Page images
PDF
EPUB

A sweet thing is love,
It rules both heart and mind,
There is no comfort in this world,
To women that are kind.

This was no sooner done
But that to stint the strife,
Four goodly maids did proffer him
For love to save his life :
This is our law, quoth they,
We may your death remove,
So you in lieu of our good will
Will grant to us your love.

A sweet, &c.

Brave Englishman, quoth one,
'Tis I will save thy life,
Nay, quoth the second, it is 1,
So I may be thy wife,
”Tis 1, the third did say,
Nay, quoth the fourth, 'tis I,
So each one after the other said,
Still waiting his reply.

A sweet, &c.

Fair maidens every one,
I must confess and say,
That each of you well worthy is
To be a lady gay,

And I unworthy far,
The worst of you to have,
Though you have proffer’d willingly,
My loathed life to save.

A sweet thing is love.
It rules both heart and mind,
There is no comfort in this world,
To women that are kind.

Then take a thousand thanks
Of me, a dying man,
But speak no more of love, nor life,
For why my life is gone :
To Christ my soul I give,
My body unto death,
For none of

you my

heart can have Sith I must lose

my

breath. A sweet, &c.

Fair maids lament not me,
Your country law is such,
It takes but hold upon my life,
My goods it cannot touch,
Within one chest I have
Of gold a thousand pound,
I give it equal to you all
For love that I have found.

A sweet, &c.

And now, dear friends, farewell,
Sweet England now adieu,
And Chichester, where I was born,
Where first this breath I drew :
And now thou man of death
Unto thy weapon stand;
O nay, another damsel said,
Sweet headsman hold thy hand.

A sweet, &c.

Now hear a maiden's plaint,
Brave Englishman, quoth she,
And grant me love for love again,
That craves but love of thee :
I woo and sue for love,
That had been woo'd ere this,
Then grant me love, and therewithal
She proffered him a kiss.

A sweet, &c.

I'll die within thy arms
If thou wilt die, quoth she,
Yet live or die, sweet Englishman,
I'll live and die with thee :
But can it be, quoth he,
That thou dost love me so,
'Tis not by long acquaintance, sir,
Whereby true love doth grow.

A sweet, &c.
VOL. I.

[graphic]

Then beg my life, quoth he,
And I will be thy own,
If I should seek the world for love,
More love cannot be shewn;
The people at that word,
Did give a joyful cry,
And said great pity it was
So sweet a man should die.

A sweet, &c.

I go my love, she said,
I run, I fly for thee,
And, gentle headsman, spare awhile
My lover's head for me;
Unto the Duke she went,
Who did her grief remove,
And with an hundred maidens more
She went to fetch her love.

A sweet, &c.

With music sounding sweet,
The foremost of the train,
The gallant maiden, like a bride,
Did fetch him back again;
Yea, hand in hand alway they went
Unto the church that day,
And they were married presently
In sumptuous rich array.

A sweet, &c.

To England came he then
With his fair lady bride;
A fairer woman never lay
By any merchant's side;
Where we must leave them now
In pleasure and delight.
But of their names and dwelling place
I must not here recite.

VIII.

«A FAYRE PORTION FOR A FAYRE MAID."

Now all my friends are dead and gone,

Alas what shall betide me, For I poor maid am left alone,

Without a house to hide me : Yet still I'll be of merry cheer,

And have kind welcome every where, Though I have but a mark a year,

And that my mother gave me.

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »