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• And on our mill-horses full swift we will ride,

With pillows and pannels as we shall provide.'

In this most stately sort, rode they unto the court,

Their jolly son Richard foremost of all;
Who set up, by good hap, a cock's feather in his cap ;

And so they jetted down towards the king's hall :
The merry old miller, with his hand on his side ;
His wife, like maid Marian, did mince at that tide. *

The king and his nobles, that heard of their coming,

Meeting this gallant knight, with his brave train ; "Welcome, sir knight, (quoth he,) with this your gay


• Good Sir John Cockle, once welcome again : . And so is the squire, of courage so free.' Quoth Dick, ‘A bots on you ; do you

know me?'

Quoth our king gently, ‘How should I forget thee ?

• Thou wast mine own bed-fellow, well that I wot. But I do think on a trick.'--'Tell me that, prithee

Dick.' How we with farting did make the bed hot.' " Thou whoreson, happy knave, (then quoth the

knight) . Speak cleanly to our king, or else go s—'

The king and his counsellors heartily laugh'd at this,

While the king took them both by the hand;

• [Maid Marian in the morris-dance was represented by a man in woman's clothes, who was to take short steps in order to sustain the female character. Percy.]

With ladies and their maids, like to the Queen of

The miller's wife did so orderly stand:
A milk-maid's curtesy at every word ;
And down the folks were set at the side-board :

Where the king royally, in princely majesty,

Sate at his dinner with joy and delight:
When he had eaten well, to jesting then ' he’ fell,

Taking a bowl of wine, drank to the knight :

Here's to you both, (he said,) in wine, ale and beer; " Thanking you all for your country cheer.'

Quoth Sir John Cockle, ' I'll pledge you a pottle,

• Were it the best ale in Nottinghamshire?' ' But then, (said our king,) I do think of a thing ;

Some of your Light-foot I would we had here.' , Ho, ho, (quoth Richard,) full well I may see it, 'Tis knavery to eat it, and then to bewray it.'



Why, art thou angry? (quoth our king merrily; • In faith, I take it very

unkind: 'I thought thou wouldst pledge me in ale and wine

heartily,' ' Y'are like to stay, (quoth Dick,) till I've din'd: You feed us with twattling dishes so small; Zounds, a black-pudding is better than all.'

Ay, marry, (quoth our king,) that were a dainty

thing, • If a man could get one here for to eat.' With that Dick straight arose, and pluck d one out of

his hose, Which with heat of his breech began to sweat.

The king made a proffer to snatch it away :

'Tis meat for your master; good sir, you must stay.'

Thus with great merriment, was the time wholly

sperit ;
And then the ladies prepared to dance :
Old Sir John Cockle, and Richard, incontinent

Unto this practice the king did advance :
Here with the ladies such sport they did make,
The nobles with laughing did make their hearts ake.

Many thanks for their pains did the king give them

Asking young Richard, if he would wed:
Among those ladies free, tell me which liketh

Quoth he, ' Jug Grumball, with the red head :
She's my love, she's my life, she will I wed;
She hath sworn I shall have her maidenhead.'

Then Sir John Cockle the king called unto him,

And of merry Sherwood made him overseer;
And gave him out of hand three hundred pound

. But now take heed you steal no more of my deer:
And once a quarter let's here have your view;
' And thus, Sir John Cockle, I bid you






I'll tell you a story, a story, anon,
Of a noble prince, and his name was King John;
For he was a prince, and a prince of great might,
He held up great wrongs, and he put down great right.

Derry down, down, hey derry down.

I'll tell you a story, a story so merry,
Concerning the abbot of Canterbury,
And of his house-keeping and high renown,
Which made him repair to fair London town.

Derry down, &c.

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- How now, brother abbot! 'tis told unto me, " That thou keepest a far better house than I ;

And for thy house-keeping and high renown, 'I fear thou hast treason against my crown.'

Derry down, &c.

* The reader must necessarily excuse the miserably corrupt state in which the editor is obliged to present this ballad. It has doubtless originally possessed some merit, which, if an older copy than those already consulted should happen to cast up, may hereafter be restored. In the mean time, it may be perused in the utmost perfection in the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. The original composition, so judiciously interwoven into this and almost every other old poem in the above elegant collection, evinces so much ingenuity, niceuess, genius, and critical taste, that the reverend author certainly merits the bays as a poet, as much as he deserves the lash as an editor.

I hope, my liege, that you owe me no grudge, ' For spending of my true gotten goods.' • If thou dost not answer me questions three, * Thy head shall be taken from thy body.

Derry down, &c.

" When I am set so high on my steed,' "With my crown of gold upon my head,

Amongst all my nobility, with joy and much mirth, 'Thou must tell me to one penny what I am worth.

Derry down, &c.

. And the next question 'thou’ must not flout, 'How long I shall be riding the world about ;

And [at] the third question thou must not shrink, ' But tell to me truly what I do think.'

Derry down, &c.

' O these are hard questions for my shallow wit,
· For I cannot answer your grace as yet ;
• But if you will give me but three days space,
· I'll do my endeavour to answer your grace.'

Derry down, &c.

O three days space I will thee give, ' For that is the longest day thou hast to live ; "And if thou dost not answer these questions right, Thy head shall be taken from thy body quite.'

Derry down, &c.

And as the old shepherd was going to his fold,
He spied the old abbot come riding along ;

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