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! Or wilt thou be
chamberlain, * To make my bed both soft and fine ? « Or wilt thou be one of my guard ? * And I will give thee thy reward.'
Sweet William, with a smiling face, Said to the king, “If't please your grace, “To show such favour unto me, "Your chamberlain I fain would be.'
The king then did the nobles call,
Now mark what strange thing came to pass,
Sweet William had no company then
Upon the lute Sweet William play'd,
My father was as brave a lord
As ever Europe did afford, ‘My mother was a lady bright, My husband was a valiant knight :
And I myself, a lady gay, * Bedeck'd with gorgeous rich array i * The bravest lady in the land * Had not more pleasure at command.
* I had my music every day,
I had my virgins fair and free, • Continually to wait on me,
* But now, alas ! my husband's dead, And all
friends are from me fled ; My former joys are past and gone, For I am now a serving-man.'
At last the king from hunting came,
" What news, what news, old man ? (quoth he ;) ( What news hast thou to tell to me?"
Brave news, the old man he did say, "Sweet William is a lady gay.'
" If this be true thou tell'st to me
But when the king the truth had found,
Therefore the king, without delay,
her head a crown of gold,
And then, for fear of further strife,
THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOD:
THE NORFOLK GENTLEMAN'S LAST WILL AND
Now ponder well, you parents dear,
The words which I shall write ;
In time brought forth to light :
in Norfolk liv’d of late,
Most men of his estate.
Sore sick he was, and like to die,
No help that he could have ;
And both possessid one grave.
No love between these two was lost,
Each was to other kind;
And left two babes behind :
The one a fine and pretty boy,
Not passing three years old ; The other a girl, more young than he,
And made in beauty's mould.
As plainly doth appear,
Three hundred pounds a year ;
And to his little daughter Jane
Five hundred pounds in gold,
Which might not be contrould :
Ere they to age should come, Their uncle should possess their wealth ;
For so the will did run.
Now, brother, (said the dying man)
No friends else I have here : • To God and you I do commend
My children night and day; • But little while, be sure, we have
Within this world to stay.
- You must be father and mother both,
" And uncle, all in one ;
" When I am dead and gone.'
• O brother kind, (quoth she) " You are the man must bring our babes
" To wealth or misery.
• And if you keep them carefully,
· Then God will you reward ; • If otherwise you seem to deal,
• God will your deeds regard.' With lips as cold as any stone,
She kiss'd her children small :
These speeches then their brother spoke
To this sick couple there : • The keeping of your children dear,
• Sweet sister, do not fear ; • God never prosper me nor mine,
' Nor aught else that I have, 'If I do wrong your children dear,
• When you are said in the grave !"
Their parents being dead and gone,
The children home he takes, And brings them home unto his house,
And much of them he makes.