Page images
PDF
EPUB

Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
Seldome with his heart doe meet:
All his practice is deceit;
Everie gift is but a bait:
Not a kisse but poyson beares ;
And most treason 's in his teares.

40

45

Idle minutes are his raigne ;
Then the straggler makes his gaine,
By presenting maids with toyes
And would have yee thinke hem joyes ;
'Tis the ambition of the elfe
To have all childish as himselfe.

50

If by these yee please to know him,
Beauties, be not nice, but show him.
Though yee had a will to hide him,
Now, we hope, yee'le not abide him,
Since yee heare this falser's play,
And that he is Venus' run-away.

VOL. III.

XVI. XVI.

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

Velvet.”

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,
Storyes plaine have told,

Lovers felt annoye.
The queene a daughter bare,

Whom beautye's queene did nourish:
She was lovelye faire,

She was her fathers joye,

A prince 10

A prince of England came,
Whose deeds did merit fame,

But he was exil'd, and outcast :
Love his soul did fire,
Shee granted his desire,

Their hearts in one were linked fast.
Which when her father proved,
Sorelye he was moved,

And tormented in his minde.
He sought for to prevent them;
And, to discontent them,

Fortune cross'd these lovers kinde.

15

20

25

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 :
Having no regard

For state and royall bloode ;
In homelye poore array
She went from court away,

To meet her joye and hearts delight;
Who in a forrest great
Had taken up his seat,

To wayt her coming in the night.
But, lo! what sudden danger
To this princely stranger

30

35

[ocr errors]

Chanced, Chanced, as he sate alone! By outlawes he was robbed, And with ponyards stabbed,

Uttering many a dying grone.

40

45

50

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 ;
Coming at the last

Within echoes call,-
You faire woods, quoth shee,
Honoured may you bee,

Harbouring my hearts delight;
Which
encompass

here My joye and only deare,

My trustye friend, and comelye knight.
Sweete, I come unto thee,
Sweete, I come to woo thee;

That thou mayst not angry bee
For my long delaying;
For thy curteous staying

Soone amendes Ile make to thee.

55

60

Passing thus alone

Through the silent forest, Many a grievous grone

Sounded in her eares :

She 65

70

She heard one complayne

And lament the sorest, Seeming all in payne,

Shedding deadly teares.
Farewell, my deare, quoth hee,
Whom I must never see;

For why my life is att an end,
Through villaines crueltye :
For thy sweet sake I dye,

To show I am a faithfull friend.
Here I lye a bleeding,
While my thoughts are feeding

On the rarest beautye found.
O hard happ, that may be!
Little knowes my ladye

My heartes blood lyes on the ground,

75

80

85

With that a grone he sends

Which did burst in sunder
All the tender bands

Of his gentle heart.
She, who knewe his voice,

At his wordes did wonder;
All her former joyes

Did to griefe convert. Strait she ran to see, Who this man shold bee,

That soe like her love did seeme:

90

Her

« PreviousContinue »