meeke and mylde ? " 

Tryamore asked shortlye, 

" What hight your King, tell yee mee, 

That is lord of this land ? " 
" This land hight Arragon, 
And our King, Arradas, with crowne; 

His place is [n]eire att hand." 

Tryamore went unto the King, 

And he was glad of his cominge, 11 30 

He knew him att first sight ; 
The King tooke him by the hand, 
And said, " Welcome into this land! " 

And asked him what he hight. 

*' Sir, my name is Tryamore ; 
Once you helpt me in a stowre 

As a noble man of might ; 
And now I am here in thy land ; 
Soe was I never erst, as I understand, 

By God full of might." 1140 

When the King wist it was hee. 
His hart rejoiced grcatlye ; 

Three times he did downe fall. 
And saicl^ " Tryamore, welcome to me ! 
Great sorrowe and care I have had for thee ; " 

And he told him all ; 



175 



"With the Emperour I tooke a day 
71? defend me if that I may ; 

To Jesu I will call ; 
For I never his sonne slew; 1150 

God He knoweth I speake but true, 

And helpe me I trust He shall ! " 

Then said Tryamore thoe, " / ajfi full woe 
That you for me have beene greeved soe, 

If I might it amend ; 
And att the day of battell 
I trust to prove my might as well, 

If God will grace me send." 

Then was King Arradas very glad, 

And of Marradas was not adread : 1 160 

When he to the batteile shold wend, 
He joyed that he shold well speed. 
For Tryamore was warry at neede 

Against his enemye to defend. 

There Tryamore dwelled with the King 
Many a weeke without lettinge ; 

He lacked right nought. 
And when the day of battayle was c[o]me. 
The Emperour with his men hasted full soone. 

And manye wonder thought ; 11 70 

He brought thither both King and knight ; 

And Marradas, that was of might. 

To batteille he him brought. 

There was many a seemelye man, 

Moe then I tell you can \ 

Of them all he nc wrouorht. 

o 

176 



Both partyes that ilke day 
Into the feeld tooke the way, 

They were already dight. 
The King there kissed Tryamore, 1180 

And sayd, " I make thee mine heyre this hower, 

And dubb thee a knight." 

" Sir," said Tryamore, " take no dread; 
I trust Jesus will me speede, 

For you be in the right ; 
Therfore through Gods o;race 

tD to 

I will fight for you in this place 

With the helpe of our Lords might ! " 

Both partyes were full swore 

To hold the promise that was made before; 1190 

To Jesus can hee call. 
Sir Tryamore and Sir Marradas 
Both well armed was 

Amonge the lords all ; 

Eche of them were sett on steede ; 
All men of Tryamore had dreede. 

That was soe hind in all. 
Marradas was stiffe and sure. 
Their might noe man his stroake endure, 

But that he made them fall. 1200 

Then rode they together full right ; 
With sharpe speres and swords bright 

They smote together sore ; 
They spent speres and brake sheelds. 
They busied fowle in middest the feelds, 

Either fomed as doth a bore. 

2 A 177 



All they wondred that beheld 
How they fought in the feeld ; 

There was but a liffe. 
Marradas fared fyer[y] wood 1 2 i o 

Because Tryamore soe long stood ; 

Sore gan hee smite. 
Sir Tryamore fayled of Marradas, 
That sword lighted upon his horsse, 

The sword to ground gan light. 

Marradas said, "It is great shame 
On a steed to wreake his g[r]ame ! 

Thou sholdest rather smite mee ! " 
Tryamore swore, " By Gods might 
I had lever it had on thee light! I2 20 

Then I wold not be sorye ; 

" But here I give thee steede mine 
Because I have slaine thine ; 

By my will it shalbe soe." 
Marradas sayd, " I will hifn nought 
Till I have him with stroakes bought," 

j4jjci won him fro7n my foe. 

And Tryamore lighted from his horsse. 
And to Marradas straight he goes. 

For both on foote they did light. i-SO 

Sir Tryamore spared him nought, 
But evyr m his hert he thoght 

" This day was I made a knight ! " 

And thought that hee himselfe wold be slaine soone, 
" Or else of him I will win my shoone 

Throughe Gods might." 
They laid eche at other with good will 
With sharpe swords made of Steele ; 

That saw many a knight. 

178 



Great wonder it was to behold 1240 

The stroakes that was betwixt them soe bold ; 
All men mio-ht it see. 

D 

They were weary, and had soe greatlye bled ; 
Marradas was sore adread, 

He fainted then greatlye ; 

And that Tryamore lightlye beheld, 
And fought feerclye in the feeld ; 

He stroke Marradas soe sore 
That the sword through the body ran. 
Then was the Emperour a sorry man; 1250 

He made thenn peace for ever-more. 

He kissed the King and was his freind. 
And tooke his leavee homewards to wend ; 

Noe longer there dwell wold hee. 
Then King Arradas and Tryamore 
Went to the palace with great honor. 

Into that rych citye. 
There was joy without care, 
And all they had great welfare. 

There might no better bee. 1260 

They hunted and rode many a where. 
Full great pleasure they had there. 

Among the knights of price 
The King profered him full fayre, 
And sayd, " Tryamore, He make thee mine heyre. 

For thou art strong and wise." 

Sir Tryamore said, " Sir, trulye 
Into other countryes goe will I ; 
I desire of you but a steed, 

179 



And to other lands will I goe 1270 

Some great adventures for to doe, 

Thus will I my liffe lead." 
The King was verry sorry tho ; 
When that hee wold from him goe, 

He gave him a sure weede, 

And plenty of silver and gold. 
And a steed as hee wold, 

That nothing wold feare. 
Hee tooke his leave of the King, 
And mourned at his departing, 1280 

Then hasted he him there. 



The King sayd, " Tryamor ! that is mine. 
When thou list it shall be thine, 

All my kingdome lesse and more." 
Now is Tryamore forth goe ; 
Lords and ladyes were full woe, 

Everye man loved him there. 

Tryamore rode in hast trulye 
Into the land of Hungarye, 

Adventures for to seeke. 1290 

Betweene two mountaines, the sooth to say, 
He rode forth on his way ; 

With a palmer he did meete ; 

He asked almes for Gods sake. 
And Tryamore him not forgate. 

He gave him with words sweete. 
The palmer said, " Turne yee againe. 
Or else I feare you wilbe slaine ; 

You may not passe but you be beat." 

180 



Tryamore asked, " Why soe? " 1300 

" Sir," he said, " there be brethren towe 

That on the mountaine dwells." 
" Faith," said Tryamore, " if there be no more, 
I trust in God that way to goe, 

If this be true that thou tells." 
He bade the palmer good day. 
And rode forth on his way 

Over heath and feelds ; 

The palmer prayed to him full fast, 

Tryamore was not agast, ^ 3 i o 

He blew his home full shrill. 
He had not rydden but a while. 
Not the mountenance of a mile, 

Two knights he saw on a hill : 

The one of them to him gan ryde. 
They other still gan abyde 

A litle there beside. 
And when they did Tryamore spye. 
They said, " Turne thee, tray tor, or thou shalt dye, 

Therfore stand and abyde! " 1320 

Either againe other gan ryd fast, 
Theire strokes mad their speres to brast. 

And made them wounds full wyde. 
The other knight that hoved soe, 
Wondred that Tryamore dared soe : 

He rode to them that tyde 

And departed them in twaine. 
And to speake fayre he began to fraine 
With words that sounded well : 



To Tryamore he sayd anon, 1330 

" A doughtyer knight I never saw none ! 

Thy name that thou us tell." 
Tryamore said, " First will I wett 
Why that you doe keepe this street, 

And where that you doe dwell." 

They said, " Wee had a brother hight Marradas, 
With the Emperour forsooth he was, 

A stronge man well I-know. 
In Arragon, before the Emperour, 
A knight called Sir Tryamore 1340 

In battel there him slew; 

" And alsoe wee say another, 
Burlong our elder brother 

As a man of much might 
He hath beseeged soothlye 
The Kings daughter of Hungarye ; 

To wed her he hath height; 

" And soe well hee hath sped 
That hee shall that Lady wedd 

But shee may find a knight 1350 

That Burlonge overcome may ; 
To that they have tooke a day. 

Wage battel and fight ; 

" For that same Tryamore 
Loved that Ladye paramoure. 

As it is before told ; 
If he will to Hungarye, 
Needs must he come us by ; 

To meete with him wee wold." 



182 



Tryamore said, " I say not nay, 1360 

But my name I will tell this day, 

In faith I will not laine : 
Thinke your journey well besett, 
For with Tryamore you have mett 

That your brother hath slaine." 

*' Welcome ! " they said, " Tryamore I 
His death shalt thou repent sore ; 

Thy sorrow shall begin. 
Yeeld thee to us anon. 
For thou shalt not from us gone 1370 

By noe manner of gin." 

They smote feircly att him tho. 
And Tryamore against them two 

Without more delay. 
Sir Tryamore proved him full prest, 
He brake their spere on their brest, 

Hee had such assay ; 

His sheeld was broken in peeces three, 
His horsse was smitten on his knee, 

Soe hard att him they thrust. 1380 

Sir Tryamore was then right wood. 
And slew the one there as he stood 

With his sword full prest. 

That other rode his way. 
His hart was in great affray, 

Yet he turned againe that tide, — 
When Tryamore had slaine his brother, 
A sorry man then was the other, — 

And straight againe to him did rydde ; 

i«3 



Then they two sore foughte 1390 

That the other to the ground was brought 
Then were they both slaine. 



The the Ladye on Tryamore thought, 
For of him shee knew right nought, 

Shee wist not what to say. 
The day was come that was sett. 
The lords assembled without lett, 

A.11 in good array. 



Burlonge was redye dight. 

He bade the Lady send the knight. 1400 

Shee answered, " I ne may : " 
For in that castle shee had hight 
To keepe her with all her might. 

As the Story doth say. 



They said, " If Tryamore be alive, 
Hither will hee come bli[v]e ; 

God send us good grace to speed ! " 
With that came in Sir Tryamore 
In the thickest of that stower. 

Into the feild without dread. 14 10 



He asked what all that did meane. 

The people shewed that a battel there shold beene 

For the love of that Ladye. 
He saw Burlong on his steede, 
And straight to liim lie yeede ; 

That Ladye challengeth hee. 

184 



Burlong asked him if he wold iight. 
Tryamore said, " With all my might 

To slay thee, or thou me." 
Anon they made them readye, 1420 

And none there knew him sikerlye, 

They wondred what he shold bee. 

High on a tower stood that good Ladye ; 
Shee knew not what knight verelye 

That with Burlong did fight. 
Fast shee asked of her men 
' If that knight they cold ken 

That to battell was dight; 

' A griffon he beareth all of blew.' 

A herald of armes soone him knew, 1430 

And said anon -right, 
" Madame! God hath sent you succor; 
For yonder is Tryamore 

That with Burlong will fight." 

To Jesus gan the Ladye pray 
For to speed him on his journey 

That hee about yeed. 
Then those knights ran together. 
The speres in peeces gan shiver, 

They fought full sore indeed; 1440 

There was noe man in the feild tho 
Whoe shold have the better of them tow. 

So mightilye they did them beare. 
The battel lasted wonderous long ; 
Though Burlong was never soe stronge, 

There found he his peere. 

2 B 185 



Tryamore a stroke to him mint, 
His sword fell downe at that dint 

Out of his hand him froe. 
Then was Burlong verry glad, 1450 

And the Ladye was verry sad, 

And many more full woe. 

Tryamore asked his sword againe. 
But Burlong gan him fraine 

To know first his name ; 
And said, " Tell me first what thou hight. 
And why thou challengeth the Ladye bright. 

Then shalt thou have thy sword againe," 

Tryamore sayd, " Soe mote I thee, 

My name I will tell trulye, 1460 

Therof I will not doubt ; 
Men call me Sir Tryamore, 
I wan this Ladye in a stowre 

Among barrons stout." 

Then said Burlong, " Thou it was 
That slew my brother Marradas ! 

A faire hap thee befell ! " 
Sir Tryamore sayd to him tho, 
" Soe have I done thy brethren two 

That on the mountaines did dwell." 1470 

Burlong said, " Woe may thou bee. 
For thou hast slaine my brethren three ! 

Sorrow hast thou sought ! 
Thy sword getts thou never againe 
Till I be avenged, and thou slaine! 

Now I am well bethought ! " 

186 



Sir Tryamore sayd, " Noe force tho, 
Thou shalt repent it ere thou goe ; 

Doe forth ! I dread thee nought ! " 
Burlong to smite was readye bowne, 1480 

His feete slipt, and hee fell downe, 

And Tryamore right well nought ; 



His sword lightlye he up hent, 
And to Burlonge fast he went; 

For nothing wold he flee ; 
And as he wold have risen againe, 
He smote his leggs even in twaine 

Hard fast by the knee. 



Tryamore bade him " Stand upright, 

And all men may see now in light 1490 

Wee beene meete of a size." 
Sir Tryamore suffered him 
To take another weapon, 

As a knight of much prize. 



Burlong on his stumpes stood 
As a man that was nye wood. 

And fought wonderous hard. 
And Sir Tryamore strake stroakes sure, 
For he cold well endure ; 

Of him hee was not affrayd, 1500 



And under his ventale 

His head he smote of without fayle ; 

With that in peeces his sword brast. 



Now is Burlong slaine, 
And Triamore with maine 

Into the castle went, 
To the Ladye that was full bright ; 
And att the gates shee mett the knight, 

And in her armes shee him hent. 



Shee said, "Welcome, Sir Tryamore ! 15 lo 

For you have bought my love full deere. 

My hart is on you lent ! " 
Then said all the barrons bold, 
" Of him wee will our lands hold ; " 

And therto they did assent. 

There is noe more to say. 

But they have taken a certaine day 

That they both shalbe wed. 
Sir Tryamore for his mother sent, 
A messenger for her went, 1520 

And into the castle her led. 



Tryamore to his mother gan saine, 
" My father I wold know faine, 

Sith I have soe well sped." 
Shee said, " King Arraydas of Arragon 
Is thy father, and thou his owne sonne ; 

I was his wedded Queene ; 

" A leasing was borne me in hand. 
And filsely fleamcd me out of his land 

By a traitor keene, 1530 

Sir Marrockee [he] hight : he did me woe, 
And Sir Rodger my knight he did sloe, 

That my guide shold have beene." 

188 



And when that Tryamore all heard, 
And how his mother shee had sayd, 

Letters he made and wrought ; 
He prayd King Arradas to come him till, 
If that it were his will, 

Thus he him besought : 

' If hee will come into Hungary e 1540 

For his manhood and his masterye, 

And that he wold fayle in nought.' 
Then was King Arradas verry glad ; 
The messengers great guifts had; 

For they tydings that they brought. 

The day was come that was sett, 
The lords came thither without let ; 

And ladyes of great pryde ; 
Then wold they noe longer lett ; 
Shortlye after they are fett, 1550 

With two dukes on everye side; 

They lady to the church they led ; 
A bishopp them together did wed. 

In full great hast they hyed. 
Soone after that weddinge 
Sir Tryamore was crowned King, 

They wold noe longer abyde. 

The Queene, his mother Margarett, 
Before the King shee was sett 

In a goodlye cheare. 1560 

King Arradas beheld his Queene, 
Him thought that hee had her scene, 

Shee was a ladye fayre ; 
The King said, " It is your will 
Your name me for to tell, 

I pray you with words fayre." 

189 



" My lord," sayd she^ " I was your Queene; 
Your steward did me ill teene ; 

That evill might him befalle ! " 
The King spake noe more words 1570 

Till the clothes were draweii from the bords, 

And men rose in the hall. 
And by the hand he tooke the Queene gent ; 
Soe in the chamber forth he went, 

And there shee told him all. 

Then was there great joy and blisse! 
When they together gan kisse, 

Then all they companye made joy enough. 
The younge Queene was full glad 
That shee a kings sonne to her lord had, 1580 

Shee was glad, I trowe ; 

In joy together lead their liffe 
All their dayes without strilTe, 

And lived many a fayre yeere. 
Then King Arradas and his Queene 
Had joy enough them betweene. 

And merrilye lived together. 

And thus wee leave of Tryamore 
That lived long in great honor 

With the fayre Hellene. 1590 

I pray God give their soules good rest. 
And all that have heard this litle jest, 

Highe heaven for to win ! 
God grant us all to have that grace. 
Him for to see in the celestyall place ! 

I pray you all to say Amen ! 

ffinis 

190 



GUYE AND AMARANT 



Guye journeyed ore the sanctifyed ground 

Wheras the Jewes fayre citye sometime stood, 

Wherin our Saviours sacred head was crowned, 

And where for sinful! man He shed His blood. 

To see the sepulcher vvas his intent, 

The tombe that Joseph unto Jesus lent. 



With tedious miles he tyred his wearye feet, 
And passed desarts places full of danger ; 

Att last with a most woefull wight did meet, 

A man that unto sorrow was noe stranger, lo 

For he had fifteen sonnes made captives all 

To slavish bondage, in extremest thrall. 



A gyant called Amarant detained them, 

Whom noe man durst encounter for his strenght. 
Who, in a castle which he held, had chaind them. 

Guy questions where, and understands at lenght 
The place not farr. " Lend me thy sword," quoth Guy ; 
" He lend my manhood all thy sonnes to free." 



With that he goes and layes upon the dore 

Like one, he sayes, that must and will come in. 20 

The gyant, he was neere soe rowzed before. 

For noe such knocking at his gate had beene ; 

Soe takes his keyes and club, and goeth out. 

Staring with irehjll countenance about ; 

191 



" Sirra ! " sais hee, " what busines hast thou heere ? 

Art come to feast my crowes about the walls ? 
Didst never heare noe ransome cold him cleere 

That in the compas of my furye falls ? 
For making me to take a porters paines, 
With this same club I will dash out thy braines." 30 

" Gyant," sales Guy, " your quarrelsome, I see; 

Choller and you are something neere of kin ; 
Dangerous at a club be-like you bee ; 

I have beene better armed, though now goe thin. 
But show thy utmost hate, enlarge thy spite ! 
Heere is the wepon that must doe me right." 

Soe takes his sword, salutes hifn with the same 

About the head, the shoulders, and the sides, 

Whilest his erected club doth death proclaime, 

Standing with huge coUossous spacious strydes, 40 

Putting such vigor to his knotted beame 

That like a Rirnace he did smoke extreme. 



But on the ground he spent his stroakes in vaine. 
For Guy was nimble to avoyde them still, 

And ere he cold recovers clubb againe. 

Did beate his plated coate against his will : 

Att such advantage Guy wold never fayle 

To beate him soundly in his coate of mayle. 

Att last, through strength, Amarant feeble grew, 

And said to Guy, "As thou art of humane race, 50 

Shew itt in this, givee nature wants her dew ; 

Let me but goe and drinke in younder place ; 

Thou canst not yeeld to nie a smaller thing 

Then to grant life thats given by the spring." 

192 



" I give the leave," sayes Guy, " goe driiike thy last, 
To pledge the dragon and the savage beare, 

Suceed the tragedyes that they have past ; 

But never thinke to drinke cold water more ; 

Drinke deepe to death, and after that carrouse 

Bid him receive thee in his earthen house." 60 

Soe to the spring he goes, and slakes his thirst, 
Takeing in the water in, extremly like 

Some wracked shipp that on some rocke is burst, 

Whose forced bulke against the stones doe stryke ; 

Scoping it in soe fast with both his hands 

That Guy, admiring, to behold him stands. 

" Come on," quoth Guy, " lets to our worke againe ; 

Thou stayest about thy liquor over longe ; 
The fish which in the river doe remaine 

Will want thereby ; thy drinking doth them 

wrong; 70 

But I will have their satisfaction made ; 
With gyants blood they must and shall be payd ! " 

" Villaine," quoth Amarant, " He crush thee straight! 

Thy life shall pay thy daring toungs offence ! 
This club, which is about some hundred waight, 

Has deathes commission to dispacth thee hence ! 
Dresse thee for ravens dyett, I must needs. 
And breake thy bones as they were made of reeds ! " 

Incensed much att this bold Pagans hosts. 

Which worthy Guy cold ill endure to heare, 80 

He hewes upon those bigg supporting postes 
Which like two pillars did his body beare. 

Amarant for those wounds in choller growes. 

And desperatelye att Guy his clubb he throwes, 

2 c 193 



Which did directlye on his body Hght ' - 

Soe heavy and soe weaghtye there withall, 

That downe to ground on sudden came the knight ; 
And ere he cold recover from his fall, 

The gyant gott his club againe in his fist, 

And stroke a blow that wonderfullye mist. 90 

" Traytor! " quoth Guy, " thy falshood lie repay. 
This coward art to intercept my bloode." 

Sayes Amarant, " He murther any way ; 

With enemyes, all vantages are good ; 

O! cold I poyson in thy nostrills blowe. 

Be sure of it, I wold destroy the soe ! " 

" Its well," said Guy, " thy honest thoughts appear 
Within that beastlye bulke where devills dwell. 

Which are thy tennants while thou livest heere, 

But wilbe landlords when thou comest in hell. 100 

Vile miscreant ! prepare thee for their den ! 

Inhumane monster, hurtfull unto men ! 

" But breath thy selfe a time while I goe drinke. 
For flameing Pheabus with his fyerye eye 

Torments me soe with burning heat, I thinke 

My thirst wold serve to drinke an ocean drye. 

Forbear a litle, as I delt with thee." 

Quoth Amarant, " Thou hast noe foole of mee ! " 

" Noe ! silly e wretch ! my father taught more 

How I shold use such enemyes as thou. 1 10 

By all my gods ! I doe rejoyce at itt. 

To understand that thirst constraines thee now? 

For all the treasure that the world containes. 

One drop of water shall not coole thy vaynes. 

194 



" Releeve my foe ! why, twere a madmans part ! 

Refresh an adversarye, to my wronge ! 
If thou imagine this, a child thou art. 

" No, fellow! I have knowne the world to longe 
To be soe simple now I know thy want ; 
A minutes space to thee I will not grant." 120 

And with these words, heaving a-loft his club 
Into the ayre, he swinges the same about. 

Then shakes his lockes, and doth his temples rubb. 
And like the Cyclops in his pride doth strout ; 

" Sirra," said hee, " I have you at a lifte ; 

Now you are come unto your latest shift ; 

" Perish for ever with this stroke I send thee, 
A medcine will doe thy thirst much good ; 

Take noe more care of drinke before I end thee. 

And then weelle have carowses of thy blood ! 130 

Heeres at thee with a buchers downe-right blow. 

To please my fury with thine overthrow ! " 

" Infernall, false, obdurat feend ! " Guy said, 

" That seemes a lumpe of crueltye from hell ! 

Ingratefull monster ! since thou hast denyd 

The thing to mee wherin I used thee well^ 

With more revenge then ere my sword did make, 

On thy accursed head revenge He take ! 

" Thy gyants longitude shall shorter shrinke. 

Except thy sunscorcht sckin doe weapon 

prove. 140 

Farwell my thirst! I doe disdaine to drinke. 

Streames, keepe your waters to your owne behoves, 

Or let wild beasts be welcome therunto ; 

With those pearle dropps I will not have to doe. 

195 



" Hold, tyrant! take a taste of my good will; 

For thus I doe begin my bloodye bout ; 
You cannot chuse but like the greeting ill ; 

It is not that same club will beare you out : 
And take this payment on thy shaggye crowne," — 
A blow that brought him with a vengeance downe ! 150 

Then Guy sett foot upon the monsters brest, 

And from his shoulders did his head devyde, 

Which with a yawninge mouth did gape unblest, — 
Noe dragons jawes were ever scene soe wyde 

To open and to shut, — till liffe was spent. 

Soe Guy tooke keyes, and to the castle went, 

Where manye woefull captives he did find, 
Which had beene tyred with extremitye. 

Whom he in ffreindly manner did unbind. 

And reasoned with them of their miserye. 160 

Eche told a tale with teares and sighes and cryes. 

All weeping to him with complainning eyes. 

There tender laidyes in darke dungeon lay. 
That were surprised in the desart wood. 

And had noe other dyett everye day 

Then flesh of humane creatures for their food ; 

Some with their lovers bodyes had beene fed. 

And in their wombes their husbands buryed. 

Now he bethinkes him of his being there. 

To enlarge the wronged brethren from their 

woes; 170 

And as he searcheth, doth great clamors heare ; 
By which sad sounds direction, on he goes 

Untill he findes a darkesome obscure gate, 

Armed strongly over all with iron plate : 

196 



That he unlockes, and enters where appeares 
The strangest object that he ever saw, 

Men that with famishment of many yeerres 

Were like deaths picture, which the painters draw ; 

Divers of them were hanged by eche thumbe ; 

Others, head downeward ; by the middle, summe. i8o 

With dilligence he takes them from the walls, 

With lybertye their thraldome to accquainte. 

Then the perplexed knight the father calls, 

And sayes, " Receive thy sonnes, thoe poore and 
faint ! 

I promised you their lives ; eccept of that ; 

But did not promise you they shold be fatt. 

" The castle I doe give thee, — heere is the keyes, — 
Where tyranye for many yeeres did dwell ; 

Procure the gentle tender ladyes ease ; 

For pittye sake use wronged women well! 190 

Men may easilye revenge the deeds men doe. 

But poore weake women have no strenght therto." 

The good old man, even overjoyed with this. 

Fell on the ground, and wold have kist Guys feet. 

" Father," quoth hee, " refraine soe base a kisse ! 
For age to honor youth, I hold unmeete ; 

Ambitious pryd hath hurt me all it can, 

I goe to mortifie a sinfull man." 



ffi 



nis 



197 



GALES VOYAGE 



Att Gales wee latelye made afray, 
Att He of Ree wee run away, 
Our shippes poore Rochell did betray. 
Five subsiddyes for that, 



And then wee shall to sea againe, 
All that our generall was slaine. 
And now wee have made peace with Spaine, 
Jacke ffellton ! 



Sir Artigall grand Torto slew ; 

Now everye man must have his dew lo 

By vertue of a gracious new 
Petition of right. 

The child of honor did deffye 
In mortall fight his enemye, 
And when he came to doe him dye, 
Gryes Sail Brooke. 

Eleven children had Pope John, 
Pope John the twelft, an able man; 
Heeres to the daffe. He pledge the don, 

A pulpitt of sacke ! 20 

Noe more of that, doe not presume, 
ffor ffeare of the Inquisition at Rome, 
Where thou shalt find a cropeare dome, 
Gryes Layston. 

198 



Ten poundes for not being made a knight ; 
ffive thousand markes was deemed right 
For being out of his countryes sight 
In time o shreavalltrye. 

These and such like, as I you tell, 

In Fayrye Land latelye befell, 30 

Where Justice ffought with Justice Cell 
Att Gloster. 



Be dutifull, good people all, 
The government else alter shall, 
And bring you to the state of Gaule, 
Haire shirts and woodden shooes ! 



Noe habeas corpus shall be gott ; 
But for all this damned plott 
Tresilian went unto the pott 

Att Tyburne ! ^o 



ffi 



nis 



199 



KINGE AND MILLER 



Henery, our royall King, wold goe a huntinge 

To the greene fforrest soe pleasant and fayre, 

To have the harts chased, the daintye does tripping ; 
To merry Sherwood his nobles repayre ; 

Hauke and hound was unbound, all things prepared 

For the same to the game with good regard. 



All a longe summers day rode the King pleasantlye 
With all his princes and nobles eche one. 

Chasing the hart and hind and the bucke gallantlye. 
Till the darke evening inforced them turne 

home. lo 

Then at last, ryding fast, he had lost quite 

All his lords in the wood in the darke night. 

Wandering thus wearilye all alone up and downe, 
With a rude miller he mett att the last. 

Asking the ready way unto fayre Nottingham, 

" Sir," quoth the miller, " I meane not to jest, 

Yett I thinke what I thinke truth for to say, 

You doe not lightlye goe out of your way." 

" Why, what dost thou thinke of me?" quoth our King 
merrily, 
'^ Passing thy judgment upon me soe breefe." 20 
*' Good faith," quoth the miller, "I meane not to flatter 
thee, 
I gesse thee to bee some gentleman theefe ; 
Stand thee backe in the darke ! light not adowne, 
Lest I presentlye cracke thy knaves crowne ! " 

200 



" Thou doest abuse me much," quoth our King, " say- 
ing thus. 
I am a gentleman, and lodging doe lacke." 
" Thou hast not," quoth the miller, " a groat in thy 
pursse ; 
All thine inheritance hanges on thy backe." 
" I have gold to discharge for that I call ; 
If itt be forty pence, I will pay all." 30 

" If thou beest a true man," then said the miller, 

" I sweare by my tole dish He lodge thee all night." 

" Heeres my hand," quoth our King, " that was I ever," 
" Nay, soft," quoth the miller, " thou mayst be a 
sprite ; 

Better He know thee ere hands I will shake ; 

With none but honest men hands will I take." 

Thus they went all alonge into the millers house. 

Where they were seeding of puddings and souce. 

The miller first entered in, then after went the King ; 
Never came he in soe smoakye a house. 40 

" Now," quoth hee, " let me see heere what you are." 

Quoth our King, " Looke your fill, and doe not spare." 

" I like well thy countenance ; thou hast an honest face ; 

With my sonne Richard this night thou shalt lye." 
Quoth his wifi^e, " By my troth it is a good hansome 
youth ; 

Yet it is best, husband, to deale warrilye. 
Art thou not a runaway ? I pray thee, youth, tell ; 
Show us thy pasport and all shalbe well." 

Then our King presentlye, making lowe curtesie. 

With his hatt in his hand, this he did say: 50 

2 D 201 



" I have noe pasport, nor never was servitor, 

But a poore courtyer rode out of the way ; 
And for your kindnesse now offered to me, 
I will requite it in every degree." 

Then to the miller his wiffe whisperd secretlye, 
Saing, " It seemeth the youth is of good kin 

Both by his apparell and by his manners ; 

To turne him out, certainely it were a great sin." 

*' Yea," quoth hee, " you may see hee hath some grace, 

When as he speaks to his betters in place." 60 

" Well," quoth the millers wiff"e, " younge man, welcome 
heere ! 

And tho I sayt, well lodged shalt thou be; 
Fresh straw I will lay upon your bed soe brave. 

Good browne hempen sheetes likwise," quoth shee. 
" I," quoth the goodman, " and when that is done, 
Thou shalt lye noe worse then our owne sonne." 

" Nay first," quoth Richard, " good fellowe, tell me 
true. 
Hast thou noe creepers in thy gay hose? 
Art thou not troubled with the scabbado ? " 

" Pray you," quoth the King, " what things are 
those?" 70 

" Art thou not lowsye nor scabbed ? " quoth hee ; 
" If thou beest, surely thou lyest not with me." 

This caused our King suddenly to laugh most heartilye 
Till the teares trickled downe from his eyes. 

Then to there supper were they sett orderlye, 

To hott bag puddings and good apple pyes ; 

Nappy ale, good and stale, in a browne bowle. 

Which did about the bord merrilye troule. 

202 



" Heere," quoth the miller, " good fellowe, He drinke 
to thee 
And to all the courtnolls that curteous bee." 80 
" I pledge thee," quoth our King, " and thanke thee 
heartilye 
For my good welcome in everye degree ; 
And heere in like manner I drinke to thy sonne." 
" Doe then," saies Richard, " and quicke let it come." 

" Wiffe," quoth the miller, " feitch me forth Lightfoote, 
That wee of his sweetnesse a litle may tast." 

A faire venson pastye shee feiched forth presentlye. 

" Eate," quoth the miller, " but first make noe 
wast; 

Heer is dainty Lightfoote." " Infaith," quoth our King, 

" I never before eate of soe dayntye a thinge." 90 

" Iwis," said Richard, " noe dayntye att all it is. 

For wee doe eate of it everye day." 
" In what place," sayd our King, " may be bought lik 
to this ? " 

" Wee never pay peennye for it, by my fay ; 
From merry Sherwood wee feitch it home heere ; 
Now and then we make bold with our Kings deere." 

" Then I thinke," quoth our King, " that it is venison." 
" Eche foole," " quoth Richard, " full well may 
see that ; 

Never are we without two or three in the rooiTe, 

Verry well fleshed and exellent ffatt. 100 

But I pray thee say nothing where-ere thou goe. 

We wold not for two pence the King shold it know." 

" Doubt not," saies our King, "my promised secresye; 
The King shall never know more ont for mee." 

20^ 



A cupp of lambes woole they dranke unto him, 

And to their bedds they past presentlye. 
The nobles next morning went all up and downe 
For to seeke the King in every towne ; 

At last, att the miller's house soone they did spye him 
plaine, 
As he was mounting upon his faire steede ; no 
To whome they came presentlye, falling downe on their 
knees. 
Which made the millers hart wofullye bleed. 
Shaking and quaking before him he stood, 
Thinking he shold be hanged by the rood. 

The King perceiving him fearfully tremblinge, 
Drew forth his sword, but nothing he said ; 

The miller downe did fall crying before them all, 
Doubtinge the King wold cut of his head. 

But he, his kind curtesie for to requite. 

Gave him great living, and dubd him a knight. i20 

When as our noble King came from Nottingam, 
And with his nobles in Westminster lay. 

Recounting the sports and the pastime they had tane 
In this late progresse along on the way ; 

Of them all, great and small, hee did protest 

The miller of Mansfeild liked him best ; 

" And now, my lords," quoth the King, " I am deter- 
mined. 

Against St. Georges next sumptuous feast. 
That this old miller, our youngest confirmed knight. 

With his Sonne Richard, shalbe both my guest ; 130 
For in this mcrryment it is my desire 
To talke with this jollye knight and the younge squier." 

204 



when as the noble lords saw the Kings merriment, 
They were right joyfull and glad in their harts. 

A pursivant they sent straight on this busines, 
The which oftentimes used those parts ; 

When he came to the place where he did dwell, 

His message merrilye then he did tell. 



" God save your worshippe," then said the messenger, 
" And grant your Ladye her owne harts desire ; 140 

And to your sonne Richard good fortune and happinesse, 
That sweet younge gentleman and gallant squier ! 

Our King greets you well, and thus doth say, 

* You must come to the court on St. Georges day ' ; 

" Therfore in any case fayle not to be in place." 

" I-wis," quoth the miller, " it is an odd jest! 
What shold wee doe there?" he sayd, " infaith I am 
halfe afraid." 
" I doubt," quoth Richard, " to be hanged att the 
least." 
"Nay," quoth the messenger, "you doe mistake; 
Our King prepares a great feast for your sake." 150 

" Then," said the miller, " now by my troth, messenger. 
Thou hast contented my worshipp full well : 

Hold ! there is three farthings to quite thy great gentle- 
ness 
For these happy tydings which thou dost me tell. 

Let me see ! hearest thou me ? tell to our King, 

Weele wayte on his mastershipp in everye thing." 

The pursivant smyled at their simplicitye ; 

And making many leggs, tooke their reward, 

205 



And takeing then his leave with great humilitye, 

To the Kings court againe hee repayred, i6o 

Showing unto his Grace in everye degree 
The knights most liberall giffts and great bountye. 

When hee was gone away, thus can the miller say, 
" Heere comes expences and charges indeed ! 

Now must wee needs be brave, tho wee spend all wee 
have ; 
For of new garments wee have great need. 

Of horsses and serving men wee must have store. 

With bridles and sadles and twentye things more." 

" Tushe, Sir John," quoth his wiffe, " neither doe frett 
nor frowne ! 

You shall bee att noe more charges of mee! 170 
For I will turne and trim up my old russett gowne, 

With everye thing else as fine as may bee ; 
And on our mill horsses full swift wee will ryd. 
With pillowes and pannells as wee shall provyde." 

In this most statelye sort they rod unto the court. 
Their lusty sonne Richard formost of all, 

Who sett up by good hap a cockes fether in his cappe ; 
And soe they jetted downe towards the Kings hall, 

The merry old miller with his hands on his side, 

His wiffe like Maid Marryan did mince at that tyde. 180 

The King and his nobles that hard of their coming, 
Meeting this gallant knight with this brave traine, 

"Welcome, sir knight," quoth hee, "with this your gay 
Lady! 
Good Sir John Cockle, once welcome againe ; 

And soe is this squier of courage soe free ! " 

Quoth Dicke, " A botts on you! doe you know me?" 

206 



Quoth our King gentlye, " How shall I forgett thee ? 

Thou was my owne bed-fellow ; well that I wot, 
But I doe thinke on a tricke ; tell me, pray thee, Dicke, 

How with farting we made the bed hott." 190 

"Thou horson happy knave," then quoth the knight, 
" Speake cleanly to our King now^ or else goe shite ! " 

The King and his councellors hartilye laugh at this, 
While the King tooke them by the hand. 

With ladyes and their maids, like to the queene of spades 
The millers wiffe did most orderlye stand, 

A milkemaids curtesye at everye word ; 

And downe these folkes were set to the bord. 

Where the King royally with princely majestye 

Sate at his dinner with joy and delight. 200 

When he had eaten well, to resting then hee fell ; 
Taking a bowle of wine, dranke to the knight, 

" Heeres to you both ! " he sayd, " in ale, wine, and beere. 

Thanking you hartilye for all my good cheere." 

Quoth Sir John Cockle, " He pledge you a pottle, 
Were it the best ale in Nottingam-shire." 

" But then," said our King, " I thinke on a thinge. 
Some of your ' lightfoote ' I wold we had heere." 

" Ho ! ho ! " quoth Richard, " full well I may say it ; 

Its knavery e to eate it and then to bewray it." 210 

" What ! art thou hungry ? " quoth our King merrilye, 

" Infaith I take it verry unkind ; 
I thought thou woldest pledg me in wine or ale heartily." 

" Yee are like to stay," quoth Dicke, " till I have 
dind ; 
You feed us with twatling dishes soe small. 
Zounds ! a blacke pudding is better then all." 

207 



" I, marry," quoth our King, " that were a daintye thing. 

If wee cold gett one heere for to eate." 
With that, Dicke straight arose, and plucket one out of 
his hose, 
Which with heat of his breech began for to 

sweate. 220 

The King made profer to snatch it away ; 
" Its meate for your master, good Sir ; you shall stay ! " 

Thus with great merriment was the time wholy spent ; 

And then the ladyes prepared to dance. 
Old Sir John Cockle and Richard incontinent 

Unto this practise the King did advance, 
Where-with the ladyes such sport they did make. 
The nobles with laughing did make their heads ake. 

Many thankes for their paines the King did give them 
then, 
Asking young Richard if he wold be wed: 230 
" Amongst these ladyes faire, tell me which liketh 
thee." 
Quoth hee, "Jugg Grumball with the red head; 
Shees my love ; shees my liffe ; her will I wed ; 
Shee hath sworne I shall have her maidenhead." 

Then Sir John Cockle the King called unto him ; 

And of merry Sherwood made him overseer. 
And gave him out of hand three hundred pounds yearlye, 

" But now take heede you steale noe more of my 
deere ! 
And once a quarter lets heare have your vew ; 
And thus, Sir John Cockle, I bid thee adew ! " 240 

ffinis 

208 



AGINCOURTE BATTELL 



A councell brave our King did hold 
With many a lord and knight, 

In whom he trulye understands 

How ffrance withheld his right. 

Therefor a brave embassador 
Unto the King he sent, 

That he might ffully understand 
His mind and whole entente. 



Desiring him, as freindlye sort. 

His lawfull Wright to yeeld, lo 

Or else he sware by dint of sword 

To win the same in feild. 



The King of ffrance, with all his lords 
Who heard this message plaine. 

Unto our brave embassador 
Did answer in disdaine ; 



Who sayd, " Our King was yett but younge 

And of a tender age ; 
Wherfor I way not for his warres, 

Nor care not for his rage, 20 

" Whose knowledge eke in ffeats of armes. 

Whose sickill is but verry small. 
Whose tender joynts more ffitter are 

To tosse a tennys ball." 

2 E 209 



A tunn of tennys balls therfore, 

In pryde and great disdaine 
He sends to noble Henery the Fifth, 

Who recompenced his paine. 

And when our King this message hard 

He waxed wrath in his hart, 30 

And said " he wold such balls provyde 

That shold make all France to smart." 

An army great our King prepared, 

That was both good and strong ; 
And from Sowthampton is our King 

With all his navye gone. 

He landed in ffrance both safe and sound 

With all his warlike traine ; 
Unto a towne called Harffleete first 

He marched up amaine. 40 

And when he had beseeged the same. 

Against these fensed walls 
To batter downe their statlye towers 

He sent his English balls. 

And he bad them yeeld up to him 

Themselves and eke their towne. 
Or else he sware unto the earth 

With cannon to beate them downe. 

The great gunn of Caleis was upsett. 

He mounted against those walls; 50 

The strongest steepele in the towne. 

He threw downe bells and all. 



210 



Then those that were the governors 

Their woefiill hands did wringe ; 
They brought their keyes in humble sort 

Unto our gracious King. 

And when the towne was woone [at] last, 

The ffrenchmen out they threw, 
And placed there three hundred Englishmen 

That wold to him be true. 60 

This being done, our noble King 

Marched up and downe that land, — 

And not a ffrenchman ffor his liffe 

Durst once his fforce withstand, — 

Till he came to Agincourt ; 

And as it was his chance. 
To ffind the King in readinesse, 

With him was all the power of ffrance, 

A mightye host they had prepared 

OfF armed souldiers then, 70 

Which was noe lesse (the Chronicle sayes) 

Then six hundred thousand men. 

The King of ffrance, that well did know 

The number of our men. 
In vaunting pride unto our King 

Sends one of his heralds then 

To understand what he wold give 

For the ransome of his liffe. 
When in that feild he had taken him 

Amiddst that bloody striffe. 80 

211 



And when our King the message heard, 

Did straight the answer make, 
Saying, " Before that thing shold come to passe, 

Many of their harts shold ake ! 

" Unto your proud presumptuss Prince 

Declare this thing," quoth hee. 
My owne harts blood shall pay the price ; 

Nought else he getts of me." 

Then all the night the Frenchman lyen. 

With triumphe, mirth, and joy ; 90 

The next morning they mad full accompt 

Our armye to destroye. 

And for our King and all his lords 

At dice they playd apace, 
And for our comon souldiers coates 

They set a prize but base. 

Eight pence for a redd coate. 

And a groate was sett to a white ; 
Because they color was soe light. 

They sett noe better buy itt. 100 

The cheerfuU day at last was come ; 

Our King with noble hart 
Did pray his valliant soldiers all 

To play a worthye part. 

And not to shrinke from fainting foes. 

Whose fearfull harts in ffeeld 
Wold by their feirce couragious stroakes 

Be soone in-forced to yeeld ; 

2 12 



" Regard not of their multitude, 

Tho they are more then wee, i lo 

For eehe of us well able is 

To beate downe ffrenchmen three ; 

*' Yett let everye man provide himselfe 

A strong substantial! stake, 
And set it right before himselfe. 

The horsmans force to breake." 

And then bespake the Duke of Yorke, 

" O noble King," said hee, 
" The leading of that battell brave 

Vouchsafe to give it me! " 120 

" God amercy, cosen Yorke," sayes hee, 

" I doe grant thee thy request; 
March you on couragiouslye, 

And I will guide the rest." 

Then came the bragginge Frenchmen downe 

With cruel! force and might, 
With whome our noble King began 

A harde and cruel! ffiglit. 

Our English archers discharged their shafts 

As thicke as hayle in skye, 130 

And many a Frencliman in that feelde 
That happy day did dye ; 

ffor the horssmen stumbled on our stakes, 

And soe their lives they lost : 
And many a Frenchman there was tane 

For prisoners to tlieir cost. 

213 



Ten thousand ffrenchmen there were slaine 

Of enemies in the ffeeld, 
And neere as many prisoners tane 

That day were fforced to yeeld. 140 

Thus had our King a happy day 

And victorye over ffrance ; 
He brought his foes under his ffeete 

That late in pride did prance. 

When they were at the maine battell there 
With all their might and forces, then 

A crye came ffrom our English tents 
That we were robbed all them ; 

For the Duke of Orleance, with a band of men, 

To our English tents they came; 150 

All our Jewells and treasure that they have taken, 
And many of our boyes have slaine. 

Much greeved was King Harry therat, — 

This was against the law of armes then, — 

Comands everye souldier on paine of death 
To slay everye prisoner then. 

Two hundred thousand ffrenchemenour Englishmen had, 

Some two, and some had one ; 
Everye one was commanded by sound of trumpett 

To slay his prisoner then. 160 

And then they followed upon the maine battell ; 

The ffrenchmen they fled then 
Towards the citye of Paris 

As fast as they might gone. 

214 



But then ther was never a peere with -in France 

Of all those nobles then, 
Of all those worthye Disse Peeres, 

Durst come to King Harry then. 

But then Katherine, the Kings fayre daughter there, 

Being proved apparant his heyre, 170 

With her maidens in most sweet attire 
To King Harry did repayre ; 

And when shee came before our King, 

Shee kneeled upon her knee, 
Desiring him that his warres wold cease, 

And that he her love wold bee. 

There-upon our English lords then agreed 

With the peeres of ffrance then ; 
Soe he marryed Katherine, the Kings faire daughter. 

And was crowned King in Paris then. 180 



ffi 



nis 



215 



CONSCIENCE 



As I walked of late by one wood side, 

To God for to meditate was my entent, 
Where under a hawthorne I suddenly espyed 

A silly poore creature ragged and rent ; 

With bloody teares his face was besprent, 
His fleshe and his color consumed away ; 

With turning and winding his bodye was toste, 
And his garments they were all mire, mucke, and clay. 
" Good Lord ! of my lifFe deprive me, I pray. 

For I, silly wretch, am ashamed of my name! lo 
My name," quoth hee, " is the cause of my care. 

And I cursse my godfathers that gave me the 
same ! 



This made me muse, and much desire 

To know what kind of man hee shold bee ; 

I stept to him straight, and did him require 

His name and his secretts to shew unto me. 
His head he cast up, and wooful was hee, 

'■^ My name" quoth hee^ ^^ is the causer of my care^ 

And makes me scornd, and left here soe bare." 

Then straight-way he turnd him and prayd him sit 

downe, 20 

" And I will," saithe he, " declare my whole greefe. 

My name is called ' Conscience ' " ; wheratt he did 
frowne ; 

He pined to repeate it, and grinded his teethe. 

" For while I was young and tender of yeeres, 
I was entertained with kings and with peeres, 

216 



" There was none in all the court that lived in such 
fame ; 

For with the Kings councell he sate in commission ; 
Dukes, erles, and barrens esteemed of my name ; 

And how that I lived there needs no repetition ; 

I was ever holden in honest condition; 30 

For howsoever the lawes went in Westminster Hall, 
When sentence was given, for me they wold call. 

" Noe incombes at all the landlord wold take. 
But one pore peny, that was their fine. 

And that they acknowledged to be for my sake ; 

The poore wold doe nothing without councell mine ; 
I ruld the world with the right line ; 

For nothing that was passed betweene foe and freind. 

But Conscience was called to bee at an end. 

" Noe merchandize nor bargaines the merchants wold 

make, 40 

But I was called a wittenesse therto ; 
No use for noe mony, nor forfett wold take. 

But I wold controwle them if that they did soe ; 

That makes me live now in great woe. 
For then came in Pride, Sathans disciple. 
That now is entertaind with all kind of people ; 

He brought with him three, whose names they be these, 

That is Covetousnes, Lecherye, Usury, beside ; 
They never prevailed till they had wrought my downe- 
fall; 
Soe Pride was entertained, but Conscience was 

de[n]ide. 50 

Yet still abroad have I tryed 
To have had entertainment with some one or other. 
But I am rejected and scorned of my brother. 

2 F 217 



" Then went I to the court, the gallants to winn, '* 

But the porter kept me out of the gate. 
To Bartl[m]evv Spittle, to pray for my sinne. 

They bad me 'goe packe' me; it was fitt for my state; 
' Goe, goe, threed-bare Conscience, and seeke thee 
a mate ! ' 
Good Lord, long preserve my King, Pirince, and 

Queene, 
With whom ever more I have esteemed beene ! 60 

" Then went I to London, where once I did [dwell], 
But they bade away with me when they knew my 
name ; 
' For he will undoe us to bye and to sell,' 

They bade me ' goe packe ' me, and hye me for shame, 

They lought at my raggs, and there had good game; 

* This is old threed-bare Conscience that dwelt with St. 

Peeter ; ' 
But they wold not admitt me to be a chimney sweeper. 

" Not one wold receive me, the Lord God doth know, 

I, having but one poore pennye in my pursse. 

Of an aule and some patches I did it bestow; 70 

I thought better to cobble shooes then to doe 

worsse. 
Straight then all the coblers they began to cursse. 
And by statute they wold prove me I was a rouge and 

forlorne. 
And they whipt me out of towne to see where I was 
borne. 

" Then did I remember and call to my minde 

The Court of Conscience where once I did sit. 

Not doubting but there some favor I shold hnd, 
For my name and the place agreed soe litt. 
But therof my purpose I fayled a whitt, 

218 



For the judge did use my name in everye condicion, 80 
For lawyers with their quilletts wold get a dismission. 

" Then Westminster Hall was noe place for me ; 

Good God ! how the lawyers began to assemblee ; 
And fearfull they were lest there I shold be ! 

The silly poore clarkes began to tremblee ; 

I showed them my cause, and did not dissemble. 
Soe then they gave me some mony my charges to beare, 
But they swore me on a Booke I must never come 
there. 



" Then the merchants said, ' Counterfeite, get thee 
away. 
Dost thou remember how wee thee found ? 90 

We banisht thee the country beyond the salt sea. 
And sett thee on shore in the new-found land. 
And there thow and wee most freindly shook hands ; 
And we were verry glad when thou did refuse us, 
For when we wold reape proffitt heere thou wold 
accuse us.' 



" Then had I noe way but for to goe an 

To gentlemens houses of ancyent name, 

Declaring my greeffes ; and there I made moane. 
And how there forfathers had held me in fame. 
And in letting of their ffarmes I alwayes used 

the same. 100 

They sayd, ' Fye upon thee ! we may thee cursse ! 

They have leases continue, and we fare the worsse.' 

" And then I was forced a begging to goe 

To husbandmens houses ; who greeved right sore, 
Who sware that their landlords had plaged them so, 

219 



That they were not able to keepe open doore, 
Nor nothing they had left to give to the pore. 
Therfore to this wood I doe repayre 
With hepps and hawes ; that is my best fare. 

'' And yet within this same desert some comfort I 

have 1 1 o 

Of mercy, of pittye, and of almes-deeds, 
Who have vowed to company me to my grave. 

Wee are ill put to silence, and live upon weeds; 
* * * 

Our banishment is their utter decay, 
The which the rich glutton will answer one day." 

"Why then," I said to him, " methinkes it were best 
To goe to the Clergee ; for dealye they preach 
Eche man to love you above all the rest ; 

Of mercy and ofpittieand ofalmes they doe teach." 
" O," said he, " no matter of a pin what they 

doe preach, i2o 

For their wives and their children soe hangs them 

upon, 
That whosoever gives almes deeds they will give none." 

Then laid he him downe, and turned him away, 

Prayd me to goe and leave him to rest, 
I told him I might happen to see the day 

To have him and his fellowes to live with the best ; 
** First," said hee, " you must banish Pride, and then 

all England were blest. 
And then those wold love us that now sells their lands. 
And then good houses everye where wold be kept out of 
hand." 



ffi 



nis 



220 



DURHAM FFEILDE 



Lordinges, listen, and hold you still ; 

Hearken to me a litle ; 
I shall you tell of the fairest battel! 

That ever in England beffell. 

For as it befell in Edward the Thirds dayes, 
In England, where he ware the crowne. 

Then all the cheefe chivalry of England 
They busked and made them bowne ; 

They chosen all the best archers 

That in England might be found, lo 

And all was to fight with the King of ffrance 

Within a litle stounde. 



And when our King was over the water, 

And on the salt sea gone. 
Then tydings into Scotland came 

That all England was gone ; 

Bowes and arrowes they were all forth, 

At home was not left a man 
But shepards and millers both. 

And preists with shaven crownes. 20 

Then the King of Scotts in a study stood. 

As he was a man of great might ; 
He sware ' he wold hold his Parlament in leeve London 

If he cold ryde there right.' 

221 



Then bespake a squier of Scottland borne, 

And sayd, " My leege, apace, 
Before you come to leeve London 

Full sore youle rue that race ! 

" Ther beene bold yeomen in merry England, 

Husbandmen stiffe and strong; 30 

Sharpes swords they done weare, 

Bearen bowes and arrowes longe. 

The King was angrye at that word, 

A long sword out hee drew. 
And there befor his royall companye 

His owne squier hee slew. 

Hard hansell had the Scottes that day 

That wrought them woe enoughe. 
For then durst not a Scott speake a word 

ffor hanging att a boughe. 40 

" The Earle of Anguish, where art thou ? 

In my coate armor thou shalt bee, 
And thou shalt lead the forward 

Thorrow the English countrye. 

" Take th[ee] Yorke," then sayd the King, 

" In stead wheras it doth stand ; 
He make thy eldest sonne after thee 

Hey re of all Northumberland. 

"The Earle of Vaughan, where be yee? 

In my coate armor thou shalt bee; 50 

The High Peak and Darbyshire 

I give it thee to thy fee." 

222 



Then came in [J]am[e]s Douglas, 

Saies, " What shall my meede bee 
And He lead the vawward, Lord, 

Thorow the English countrye ? " 

" Take thee Worster," sayd the King, 

" Tuxburye, Killingworth, Burton upon Trent ; 
Doe thou not say another day 

But I have given thee lands and rent. 60 

'' Sir Richard of Edenborrow, where are yee, 

A wise man in this warr? 
He give thee Bristow and the shire 

The time that wee come there. 

" My Lord Nevill, where beene yee? 

You must in this warres bee ! 
He give thee Shrewsburye," saies the King, 

" And Coventrye faire and free. 

" My Lord of Hambleton, where art thou ? 

Thou art of my kin full nye ; 70 

He give thee Lincolne and Lincolneshire, 

And thats enouge for thee." 

By then came in William Douglas 

As breeme as any bore ; 
He kneeled him downe upon his knees, 

In his hart he sighed sore, 

Saies, " I have served you, my lovelye leege. 

This thirty winters and four. 
And in the Marches betweene England and Scottland 

I have beene wounded and beaten sore; 80 



223 



" For all the good service that I have done, 

What shall my meed bee 
And I will lead the vanward 

Thorrow the English countrye ? " 

" Aske on, Douglas," said the King, 

" And granted it shall bee." 
" Why then, I aske litle London," saies William Douglas, 

" Gotten giff that it bee." 

The King was wrath, and rose away, 

Saies, " Nay, that cannot bee! 90 

For that I will keepe for my cheefe chamber, 

Gotten if it bee ; 

" But take thee North Wales and Weschaster, 

The cuntrye all round about. 
And rewarded thou shalt bee. 

Of that take thou noe doubt." 

Five score knights he made on a day. 

And dubbd them with his hands ; 
Rewarded them right worthilye 

With the townes in merry England. 100 

And when the fresh knights they were made. 

To battell they buske them bowne ; 
James Douglas went before. 

And he thought to have wonnen him shoone. 

But they were mett in a morning of May 

With the comminaltye of litle England ; 

But there scaped never a man away 

Through the might of Christes hand, 

224 



But all onely James Douglas ; 

In Durham in the ffcild no 

An arrow stroke him in the thye. 

Fast flinges he towards the King. 

The King looked toward litle Durham, 

Sales, " All things is not well ! 
For James Dowglas beares an arrow in his thye, 

The head of it is of Steele. 

" How now, James? " then said the King, 

" How now, how may this bee ? 
And where beene all thy merrymen 

That thou tooke hence with thee?" 120 

" But cease, my King," sales James Douglas, 

" Alive is not left a man ! " 
" Now by my faith," sales the King of Scottes, 

" That gate was evill gone ; 

" But He revenge thy quarrell well. 

And of that thou may be faine ; 
For one Scott will beate five Englishmen 

If they meeten them on the plaine." 

" Now hold your tounge," sales James Douglas, 

" For in faith that is not soe; 130 

For one English man is worth five Scotts 
When they meeten together thoe ; 

" For they are as egar men to fight 

As a faulcon upon a pray. 
Alas ! if ever they winne the vanward. 

There scapes noe man away." 

2 G 225 



" O peace thy talking," said the King, 

" They bee but EngUsh knaves, 
But shepards and millers both. 

And 7nass preists with their staves." 140 

The King sent forth one of his heralds of armes 

To vew the Englishmen. 
" Be of good cheere," the herald said, 

" For against one wee bee ten." 

" Who leades those ladds? " said the King of Scottes, 

" Thou herald, tell thou mee." 
The herald said, " The Bishopp of Durham 

Is captaine of that companye ; 

" For the Bishopp hath spred the Kings banner 

And to battell he buskes him bowne." 150 

" I sweare by St. Andrewes bones," saies the King, 
" He rapp that preist on the crowne ! " 



Second Part 



The King looked towards litle Durham, 

And that hee well beheld, 
That the Earle Percy was well armed. 

With his battell axe entred the feild. 



The King looket againe towards litle Durham, 

Four ancyents there see hee ; 
There were to standards, six in a valley, 

He cold not see them with his eye. 160 

226 



My Lord of Yorke was one of them, 

My Lord of Carlile was the other ; 
And my Lord ffluwilliams, 

The one came with the other. 

The Bishopp of Durham commanded his men, 

And shortlye he them bade, 
' That never a man shold goe to the feild to fight 

Till he had served his God.' 

Five hundred preists said masse that day 

In Durham in the feild; 170 

And afterwards, as I hard say. 

They bare both speare and sheeld. 

The Bishopp of Durham orders himselfe to fight 

With his battell axe in his hand ; 
He said, " This day now I will fight 

As long as I can stand ! " 

" And soe will I," sayd my Lord of Carlile, 

In this faire morning gay ; " 
*' And soe will I," said my Lord ffluwilliams, 

" For Mary, that myld may." 180 

Our English archers bent their bowes 

shortlye and anon. 
They shott over the Scottish oast 

And scantlye toucht a man. 

" Hold downe your hands," sayd the Bishopp of Durham, 

" My archers good and true." 
The second shoote that they shott. 

Full sore the Scottes itt rue. 



22'] 



The Bishopp of Durham spoke on hye, 

That both partyes might heare, 190 

" Be of good cheere, my merrymen all, 

The Scotts flyen, and changen there cheere ! " 

But as they saidden, soe they didden, 

They fell on heapes hye ; 
Our Englishmen laid on with their bowes 

As fast as they might dree. 

The King of Scotts in a studye stood 

Amongst his companye, 
An arrow stoke him thorrow the nose 

And thorrow his armorye. 200 

The King went to a marsh side 

And light beside his steede, 
He leaned him downe on his sword hilts 

To let his nose bleede. 

There followed him a yeaman of merry England, 

His name was John of Coplande : 
" Yeeld thee, traytor ! " sales Coplande then, 

" Thy liffe lyes in my hand." 

" How shold I yeeld me," sayes the King, 

" And thou art noe gentleman? " 210 

" Noe, by my troth," sayes Copland there, 
" I am but a poore yeaman ; 

" What art thou better then I, Sir King? 

Tell me if that thou can ! 
What art thou better then I, Sir King, 

Now we be but man to man ? " 

228 



The King smote angerly at Copland then, 

Angcrly in that stonde ; 
And then Copland was a bold yeaman, 

And bore the King to the ground. 220 

He sett the King upon a palfrey, 

Himselfe upon a steede. 
He tooke him by the bridle rayne, 

Towards London he can him lead. 

And when to London that he came. 

The King from ffrance was new come home, 

And there unto the King of Scottes 
He sayd these words anon, 

" How like you my shepards and my millers, 

My priests with shaven crownes? " 230 

" By my fayth, they are the sorest fighting men 
That ever I mett on the ground ; 

" There was never a yeaman in merry England, 
But he was worth a Scottish knight ! " 

" I, by my troth," said King Edward, and laughe, 
" For you fought all against the right." 

But now the Prince of merry England 

Worthilye under his sheelde 
Hath taken the King of ffrance 

At Poytiers in the ffeelde. • 240 

The Prince did present his father with that food, 

The lovely King off ffrance. 
And fforward of his journey he is gone : 

God send us all pfood chance ! 



229 



"You are welcome, brother!" sayd the King of Scotts, 

" For I am come hither to soone ; 
Christ leeve that I had taken my way 

Unto the court of Roome ! " 

" And soe wold I," said the King of ffrance, 

"When I came over the streame, 250 

That I had taken my journey 
Unto Jerusalem." 

Thus ends the battell of ffaire Durham 

In one morning of May, 
The battell of Cressey, and the battle of Potyers, 

All within one monthes day. 

Then was welthe and welfare in mery England, 

Solaces, game, and glee. 
And every man loved other well, 

And the King loved good yeomanrye. 260 

But God, that made the grasse to growe, 

And leaves on greenwoode tree. 
Now save and keepe our noble King, 

And maintaine good yeomanry ! 



ffi 



nis 



230 



GUY AND PHILLIS 



In Winsor fforrest I did slay 

A bore of passing might and strenght, 
Whose like in England never was 

For hugnesse, both for breadth and lenght ; 

Some of his bones in Warwicke yett 

Within the Castle there doth lye ; 
One of his sheeld bones to this day 

Doth hang in the citye of Coventrye. 

On Dunsmore Heath I alsoe slewe 

A mighty e wyld and cruell beast lo 

Calld the Duncow of Dunsmore Heath, 

Which many people had opprest ; 

Some of her bones in Warwicke yett 

There for a monument doth lye, 
Which unto every lookers veue 

As wonderous strange they may espye. 

Another dragon in this land 

In light I alsoe did destroye, 
Who did bothe men and beasts opresse. 

And all the countrye sore anoye ; 20 

And then to Warwicke came againe 

Like pilgrim poore, and was not knowen; 

And there I lived a hermitts liffe, 

A mile and more out of the towne ; 



231 



where with my hands I hewed a house 

Out of a craggy rocke of stone, 
And lived like a palmer poore 

Within the cave my selfe alone ; 

And daylye came to begg my foode 

Of Phillis att my castle gate, 30 

Not knowing to my loved wiffe, 

Who daylye moned for her mate ; 

Till att the last I fell soe sicke. 

Yea, sicke soe sore that I must dye. 
I sent to her a ring of gold 

By which shee knew me presentlye ; 

Then shee, repairing to the [c]ave, 

Befor that I gave up the ghost 
Shee closed up my dying eyes. 

My Phillis faire, whom I loved most. 40 

Thus dreadfull death did me arrest. 

To bring my corpes unto the grave ; 
And like a palmer dyed I, 

Wherby I sought my soule to save. 

My body that endured this toyle, 

Tho now it be consumed to mold, — 

My statue ingraven in [stone] 

This present time you may behold. 



ffinis 



232 



JOHN : A : SIDE 



Peeter a Whifeild he hath slaine ; 

And John a Side, he is tane ; 
And John is bound both hand and foote, 

And to the New-castle he is g[a]ne. 

But tydinges came to the Sybill o the Side, 
By the water side as shee rann ; 

Shee tooke her kirtle by the hem. 

And fast shee runn to Mangerton. 



The lord was sett downe at his meate ; 
When these tydings shee did him tell, lo 

Never a morsell might he eate. 



But lords they wrunge their fingars white, 

Ladyes did pull themselves by the haire. 

Crying, '' Alas, and weladay ! 

For John o the Side wee shall never see more ! 



" But weele goe sell our droves of kine, 

And after them our oxen sell. 
And after them our troopes of sheepe. 

But wee will loose him out of the New-castell." 



But then bespake him Hobby Noble, 20 

And spoke these words wonderous hye, 

Sayes," Give me five men to my selfe, 

And He feitch John o the Side to thee." 



2 H 



"Yea, thoust have five, Hobby Noble, 

Of the best that are in this countrye ! 
He give thee five thousand. Hobby Noble, 

That walke in Tyvidale trulye." 

" Nay, He have but five," sales Hobby Noble, 

" That shall walke away with mee ; 
Wee will ryde like noe men of warr ; 30 

But like poore badgers wee wilbe." 

They stuffet up all their baggs with straw. 

And their steeds barefoot must bee ; 
" Come on, my bretheren," sayes Hobby Noble, 

" Come on your wayes, and goe with mee." 

And when they came to Culerton Ford, 

The water was up, they cold it not goe ; 

And then they were ware of a good old man. 
How his boy and hee were at the plowe. 

" But stand you still," sayes Hobby Noble, 40 

" Stand you still heere at this shore. 
And I will ryde to yonder old man. 

And see were the gate it lyes ore. 

" But Christ you save, father," quoth hee, 

Crist both you save and see ! 
Where is the way over this fford ? 

For Christs sake tell itt mee ! " 

" But I have dwelled heere three score yeere, 
Soe have I done three score and three ; 

I never sawe man nor horsse goe ore 50 

Except itt were a horse of three." 

23+ 



" But fare thou well, thou good old man ; 

The devill in hell I leave with thee ! 
Noe better comfort heere this night 

Thow gives my bretheren heere and me." 

But when he came to his brether againe, 

And told this tydings full of woe, 
And then they found a well good gate 

They might ryde ore by two and two. 

And when they were come over the fforde, 60 

All safe gotten att the last, 
" Thankes be to God ! " sayes Hobby Nobble, 

The worst of our perill is past." 

And then they came into Howbrame Wood, 

And there then they found a tree, 
And cutt itt downe then by the roote ; 

The lenght was thirty ffoote and three. 

And four of them did take the planke 

As light as it had beene a fflee. 
And carry ed itt to the Newcastle 70 

Where as John a Side did lye : 

And some did climbe up by the walls. 

And some did climbe up by the tree, 

Untill they came upp to the top of the Castle 
Where John made his moane trulye : 

He sayd, " God be with thee, Sybill o the Side! 

My owne mother thou art," quoth hee, 
" If thou knew this knight I were here, 

A woe woman then woldest thou bee ! 



235 



" And fare you well, Lord Mangerton ! 80 

And ever I say ' God be with thee ! ' 
For if you knew this night I were heere, 

You wold sell your land for to loose mee. 

"And fare thou well, Much Millers sonne ! 

Much Millars sonne, I say; 
Thou has beene better at merke midnight 

Then ever thou was att noone o the day. 

"And fare thou well, my good Lord Clough ! 

Thou art thy ffathers sonne and heire ; 
Thou never saw him in all thy lifFe, 90 

But with him durst thou breake a speare. 

" Wee are brothers childer nine or ten, 

And sisters children ten or eleven ; 
We never come to the feild to fight, 

But the worst of us was counted a man." 

But then bespake him Hoby Noble, 

And spake these words unto him, 
" Sales, " Sleepest thou, wakest thou, John o the Side, 

Or art thou this Castle within ? " 

" But who is there," quoth John oth Side, 100 

" That knowes my name soe right and free? " 

" I am a bastard brother of thine ; 

This night I am comen for to loose thee." 

" Now nay, now nay," quoth John othe Side, 
" Itt fFeares me sore that will not bee ; 

ffor a pccke of gold and silver," John sayd, 
" Infiith this night will not loose mee." 

236 



But then bespake him Hobby Noble, 

And till his brother thus sayd hee, 
Sayes, " Four shall take this matter in hand, tio 

And two shall tent our geldings fTree." 

For four did breake one dore without. 

Then John brake five himsell ; 
But when they came to the iron dore. 

It smote twelve upon the bell. 

" Itt ffeares me sore," sayd Much the Miller, 

" That heere taken wee all shalbee." 
" But goe away, bretheren," sayd John a Side, 

" For ever, alas ! this will not bee." 

" But ffye upon thee! " sayd Hobby Noble; 120 

" Much the Miller ! fye upon thee ! 
" It sore feares me," said Hobby Noble, 

" Man that thou wilt never bee." 

But then he had fflanders files two or three. 

And hee fyled downe that iron dore. 
And tooke John out of the New-castle, 

And sayd, " Looke thou never come heere more ! " 

When he had him fforth of the Newcastle, 

" Away with me, John, thou shalt ryde." 

But ever alas! itt cold not bee; 130 

For John cold neither sitt nor stryde. 

But then he had sheets two or three. 

And bound Johns boults fast to his iTeete, 

And sett him on a well good steede, 

Himselfe on another by him seete. 

237 



Then Hobby Noble smiled and louge, 

And spoke these words in mickle pryde, 

" Thou sitts soe finely on thy geldinge 

That, John, thou rydes like a bryde." 

And when they came thorrow Howbrame towne, 140 
Johns horsse there stumbled at a stone; 

" Out and alas ! " cryed Much the Miller, 
" John, thoule make us all be tane." 

" But fye upon thee ! " saies Hobby Noble, 

" Much the Millar, fye on thee ! 
I know full well," sayes Hobby Noble, 

" Man that thou wilt never bee ! " 

And when they came into Howbrame wood, 

He had fflanders files two or three 
To file Johns bolts beside his ffeete, 150 

That hee might ryde more easilye. 

Sayes John, " Now leape over a steede," 

And John then hee lope over five : 
" I know well," sayes Hobby Noble, 

" John, thy fellow is not alive ! " 

Then he brought him home to Mangerton ; 

The lord then he was att his meate ; 
But when John o the Side he there did see, 

For faine hee cold noe more eate ; 

He sayes, " Blest be thou, Hobby Noble, 160 

That ever thou wast man borne ! 
Thou hast feitched us home good John oth Side 

That was now cleane ffrom us gone ! " 

ffinis 

238 



RISINGE IN THE NORTHE 



Listen, lively lordings all, 

And all that beene this place within ! 
If youle give eare unto my songe, 

I will tell you how this geere did begin. 

It was the good Erie of Westmorlande, 

A noble erle was called hee ; 
And he wrought treason against the crowne ; 

Alas, itt was the more pittye ! 

And soe itt was the Erie of Northumberland, 

Another good noble erle was hee, lo 

They tooken both upon one part. 

Against their crowne they wolden bee. 

Earle Pearcy is into his garden gone. 

And after walkes his awne ladye ; 
" I heare a bird sing in my eare 

That I must either ffight or fflee." 



*' God fforbidd," shee sayd, " good my lord, 

That ever soe that it shalbee ! 
But goe to London to the court. 

And faire ffall truth and honesty e! " 20 

*' But nay, now nay, my ladye gay. 

That ever it shold soe bee ; 
My treason is knowen well enoughe; 

Att the court I must not bee." 



239 



" But goe to the court yet, good my lord, 

Take men enowe with thee ; 
If any man will doe you wronge. 

Your warrant they may bee." 

" But nay, now nay, my lady gay, 

For soe itt must not bee; 30 

If I goe to the court, ladye. 

Death will strike me, and I must dye." 

" But goe to the court yett, good my lord, 

I my-selfe will ryde with thee ; 
If any man will doe you wronge, 

Your borrow I shalbee." 

" But nay, now nay, my lady gay. 

For soe it must not bee ; 
For if I goe to the court, ladye, 

Thou must me never see. 40 

" But come hither, thou litle footpage. 

Come thou hither unto mee. 
For thou shalt goe a message to Master Norton 

In all the hast that ever may bee : 

" Comend me to that gentleman ; 

Bring him here this letter from mee. 
And say, ' I pray him earnestlye 

That hee will ryde in my companye.' " 

But one while the foote page went, 

Another while he rann ; 50 

Untill he came to Master Norton, 

The ffoot page never blanne ; 

240 



And when he came to Master Nortton, 

He kneeled on his knee, 
And tooke the letter betwixt his hands, 

And lett the gentleman it see. 

And when the letter itt was reade 

Affore all his companye, 
I-wis, if you wold know the truth, 

There was many a weeping eye. 60 

He said, *' Come hither, Kester Nortton, 

A ffine fFellow thou seemes to bee ; 
Some good councell, Kester Nortton, 

This day doe thou give to mee." 

" Marry, He give you councell, ffather. 

If youle take councell att me. 
That if you have spoken the word, father. 

That backe againe you doe not flee." 

" God amercy, Christopher Nortton, 

I say, God amercye ! 70 

If I doe live and scape with lifFe, 

Well advanced shalt thou bee ; 

*' But come you hither, my nine good sonnes. 

In mens estate I thinke you bee ; 
How many of you, my children deare, 

On my part that wilbe ? " 

But eight of them did answer soone. 

And spake ffull hastilye, 
Sayes, " We wilbe on your part, ffather, 

Till the day that we doe dye." 80 

2 I 241 



" But God amercy, my children deare, 

And ever I say Godamercy ! 
And yett my blessing you shall have, 

Whether-soever I live or dye. 

" But what sayst thou, thou ffrancis Nortton, 
Mine eldest sonne and mine heyre trulye? 

Some good councell, ffrancis Nortton, 
This day thou give to me." 

" But I will give you councell, ffather. 

If you will take councell att mee ; 90 

For if you wold take my councell, father. 

Against the crowne you shold not bee." 

" But ffye upon thee, ffrancis Nortton! 

I say ffye upon thee ! 
When thou was younge and tender of age 

I made ffull much of thee." 

" But your head is white, ffather," he sayes, 
"And your beard is wonderous gray; 

Itt were shame ffor your countrye 

If you shold rise and fflee away." 100 

" But ffye upon thee, thou coward ffrancis! 

Thou never tookest that of mee ! 
When thou was younge and tender of age 

I made too much of thee." 

" But I will goe with you, father," quoth hee; 

" Like a naked man will I bee; 
He tliat strikes the first stroake against the crowne. 

An ill death may hee dye ! " 

242 



But then rose upp Master Nortton that esquier, 

With him a ffull great companye; no 

And then the erles they comen downe 
To ryde in his companye. 

Att Whethersbye they mustered their men 

Upon a ffull fayre day ; 
Thirteen thousand there were seene 

To stand in battel ray. 

The Erie of Westmoreland, he had in his ancyent 

The Dume Bull in sight most hye, 
And Three Doggs with golden collers 

Were sett out royallye. 120 

The Erie of Northumberland, he had in his ancyent 

The Halfe Moone in sight soe hye, 
As the Lord was crucifyed on the crosse. 

And sett forthe pleasantlye. 

And after them did rise good Sir George Bowes, 

After them a spoyle to make ; 
The erles returned backe againe. 

Thought ever that knight to take. 

This barron did take a castle then, 

Was made of lime and stone; 130 

The uttermost walls were ese to be woon ; 

The erles have woon them anon ; 

But tho they woone the uttermost walls 

Quickly and anon, 
The innermust walles they cold not winn, 

They were made of a rocke of stone. 

243 



But newes itt came to leeve London 

In all they speede that ever might bee ; 

And word it came to our royall Queene 

Of all the rebells in the north countrye. 140 

Shee turned Her Grace then once about, 
And like a royall Queene shee sware, 

Sayes, " I will ordaine them such a breake-fast 

As was not in the north this thousand yeere ! " 

Shee caused thirty thousand men to be made 
With horsse and harneis all quicklye ; 

And shee caused thirty thousand men to be made 
To take the rebells in the north countrye. 

They tooke with them the false Erie of Warwicke, 

Soe did they many another man ; 150 

Untill they came to Yorke castle, 

I-wis, they never stinted nor blan. 

" Spread thy ancyent, Erie of Westmoreland ! 

The Halfe Moone IFaine wold wee see ! " 
But the Halfe Moone is fled and gone, 

And the Dun Bull vanished awaye ; 
And ffrancis Nortton and his eight sonnes 

Are ffled away most cowardlye. 

Ladds with mony are counted men, 

Men without mony are counted none; 160 

But hold your tounge ! why say you soe ? 

Men wilbe men when mony is gone. 



ffini 



IS 



244 



NORTHUMBERLAND BETRAYD BY DOWGLAS 

Now list and lithe you, gentlemen, 

And 1st tell you the veretye. 
How they have delt with a banished man, 

Driven out of his countrye. 

When as hee came on Scottish ground. 

As woe and wonder be them amonge, 

ffull much was there traitorye 

They wrought the Erie of Northumberland. 

When they were att the supper sett, 

Beffore many goodly gentlemen lo 

They ffell a fflouting and mocking both, 

And said to the Erie of Northumberland, 

" What makes you be soe sad, my Lord, 
And in your mind soe sorrowffuUye ? 

In the north of Scottland to-morrow theres a shooting. 
And thither thoust goe, my Lord Percye. 

" The buttes are sett, and the shooting is made, 
And there is like to be great royaltye. 

And I am sworne into my bill 

Thither to bring my Lord Pearcy." 20 

" He give thee my land, Douglas," he sayes, 

And be the faith in my bodye, 
If that thou wilt ryde to the worlds end. 

He ryde in thy companye." 

And then bespake the good Ladye, — 

Marry a Douglas was her name, — 
" You shall byde here, good English lord ; 

My brother is a traiterous man ; 

245 



" He is a traitor stout and stronge, 

As 1st tell you the veretye, 30 

For he hath tane liverance of the Erie, 

And into England he will livor thee." 

" Now hold thy tounge, thou goodlye Ladye, 

And let all this talking bee ; 
ffor all the gold thats in Long Leven, 

William wold not livor mee ! 

" It wold breake truce betweene England and Scottland, 
And freinds againe they wold never bee 

If he shold livor a banisht Erie 

Was driven out of his owne countrye." 40 

" Hold your tounge, my Lord," shee sayes, 

" There is much ffalsehood them amonge ; 

When you are dead, then they are done, 

Soone they will part them freinds againe. 

" If you will give me any trust, my Lord, 

He tell you how you best may bee ; 
Youst lett my brother ryde his wayes. 

And tell those English lords trulye 

How that you cannot with them ryde 

Because you are in an ile of the sea ; 50 

Then, ere my brother come againe. 

To Edenborrow Castle lie carry thee ; 

" lie livor you unto the Lord Hume, 

And you know a trew Scothe lord is hee, 

For he hath lost both land and goods 
In ayding of your good bodye." 

246 



" Marry, I am woe ! woman," he sayes, 

" That any freind fares worse for mee ; 

For where one saith ' It is a true tale,' 

Then two will say ' It is a lye.' 60 

" When I was att home in my rea/me^ 

Amonge my tennants all trulye, 
In my time of losse, wherin my need stoode. 

They came to ayd me honestlye ; 

" Therfore I left many a child ffatherlese, 
And many a widdow to looke wanne ; 

And therfore blame nothing, Ladye, 

But the woeffull warres which I began." 

" If you will give me noe trust, my Lord, 

Nor noe credence you will give mee, 70 

And youle come hither to my right hand. 

Indeed, my Lord, He lett you see." 

Saies, " I never loved noe witchcraft, 

Nor never dealt with treacherye, 
But evermore held the hye way ; 

Alas, that may be scene by mee ! " 

" If you will not come your selfe, my Lord, 

Youle lett your chamberlaine goe with mee. 

Three words that I may to him speake. 

And soone he shall come againe to thee." 80 

When James Swynard came that Lady before, 

Shee let him see thorrow the weme of her ring 

How many there was of English lords 

To wayte there for his master and him. 

247 



" But who beene yonder, my good Ladye, 

That walkes soe royallye on yonder greene ? " 

" Yonder is Lord Hunsden, Jamye," she saye ; 

" Alas, heele doe you both tree and teene ! " 

*' And who beene yonder, thou gay Ladye, 

That walkes soe royallye him beside ? " 90 

" Yond is Sir William Drurye, Jamye," shee sayd, 
" And a keene captain hee is, and tryde." 

*' How many miles is itt, thou good Ladye, 
Betwixt yond English lord and mee ? " 

" Marry, thrise fifty mile, Jamy," shee sayd, 
*' And even to seale and by the sea : 

" I never was on English ground, 

Nor never see itt with mine eye. 
But as my witt and wisedome serves. 

And as the Booke it telleth mee. 100 

" My mother, shee was a witch woman, 

And part of itt shee learned mee ; 
Shee wold let me see out of Lough Leven 

What they dyd in London cytye." 

" But who is yond, thou good Layde, 

That comes yonder with an osterne fface ? " 

" Yonds Sir John iTorster, Jamye," shee sayd ; 

" Methinkes thou sholdest better know him then L" 

" Even soe I doe, my goodlye Ladye, 

And ever alas, soe woe am I! no 

He pulled his hatt over his eyes. 

And, Lord, he wept soe tenderlye ! 
He is gone to his master againe. 

And even to tell him the veretye. 

248 



" Now hast thou beene with Marry, Jamy," he sayd, 
" Even as thy tounge will tell to mee ; 

But if thou trust in any womans words, 

Thou must refraine good companye." 

*' It is noe words, my Lord," he sayes, 

" Yonder the men shee letts me see, I20 

How many English lords there is 

Is wayting there for you and mee ; 

" Yonder I see the Lord Hunsden, 

And hee and you is of the third degree ; 

A greater enemye, indeed, my Lord, 
In England none have yee." 

" And I have beene in Lough Leven 

The most part of these yeeres three : 
Yett had I never noe out-rake. 

Nor good games that I cold see; 130 

*' And I am thus bidden to yonder shooting 

By William Douglas all trulye ; 
Therfore speake never a word out of thy mouth 

That thou thinkes will hinder mee." 

Then he writhe the gold ring of his ffingar 

And gave itt to that Ladye gay ; 
Sayes, " That was a legacye left unto mee 

In Harley woods where I cold bee." 

" Then ffarewell hart, and farewell hand, 

And ffarwell all good companye! 140 

That woman shall never beare a sonne 

Shall know soe much of your privitye." 

2 K 249 



" Now hold thy tounge, Ladye," hee sayde, 
" And make not all this dole for mee, 

For I may well drinke, but 1st never eate, 
Till againe in Lough Leven I bee." 

He tooke his boate att the Lough Leven 

For to sayle now over the sea, 
And he hath cast upp a silver wand, 

Saies, " Fare thou well, my good Ladye! " 150 
The Ladye looked over her left sholder ; 

In a dead swoone there fell shee. 

" Goe backe againe, Douglas ! " he sayd, 

" And I will goe in thy companye, 
For sudden sicknesse yonder Lady has tane. 

And ever, alas, shee will but dye ! 

" If ought come to yonder Ladye but good. 

Then blamed fore that I shall bee, 
Because a banished man I am. 

And driven out of my owne countrye." 160 

" Come on, come on, my Lord," he sayes, 

" And lett all such talking bee ; 
Theres ladyes enow in Lough Leven, 

And for to cheere yonder gay Ladye." 

" And you will not goe your selfe, my Lord, 

You will lett my chamberlaine goe with mee ; 

Wee shall now take our boate againe. 

And soone wee shall overtake thee." 

" Come on, come on, my Lord," he sayes, 

" And lett now all this talking bee! 170 

ffor my sister is craftye enoughe 

For to beguile thousands such as you and mee." 

250 



when they had sayled fifty myle, 

Now fifty mile upon the sea, 
Hee had fit^rgotten a message that hee 

Shold doe in Lough Leven trulye : 
Hee asked ' How ffarr it was to that shooting 

That William Douglas promised mee.' 

Now faire words makes fooles faine ; 

And that may be seene by thy master and thee ; i8o 
ffor you may happen think itt soone enoughe 

When-ever you that shooting see." 

Jamye pulled his hatt now over his browe ; 

I wott the teares fell in his eye ; 
And he is to his master againe, 

And ffor to tell him the veretye : 

" He sayes, ' Fayre words makes fooles faine,' 
And that may be seene by you and mee, 

ffor wee may happen thinke itt soone enoughe 

When-ever wee that shooting see." igo 

" Hold upp thy head, Jamye," the Erie sayd. 

And never lett thy hart fayle thee ; 
He did itt but to prove thee with. 

And see how thow wold take with death trulye." 

When they had sayled other fifty mile. 

Other fifty mile upon the sea, 
Lord Peercy called to him, himselfe. 

And sayd, " Douglas, what wilt thou doe with mee?" 

" Looke that your brydle be wight, my Lord, 

That you may goe as a shipp att sea; 200 

Looke that your spurres be bright and sharpe. 

That you may pricke her while sheele awaye." 

251 



" what needeth this, Douglas," he sayth, 

" That thou needest to ffloute mee ? 
For I was counted a horsseman good 

Before that ever I mett with thee. 

" A ffalse Hector hath my horsse ; 

And ever an evill death may hee dye ! 
And Willye Armestronge hath my spurres 

And all the geere belongs to mee." 210 

When they had sayled other fifty mile. 

Other fifty mile upon the sea, 
They landed low by Barwicke side ; 

A deputed [lord] landed Lord Percye. 



ffi 



nis 



252 



GUYE OF GISBORNE 



When shales beeene sheene, and shradds Rill fayre, 

And leeves both large and longe, 
Itt is merrry walking in the fayre fforrest 

To heare the small birds s[o]nge. 

The woodweete sang and wold not cease 
Amongst the leaves a lyne ; 

* * * 

" And it is by two wight yeomen, 
By deare God that I meane : 

" Me thought they did mee beate and binde, 

And tooke my bow mee froe ; i o 

If I bee Robin a-live in this lande, 

He be wrocken on both them towe." 

" Sweevens are swift, master," quoth John, 
" As the wind that blowes ore a hill ; 

ftor if itt be never soe lowde this night, 
To-morrow it may be still." 

" Buske yee, bowne yee, my merry men all ! 

ffor John shall goe with mee ; 
For He goe seeke yond wight yeomen 

In greenwood where they bee." 20 

They cast on their gowne of greene ; 

A shooting gone are they 
Untill they came to the merry greenwood 

Where they had gladdest bee ; 
There were they ware of a wight yeoman ; 

His body leaned to a tree, 

253 



A sword and a dagger he wore by his side, 

Had beene many a mans bane, 
And he was cladd in his capull hyde, 

Topp, and tayle, and mayne. 30 

" Stand you still, master," quoth Litle John, 

" Under this trusty tree. 
And I will goe to yond wight yeoman 

To know his meaning trulye." 

" A, John ! by me thou setts noe store, 

And thats a ffarley thinge ; 
How offt send I my men beffore. 

And tarry my-selfe behinde? 

" It is noe cunning a knave to ken. 

And a man but heare him speake ; 4.0 

And itt were not for bursting of my^bowe, 

John, I wold thy head breake." 

But often words they breeden ball ; 

That parted Robin and John ; 
John is gone to Barnsdale, 

The gates he knowes eche one. 

And when hee came to Barnesdale, 

Great heavinesse there hee hadd ; 
He ffound two of his own fellowes 

Were slaine both in a slade, 50 

And Scarlett a ffoote flyinge was 

Over stockes and stone. 
For the Sherifte with seven score men 

Fast after him is gone. 

254 



" Yett one shoote lie shoote," sayes Litle John; 

" With Crist his might and mayne 
He make yond fellow that flyes soe fast 

To be both glad and ffaine. ' 

John bent up a good veivve bow, 

And ffetteled him to shoote ; 60 

The bow was made of a tender boughe, 

And fell downe to his foote. 

"Woe worth thee, wicked wood!" sayd Litle John, 

" That ere thou grew on a tree ! 
ffor this day thou art my bale, 

My boote when thou shold bee ! " 

This shoote it was but looselye shott. 

The arrowe flew in vaine. 
And it mett one of the Sheriffes men : 

Good William a Trent was slaine. 70 

It had beene better for a William Trent 

To hange upon a gallowe 
Then for to lye in the greenwoode 

There slaine with an arrowe. 

And it is sayd, when men be mett, 

Six can doe more then three : 
And they have tane Litle John 

And bound him flast to a tree. 

" Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe," quoth the 
Sherifl^e, 

" And hanged hye on a hill." 80 

" But thou may fluyle," quoth Litle John, 

" If itt be Christs owne will." 



255 



Let us leave talking of Litle John, 

For hee is bound fast to a tree, 
And talke of Guy and Robin Hood 

In they green woode where they bee ; 

How these two yeomen together they mett 

Under the leaves of lyne, 
To see what marchandise they made 

Even at that same time. go 

" Good morrow, good fellow! " quoth Sir Guy ; 

"Good morrow, good ffellow ! " quoth hee; 
" Methinkes by this bow thou beares in thy hand, 

A good archer thou seems to bee." 

" I am wilfull of my way," quoth Sir Guye, 

" And of my morning tyde." 
" He lead thee through the wood," quoth Robin, 

" Good ffellow, He be thy guide." 

" I seeke an outlawe," quoth Sir Guye, 

" Men call him Robin Hood; lOO 

I had rather meet with him upon a day 

Then forty pounds of golde." 

" If you tow mett, itt wold be scene whether were better 

Afore yee did part awaye ; 
Let us some other pastime find. 

Good ffellow, I thee pray. 

" Let us some other masteryes make. 

And wee will walke in the woods even, 

Wee may chance meet with Robin Hoode 

Att some unsett Steven." no 

256 



They cutt them downe t[wo] summer shroggs 

Which grew both under a bryar, 
And sett them three score rood in twinn 

To shoote the prickes full neare. 

" Leade on, good ffellow," sayd Sir Guye, 

" Lead on, I doe bidd thee." 
" Nay, by my faith," quoth Robin Hood, 

" The leader thou shalt bee." 

The first good shoot that Robin ledd, 

Did not shoote an inch the pricke ffroe. 120 

Guy was an archer good enoughe. 

But he cold neere shoote soe. 

The second shoote Sir Guy shott, 

He shott within the garlande ; 
But Robin Hoode shott it better then hee, 

For he clove the good pricke wande. 

" Gods blessing on thy heart ! " sayes Guye, 
" Goode ffellow, thy shooting is goode; 

For on thy hart be as good as thy hands, 

Thou were better then Robin Hood. 130 

" Tell me thy name, good ffellow," quoth Guy, 

" Under the leaves of lyne." 
" Nay, by my faith," quoth good Robin, 

" Till thou have told me thine." 

" I dwell by dale and downe," quoth Guye, 
" And I have done many a curst turne ; 

And he that calles me by my right name, 
Calles me Guye of good Gysborne." 

2 L 257 



" My dwelling is in the wood," sayes Robin ; 

" By thee I set right nought; 140 

My name is Robin Hood of Barnesdale, 

A ffellow thou has long sought." 

He that had neither beene a kithe nor kin 

Might have seene a full fayre sight, 
To see how together these yeomen went 

With blades both browne and bright ; 

To have seene how these yeomen together fought 

Two howers of a summers day : 
Itt was neither Guy nor Robin Hood 

That ffettled them to flye away. 150 

Robin was reacheles on a roote, 

And stumbled at that tyde ; 
And Guy was quicke and nimble with-all, 

And hitt him ore the left side. 

"Ah, deere Lady!" sayd Robin Hoode, 

" Thou art both Mother and may ! 
I thinke it was never mans destinye 

To dye before his day." 

Robin thought on our Lady deere, 

And soone leapt up againe ; 160 

And thus he came with an awkwarde stroke ; 

Good Sir Guy hee has slayne. 

He tooke Sir Guys head by the hayre, 

And sticked itt on his bowes end ; 
" Thou hast beene traytor all thy liffe. 

Which thing must have an ende." 

258 



Robin pulled forth an Irish kniffe, 

And nicked Sir Guy in the fface, 
That hee was never on a woman borne 

Cold tell who Sir Guye was : 170 

Saies, " Lye there, lye there, good Sir Guye, 

And with me be not wrothe ; 
If thou have had the worse stroakes at my hand. 

Thou shalt have the better cloathe." 

Robin did on his gowne of greene. 

On Sir Guye hee did it throwe ; 
And hee put on that capull hyde 

That cladd him topp to toe. 

" The bowe, the arrowes, and litle home, 

A[ll] with me now He beare ; 180 

ffor now I will goe to Barnsdale, 

To see how my men doe ffare." 

Robin sett Guyes home to his mouth ; 

A lowd blast in it he did blow. 
That beheard the Sheriffe of Nottingham 

As he leaned under a lowe ; 

" Hearken ! hearken ! " sayd the Sheriffe, 

" I heard noe tydings but good ; 
For yonder I heare Sir Guyes home blowe, 

ffor he hath slaine Robin Hoode : 190 

" ffor yonder I heare Sir Guyes home blow, 

Itt blowes soe well in tyde, 
For yonder comes that wighty yeoman 

Cladd in his capull hyde. 

259 



" Come hither, [come hither,] thou good Sir Guy ! . 

Aske of mee what thou wilt have ! " 
" He none of thy gold," sayes Robin Hood, 

" Nor He none of itt have ; 

" But now I have slaine the master," he sayd. 

Let me goe strike the knave; 200 

This is all the reward I aske, 

Nor noe other will I have." 

" Thou art a madman," said the Shiriffe, 

" Thou sholdest have had a knights ffee. 

Seeing thy asking beene soe badd. 
Well granted it shall be." 

But Litle John heard his master speake. 

Well he knew that was his steven ; 
" Now shall I be loset," quoth Litle John, 

"With Christs might in heaven." 210 

But Robin hee hyed him towards Litle John ; 

Hee thought hee wold loose him belive. 
The Sheriffe and all his companye 

Fast after him did drive. 

" Stand abacke ! stand abacke ! " sayd Robin ; 

" Why draw you mee soe neere? 
Itt was never the use in our countrye 

Ones shrift another shold heere." 

But Robin pulled forth an Irysh kniffe. 

And losed John hand and ffoote, 220 

And gave him Sir Guyes bow in his hand. 

And bade it be his boote. 

260 



But John tooke Guyes bow in his hand, 

His arrowes were rawstye by the roote ; 

The Sherriffe saw Litle John draw a bow 
And ffettle him to shoote ; 

Towards his house in Nottingam 

He ffled full fast away, — 
And soe did all his companye, 

Not one behind did stay, — 230 

But he cold neither soe fast goe. 

Nor away soe fast r[i]nn, 
But Litle John with an arrow broade 

Did cleave his heart in twinn. 



ffinis 



261 



HEREFFORD AND NORFOLKE 



Towe noble Dukes of great renowne 

That long had lived in fFame, 
Throng ffatall envye were cast downe 

And brought to sudden bane : 

The Duke of Hereford was the one, 

A prudent prince and wise, 
Gainst whom such mallice there was showen. 

Which soone in fight did rise. 

The Duke of Norfolke most untrue 

Declared to the King, lo 

' The Duke of Hereford greatly grew 

In hatred of eche thinge 

Which by his Grace was acted still 

Against both hye and lowe. 
And how he had a traiterous will 

His state to overthrowe.' 

The Duke of Hereford then in hast 

Was sent for to the Kinge, 
And by his lords in order placet 

Examined in eche thinge; 20 

Which being guiltelesse of that crime 

Which was against him layd, 
The Duke of Norfolke at that time 

These words unto him sayd : 

" How canst thou with a shamelesse face 

Deny a truth soe stout, 
And there before his royall Grace 

Soe falselye faced itt out? 

262 



" Did not these treasons from thee passe 

When wee together were, 30 

How that the King unworthye was 

The royall crowne to weare? 

" Wherfore, my gracyous lords," quoth hee, 

" And you, his noble peeres. 
To whom I wish long liffe to bee, 

With many happy yeeres, 

" I doe pronounce, before you all. 

The Duke of Hereford here 
A traytour to our noble Kinge, 

As time shall show itt clere." 40 

The Duke of Herefford hearing that, 

In mind was greeved much. 
And did returne this answer fflatt. 

Which did Duke Norfolke tuche; 

" The terme of traytor, trothelesse Duke, 

In scorne and deepe disdaine. 
With fflatt deffyance to thy face 

I doe returne againe ! 

" And therfore, if it please your Grace 

To grant me grace," quoth hee, 50 

" To combatt with my knowen ffoe 

That hath accused mee, 

" I doe not doubt but plainlye prove, 

That like a perjured knight 
Hee hath most falslye sought my shame 

Against all truth and right." 

263 



The King did grant their just request, 

And did therto agree, 
Att Coventry in August next 

This combatt fought shold bee. 60 

The Dukes in barbed steeds full stout, 

In coates of Steele most bright. 
With speares in rest did enter list. 

The combatt feirce to ffight. 

The King then cast his warder downe, 

Commanding them to stay ; 
And with his lords some councell tooke 

To stint that mortall ffraye. 

Att lenght unto the noble Dukes 

The king of heralds came, 70 

And unto them with loftye speech 

This sentence did proclaime : 

" With Henery BuUenbrooke this day. 

The Duke of Hereford here. 
And Thomas Mawbray, Norfolkes Duke, 

Soe valyant did apeare, 

" And have in honourable sorte 

Repayred to this place ; 
Our noble King for specyall cause 

Hath altered thus the case: 80 

" ffirst, Henery Duke of Hereford, 

Ere fifteen dayes were past 
Shall part this realme, on payne of death, 

While ten yeeres space doth last. 

264. 



" And Thomas, Duke of Norfoike, thou 

That hast begun this striffe, — 
And thcrfore noe good prove can bring, 

I say, — for terme of Hffe, 

" By judgment of our soverraine Lord 

Which now in place doth stand, 90 

For evermore I banish thee 

Out off thy native land, 

" Charging thee on payne of death. 

When fifteen dayes are past. 
Thou never treade on English ground 

Soe long as liffe doth last." 

Thus were they sworne before the King 

Ere they did further passe. 
The one shold never come in place 

Wheras the other was. 100 

Then both the Dukes with heaivy hart 

Were parted presentlye, 
The uncoth streames of froward chance 

In forraine lands to trye. 

The Duke of Norfoike cominge then 

Where he shold shipping take. 
The bitter teares fell from his cheekes. 

And thus his moane did make : 

'' Now let me sob and sigh my fill 

Ere I from hence depart, no 

That inward panges with speed may burst 

My sore afflicted hart ! 

2 M 265 



" Accursed man, whose lothed liffe 

Is held soe much in scorne, 
Whose companye is cleane despised, 

And left as one forlorne, 

" Now take thy leave and last adew 

Of this thy country deare, 
Which never more thou must behold. 

Nor yett approache itt neere! 120 

" How happy shold I count my selfe. 

If death my hart had torne, 
That I might have my bones entombed 

Where I was bredd and borne ; 

" Or that by Nep tunes rathfull rage, 

I might be prest to dye, 
While that sweet Englands pleasant bankes 

Did stand before mine eye. 

" How sweete a sent hath Englands ground 

Within my sences now! 130 

How fayre unto my outward sight 

Seemes everye branch and bowe! 

" The ffeeleds, the flowers, the trees and stones, 

Seeme such unto my minde. 
That in all other countreys sure, 

The like I shall not ffinde. 

" Oh that the sun his shining face 

Wold stay his steeds by strenght ! 
That this same day might streched bee 

To twenty yeeres of lenght ; 140 

266 



*' And that they true performed tyde 

Their hasty course wold stay, 
That iEolus wold never yeeld 

To bring me hence away ! 

" That by the fountaine of mine eyes 

The ffeldes might wattered bee, 
That I might grave my greevous plaints 

Upon eche springing tree ! 

" But time, I see, with egles wings, 

I see, doth flee away, 150 

And dusty clouds begin to dimm 

The brightnesse of the day ; 

" The ffatall hower draweth on. 

The winds and tydes agree ; 
And now, sweet England, over soone 

I must depart from thee ! 

" The mariners have hoysed sayle. 

And call to catch me in. 
And in tny woefull hart doe feele 

My torments to begin. 1 60 

" Wherfore, farwell for evermore. 

Sweet England, unto thee ! 
And farewell all my freinds, which I 

Againe shall never see ! 

" And England, heere I kisse th[y] ground 

Upon my bended knee, 
Herby to shew to all they world 

How deere I loved thee." 

267 



This being sayd, away he went 

As fortune did him guide; 170 

And att the lenght, with greefe of hart, 

In Venis there he dyed. 

The other Duke in doleful! sort 

Did lead his liffe in ffrance, 
And at the last the mightye Lord 

Did him IFull hiye advance. 

The lords of England afterwards 

Did send for him againe, 
While that King Richard in the warres 

In Ireland did remaine ; 180 

Who thro the vile and great abuse 

Which through his deeds did springe, 

Deposed was, and then the Duke 
Was truly crowned Kinge. 



ffi 



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268 



LADYES FFALL 



Marke well my heavy doleful] tale, 

You loyall lovers all, 
And heedfully beare in your Brest 

A gallant Ladyes fall. 

Long was shee wooed ere shee was woone 

To lead a wedded liffe. 
But folly rought her overthrowe 

Before shee was a wiffe ; 



To soone, alas ! she gave consent. 

And yeeleded to his will, lo 

Tho he protested to be true 

And faithfull to her still. 



Shee felt her body altered quite. 

Her bright hue waxed pale, 
Her faire red cheekes changed color quite. 

Her strenght began to fayle. 

And soe with many a sorrowffull sighe. 

This bewtious Ladye milde 
With greeved hart perceived her selfe 

To be conceived with chyld. 20 

Shee kept it from her parents sight 

As close as close might bee. 
And soe put on her silken gowne 

None shold her swelling see. 

269 



Unto her lover secretly 

Her greefe shee did bewray, 
And walking with him, hand in hand. 

These words to him did say : 

" Behold," quoth shee, " a Ladyes distresse 

By love brought to your bowe ; 30 

See how I goe with chyld with thee, 
Tho none thereof doth knowe ! 

*' My litle babe springs in my wombe 

To heare it fathers voyce ; 
O lett itt not be a bastard called, 

Sith I make thee my choyce ! 

" Thinke on thy former promises, 

Thy words and vowes eche one! 
Remember with what bitter teares 

To mee thou madest thy moane! 40 

" Convay me to some secrett place, 

And marry me with speede. 
Or with thy rapyer end my liffe. 

Lest further shame proceede ! " 

" Alacke, my derest love ! " quoth hee, 

" -^y greatest joy on earthe ! i 
Which way shold I convay you hence 

To scape a sudden death ! 

" Your freinds are all of hye degree, 

And I of meane estate;} 50 

ffull hard itt is to gett you forthe 

Out of your ffathers gate." 

270 



" Dread not your liffe to save your fame ! 

For if you taken bee, 
My selfe will step betweene the sword 

To take the harme of thee ; 

" Soe may you scape dishonor quite. 

If soe you shold be slaine, 
What cold they say, but that true love 

Had wrought a Ladyes paine? 60 

" But feare not any further harme ; 

My selfe will soe devise, 
I will safelye ryd with thee 

Unknowen of morttall eyes. 

Disguised like some pretty page 

He meete thee in the darke, 
And all alone He come to thee 

Hard by my ffathers parke." 

" And there," quoth hee, " He meete my deere — 

If God doe lend me liffe — 70 

On this day month without all fayle ; 
He make thee then my wiffe." 

And with a sweet and loving kisse 

They parted presentlye, 
And att their partinge brinish teares 

Stoode in eche others eye. 

Att lenght the wished day was come 

Wherin this lovely mayd 
With longing eyes and strange attire 

For her true lover stayd. 80 

271 



If any person shee had spyed 

Came ryding ore the plaine, 
Shee thought itt was her owne true love ; 

But all her hopes was vaine ! 

Then did shee weepe, and soer bewayle 

Her most unhappy fate ; 
Then did shee speake these wofull words 

When succourles shee sate : 

*' O ffalse, fforsworne, ffaithelesse man ! 

Disloyall in thy love ! go 

Hast thou fforgott thy promise past, 

And wilt thou perjured proove ? 

" And hast thou now fforsaken mee, 

In this my greate distresse, 
To end my dayes in heavinesse 

Which well thou might redresse ? 

" Woe worth the time I did beleeve 

That fflattering toung of thine ! 
Wold God that I had never seene 

The teares of thy false eyen ! " loo 

Soe that with many a grievous groane 

Homewards shee went amaine. 
Noe rest came in her watery e eyes, 

Shee found such privy payne. 

In travell strong shee fell that night 

With many a bitter thraw : — 
What woefull paines shee felt that night 

Doth eche good woman knowe ! — 

272 



Shee called up her waiting mayds 

Who lay att her bedds feete, no 

And musing at her great woe 

Began full fast to weepe. 

"Weepe nott," shee sayth, " but shutt the dores 

And windowes all about ; 
Let none bewray my wretched state, 

But keepe all persons out ! " 

" O mistrus ! call your mother here ; 

Of women you have neede ; 
And to some skilfull midwiffe helpe 

The better may you speed." i2o 

" Call not my mother for thy liffe, 

Nor ffeitch noe woman here ! 
The midwiffes helpe comes all to late ; 

My death I doe not feare." 

With that the babe sprang from her wombe, 

Noe creature being by, 
And with one sighe which brake her hart 

This gallant dame did dye. 

The litle lovely infant younge. 

The pretty smiling babe, 130 

Resigned itt new received berath 

To Him that had it made. 

Next morning came her owne true love 

Affrighted with this newes. 
And he for sorrow slew himselfe, 

Whom eche one did accuse. 

2 N 273 



The mother, with her new borne babe, 

Were laide both in one grave ; 
Their parents, overworne with woe, 

Noe joy that they cold have. 140 

Take heed you dayntye damsells all ; 

Of flattering words beware ; 
And to the honor of your name 

Have you a specyall care. 



ffi 



nis 



274 



BUCKINGAM BETRAYD BY BANISTER 

You barons bold, marke and behold 

The thinge that I will rite ; 
A story strange and yett most true 

I purpose to endite. 

ftor the noble peere while he lived heere, 

The Duke of Buckingam, 
He fflourisht in King Edwards time. 

The fourth king of that name. 

In his service there he kept a man 

Of meane and low degree, lo 

Whom he brought up then of a chyld 

From basenesse to dignitye ; 

He gave him lands and livings good 

Wherto he was noe heyre. 
And then mached him to a gallant dame 

As rich as shee was fayre. 

It came to passe in tract of time 

His wealth did soe excell. 
His riches did surpasse them all 

That in that shire did dwell. 20 

Who was soe brave as Banister ? 

Or who durst with him contend ? 
Which wold not be desirous still 

To be his daylye freind ? 

For then it came to passe ; more woe, alas ! 

For sorrowes then began ; 
For why, the master was constraind 

To seeke succour of his man. 



275 



Then Richard the Third swaying the sword, 

Cryed himselfe a kinge, 30 

Murthered two princes in their bedds, 

Which deede great striffe did bringe. 

And then the Duke of Buckingam, 

Hating this bloody deede, 
Against the tyrant raysed an oaste 

Of armed men indeed. 

And when King Richard of this hard tell, 

A mightye ost he sent 
Against the Duke of Buckingam, 

His purpose to prevent. 40 

And when the Dukes people of this heard tell, 

fFeare ffilled their hearts eche one ; 
Many of his souldiers fledd by night. 

And left him one by one. 

In extreme need the Duke tooke a steede, 

And posted night and day 
Towards Banister his man. 

In secrett there to stay. 

" O Banister, sweet Banister ! 

Pitty thow my cause," sayes hee, 50 

" And hyde me from mine enemy es 

That here accuseth mee." 

" O, you be welcome, my Lord," hee sayes, 

" Your Grace is welcome here! 
And as my liffe He keepe you safe, 

Although it cost me deere ! " 

276 



" Be true, sweete Banister ! " sayes hee, 

O sweete Banister, be true ! " 
" Christs curse," he sayd, " on me and mine 

If ever I prove ffalse to you ! " 60 

Then the Duke cast of his veh'ett sute. 

His chaine of gold likwise. 
And soe he did his velvett capp, 

To blind the peoples eyes ; 

A lethern jerkyn on his backe, 

And lethern slopps alsoe, 
A heidging bill upon his backe, 

And soe into the woods did goe ! 

An old felt hat uppon his head. 

With twenty holes therin ; 70 

And soe in labor he spent the time. 

As tho some drudge he had beene. 

And there he lived long unknowen, 

And still unknowne might bee. 
Till Banister for hope of gaine 

Betrayd him Judaslye. 

For a proclamation there was made. 

Whosoever then cold bringe 
Newes of the Duke of Buckingam 

To Richard then our Kinge, 80 

* A thousand markes shalbe his ffee 

Of gold and silver bright, 
And then be preferred by his Grace, 

And made a worthy knight.' 

277 



And when Banister of that heard tell, 

Straight to the court sent hee, 
And soe betrayd his master good 

For lucre of that ffee. 

A herald of armes there was sent, 

And men with weapons good, 90 

Who did attach this noble Duke 

Where he was labouring in the wood. 

" Ah, ffalse Banister ! a, wreched man ! 

Ah, caitiffe ! " then sayes hee ; 
" Have I maintained thy poore estate 

To deale thus Judaslye? 

" Alas that ever I beleeved 

That fflattering tounge of thine ! 
Woe worth the time that ever I see 

That false bodye of thine! " 100 

Then ffraught with feare and many a teare, 

With sorrowes almost dead, 
This noble Duke of Buckingam 

Att Salsbury lost his head. 

Then Banister went to the court. 

Hoping this gold to have. 
But straight in prison hee was cast. 

And hard his liffe to save. 

Small ffreinds he found in his distresse, 

Nor any comfort in his need, no 

But every man reviled him 

For this his trecherous deede. 

278 



And then, according to his vvishe, 

Gods judgments did on him fall ; 
His children were consumed quite, 

His goods were wasted all ; 

ffor one of his sones for greefFe starke madd did fill ; 

The other ffor sorrow drowned was 
Within a shallow runing streame 

Where every man might passe, 120 

His daugter right of bewtye bright, 

To such lewde liffe did ffall 
That shee dyed in great miserye ; 

And thus they were wasted all. 

Old Banister lived long in shame, 

And att the lenght did dye ; 
And thus they Lord did plague them all 

ffor this his trecherye. 

Now God blesse our King and councell grave, 

In goodness still to proceed; 130 

And send every distressed man 
A better ffreind att need ! 



ffinis 



279 



EARLE BODWELL 



Woe worth thee, woe worth thee, false Scottlande ! 

ffor thou hast ever wrought by a sleight ; 
For the worthyest Prince, that ever was borne, 

You hanged under a cloud by night ! 

The Queene of ffrance a letter wrote. 

And sealed itt with hart and ringe ; 
And bade him come Scottland within. 

And shee wold marry him and crowne him King. 

To be a King, itt is a pleasant thing ; 

To bee a prince unto a peere ; i o 

But you have heard, and so have I too, 

A man may well by gold to deere. 

There was an Italyan in that place, 

Was as welbeloved as ever was hee ; 
Lord David was his name, 

Chamberlaine unto the Queene was hee. 

ffor if the King had risen forth of his place, 

He wold have sitt him downe in the cheare, 

And tho itt beseemed him not soe well, 

Altho the King had beene present there. 20 

Some lords in Scottland waxed wonderous wroth, 
And quarrelld with him for the nonce ; 

I shall you tell how itt beffell ; 

Twelve daggers were in him all att once. 

280 



when this Queene see the chamberlaine was slahie, 

For him her cheeks shec did weete, 
And made a vow for a twelve month and a day 

The King and shee wold not come in one shectc. 

Then some of the lords of Scottland waxed wrothe, 

And made their vow vehementlye, 30 

* For death of the Queenes chamberlaine 
The King himselfe he shall dye.' 

They strowed his chamber over with gunpowder, 

And layd greene rushes in his way ; 
ffor the traitors thought that night 

The worthy King for to betray. 

To bedd the worthy King made him bowne ; 

To take his rest, that was his desire ; 
He was noe sooner cast on sleepe, 

But his chamber was on a biasing fyer. 40 

Up he lope, and a glasse window broke ; 

He had thirty foote for to ffall. 
Lord Bodwell kept a privy wach 

Underneath his castle wall. 
" Who have wee heere ? " sayd Lord Bodwell ; 

"Answer me, now I doe call." 

" King Henery the Eighth my unckle was ; 

Some pitty show for his sweet sake ! 
Ah, Lord Bodwell ! I know thee well ; 

Some pitty on me I pray thee take! " 50 

" He pitty thee as much," he sayd, 

"And as much favor He show to thee 

As thou had on the Queenes chamberlaine 
That day thou deemedst him to dye." 

2 o 281 



Through halls and towers this King they ledd, 
Through castles and towers that were hye, 

Through an arbor into an orchard, 

And there hanged him in a peare tree. 

When the Governor of Scottland he heard tell 

That the worthye King he was slaine, 60 

He hath banished the Queene soe bitterlye 

That in Scottland shee dare not remaine ; 

But shee is ffled into merry England, 

And Scottland to aside hath laine ; 
And through the Queene of Englands good grace 

Now in England shee doth remaine. 



ffi 



nis 



282 



BISHOPPE AND BROWNE 

Jesus, God ! what greeffe is this 

That princes subjects cannot be true ! 

But still the devill and some of his 

Doth play his part, as plaine is in shew. 

In Scottland dwelles a bony King 

As proper a youth as any can bee ; 
Hee is given to every happy thing 

That can be in a Prince to see. 

On Whitsontyde, as itt befell, 

A possett was made to give the King; lo 

And that his Ladye Nurse heard tell 

That itt was made a poysoned thing. 
Shee cryed, and called pittiouslye, 
" Helpe ! or else the King must dye! 

And Browne, being an Englishman, 

He did heare that Ladyes pityous crye; 

But with his sword he besturred him then ; 
Forth att the dore he thought to fflee. 

But every dore was made full fast ; 

Forth of a window hee lope at last. 20 

He mett the Bishopp att the dore, 

And with the possett in his hand. 
The sight of Browne made the Bishopp agast ; 

He bade him soe boldleye stay and stand. 
With him were two that ran awaye 
For feare lest Browne shold make a fray. 

" Bishopp," said Browne, "What hast thou there?" 

" Nothing at all, my ffreinde," quoth hee, 
" But a possett to make the King good cheere." 

283 



*' Is itt soe ? " sayd Browne, " that will I see; 30 
Before thou goe any further inn, 
Of this possett thou shalt begin." 

" Browne," said the Bishopp, " I know thee well ; 

Thou art a yong man both pore and bare ; 
And livings of thee I shall bestowe ; 

Goe thou thy way, and take noe care." 
" Noe! " said Browne, " that shall not bee! 
He not be a traitor for all Christentye ! 

For be itt for wayle, or for woe be itt, 

Drinke thou oft this sorrowful! possett." 40 

The Bishopp dranke ; then by and by 

His belly burst, and he ffell downe : 
A just reward for his traitorye, 

" Marry, this was a possett indeed ! " said Browne. 
He searched the Bishopp, and found they kayes 
To goe to the King when he did please. 

And when the Kinge heard tell of this. 

He meekelye fell downe on his knee, 

And thanked God that he did misse 

Then of this false trecherye ; 50 

And then he did perceive and know 

That his clergye wold have him betraid so. 

He called the Nursse befor his Grace, 

And gave unto her twentye pounds a yeere. 

Doughtye Browne, /' the like case. 

He dubbd him knight with gallant cheere ; 

Bestowed upon him livings great 

For doowg such a manly feat. 

ffinis 

284 



CHILDE WATERS 



Childe Watters in his stable stoode, 

And stroaket his milke white steede 

To him came a ffaire young Ladye 

As ere did vveare womans weede : 



Saies, " Christ you save, good Chyld Waters ! " 
Sayes, " Christ you save and see ! 

My girdle of gold which was too longe 
Is now to short ffor mee ; 



" And all is with one chyld of yours, 

I ffeele sturre att my side. lo 

My gowne of greene, it is to strayght ; 

Before it was to wide." 



" If the child be mine, faire Ellen," he sayd, 

" Be mine, as you tell mee. 
Take you Cheshire and Lancashire both. 

Take them your owne to bee. 

" If the child be mine, ffaire Ellen," he said, 

" Be mine, as you doe sweare, 
Take you Cheshire and Lancashire both. 

And make that child your heyre." 20 

Shee saies, " I had rather have one kisse. 

Child Waters, of thy mouth. 
Then I wold have Cheshire and Lancashire both. 

That lyes by north and south. 

285 



" And I had rather have a twinkling, 

Child Waters, of your eye. 
Then I wold have Cheshire and Lancashire both, 

To take them mine oune to bee ! " 

" To-morrow, Ellen, I must forth ryde 

Soe ffarr into the north countrye ; 30 

The ffairest Lady that I can ffind, 

Ellen, must goe with mee." 
" And ever I pray you. Child Watters, 

Your ffootpage let me bee ! " 

" If you will my ffootpage be, Ellen, 

As you doe tell itt mee, 
Then you must cutt your gownne of greene 

An inche above your knee ; 

" Soe must you doe your yellow lockes. 

Another inch above your eye ; 40 

You must tell noe man what is my name ; 

My ffootpage then you shall bee." 

All this long day Child Waters rode, 

Shee ran bare ffoote by his side ; 
Yett was he never soe curteous a knight. 

To say, " Ellen, will you ryde ? " 

But all this day Child Waters rode, 

Shee ran barffoote thorow the broome ! 

Yett he was never soe curteous a knight 

As to say, " Put on your shoone." 50 

" Ride softlye," shee said, " Child Watters; 

Why doe you ryde soe ffist? 
The child, which is no mans but yours. 

My bodye itt will b[ra]st." 

286 



He sayes, " Sees thou yonder water, Ellen, 

That fflowes from banke to brim ? " 
" I trust to God, Child Waters," shee said, 

" You will never see mee swime." 

But when shee came to the waters side, 

Shee sayled to the chinne : 60 

" Except the Lord of heaven be my speed. 

Now must I learne to swime." 

The salt waters bare up Ellens clothes ; 

Our Ladye bare upp her chinne ; 
And Child Waters was a woe man, good Lord, 

To ssee faire Ellen swime. 

And when shee over the water was, 

Shee then came to his knee : 
He said, " Come hither, ffaire Ellen, 

Loe yonder what I see! 70 

" Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen ? 

Of redd gold shine the yates ; 
Theres twenty-four ffayre ladyes. 

The ffairest is my wordlye make. 

" Seest thou not yonder hall, Ellen ? 

Of redd gold shineth the tower ; 
There is twenty-four ffaire ladyes. 

The fairest is my paramoure." 

" I doe see the hall now. Child Waters, 

That of redd gold shineth the yates. 80 

God give good then of your selfe. 

And of your wordlye make ! 

287 



" I doe see the hall now, Child Waters, 

That of redd gold shineth the tower. 
God give good then of your selfe 

And of your paramoure ! " 

There were twenty-four ladyes, 

Were playing at the ball ; 
And Ellen was the ffairest ladye. 

Must bring his steed to the stall. 90 

There were twenty-four faire ladyes 

Was playing att the chesse ; 
And Ellen shee was the ffairest ladye, 

Must bring his horsse to grasse. 

And then bespake Child Waters sister, 

And these were the words said shee ; 
" You have the prettyest ffootpage, brother, 

That ever I saw with mine eye, 

" But that his belly it is soe bigg. 

His girdle goes wonderous hye ; 100 

And ever I pray you, Child Waters, 

Let him goe into the chamber with mee." 

" It is more meete for a litle ftootpage 

That has run through mosse and mire. 

To take his supper upon his knee 

And sitt downe by the kitchin fyer, 

Then to goe into the chamber with any ladye 
That weares soe rich attyre." 

But when they had supped every one. 

To bedd they tooke they way; no 

He sayd, " Come hither, my litle footpage. 

Hearken what I doe say ! 

288 



" And goe thy downe into yonder towne, 

And low into the street ; 
The ffarest ladye that thou can find, 

Hyer her in mine armes to sleepe, 
And take her up in thine armes two 

For filinge of her ffeete." 

Ellen is gone into the towne, 

And low into the streete : 120 

The fairest ladye that shee cold find, 

Shee hyred in his armes to sleepe, 
And tooke her in her armes two 

For filing of her ffeete. 

" I pray you now, good Child Waters, 

That I may creepe in att your bedds feete ; 

For there is noe place about this house 
Where I may say a sleepe." 

This, and itt drove now affterward 

Till itt was neere the day : 130 

He sayd, " Rise up, my litle ffoote page. 

And give my steed corne and hay ; 
And soe doe thou the good blacke oates. 

That he may carry me the better away." 

And up then rose ffaire Ellen, 

And gave his steed corne and hay. 
And soe shee did on the good blacke oates. 

That he might carry him the better away. 

Shee layned her backe to the manger side. 

And greivouslye did groane ; 140 

And that beheard his mother deere. 
And heard her make her moane. 

2 p 289 



Shee said, " Rise up, thou Child Waters ! 

I thinke thou art a cursed man ; 
For yonder is a ghost in thy stable 

That greivouslye doth groane. 
Or else some woman laboures of child, 

Shee is soe woe begone ! " 

But up then rose Child Waters, 

And did on his shirt of silke ; 150 

Then he put on his other clothes 

On his body as white as milke. 

And when he came to the stable dore, 

Full still that hee did stand. 
That hee might heare now faire Ellen, 

How shee made her monand : 

Shee said, " Lullabye, my owne deere child ! 

Lullabye, deere child, deere! 
I wold thy father were a king, 

Thy mother layd on a beere! 160 

" Peace now," he said, " good faire Ellen! 

And be of good cheere, I thee pray ; 
And the bridall, and the churching both, 

They shall bee upon one day." 



ffin 



IS 



290 



BESSIE OFF BEDNALL 



Itt was a blind beggar that long lost his sight, 
He had a faire daughter both pleasant and bright, 
And many a gallant brave siitor had shee, 
For none was soe comelye as pretty Bessye. 

And tho shee was of ffavor most faire, 
Yett seeing shee was but a beggars heyre, 
Of ancyent houskeepers despised was shee, 
Whose sonnes came as sutors to prettye Bessye. 

Wherefore in great sorrow faire Bessy did say, 

" Good fiather and mother, let me goe away lo 

To seeke out my fortune, where ever itt be." 

This sute then they granted to pretty Bessye. 

Then Bessye, that was of bewtye soe bright, 
They cladd in gray russett, and late in the night 
With teares shee lamented her destinye ; 
Soe sadd and soe heavy was pretty Bessye. 

Shee went till shee came to Stratford the Bow, 
Then knew shee not whither nor which way to goe ; 
ffrom ffather and mother alone parted shee. 
Who sighed and sobbed for pretty Bessye. 20 

Shee kept on her journey till it was day. 
And went unto Rumford along the hye way. 
And att the Queenes Armes entertained was shee, 
Soe faire and welfavoured was pretty Bessye. 

291 



Shee had not beene there a month to an end, 
But master, and mistress, and all, were her ffreind ; 
And every brave gallant that once did her see, 
Was straight-way in love with pretty Bessye. 

Great guifts they did give her of silver and gold. 
And in their songs day lye her love was extold ; 30 

Her beawtye was blessed in every degree, 
Soe faire and soe comlye was pretty Bessye. 

The young men of Rumford in her had their joy, 
Shee showed herseffe curteous, and never to coye ; 
And att her commandement wold they ever bee, 
Soe ffayre and soe comly was pretty Bessye. 

fFowre sutors att once they unto her did goe, 

They craved her fFavor, but still shee sayd noe ; 

" I wold not wish gentlemen marry w^th mee : " 

Yett ever they honored pretty Bessye. 4.0 

A merchant of London, whose wealth was not small. 
Was there the ffirst sutor and proper with-all ; 
The second a genteleman of good degree. 
Who wooed and sued ffor pretty Bessye ; 

The third of them was a gallant young knight, 
And he came unto her disguised in the night ; 
Her mistress owne sonne the fourth man must bee, 
Who swore he wold dye ffor pretty Bessye. 

" And if thou wilt wedd with me," quoth the knight, 
" He make thee a ladye with joy and delight; 50 

My hart is inthralled by thy bewtye ! 
Then grant me thy ffavor, my pretty Bessye ! " 

292 



The gentleman sayd, *' Marry with mee ; 

In silke and in velvett my Bessyc shalbee ; 

My hart lyes distressed ; O helpe me ! " quoth hee, 

" And grant me thy love, thou pretty Bessye ! " 

" Let me bee thy husband ! " the merchant cold say, 
" Thou shalt live in London both gallant and gay ; 
My shippes shall bring home rych Jewells for thee ; 
And I will ffor ever love pretty Bessye." 60 

Then Bessye shee sighed, and thus shee did say, 
" My ffather and mother I meane to obey ; 
ffirst gett their good will, and be ffaithfull to me. 
And you shall enjoye your prettye Bessye." 

To every one this answer shee made, 

Wherfore unto her they joyffuUye sayd, 

*' This thing to ffulfiU wee doe all agree ; 

And where dwells thy ffather, my pretty Bessy ? " 

" My ffather," shee said, " is soone to be scene ; 

He is the blind beggar of Bednall Greene, 70 

That daylye sitts begging ffor charitye ; 

He is the good ffather of pretty Bessye ; 

" His markes and his tokens are knowen ffull well, 
He alwayes is led with a dogg and a bell ; 
A silly blind man, God knoweth, is hee, 
Yett hee is the good ffather of pretty Bessye." 

" Nay, then," quoth the merchant, " thou art not for 

mee! 
" Nor," quoth the inholder, "my wiffe thou shalt bee! " 
*' I lothe," sayd the gentleman, "a beggars degree; 
TherfforCj ffarwell, my pretty Bessye! " 80 

293 



"Why then," quoth the knight, "hap better or worsse, 
I way not true love by the waight of my pursse, 
And bewtye is bewtye in every degree, 
Then welcome to me, my pretty Bessye! 

" With thee to thy ffather fforth will I goe." 

" Nay sofft," quoth his kinsman, " itt must not be soe ; 

A beggars daughter noe ladye shalbe ; 

Therfore take thy due leave of pretty Bessye." 

But soone after this, by breake of the day, 
The knight ffrom Rumfford stole Bessye awaye. 90 

The younge men of Rumfford, as thicke as might bee, 
Rode affter to ffeitch againe pretty Bessye ; 

As swift as they winde to ryd they were seene 
Untill they came to Bednall Greene ; 
And as the knight lighted most curteouslye. 
They ffought against him for pretty Bessye ; 

But rescew speedilye came on the plaine. 

Or else the young knight ffor his love had beene slaine. 

This ffray being ended, then straight he did see 

His kinsman came rayling against pretty Bessye. roo 

Then spake the blind beggar, " Althoe I be poore, 
Yett rayle not against my child at my dore ; 
Thoe shee be not decked in velvett and pearle, 
Yett will I dropp angells with you for my girle ; 

" And then if my gold may better her birthe. 
And equall the gold you lay on the earth, 
Then neyther rayle, nor grudge you to see 
The blind beggars daughter a lady to bee. 

29+ 



" Butt ffirst I will heare, and have itt well knowen, 
The gold that you drop shall all be your owne." iio 
With that they replyed, " Contented wee bee." 
" Then here is," quoth the beggar, " ffor pretty Bessye." 

With that an angell he dropped on the ground. 
And dropped in angells five hundred pound. 
And oftentimes itt was proved most plaine, 
fFor the gentlemans one the beggar dropt twayne, 

Soe that the plaee wherin they did sitt, 

With gold was covered every whitt. 

The gentleman having dropped all his store, 

Said, " Beggar, hold! for wee have noe more. 120 

" Thou hast ffulfiUed thy promise arright." 
" Then marry," quoth hee, " my girle to this knight; 
And heere," quoth hee, " He throw you downe 
A hundred pounds more to buy her a gowne." 

The gentleman that all this treasure had seene, 
Admired the beggar of Bednall Greene, 
And those that were her sutors before 
Their fflesh for verry anger they tore. 

Then was ffaire Bessye mached to the knight. 

And made a ladye in others despite; 130 

A ffairer ladye was never seene 

Then the Beggars daughter of Bednall Greene. 

But of their sumptuous marriage and ffeast, 

And what brave lords and knights thither were prest. 

The second ffitt shall sett to sight. 

With marveilous pleasure and wished delight. 

295 



Second Parte 

OfFa blind beggars daughter most bright, 

That late was betrothed unto a younge knight, 

All the discourse ther-of you did see : 

But now comes the wedding of pretty Bessye. 140 

Within a gallant pallace most brave, 
Adorned with all the cost they cold have, 
This wedding was kept most sumptuously, 
And all ffor the creditt of pretty Bessye. 

All kind of daintyes and delicates sweete 
Was brought ffor the banquett, as itt most meet. 
Partridge, plover, and venison most ffree. 
Against the brave wedding of pretty Bessye. 

This marryage through England was spread by report, 
Soe that a great number therto did resort 150 

Of nobles and gentles in every degree ; 
And all was ffor the ffame of pretty Bessye. 

To church then went this gallant younge knight ; 
His bride ffollowed, an angell most bright. 
With troopes of ladyes, the like were never scene 
As went with sweet Bessye of Bednall Greene. 

This marryage being solempnized then 

With musicke perfourmed by the skillfullest men. 

The nobles and gentles sate downe at that tyde, 

Each one beholding the beautifuU bryde. 160 

But after the sumptuous dinner was done. 

To talke and to reason a number begunn 

Of the blind beggars daughter most bright. 

And what with his daughter he gave to the knight. 

296 



Then spake the nobles, " Most marveill have wee, 
This jolly blind beggar wee cannott here see." 
" My lord," said the bride, " my father is soe base, 
He is loth by his presence these states to disgrace ; 

" The prayse of a woman in questyon to bringe 
Before her fface heere, were a flattering thing." 170 

" Wee thinke thy ffathers basenesse," quoth they, 
" Might by thy bewtye be cleane put awaye." 

They had noe sooner these pleasant words spoke. 
But in comes the beggar cladd in a silke cote, 
A vellvett capp and a ffether had hee. 
And now a musityan ffbrsooth hee wold bee ; 

And being led in, ffov catching of harme 

He had a daintye lute under his arme, 

Saies, " Please you to heare any musicke of mee? 

lie sing you a song of pretty Bessye." j8o 

With that his lute he twanged straight-way, 
And there begann most sweetlye to play. 
And after a lesson was played two or three : 
He strayned on this song most delicatelye : 

" A beggars daughter did dwell on a greene, 
Who ffor her ffaire might be a queene ; 
A blithe bonny lasse, and daintye, was shee. 
And many a one called her pretty Bessye." 

" Her ffather hee had noe goods nor noe lands. 

But begd for a penny all day with his hands; 190 

Yett to her marriage hee gave thousands three : 

And still he hath somewatt for pretty Bessye ; 

2 Q 297 



*' And if any one her birth doe disdaine, 
Her ffather is ready with might and with maine 
To proove shee is come of a noble degree ; 
Therfore never fflout att pretty Bessye." 

With that the lords and the companye round 

With harty laughter were like to sound. 

Att last said the lords, " Full well wee may see, 

The bride and the beggar is behouldinge to thee." 200 

With that the bride all blushing did rise 

With the salt water within her faire eyes : 

" O pardon my ffather, grave nobles," quoth shee, 

" That thorrow blind affection thus doteth on mee." 

" If this be thy ffather," the nobles did say, 
" Well may he be proud of this happy day ; 
Yett by his countenance well may wee see, 
His birth and his ffortune did never agree ; 

*' And therfor, blind man, I pray thee bewray, 
And looke that the truth thou to us doe say, 210 

Thy birth and thy parentage, what itt may bee. 
Even for the love thou bearest to pretty Bessye." 

" Then give me leave, you gen[t]ells eche one, 
A song more to sing, then will I goe on ; 
And if that itt may not winn good report. 
Then doe not give me a groat for my sport. 

" When ffirst our King his ffame did advance, 

And fought for his title in delicate ffrance. 

In many a place many perills past hee : 

Then was not borne my pretty Bessye. 220 

298 



" And then in those warres went over to fight 

Many a brave duke, a lord, and a knight, 

And with them younge Mountford,his courage most free : 

But then was not borne my pretty Bessye. 

" Att Bloyes there chanced a terrible day, 

Where many brave ffrenchmen upon the ground lay ; 

Amonge them lay Mountford for companye : 

But then was not borne my pretty Bessye. 

" But there did younge Mountford, by blow on the face. 
Loose both his eyes in a very short space; 230 

And alsoe his liffe had beene gone with his sight, 
Had not a younge woman come forth in the night 

" Amongst the slaine men, as fancy did move, 
To search and to seeke for her owne true love ; 
And seeing young Mountford there gasping to bee, 
Shee saved his lifFe through charitye. 

" And then all our vittalls, in beggars attire, 

Att hands of good people wee then did require. 

Att last into England, as now it is scene. 

Wee came, and remained att Bednall Greene; 240 

" And thus wee have lived in ffortunes despite, 
Tho poore, yett contented with humble delight ; 
And in my younge yeeres, a comfort to bee, 
God sent mee my daughter, pretty Bessye." 

" And thus, noble lords, my song I doe end, 
Hoping the same noe man doth offend ; 
Full forty winters thus I have beene, 
A silly blind beggar of Bednall Greene." 

299 



Now when the companye everye one 

Did heare the strange tale in the song he had shown, 250 

They were all amazed, as well they might bee, 

Both at the blind beggar and pretty Bessye. 

With that he did the fayre bride imbrace. 
Saying, "Thou art come of an honourablle race; 
Thy ffather likewise of a highe degree. 
And thou art well worthy a lady to bee ! " 

Thus was the ffeast ended with joy and delight ; 

A bridegroome blissful was the young knight, 

Who lived in joy and felicitye 

With his fFaire ladye, pretty Bessye. 260 



ffi 



nis 



300 



HUGH SPENCER 



The court is kept att leeve London, 

And evermore shall be itt ; 
The King sent for a bold embassador, 

And Sir Hugh Spencer that he hight. 

" Come hither, Spencer," saith our Kinge, 

" And come thou hither unto mee, 
I must make thee an embassadour 

Betweene the King of ffrance and mee. 

" Thou must comend me to the King of ffrance. 

And tell him thus and now ffrom mee, lo 

' I wold know whether there shold be peace in his land. 
Or open warr kept still must bee.' 



" Thoust have thy shipp at thy comande, 
Thoust neither want for gold nor ffee, 

Thoust have a hundred armed men 
All att thy bidding ffor to bee." 

They wind itt served, and they sayled. 

And towards ffrance thus they be gone ; 

They wind did bring them safe to shore. 

And safelye landed everye one. 20 

The ffirenchmen lay on the castle wall 

The English souldiers to be-hold : 
" You are welcome, traitors, out of England ; 

The heads of you are bought and sold ! " 

301 



With that spake proud Spencer, 

" My leege, soe itt may not bee! 
I am sent an embassador 

ffrom our EngHsh King to yee. 

" The King of England greetes you well, 

And hath sent this word by mee; 30 

He wold know whether there shold be peace in your 
land. 

Or open warres kept still must bee." 

" Comend me to the English Kinge, 

And tell this now ffrom mee ; 
There shall never peace be kept in my land 

While open warres kept there may bee." 

With that came downe the Queene of ffrance, 
And an angry woman then was shee ; 

Saies, *' Itt had beene as ffitt now for a King 

To be in his chamber with his ladye, 40 

Then to be pleading with traitors out of England 
Kneeling low uppon their knee." 



But then bespake him proud Spencer, 

For noe man else durst speake but hee : 

" You have not wiped your mouth, madam, 
Since I heard you tell a lye." 



" O hold thy tounge, Spencer! " shee said, 
" I doe not come to plead with thee ; 

Darest thou ryde a course of warr 

With a knight that I shall put to thee? " 50 

302 



" But ever alacke ! " then Spencer sayd, 

" I thinke I have deserved Gods cursse ; 

fFor I have not any armour heere, 

Nor yett I have no justing horsse." 

" Thy shankes," quoth shee, " beneath the knee 

Are verry small above the shinne 
ffor to doe any such honourablle deeds 

As the Englishmen say thou has done. 

" Thy shankes beene small above thy shoone, 

And soe they beene above thy knee ; 60 

Thou art to slender every way, 

Any good juster fFor to bee." 

" But ever alacke," said Spencer then, 

" For one steed of the English countrye! " 

With that bespake and one ffrench knight, 

" This day thoust have the choyce of three : " 

The first steed he ffeiched out, 

I-wis, he was milke white. 
The ffirst ffoot Spencer in stirropp sett, 

His backe did from his belly ty[t]e. 70 

The second steed that he ffeitcht out, 

I-wis, that hee was verry browne ; 
The second ffoot Spencer in stirropp settt, 

That horsse and man and all ffell downe. 

The third steed that hee ffeitched out, 

I-wis, that he was verry blacke ; 
The third ffoote Spencer into the stirropp sett. 

He leaped on to the geldings backe. 

303 



" But ever alacke," said Spencer then, 

" For one good steed of the English countrye! 80 
Goe ffeitch me hither my old hacneye 

That I brought with me hither beyond the sea." 

But when his hackney there was brought, 

Spencer a merry man there was hee ; 
Sales, "With the grace of God and St. George of England, 

The ffeild this day shall goe with mee ! 

" I have not fforgotten," Spencer sayd, 

" Since there was ffeild foughten at Walsingam, 

When the horsse did heare the trumpetts sound, 

He did beare ore both horsse and man." 90 

The day was sett, and togetther they mett 

With great mirth and melodye. 
With minstrells playing and trumpetts soundinge. 

With drumes striking loud and hye. 

The ffirst race that Spencer run, 

I-wis, hee run itt wonderous sore ; 
He hit the knight upon his brest. 

But his speare itt burst, and wold touch noe more. 

" But ever alacke," said Spencer then, 

" For one staffe of the English countrye! 100 

Without youle bind me three together," 

Quoth hee, " theyle be to weake ftor mee." 

With that bespake him the ffrench knight, 

Sayes, " Bind him together the whole thirtye. 

For I have more strenght in my to hands 
Then is in all Spencers bodye." 

304 



" But prove att parting," Spencer sayes, 

" ffrench knight, here I tell itt thee. 
For I will lay thee live to four 

The bigger man I prove to bee. i lo 

But the day was sett, and together they mett. 

With great mirth and melodye, 
With minstrells playing and trumpetts soundinge, 

With drummes strikeing loud and hye. 

The second race that Spencer run, 

I-wis, hee ridd itt in much pride. 
And he hitt the knight upon the brest, 

And drave him ore his horsse beside. 

But he run thorrow the ffrench campe ; 

Such a race was never run beffore ; 120 

He killed of King Charles his men 

Att hand of thirteen or fourteen score. 

But he came backe againe to the King 

And kneeled him downe upon his knee, 

Saies, " A knight I have slaine, and a steed I have woone, 
The best that is in this countrye." 

" But nay, by my faith," said the King, 

" Spencer, soe itt shall not bee ; 
He have that traitors head of thine 

To enter plea att my jollye." 130 

But Spencer looket him once about ; 

He had true bretheren left but four : 
He killed ther of the Kings gard 

About two or three score. 

2 R 305 



" But hold thy hands," the King doth say, i ■ 

" Spencer! now I doe pray thee; 
And I will goe into litle England, 

Unto that cruell Kinge with thee." 

" Nay, by my ffaith," Spencer sayd, 

" My leege, for soe itt shall not bee; 140 

For on you sett ffoot on English ground. 

You shall be hanged upon a tree." 

"Why then, comend 7ne to that English Kinge, 

And tell him thus now ffrom mee, 
That there shall never be open warres kept in my land 

Whilest peace kept that there may bee." 



ffinis 



306 



KINGE ADLER 



Kinge Adler, as hee in his window lay, 

Unto a stranger htight he did say, 

" I wold my lands they were as broada 

As the red rose is in my garden : 

There were not that woman this day alive, 

I kept to bee my wedded wiffe, 

Without [s]he were as white as any milke 

Or as soft as any silke. 

And the royall rich wine ran downe her brest bone. 

And Lord! shee were and a leath maiden." lo 

" But Estmere our King- has a daughter soe younge ; 

God Lord ! shees as soft as any silke, 

And as white as any milke. 

The royall rich wine runes downe her brest bone, 

And Lord ! shee is a leath maiden." 

" But will you goe unto King Ardine, 

And will that ffaire lady that shee wilbe mine ? " 

Hee tooke the fflood, and the winde was good, 

Untill hee came unto that Kings hall. 

He grett them well both great and small : 20 

" Kinge Adler hath sent me hither to thee. 

And wills thy ffayre daughter, shee will his bee." 

He sayes, " If King Adler will my daughter winne, 

Of another manner he must begin : 

Ifaith he shall bring lords to the mold, 

One hundred shippes of good red gold, 

One hundred shippes of ladyes on the moure. 

One hundred shippes of wheat boulted flower, 

One hundred shippes of ladyes bright. 

One hundred shippes of new dubbd knights. 30 

Yett he shall doe that is more pine. 

He shall take the salt sea and turne itt to red wine ; 



307 



When hee has done all these deeds, - ( 

Then my faire daughter shalbe his ; 

But I have sett her on such a pinn, 

King Adler shall her never winne." 

He tooke the flood, and they wind was good, 

And never stayd in noe stead 

Untill he came to Kinge Adlers hall. 

He greeted them well both great and small, 40 

Sales " I have beene att yonder Kings place 

To speake with his daughter fayre of face ; 

He sayes, if you will his daughter winne, 

Of another manner you must begin : 

You must bring lords to the mold, 

One hundred shippes of good redd gold. 

One hundred shippes of ladyes of the moure. 

One hundred shippes of wheat boulted flower. 

One hundred shippes of ladyes bright. 

One hundred shippes of new dubdd knights; 50 

And yett you must doe that is more pine. 

Take the salt sea and turne it to red wine ; 

But he hath sett her on such a pinne 

That you can her never winne." 

" Some thing you must doe for mee, 

I tell you all in veretye ; 

In ladyes clothes will yee mee bowne. 

And bring mee to that ladyes towne. 

And boaird me there one yeere or towe 

Amongst those ladyes for to goe, 60 

And board me there yeeres two or three : 

Amongst those faire ladyes for to bee." 

He tooke the filood, and the wind was good. 

And he never stayd nor stoode 

Untill he came to that ladyes hall : 

He greeted them well both great and small, 

Sayes, " Hcere I have brought a fayre ladye ; 

From her owne flreinds shee is comen to bee \ 

308 



I must board her a yeerc or tow 

Amongst your ladyes for to goe." yo 

These ladyes sate all on a rowe ; 

Some began to cut silkc, some for to sowe ; 

The Kings daughter sayes, " Your ffingars are too great, 

Or else vour eyes beene out of seat, — 

I tell you full soone anon,— 

To sowe silke or lay gold on." 

But ere the twelfth moneth was come and gone 

He wan the farrest ladye of everye one. 

They cast the lot, and one by one, 

And all the ladyes everye one 80 

They cast it over two or three : 

King Adler fFell with the Kings daughter to lye. 

But when they were in bedd laid. 

These words unto her then hee said ; 

Saies, " Lady, were that man this day alive 

That you wold be his wedded wiffe. 

And were that man soe highlye borne 

That you wold be his hend lemman ? " 

" There is noe man this day alive 

I kept to be his wedded wiffe, 90 

Without itt were King Adler, hee. 

The noblest knight in Christentye. 

My father hath sett me on such a pinne, 

King Adler must me never winne." 

" But, ladye, how and soe betyde 

King Adler were in your bed hidd ? 

Wold you not call them all att a stowre, 

None of the ladyes within your bower? 

Nor wold you not call them all at a call. 

None of the lords in your fathers hall ? 1 00 

Nor wold you not call them all by-deene. 

Your ffather the King, nor your mother the Queene ? 

But soe quickly you wold gett you bowne. 

To goe with King Adler out of the towne ? " 

309 



Sais shee, " If itt wold soe betyde 

King Adler were in my bed hidd, 

I wold not call them all in stowre, 

None of the ladyes in my bower ; 

Nor I wold not call them all att a call, 

None of the lords in my fathers hall ; no 

Nor I wold not call them all by-deene, 

My ffather the King, nor my mother the Queene ; 

But soe quicklye I wold gett me bowne 

To goe with King Adler out of the towne." 

*' But turne thee, ladye, hither to mee ! 

For I am the King that speakes to thee ! " 

" Alacke! King Adler! I shall catch cold, 

For I can never tread on the mold. 

But upon rich cloth of gold 

That is five thousand fold." i2o 

" Peace, faire lady ! youst catch noe harme, 

For I will carry you under mine arme." 

He tooke the fflood, and the winde was good, 

And he never stinted nor stood 

Untill he came to his owne hall ; 

He greeted them well both great and small, 

God send us all to be well, and none to be woe, 

Untill they wine their true love soe ! 



ffi 



nis 



310 



BOY AND MANTLE 



In the third day of May, 
To Carleile did come 

A kind curteous Child 

That cold much of wisdome. 



A kirtle and a mantle 

This Child had uppon, 

With branches and ringes, 
Full richelye bedone. 



He had a sute of silke 

About his middle drawne; lo 

Without he cold of curtesye, 

He thought itt much shame. 

" God speed thee, King Arthur, 

Sitting att thy meate ! 
And the goodlye Queene Guenever! 

I canott her fforgett. 

" I tell you lords in this hall, 

I hett you all heate, 
Except you be the more surer 

Is you for to dread." 20 

He plucked out of his potewer. 

And longer wold not dwell, 
He pulled forth a pretty mantle 

Betweene two nut-shells. 

311 



"Have thou here King Arthure, ; 

Have thou heere of mee ; 
Give itt to thy comely Queene 

Shapen as itt is alreadye ; 

" Itt shall never become that wiffe 

That hath once done amisse." 30 

Then every knight in the Kings court 

Began to care for his wiffe. 

Forth came dame Guenever ; 

To the mantle shee her [hi]ed : 
The Ladye shee was new fangle, 

But yett shee was affray d. 

When shee had taken the mantle, 

Shee stoode as she had beene madd : 
It was from the top to the toe 

As sheeres had itt shread. 40 

One while was itt gaule, 

Another while was itt greene, 
Another while was itt wadded, — 

111 itt did her beseeme, — 

Another while was it blacke 

And bore the worst hue. 
" By my troth," quoth King Arthur, 

" I thinke thou be not true." 

Shee threw downe the mantle 

That bright was of blee. 50 

Fast with a rudd redd 

To her chamber can shee flee ; 



312 



Shee curst the weaver and the walker 

That clothe that had wrought, 
And bade a vengeance on his crowne 

That hither hath itt brought ; 

" I had rather be in a wood 

Under a greene tree, 
Then in King Arthurs court 

Shamed for to bee." 60 

Kay called forth his ladye. 

And bade her come neere ; 
Saies, " Madam, and thou be guiltye, 

I pray thee hold thee there." 

Forth came his ladye 

Shortlye and anon ; 
Boldly to the mantle 

Then is shee gone. 

When she had tane the mantle 

And cast it her about, yo 

Then was shee bare 

All above the buttocckes. 

Then every knight 

That was in the Kings court 
Talked, laughed, and showted. 

Full oft att that sport. 

Shee threw downe the mantle 

That bright was of blee : 
ffast with a red rudd 

To her chamber can shee flee. 80 

2 s 313 



Forth came an old knight ': 

Pattering ore a creede, 
And he proferred to this litle boy 

Twenty markes to his meede, 

And all the time of the Christmasse 

Willignglye to ffeede ; 
For why this mantle might 

Doe his wiffe some need. 

When shee had tane the mantle 

Of cloth that was made, 90 

Shee had no more left on her 

But a tassell and a threed. 
Then every knight in the Kings court 

Bade ' evill might shee speed.' 

Shee threw downe the mantle 

That bright was of blee, 
And fast with a redd rudd 

To her chamber can shee flee. 

Craddocke called forth his ladye, 

And bade her come in ; 100 

Saith " Winne this mantle, ladye, 

With a little dinne; 

" Winne this mantle, ladye. 

And it shalbe thine 
If thou never did amisse 

Since thou wast mine." 

Forth came Craddockes ladye 

Shortlye and anon, 
But boldlye to the mantle 

Then is shee gone. 110 



When shee had tanc the mantle 

And cast itt her about, 
Upp att her great toe 

Itt began to crinkle and crowt ; 
Shee sayd, " Bowe downe, mantle, 

And shame me not for nought ; 

" Once I did amisse, 

I tell you certainlye. 
When I kist Craddockes mouth 

Under a greene tree, i 20 

When I kist Craddockes mouth 

Before he marryed mee." 

When shee had her shreeven, 

And her sines shee had tolde. 
The mantle stoode about her 

Right as shee wold, 

Seemelye of coulour, 

Glittering like gold. 
Then every knight in Arthurs court 

Did her behold. 130 

Then spake Dame Guenever 

To Arthur our King, 
" She hath tane yonder mantle, 

Not with wright but with wronge ! 

" See you not yonder woman 

That maketh her selfe soe clea[n]e? 
I have scene tane out of her bedd 

Of men fiveteene. 



315 



" Preists, clarkes, and wedded men 

From her by-deene ! 140 

Yett shee taketh the mantle 

And maketh her-selfe cleane ! " 

Then spake the litle Boy 

That kept the mantle in hold ; 
Sayes " King ! chasten thy wiffe ! 

Of her words shee is to bold. 

" Shee is a bitch and a witch, 

And a whore bold ! 
King, in thine owne hall 

Thou art a cuchold ! " 150 

A litle Boy stoode 

Looking over a dore ; 

He was ware of a wyld bore 
Wold have werryed a man. 

He pulld forth a wood kniffe ! 

Fast thither that he ran ; 
He brought in the bores head, 

And quitted him like a man. 

He brought in the bores head. 

And was wonderous bold : 1 60 

He said, " There was never a cucholds knifte 

Carve itt that cold." 

Some rubbed their knives 

Uppon a whetstone ; 
Some threw them under the table. 

And said they had none. 

316 



King Arthus and the Child 

Stood looking them upon ; 
All their knives edges 

Turned backe againe. 170 

Craddoccke had a litle knive 

Of iron and of Steele ; 
He birtled the bores head 

Wonderous weele, 
That every knight in the Kings court 

Had a morssell. 



The litle Boy had a home 

Of red gold that ronge ; 

He said, " There was noe cuckolde 
Shall drinke of my home, 

But he shold itt sheede 

Either behind or beforne." 



180 



Some shedd on their shoulder. 

And some on their knee ; 
He that cold not hitt his mouth 

Put it in his eye ; 
And he that was a cuckold. 

Every man might him see. 

Craddoccke wan the home 

And the bores head; 190 

His ladye wan the mantle 

Unto her meede. 
Everye such a lovely ladye, 

God send her well to speede ! 



ffinis 

317 



WHITE ROSE AND RED 



When Yorke and Lancaster made warre 

Within this ffamous land, 
The lives of all our noble men 

Did in great danger stand. 

Seven kings in bloodye ffeilde 

fFor Englands crowne did ffight, 
And yett their heyres were, all but twaine, 

Of liffe bereaved quite. 

Ther thirty thousand Englishmen 

Were in one battell slaine ; i o 

Yett all that English blood cold not 

One setled peace obtaine. 

Fathers killed their owne deare sonne[s]. 

The sonnes the ffathers slew, 
And kinsmen ffought against their King, 

And none eche other knew. 



Att lenght, by Heneryes lawfull claime, 

These wasting warres had end, 
For Englands peace he did restore. 

And did the same defend. 20 



ffor tyrant Richard named the Third, 
The breeder of this woe, 

By him was slaine nere Leister towne, 
x\s chronicles doe shoe. 

318 



All ffeare of vvarr was then exiled, 

Which joyed eche Englishman; 
And dayes of long desired peace 

Within this land began. 

He ruled this kingdome by true love, 

To gaine his subjects lives; 30 

Then men lived quietly att home 

With their children and their wives. 

King Henery tooke such princely care 

Our ffurther peace to frame, 
Tooke ffaire Elizabeth to wiffe. 

That gallant Yorkshire Dame. 

Four Edwardes daughter, blest of God, 

To scape King Edwards spight. 
Was thus made Englands peereles Queene, 

And Heneryes hartes delight. 40 

This Henery, ffirst of Tuders name 

And last of Lancaster, 
With Yorkes right heyre a true loves knott 

Did knitt and make ffast there. 

Renowned Yorke, the white rose gave ; 

Brave Lancaster the redd ; 
By wedlocke both in[j]oyned were 

To lye in one princely bed. 

These roses grew, and buded fayre. 

And with soe good a grace, 50 

That Kings of England in their armes 

Affords a worthy place. 

319 



And fflourish may these roses still, 

That all they world may tell 
The owners of these princely fflowers 

In vertue to exell ! 

To glorifye these roses more, 

King Henerye and his Queene 
Did place their pictures in red gold. 

Most gorgeous to be scene. 60 

The Kings owne guard doe weare them now 

Upon their backe and brest, 
Where love and loyaltye remaines. 

And evermore may rest. 

The red rose on the backe is placed, 

Theron a crowne of gold ; 
The white rose on the brest as rich. 

And castlye to behold, 

Bedecket with silver studdes, 

And coates of scarlett and redd, 70 

A blushing hew, which Englands fame 

This many yeeres hath spredd. 

This Tudor and Plantaginett 

These honors ffirst devised 
To welcome home a settled peace 

By us soe dearlye prized : 

Which peace now maintained is 

By James our gracyous Kinge ; 
ffor peace brings plentye to this land. 

With many a blessed thing. 8g 

320 



To speake of Heneryes praise againe : 

His princley liberall hand 
Gave guiffts and graces many wayes 

Unto this ffamous land. 

Wherfore the Lord him blessing sent 

For to encrease his store, 
For that he left more welthe to us 

Then any King before. 

The ffirst blessing was to his Queene, 

A giuft above the rest, 90 

Which brought him sonnes and daughters faire 

To make his kingdome blest. 

The royall blood, which was att ebbe, 

Soe encreased by this Queene, 
That Englands heyre unto this day 

Doth fflourish ffresh and greene. 

The first blossome of this seed 

Was Arthur, Prince of Wales, 
Whose vertue to the Spanish court 

Quite ore the ocean sayles, 100 

Where fferdinando. King of Spayne, 

His daughter Katherine gave 
ffor wiffe unto this English Prince 

A thing which God wold have. 

Yett Arthur, in his loftye youth, 

And blooming time of age. 
Resigned up his sweetest liffe 

To deathes imperyall rage. 

2 T 321 



Who dying thus, noe isue left, — 

The sweet of natures joy, — no 

Did compasse England round with greeffe, 

And Spaine with sadd annoye. 

Yett Henery, to increase his joy, 

A Henery of his name, 
In ffollowing time Eighth Henery called, 

A King of worthy ffame ; 

He conquered BuUein with his sword, 

And many townes of ffrance ; 
His kinglye manhood and his fortitude 

Did Englands ffame advance. 120 

Then popish abbyes he supprest. 

And Pappistrye put downe, 
And bound their land by Parlaiment 

Unto his royall crowne. 

He had three children by three Queenes, 

All princes raigning here, 
Edward, Marry, and Elizabeth, 

A Queene beloved most deere. 

Yett these three branches bare noe fruite ; 

Noe such blessing God did send; 130 

Wherby the King by Tudors name 

In England here hath end. 



'&" 



Plantaginett ffirst Tudor was 

Named Elizabeth ; 
Ellizabeth last Tudor was. 

The greatest Queene on earth. 

322 



This Tudor and Plantaginett, 

By yeelding unto death, 
Have made steward now the greatest King 

That is now upon the earth. i^.o 

To speake of the Seventh Henery I must, 

Whose Grace gave ffree consent 
To have his daughters marryed both 

To kings of his descent. 

His eldest daughter Margarett 

Was made great Scottlands Queene, 
As wise, as ffaire, as vertuous. 

As ever was ladye scene. 

Of this faire Queene our royall King 

By Hneall course descended, 150 

Which weareth now the imperyall crowne. 

Which God now still defendeth. 

His second daughter, Marye called. 

As princelye by degree, 
Was by her ffather worthy thought 

The Queene of ffrance to bee ; 

And after to the Duke of Suffollke 

Was made a noble wiffe ; 
And in this ffamous English court 

Shee led a virtuous liffe. 160 

Thus Henery and his lovely Queene 

Rejoced to see that day, 
To have their children thus advancet 

To honors every way, 

323 



Which purchased pleasure and content 

With many a yeeres deHght, 
Till sad mischance by cruell death 

Procured them both a spighte. 

This worthy Queene, this gracyous Dame, 

This mother meeke and mild, 170 

To add more number to their joyes, 
Againe proved bigg with child ; 

Wheratt the King rejoced much. 

And against that carefull hower 
He lodged his deere and lovelye Queene 

In Londons stately Tower. 

Which Tower proved ffatall once 

To princes of degree ; 
Itt proved fFatall to this Queene, 

For therin died shee, 180 

In child bed she lost her sweet liffe, 

Her liffe estemed soe deere, 
Which had beene England lovely Queene 

Many a happy yeere. 

Therfore the King was greeved sore. 

And many monthes did mourne, 
And wept and sighet, and said ' like her 

He cold not ffind out one; 

' Nor none he wold in ffancy chuse 

To make his wedded wiffe, 190 

But a widdower he wold remaine 

The remnant of his liffe.' 



324 



His latter dayes he spent in peace 

And quiettnesse of mind. 
Like King and Queene as these two were, 

The world can hardlye ffind ! 

Yett such a King as now wee have, 

And such a Queene wee had. 
Who hath heavenly powers from above, 

And giu[f]ts as they two hadd. 200 

God save our Prince, and King and land, 

And send them long to raigine! 
In health, in welth, in quietnesse, 

Amongst us to remaine ! 



ffinis 



325 



BELL MY WIFFE 



" This winters weather itt waxeth cold, 

And ffrost itt ffreeseth on every hill, 
And Boreas blowes his blasts soe bold 

That all our cattell are like to spill. 
Bell my wiffe, shee loves noe strife, 

Shee sayd unto m[e] quietlye, 
' Rise up, and save cow Crumbockes liffe ! 

Man ! put thine old cloake about thee ! ' 

'' O Bell my wiffe ! why dost thou fflyte ? 

Thou kens my cloake is verry thin ; i o 

Itt is soe sore over worne, 

A cricke theron cannott r[i]nn : 
He goe ffind the court within. 

He noe longer lend nor borrow ; 
He goe ffind the court within, 

For He have a new cloake about me." 

" Cow Crumbocke is a very good cowe, 

Shee has alwayes beene good to the pale, 
Shee has helpt us to butter and cheese, I trow, 

And other things shee will not fayle ; 20 

For I wold be loth to see her pine ; 

Therfore, good husband, ffollow my councell now. 
Forsake the court, and follow the ploughe ; 

Man ! take thine old coate about thee ! " 

" My cloake itt was a verry good cloake. 

It hath beene alwayes good to the weare, 

Itt hath cost mee many a groat, 

I have had itt this forty-four yeere ; 

326 



Sometime itt was of the cloth in graine, 

Itt is now but a sigh clout, as you may see; 30 
It will neither hold out winde nor raine ; 

And He have a new kloake about mee." 



" It is forty-four yeeres agoe 

Since the one of us the other did ken, 
And wee have had betwixt us both 

Children either nine or ten ; 
Wee have brought them up to women and men ; 

In the feare of God I trowe they bee : 
And why wilt thou thy selfe misken ? 

Man ! take thine old cloake about thee ! " 40 

" O Bell my wiffe! why doest thou flyte? 

Now is nowe, and then was then ; 
Seeke all the world now throughout, 

Thou kens not clownes from gentlemen ; 
They are cladd in blacke, greene, yellow, and blew, 

Soe ffarr above their owne degree ; 
Once in my liffe He take a vew, 

IFor He have a new cloake about mee." 

" King Harry was a verry good King; 

I trow his hose cost but a crowne; 50 

He thought them twelve pence over to deere, 

Therfore he called the taylor clowne. 
He was King and wore the crowne. 

And thouse but of a low degree ; 
Itts pride that putts this cumtrye downe ; 

Man ! put thye old cloake about thee ! " 



" O Bell my wiffe ! why dost thou fflyte ? 
Now is now, and then was then ; 



327 



Wee will live now obedyent liffe, 

Thou the woman, and I the man. 60 

Itts not ffor a man with a woman to threape 

Unlesse he ffirst give over the play ; 
Wee will live noue as wee began, 

And He have mine old cloake abaut me." 



ffi 



nis 



328 



I LIVE WHERE I LOVE 



With my hart my love was nes[t]ed 
Into the Sonne of happynesse ; 

ffrom my love my liffe was rested 
Into a world of heavinesse ; 

O lett my love my liffe remaine, 

Since I love not where I wold. 



Darksome distance doth devyde us, 

ffiir ffrom thee I must remaine ; 
Dismall planetts still doth guide us, 

ffearing wee shold meete againe; lo 

But ffroward ffortune once removed. 
Then will I live where I wold. 

Iff I send them, doe not suspect mee ; 

But if I come, then am I scene ; 
O let thy wisdome soe direct mee 

That I may blind Argus eyen ! 
For my true hart shall nevOT remove, 

Tho I live not where I love. 



Sweete ! what greeffe have I sustained 

In the accomplishing my desires ! 20 

My affections are not ffained, 

Tho my wish be nere the nere. 
If wishes would substantiall prove, 
Then would I live where I love. 

True conceit be still my feeding. 

And the ffood being soe conceipted, 

2 u 329 



Whilest my hart for thee lyes bleeding, 

Sunne and heavens to be intreated ; 
Perhaps my orisons then may move, 
That I may live where I love. 30 

Love and ffaction still agreeing. 

By the consent of heavens electyon, 
Where wee both may have our being, 

Underneath the heavens protectyon, 
And smiling att our sorrowes past. 
Wee shall enjoye our wishe att last. 



ffinis 



END OF SECOND VOLUME 



PR Percy, Thomas 

1181 Folio of Old English 

Pii.65 ballads and romances 

V.2 



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