Anonymous Olde English

Sir Aldingar - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

Our king he kept a false stewarde,
Sir Aldingar they him call;
A falser steward than he was one,
Servde not in bower nor hall.

He wolde have layne by our comelye queene,
Her deere worshippe to betraye;
Our queene she was a good woman,
And evermore said him naye.

Sir Aldingar was wrothe in his mind,
With her hee was never content,
Till traiterous meanes he colde devyse,
In a fyer to have her brent.

There came a lazar to the kings gate,
A lazar both blinde and lame;
He tooke the lazar upon his backe,
Him on the queenes bed has layne.

'Lye still, lazar, wheras thou lyest,
Looke thou goe not hence away;
Ile make thee a whole man and a sound
In two howers of the day.'

Then went him forth Sir Aldingar,
And hyed him to our king:
'If I might have grace, as I have space,
Sad tydings I could bring.'

'Say on, say on, Sir Aldingar,
Say on the soothe to mee.'
'Our queene hath chosen a new, new love,
And shee will have none of thee.

'If shee had chosen a right good knight,
The lesse had beene her shame;
But she hath chose her a lazar man,
A lazar both blinde and lame.'

'If this be true, thou Aldingar,
The tyding thou tellest to me,
Then will I make thee a rich, rich knight,
Rich both of golde and fee.

'But if it be false, Sir Aldingar,
As God nowe grant it bee!
Thy body, I sweare by the holye rood,
Shall hang on the gallows tree.'

He brought our king to the queenes chamber,
And opend to him the dore:
'A lodlye love,' King Harry says,
'For our queene, Dame Elinore!

'If thou were a man, as thou art none,
Here on my sword thoust dye;
But a payre of new gallowes shall be built,
And there shalt thou hang on hye.'

Forth then hyed our king, I wysse,
And an angry man was hee,
And soone he found Queene Elinore,
That bride so bright of blee.

'Now God you save, our Queene madame,
And Christ you save and see!
Here you have chosen a newe, newe love,
And you will have none of mee.

'If you had chosen a right good knight,
The lesse had been your shame;
But you have chose you a lazar man,
A lazar both blinde and lame.

'Therfore a fyer there shall be built,
And brent all shalt thou bee.' -
'Now out alacke!' sayd our comly queene,
'Sir Aldingar's false to mee.

'Now out alacke!' sayd our comlye queene,
'My heart with griefe will brast:
I had thought swevens had never been true,
I have proved them true at last.

'I dreamt in my sweven on Thursday eve,
I my bed wheras I laye,
I dreamt a grype and a grimlie beast
Had carryed my crowne awaye;

'My gorgett and my kirtle of golde,
And all my faire head-geere;
And he wold worrye me with his tush,
And to his nest y-beare;

'Saving there came a little 'gray' hawke,
A merlin him they call,
Which untill the grounde did strike the grype,
That dead he downe did fall.

'Giffe I were man, as now I am none,
A battell wold I prove,
To fight with that traitor Aldingar:
Att him I cast my glove.

'But seeing Ime able noe battell to make,
My liege, grant me a knight
To fight with that traitor, Sir Aldingar,
To maintaine me in my right.'

'Now forty dayes I will give thee
To seeke thee a knight therein:
If thou find not a knight in forty dayes,
Thy bodye it must brenn.'

Then shee sent east, and shee sent west,
By north and south bedeene;
But never a champion colde she find,
Wolde fight with that knight soe keene.

Now twenty dayes were spent and gone,
Noe helpe there might be had;
Many a teare shed our comelye queene,
And aye her hart was sad.

Then came one of the queenes damselles,
And knelt upon her knee:
'Cheare up, cheare up, my gracious dame,
I trust yet helpe may be.

'And here I will make mine avowe,
And with the same me binde,
That never will I return to thee,
Till I some helpe may finde.'

Then forth she rode on a faire palfraye,
Oer hill and dale about;
But never a champion colde she finde,
Wolde fighte with that knight so stout.

And nowe the daye drewe on a pace,
When our good queene must dye;
All woe-begonne was that faire damselle,
When she found no helpe was nye.

All woe-begonne was that fair damselle,
And the salt tears fell from her eye;
When lo! as she rode by a rivers side,
She met with a tinye boye.

A tinye boy she mette, God wot,
All clad in mantle of golde;
He seemed noe more in mans likenesse,
Then a childe of four yeere olde.

'Why grieve you, damselle faire,' he sayd,
'And what doth cause you moane?'
The damsell scant wolde deigne a looke,
But fast she pricked on.

'Yet turne againe, thou faire damselle,
And greete thy queene from mee;
When bale is att hyest, boote is nyest;
Nowe helpe enoughe may bee.

'Bid her remember what she dreamt,
In her bedd wheras shee laye;
How when the grype and the grimly beast
Wolde have carried her crowne awaye,

'Even then there came the little gray hawke,
And saved her from his clawes:
Then bidd the queene be merry at hart,
For heaven will fende her cause.'

Back then rode that faire damselle,
And her hart it lept for glee:
And when she told her gracious dame,
A gladd woman then was shee.

But when the appointed day was come,
No helpe appeared bye;
Then woeful, woeful was her hart,
And the teares stood in her eye.

And nowe a fyer was built of wood,
And a stake was made of tree;
And now Queene Elinor forth was led,
A sorrowful sight to see.

Three times the herault he waved his hand,
And three times spake on hye:
'Giff any good knight will fende this dame,
Come forth, or shee must dye.'

No knight stood forth, no knight there came,
No helpe appeared nye;
And now the fyer was lighted up,
Queen Elinor she must dye.

And now the fyer was lighted up,
As hot as hot might bee;
When riding upon a little white steed,
The tinye boy they see.

'Away with that stake, away with those brands,
And loose our comelye queene:
I am come to fight with Sir Aldingar,
And prove him a traitor keene.'

Forthe then he stood Sir Aldingar,
But when he saw the chylde,
He laughed, and scoffed, and turned his backe,
And weened he had been beguylde.

'Now turne, now turne thee, Aldingar,
And eyther fighte or flee;
I trust that I shall avenge the wronge,
Thoughe I am so small to see.'

The boye pulld forth a well good sworde,
So gilt it dazzled the ee;
The first stroke stricken at Aldingar
Smote off his leggs by the knee.

'Stand up, stand up, thou false traitor,
And fight upon thy feete,
For, and thou thrive as thou begin'st,
Of height wee shall be meete.'

'A priest, a priest,' sayes Aldingar,
'While I am a man alive;
A priest, a priest,' sayes Aldingar,
'Me to the houzle and shrive.

'I wolde have laine by our comlie queene,
But shee wolde never consent;
Then I thought to betraye her unto our kinge,
In a fyer to have her brent.

'There came a lazar to the kings gates,
A lazar both blind and lame;
I tooke the lazar upon my backe,
And on her bedd had him layne.

'Then ranne I to our comlye king,
These tidings sore to tell:
But ever alacke!' sayes Aldingar,
'Falsing never doth well.

'Forgive, forgive me, Queene, madame,
The short time I must live.'
'Nowe Christ forgive thee, Aldingar,
As freely I forgive.'

'Here take thy queene, our King Harrye,
And love her as thy life,
For never had a king in Christentye,
A truer and fairer wife.'

King Henrye ran to claspe his queene,
And loosed her full sone;
Tuen turned to look for the tinye boye:
-- The boye was vanisht and gone.

But first he had touchd the lazar man,
And stroakt him with his hand;
The lazar under the gallowes tree
All whole and sounde did stand.

The lazar under the gallowes tree
Was comelye, straight and tall;
King Henrye made him his head stewarde,
To wayte withinn his hall.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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