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- You talk of ribbons, gloves, and rings,

• And likewise gold and treasure ; Oh, let me first enjoy those things,

And then you shall have pleasure.'

Sure thy will shall be obey'd,

(Said I,) my own dear honey.' Then into her lap I laid

Full forty pounds in money;
We'll to the market-town this day,

And straightway end this quarrel, - And deck thee like a lady gay,

• In flourishing rich apparel.'

All my gold and silver there

To her I did deliver ;
On the road we did repair,

Out-coming to a river,
Whose waters are both deep and wide,

Such rivers I ne'er see many ;
She leap'd her mare on the other side,

And left me not one penny.

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Then my heart was sunk full low,

With grief and care surrounded ;
After her I could not go,

For fear of being drowned.
She turn’d about, and said, “Behold,

I am not for your devotion ;
• But, sir, I thank you for your gold,

"Twill serve to enlarge my portion.'

I began to stamp and stare,

To see what she had acted;

With my hands I tore my hair,

Like one that was distracted :
Give me my money, (then I cried)

- Good faith I did but lend it.'
But she full fast away

did ride,
And vow'd she did not intend it.

BALLAD XVIII.

SIR LANCELOT DU LAKE.*

When Arthur first in court began,

And was approved king;
By force of arms great victories won,

And conquest home did bring ;

Then into Britain straight he came,

Where fifty good and able
Knights then repaired unto him,

Which were of the Round Table.

And many justs and tournaments

Before him there were prest,
Wherein these knights did then excel,

And far surmount the rest.

But one Sir Lancelot du Lake,

Who was approved well;
He, in his fights and deeds of arms,

All others did excel.

* The title of the old copies is, but very improperly, 'The noble " atchievements of king Arthur, and his Knights of the round table. • To the tune of Flying Fame.'

When he had rested him a while,

To play, and game, and sport;
He thought he would approve himself

In some advent'rous sort :

He armed rode in forest wide,

And met a damsel fair,
Who told him of adventures great;

Whereto he gave good ear.

Why should not I? (quoth Lancelot tho)

' For that cause came I hither.' * Thou seem'st (quoth she) a knight right good,

* And I will bring thee thither,

• Whereas the mightiest knight doth dwell,

• That now is of great fame : Wherefore, tell me what knight thou art;

And then what is thy name.'

My name is Lancelot du Lake.'

Quoth she, “It likes me, then ; . Here dwells a knight that never was

« O’ermatch'd of any man;

" Who hath in prison threescore knights

And four, that he hath bound ; * Knights of King Arthur's court they be,

" And of the Table Round.'

She brought him to a river then,

And also to a tree,
Whereas a copper bason hung,

His fellows' shields to see.

He struck so hard, the bason broke :

When Tarquin heard the sound,
He drove a horse before him straight,

Whereon a knight was bound.

6

• Sir knight, (then said Sir Lancelot)

Bring me that horse load hither, And lay him down, and let him rest;

• We'll try our force together :

For, as I understand, thou hast,

" As far as thou art able, * Done great despite and shame unto

* The knights of the Round Table.'

If thou art of the Table Round,

(Quoth Tarquin speedily,)
Both thee, and all thy fellowship,

I utterly defy.'

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That's over much, (quoth Lancelot tho)

• Defend thee by and by.' They put their spurs unto their steeds,

And each at other fly.

They couch'd their spears, and horses run,

As though they had been thunder; And each struck then upon the shield,

Wherewith they brake asunder.

Their horses' backs brake under them;

The knights they were astound:
To avoid their horses they made haste

To light upon the ground.

They took them to their shields full fast,

Their swords they drew out then; With mighty strokes most eagerly

Each one at other ran.

They wounded were, and bled full sore,

For breath they both did stand ; And leaning on their swords a-while,

Quoth Tarquin, ‘Hold thy hand :

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"And tell to me what I shall ask.'

Say on ;' quoth Lancelot tho. Thou art (quoth Tarquin) the best knight

• That ever I did know;

' And like a knight that I did hate :

So that thou be not he, "I will deliver all the rest,

" And eke accord with thee.'

* That is well said, (quoth Lancelot then)

" But sith it so must be, • What is the knight thou hatest thus,

• I pray thee show to me?'

• His name is Lancelot du Lake ; " He slew

my

brother dear; 'Him I suspect of all the rest :

"I wish I had him here.'

" Thy wish thou hast, but now unknown;

· I am Lancelot du Lake,
Now knight of Arthur's table round,

King Hand's son of Benwake :

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