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ANCIENT PO E M S.

87

45

God give thee joy of them, fayd the king,

And send them well to priefe.
The tanner wolde faine have beene away,

For he weende he had beene a thiefe.

What art thou, hee fayde, thou finė fellowe,
Of thee I am in great feare,

50
For the cloathes, thou weareft upon thy backe,

Might beseeme a lord tò weare.

I never ftole them, quoth our king,

I tell you, fir, by the roode.
Then thou playeft, as many an unthrift doth, 55

And ftandeft in midds of thy goode 7."

What tydinges heare you, fayd the kynge,

As you ryde farre and neare ?
" I heare no tydinges, fir, by the masse,

But that cowe-hides are deare."

60

“ Cowe-hides ! cowe-hides! what things are those ?

I marvell what they bee ?”
What art thou a foole ? the tanner reply'd;

I carry one under mee.

65

What craftsman art thou, said the king,
J praye

thee tell me trowe.
"s I am a barker ll, sir, by my trade;

Nowe tell me what art thou ?”

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I an

(hast

ti.e. furft no other wealth, but what thou carrießt about thee.
lie.'a dealer in Bark.

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70

I am a poore courtier, fir, quoth he,

That am forth of service worne ;
And faine I wolde thy prentise bee,

Thy cunninge for to learne.

Marrye heaven forfend, the tanner replyde,

That thou my prentise were :
Thou woldft spend more good than I shold winne 75

By fortye shilling a yere.

Yet one thinge wolde I, fayd our king,

If thou wilt not seeme strange :
Thoughe my horse be better than thy mare,

Yet with thee I faine wold change.

80

“Why if with me thou faine wilt change,

As change full well maye wee,
By the faith of my bodye, thou proude fellowe,

I will have some boot of thee."

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89

ANCIENT POEM S.
What boote wilt thou have ? our king reply'd;

Now tell me in this stound.
“ Noe pence, nor half pence, by my faye, . 95

But a noble in gold fo round.”

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“ Now help me up, thou fine fellòwe,

'Tis time that I were gone :
When I come home to Gyllian, my wife,
Sheel say I am a gentilmon."

115

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The king he tooke him up by the legge ;

The tanner a f* * lett fall.
Nowe marrye, good fellowe, fayd the kyng,

Thy courtesye is but small.

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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 ;
He ftamped, and stared, and awaye he ranne,

As the devill had him borne.

130

The tanner he pulld, the tanner he sweat,

And held by the pummil fast :
At length the tanner came tumbling downe ;

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,
Ey the faith of my bodye, thou jolly tanner,
I will have some boote of thee.”

140 What

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ANCIENT PO E MS.

91

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.”

145

“ Here's twentye groates out of my purse;

And twentye I have of thine :
And I have one more, which we will spend

Together at the wine.”

The king fet a bugle horne to his mouthe,
And blewe both loude and thrille :

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

cowe-hide away.

They are no thieves, the king replyde,

I sweare, soe mote I thee:
But they are the lords of the north countrèy,

Here come to hunt with mee.

160

And soone before our king they came,

And knelt downe on the grounde :
Then might the tanner have beene awaye,
He had lever than twentye pounde.

A coller,

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