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Ranging the wood, did find her there, Round beset with sorrow; • Maid, (quoth he) good morrow,
• What hard hap hath brought you here??• Harder hap did never, · Chance to a maiden ever, . Here lies slain my brother dear.'
• Where might I be plac'd ?
· Gentle forester, tell me ; "Where might I procure
A service in my need ? " Pains I will not spare,
« But will do my duty ; • Ease me of my care,
Help my extreme need.' The forester, all amazed, On her beauty gazed,
Till his heart was set on fire; If, fair maid, (quoth he) - You will go
He set forth this maiden's praise ;
So fortune did his glory raise.
Thus unknown he match'd
With the king's fair daughter; Children seven he had
Ere she to him was known 1;
But when he understood
She was a royal princess, By this means at last
He showed forth her fame;
In party-colours strange to see,
Of woollen cloth still framed he :
This strange deed in every place : The king of France came thither, Being pleasant weather,
In the woods the hart to chase.
The children there did stand,
As their mother willed, Where the royal king
Must of force come by ; Their mother richly clad
In fair crimson velvet ; Their father all in grey,
Most comely to the eye. When this famous king, Noting every thing,
Did ask how he durst be so bold To let his wife to wear, And deck his children there,
In costly robes of pearl and gold. The forester bold replied, And the cause descried,
And to the king he thus did say, Well may they, by their mother, * Wear rich clothes with other,
Being by birth a princess gay.'
The king, upon these words,
Most heedfully beheld them,
His conceit did cross :
Upon thy wife and children,
My daughter whom I lost,
Pardon me, my sovereign liege.'
Till joyful tears did stop his speech :
Straight he dub'd her husband knight;
Thus was their sorrow put to flight.
THE FAMOUS FLOWER OF SERVING-MEN :
THE LADY TURN'D SERVING-MAN.
You beauteous ladies, great and small,
I was by birth a lady fair,
And then my love built me a bower,
But there came thieves late in the night,
My servant, all from me did fly,
Yet, though my heart was full of care,
And therewithall I cut my hair,
With a silver rapier by my side,
Thus in my sumptuous man's array,
Then to the king I bow'd full low,
Stand up, brave youth, (the king replied,) Thy service shall not be denied ; . But tell me first what thou can'st do, • Thou shalt be fitted thereunto.
"Wilt thou be usher of my hall, * To wait upon my nobles all ?
Or wilt thou be tapster of my wine, "To wait on me when I do dine ?