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Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
Idle minutes are his raigne ;
If by these yee please to know him,
THE KING OF FRANCE'S DAUGHTER.
The story of this Ballad seems to be taken from an incident in the domestic history of Charles the Bald, king of France. His daughter Judith was betrothed to Ethelwulph king of England: but before the marriage was consummated, Ethelwulph died, and she returned to France : whence she was carried off by Baldwyn, Forester of Flanders; who, after many crosses and difficulties, at length obtained the king's consent to their marriage, and was made Earl of Flanders. This happened about A. D. 863.–See Rapin, Henault, and the French Historians.
The following copy is given from the Editor's ancient folio MS. collated with another in black-letter in the Pepys Collection, intitled, “An excellent Ballad of
a prince of England's courtship to the king of “ France's daughter, &c. To the tune of Crimson
Many breaches having been made in this old song by the hand of time, principally (as might be expected) in the quick returns of the rhime; an attempt is here made to repair them.
In the dayes of old,
When faire France did flourish,
Lovers felt annoye.
Whom beautye's queene did nourish:
She was her fathers joye,
A prince 10
A prince of England came,
But he was exil'd, and outcast :
Their hearts in one were linked fast.
And tormented in his minde.
Fortune cross'd these lovers kinde.
When these princes twaine
Were thus barr'd of pleasure, Through the kinges disdaine,
Which their joyes withstoode : The lady soone prepar'd
Her jewells and her treasure :
For state and royall bloode ;
To meet her joye and hearts delight;
To wayt her coming in the night.
Chanced, Chanced, as he sate alone! By outlawes he was robbed, And with ponyards stabbed,
Uttering many a dying grone.
The princesse, 'arm’d by love,
And by chaste desire, All the night did rove
Without dread at all : Still unknowne she past
In her strange attire ;
Within echoes call,-
Harbouring my hearts delight;
here My joye and only deare,
My trustye friend, and comelye knight.
That thou mayst not angry bee
Soone amendes Ile make to thee.
Passing thus alone
Through the silent forest, Many a grievous grone
Sounded in her eares :
She heard one complayne
And lament the sorest, Seeming all in payne,
Shedding deadly teares.
For why my life is att an end,
To show I am a faithfull friend.
On the rarest beautye found.
My heartes blood lyes on the ground,
With that a grone he sends
Which did burst in sunder
Of his gentle heart.
At his wordes did wonder;
Did to griefe convert. Strait she ran to see, Who this man shold bee,
That soe like her love did seeme: