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wood-sorrel, wild hyacinths, and wild strawberries. On the side opposite the church, in a hollow fringed with alders and bulrushes, gleamed the bright clear lakelet, radiant witn swans and water-lilies, which the simple townsfolk were content to call the Great Pond.

What a playground was that orchard! and what playfellows were mine! Nancy, with her trim prettiness, my own dear father, handsomest and cheerfullest of men, and the great Newfoundland dog Coe, who used to lie down at my feet, as if to invite me to mount him, and then to prance off with his burthen, as if he enjoyed the fun as much as we did. Happy, happy days! It is good to have the memory of such a childhood! to be able to call up past delights by the mere sight and sound of Chevy Chase or the Battle of Otterbourne.

And as time wore on the fine ballad of “ King Estmere,” according to Bishop Percy one of the most ancient in the collection, got to be amongst our prime favourites. Absorbed by the magic of the story, the old English never troubled us. I hope it will not trouble my readers. We, a little child, and a young country maiden, the daughter of a respectable Hampshire farmer, were no bad representatives in point of cultivation of the noble dames and their attendant damsels who had 60 often listened with delight to wandering minstrels in bower and hall. In one point, we had probably the advantage of them ; we could read, and it is most likely that they could not. for the rest, every age has its own amusements; and these metrical romances, whether said or sung, may be regarded as equivalent in their day to the novels and operas of ours.

KYNG ESTMERE.

Hearken to me, gentlemen,

Come, and you shall heare ;
I'll tell you of two of the boldest brethren

That ever born y-were.
The tone of them was Adler yonge,

The tother was King Estmere ;
They were as bolde men in their deedes,

As any were far and neare.
As they were drinking ale and wine,

Within Kyng Estmere's halle ;
" When will ye marry a wyfe, brother
A wyfe to gladd us alle ?"

Then bespake him, Kyng Estmere,

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

That is able to marry with me.” “King Adland hath a daughter, brother,

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

That ladye sholde be queen.” Sayes, “Reade me, reade me, deare brother,

Throughout merry England;
Where we might find a messenger,

Betweene us two to send ?”.
Sayes, “ You shal ryde yourself, brother,

l'll bear you companée; Many through false messengers are deceived

And I feare lest soe sholde we.” Thus they renisht them to ryde,

Of twoe good renisht steedes, And when they come to Kyng Adland's halle,

Of red golde shone their weedes.
And when they come to Kyuge Adland's halle,

Before the goodlye yate
There they found good Kyng Adland,

Rearing himself thereatt. “Now Christe thee save, good Kyng Adland,

Nowe Christe thee save and see !”
Said “ You be welcome, Kyng Estmere,

Right heartily unto me.
You have a daughter,” said Adler yonge,

“Men call her bright and sheene,
My brother wold marry her to his wyfe,

Of England to be queene.” “Yesterday was at my deare daughter,

Syr Bremor the Kyng of Spayne : And then she nickel him of naye,

I feare she'll do you the same.”
" The Kyng of Spayn is a foule paynim,

And 'lieveth on Mahound;
And pitye it were that fayre ladye

Shold marry a heathen hound.”
“But grant to me,” says Kyng Estmere,

“For my love I you praye, That I may see your daughter deare,

Before I goe hence awaye.”
“ Although itt is seven yeare and more

Syth my daughter was in halie,
She shall come downe once for your sake,

To glad my guestés all.”

Down then came that mayden fayre,

With ladyes laced in pall,
And half a hundred of bolde knightes,

To bring her from bowre to halle ;
And eke as many gentle squieres,

To waite upon them all.

[Scott has almost literally copied the four last lines of this stanza in the first canto of the “ Lay of the Last Minstrel.” One of the many obligations that we owe to these old unknown poets, is the inspiration that Sir Walter drew from them, an inspiration to be traced almost as frequently in his prose as in his verse.]

The talents of golde were on her head sette,

Hung lowe down to her knee ;
And every rynge on her smalle finger

Shone of the chrystall free.
Sayes, “ Christ you save, my deare madáme;"'

Sayes, “ Christ you save and see !”.
Sayes, “ You be welcome, Kyng Estmere,

Right welcome unto me.
“ And iff you love me as you saye,

So well and heartilée;
All that ever you are comen about,

Soone sped now itt may bee."
Then bespake her father deare:

“My daughter, I saye naye;
Remember well the Kyng of Spayn,

What he sayd yesterdaye.
“He wolde pull down my halles and castles,

And reeve me of my lyfe;
And ever I feare that paynim kyng,

If I reeve him of his wyfe."
Your castles and your towres, father,

Are stronglye built aboute;
And therefore of that foul paynim,

Wee neede not stande in doubte.
Plyghte me your troth nowe, Kyng Estniere,

By Heaven and your righte hande,
That

you will marrye me to your wyfe,
And make me queen of your lande.”
Then Kyng Estmere. he plight his truth,

By Heaven and his right hand.
That he would marrye her to his wyfe,

And make her queen of his lande.

And he tooke leave of that ladye fayre,

To go to his own contree; To fetch him dukes, and lordes, and knightes,

That marryed they might be.
They had not ridden scant a myle,

A myle forthe of the towne,
But in did come the Kyng of Spagne,

With kempés many a one.
But in did come the Kyng of Spayne,

With many a grimm baròne,
Tone day to marrye Kyng Adland's daughter,

Tother day to carrye her home.
Then she sent after Kyng Estmere

In all the spede might bee,
That he must either returne and fighte,

Or goe home and lose his ladye.
One whyle then the page he went,

Another whyle he ranne;
Till he had o'ertaken Kyrg Estmere,

I wis he never blanne.
“Tydinges ! tydinges ! King Estmere !"

What tydinges nowe, my boye ?”. “Oh, tydinges I can tell to you,

That will you sore annoye.
“You had not ridden scant a myle,

A myle out of the towne,
But in did come the Kyng of Spayne,

With kempés many a one.
“But in did come the Kyng of Spayne,

With many a bold barone, Tone day to marrye Kyng Adland's daughter,

Tother day to carry her home.
“That ladye faire she greetes you well,

And evermore well, by me :
You must either turne again and fighte,

Or goe home and lose your ladye.”
Sayes, “ Reade me, reade me, deare brother,

My reade shall ryde at thee,
Which waye we best may turne and fighte,

To save this fayre ladye ?"
“Now hearken to me,” sayes Adler yonge,

And your reade must rise at me, I quicklye will devise a waye,

To sette thy ladye free.
“My mother was a western woman,

And learnéd in gramaryé,
And when I learned at the schole,

Something she taught itt me.

“There groweth an hearbe within this fielde,

And iff it were but known,
His color which is whyte and redde,

It will make blacke and browne.
“ His color which is browne and blacke,

It will make redde and whyte; That sworde is not all Englánde,

Upon his coate will byte.
“ And you shall be a harper, brother,

Out of the north countrée ;
And I'll be your boye so faine of fighte,

To beare your harpe by your knee. “And you shall be the best harper,

That ever took harp in hand, And I will be the best singer,

That ever songe in the land.
“ It shal be written in our forheads

All and in gramaryé,
That we twoe are the boldest men,

That are in all Christentye.
And thus they renisht them to ryde,

On twoe good renisht steedes,
And when they came to Kyng Adland's halle,

Of redd gold shone their weedes: And when they came to Kyng Adland's halle,

Untill the fayre hall yate, There they found a proud portér

Rearing himselfe thereatt. Sayés, “ Christ thee save, thou proud portér,"

Sayes, “ Christ thee save and see.” “Now you be welcome,” sayd the portér,

“Of what land soever ye be.” “We been harpers,” sayd Adler yonge,

“Come out of the north countrée ; We been com.e hither untill this place,

This proud wedding for to see.'
Sayd, “ An your color were whyte and reda,

As it is blacke and browne,
I'd say Kyng Estmere and his brother,

Wera comen until this towne."
Then they pulled out a ryng of gold,

Layd it on the porter's arme, “And ever we will thee, proud portér,

Thou wilt say us no harme.”
Sore he looked on Kyng Estmere,

And sore he handled the ryng,
Then opened to them the fayre ball gates,

Le lett for no kind of thyog.

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