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“Then give me leave, nobles and gen

tles, each one, One song more to sing and I then

have done; And if that it may not win good report, Then do not give me a groat for my

sport. “ Sir Simon de Montfort my subject

shall be, Once chief of all the great barons was

he; Yet fortune so cruel this lord did abase, Now lost and forgotten are he and his

race. “ When the barons in arms did King

Henry oppose, Sir Simon de Montfort their leader

they chose; A leader of courage undaunted was

he, And ofttimes he made their enemies


“At length in the battle on Evesham

plain, The barons were routed, and Montfort

was slain; Most fatal that battle did prove unto

thee, Though thou wast not born then, my

pretty Bessie ! “ Along with the nobles that fell at that tide,

[his side, His eldest son Henry, who fought by Was felled by a blow he received in

the fight,A blow that deprived him for ever of

sight. “ Among the dead bodies all lifeless he

lay, Till evening drew on of the following

day, When by a young lady discovered was And this was thy mother, my pretty



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“A baron's fair daughter stepped forth

in the night,

To search for her father, who joined in

the fight, And seeing young Montfort, where

gasping he lay, Was moved with pity, and brought

him away. “ In secret she nursed him, and 'suagèd

his pain, While he through the realm was be

lieved to be slain ; At length his fair bride she consented to be,

O [Bessie. And made him glad father of pretty “And now, lest our foes our lives should

betray, We clothed ourselves in beggar's array; Her jewels she sold, and hither came we,

[pretty Bessie. All our comfort and care was our “ And here have we lived in fortune's despite,

[ble delight; $ Though poor, yet contented with hum

Full forty winters thus have I now

been A silly blind beggar of Bethnal Green. “And here, noble lords, is ended the

song, Of one that once to your rank did be


And thus have you learned a secret

from me, That ne'er had been known but for

pretty Bessie." Now when the fair company every one, Had heard the strange tale in the song

he had shown, They all were amazed, as well they might be,

[Bessie. Both at the blind beggar and pretty With that the fair bride they all did

embrace, Saying, “ Sure thou art come of an

honourable race;

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