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With a silver rapier by my side,
So like a gallant I did ride ;
The thing that I delighted on,
It was to be a serving-man.
Thus in my sumptuous mans array,
I bravely rode along the way ;
And at the last it chanced so,
That I to the kings court did go.
Then to the king I bow'd full low,
My love and duty for to show ;
And so much favour I did crave,
That I a serving-mans place might have.
Stand up, brave youth, the king replied,
Thy service shall not be denied ;
But tell me first what thou can't do,
Thou shalt be fitted thereunto.
Wilt thou be usher of my hall,
To wait upon my nobles all ?
Or wilt thou be tapster of my wine,
To wait on me when I do dine ?
Or wilt thou be my chamberlain,
To make my bed both soft and fine ?
Or wilt thou be one of my guard ?
And I will give thee thy reward.
Sweet William, with a smiling face,
Said to the king, If't please your grace,
To fhow such favour unto me,
Your chamberlain I fain would be.
The king then did the nobles call,
To ask the counsel of them all ;
Who gave consent sweet William he,
The kings own chamberlain should be.
Now mark what strange thing came to pass,
As the king one day a hunting was,
With all his lords and noble train,
Sweet William did at home remain,
Sweet William had no company then)
With him at home but an old man ;
And when he saw the house was clear,
He took a lute which he had there
Upon the lute Sweet William play'd,
And to the same he sung and said,
With a sweet and noble voice,
Which made the old man to rejoice:
My father was as brave a lord
As ever Europe did afford,
My mother was a lady bright,
My husband was a valiant knight.
What news, what news, old man ? quoth he ;
What news haft thou to tell to me?
Brave news, the old man he did say,
Sweet William is a lady gay.
If this be true thou tell'st to me
I'll make thee a lord of high degree;
But if thy words do prove a lie,
Thou shall be hang'd up presently.
But when the king the truth had found,
His joys did more and more abound :
According as the old man did say,
Sweet William was a lady gay.
And then, for fear of further strife,
He took Sweet William for his wife:
The like before was never seen,
A serving-man to be a queen.
THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOD:
THE NORFOLK GENTLEMANS LAST WILL AND
OW ponder well, you parents dear,
The words which I shall write;
A doleful story you shall hear,
In time brought forth to light:
A gencleman of grod account
In Nortok liv'd of late,
Whole wealth and riches did farroant
Most men of his eftáte.
Sore fick he was, and like to die,
No help that he could have ;
His wife by him as fick did lie,
And both posiels'd one grave.
No love between these two was loft,
Each was to other kind;
Io love they liv'd, in love they died,
And left two babes behind :
The one a fine and pretty boy,
Not passing three years old ;
The other a girl, more young than he,
And made in beautys mold.
The father left his little son,
As plainly doth appear,
When he to perfect age should come,
Three hundred pounds a year ;
And to his little daughter Jane
Pive hundred pounds in gold, To be paid down on marriage day,
Which might not be contrould : But if the children chance to die Lre they to
age Mould coine, Their uncle should possess their wealth ;
For lo the will did run.