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ARTEVELDE (warding it off).
Van den Bosch, forbear.
Up with your weapons, White-Hoods ; no more blood.
These only are the guilty who lie here.
Let no more blood be spilt on pain of death.
Sirs, ye have nought to fear; I say, stand fast ;
No man shall harm you; if he does, he dies.
Stand fast, or if ye go, take this word with you,
Philip Van Artevelde is friend with all ;
There's no man lives within the walls of Ghent
But Artevelde will look to him and his,
And suffer none to plunder or molest him.
Haste, Van den Bosch! by Heav'n they run like lizards !
Take they not heart the sooner, by St. Paul
They'll fly the city, and that cripples us.
Haste with thy company to the west wards,
And see thou that no violence be done
Amongst the weavers and the fullers-stay-
that betake themselves to pillage
Hang without stint—and hark-begone-yet stay;
Shut the west gate, postern and wicket too,
Lord of Occo where you can.
Stay-on thy life let no man's house be plundered.
That is not to my mind; but what of that?
Thou'st play'd the game right boldly, and for me,
My oath of homage binds me to thee.
Thou to thy errand then, and I myself
go from street to street through all the town,
To reassure the citizens ; that done
I'll meet thee here again. Form, White-Hoods,
Range ten abreast; I'm coming down amongst you.
You Floris, Leefdale, Spanghen, mount ye here,
And bear me down these bodies. Now, set forth.
[The White-Hoods, by whose shouts of "Artevelde for Ghent' the
latter part of the scene has been frequently interrupted, now join in a cry of triumph, and carry him off on their shoulders.
SCENE I.-Night. A Wood in the vicinity of Bruges.
The LORD OF Occo and Followers.
No more than half a league to Bruges ? then halt,
And let the men of arms be drawn together
Where the ground's open. Berckel, ride thou on
And hail the warders on the walls; make known
That for the love which we have shown the Earl
We're driven forth of Ghent, and humbly crave
[TO VAN A ESWYN, who enters. Where is the lady?
They've dropp'd behind some furlong with the litter.
Keep thou beside her, lest she should prevail
To make the varlets speak. Let none approach
After we pass the gates but men of mine,
Nor ever let the litter be unclosed.
Now, if we're all in order, march we on.
SCENE II.-A Banquetting Hall in the Stadt-house at Bruges.
-Tables are spread, and the EARL OF FLANDERS, the HASE OF FLANDERS, with several Lords, Knights, and followers of the Earl, are entertained by the Mayor of Bruges and the Aldermen.
Sir Mayor, we thank you ; 'tis a royal feast.
My gracious lord, the supper is but poor ;
Very exceeding poor the supper is ;
And yet the most we can ; your humble hosts,
Being but meagre citizens God wot,
Can but purvey your highness what they have,
A very sorry supper.
Yet if your highness please to cast it up,
A thousand florins-
Hold thy peace, Van Holst; The minstrels twang their cat-gut.
EARL (aside to the HASE).
In good time.
If aught could make me cast my supper up,
'Twere to taste further of their courtesies.
Soho, sir minstrel! what hast got to sing !
That matter has been cared for, please your highness ;
We knew your highness had a skilful ear,
And 'twas not every poesy would please you.
This is a ditty craftily conceited,
Trump'd up as 'twere extempore for the nonce ;
He was no tavern cantabank that made it,
But a squire minstrel of your highness' court.
So—sing, sir minstrel—there you have it—ah!
Fal-lal—the very thing—the tune’s ‘Green Sleeves.'
The little bird sat on the greenwood tree,
And the sun was as bright as bright could be;
The leaf was broad, the shade was deep,
The Lion of Flanders lay fast asleep.
The little bird sang, “Sir Lion arise,
For I hear with my ears and I see with my eyes,
And I know what I know, and I tell thee this,
That the men of Ghent have done something amiss.'
From his lair the Lion of Flanders rose,
And he shook his mane and toss'd up his nose;
Ere a leaf be fallen or summer be spent,'
Quoth he, “ if God spare me, I'll go to Ghent.'
For a little bird sang and I dream'd beside
That the people of Ghent were puff'd up with pride;
And I had been far over hill and dale
And was fast asleep, and they trod on my tail.'
Ere a leaf was fallen the lion he went,
And growl'd a growl at the gates of Ghent;
But they bended low when they saw him awake,
And said that they trod on his tail by mistake.
The little bird sat on the bush so bare,
And the leaf fell brown on the lion's lair;
The little bird pick'd a berry so red,
And dropp'd it down on the lion's head.
Sir Lion awake, and put out your claws,
And lift your chin from your tawny paws;
My ears are smaller than yours, but more
I hear than you, and worse than before.'
The lion stirr'd and awoke with a snort,
And swell'd with rage till his breath came short;
Ere the brown leaf meet with the flake of snow
On the roundabout stair, to Ghent I'll go.
For a little bird sang, and I dream'd as well,
That the people of Ghent were as false as hell;
Coming by stealth when nought I fear'd,
They trod on my corns and pull'd my beard.'
Ere a snow-flake fell the lion he went,
And roar'd a roar at the gates of Ghent;
The gates they shook though they were fast barrd,
And the warders heard it at Oudenarde.
At the first roar ten thousand men
Fell sick to death-he roar'd again,
And the blood of twenty thousand flow'd
On the bridge of Roone, as broad as the road.
Wo worth thee, Ghent! if, having heard
The first and second, thou bidest the third !
Flat stones and awry, grass, potsherd and shard,
Thy place shall be like an old churchyard.
A singular good song, and daintily accompanied with the music. Give him three florins, and a denier for the lad withal.
Your highness is too bountiful. He made it not himself. 'Twas your highness's serjeant-minstrel that made it. The making and mending of it together was seven days and nights, bating twelve hours for sleeping, and four hours for eating, and five minutes for saying his prayers. Drinking never stopped him, for still the more he drank, the more he made of it. And he ranted and sang, an' it like your highness, that it would have pleased you to hear him; for being that the song was made in honour of your highness, he said he could sing it a thousand times over and think better of it