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'Tis thine; the Saints will give me my reward!' He left the pilgrim and his way aborde 1. Virgin and holy Saints who sit in gloure2, Or give the mighty will, or give the good man power!


When England, reeking from her deadly wound,
From her galled neck did pluck the chain away,
Kenning her liegeful sons fall all around,

(Mighty they fell,-'twas Honour led the fray,) Then in a dale, by eve's dark surcote grey, Two lonely shepherds did abrodden fly,



(The rustling leaf doth their white hearts affray,) And with the owlet trembled and did cry.

First Robert Neatherd his sore bosom stroke,
Then fell upon the ground, and thus yspoke.


‘Ah, Ralph! if thus the hours do come along,
It thus we fly in chase of further woe,
Our feet will fail, albeit we be strong,

Nor will our pace swift as our danger go.
To our great wrongs we have upheapèd moe,—
The Barons' war! Ah, woe and well-a-day!

My life I have, but have escaped so
That life itself my senses doth affray.

O Ralph! come list, and hear my gloomy' tale,
Come hear the baleful doom of Robin of the Dale.


Say to me nought; I ken thy woe in mine,

Oh! I've a tale that Sathanas might tell!
Sweet flowerets, mantled meadows, forests fine”,—
Groves far-off-kenn'd around the Hermit's cell,—


1.Went on.'-Chatterton.

3 'Smeethynge,' smoking.-Chat'erton.

✦ 'Abrodden,' abruptly.-Chatterton.

5 Dernie,' sad.-Chatterton.


'Dygne,' good, neat.-Chatterton.

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Sabalus,' the Devil.'-Chatterton

The sweet-strung viol1 dinning in the dell,The joyous dancing in the hostel-court,

Eke the high song and every joy,-farewell! Farewell the very shade of fair disport!

Impestering trouble on my head doth come:-
No one kind Saint to ward the aye-increasing doom!


Oh! I could wail my kingcup-deckèd leas,

My spreading flocks of sheep all lily-white, My tender applings and embodied trees,

My parker's-grange far spreading to the sight,
My tender kyne, my bullocks strong in fight,
My garden whitened with the cumfrey-plant,

My flower-Saint-Mary 2 glinting with the light,
My store of all the blessings Heaven can grant.
I am enhardened unto sorrow's blow:
Inured unto the pain, I let no salt tear flow.

Here will I still abide till Death appear;

Here, like a foul-empoisoned deadly tree
Which slayeth every one that cometh near,
So will I grow to this place fixedly *.
I to lament have greater cause than thee,
Slain in the war my dear-loved father lies.

Oh! I would slay his murderer joyously,
And by his side for aye close up mine eyes.

Cast out from every joy, here will I bleed;
Fall'n is the cullis-gate of my heart's castle-stead.



Our woes alike, alike our doom shall be,

My son, mine only son, all death-cold is! Here will I stay and end my life with thee,— A life like mine a burden is, I wis. ''Swote ribible,' sweet violin.-Chatterton. ''Hantend,' accustomed.-Chatterton.

Soe wille I, fyxed unto thys piace, gre.' - Chatterton. ''Oh! joieous I hys mortherer would slea.'-Chatterton.




7' Ystorven,' dead-Chatterton.

Even from the cot flown now is happiness: Minsters alone can boast the holy Saint:

Now doth our England' wear a bloody dress,
And with her champions' gore her visage paint.

Peace fled, Disorder shows her face dark-brow'd 2,
And through the air doth fly in garments stained with blood.


A Man; a Woman; Sir Roger.

Wouldst thou ken Nature in her better part?

Go, search the cots and lodges of the hind;
If they have any, it is rough-made art;

In them you see the naked form of kind.
Haveth your mind a liking of a mind?
Would it ken everything as it might be?

Would it hear phrase of vulgar from the hind,
Without wiseacre words and knowledge free?

If so, read this, which I disporting penn'd:
If nought beside, its rhyme may it commend.

But whither, fair maid, do ye go?
O where do ye bend your way?

I will know whither you go,

I will not be answered nay.


To Robin and Nell, all down in the dell,
To help them at making of hay.


Sir Roger, the parson, hath hired me there;
Come, come, let us trip it away :

We'll work, and we'll sing, and we'll drink of strong beer,

As long as the merry summer's day.

''Doeth Englonde.'-Chatterton.

* 'Peace fledde, disorder sheweth her dark rode.' ('Rode,' complexion.) -Chatterton.

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How hard is my doom to work!
Much is my woe!

Dame Agnes, who lies in the kirk,
With coif of gold,

With golden borders, strong, untold,
What was she more than me, to be so?


I ken Sir Roger from afar,
Tripping over the lea:

I will ask why the lordè's son
Is more than me.

Sir Roger.

The sultry sun doth hie apace his wain;
From every beam a seed of life doth fall.
Quickly heap up the hay upon the plain :
Methinks the cocks are 'ginning to grow tall
This is alike our doom: the great, the small,
Must wither and be shrunken by death's dart.

See, the sweet floweret hath no sweet at all;
It with the rank weed beareth equal part.

The craven, warrior, and the wise be blent
Alike to dry away with those they did lament.

All-a-boon, Sir Priest, all-a-boon!

By your priestship, now say unto me,
Sir Gaufryd the knight, who liveth hard by,
Why should he than me be more great
In honour, knighthood, and estate?

Sir Roger.

Cast round thine eyes upon this hayèd lea;
Attentively look o'er the sun-parched dell;
An answer to thy burden-song here see;

This withered floweret will a lesson tell :

It rose, it blew, it flourished and did well, Looking askance upon the neighbour green;

Yet with the green disdained its glory fell,-
Eftsoons it shrank upon the day-burnt plain.

Did not its look, the while it there did stand,
To crop it in the bud move some dread hand?

Such is the way of life: the lord's rich rent1

Moveth the robber him therefore to slay. If thou hast ease, the shadow of content,

Believe the truth, there's none more whole than thee. Thou workest: well, can that a trouble be? Sloth more would jade thee than the roughest day. Couldst thou the secret part of spirits see, Thou wouldst eftsoons see truth in what I say. But let me hear thy way of life, and then Hear thou from me the lives of other men.


I rise with the Sun,

Like him to drive the wain,
And ere my work is done
I sing a song or twain.
I follow the plough-tail
With a long jubb of ale.




On every Saint's high-day
With the minstrel am I seen,
All a-footing it away
With maidens on the green.
But oh! I wish to be more great
In worship, tenure, and estate.


Sir Roger.

Hast thou not seen a tree upon a hill,

Whose boundless branches reach afar to sight? When furious tempests do the heaven fill,

It shaketh dire, in dole and much affright;

1 'The loverde's ente' (lord's purse).-Chatterton's text and gloss.

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