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The tone of them was Adler yonge,
The tother was King Estmere;
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 V
Then bespake him, Kynge 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 sheens; If I were kyng here in your stead,
That ladye sholde be queen."
Sayes, "Reade me, reade me, deare brother,
Throughout merrie England; Where we might find a messenger,
Betweene us two to send1"
Sayes, "You shal ryde yourself, brother,
I'll bear you companee; 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 gold shone their weedes.
And when they come to Kynge Adland's halle, Before the goodlye yate There they found good Kyng Adland, Rearing himself thereatt.
"Nowe Christe thee save, good Kyng Adland, Nowe Christ thee save and see!" Said, "You be welcome, Kyng Estmere, Right heartily unto me."
"You have a daughter," said Adler yonge,
My brother wold marry her to his wyfe,
"Yesterday was at my deare daughter, Syr Bremor the Kyng of Spayne:And then she nicked him of naye, I feare she'll do you the same."
"The Kyng of Spayn is a foule paynim,
And 'lieveth on Mahound;
Shold marry a heathen hound."
"But grant to me," sayes Kyng Estmere,
"For my love I you praye,
Before I goe hence awaye."
"Although itt is seven yeare and more
Syth my daughter was in halle,
To glad my guestes all."
Down then came that mayden fayre,
With ladyes laced in pall,
To bring her from bowre to halle;
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
Hunge lowe down to her knee;
Shone of the chrystall free.
Sayes, "Christ you save, my deare madame;"
Sayes, "Christ you save and see I"
Right welcome unto me.
"And iff you love me as you saye,
So well and heartilee;
Then bespake her father deare:
"My daughter, I say 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;
If I reeve him of his wyfe."
"Tour castles and your towres, father,
Are stronglye built aboute;
Wee neede not stande in doubte.
"Plyghte me your troth nowe, Kyng Estmere, 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 troth,
By Heaven and his right hand,
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,
With kempes many a one. But in did come the Kyng of Spayne,
With many a grimm bardne 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,
Or goe home and lose his ladye.
One whyle then the page he went,
Another whyle he ranne;
I wis he never blanne.
"Tydinges1 tydinges! Kyng Estmere!""What tydinges nowe, my boye 1" "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,
With kempes many a one.
"But in did come the Kyng of Spayne,
With many a bold bardne 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:
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 flghte,
To save this fayre ladye V
"Now hearken to me," sayes Adler yonge,
"My mother was a western woman,
And learned in gramarye,
Something she taught itt me.
"There groweth an hearbe within this fielde,
And iff it were but known,
It will make blacke and browne.
"His color which is browne and blacke,
It will make redde and whyte; That sworde is not all Englande,
Upon his coate will byte.
"And you shall be a harper, brother,
Out of the north countrSe;
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 gramarye,
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,
Rearing himselfe thereatt.
Sayes, "Christ thee save, thou proud portir," Sayes, "Christ thee save and see.""Now you be welcome," sayd the porter,"Of what land soever ye be."
"We been harpers," sayd Adler yonge,
We been come hither untill this place,
Sayd, "An your color were whyte and redd,
As it is blacke and browne,
Were 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 porter,
Thou wilt say us no harme."
Sore he looked on Kyng Estmere,
And sore he handled the ryng,
He lett for no kind of thyng.
Kyng Estmere he light off his steede,
Up at the fayre hall board; The frothe that came from his bridle bitte,
Light on Kyng Bremor's beard.