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SIR LANCELOT DU LAKE.
This ballad first occurs in the Garland of Good Will, and is attributed to Thomas Deloney, whose career as a song-writer extends from about 1586 to 1600. It is merely a rhymed version of a passage in the Morte D'Arthur, (Book vi. ch. 7, 8, 9, of South-ey's ed.) The first two lines are quoted in the Second Part of Henry IV., A. ii. sc. 4.
The present text is nearly that of the Garland of Good Will (Percy Society, vol. xxx. p. 38), and differs considerably from that of Percy, (Reliques, i. 215.) The same, with very trifling variations, is found in Old Ballads, (1723,) ii. 21; Ritson's Ancient Songs, ii. 188; Evans's Old Ballads, ii. 5.
When Arthur first in court began,
And was approved king, By force of arms great victories won,
And conquests home did bring ;
Then into Britain straight he came, «
Where fifty good and able Knights then repaired unto him,
Which were of the Round Table;