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Then unto London I did me hie,

Of all the land it beareth the price; "Hot peascods !" one began to cry,

“Strawberry ripe, and cherries in the rise !"

One bade me come near and buy some spice ;
Pepper, and saffron they gan me beed;
But, for lack of money, I might not speed.

Then to the Cheap I gan me drawn,

Where much people I saw for to stand ; One offered me velvet, silk, and lawn,

Another he taketh me by the hand,

“Here is Paris thread, the finest in the land!” I never was used to such things, indeed ; And, wanting money, I might not speed,

Then went I forth by London Stone,

Throughout all Canwick Street : Drapers much cloth me offered anon;

Then comes me one cried “hot sheep's feet;"

One cried mackerel, rushes green, another gan greet, One bade me buy a hood to cover my head ; But, for want of money, I might not be sped,

Then I hied me unto East-Cheap,

One cries ribs of beef, and many a pie; Pewter pots they clattered on a heap;

There was harp, pipe, and minstrelsy;

Yea by cock! nay by cock! some began cry; Some sung of Jenkin and Julian for their meed; But, for lack of money, I might not speed.

Then into Cornhill anon I yode,

Where was much stolen gear among ; I saw where hung mine owne hood,

That I had lost among the throng;

To buy mine own hood I thought it wrong: I knew it well, as I did my creed; But, for lack of money, I could not speed.

The taverner took me by the sleeve,

“Sir,” saith he, “will you our wine assay ?” I answered, “That can not much me grieve,

A penny can do no more than it may;"

I drank a pint, and for it did pay ;
Yet, sore a-hungered from thence I yede,
And, wanting money, I could not speed, &c.

THE MERLE AND NIGHTINGALE,

BY WILLIAM DUNBAR.

(WILLIAM DUNBAR was born at Saltour, in East Lothian, probably in the year 1460. After having been educated at St. Andrews, he became a Franciscan Friar. He travelled for some years as an itinerant preacher ; subsisting, in accordance with the custom of his order, on alms. But he deplored the constant falsehood, deceit, and flattery, of this mode of life, and at length abandoned it. He was afterwards employed on several embassies ; the servility then required in a court, however, filled him with pain. He died about the year 1520 ; but neither the date nor circunstances of his death are known. His works remained in manuscript until the beginning of the last century; nor were they rescued from obscurity until their language had become so obsolete that many of their beauties could no longer be appreciated.]

In May, as that Aurora did upspring,
With crystal een chasing the cluddes sable,
I heard a Merle with merry notis sing
A sang of love, with voice right comfortable,
Again' the orient beamis, amiable,
Upon a blissful branch of laurel green ;
This was her sentence, sweet and delectable,
A lusty life in Lovis service been.

Under this branch ran down a river bright,
Of balmy liquor, crystalline of hue,

Again' the heavenly azure skyis light,
Where did upon the tother side pursue
A Nightingale, with sugared notis new,
Whose angel feathers as the peacock shone ;
This was her song, and of a sentence true,
All love is lost but upon God alone.

[graphic]

With notis glad, and glorious harmony,
This joyful merle, so salust she the day,
While rung the woodis of her melody,
Saying, Awake, ye lovers of this May;
Lo, fresh Flora has flourished every spray,
As nature has her taught, the noble queen,

The field been clothit in a new array ;

A lusty life in Lovis service been.

Ne'er sweeter noise was heard with living man,
Na made this merry gentle nightingale ;
Her sound went with the river as it ran,
Out through the fresh and flourished lusty vale ;
O Merle ! quoth she, O fool! stint of thy tale,
For in thy song good sentence is there none,
For both is tint, the time and the travail
Of every love but upon God alone.

Cease, quoth the Merle, thy preaching, Nightingale :
Shall folk their youth spend into holiness?
Of young sanctís, grows auld feindís, but fable;
Fye, hypocrite, in yeiris tenderness,
Again' the law of kind, thou goes express,
That crookit age makes one with youth serene,
Whom nature of conditions made diverse :

A lusty life in Lovis service been.

The Nightingale said, Fool, remember thee,
That both in youth and eild, and every hour,
The love of God most dear to man suld be ;
That him, of nought, wrought like his own figour,
And died himself, fro' dead him to succour;
O, whether was kythit there true love or none?
He is most true and stedfast paramour,
And love is lost but upon him alone.

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