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ANCIENT PO E M S.
God give thee joy of them, fayd the king,
And send them well to priefe.
For he weende he had beene a thiefe.
What art thou, hee fayde, thou finė fellowe,
Might beseeme a lord tò weare.
I never ftole them, quoth our king,
I tell you, fir, by the roode.
And ftandeft in midds of thy goode 7."
What tydinges heare you, fayd the kynge,
As you ryde farre and neare ?
But that cowe-hides are deare."
“ Cowe-hides ! cowe-hides! what things are those ?
I marvell what they bee ?”
I carry one under mee.
What craftsman art thou, said the king,
thee tell me trowe.
Nowe tell me what art thou ?”
ti.e. furft no other wealth, but what thou carrießt about thee.
I am a poore courtier, fir, quoth he,
That am forth of service worne ;
Thy cunninge for to learne.
Marrye heaven forfend, the tanner replyde,
That thou my prentise were :
By fortye shilling a yere.
Yet one thinge wolde I, fayd our king,
If thou wilt not seeme strange :
Yet with thee I faine wold change.
“Why if with me thou faine wilt change,
As change full well maye wee,
I will have some boot of thee."
ANCIENT POEM S.
Now tell me in this stound.
But a noble in gold fo round.”
“ Now help me up, thou fine fellòwe,
'Tis time that I were gone :
The king he tooke him up by the legge ;
The tanner a f* * lett fall.
Thy courtesye is but small.
When the tanner he was in the kinges fadelle,
And his foote in the ftirrup was ; He marvelled greatlye in his minde,
Whether it were golde or brass.
But when his steede faw the cows taile wagge, 125
And eke the blacke cowe-horne ;
As the devill had him borne.
The tanner he pulld, the tanner he sweat,
And held by the pummil fast :
His necke he had well-nye bralt.
Take thy horse again with a vengeance, he sayd,
With mee he shall not byde. “My horse wolde have borne thee well enoughe, 135
But he knewe not of thy cowe-hide.
Yet if againe thou faine woldit change,
As change full well may wee,
ANCIENT PO E MS.
What boote wilt thou have, the tanner replyd,
Nowe tell me in this stounde? “ Noe pence nor halfpence, fir, by my faye,
But I will have twentye pound.”
“ Here's twentye groates out of my purse;
And twentye I have of thine :
Together at the wine.”
The king fet a bugle horne to his mouthe,
150 And soone came lords, and soone came knights,
Fast ryding over the hille.
Nowe, out alas ! the tanner he cryde,
That ever I sawe this daye! Thou art a strong thiefe, yon come thy fellowes 155 Will beare my
They are no thieves, the king replyde,
I sweare, soe mote I thee:
Here come to hunt with mee.
And soone before our king they came,
And knelt downe on the grounde :