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178 THE FAMOUS FLOWER OF SERVING-MEN ;
" And I myself a lady gay,
Bedeck'd with gorgeous rich array ;
The bravest lady in the land
Had not more pleasure at command. so
" I had my music every day, Harmonious lessons for to play ; I had my virgins fair and free, Continually to wait on me.
" But now, alas ! my husband's dead, »
And all my friends are from me fled; My former joys are pass'd and gone, For I am now a serving-man."
At last the.king from hunting came,
And presently, upon the same, so
He called for this good old man,
And thus to speak the king began :
" "What news, what news, old man ? " quoth he; " "What news hast thou to tell to me ? " " Brave news," the old man he did say, 95
" Sweet William is a lady gay."
" If this be true thou tell'st to me
I'll make thee lord of high degree;
But if thy words do prove a lie,
Thou shall be hang'd up presently." iu>