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B A L LA DS
Α Ν D
T was a friar of orders
gray, Walk'd forth to tell his beads
; And he met with a lady fair,
Clad in a pilgrim's weeds,
* In the Reliques of antient English poetry Dr. Percy gives us the following ballad, as formed upon a number of detached fragments of antient composition, which he has attempted to fill up and throw into a little connected tale. Though his modesty has induced him to place it among hiş antique remains, I think it but justice to him and to my own collection to place it here as a very judicious and beautiful imitation of the atnient ballad; for certainly he has the best right to it, since the merit of the story is all his own, and the difficulty of interweaving the few antient stanzas into it, and suiting his own language to them with such judgment, was greater than that of prodycing an en: tirely new piece.
Now Christ thee save, thou reverend friar,
thee tell to me, If ever at yon holy shrine
My true love thou did'st see.
And how should I know your true love
From many another one? O by his cockle hat and staff,
And by his sandal shoon.
But chiefly by his face and mien,
That were so fair to view;
And eyne of lovely blue.
O lady he's dead and gone !
Lady he's dead and gone!
And at his heels a stone.
Within these holy cloysters long
He languish'd, and he died, Lamenting of a lady's love,
And 'plaining of her pride.
Here bore him barefac'd on his bier
Six proper youths and tall,
Within yon kirk-yard wall.
And art thou dead, thou gentle youth!
And art thou dead and gone ! And did'st thou die for love of me!
Break, cruel heart of stone!
O weep not, lady, weep not fo;
Some ghostly comfort feek:
Nor tears bedew thy cheek.
O do not, do not, holy friar,
My sorrow now reprove ;
That e'er won Lady's love.
And now, alas! for thy sad loss
I'll evermore weep and figh; For thee I only wish'd to live,
For thee I wish to die.
Weep no more, lady, weep no more,
Thy sorrow is in vain : For, violets pluck'd the sweetest showers
Will ne'er make grow again.
Our joys as winged dreams do fly,
Why then should sorrow last? Since grief but aggravates thy loss,
Grieve not for what is paft.
o say not so, thou holy friar ;
I pray thee, say not so:
'Tis meet my tears should flow,
And will he ne'er come again ?
Will he ne'er come again?
grave, For ever to remain,
His cheek was redder than the rose,
The com’liest youth was he:-
Alaş! and woe is me !
Sigh no more, lady, figh no more,
Men were deceivers ever :
To one thing constant never.
Had'st thou been fond, he had been false,
And left thee fad and heavy ;
Since summer trees were leafy.
Now fay not so, thou holy friar,
I pray thee fay not fo ;
O he was ever true!
And art thou dead, thou much-lov'd youth,
And didst thou die for me?
A pilgrim I will be.
That wraps his breathless clay.