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Wyllyam wente into a fyeld,
And 'with him' his two brethren:
Full twenty score betwene.
“ That yonder wande cleveth in two;"
“ Nor none that can so do.”
“ Or that I farther go.”
Clave the wand in two.
“For sothe that ever I se.”
“I wyll do more maystery.”
He is to me full deare;
All shall se that be here;
And go syxe score hym fro,
Shall cleve the apple in two."
“ By Hym that dyed on a tre;
Hanged shalt thou be.
In syght that men may se,
I shall hange you all thre.”
V. 202, 203, 212, to. P.C.
V. 204, twenty score paces. P.C. i. e. 400 yards. V. 208, sic MS., none that can. P.C. V. 222, six-score paces. P.C., i. e. 120 yards.
“ That I have promised,” said William,
" That I wyll never forsake :" And there even before the kynge,
In the earth he drove a stake,
And bound therto his eldest sonne,
And bad hym stand styll thereat, And turned the childes face him fro,
Because he should not start.
An apple upon his head he set,
And then his bowe he bent; Syxe score paces they were meaten,
And thether Cloudeslè went.
There he drew out a fayr brode arrowe,
Hys bowe was great and longe, He set that arrowe in his bowe,
That was both styffe and stronge.
He prayed the people, that wer there,
That they would still stand,
Behoveth a stedfast hand.”
That hys lyfe saved myght be,
There was many weeping ee.
As many a man myght se. “ Over Gods forbode," sayde the kinge,
“ That thou shold shote at me.
“I geve thee eightene pence a day,
And my bowe shalt thou bere, And over all the north countrè,
I make thee chyfe rydère.”
V. 243, sic MS., out met. P.C.
“ And I thyrtene pence a day,” said the quene, 265
“ By God and by my fay; Come feche thy payment when thou wylt,
No man shall say the nay." “ Wyllyam, I make the a gentleman, Of clothyng and of fe,
270 And thy two brethren, yemen of my chambre,
For they are so semely to se.
Of my wyne-seller he shall be,
275 Better avaunced shall he be.” “ And, Wyllyam, bring to me your wife,” said the “ Me longeth her sore to se;
[quene. She shall be my chefe gentlewoman, To governe my nurserye.”
280 The yemen thanked them full curteously,
“To some byshop wyl we wend, Of all the synnes that we have done
To be assoyld at his hand.”
So forth be gone these good yemen,
As fast as they might 'he;'2
And dyed good men all thre.
God send them eternall blysse,
That of heven they may never mysse. Amen.
V. 282, And sayd to some Bishopp wee will wend. MS.
2 he, i. e. hie, hasten. See the Glossary.
The Aged Lover renounceth Love. The Grave-digger's song in Hamlet, act v., is taken from three stanzas of the following poem, though greatly altered and disguised, as the same were corrupted by the ballad singers of Shakspeare's time; or perhaps so designed by the poet bimself, the better to paint the character of an illiterate clown. The original is preserved among Surrey's Poems, and is attributed to Lord Vaux, by George Gascoigne, who tells us, it " was thought by some to be made upon his death-bed;" a popular error which he laughs at. (See his Epist. to Yong Gent. prefixed to his Posies, 1575, 4to.) It is also ascribed to Lord Vaux in a manuscript copy preserved in the British Museum. This lord was remarkable for his skill in drawing feigned manners, &c., for so I understand an ancient writer. “The Lord Vaux his commendation Iyeth chiefly in the facilitie of his meetre, and the aptnesse of his descriptions such as he taketh upon him to make, namely in sundry of his Songs, wherein he showeth the counterfait action very lively and pleasantly.”—Arte of Eng. Poesie, 1589, p. 51. See another song by this poet in vol. ii. no. viii.
I LOTHE that I did love,
In youth that I thought swete,
Me thinkes they are not mete.
My fansies all are fled;
Gray heares upon my hed.
Hath clawde me with his crowch,
Me, as she did before ;
15 As they have bene of yore. Ver. 6, be. P.C. (printed copy in 1557.] V. 10, crorch perhaps should be clouch, cluch, grasp. V. 11, life away she. P.C.
1 Harl. MSS. num. 1703, $ 25. The readings gathered from that copy are distinguished here by inverted commas. The text is printed from the “Songs, &c., of the Earl of Surrey and others, 1557, 4to."
For Reason me denies
• All' youthly idle rime;
“Leave off these toyes in tyme.”
The furrowes in my face
Where Youth must geve him place."
To me I se him ride:
Doth bid me to provide
And eke a shrowding shete,
For such a guest most mete.
That knoles the careful knell,
Ere Nature me compell.
That Youth doth laugh to scorne,
As I had ne'er' been borne.
Whose badge I long did weare;
That better may it beare.
By whose bald signe I know,
What’ youthful yeres did sow.
V. 34, bell. MS. V. 35, wofull. P.C. V. 38, did. P.C. V. 39, clene shal be. P.C. V. 40, not. P.C. V. 45, bare-hedde. MS. and some P.cc. V. 48, Which. P.C., That. MS. What is conject.
? Alluding perhaps to Eccles. xii. 3. VOL. I.