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And fare thee well, thou trustye sword,
A better neer had valiant knighte, With thee full ofte, and manye a daye,
Have I withstood my foe in fighte.
With this good fauchion in my hande,
Oft have I reapd the bloody feelde: But nowe the fatalle houre is come,
That never more I may thee weelde.
The duke to the river side he went,
And there his owne sword in threwe he: But he kept back Excalibar,
He kept it back in privitie.
For all of coleyne was the blade;
And all the hilte of precious stone : And ever alacke! then sayd the knighte;
Must such a sword awaye be throwne ?
Then backe he came unto the kinge,
Who sayd, Sir Lukyn, what did yee see? Nothing, my liege, save that the winde
Blewe oer the waters faire and free.
O goe againe, then said the kinge,
O good sir Lukyn, goe againe : Into the rivere throwe my sword,
Nor keepe me lingering here in paine,
The duke then to the river went,
And the kings scabberd in threwe hee; But hee kept backe Excalibar,
And hid it undernethe a tree.
Then backe he came to tell the kinge,
Who sayde, Sir Lukyn, sawe ye oughte? Nothinge, my liege, save that the winde
Nowe with the angrye waters fought.
O Lukyn, Lukyn, said the kinge,
Twice haste thou dealt deceytfullye : Alacke, whom may wee ever truste,
When suche a knighte soe false can bee?
Saye, wouldst thou have thy master dead;
All for a sword, that wins thine eye : Nowe goe againe, and throwe it in,
Or here the one of us shall dye.
The duke, all shent with this rebuke,
No aunswere made unto the kinge: But to the rivere tooke the Sworde,
And threwe it far as he coulde flinge.
A hande and an arme did meete the sworde,
And flourishd three times in the air; Then sunke benethe the renninge streme,
And of the duke was seene noe mair.
All sore astonied stood the duke;
He stood as still, as still mote bee :
But he was gone from under the tree.
But to what place he cold not tell,
For never after hee did him spye:
And hee heard ladyes howle and crye*.
And whether the kinge were there, or not,
Hee never knewe, nor ever colde:
Hee never more was seene on molde.
* Not unlike that passage in Virgil :
Summoque ulularunt vertice nymphe. Ladies was the word our old English writers used for Nymphs: As in the following lines of an old song in the Editor's folio MS.
“When scorching Phoebus he did mount,
“ To whom Diana did resort,
THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUP..
We have here a short summary of K. Arthur's History as given by Jeff. of Monmouth and the old Chronicles, with the addition of a few circumstances from the romance Morte Arthur.-The ancient chronicle of Ger. de Leew (quoted above in p. 68) seems to have been chiefly followed : upon the authority of which we have restored some of the names which were corrupted in the MS. and have transposed one stanza, which appeared to be misplaced, (viz. that beginning at v. 49, which in the MS. followed v. 36.]
Printed from the Editor's ancient folio Manuscript.
F Brutus' blood, in Brittaine borne,
King Arthur I am to name ;
Well knowne is my worthy fame.
In Jesus Christ I doe beleeve;
I am a christyan bore:
One God, I doe adore.
* Ver. 1. Bruite his. MS.
In the four hundred ninetieth yeere,
Over Brittaine I did rayne,
What time I did maintaine
The fellowshipp of the table round,
Soe famous in those dayes ;
And thirty sat alwayes :
Who for their deeds and martiall feates,
As bookes done yett record,
Wer feared throwgh the world.
And in the castle off Tyntagill
King Uther mee begate
And come of hie' estate.
And when I was fifteen yeere old,
Then was I crowned kinge :
I did to quiett bringe.
And drove the Saxons from the realme,