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My mother was a western woman,

And learned in gramaryé,
And when I learned at the schole,

Something she taught itt me. “ There groweth an hearbe within this fielde,

And iff it were but known,
His color which is whyte and redde,

It will make blacke and browne.
“ His color which is browne and blacke,

It will make redde and whyte; That sworde is not all Englánde,

Upon his coate will byte.
“ And you shall be a harper, brother,

Out of the north countrée ;
And I'll be your boye so faine of fighte,

To beare your harpe by your knee. And you shall be the best harper,

That ever took harp in hand, And I will be the best singer,

That ever songe in the land.
“ It shal be written in our forheads,

All and in gramaryé,
That we twoe are the boldest men,

That are in all Christentye.”
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,
There they found a proud portér,

Rearing himselfe thereatt.
Sayes, “ Christ thee save, thou proud portér,"

Sayes, “ Christ thee save and see.” “ Now you be welcome,” sayd the portér,

“Of what land soever ye be.”

“ We been harpers," sayd Adler yonge,

“Come out of the north countrée ; We been come bither untill this place,

This proud wedding for to see.”
Sayd, “ An your color were whyte and redd,

As it is blacke and browne,
I'd say Kyng Estmere and his brother,

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,
Then opened to them the fayre hall yates,

He lett for no kind of thyng.
Kyng Estmere he light off his steede,

Up at the fayre hall board;
The frothe that came from his bridle bitte,

Light on Kyng Bremor's beard.
Sayes, “Stable thy steede, thou proud harper,

Go stable him in the stalle ;
It doth not become a proud harper,

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 paynim kyng,

“Thou harper, here to me; There is a man withiu this halle,

That will beate thy ladd and thee." “O lett that man come down," he sayd,

“A sight of him wolde I see, And when he hath beaten well my ladd,

Then he shall beate of mee.”

Down then came the kemperye man,

And looked him in the eare,
For all the golde that was under heaven,

He durst not neigh him neare.

“ And how nowe, kempe," sayd the Kyng of Spayn,

And now what aileth thee?”
He sayes, “It is writen in his forehead,

All, and in gramaryé,
That for alle the golde that is under heaven,

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 staye thy harpe, thou proud harper,

Now staye thy harpe I saye;
For an thou playest as thou beginnest,

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, And as many gold nobles thou shalt have,

As there be stryngs thereon."

“And what wolde ye doe with my harpe ?” he sayd,

“If I did sell it yeep“ 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,
And as many gold nobles I will give,

As there be ryngs in the hall."

“ And what wolde ye doe with my bryde 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;
And I'll rid thee of that foul paynim,

Who parts thy love and thee.”
The ladye lookt and the lady blusht,

And blusht and lookt agayne,
While Adler he bath drawn his brande,

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 Estinere he, and Adler yonge,

Right stiff in stour can stand,
And aye their swordes 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,
And brought her home to merry England,

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 “ Davidson'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 ;
Fear not to touch the best,
The truth shall be thy warrant.
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Go tell the Court it glows

And shines like rotten wood;
Go tell the Church it shows
Men's good, and doth no good :

If Church and Court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates they live

Acting by others' actions,
Not loved unless they give,
Not strong but by their factions :

If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.

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