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From thence, by manly valour,
Their hearts he tore in sunder, And at the king he threw them,
To all the people's wonder. « This have I done, (quoth he,)
· For lovely England's sake; * And for my country's maiden-queen
• Much more will undertake.'
But when the king perceived
His wrathful lions' hearts, Afflicted with great terror,
His rigour soon reverts ; And turned all his hate
* Into remorse and love, And said, “It is some angel,
Sent down from heaven above.!
« No, no, I am no angel,
(The courteous young man said,) ! But born in famous England,
" Where God's word is obey'd ; • Assisted by the heavens,
• Who did me thus befriend; " Or else they had, most cruelly,
Brought here my life to end.'
The king, in heart amazed,
Lift up his eyes to heaven,
Believing that no land
Like England may be seen, No people better governed
By virtue of a Queen.
So, taking up this young man,
He pardon'd him his life; And gave his daughter to him,
To be his wedded wife :
And live in quiet peace,
In joy and love's increase.
THE DRAGON OF WANTLEY.
Old stories tell, how Hercules
A dragon slew at Lerna,
To see and well discern-a :
Or he had ne'er done it, I warrant ye : But More of More-Hall, with nothing at all,
He slew the dragon of Wantley.
This dragon had two furious wings,
Each one upon each shoulder ;
Which made him bolder and bolder.
He had long claws, and in his jaws
Four and forty teeth of iron ;
Which did him round environ.
Have you not heard that the Trojan horse
Held seventy men in his belly?
But very near, I'll tell ye.
That could not with him grapple ;
As one would eat an apple.
All sorts of cattle this dragon did eat ;
Some say he'd eat up trees,
Devour up by degrees :
He ate all, and left none behind,
Which on the hills you will find.
In Yorkshire, near fair Rotheram,
The place I know it well;
I vow I cannot tell ;
And Mathews' house hard by it ;
You could not choose but spy it,
Some say, this dragon was a witch,
Some say, he was a devil ;
And with it burning snivel,
In a well that he did stand by ;
Running with burning brandy.
Hard by a furious knight there dwelt,
Of whom all towns did ring; For he could wrestle, play at quarter-staff, kick, cuff,
He swung a horse till he was dead;
Eat him all up but his head.
These children, as I told, being eat,
Men, women, girls, and boys,
And made a hideous noise :
Thou peerless knight of these woods; • Do but slay this dragon, who won't leave us a rag on,
• We'll give thee all our goods.'
* Tut, tut, (quoth he,) no goods I want;
• But I want, I want, in sooth, • A fair maid of sixteen, that's brisk,
" With smiles about the mouth ;
" Hair black as a sloe, both above and below,
• With a blush her cheeks adorning ;
And to dress me in the morning.'
This being done, he did engage
To hew this dragon down;
Bespeak at Sheffield-town;
Of steel so sharp and strong ;
Some five or six inches long.
Had you but seen him in this dress,
How fierce he look'd and big;
An Egyptian porcupig:
Each cow, each horse, and each hog,
Some strange outlandish hedge-hog.
To see this fight all people there
Got up on trees and houses,
But they put on their trowses,
To make him strong and mighty,
And a quart of aqua-vitæ.