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To them sir Ursine did succeed,

And long the sceptre bear. Sir Valentine he stay'd in France,

And was his uncle's heir.

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ENRY, our royal king, would ride a hunting

To the green forest so pleasant and fair;
To see the harts skipping, and dainty does

tripping :
Unto merry Sherwood his nobles repair :
Hawk and hound were unbound, all things prepar'd
For the game, in the same, with good regard.

All a long summer's day rode the king pleasantly,

With all his princes and nobles each one ; Chasing the hart and hind, and the buck gallantly,

Till the dark evening forc'd all to turn home.

Then at last, riding fast, he had lost quite
All his lords in the wood, late in the night.
Wandering thus wearily, all alone, up and down,

With a rude miller he met at the last:
Asking the ready way unto fair Nottingham ;

Sir, quoth the miller, I mean not to jest, Yet I think, what I think, sooth for to say, You do not lightly ride out of your way.

Why, what dost thou think of me, quoth our king merrily,

Passing thy judgment upon me so brief ? Good faith, said the miller, I mean not to flatter thee ;

I guess thee to be but some gentleman thief; Stand thee back, in the dark ; light not adown, Lest that I presently crack thy knave's crown.

Thou dost abuse me much, quoth the king, saying thus ;

I am a gentleman ; lodging I lack.
Thou hast not, quoth th' miller, one groat in thy purse ;

All thy inheritance hangs on thy back.
I have gold to discharge all that I call ; *
If it be forty pence, I will pay all.

* The king says this.

If thou beest a true man, then quoth the miller,

I swear by my toll-dish, I'll lodge thee all night. Here's my hand, quoth the king; that was I ever.

Nay, soft, quoth the miller, thou may'st be a sprite. Better I'll know thee, ere hands we will shake; With none but honest men hands will I take.

Thus they went all along unto the miller's house :

Where they were seething of puddings and souse :: The miller first enter'd in ; after him went the king;

Never came he in so smoky a house.
Now, quoth he, let me see here what you are.
Quoth our king, look your fill, and do not spare.

I like well thy countenance; thou hast an honest face;

With my son Richard this night thou shalt lie. Quoth his wife, by my troth, it is a handsome youth ;

Yet it's best, husband, to deal warily.
Art thou no runaway, prythee, youth, tell ?
Show me thy passport, and all shall be well.

Then our king presently, making low courtesy,

With his hat in his hand, thus he did say ;

I have no passport, nor never was servitor,

But a poor courtier, rode out of my way :
And for your kindness here offered to me,
I will requite you in every degree.

Then to the miller his wife whispered secretly,

Saying, It seemeth this youth's of good kin, Both by his apparel, and eke by his manners ;

To turn him out, certainly, were a great sin. Yea, quoth he, you may see he hath some grace When he doth speak to his betters in place.

Well, quo' the miller's wife, young man, ye're welcome here;

And, though I say it, well lodgèd shall be:
Fresh straw will I have laid on thy bed so brave,

And good brown hempen sheets likewise, quoth she.
Aye, quoth the good man; and when that is done,
Thou shalt lie with no worse than our own son.

This caus’d the king, suddenly, to laugh most heartily,

Till the tears trickled fast down from his eyes. Then to their supper were they set orderly,

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