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When long she had been wrong'd, and sought

The foresayd meanes in vaine, She rideth to the simple graunge

But with a slender traine.

105

She lighteth, entreth, greets them well,

And then did looke about her : The guiltie houshold knowing her,

Did wish themselves without her; Yet, for she looked merily,

The lesse they did misdoubt her.

110

When she had seen the beauteous wench

(Then blushing fairnes fairer) Such beauty made the countesse hold

Them both excus'd the rather.

115

Who would not bite at such a bait?

Thought she: and who (though loth) So poore a wench, but gold might tempt?

Sweet errors lead them both.

120

Scarse one in twenty that had bragg'd

Of proffer’d gold denied,
Or of such yeelding beautie baulkt,

But, tenne to one, had lied.

Thus thought she: and she thus declares

Her cause of coming thether ;

125

My lord, oft hunting in these partes,

Through travel, night or wether.

Hath often lodged in your

house; I thanke

you

for the same; For why ? it doth him jolly ease

To lie so neare his game.

130

But, for you have not furniture

Beseeming such a guest,
I bring his owne, and come myselfe

To see his lodging drest.

135

With that two sumpters were discharg'd,

In which were hangings brave,
Silke coverings, curtens, carpets, plate,

And al such turn should have,

140

When all was handsomly dispos’d,
She
prayes

them to have care That nothing hap in their default,

That might his health impair :

And, Damsell, quoth shee, for it seemes

This houshold is but three, And for thy parents age, that this

Shall chiefely rest on thee;

145

Do me that good, else would to God

He hither come no more.

So tooke she horse, and ere she went

Bestowed gould good store.

150

Full little thought the countie that

His countesse had done so; Who now return'd from far affaires

Did to his sweet-heart go.

155

No sooner sat he foote within

The late deformed cote,
But that the formall change of things

His wondring eies did note.

160

But when he knew those goods to be

His proper goods; though late, Scarce taking leave, he home returnes

The matter to debate.

The countesse was a-bed, and he

With her his lodging tooke; Sir, welcome home (quoth shee); this night 165

For you I did not looke.

Then did he question her of such

His stuffe bestowed soe.
Forsooth, quoth she, because I did

Your love and lodging knowe:

170

Your love to be a proper wench,

Your lodging nothing lesse;

I held it for your health, the house

More decently to dresse.

175

Well wot I, notwithstanding her,

Your lordship loveth me;
And greater hope to hold you such

By quiet, then brawles, “you' see.

180

Then for my duty, your delight,

And to retaine your favour,
All done I did, and patiently

Expect your wonted 'haviour.

185

Her patience, witte and answer wrought

His gentle teares to fall :
When (kissing her a score of times)

Amend, sweet wife, I shall :
He said, and did it; so each wife

Her husband may' recall.

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VII.

Dowsabell. The following stanzas were written by Michael Drayton, a poet of some eminence in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, James I. and Charles I.* They are inserted in one of his Pastorals, the first edition of which bears this whimsical title. “Idea. The Shepheards Garland fashioned

* He was born in 1563, and died in 1631.—Bing. Brit.

in nine Eglogs. Rowlands sacrifice to the nine muses. Lond. 1593, 4to.” They are inscribed with the author's name at length, “ To the noble and valerous gentleman master Robert Dudley,” &c. It is very remarkable, that when Drayton reprinted them in the first folio edition of his works, 1619, he had given those Eclogues so thorough a revisal, that there is hardly a line to be found the same as in the old edition. This poem had received the fewest corrections, and therefore is chiefly given from the ancient copy, where it is thus introduced by one of his shepherds :

Listen to mee, my lovely shepheards joye,

And thou shalt heare, with mirth and mickle glee,
A prettie tale, which when I was a boy,

My toothles grandame oft hath tolde to me. The author has professedly imitated the style and metre of some of the old metrical romances; particularly that of Sir Isenbras, * (alluded to in v. 3,) as the reader may judge from the following specimen:

Lordynges, lysten, and you shal here, &c.

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Ye shall well heare of a knight,
That was in warre full wyght,

And doughtye of his dede :
His name was Syr Isenbras,

10 Man nobler then he was

Lyved none with breade.
He was lyvely, large, and longe,
With shoulders broade, and armes stronge,
That myghtie was to se :

15
He was a hardye man, and hye,
All men hym loved that hym se,
For a gentyll

right was he :
Harpers loved him in hall,
With other minstrells all,

20 For he gave them golde and fee, &c. This ancient legend was printed in black letter, 4to.,

* As also Chaucer's Rhyme of Sir Topas, v. 6.

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