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From merry Sherwood we fetch it home here;
Now and then we make bold with our king's deer.

Then I think, said our king, that it is venison.

Each fool, quoth Richard, full well may know that :
Never are we without two or three in the roof,

Very well fleshed, and excellent fat :
But, prythee, say nothing wherever thou go ;
We would not, for two pence, the king should it know.

Doubt not, then said the king, my promised secrecy;

The king shall never know more on't for me.
A cup of lambs-wool * they drank unto him then,

And to their beds they passed presently.
The nobles, next morning, went all up and down,
For to seek out the king in every town.

At last, at the miller's cot, soon they espy'd him out,

As he was mounting upon his fair steed;
To whom they came presently, falling down on their knee;

Which made the miller's heart wofully bleed;
Shaking and quaking, before him he stood,
Thinking he should have been hang’d, by the Rood.

* Ale and roasted apples.

The king perceiving him fearfully trembling

Drew forth his sword, but nothing he said : The miller down did fall, crying before them all,

Doubting the king would cut off his head. But he, his kind courtesy for to requite, Gave him great living, and dubb’d him a knight.

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soosh San HEN as our royal king came home from Not

tingham,
And with his nobles at Westminster lay;
Recounting the sports and pastimes they had

taken,
In this late progress along on the way;
Of them all, great and small, he did protest,
The miller of Mansfield's sport liked him best.

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And now, my lords, quoth the king, I am determined

Against St. George's next sumptuous feast,
That this old miller, our new confirmed knight,

With his son Richard, shall here be my guest :
For, in this merriment, 'tis my desire
To talk with the jolly knight, and the young squire.

When as the noble lords saw the king's pleasantness,

They were right joyful and glad in their hearts : A pursuivant there was sent straight on the business,

The which had oftentimes been in those parts. When he came to the place, where they did dwell, His message orderly then 'gan he tell.

God save your worship, then said the messenger,

And grant your lady her own heart's desire ; And to your son Richard good fortune and happiness ;

That sweet, gentle, and gallant young squire. Our king greets you well, and thus he doth say, You must come to the court on St. George's day;

Therefore, in any case, fail not to be in place.

I wis, quoth the miller, this is an odd jest : What should we do there ? faith, I am half afraid.

I doubt, quoth Richard, to be hang’d at the least. Nay, quoth the messenger, you do mistake; Our king he provides a great feast for your sake.

Then said the miller, By my troth, messenger,

Thou hast contented my worship full well.

Hold, here are three farthings, to quite thy gentleness,

For these happy tidings which thou dost tell. Let me see, hear thou me; tell to our king, We'll wait on his mastership in everything.

maste

The pursuivant smiled at their simplicity,

And, making many legs, took the reward ; And his leave taking with great humility

To the king's court again he repaired; Showing unto his grace, merry and free, The knight's most liberal gift and bounty.

When he was gone away, thus 'gan the miller say,

Here come expenses and charges indeed;
Now must we needs be brave, tho' we spend all we have ;

For of new garments we have great need :
Of horses and serving-men we must have store,
With bridles and saddles, and twenty things more.

Tush, sir John, quo' his wife, why should you fret, or frown?

You shall ne'er be at no charges for me;
For I will turn and trim up my old russet gown,

With everything else as fine as may be ;

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