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Away then went those pretty babes,

Rejoicing at that tide * ; Rejoicing with a merry mind,

They should on cock-horse ride.
They prate and prattle pleasantly,

As they ride on the way,
To those that should their butchers be,

And work their lives' decay.
So that the pretty speech they held,

Made Murderers' heart relent:
And they that undertook the deed

Full sore did now repent.
Yet one of them, more hard of heart,

Did vow to do his charge,
Because the wretch that hired him

Had paid him very large. The other won't agree thereto,

So here they fall to strife; With one another they do fight

About the children's life: And he that is of mildest mood,

Does slay the other there. Within an unfrequented wood,

The babes did quake for fear!

THE DESERTION.

He took the children by the hand,

Tears standing in their eye,
And bade them straightway follow him,

And see they did not cry ;
And two long miles he led them on,

While they for food complain : “Stay here," quoth he, “I'll bring you bread When I come back again.”

* Tide, time, season or event.

These pretty babes, with hand in hand,

Went wandering up and down; But never more could see the man

Approaching from the town.
Their pretty lips with blackberries

Were all besmear'd and dyed,
And when they saw the darksome night,

They sat them down and cried.
Thus wandered these poor innocents,

Till death did end their grief, In one another's arms they died,

As wanting due relief.
No burial' this pretty pair

Of any man receives,
But Robin-red-breast piously
Did cover them with leaves.

Percy's Reliques.

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To drive the deer with hound and horn

Earl Percy took his way;
The child may rue that is unborn

The hunting of that day.
The stout Earl of Northumberland

A vow to God did make,
His pleasure in the Scottish woods

Three summer days to take,
The chiefest harts in Chevy Chase

To kill and bear away.
These tidings to Earl Douglas came,

In Scotland, where he lay;
Who sent Earl Percy present word

He would prevent his sport.
The English earl, not fearing this,

Did to the woods resort,
With fifteen hundred bowmen bold;

All chosen men of might,
Who knew full well, in time of need,

To aim their shafts aricht.

* Chevy Chase, Cheviot Chase, a former hunting ground on the Cheviots, and then within the Scottish boundary. Lord Percy was therefore guilty of what is known, now-a-days, as poaching, i. e., invading the game-preserves of another, without leave.

The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran,

To chase the fallow deer :
On Monday they began to hunt,

When daylight did appear;
And long before high noon, they had

A hundred fat bucks slain;
Then, having dined, the drovers went

To rouse them up again.

THE MUSTER TO ARMS.

*

Lord Percy to the quarry* went

To view the slaughter'd deer: Quoth he, “ Earl Douglas promised

This day to meet me here:
“ If that I thought he would not come,

No longer would I stay."
With that, a brave young gentleman
Thus to the earl did

say:
“Lo! yonder doth Earl Douglas come,

His men in armor bright;
Full twenty hundred Scottish spears

All marching in our sight, " All men of pleasant Tividale,

Fast by the river Tweed.” “ Then cease your sport,” Earl Percy said,

“And take your bows with speed : " And now with me, my countrymen,

Your courage forth advance,For never was there champion yet,

In Scotland or in France,

* Quarry, slaughtered game,

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" That ever did on horseback come,

But, if my hap* it were,
I durst encounter,

man for

man,
With him to break a spear.”+
Earl Douglas, on a milk-white steed,

Most like a baron bold,
Rode foremost of the

company,
Whose $ armor shone like gold :
“ Show me,” said he, “whose men you be

That hunt so boldly here -
That, without my consent, do chase

And kill my fallow deer.”
The man that first did answer make

Was noble Percy, he;
Who said, “We list not to declare,

Nor show whose men we be:
“Yet will we spend our dearest blood

Thy chiefest harts to slay.”
Then Douglas made a solemn vow,
And thus in

rage
did

say:
“Ere thus I will outbravèd be,

One of us two shall die:
I know thee well an earl thou art:

Lord Percy! so am I.
“But, trust me, Percy, pity 'twere,

And great offence, to kill
Any of these our harmless men,

For they have done no ill : * Hap, chance, fortune. + Break a spear, engage in single (spear-) combat; fight. † Whose, i. e., and his. § List, care, mind.

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