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There never light of cheerful day

Dispers’d the hideous gloom;
But dank and noisome vapours play

Around the wretched room :

And adders, snakes, and toads therein,

As afterwards was known,
Long in this loathsome vault had been,

And were to monsters grown.

Into this foul and fearful place,

The fair one innocent
Was cast, before her lady's face;

Her malice to content.

This maid no sooner enter'd is,

But straight, alas! she hears
The toads to croak, and snakes to hiss :

Then grievously she fears.

Soon from their holes the vipers creep,

And fiercely her assail :
Which makes the damsel sorely weep,

And her sad fate bewail.

With her fair hands she strives in vain

Her body to defend : With shrieks and cries she doth complain,

But all is to po end.

A servant, list’ning near the door,

Struck with her doleful noise, Straight ran his lady to implore;

But she'll not hear his voice.

With bleeding heart he goes again

To mark the maiden's groans; And plainly bears, within the den,

How she herself bemoans.

Again he to his lady bies.

With all the haste he may : She into furious passion flies,

And orders him away.

Still back again does he return

To hear her tender cries;
The virgin now bad ceas'd to mourn;

Which fill'd him with surprise.

In grief, and horrour, and affright,

He listens at the walls;
But finding all was silent quite,

He to his lady calls.

"Too sure, O lady, now,' quoth he,

• Your cruelty hath sped; Make haste, for shame, and come and see ;

I fear the virgin's dead.'

She starts to hear her sudden fate,

And does with torches run:
But all her haste was now too late,

For death his worst had done.

The door being open'd, straight they found

The virgin stretch'd along: Two dreadful snakes had wrapp'd her rounds

Which her to death bad stung.

One round her legs, her thighs, her waist,

Had twin'd his fatal wreath :
The other close her neck embrac'd,

And stopp'd her gentle breath.
The snakes, being from her body thrust,

Their bellies were so fillid,
That with excess of blood they burst,

Thus with their prey were killd.
The wieked lady at this sight,

With horrour straight ran mad; So raving died, as was most right,

'Cause she no pity had.
Let me advise you, ladies all,

Of jealousy beware:
It canseth many a one to fall,

And is the Devil's snare. Anonymous.

THE SPANISH LADY'S LOVE. WILL you hear a Spanish lady,

How she woo'd an Englishman? Garments gay, as rich as may be,

Deck'd with jewels had she on: Of a comely countenance and grace was she, Both by birth and parentage of high degree. As his prisoner there he kept her,

In his hands her life did lie; Cupid's bands did tie them faster,

By the liking of an eye. In his courteous company was all her joy, To favour him in any thing she was not coy.

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But at last there came commandment

For to set all ladies free,
With their jewels still adorned,

None to do them injury.
O then,' said this lady gay, 'full woe is me!
O let me still sustain this kind captivity!
«Gallant captain, show some pity

To a lady in distress ;
Leave me not within this city,

For to die in heaviness : Thou hast set, this present day, my body free, But my heart in prison still remains with thee.' • How shouldst thou, fair lady, love me,

Whom thou know'st thy country's foe? Thy fair words make me suspect thee;

Serpents lie where flowers grow.' "All the harm I wish on thee, most courteous knight, God grant upon my head the same may fully light! • Blessed be the time and season

That thou cam'st on Spanish ground! If you may our foes be termed,

Gentle foes we have you found : With our city, you have won our hearts each one, Then to your country bear away that is your own.'

Rest you still, most gallant lady:

Rest you still, and weep no more; Of fair flowers you have plenty,

Spain doth yield you wondrous store.' Spaniards fraught with jealousy we oft do find, But Englishmen throughout the world are counted


Leave me not unto a Spaniard,

Thou alone enjoy'st my heart; I am lovely, young, and tender,

Love is likewise my desert: Still to serve thee day and night my mind is press'd; The wife of ev'ry Englishman is counted bless'd.' "It would be a shame, fair lady,

For to bear a woman hence; English soldiers never carry

Any such without offence," 'I will quickly change myself, if it be so, And, like a page,will follow thee where'er thou go." I have neither gold nor silver,

To maintain thee in this case : And to travel is great charges,

As you know, in ev'ry place.' "My chains and jewels ev'ry one shall be thy own, And eke ten thousand pounds in gold that lies up


On the seas are many dangers,

Many storms do there arise,
Which will be to ladies dreadful,

And force tears from watry eyes.'
Well, in troth, I shall endure extremity,
For, I could find in heart to lose my life for thee.'

Courteous lady, leave this folly,

Here comes all that breeds the strife;
I, in England, have already

A sweet woman to my wife;
I will not falsify my vow for gold nor gain,
Nor yet for all the fairest dames that live in Spain."

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