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O stay, O stay, thou goodly youth,

She's alive, she is not dead ; • Here she standeth by thy side,

And is ready to be thy bride.'

O farewell grief, and welcome joy,

Ten thousand times and more ; For now I have seen mine own true love, • That I thought I should have seen no more !'



In the days of old,

When fair France did flourish,
Stories plainly told,

Lovers felt annoy :
The king a daughter had,

Beauteous, fair, and lovely,
Which made her father glad,

She was his only joy.

* The full 'title in the old copies, is 'An excellent ballad of a prince of England's courtship to the king of France's daughter, and how the prince was disasterously slain, and how the aforesaid princess was afterwards married to a forrester.' 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 consuminated, 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 con

A prince from England came,
Whose deeds did merit fame . ;

He woo'd her long, and lo! at last,
Look what he did require,
She granted his desire;

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

And tormented in his mind !
He sought for to prevent them,
And to discontent them;

Fortune crossed lovers kind.

When these princes twain

Were thus barr'd of pleasure,
Through the king's disdain,
Which their joys withstood ;
The lady lock'd up

Her jewels and her treasure,
Having no remorse,

Of state and royal blood :
In homely poor array,
She went from court away,

To meet her love and heart's delight;
Who in a forest great
Had taken


his seat,
To wait her coming in the night
But lo! what sudden danger
To this princely stranger

sent to their marriage, and was made Earl of Flanders. This hap. pened abont A. D. 863.-See Rapin, Henault, and the French Historians. Percy.

Chanced as he sat alone; By outlaws he was robbed, And with a poniard stabbed,

Uttering many a dying groan,

The princess armed by him,

And by true desire, Wandering all that night,

Without dread at all ; Still unknown she pass’d,

In her strange attire, Coming at the last,

Within echo's call, • You fair woods, (quoth she) Honoured may you be,

Harbouring my heart's delight : " Which doth encompass here, My joy and only dear,

. My trusty friend and comely knight. • Sweet, I come unto thee, Sweet, I come to woo thee, * That thou may'st not angry


e ; For my long delaying, "And thy courteous staying,

Amends for all I'll make to thee,

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Passing thus alone

Through the silent forest, Many a grievous groan

Sounded in her ear; Where she heard a man

To lament the sorest Chance, that ever came' ;


Fore'd by deadly strife,
Farewell, my dear, (quoth he)
Whom I shall never see,

* For why, my life is at an end ; * For thy sweet sake I die, Through villains' cruelty,

* To show I am a faithful friend : • Here lie I a-bleeding, • While my thoughts are feeding

On the rarest beauty found; O hard hap that may be, • Little knows my lady,

. My heart's blood lies on the ground.'

With that he gave a groan,

That did break asunder All the tender strings

Of his gentle heart : She who knew his voice,

At his tale did wonder; All her former joys

Did to grief convert : Straight she ran to see, Who this man should be,

That so like her love did speak; And found, when as she came, Her lovely lord lay slain,

Smear'd in blood, which life did break : Which when she espied, Lord, how sore she cried !

Her sorrows could not counted be; Her eyes like fountains running, While she cried out, “My darling,

"Would God that I had died for thee!'

His pale lips, alas!

Twenty times she kissed, And his face did wash

With her brinish tears ; Every bleeding wound,

Her fair face bedewed, Wiping off the blood

With her golden hair : Speak, my love, (quoth she) • Speak, dear prince, to me,

• One sweet word of comfort give ; Lift up thy fair eyes, • Listen to my cries,

* Think in what great grief I live.' All in vain she sued, All in vain she wooed,

The princes life was fled and gone; There stood she still mourning, Till the sun's returning,

And bright day was coming on.

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In this great distress,

Quoth this royal lady, · Who can now express,

" What will become of me?

father's court
• Never will I wander,
• But some service seek,

* Where I may placed be.' Whilst she thus made her moan, Weeping all alone,

In this deep and deadly fear,
A forester, all in green,
Most comely to be seen,

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