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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.

"Sweet Florence! now I pray forbear, In quiet let me die;

Pray God that every Christian soul
May look on death as I.

Sweet Florence! why these briny tears f
They wash my soul away,

And almost make me wish for life,
With thee, sweet dame, to stay.

"Tis but a journey I shall go
Unto the land of bliss;

Now, as a proof of husband's love,
Receive this holy kiss."

Then Florence, faltering in her say,
Trembling these words she spoke,
Ah cruel Edward, bloody king!

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My heart is well nigh broke.

Ah, sweet Sir Charles! why wilt thou go
Without thy loving wife?

The cruel axe that cuts my neck,
It eke shall end my life."
And now the officers came in

To bring Sir Charles away,
Who turned to his loving wife,
And thus to her did say :
66 go to life, and not to death;
Trust thou in God above,

And teach thy sons to fear the Lord,
And in their hearts him love.
Teach them to run the noble race

That I their father run:

Florence! should death take thee, adieu' Ye officers, lead on.”

Then Florence raved, as any mad,

And did her tresses tear;

"Oh stay, my husband, lord and life!' Sir Charles then dropped a tear.

Till tiréd out with raving loud,

She fellen on the floor;

Sir Charles exerted all his might,
And march'd from out the door.

Upon a sled he mounted then,

With looks full brave and sweet;
Looks that enshown ne more concern
Than any in the street.
Before him went the council men,
In scarlet robes and gold,
And tassels spangling in the sun,
Much glorious to behold.
The freres of St Augustin next
Appeared to the sight,

All clad in homely russet weeds,
Of godly monkish plight.
In different parts a godly psalm

Most sweetly they did chaunt;
Behind their backs six minstrels came,
Who tuned the strange bataunt.
Then five and twenty archers came;
Each one the bow did bend,
From rescue of king Henry's friends
Sir Charles for to defend.
Bold as a lion came Sir Charles,
Drawn on a cloth-laid sled,

By two black steeds in trappings white,
With plumes upon their head.
Behind him five and twenty more
Of archers strong and stout,
With bended bow each one in hand,
Marchéd in goodly route.

Saint James's Freres marchéd next,
Each one his part did chaunt;
Behind their backs six minstrels came,
Who tuned the strange bataunt.
Then came the mayor and aldermen,
In cloth of scarlet deck'd;
And their attending men each one,
Like eastern princes trick'd,

And after them a multitude

Of citizens did throng;

The windows were all full of heads,
As he did pass along.

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