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ANCI È NT POEMS.

163

Evesham, (fought Aug. 4. 1265.) when Simon de Montfort, the great earl of Leicester, was säin at the head of the barons, his eldest son Henry fell by his side, and in conjequence of that defeat, his whole family funk for ever, the king bestowing their great honours and pollelfions on bis fecond fon Edmund earl of Lancaster,

Τ Η Ε

PART

FIRST.
ITI
TT was a blind beggar, had long loit his fight,

He had a faire daughter of bewty most bright;
And many a gallant brave suiter had shee,
For none was soe comelye as pretty Bessee.

5

And though shee was of favor most faire,
Yett seeing shee was but a blinded beggars heyre,
Of ancyent housekeepers despised was ihee,
Whose sonnes came as suitors to pretty Bessee.

poor

TO

Wherefore in great forrow faire Bessy did say,
Good father, and mother, let me goe away
To seeke out my fortune, whatever itt bee.
Hef suite then they granted to prettye Bessee.

This

Then Bessy, that was of bewtye soe bright,
All cladd in gray russett, and late in the night
From father and mother alone parted Mee;
Who fighed and sobbed for prettye Bessee.

15

Shee went till thee came to Stratford-le-Bow ;
Then knew shee not whither, nor which way to goe :
With teares shee lamented her hard destinie,
So fadd and heavy was pretty Bessee.
so
M 2

She

20

&
She kept on h r journey untill it was day,
And went unto Rumford along the hye way;
Where at the Queenes armes entertained was see:
So faire and wel favoured was pretty Bessee.

25

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Shee had not beene there a month to an end,
But master and mistres and all was her friend :
And every brave gallant, that once did her fee,
Was strait-way enamourd of pretty Bessee.

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Great gifts they did found her of filver and gold,
And in their songs daylye her love was extold;
Her bealtye was blazed in every degree;
Soe faire and foe comelye was pretty Bessee.

30

w/

The young

men

of Rumford in her had their joy;
Shee thewd herself cfurteous, and modestlye coye;
And at her commandment still wold they bee;
Soe and soe complye was pretty Bessce.

35

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Foure suitors att once unto her did

goe;
They craved her favor, but still fee fayd goe;
I wold not with gentles to marry with mee.
Yett ever they honefred prettye Bessee.

The firit of them was a gallant yong knight,
And he came unto her disguisde in the night:
The second a gentleman of good degree,
Who wooed and sued for

prettye

Bessee.

A mer

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ANCIENT POEM S. 165 A merchant of London, whose wealth was not small, 45 He was the third suiter, and proper withall: Her masters own sonne the fourth man must bee, Who swore he wold dye for pretty Bessee.

And, if thou wilt marry with mee, quoth the knight,
Ile make thee a ladye with joy and delight; 50
My hart's so inthralled by thy bewtie,
That soone I shall dye for prettye Bessee.'

The gentleman fayd, Come, marry with mee,
As fine as a ladye my Bessy shal bee :
My life is distressed: O heare me, quoth hee;
And grant me thy love, my prettye Bessee.

55

Let me bee thy husband, the merchant cofid say,
Thou shalt live in London both gallant and gay ;
My shippes shall bring home rych jewels for thee,
And I will for ever love pretty Bessee.

60

Then Belly shee fighed, and thus shee did say,
My father and mother I meane to obey ;
First gett their good will, and be faithfull to mee,
And you shall enjoye your prettye Bessee.

65

To every one this answer shee made,
Wherfore unto her they joyfullye sayd,
This thing to fulfill wee all doe agree;
But where dwells thy father, my prettye Bessee?

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