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VIII.

Did Robin of portingale. From an ancient copy in the Editor's folio MS., which was judged to require considerable corrections.

In the former edition, the hero of this piece had been called Sir Robin, but that title not being in the MS. is now omitted.

LET never again soe old a man

Marrye soe yonge a wife,
As did old Robin of Portingale;

Who may rue all the dayes of his life.

5

For the mayors daughter of Lin, god wott,

He chose her to his wife,
And thought with her to have lived in love,

But they fell to hate and strife.

10

They scarce were in their wed-bed laid,

And scarce was hee asleepe,
But
upp

shee rose, and forth shee goes,
To the steward,

and gan to weepe.

Sleepe you, wake you, faire sir Gyles?

Or be you not within?
Sleepe you, wake you, faire sir Gyles,

Arise and let me inn.

15

0, I am waking, sweete, he said,
Sweete ladye, what is your

will?
I have unbethought me of a wile
How

my wed-lord weell spill.

20

Ver. 19, unbethought (properly onbethought]; this word is still used in the Midland counties in the same sense as bethought.

25

Twenty-four good knights, shee sayes,

That dwell about this towne,
Even twenty-four of my next cozèns,

Will helpe to dinge him downe.
All that beheard his litle foote-page,

As he watered his masters steed;
And for his masters sad perille

His verry heart did bleed.
He mourned, sighed, and wept full sore;

I sweare by the holy roode
The teares he for his master wept

Were blent water and bloude.

30

And that beheard his deare master

As he stood at his garden pale:
Sayes, Ever alacke, my litle foot-page,

What causes thee to wail?

35

40

Hath any one done to thee wronge

Any of thy fellowes here?
Or is any of thy good friends dead,

That thou shedst manye a teare?
Or, if it be my head bookes-man,

Aggrieved he shal bee:
For no man here within my howse,

Shall doe wrong unto thee.
0, it is not your head bookes-man,

Nor none of his degree;
But, on to-morrow ere it be noone

All deemed to die are yee.
And of that bethank your head steward,

And thank your gay ladye.

45

50

V. 32, blend, MS.

V. 47, or to-morrow. MS.

If this be true, my litle foot-page,

The heyre of my land thoust bee.
If it be not true, my dear master,

No good death let me die.
If it be not true, thou litle foot-page,

A dead corse shalt thou lie.

55

O call now downe my faire ladye,

O call her downe to mee:
And tell my ladye gay how sicke,

And like to die I bee.

60

Downe then came his ladye faire,

All clad in purple and pall:
The rings that were on her fingers,

Cast light throughout the hall.
What is your will, my owne wed-lord ?

What is your will with mee?
O see, my-ladye deere, how sicke,

And like to die I bee.

65

70

And thou be sicke, my own wed-lord,

Soe sore it grieveth me:
But my five maydens and myselfe

Will watch thy' bedde for thee.
And at the waking of your first sleepe,

We will a hott drinke make:
And at the waking of your 'next' sleepe,

Your sorrowes we will slake.

75

He put a silk cote on his backe,

And mail of manye a fold:
And hee putt a steele cap on his head,

Was gilt with good red gold.

80

V. 56, bec. MS.

V. 72, make the, MS.

V. 75, first. MS.

85

90

95

He layd a bright browne sword by his side,

And another att his feete:
And twentye good knights he placed at hand,

To watch him in his sleepe.'
And about the middle time of the night,

Came twentye-four traitours inn:
Sir Giles he was the foremost man,

The leader of that ginn.
Old Robin with his bright browne sword,

Sir Gyles head soon did winn:
And scant of all those twenty-four,

Went out one quick agenn.
None save only a litle foot page,

Crept forth at a window of stone:
And he had two armes when he came in,

And he went back with one.
Upp then came that ladie gaye

With torches burning bright:
She thought to have brought sir Gyles a drinke,

Butt she found her owne wedd knight.
The first thinge that she stumbled on

It was sir Gyles his foote:
Sayes, Ever alacke, and woe is mee!

Here lyes my sweete hart-roote.
The next thinge that she stumbled on

It was sir Gyles his heade:
Sayes, Ever, alacke, and woe is mee!

Heere lyes my true love deade.
Hee cutt the pappes beside her brest,

And didd her body spille;
He cutt the eares beside her heade,

And bade her love her fille.

100

105

110

He called then up his litle foot-page,

And made him there his heyre;
And sayd, henceforth my worldlye goodes 115

And countrye I forsweare.
He shope the crosse on his right shoulder,

Of the white clothe' and the reddei,
And went him into the holy land,
Wheras Christ was quicke and dead.

V. 118, fleshe. MS. 1 Every person who went on a CROISADE to the Holy Land, usually wore a cross on his upper garment, on the right shoulder, as a badge of his profession. Different nations were distinguished by crosses of different colours: the English wore white, the French red, &c. This circumstance seems to be confounded in the ballad. (V. Spelman, Gloss.]

120

KF In the foregoing piece, Giles, steward to a rich old merchant trading to Portugal, is qualified with the title of Sir, not as being a knight, but rather, I conceive, as having received an inferior order of priesthood.

IX.

Child amaters. Child is frequently used by our old writers as a title. It is repeatedly given to Prince Arthur in the Faerie Queen: and the son of a king is in the same poem called Child Tristram [b. v. c. 11. st. 8, 13, — b. vi. c. 2. st. 36, ibid. c. 8. st. 15). In an old ballad quoted in Shakspeare's King Lear, the hero of Ariosto is called Child Roland. Mr. Theobald supposes this use of the word was received along with their romances from the Spaniards, with whom Infante signifies a Prince. A more eminent critic tells us, that "in the old times of chivalry, the noble youth, who were candidates for knighthood, during the time of their probation were called Infans, Varlets, Damoysels, Bacheliers. The most noble of the youth

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