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But, when he came, his children twain,
And eke his loving wife,

With briny tears did wet the floor
For good Sir Charles's life.

"O good Sir Charles!" said Canterlone,
"Bad tidings I do bring."


Speak boldly, man," said brave Sir Charles, "What says thy traitor king?"

"I grieve to tell, before

yon sun Does from the welkin fly,

He hath upon his honor sworn,

That thou shalt surely die."

"We all must die," quoth brave Sir Charles,
"Of that I'm not afeard;
What boots to live a little space?
Thank Jesu, I'm prepared.

But tell thy king, for mine he's not,
I'd sooner die to-day

Than live his slave, as many are,
Though I should live for aye."
Then Canterlone he did go out,
To tell the mayor strait
To get all things in readiness

For good Sir Charles's fate.

Then Master Canning sought the king,
And fell down on his knee,
"I'm come," quoth he, "unto your grace
To move your clemency."
Then quoth the king, "Your tale speak out;
You have been much our friend;
Whatever your request may be,


We will to it attend."

My noble liege, all my request

Is for a noble knight,

Who, though mayhap he has done wrong,
He thought it still was right.

He has a spouse and children twain;
All ruin'd are for aye,

If that you are resolv'd to let

Charles Baldwin die to-day."


Speak not of such a traitor vile,"
The king in fury said;

"Before the evening star doth sheen,
Baldwin shall lose his head.

Justice does loudly for him call,
And he shall have his meed.

Speak, Master Canning, what thing else
At present do you need?"


My noble liege," good Canning said, "Leave justice to our God,

And lay the iron rule aside;

Be thine the olive rod.

Was God to search our hearts and reins, The best were sinners great;

Christ's vicar only knows no sin,

In all this mortal state.

Let mercy rule thy infant reign,
"Twill fast thy crown full sure,
From race to race thy family

All sovereigns shall endure.
But if with blood and slaughter thou
Begin thy infant reign,

Thy crown upon thy children's brows
Will never long remain."


Canning, away! this traitor vile

Has scorn'd my power and me; How canst thou then for such a man Intreat my clemency ?"

"My noble liege, the truly brave
Will valorous act.ons prize;

Respect a brave and noble mind,
Although in enemies."

"Canning, away! By God in heaven,
That did me being give,

I will not taste a bit of bread

Whilst this Sir Charles doth live.
By Mary and all saints in heaven,
This sun shall be his last.'

Then Canning dropped a briny tear,
And from the presence past.

With heart brim-full of gnawing grief,
He to Sir Charles did go,

And sat him down upon a stool,

And tears began to flow.

"We all must die," quoth brave Sir Charles, "What boots it how or when?

Death is the sure, the certain fate
Of all we mortal men.

Say why, my friend, thy honest soul
Runs over at thine eye;

Is it for my most welcome doom
That thou dost child-like cry ?"
Quoth godly Canning, "I do weep,
That thou so soon must die,
And leave thy sons and helpless wife,
'Tis this that wets mine eye."
"Then dry the tears that out thine eye
From goodly fountains spring;

Death I despise, and all the power
Of Edward, traitor king.

When through the tyrant's welcome means
I shall resign my life,

The God I serve will soon provide

For both my sons and wife.

Before I saw the lightsome sun,

This was appointed me:

Shall mortal man repine or grudge

What God ordains to be?

How oft in battle have I stood,

When thousands died around;
When smoking streams of crimson blood
Imbrued the fatten'd ground.

How did I know that every dart
That cut the airy way,

Might not find passage to my heart,

And close mine eyes for aye.

And shall I now, for fear of death,
Look wan and be dismayed?

Ne! from my heart fly childish fear;
Be all the man displayed,

Ah godlike Henry! God forfend,
And guard thee and thy son,
If 'tis his will; but if 'tis not,
Why then his will be done.
My honest friend, my fault has been
To serve God and my prince;
And that I no time-server am,
My death will soon convince.
In London city was I born,

Of parents of great note;
My father did a noble arms
Emblazon on his coat.

I make no doubt but he is gone
Where soon I hope to go;
Where we for ever shall be blest,
From out the reach of woe.

He taught me justice and the laws
With pity to unite;

And eke he taught me how to know
The wrong cause from the right.
He taught me with a prudent hand
To feed the hungry poor,

Nor let my servants drive


The hungry from my door.

And none can say but all my life
I have his words aye kept;
And summed the actions of the day
Each night before I slept.

I have a spouse, go ask of her
If I defiled her bed:

I have a king, and none can lay
Black treason on my head.

In Lent and on the holy eve,
From flesh I did refrain;

Why should I then appear dismay'd
To leave this world of pain?

No! hapless Henry, I rejoice,

I shall ne see thy death:

Most willingly in thy just cause
Do I resign my breath.


Oh fickle people! ruin'd land!
Thou wilt ken peace no mo:
While Richard's sons exalt themselves,
Thy brooks with blood will flow.
Say, were ye tired of godly peace,
And godly Henry's reign,

That you did chop [exchange] your easy days
For those of blood and pain?
What though I on a sled be drawn,
And mangled by a hind,

I do defy the traitor's power,

He cannot harm my mind.
What though, uphoisted on a pole,
My limbs shall rot in air,

And no rich monument of brass
Charles Baldwin's name shall bear!

Yet in the holy book above,

Which time can't eat away,

There, with the servants of the Lord,
My name shall live for aye.

Then welcome death! for life eterne
I leave this mortal life;
Farewell, vain world, and all that's dear,
My sons and loving wife!
Now death as welcome to me comes,
As e'er the month of May,

Nor would I even wish to live

With my dear wife to stay."

Quoth Canning, ""Tis a goodly thing
To be prepared to die,
And from this world of pain and grief
To God in heaven to fly."

And now the bell began to toll,

And clarions to sound;

Sir Charles he heard the horse's feet
A-prancing on the ground.

And just before the officers

His loving wife came in;

Weeping unfeigned tears of woe,
With loud and dismal din.

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