Puslapio vaizdai

"Who left behind him an aulde wife then,
That troubled was with mickle paine,
And with her cruches she walkt about,

For she was likewise blinde and lame.

"When that his corpes were laid in the grave,
His eldest sonne possesse did the farme,
At the same rent as the father before:

He took great paines and thought no harme.

"By him there dwelt a Lawyer false,

That with his farme was not content,
But over the poore man still hang'd his nose,
Because he did gather the King's rent.

"This farme layd by the Lawyer's land,

Which this vild kerne had a mind unto :
The deele a good conscience had he in his bulke,
That sought this poore man for to undoe.

"He told him he his lease had forfite,

And that he must there no longer abide:

The King by such lownes hath mickle wrong done,
And for you the world is broad and wide.

"The poore man pray'd him for to cease,

And content himselfe, if he would be willing;
And picke no vantage in my lease,

And I will give thee forty shilling.

"Its neither forty shillings, no forty pound,

Ise warrant thee, so can agree thee and me,
Unlesse thou yield me thy farme so round,
And stand unto my curtesie."

The tenant sets off to carry the matter before the King.

"He had a humble staffe [stuffe] on his backe,
A jerkin, I wat, that was of gray,

With a good blue bonnet, he thought it no lacke;

To the King he is ganging as fast as he may."

So he goes to London, and thence to Windsor. He gives the porter a penny and a nobleman a groat to introduce him to the King, who is playing at bowls.

"Loe, yonder's the king, said the Nobleman,

Behold, fellow, loe, where he goes.

Beleevet hee's some unthrift, sayes the poore man,
That has lost his money and pawnd his cloathes.
"How hapt he hath gat neere a coate to his backe?
This bowling I like not; it hath him undone.
Ise warrant that fellow in those gay cloathes,
He hath his coyne and his doublet won.

"But when he came before the King,

The Nobleman did his curtesie: The poore man followed after him,

And gave a nod with his head and a becke with his knee.

"If you be Sir King, then said the poore man,
As I can hardly thinke you be,

Here is a gude fellow that brought me hither,
Is liker to be the King than ye.

"I am the King, his Grace now sayd,

Fellow, let me thy cause understand.

If you be Sir King, Ime a tenant of yours,

That was borne and upbrought within your owne lande.

"There dwels a Lawyer hard by me,

And a fault in my lease he sayes he hath found:

And all was for felling five poore ashes,

To build a house upon my owne ground.

"Hast thou a lease here? said the King,

Or canst thou shew to me the deed?

He put

it into the King's owne hand,

And said, Sir, 't is here, if that you can read.

"Why, what if I cannot? said our King,

That which I cannot, another may.

I have a boy of mine owne not seven yeares old,
A will read you as swift as yould run i' th' highway.

"Lets see thy lease, then said our King.

Then from his blacke boxe he puld it out.

He gave it into the King's owne hand,
With four or five knots ty'd fast in a clout.

"When the King had gotten these letters to read,
And found the truth was very so;

I warrant thee, thou hast not forfeit thy lease,
If that thou hadst felld five ashes moe.

Thoust have an injunction, said our King;
From troubling of thee he will cease:
Heele either shew thee a good cause why,
Or else heele let thee live in peace.

"Thoust have an attachment, said our King;
Charge all thou seest to take thy part.
Till he pay thee an hundred pound,
Be sure thou never let him start.

"A, waise me! the poore man saide then;
You ken no whit what you now do say,
A won undoe me a thousand times,

Ere he such a mickle of money will pay.

"Thou art hard a beleefe, then said our King:
To please him with letters he was right willing.
I see you have taken great paines in writing,
With all my heart Ile give you a shilling.

"Ile have none of thy shilling, said our King;
Man, with thy money God give thee win.
He threw it into the King's bosome;
The money lay cold next to his skin.

"Beshrew thy heart, then said our King;
Thou art a carle something too bold:
Dost thou not see I am hot with bowling?
The money next to my skin lies cold.

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"The King called up his Treasurer,
And bad him fetch him twenty pound.
If ever thy errant lye here away,

Ile beare thy charges up and downe.

"When the poore man saw the gold tendred,
For to receive it he was willing.

If I had thought the King had so mickle gold,
Beshrew my heart, Ide a kept my shilling.

"The poore man got home next Sunday;
The Lawyer soone did him espy.
Oh, Sir, you have been a stranger long,
I thinke from me you have kept you by.

"It was for you indeed, said the poore man,
The matter to the King as I have tell.

I did as neighbours put it in my head,

And made a submission to the King mysel.

"What a deel didst thou with the King? said the Lawyer; Could not neighbours and friends agree thee and me? The deel a neighbour or friend that I had,

That would a bin sike a daies man as he.

"He has gin me a letter, but I know not what they cal't;
But if the King's words be true to me,
When you have read and perused it over,

I hope you will leave and let me be.

"He has gin me another, but I know not what 't is ;
But I charge you all to hold him fast.
Pray you that are learned this letter reade;
Which presently made them all aghast.

"Then they did reade this letter plaine,

The Lawyer must pay him a hundred pound.
You see the King's letter, the poore man did say,
And unto a post he sal straight way be bound.

"Then unto a post they tide him fast,

And all men did rate him in cruell sort;
The lads and the lasses, and all the towne
At him had great glee, pastime and sport.

"Ile pay it, Ile pay it, the Lawyer said,

The attachment, I say, it is good and faire ;
You must needes something credit me,

Till I goe home and fetch some meare.

"Credit! nay thats it the King forbad:

He bad, if I got thee, I should thee stay,
The Lawyer payd him an hundred pound
In ready money, ere he went away.

"Would every Lawyer were served thus!
From troubling poore men they would cease:
They'd either show them a good cause why,
Or else they'd let them live in peace.

"And thus I end my merry tale,

Which shews the plain man's simplenesse,
And the King's great mercy in writing his wrongs,
And the Lawyer's fraud and wickednesse."

Mr. Moore has not inserted any songs in his volumes, as most collectors of ballads have done. We cannot forbear

adding a little piece not so well known as it deserves to be, called

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"And when I sleep, then percheth he
With pretty flight,

And makes his pillow on my Knee,
The live-long night.

I strike the harp, he tunes the string,
He music plays if so I sing,

He gives me many a lovely thing,
But cruel, he my heart doth sting!
Whist, Wanton, still ye."

Here is a little piece by Anastasius Grün, a German poet of the Swabian school, not without merit. We know not the name of the translator.

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