« AnteriorContinuar »
And thus they renisht them to ryde,
On twoe good renisht steedes, And when they came to Kyng Adland's halle,
Of redd gold shone their weedes.
And when they came to Kyng Adland's halle,
Untill the fayre hall yate,
Rearing himselfe thereatt.
Sayes, “Christ thee save, thou proud portér,"
Sayes, “ Christ thee save and see.” “Now you be welcome,” says the portér,
“Of what land soever ye be.”
“ We been harpers," sayd Adler yonge,
“Come out of the north countrée ; We been come hither untill this place,
This proud wedding for to see.”
Sayd, “An your color were whyte and redd,
As it is blacke and browne,
Were comen until this towne."
Then they pulled out a ryng of gold,
Layd it on the porter's arme, “And ever we will thee proud portér,
Thou wilt say us no harme."
Sore he looked on Kyng Estmere,
And sore he handled the ryng,
He lett for no kind of thyng.
Kyng Estmere he light off his steede,
Up at the fayre hall board ;
Light on Kyng Bremor's beard.
Sayes, “Stable thy steede, thou proud harper,
Goe stable him in the stalle;
To stable him in a kyng's halle.”
My ladde he is so lither,” he sayd,
“He will do nought that's meete, And aye that I could but find the man,
Were able him to beate.”
“Thou speakest proud wordes,” sayd the
Thou harper, here to me; There is a man within this halle,
That will beate thy ladd and thee."
.O lett that man come down," he sayd,
A sight of him wolde I see,
Then he shall beate of mee."
Down then came the kemperye man,
And looked him in the eare,
He durst not neigh him neare.
“And how now, kempe,” sayd the Kyng of Spayn,
“And now what aileth thee?”
He sayes, “It is written in his forehead,
All, and in gramaryé,
I dare not neigh him nye."
Kyng Estmere then pulled forth his harpe,
And played thereon so sweete, Upstarte the ladye from the kyng,
As he sate att the meate.
"Now stay thy harpe, thou proud harper,
Now staye thy harpe I saye;
Thou'lt till my bride awaye.”
He struck upon his harpe agayne,
And playde both fair and free; The ladye was so pleased thereatt,
She laughed loud laughters three.
“Now sell me thy harpe," said the Kyng of Spayn,
Thy harpe and stryngs eche one,
As there be stryngs thereon.”
“And what wolde ye doe with my harpe ?” he sayd,
“If I did sell it ye?”“ To playe my wyfe and I a fitt,
When we together be.”
“Nowe sell me, Sir Kyng, thy bryde soe gay
As she sits laced in pall,
As there be ryngs in the hall."
“ And what wolde
bride soe gay, Iff I did sell her yee ?”“More seemly it is for that fair ladye
To wed with me than thee."
He played agayne both loud and shrille,
And Adler he did syng ; “O ladye, this is thy owne true love,
No harper, but a kyng.
“O ladye, this is thy owne true love,
As playnlye thou mayst see;
Who parts thy love and thee.”
The ladye lookt and the ladye blusht,
And blusht and lookt agayne,
And hath Sir Bremor slayne.
Up then rose the kemperye men,
And loud they gan to crye: “Ah, traytors ! yee have slayne our kyng,
And therefore ye shall dye."
Kyng Estmere threwe the harpe asyde,
And swith he drew his brand; And Estmere he, and Adler yonge,
Right stiff in stour can stand.
their swords soe sore can byte, Through help of gramarye, That soon they have slayne the kemperye men,
Or forst them forth to flee.
King Estmere took that fayre ladye,
And married her to his wyfe,
With her to leade his lyfe.
I must not, however, attempt to quote more of those fine old ballads here: the feuds of the Percy and the Douglas would take up too much space; so would the loves of King Arthur's court, and the adventures of Robin Hood. Even the story of the Heir of Lynne must remain untold; and I must content myself with two of the shortest and least hacknied poems in a book that for great and varied interest can hardly be surpassed.
The “Lie,” is said to have been written by Sir Walter Raleigh the night before his execution. That it was written at that exact time is pretty well disproved by the date of its publication in “Davison's Poems," before Sir Walter's death; it is even uncertain that Raleigh was the author ; but that it is of that age is beyond all doubt; so is its extraordinary beauty -a beauty quite free from the conceits which deform too many of our finest old lyrics.
Go, Soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand;