The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Book of Ballads, Volume 2, by Various

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Title: A Book of Ballads, Volume 2

Author: Various

Editor: Beverly Nichols

Posting Date: April 29, 2014 [EBook #7532]
Release Date: February, 2005
First Posted: May 15, 2003

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by David Widger, Juliet Sutherland, Phil McLaury,
Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team. Text version by Al Haines.


Selected and with an Introduction



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  Lithe and listen, gentlemen,
    To sing a song I will beginne:
  It is of a lord of faire Scotland,
    Which was the unthrifty heire of Linne.

  His father was a right good lord,
    His mother a lady of high degree;
  But they, alas! were dead, him froe,
    And he lov'd keeping companie.

  To spend the daye with merry cheare,
    To drinke and revell every night,
  To card and dice from eve to morne,
    It was, I ween, his hearts delighte.

  To ride, to runne, to rant, to roare,
    To alwaye spend and never spare,
  I wott, an' it were the king himselfe,
    Of gold and fee he mote be bare.

  Soe fares the unthrifty lord of Linne
    Till all his gold is gone and spent;
  And he maun sell his landes so broad,
    His house, and landes, and all his rent.

  His father had a keen stewarde,
    And John o' the Scales was called hee:
  But John is become a gentel-man,
    And John has gott both gold and fee.

  Sayes, Welcome, welcome, lord of Linne,
    Let nought disturb thy merry cheere;
  Iff thou wilt sell thy landes soe broad,
    Good store of gold Ile give thee heere,

  My gold is gone, my money is spent;
    My lande nowe take it unto thee:
  Give me the golde, good John o' the Scales,
    And thine for aye my lande shall bee.

  Then John he did him to record draw,
    And John he cast him a gods-pennie;
  But for every pounde that John agreed,
    The lande, I wis, was well worth three.

  He told him the gold upon the borde,
    He was right glad his land to winne;
  The gold is thine, the land is mine,
    And now Ile be the lord of Linne.

  Thus he hath sold his land soe broad,
    Both hill and holt, and moore and fenne,
  All but a poore and lonesome lodge,
    That stood far off in a lonely glenne.

  For soe he to his father hight.
    My sonne, when I am gonne, sayd hee,
  Then thou wilt spend thy land so broad,
    And thou wilt spend thy gold so free:

  But sweare me nowe upon the roode,
    That lonesome lodge thou'lt never spend;
  For when all the world doth frown on thee,
    Thou there shalt find a faithful friend.

  The heire of Linne is full of golde:
    And come with me, my friends, sayd hee,
  Let's drinke, and rant, and merry make,
    And he that spares, ne'er mote he thee.

  They ranted, drank, and merry made,
    Till all his gold it waxed thinne;
  And then his friendes they slunk away;
    They left the unthrifty heire of Linne.

  He had never a penny in his purse,
    Never a penny left but three,
  And one was brass, another was lead,
    And another it was white money.

  Nowe well-aday, sayd the heire of Linne,
    Nowe well-aday, and woe is mee,
  For when I was the lord of Linne,
    I never wanted gold nor fee.

  But many a trustye friend have I,
    And why shold I feel dole or care?
  Ile borrow of them all by turnes,
    Soe need I not be never bare.

  But one, I wis, was not at home;
    Another had payd his gold away;
  Another call'd him thriftless loone,
    And bade him sharpely wend his way.

  Now well-aday, sayd the heire of Linne,
    Now well-aday, and woe is me;
  For when I had my landes so broad,
    On me they liv'd right merrilee.

  To beg my bread from door to door
    I wis, it were a brenning shame:
  To rob and steale it were a sinne:
    To worke my limbs I cannot frame.

  Now Ile away to lonesome lodge,
    For there my father bade me wend;
  When all the world should frown on mee
    I there shold find a trusty friend.


  Away then hyed the heire of Linne
    Oer hill and holt, and moor and fenne,
  Untill he came to lonesome lodge,
    That stood so lowe in a lonely glenne.

  He looked up, he looked downe,
    In hope some comfort for to winne:
  But bare and lothly were the walles.
    Here's sorry cheare, quo' the heire of Linne.

  The little windowe dim and darke
    Was hung with ivy, brere, and yewe;
  No shimmering sunn here ever shone;
    No halesome breeze here ever blew.

  No chair, ne table he mote spye,
    No cheerful hearth, ne welcome bed,
  Nought save a rope with renning noose,
    That dangling hung up o'er his head.

  And over it in broad letters,
    These words were written so plain to see:
  "Ah! gracelesse wretch, hast spent thine all,
    And brought thyselfe to penurie?

  "All this my boding mind misgave,
    I therefore left this trusty friend:
  Let it now sheeld thy foule disgrace,
    And all thy shame and sorrows end."

  Sorely shent wi' this rebuke,
    Sorely shent was the heire of Linne,
  His heart, I wis, was near to brast     With guilt and sorrowe, shame
and sinne.

  Never a word spake the heire of Linne,
    Never a word he spake but three:
  "This is a trusty friend indeed,
    And is right welcome unto mee."

  Then round his necke the corde he drewe,
    And sprung aloft with his bodie:
  When lo! the ceiling burst in twaine,
    And to the ground came tumbling hee.

  Astonyed lay the heire of Linne,
    Ne knewe if he were live or dead:
  At length he looked, and saw a bille,
    And in it a key of gold so redd.

  He took the bill, and lookt it on,
    Strait good comfort found he there:
  It told him of a hole in the wall,
    In which there stood three chests in-fere.

  Two were full of the beaten golde,
   The third was full of white money;
  And over them in broad letters
   These words were written so plaine to see:

  "Once more, my sonne, I sette thee clere;
   Amend thy life and follies past;
  For but thou amend thee of thy life,
   That rope must be thy end at last."

  And let it bee, sayd the heire of Linne;
   And let it bee, but if I amend:
  For here I will make mine avow,
   This reade shall guide me to the end.

  Away then went with a merry cheare,
   Away then went the heire of Linne;
  I wis, he neither ceas'd ne blanne,
   Till John o' the Scales house he did winne.

  And when he came to John o' the Scales,
   Upp at the speere then looked hee;
  There sate three lords upon a rowe,
   Were drinking of the wine so free.

  And John himself sate at the bord-head,
   Because now lord of Linne was hee.
  I pray thee, he said, good John o' the Scales,
   One forty pence for to lend mee.

  Away, away, thou thriftless loone;
    Away, away, this may not bee:
  For Christs curse on my head, he sayd,
    If ever I trust thee one pennìe.

  Then bespake the heire of Linne,
    To John o' the Scales wife then spake he:
  Madame, some almes on me bestowe,
    I pray for sweet Saint Charitìe.

  Away, away, thou thriftless loone,
    I swear thou gettest no almes of mee;
  For if we shold hang any losel heere,
    The first we wold begin with thee.

  Then bespake a good fellòwe,
    Which sat at John o' the Scales his bord
  Sayd, Turn againe, thou heire of Linne;
    Some time thou wast a well good lord;

  Some time a good fellow thou hast been,
    And sparedst not thy gold nor fee;
  Therefore He lend thee forty pence,
    And other forty if need bee.

  And ever, I pray thee, John o' the Scales,
    To let him sit in thy companie:
  For well I wot thou hadst his land,
    And a good bargain it was to thee.

  Up then spake him John o' the Scales,
    All wood he answer'd him againe:
  Now Christs curse on my head, he sayd,
    But I did lose by that bargàine.

  And here I proffer thee, heire of Linne,
    Before these lords so faire and free,
  Thou shalt have it backe again better cheape,
    By a hundred markes, than I had it of thee.

  I draw you to record, lords, he said.
    With that he cast him a gods pennie:
  Now by my fay, sayd the heire of Linne,
    And here, good John, is thy monèy.

  And he pull'd forth three bagges of gold,
    And layd them down upon the bord:
  All woe begone was John o' the Scales,
    Soe shent he cold say never a word.

  He told him forth the good red gold,
    He told it forth with mickle dinne.
  The gold is thine, the land is mine,
    And now Ime againe the lord of Linne.

  Sayes, Have thou here, thou good fellòwe,
    Forty pence thou didst lend me:
  Now I am againe the lord of Linne,
    And forty pounds I will give thee.

  He make the keeper of my forrest,
    Both of the wild deere and the tame;
  For but I reward thy bounteous heart,
    I wis, good fellowe, I were to blame.

  Now welladay! sayth Joan o' the Scales:
    Now welladay! and woe is my life!
  Yesterday I was lady of Linne,
    Now Ime but John o' the Scales his wife.

  Now fare thee well, sayd the heire of Linne;
    Farewell now, John o' the Scales, said hee:
  Christs curse light on me, if ever again
    I bring my lands in jeopardy.

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  I Read that once in Affrica
    A princely wight did raine,
  Who had to name Cophetua,
    As poets they did faine:
  From natures lawes he did decline,
  For sure he was not of my mind.
  He cared not for women-kinde,
    But did them all disdaine.
  But, marke, what hapened on a day,
  As he out of his window lay,
  He saw a beggar all in gray,
    The which did cause his paine.

  The blinded boy, that shootes so trim,
    From heaven downe did hie;
  He drew a dart and shot at him,
    In place where he did lye:
  Which soone did pierse him to the quicke.
  And when he felt the arrow pricke,
  Which in his tender heart did sticke,
    He looketh as he would dye.
  What sudden chance is this, quoth he,
  That I to love must subject be,
  Which never thereto would agree,
    But still did it defie?

  Then from the window he did come,
    And laid him on his bed,
  A thousand heapes of care did runne
    Within his troubled head:
  For now he meanes to crave her love,
  And now he seekes which way to proove
  How he his fancie might remoove,
    And not this beggar wed.
  But Cupid had him so in snare,
  That this poor begger must prepare
  A salve to cure him of his care,
    Or els he would be dead.

  And, as he musing thus did lye,
    He thought for to devise
  How he might have her companye,
    That so did 'maze his eyes.
  In thee, quoth he, doth rest my life;
  For surely thou shalt be my wife,
  Or else this hand with bloody knife
    The Gods shall sure suffice.
  Then from his bed he soon arose,
  And to his pallace gate he goes;
  Full little then this begger knowes
    When she the king espies.

  The Gods preserve your majesty,
    The beggers all gan cry:
  Vouchsafe to give your charity
    Our childrens food to buy.
  The king to them his pursse did cast,
    And they to part it made great haste;
  This silly woman was the last
    That after them did hye.
  The king he cal'd her back againe,
  And unto her he gave his chaine;
  And said, With us you shal remaine
    Till such time as we dye:

  For thou, quoth he, shalt be my wife,
    And honoured for my queene;
  With thee I meane to lead my life,
    As shortly shall be seene:
  Our wedding shall appointed be,
  And every thing in its degree:
  Come on, quoth he, and follow me,
    Thou shalt go shift thee cleane.
  What is thy name, faire maid? quoth he.
  Penelophon, O king, quoth she;
  With that she made a lowe courtsey;
    A trim one as I weene.

  Thus hand in hand along they walke
    Unto the king's pallace:
  The king with curteous comly talke
    This beggar doth imbrace:
  The begger blusheth scarlet red,
  And straight againe as pale as lead,
  But not a word at all she said,
    She was in such amaze.
  At last she spake with trembling voyce,
  And said, O king, I doe rejoyce
  That you wil take me from your choyce,
    And my degree's so base.

  And when the wedding day was come,
    The king commanded strait
  The noblemen both all and some
    Upon the queene to wait.
  And she behaved herself that day,
  As if she had never walkt the way;
  She had forgot her gown of gray,
    Which she did weare of late.
  The proverbe old is come to passe,
  The priest, when he begins his masse,
  Forgets that ever clerke he was;
    He knowth not his estate.

  Here you may read, Cophetua,
    Though long time fancie-fed,
  Compelled by the blinded boy
    The begger for to wed:
  He that did lovers lookes disdaine,
  To do the same was glad and faine,
  Or else he would himselfe have slaine,
  In storie, as we read.
    Disdaine no whit, O lady deere,
    But pitty now thy servant heere,
    Least that it hap to thee this yeare,
      As to that king it did.

  And thus they led a quiet life
    Duringe their princely raigne;
  And in a tombe were buried both,
    As writers sheweth plaine.
  The lords they tooke it grievously,
  The ladies tooke it heavily,
  The commons cryed pitiously,
    Their death to them was paine,
    Their fame did sound so passingly,
    That it did pierce the starry sky,
    And throughout all the world did flye
      To every princes realme.

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  'When Flora with her fragrant flowers
    Bedeckt the earth so trim and gaye,
  And Neptune with his daintye showers
    Came to present the monthe of Maye;'
  King Henrye rode to take the ayre,
    Over the river of Thames past hee;
  When eighty merchants of London came,
    And downe they knelt upon their knee.

  "O yee are welcome, rich merchants;
    Good saylors, welcome unto mee."
  They swore by the rood, they were saylors good,
    But rich merchànts they cold not bee:
  "To France nor Flanders dare we pass:
    Nor Bourdeaux voyage dare we fare;
  And all for a rover that lyes on the seas,
    Who robbs us of our merchant ware."

  King Henrye frowned, and turned him rounde,
    And swore by the Lord, that was mickle of might,
  "I thought he had not beene in the world,
    Durst have wrought England such unright."
  The merchants sighed, and said, alas!
    And thus they did their answer frame,
  He is a proud Scott, that robbs on the seas,
    And Sir Andrewe Barton is his name.

  The king lookt over his left shoulder,
    And an angrye look then looked hee:
  "Have I never a lorde in all my realme,
    Will feitch yond tray tor unto me?"
  Yea, that dare I; Lord Howard sayes;
    Yea, that dare I with heart and hand;
  If it please your grace to give me leave,
    Myselfe wil be the only man.

  Thou art but yong; the kyng replyed:
    Yond Scott hath numbered manye a yeare.
  "Trust me, my liege, lie make him quail,
    Or before my prince I will never appeare."
  Then bowemen and gunners thou shalt have,
    And chuse them over my realme so free;
  Besides good mariners, and shipp-boyes,
    To guide the great shipp on the sea.

  The first man, that Lord Howard chose,
    Was the ablest gunner in all the realm,
  Thoughe he was three score yeeres and ten;
    Good Peter Simon was his name.
  Peter, sais hee, I must to the sea,
    To bring home a traytor live or dead:
  Before all others I have chosen thee;
    Of a hundred gunners to be the head.

  If you, my lord, have chosen mee
    Of a hundred gunners to be the head,
  Then hang me up on your maine-mast tree,
    If I misse my marke one shilling bread.
  My lord then chose a boweman rare,
    "Whose active hands had gained fame."
  In Yorkshire was this gentleman borne,
    And William Horseley was his name.

  Horseley, said he, I must with speede
    Go seeke a traytor on the sea,
  And now of a hundred bowemen brave
    To be the head I have chosen thee.
  If you, quoth hee, have chosen mee
    Of a hundred bowemen to be the head
  On your main-mast He hanged bee,
    If I miss twelvescore one penny bread.

  With pikes and gunnes, and bowemen bold,
    This noble Howard is gone to the sea;
  With a valyant heart and a pleasant cheare,
    Out at Thames mouth sayled he.
  And days he scant had sayled three,
    Upon the 'voyage,' he tooke in hand,
  But there he mett with a noble shipp,
    And stoutely made itt stay and stand.

  Thou must tell me, Lord Howard said,
    Now who thou art, and what's thy name;
  And shewe me where they dwelling is:
    And whither bound, and whence thou came.
  My name is Henry Hunt, quoth hee
    With a heavye heart, and a carefull mind;
  I and my shipp doe both belong
    To the Newcastle, that stands upon Tyne.

  Hast thou not heard, nowe, Henrye Hunt,
    As thou hast sayled by daye and by night,
  Of a Scottish rover on the seas;
    Men call him Sir Andrew Barton, knight!
  Then ever he sighed, and said alas!
    With a grieved mind, and well away!
  But over-well I knowe that wight,
    I was his prisoner yesterday.

  As I was sayling uppon the sea,
    A Burdeaux voyage for to fare;
  To his hach-borde he clasped me,
    And robd me of all my merchant ware:
  And mickle debts, God wot, I owe,
    And every man will have his owne;
  And I am nowe to London bounde,
    Of our gracious king to beg a boone.

  That shall not need, Lord Howard sais;
    Lett me but once that robber see,
  For every penny tane thee froe
    It shall be doubled shillings three.
  Nowe God forefend, the merchant said,
    That you should seek soe far amisse!
  God keepe you out of that traitors hands!
    Full litle ye wott what a man hee is.

  Hee is brasse within, and steele without,
    With beames on his topcastle stronge;
  And eighteen pieces of ordinance
    He carries on each side along:
  And he hath a pinnace deerlye dight,
    St. Andrewes crosse that is his guide;
  His pinnace beareth ninescore men,
    And fifteen canons on each side.

  Were ye twentye shippes, and he but one;
    I sweare by kirke, and bower, and hall;
  He wold overcome them everye one,
    If once his beames they doe downe fall.
  This is cold comfort, sais my lord,
    To wellcome a stranger thus to the sea:
  Yet He bring him and his ship to shore,
    Or to Scottland hee shall carrye mee.

  Then a noble gunner you must have,
    And he must aim well with his ee,
  And sinke his pinnace into the sea,
    Or else hee never orecome will bee:
  And if you chance his shipp to borde,
    This counsel I must give withall,
  Let no man to his topcastle goe
    To strive to let his beams downe fall.

  And seven pieces of ordinance,
    I pray your honour lend to mee,
  On each side of my shipp along,
    And I will lead you on the sea.
  A glasse He sett, that may be seene
    Whether you sail by day or night;
  And to-morrowe, I sweare, by nine of the clocke
    You shall meet with Sir Andrewe Barton knight.


  The merchant sett my lorde a glasse
    Soe well apparent in his sight,
  And on the morrowe, by nine of the clocke,
    He shewed him Sir Andrewe Barton knight.
  His hachebord it was 'gilt' with gold,
    Soe deerlye dight it dazzled the ee:
  Nowe by my faith, Lord Howarde sais,
    This is a gallant sight to see.

  Take in your ancyents, standards eke,
    So close that no man may them see;
  And put me forth a white willowe wand,
    As merchants use to sayle the sea.
  But they stirred neither top, nor mast;
    Stoutly they past Sir Andrew by.
  What English churles are yonder, he sayd,
    That can soe little curtesye?

  Now by the roode, three yeares and more
    I have beene admirall over the sea;
  And never an English nor Portingall
    Without my leave can passe this way.
  Then called he forth his stout pinnace;
    "Fetch backe yond pedlars nowe to mee:
  I sweare by the masse, yon English churles
    Shall all hang att my maine-mast tree."

  With that the pinnace itt shot off,
    Full well Lord Howard might it ken;
  For itt stroke down my lord's fore mast,
    And killed fourteen of his men.
  Come hither, Simon, sayes my lord,
    Looke that thy word be true, thou said;
  For at my maine-mast thou shalt hang,
    If thou misse thy marke one shilling bread.

  Simon was old, but his heart itt was bold;
    His ordinance he laid right lowe;
  He put in chaine full nine yardes long,
    With other great shott lesse, and moe;
  And he lette goe his great gunnes shott:
    Soe well he settled itt with his ee,
  The first sight that Sir Andrew sawe,
    He see his pinnace sunke in the sea.

  And when he saw his pinnace sunke,
    Lord, how his heart with rage did swell!
  "Nowe cutt my ropes, itt is time to be gon;
    Ile fetch yond pedlars backe mysell."
  When my lord sawe Sir Andrewe loose,
    Within his heart he was full faine:
  "Now spread your ancyents, strike up your drummes,
    Sound all your trumpetts out amaine."

  Fight on, my men, Sir Andrewe sais,
    Weale howsoever this geere will sway;
  Itt is my Lord Admirall of England,
    Is come to seeke mee on the sea.
  Simon had a sonne, who shott right well,
    That did Sir Andrewe mickle scare;
  In att his decke he gave a shott,
    Killed threescore of his men of warre.

  Then Henrye Hunt with rigour hott
    Came bravely on the other side,
  Soone he drove downe his fore-mast tree,
    And killed fourscore men beside.
  Nowe, out alas! Sir Andrewe cryed,
    What may a man now thinke, or say?
  Yonder merchant theefe, that pierceth mee,
    He was my prisoner yesterday.

  Come hither to me, thou Gordon good,
    That aye wast readye att my call:
  I will give thee three hundred markes,
    If thou wilt let my beames downe fall.
  Lord Howard hee then calld in haste,
    "Horseley see thou be true in stead;
  For thou shalt at the maine-mast hang,
    If thou misse twelvescore one penny bread."

  Then Gordon swarved the maine-mast tree,
    He swarved it with might and maine;
  But Horseley with a bearing arrowe,
    Stroke the Gordon through the braine;
  And he fell unto the haches again,
    And sore his deadlye wounde did bleed:
  Then word went through Sir Andrews men,
    How that the Gordon hee was dead.

  Come hither to mee, James Hambilton,
    Thou art my only sisters sonne,
  If thou wilt let my beames downe fall
    Six hundred nobles thou hast wonne.
  With that he swarved the maine-mast tree,
    He swarved it with nimble art;
  But Horseley with a broad arròwe
    Pierced the Hambilton thorough the heart:

  And downe he fell upon the deck,
    That with his blood did streame amaine:
  Then every Scott cryed, Well-away!
    Alas! a comelye youth is slaine.
  All woe begone was Sir Andrew then,
    With griefe and rage his heart did swell:
  "Go fetch me forth my armour of proofe,
    For I will to the topcastle mysell."

  "Goe fetch me forth my armour of proofe;
    That gilded is with gold soe cleare:
  God be with my brother John of Barton!
    Against the Portingalls hee it ware;
  And when he had on this armour of proofe,
    He was a gallant sight to see:
  Ah! nere didst thou meet with living wight,
    My deere brother, could cope with thee."

  Come hither Horseley, sayes my lord,
    And looke your shaft that itt goe right,
  Shoot a good shoote in time of need,
    And for it thou shalt be made a knight.
  Ile shoot my best, quoth Horseley then,
    Your honour shall see, with might and maine;
  But if I were hanged at your maine-mast,
    I have now left but arrowes twaine.

  Sir Andrew he did swarve the tree,
   With right good will he swarved then:
  Upon his breast did Horseley hitt,
    But the arrow bounded back agen.
  Then Horseley spyed a privye place
    With a perfect eye in a secrette part;
  Under the spole of his right arme
    He smote Sir Andrew to the heart.

  "Fight on, my men," Sir Andrew sayes,
    "A little Ime hurt, but yett not slaine;
  He but lye downe and bleede a while,
    And then He rise and fight againe.
  Fight on, my men," Sir Andrew sayes,
    "And never flinch before the foe;
  And stand fast by St. Andrewes crosse
    Until you heare my whistle blowe."

  They never heard his whistle blow--
    Which made their hearts waxe sore adread:
  Then Horseley sayd, Aboard, my lord,
    For well I wott Sir Andrew's dead.
  They boarded then his noble shipp,
    They boarded it with might and maine;
  Eighteen score Scots alive they found,
    The rest were either maimed or slaine.

  Lord Howard tooke a sword in hand,
    And off he smote Sir Andrewes head,
  "I must have left England many a daye,
    If thou wert alive as thou art dead."
  He caused his body to be cast
    Over the hatchboard into the sea,
  And about his middle three hundred crownes:
    "Wherever thou land this will bury thee."

  Thus from the warres Lord Howard came,
    And backe he sayled ore the maine,
  With mickle joy and triumphing
    Into Thames mouth he came againe.
  Lord Howard then a letter wrote,
    And sealed it with scale and ring;
  "Such a noble prize have I brought to your grace,
    As never did subject to a king:

  "Sir Andrewes shipp I bring with mee;
    A braver shipp was never none:
  Nowe hath your grace two shipps of warr,
    Before in England was but one."
  King Henryes grace with royall cheere
    Welcomed the noble Howard home,
  And where, said he, is this rover stout,
   That I myselfe may give the doome?

  "The rover, he is safe, my liege,
    Full many a fadom in the sea;
  If he were alive as he is dead,
    I must have left England many a day:
  And your grace may thank four men i' the ship
    For the victory wee have wonne,
  These are William Horseley, Henry Hunt,
    And Peter Simon, and his sonne."

  To Henry Hunt, the king then sayd,
    In lieu of what was from thee tane,
  A noble a day now thou shalt have,
    Sir Andrewes jewels and his chayne.
  And Horseley thou shalt be a knight,
    And lands and livings shalt have store;
  Howard shall be erle Surrye hight,
    As Howards erst have beene before.

  Nowe, Peter Simon, thou art old,
    I will maintaine thee and thy sonne:
  And the men shall have five hundred markes
    For the good service they have done.
  Then in came the queene with ladyes fair
    To see Sir Andrewe Barton knight:
  They weend that hee were brought on shore,
    And thought to have seen a gallant sight.

  But when they see his deadlye face,
    And eyes soe hollow in his head,
  I wold give, quoth the king, a thousand markes,
    This man were alive as hee is dead:
  Yett for the manfull part hee playd,
    Which fought soe well with heart and hand,
  His men shall have twelvepence a day,
    Till they come to my brother kings high land.


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  May Collin ...
    ... was her father's heir,
  And she fell in love with a false priest,
    And she rued it ever mair.

  He followd her butt, he followd her benn,
    He followd her through the hall,
  Till she had neither tongue nor teeth
    Nor lips to say him naw.

  "We'll take the steed out where he is,
    The gold where eer it be,
  And we'll away to some unco land,
    And married we shall be."

  They had not riden a mile, a mile,
    A mile but barely three,
  Till they came to a rank river,
    Was raging like the sea.

  "Light off, light off now, May Collin,
    It's here that you must die;
  Here I have drownd seven king's daughters,
    The eight now you must be.

  "Cast off, cast off now, May Collin,
    Your gown that's of the green;
  For it's oer good and oer costly
    To rot in the sea-stream.

  "Cast off, cast off now, May Collin,
    Your coat that's of the black;
  For it's oer good and oer costly
    To rot in the sea-wreck.

  "Cast off, cast off now, May Collin,
    Your stays that are well laced;
  For thei'r oer good and costly
    In the sea's ground to waste.

  "Cast [off, cast off now, May Collin,]
    Your sark that's of the holland;
  For [it's oer good and oer costly]
    To rot in the sea-bottom."

  "Turn you about now, falsh Mess John,
    To the green leaf of the tree;
  It does not fit a mansworn man
    A naked woman to see."

  He turnd him quickly round about,
    To the green leaf of the tree;
  She took him hastly in her arms
    And flung him in the sea.

  "Now lye you there, you falsh Mess John,
    My mallasin go with thee!
  You thought to drown me naked and bare,
    But take your cloaths with thee,
  And if there be seven king's daughters there
    Bear you them company"

  She lap on her milk steed
    And fast she bent the way,
  And she was at her father's yate
    Three long hours or day.

  Up and speaks the wylie parrot,
    So wylily and slee:
  "Where is the man now, May Collin,
    That gaed away wie thee?"

  "Hold your tongue, my wylie parrot,
    And tell no tales of me,
  And where I gave a pickle befor
    It's now I'll give you three."

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  Itt was a blind beggar, had long lost his sight,
  He had a faire daughter of bewty most bright;
  And many a gallant brave suiter had shee,
  For none was soe comelye as pretty Bessee.

  And though shee was of favour most faire,
  Yett seeing shee was but a poor beggars heyre,
  Of ancyent housekeepers despised was shee,
  Whose sonnes came as suitors to prettye Bessee.

  Wherefore in great sorrow faire Bessy did say,
  Good father, and mother, let me goe away
  To seeke out my fortune, whatever itt bee.
  This suite then they granted to prettye Bessee.

  Then Bessy, that was of bewtye soe bright,
  All cladd in gray russett, and late in the night
  From father and mother alone parted shee;
  Who sighed and sobbed for prettye Bessee.

  Shee went till shee came to Stratford-le-Bow;
  Then knew shee not whither, nor which way to goe:
  With teares shee lamented her hard destinie,
  So sadd and soe heavy was pretty Bessee.

  Shee kept on her journey untill it was day,
  And went unto Rumford along the hye way;
  Where at the Queenes armes entertained was shee;
  Soe faire and wel favoured was pretty Bessee.

  Shee had not beene there a month to an end,
  But master and mistress and all was her friend:
  And every brave gallant, that once did her see,
  Was straight-way enamoured of pretty Bessee.

  Great gifts they did send her of silver and gold,
  And in their songs daylye her love was extold;
  Her beawtye was blazed in every degree;
  Soe faire and soe comelye was pretty Bessee.

  The young men of Rumford in her had their joy;
  Shee shewed herself curteous, and modestlye coye;
  And at her commandment still wold they bee;
  Soe fayre and soe comlye was pretty Bessee.

  Foure suitors att once unto her did goe;
  They craved her favor, but still she sayd noe;
  I wold not wish gentles to marry with mee.
  Yett ever they honored prettye Bessee.

  The first of them was a gallant young knight,
  And he came unto her disguisde in the night;
  The second a gentleman of good degree,
  Who wooed and sued for prettye Bessee.

  A merchant of London, whose wealth was not small,
  He was the third suiter, and proper withall:
  Her masters own sonne the fourth man must bee,
  Who swore he would dye for pretty Bessee.

  And, if thou wilt marry with mee, quoth the knight,
  Ile make thee a ladye with joy and delight;
  My hart's so inthralled by thy bewtle,
  That soone I shall dye for prettye Bessee.

  The gentleman sayd, Come, marry with mee,
  As fine as a ladye my Bessy shal bee:
  My life is distressed: O heare me, quoth hee;
  And grant me thy love, my prettye Bessee.

  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 for ever love pretty Bessee.

  Then Bessy shee sighed, and thus she did say,
  My father and mother I meane to obey;
  First gett their good will, and be faithfull to mee,
  And you shall enjoye your prettye Bessee.

  To every one this answer shee made,
  Wherfore unto her they joyfullye sayd,
  This thing to fulfill wee all doe agree;  But where dwells thy father, my prettye Bessee?

  My father, shee said, is soone to be seene:
  The seely blind beggar of Bednall-greene,
  That daylye sits begging for charitie,
  He is the good father of pretty Bessee.

  His markes and his tokens are knowen very well;
  He alwayes is led with a dogg and a bell:
  A seely olde man, God knoweth, is hee,
  Yett hee is the father of pretty Bessee.

  Nay then, quoth the merchant, thou art not for mee:
  Nor, quoth the innholder, my wiffe thou shalt bee:
  I lothe, sayd the gentle, a beggars degree,
  And therefore, adewe, my pretty Bessee!

  Why then, quoth the knight, hap better or worse,
  I waighe not true love by the waight of my pursse,
  And bewtye is bewtye in every degree;
  Then welcome unto me, my prettye Bessee.

  With thee to thy father forthwith I will goe.
  Nay soft, quoth his kinsmen, it must not be soe;
  A poor beggars daughter noe ladye shal bee,
  Then take thy adew of pretty Bessee.

  But soone after this, by breake of the day,
  The knight had from Rumford stole Bessy away.
  The younge men of Rumford, as thicke might bee,
  Rode after to feitch againe pretty Bessee.

  As swifte as the winde to ryde they were scene,
  Untill they came neare unto Bednall-greene;
  And as the knight lighted most courteouslìe,
  They all fought against him for pretty Bessee.

  But rescew came speedilye over the plaine,
  Or else the young knight for his love had been slaine.
  This fray being ended, then straitway he see
  His kinsmen come rayling at pretty Bessee.

  Then spake the blind beggar, Although I bee poore,
  Yett rayle not against my child at my own doore:
  Though 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 that you lay on the earth,
  Then neyther rayle nor grudge you to see
  The blind beggars daughter a lady to bee.

  But first you shall promise, and have it well knowne,
  The gold that you drop shall all be your owne.
  With that they replyed, Contented bee wee.
  Then here's, quoth the beggar, for pretty Bessee.

  With that an angell he cast on the ground,
  And dropped in angels full three thousand pound;
  And oftentime itt was proved most plaine,
  For the gentlemens one the beggar droppt twayne:

  Soe that the place, wherin they did sitt,
  With gold it was covered every whitt.
  The gentlemen then having dropt all their store,
  Sayd, Now, beggar, hold, for wee have noe more.

  Thou hast fulfilled thy promise arright.
  Then marry, quoth he, my girle to this knight;
  And heere, added hee, I will now throwe you downe
  A hundred pounds more to buy her a gowne.

  The gentlemen all, that this treasure had seene,
  Admired the beggar of Bednall-greene:
  And all those, that were her suitors before,
  Their fleshe for very anger they tore.

  Thus was faire Besse matched to the knight,
  And then made a ladye in others despite:
  A fairer ladye there never was seene,
  Than the blind beggars daughter of Bednall-greene.

  But of their sumptuous marriage and feast,
  What brave lords and knights thither were prest,
  The SECOND FITT shall set forth to your sight
  With marveilous pleasure, and wished delight.


  Off a blind beggars daughter most bright,
  That late was betrothed unto a younge knight;
  All the discourse therof you did see;
  But now comes the wedding of pretty Bessee.

  Within a gorgeous palace most brave,
  Adorned with all the cost they cold have,
  This wedding was kept most sumptuouslìe,
  And all for the credit of pretty Bessee.

  All kind of dainties, and delicates sweete
  Were bought for the banquet, as it was most meete;
  Partridge, and plover, and venison most free,
  Against the brave wedding of pretty Bessee.

  This marriage through England was spread by report,
  Soe that a great number therto did resort
  Of nobles and gentles in every degree;
  And all for the fame of prettye Bessee.

  To church then went this gallant younge knight;
  His bride followed after, an angell most bright,
  With troopes of ladyes, the like nere was scene
  As went with sweete Bessy of Bednall-greene.

  This marryage being solempnized then,
  With musicke performed by the skilfullest men,
  The nobles and gentles sate downe at that tyde,
  Each one admiring the beautiful bryde.

  Now, after the sumptuous dinner was done,
  To talke, and to reason a number begunn:
  They talkt of the blind beggars daughter most bright,
  And what with his daughter he gave to the knight.

  Then spake the nobles, "Much marveil have wee,
  This jolly blind beggar wee cannot here see."
  My lords, quoth the bride, my father's so base,
  He is loth with his presence these states to disgrace.

  "The prayse of a woman in question to bringe
  Before her own face, were a flattering thinge;
  But wee thinke thy father's baseness," 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 cloke;
  A faire velvet capp, and a fether had hee,
  And now a musicyan forsooth he wold bee.

  He had a daintye lute under his arme,
  He touched the strings, which made such a charme,
  Saies, Please you to heare any musicke of mee,
  Ile sing you a song of pretty Bessee.

  With that his lute he twanged straightway,
  And thereon begann most sweetlye to play;
  And after that lessons were playd two or three,
  He strayn'd out this song most delicatelìe.

  "A poore beggars daughter did dwell on a greene,
  Who for her fairenesse might well be a queene:
  A blithe bonny lasse, and a daintye was shee,
  And many one called her pretty Bessee.

  "Her father hee had noe goods, nor noe land,
  But begged for a penny all day with his hand;
  And yett to her marriage he gave thousands three,
  And still he hath somewhat for pretty Bessee.

  "And if any one here her birth doe disdaine,
  Her father is ready, with might and with maine,
  To proove shee is come of noble degree:
  Therfore never flout att prettye Bessee."

  With that the lords and the companye round
  With harty laughter were readye to swound;
  Att last said the lords, Full well wee may see,
  The bride and the beggar's behoulden to thee.

  On this the bride all blushing did rise,
  The pearlie dropps standing within her faire eyes,
  O pardon my father, grave nobles, quoth shee,
  That throughe blind affection thus doteth on mee.

  If this be thy father, 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 fortune did never agree:

  And therefore, blind man, we pray thee bewray,
  (and looke that the truth thou to us doe say)
  Thy birth and thy parentage, whatt itt may bee;
  For the love that thou bearest to pretty Bessee.

  "Then give me leave, nobles and gentles, each one,
  One song more to sing, and then I have done;
  And if that itt may not winn good report,
  Then doe not give me a GROAT for my sport.

  "Sir Simon de Montfort my subject shal bee;
  Once chiefe of all the great barons was hee,
  Yet fortune so cruelle this lorde did abase,
  Now loste and forgotten are hee and his race.

  "When the barons in armes did King Henrye oppose,
  Sir Simon de Montfort their leader they chose;
  A leader of courage undaunted was hee,
  And oft-times he made their enemyes flee.

  "At length in the battle on Eveshame plaine
  The barons were routed, and Montford was slaine;
  Moste fatall that battel did prove unto thee,
  Thoughe thou wast not borne then, my prettye Bessee!

  "Along with the nobles, that fell at that tyde,
  His eldest son Henrye, who fought by his side,
  Was fellde by a blowe, he receivde in the fight!
  A blowe that deprivde him for ever of sight.

  "Among the dead bodyes all lifeless he laye,
  Till evening drewe on of the following daye,
  When by a yong ladye discovered was hee;
  And this was thy mother, my prettye Bessee!

  "A barons faire daughter stept forth in the nighte
  To search for her father, who fell in the fight,
  And seeing young Montfort, where gasping he laye,
  Was moved with pitye, and brought him awaye.

  "In secrette she nurst him, and swaged his paine,
  While he throughe the realme was beleeved to be slaine
  At lengthe his faire bride she consented to bee,
  And made him glad father of prettye Bessee.

  "And nowe lest oure foes our lives sholde betraye,
  We clothed ourselves in beggars arraye;
  Her jewelles shee solde, and hither came wee:
  All our comfort and care was our prettye Bessee.

  "And here have we lived in fortunes despite,
  Thoughe poore, yet contented with humble delighte:
  Full forty winters thus have I beene
  A silly blind beggar of Bednall-greene.

  "And here, noble lordes, is ended the song
  Of one, that once to your own ranke did belong:
  And thus have you learned a secrette from mee,
  That ne'er had been knowne, but for prettye Bessee."

  Now when the faire companye everye one,
  Had heard the strange tale in the song he had showne,
  They all were amazed, as well they might bee,
  Both at the blinde beggar, and pretty Bessee.

  With that the faire bride they all did embrace,
  Saying, Sure thou art come of an honourable race,
  Thy father likewise is of noble degree,
  And thou art well worthy a lady to bee.

  Thus was the feast ended with joye and delighte,
  A bridegroome most happy then was the younge knighte,
  In joy and felicitie long lived hee,
  All with his faire ladye, the pretty Bessee.

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  Thomas lay on the Huntlie bank,
    A spying ferlies wi his eee,
  And he did spy a lady gay,
    Come riding down by the lang lee.

  Her steed was o the dapple grey,
    And at its mane there hung bells nine;
  He thought he heard that lady say,
    "They gowden bells sall a' be thine."

  Her mantle was o velvet green,
    And a' set round wi jewels fine;
  Her hawk and hounds were at her side,
    And her bugle-horn wi gowd did shine.

  Thomas took aff baith cloak and cap,
    For to salute this gay lady:
  "O save ye, save ye, fair Queen o Heavn,
    And ay weel met ye save and see!"

  "I'm no the Queen o Heavn, Thomas;
    I never carried my head sae hee;
  For I am but a lady gay,
    Come out to hunt in my follee.

  "Now gin ye kiss my mouth, Thomas,
    Ye mauna miss my fair bodee;
  Then ye may een gang hame and tell
    That ye've lain wi a gay ladee."

  "O gin I loe a lady fair,
    Nae ill tales o her wad I tell,
  And it's wi thee I fain wad gae,
    Tho it were een to heavn or hell."

  "Then harp and carp, Thomas," she said,
    "Then harp and carp alang wi me;
  But it will be seven years and a day
    Till ye win back to yere ain countrie."

  The lady rade, True Thomas ran,
    Until they cam to a water wan;
  O it was night, and nae delight,
    And Thomas wade aboon the knee.

  It was dark night, and nae starn-light,
    And on they waded lang days three,
  And they heard the roaring o a flood,
    And Thomas a waefou man was he.

  Then they rade on, and farther on,
    Untill they came to a garden green;
  To pu an apple he put up his hand,
    For the lack o food he was like to tyne.

  "O haud yere hand, Thomas," she cried,
    "And let that green flourishing be;
  For it's the very fruit o hell,
    Beguiles baith man and woman o yere countrie.

  "But look afore ye, True Thomas,
    And I shall show ye ferlies three;
  Yon is the gate leads to our land,
    Where thou and I sae soon shall be.

  "And dinna ye see yon road, Thomas,
    That lies out-owr yon lilly lee?
  Weel is the man yon gate may gang,
    For it leads him straight to the heavens hie.

  "But do you see yon road, Thomas,
    That lies out-owr yon frosty fell?
  Ill is the man yon gate may gang,
    For it leads him straight to the pit o hell.

  "Now when ye come to our court, Thomas,
    See that a weel-learned man ye be;
  For they will ask ye, one and all,
    But ye maun answer nane but me.

  "And when nae answer they obtain,
    Then will they come and question me,
  And I will answer them again
    That I gat yere aith at the Eildon tree.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "Ilka seven years, Thomas,
    We pay our teindings unto hell,
  And ye're sae leesome and sae strang
    That I fear, Thomas, it will be yeresell."


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  In London city was Bicham born,
    He longd strange countries for to see,
  But he was taen by a savage Moor,
    Who handld him right cruely.

  For thro his shoulder he put a bore,
    An thro the bore has pitten a tree,
  An he's gard him draw the carts o wine,
    Where horse and oxen had wont to be.

  He's casten [him] in a dungeon deep,
    Where he coud neither hear nor see;
  He's shut him up in a prison strong,
    An he's handld him right cruely.

  O this Moor he had but ae daughter,
    I wot her name was Shusy Pye;
  She's doen her to the prison-house,
    And she's calld Young Bicham one word

  "O hae ye ony lands or rents,
    Or citys in your ain country,
  Coud free you out of prison strong,
    An coud mantain a lady free?"

  "O London city is my own,
    An other citys twa or three,
  Coud loose me out o prison strong,
    An coud mantain a lady free."

  O she has bribed her father's men
    Wi meikle goud and white money,
  She's gotten the key o the prison doors,
    An she has set Young Bicham free.

  She's g'in him a loaf o good white bread,
    But an a flask o Spanish wine,
  An she bad him mind on the ladie's love
    That sae kindly freed him out o pine.

  "Go set your foot on good ship-board,
    An haste you back to your ain country,
  An before that seven years has an end,
    Come back again, love, and marry me."

  It was long or seven years had an end
    She longd fu sair her love to see;
  She's set her foot on good ship-board,
    And turnd her back on her ain country.

  She's saild up, so has she doun,
    Till she came to the other side;
  She's landed at Young Bicham's gates,
    An I hop this day she sal be his bride.

  "Is this Young Bicham's gates?" says she,
    "Or is that noble prince within?"
  "He's up the stairs wi his bonny bride,
    An monny a lord and lady wi him."

  "O has he taen a bonny bride,
    An has he clean forgotten me!"
  An sighing said that gay lady,
    I wish I were in my ain country!

  But she's pitten her han in her pocket,
    An gin the porter guineas three;
  Says, Take ye that, ye proud porter,
    An bid the bridegroom speak to me.

  O whan the porter came up the stair,
    He's fa'n low down upon his knee:
  "Won up, won up, ye proud porter,
    An what makes a' this courtesy?"

  "O I've been porter at your gates
    This mair nor seven years an three,
  But there is a lady at them now
    The like of whom I never did see.

  "For on every finger she has a ring,
    An on the mid-finger she has three,
  An there's a meikle goud aboon her brow
    As woud buy an earldome o lan to me."

  Then up it started Young Bicham,
    An sware so loud by Our Lady,
  "It can be nane but Shusy Pye,
    That has come oer the sea to me."

  O quickly ran he down the stair,
    O fifteen steps he has made but three;
  He's tane his bonny love in his arms,
    An a wot he kissd her tenderly.

  "O hae you tane a bonny bride?
    An hae you quite forsaken me?
  An hae ye quite forgotten her
    That gae you life an liberty?"


She's lookit oer her left shoulder
    To hide the tears stood in her ee;
  "Now fare thee well, Young Bicham," she says,
    "I'll strive to think nae mair on thee."

  "Take back your daughter, madam," he says,
    "An a double dowry I'll gi her wi;
  For I maun marry my first true love,
    That's done and suffered so much for me."

  He's take his bonny love by the ban,
    And led her to yon fountain stane;
  He's changd her name frae Shusy Pye,
    An he's cald her his bonny love, Lady Jane.


151.jpg (18K)

  The fifteenth day of July,
    With glistering spear and shield,
  A famous fight in Flanders
    Was foughten in the field:
  The most couragious officers
    Were English captains three;
  But the bravest man in battel
    Was brave Lord Willoughbèy.

  The next was Captain Norris,
    A valiant man was hee:
  The other Captain Turner,
    From field would never flee.
  With fifteen hundred fighting men,
    Alas! there were no more,
  They fought with fourteen thousand then,
    Upon the bloody shore.

  Stand to it, noble pikemen,
    And look you round about:
  And shoot you right, you bow-men,
    And we will keep them out:
  You musquet and callìver men,
    Do you prove true to me,
  I'le be the formost man in fight,
    Says brave Lord Willoughbèy.

  And then the bloody enemy
    They fiercely did assail,
  And fought it out most furiously,
    Not doubting to prevail:
  The wounded men on both sides fell
    Most pitious for to see,
  Yet nothing could the courage quell
    Of brave Lord Willoughbèy.

  For seven hours to all mens view
    This fight endured sore,
  Until our men so feeble grew
    That they could fight no more;
  And then upon dead horses
    Full savourly they eat,
  And drank the puddle water,
    They could no better get.

  When they had fed so freely,
    They kneeled on the ground,
  And praised God devoutly
    For the favour they had found;
  And beating up their colours,
    The fight they did renew,
  And turning tow'rds the Spaniard,
    A thousand more they slew.

  The sharp steel-pointed arrows,
    And bullets thick did fly,
  Then did our valiant soldiers
    Charge on most furiously;
  Which made the Spaniards waver,
    They thought it best to flee,
  They fear'd the stout behaviour
    Of brave Lord Willoughbey.

  Then quoth the Spanish general,
    Come let us march away,
  I fear we shall be spoiled all
    If here we longer stay;
  For yonder comes Lord Willoughbey
    With courage fierce and fell,
  He will not give one inch of way
    For all the devils in hell.

  And then the fearful enemy
    Was quickly put to flight,
  Our men persued couragiously,
    And caught their forces quite;
  But at last they gave a shout,
    Which ecchoed through the sky,
  God, and St. George for England!
    The conquerors did cry.

  This news was brought to England
    With all the speed might be,
  And soon our gracious queen was told
    Of this same victory.
  O this is brave Lord Willoughbey,
    My love that ever won,
  Of all the lords of honour
    'Tis he great deeds hath done.

  To the souldiers that were maimed,
    And wounded in the fray,
  The queen allowed a pension
    Of fifteen pence a day;
  And from all costs and charges
    She quit and set them free:
  And this she did all for the sake
    Of brave Lord Willoughbey.

  Then courage, noble Englishmen,
    And never be dismaid;
  If that we be but one to ten,
    We will not be afraid
  To fight with foraign enemies,
    And set our nation free.
  And thus I end the bloody bout
    Of brave Lord Willoughbey.


155.jpg (12K)

  Will you hear a Spanish lady,
    How shed wooed an English man?
  Garments gay and rich as may be
    Decked with jewels she had on.
  Of a comely countenance and grace was she,
  And by birth and parentage of high degree.

  As his prisoner there he kept her,
    In his hands her life did lye!
  Cupid's bands did tye them faster
    By the liking of an eye.
  In his courteous company was all her joy,
  To favour him in any thing she was not coy.

  But at last there came commandment
    For to set the ladies free,
  With their jewels still adorned,
    None to do them injury.
  Then said this lady mild, Full woe is me;
  O let me still sustain this kind captivity!

  Gallant captain, shew some pity
    To a ladye in distresse;
  Leave me not within this city,
    For to dye in heavinesse:
  Thou hast this present day my body free,
  But my heart in prison still remains with thee.

  "How should'st thou, fair lady, love me,
    Whom thou knowest thy country's foe?
  Thy fair wordes make me suspect thee:
    Serpents lie where flowers grow."
  All the harme I wishe to thee, most courteous knight,
  God grant the same upon my head may fully light.

  Blessed be the time and season,
    That you came on Spanish ground;
  If our foes you may be termed,
    Gentle foes we have you found:
  With our city, you have won our hearts eche one,
  Then to your country bear away, that is your owne.

  "Rest you still, most gallant lady;
    Rest you still, and weep no more;
  Of fair lovers there is plenty,
    Spain doth yield a wonderous store."
  Spaniards fraught with jealousy we often find,
  But Englishmen through all the world are counted kind.

  Leave me not unto a Spaniard,
    You alone enjoy my heart:
  I am lovely, young, and tender,
    Love is likewise my desert:
  Still to serve thee day and night my mind is prest;
  The wife of every Englishman is counted blest.

  "It wold be a shame, fair lady,
    For to bear a woman hence;
  English soldiers never carry
    Any such without offence."
  I'll quickly change myself, if it be so,
  And like a page He follow thee, where'er thou go.

  "I have neither gold nor silver
    To maintain thee in this case,
  And to travel is great charges,
    As you know in every place."
  My chains and jewels every one shal be thy own,
  And eke five hundred pounds in gold that lies unknown.

  "On the seas are many dangers,
    Many storms do there arise,
  Which wil be to ladies dreadful,
    And force tears from watery eyes."
  Well in troth I shall endure extremity,
  For I could find in heart to lose my life for thee.

  "Courteous ladye, leave this fancy,
    Here comes all that breeds the strife;
  I in England have already
    A sweet woman to my wife:
  I will not falsify my vow for gold nor gain,
  Nor yet for all the fairest dames that live in Spain."

  O how happy is that woman
    That enjoys so true a friend!
  Many happy days God send her;
    Of my suit I make an end:
  On my knees I pardon crave for my offence,
  Which did from love and true affection first commence.

  Commend me to thy lovely lady,
    Bear to her this chain of gold;
  And these bracelets for a token;
    Grieving that I was so bold:
  All my jewels in like sort take thou with thee,
  For they are fitting for thy wife, but not for me.

  I will spend my days in prayer,
    Love and all her laws defye;
  In a nunnery will I shroud mee
    Far from any companye:
  But ere my prayers have an end, be sure of this,
  To pray for thee and for thy love I will not miss.

  Thus farewell, most gallant captain!
    Farewell too my heart's content!
  Count not Spanish ladies wanton,
    Though to thee my love was bent:
  Joy and true prosperity goe still with thee!
   "The like fall ever to thy share, most fair ladie."


160.jpg (9K)

  It was a friar of orders gray
   Walkt forth to tell his beades;
  And he met with a lady faire,
    Clad in a pilgrime's weedes.

  Now Christ thee save, thou reverend friar,
    I pray thee tell to me,
  If ever at yon holy shrine
    My true love thou didst see.

  And how should I know your true love
    From many another one?
  O by his cockle hat, and staff,
    And by his sandal shoone.

  But chiefly by his face and mien,
    That were so fair to view;
  His flaxen locks that sweetly curl'd,
    And eyne of lovely blue.

  O lady, he is dead and gone!
    Lady, he's dead and gone!
  And at his head a green grass turfe,
    And at his heels a stone.

  Within these holy cloysters long
    He languisht, and he dyed,
  Lamenting of a ladyes love,
    And 'playning of her pride.

  Here bore him barefac'd on his bier
    Six proper youths and tall,
  And many a tear bedew'd his grave
    Within yon kirk-yard wall.

  And art thou dead, thou gentle youth!
    And art thou dead and gone!
  And didst thou die for love of me!
    Break, cruel heart of stone!

  O weep not, lady, weep not soe;
    Some ghostly comfort seek:
  Let not vain sorrow rive thy heart,
    Ne teares bedew thy cheek.

  O do not, do not, holy friar,
    My sorrow now reprove;
  For I have lost the sweetest youth,
    That e'er wan ladyes love.

  And nowe, alas! for thy sad losse,
    I'll evermore weep and sigh;
  For thee I only wisht to live,
    For thee I wish to dye.

  Weep no more, lady, weep no more,
    Thy sorrowe is in vaine:
  For violets pluckt the sweetest showers
    Will ne'er make grow againe.

  Our joys as winged dreams doe flye,
    Why then should sorrow last?
  Since grief but aggravates thy losse,
    Grieve not for what is past.

  O say not soe, thou holy friar;
    I pray thee, say not soe:
  For since my true-love dyed for mee,
    'Tis meet my tears should flow.

  And will he ne'er come again?
    Will he ne'er come again?
  Ah! no, he is dead and laid in his grave,
    For ever to remain.

  His cheek was redder than the rose;
    The comliest youth was he!
  But he is dead and laid in his grave:
    Alas, and woe is me!

  Sigh no more, lady, sigh no more,
    Men were deceivers ever:
  One foot on sea and one on land,
    To one thing constant never.

  Hadst thou been fond, he had been false,
    And left thee sad and heavy;
  For young men ever were fickle found,
    Since summer trees were leafy.

  Now say not so, thou holy friar,
    I pray thee say not soe;
  My love he had the truest heart:
    O he was ever true!

  And art thou dead, thou much-lov'd youth,
    And didst thou dye for mee?
  Then farewell home; for ever-more
    A pilgrim I will bee.

  But first upon my true-loves grave
    My weary limbs I'll lay,
  And thrice I'll kiss the green-grass turf,
    That wraps his breathless clay.

  Yet stay, fair lady; rest awhile
    Beneath this cloyster wall:
  See through the hawthorn blows the cold wind,
    And drizzly rain doth fall.

  O stay me not, thou holy friar;
    O stay me not, I pray;
  No drizzly rain that falls on me,
    Can wash my fault away.

  Yet stay, fair lady, turn again,
    And dry those pearly tears;
  For see beneath this gown of gray
    Thy own true-love appears.

  Here forc'd by grief, and hopeless love,
    These holy weeds I sought;
  And here amid these lonely walls
    To end my days I thought.

  But haply for my year of grace
    Is not yet past away,
  Might I still hope to win thy love,
    No longer would I stay.

  Now farewell grief, and welcome joy
    Once more unto my heart;
  For since I have found thee, lovely youth,
    We never more will part.

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