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Then presentlye upon her knees

Sweet Rosamonde did falle;
And pardon of the queene she cravid

For her offences all.

« Take pitty on my youthfull yeares,

Faire Rosamonde did crye;
And lett mee not with poison stronge

Enforced be to dye.
I will renounce my sinfull life,

And in some cloyster bide;
Or else be banisht, if you please,

the world soe wide.

To range

And for the fault which I have done,

Though I was forc'd theretoe, Preserve my life, and punish mee

As you thinke meet to doe.” And with these words, her lillie handes

She wrunge full often there; And downe along her lovelye face

Did trickle many a teare.
But nothing could this furious queene

Therewith appeased bee;
The cup of deadlye poyson stronge,

As she knelt on her knee,

Shee gave this comelye dame to drinke;

Who tooke it in her hand,
And from her bended knee arose,

And on her feet did stand:

And casting up


eyes to heaven, Shee did for mercye calle; And drinking up the poison stronge,

Her life she lost withalle.

And when that death through everye limbe

Had showde its greatest spite,
Her chiefest foes did plaine confesse

Shee was a glorious wight.

Her body then they did entomb,

When life was fled away,
At Godstowe, neare to Oxford towne,

As may be seene this day.

This is another of the productions of the age of Elizabeth, which seems to have been, in literature, nearly as productive as our own. The

author was Thomas Delone, who is mentioned by Kemp as “the great Ballade maker, Chronicler of the memorable lives of the six yeomen of the west, Jack of Newbury, The gentle craft and such like honest men omitted by Stowe, Hollinshed, Gratton, Hall, Froisart and the rest of these deserve ing writers." Nashe calls him the Balleting Silk-weaver, from which it is probable that he was of that profession, but of his life there appears to be nothing certainly known.



An ancient story Ile tell you anon,
Of a notable prince, that was called king John;
And he ruled England with maine and with might,
For he did great wrong, and maintein'd little right.
And Ile tell you a story, a story so merrye,
Concerning the Abbot of Canterburye;
How for his house-keeping, and high renowne,
They rode poste for him to fair London towne.

An hundred men, the king did heare say,
The abbot kept in his house every day;
And fifty golde chaynes, without any doubt,
In velvet coates waited the abbot about.

How now, father abbot, I heare it of thee,
Thou keepest a farre better house than mee,
And for thy house-keeping and high renowne,
I feare thou work'st treason against my crown.
My liege, quo' the abbot, I would it were knowne,
I never spend nothing, but what is my owne;
And I trust, your grace will doe me no deere,
For spending of my owne true-gotten geere.
Yes, yes, father abbot, thy fault it is highe,
And now for the same thou needest must dye;
For except thou canst answer me questions three,
Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie.

And first, quo* the king, when I'm in this stead,
With my crowne of golde so faire on my head,
Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe
Thou must tell me to one penny what I am worthe.
Secondlye, tell me, without any doubt,
How soone I may ride the whole world about;
And at the third question thou must not shrink,
But tell me here truly what I do think.

O, these are hard questions for my shallow witty
Nor I cannot answer your grace as yet;
But if

you will give me but three weekes space,
Ile do my endeavour to answer your grace.
Now three weeks space to thee will I give,
And that is the longest time thou hast to live;
For if thou dost not answer my questions three,
Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to mee.
Away rode the abbot all sad at that word,
And he rode to Cambridge, and Oxenford;
But never a doctor there was so wise,
That could with his learning an answer devise.

Then home rode the abbot of comfort so cold,
And he mett his shepheard a going to fold:
How now, my lord abbot, you are welcome home;
What newes do you bring us from good king John?
"Sad newes, sad newes, shepheard, I must give;
That I have but three days more to live:
For if I do not answer him questions three,
My head will be smitten from my bodie.
The first is to tell him there in that stead,
With his crowne of golde so fair on his head,
Among all his liege men so noble of birth,
To within one penny of what he is worth.
The seconde, to tell him, without any doubt,
How soone he may ride this whole world about:
And at the third question I must not shrinke,
But tell him there truly what he does thinke.”
“Now cheare up, sire abbot, did you never hear yet,
That a fool he may learn a wise man witt?
Lend me horse, and serving men, and your apparel,
And I'll ride to London to answere your quarrel.
Nay frowne not, if it hath bin told unto mee,
i am like your lordship, as ever may bee:
And if

you will but lend me your gowne, There is none shall knowe us at fair London towne."

* Now horses, and serving-men thou shalt have,
With sumptuous array most gallant and brave;
With crozier, and miter, and rochet, and cope,
Fit to appeare''fore our fader the pope.”
« Now welcome, sire abbot,” the king he did say,
“ 'Tis well thou’rt come back to keepe thy day;
For an if thou canst answer my questions three
Thy life and thy living both saved shall bee.

And first, when thou seest me here in this stead, With my crown of golde so fair on my head, Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe, Tell me to one penny what I am worth.” “For thirtv pence our Saviour was sold Among the false Jewes, as I have bin told; And twentye nine is the worth of thee, For I thinke, thou art one penny worser than hee." The king he laughed, and swore by St. Bittel,* I did not think I had been worth so littel! -Now secondly tell me, without any doubt, How soone I may ride this whole world about. “ You must rise with the sun, and ride with the same, Until the next morning he riseth againe; And then your grace need not make any doubt, But in twenty-four hours you'll ride it about.” The king he laughed, and swore by St. Jone, “ I did not think, it could be gone so soone! -Now from the third question thou must not shrinke, But tell me here truly what I do thinke.” “ Yea, that shall I do, and make your grace merry : You thinke l’in the abbot of Canterbury; But I'm his poor shepheard, as plain you may see, That am come to beg pardon for him and for mee." The king he laughed, and swore by the masse, “ Ile make thee lord abbot this day in his place !" « Now naye, my liege, be not in such speede, For alacke I can neither write, ne reade.” a Four nobles a weeke, then I will give thee, For this merry jest thou hast shown unto mee; And tell the old abbot when thou comest home, Thou hast brought him a pardon from good king John.“

* Meaning probably St. Botolph.

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