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Then presentlye upon her knees
Sweet Rosamonde did falle;
For her offences all.
« Take pitty on my youthfull yeares,
Faire Rosamonde did crye;
Enforced be to dye.
And in some cloyster bide;
the world soe wide.
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.
Therewith appeased bee;
As she knelt on her knee,
Shee gave this comelye dame to drinke;
Who tooke it in her hand,
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,
Shee was a glorious wight.
Her body then they did entomb,
When life was fled away,
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.
KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT OF
An ancient story Ile tell you anon,
An hundred men, the king did heare say,
How now, father abbot, I heare it of thee,
And first, quo* the king, when I'm in this stead,
O, these are hard questions for my shallow witty
you will give me but three weekes space,
Then home rode the abbot of comfort so cold,
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,
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.