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The toure was great of marveylous wyndes,

To whyche ther was no way to passe but one,
Into the toure for to have an intres :

grece there was ychesyld all of stone
Out of the rocke, on whyche men dyd gone
Up to the toure, and in lykewyse dyd I
Wyth bothe the Grayhoundes in my company:


Tyll that I came unto a ryall gate,

Where I saw stondynge the goodly Portres, Whyche axed me, from whence I came a-late;

To whome I gan in every thynge expresse

All myne adventure, chaunce, and busynesse, And eke my name; I tolde her every

dell: Whan she herde this she lyked me right well.



Her name, she sayd, was called COUNTENAUNCE ;

Into the · base' courte she dyd me then lede, Where was a fountayne depured of pleasance,

A noble sprynge, a ryall conduyte-hede,

Made of fyne golde enameled with reed;
And on the toppe four dragons blewe and stoute
Thys dulcet water in four partes dyd spoute.

Of whyche there flowed foure ryvers ryght clere, 50

Sweter than Nylus f or Ganges was ther odoure; Tygrys or Eufrates unto them no pere:

V. 44, besy courte. PC.

V. 49, partyes. PC.
This alludes to a former part of the poem. t Nysis 1.c.


I dyd than taste the aromatyke lycoure,

Fragraunt of fume, and swete as any floure ; And in my mouthe it had a marveylous scent Of divers spyces, I knewe not what it ment.


And after thys further forth me brought

Dame Countenaunce into a goodly Hall, Of jasper stones it was wonderly wrought :

The wyndowes cleare depured all of crystall,

And in the roufe on hye over all
Of golde was made a ryght crafty vyne;
Instede of grapes the rubies there did shyne.



The flore was paved with berall clarified,

With pillers made of stones precious, Like a place of pleasure so gayely glorified,

It myght be called a palaice glorious,

So muche delectable and solacious ; The hall was hanged hye and circuler With cloth of arras in the rychèst maner.


That treated well of a ful noble story,

Of the doubty waye to the Tower Perillous ; Howe a noble knyght should wynne the victory

Of many a serpente foule and odious.

* The story of the poem,


The Child of Elle, Is given from a fragment in the Editor's folio MS.; which though extremely defective and mutilated, appeared to have so much merit, that it excited a strong desire to attempt a completion of the story. The reader will easily discover the supplemental stanzas by their inferiority, and at the same time be inclined to pardon it, when he considers how difficult it must be to imitate the affecting simplicity and artless beauties of the original.

Child was a title sometimes given to a knight. See Gloss.

On yondet hiui a castlé standes,

With walles and towres bedight,
And yonder lives the Child of Elle,

A younge and comely knighte.


The Child of Elle to his garden wente,

And stood at his garden pale,
Whan, lo! he beheld fair Emmelines page

Come trippinge downe the dale.


The Child of Elle he hyed him thence,

Y-wis he stoode not stille,
And soone he mette faire Emmelines page

Come climbing up the hille.

Nowe Christe thee save, thou little foot-page,

Now Christe thee save and see !
Oh telle me how does thy ladye gaye,

And what may thy tydinges bee?


My lady shee is all woe-begone,

And the teares they falle from her eyne; And aye she laments the deadlye feude

Betweene her house and thine.


And here shee sends thee a silken scarfe

Bedewde with many a teare,
And biddes thee sometimes thinke on her,

Who loved thee so deare.


And here shee sends thee a ring of golde

The last boone thou mayst have, And biddes thee weare it for her sake,

Whan she is layde in grave.


For, ah! her gentle heart is broke,

And in grave soone must shee bee, Sith her father bath chose her a new new love,

And forbidde her to think of thee.

Her father hath brought her a carlish knight,

Sir John of the north countràye, And within three dayes shee must him wedde, 35

Or he vowes he will her slaye.

Nowe hye thee backe, thou little foot-page,

And greet thy ladye from mee,
And telle her that I her owne true love

Will dye, or sette her free.


Nowe hye thee backe, thou little foot-page,

And let thy fair ladye know
This night will I bee at her bowre-windowe,

Betide me weale or woe.


The boye he tripped, the boye he ranne,

He neither stint ne stayd
Untill he came to fair Emmelines bowre,

Whan kneeling downe he sayd,

O ladye, Ive been with thy own true love,
And he greets thee well by mee;

50 This night will he bee at thy bowre-windowe,

And dye or sette thee free.

Nowe daye was gone, and night was come,

And all were fast asleepe, All save the ladye Emmeline,

Who sate in her bowre to weepe:


And soone shee heard her true loves voice

Lowe whispering at the walle, Awake, awake, my deare ladyè,

Tis I thy true love call.


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