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poems of his composing. Here he will see him mixing in the company of kings without ceremony : no mean proof of the great antiquity of this poem. The farther we carry our inquiries back, the greater respect we find paid to the profefors of poetry and mufic among all the Celtic and Gothic nations. Their character was deemed to sacred, that inder its sanction our famous king Alfred (as zve have already seen $) made no scruple to enter the Danish camp, and was at once admitted to the king's head-quarters*. Our post has fuggested the same expedient to the heroes of this ballad. All the histories of the North are full of the great reverence paid to this order of men. Harold Harfagre, a celebrated king of Norway, was wont to feat them at his table above all the officers of his court : and we find another Norwegian king placing five of them by his fide in a day of battle, that they might be eye-witnesses of the great exploits they were to celebrate t: -As to Estmere's riding into the hall while the kings were at table, this was usual in the ages of chivalry; and even to this day we see a relic of this custom still kept up, in the champion's riding into Westminster-ball during the coronation dinner I.

H Η

Earken to me, gentlemen,

Come and you shall heare ;
Ile tell you of two of the boldeit brethren,

That ever horn y-were.

5

The tone of them was Adler yonge,

The tother was kyng Eitmere ;

The

See the Elay on the ancient Minstrels prefixed to this Vol. * Even so late as the time of Froillart, we find Minstrels and Herald's mentioned together, as those who might securely go into an enenry's colintry. Cap. cxl.

Bartholini Antiq. Dan. p. 173.---Defcript. of the anc. Danes, Vol. 1. p. 386. 389. @c.

I See aljo the account of Edw. II. in the Ejay on the Minstrels.

The were as bolde men in their deedes,

As any were farr and neare.

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As they were drinking ale and wine

Within kyng Eftmeres halle :
When will ye marry a wyfe, brother,

A wyfe to gladd us all ?

Then bespake him kyng Eftmere,

And answered him hastilee :
I knowe not that ladye in any lande,

That is able* to marry with mee.

15

Kyng Adland hath a daughter, brother,

Men call her bright and sheene; If I were kyng here in your stead,

That ladye sholde be queene.

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Sayes, Reade me, reade me, deare brother,

Throughout merrye Englànd, Where we might find a messenger

Betweene us two to sende.

25

Sayes, You shal ryde yourselfe, brother,

Ile beare you companèe;
Many throughe fals messengers are deceivde,

And I feare left foe fhold wee.

Thus

* He means fit, suitabls.

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Thus the renisht them to ryde

Of twoe good renifht steedes,
And when they came to king Adlands halle,

Of red golde shone their weedes.

And whan the came to kyng Adlands halle

Before the goodlye yate,
Ther they found good kyng Adland

Rearing himselfe theratt.

35

Nowe Christ thee fave, good king Adland;

Nowe Christ thee save and fee.
Sayd, You be welcome, king Eftmere,

Right hartilye unto mee.

You have a daughter, fayd Adler yonge,

Men call her bright and sheene,
My brother wold marrye her to his wiffe,

Of Englande to be queene.

Yesterdaye was at my deare daughter

Syr Bremor the kyng of Spayne ; And then the nicked him of

naye, I feare sheele do youe the same.

The kyng of Spayne is a foule paynìm,

And 'leeveth on Mahound;
And pitye it were that fayre ladyè

Shold marrye a heathen hound.

But

But grant to me, sayes kyng Efmere,
For
my
love I

you praye ;
That I may see your daughter deare
Before I

goe
hence

awaye.

55

and more

Althoughe itt is seven

yeare Syth my daughter was in halle, She shall come downe once for your

fake To glad my guestès alle.

60

Downe then came that mayden fayre,

With ladyes lacede in pall,
And halfe a hondred of bolde knightes,

To bring her from bowre to hall ;
And eke as manye gentle squieres,

To waite upon them all.

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The talents of golde, were on her head sette,

Hunge lowe downe to her knee ; And everye rynge on her smalle finger,

Shone of the chryftall free.

70

Sayes, Christ you save, my deare madàme;

Sayes, Christ you save and see.
Sayes, You be welcome, kyng Eftmere,

Right welcome unto mee.

And iff you love me, as you faye,

So well and hartilèe,

75

All

All that ever you are comen about

Soone sped now itt may bee.

Then bespake her father deare :

My daughter, 1 saye'naye ; Remember well the kyng of Spayne,

What he says yesterdaye.

He wold pull downe my halles and castles,

And reave me of my lyfe :
And ever I feare that paynim kyng,

Iff I reave him of his wyfe.

85

Your castles and your towres, father,

Are stronglye built aboute ;
And therefore of that foule paynim

Wee neede not ftande in doubte.

90

Plyght me your troth, nowe, kyng Eftmère,

By heaven and your righte hand, That

marrye me to your wyfe, And make me queene of your land.

you will

95

Then kyng Eftmere he plight his troth

By heaven and his righte hand,
That he wolde marrye her to his wyfe,

And make her queene of his land.

And he tooke leave of that ladye fayre,

To goe to owne countree, Vol. I.

F

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