Sidor som bilder

With these words engraven, as epitaph meet,

O willow, &c.

"Here lyes one, drank poyson for potion most sweet.' O willow, &c.

Sing, O the greene willow, &c.

Though she thus unkindly hath scorned my love,
O willow, &c.

And carelesly smiles at the sorrowes I
O willow, &c.

Sing, O the greene willow, &c.


The name of her sounded so sweete in mine eare, O willow, &c.

It rays'd my heart lightly, the name of my deare;
O willow, &c.

Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland.

I cannot against her unkindly exclaim,
O willow, &c.

Cause once well I loved her, and honoured her name:
O willow, &c.


Sing, O the greene willow, &c.

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O willow, willow, willow!

O willow, willow, willow!

Sing, O the greene willow shall be my garland.


As then 'twas my comfort, it now is my griefe;
O willow, &c.

It now brings me anguish, then brought me reliefe.
O willow, &c.

Sing, O the greene willow, &c.



Farewell, faire falsehearted: plaints end with my breath! O willow, willow, willow!

Thou dost loath me, I love thee, though cause of






HIS ballad is quoted in Shakespeare's second Part of Henry IV. act ii. The subject of it is taken from the ancient romance of K. Arthur (commonly called Morte Arthur) being a poetical translation of chap. cviii. cix. cx. in Pt. 1st, as they stand in ed. 1634, 4to. In the older editions the chapters are differently numbered.-This song is given from a printed copy, corrected in part by a fragment in the Editor's folio MS.

In the same play of 2 Hen. IV. Silence hums a scrap of one of the old ballads of Robin Hood. It is taken from the following stanza of Robin Hood and the Pindar of Wakefield.

"All this beheard three wighty yeomen,
Twas Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John:
With that they espy'd the jolly Pindàr
As he sate under a thorne."

That ballad may be found on every stall, and therefore is not here reprinted.

[This is a rhymed version of some chapters in Malory's Mort d'Arthur (Book vi. of Caxton's edition), said to have been written by Thomas Deloney towards the end of Elizabeth's reign. It first occurs in the Garland of Good Will, reprinted by the Percy Society (vol. xxx.)

The ballad appears to have been highly popular, and it is quoted by Marston in the Malcontent and by Beaumont and Fletcher in the Little French Lawyer, as well as by Shakspere.

The copy in the Percy MS. (ed. Hales and Furnivall, 1867, vol. i. p. 84) is imperfect in two places, and lines 30 to 60, 73 to 76, and 95 to 124 are not to be found there, but with these exceptions it is much the same as the ballad printed here.]

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HEN Arthur first in court began,
And was approved king,

By force of armes great victorys wanne,
And conquest home did bring.

Then into England straight he came
With fifty good and able
Knights, that resorted unto him,
And were of his round table :

And he had justs and turnaments,
Whereto were many prest,'
Wherin some knights did farr excell
And eke surmount the rest.

But one Sir Lancelot du Lake,
Who was approved well,

He for his deeds and feats of armes,
All others did excell.

When he had rested him a while,
In play, and game, and sportt,
He said he wold goe prove himselfe
In some adventurous sort.

He armed rode in a forrest wide,
And met a damsell faire,
Who told him of adventures great,
Wherto he gave great eare.

Such wold I find, quoth Lancelott:
For that cause came I hither.
Thou seemst, quoth shee, a knight full good,
And I will bring thee thither.

Ver. 18. to sportt, MS.
[1 ready.]

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Wheras a mighty knight doth dwell,
That now is of great fame :
Therfore tell me what wight thou art,
And what may be thy name.

"My name is Lancelot du Lake."
Quoth she, it likes me than :'
Here dwelles a knight who never was
Yet matcht with any man:

Who has in prison threescore knights
And four, that he did wound;
Knights of king Arthurs court they be,
And of his table round.

She brought him to a river side.
And also to a tree,
Whereon a copper bason hung,
And many shields to see.

He struck soe hard, the bason broke;
And Tarquin soon he spyed:
Who drove a horse before him fast,
Whereon a knight lay tyed.

Sir knight, then sayd Sir Lancelôtt,
Bring me that horse-load hither,
And lay him downe, and let him rest :
Weel try our force together:

For, as I understand, thou hast,
Soe far as thou art able,
Done great despite and shame unto
The knights of the Round Table.

If thou be of the Table Round,
Quoth Tarquin speedilye,

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Ver. 29. Where is often used by our old writers for whereas: here it is just the contrary.

[1 then.]

Both thee and all thy fellowship
I utterly defye.

That's over much, quoth Lancelott tho,'
Defend thee by and by.

They sett their speares' unto their steeds,
And eache att other flie.

Their horsses backes brake under them,
The knights were both astound :3
To avoyd their horsses they made haste
And light upon the ground.

They coucht theire speares, (their horses ran, 65
As though there had beene thunder)

And strucke them each immidst their shields,
Wherewith they broke in sunder.

They tooke them to their shields full fast,
Their swords they drew out than,
With mighty strokes most eagerlye
Each at the other ran.

They wounded were, and bled full sore,
They both for breath did stand,
And leaning on their swords awhile,
Quoth Tarquine, Hold thy hand,

And tell to me what I shall aske.
Say on, quoth Lancelot tho.
Thou art, quoth Tarquine, the best knight
That ever I did know ;

And like a knight, that I did hate:
Soe that thou be not hee,

I will deliver all the rest,
And eke accord with thee.

[' then.


spurs ?


3 stunned.]

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