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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

John Hunter-Duvar b. 1830

Brawn of England’s Lay

THE VILLEINS clustered round the bowl

At merrie Yule to make good cheer,

And drank with froth on beard and jowl:

“Was-hael to the Thane!

May never Breton taste our beer,

Nor Dane.”

Till the red cock on the chimney crew,

And each man cried with a mighty yawn

As the tapster one more flagon drew:

“To the Saxon land was-hael!

May we never want for mast-fed brawn

Nor ale!”

The thane took up the stirrup-cup

And blew off the reaming head,

And at one draught he swigged it up

And smacked his lips and said:

“Was-hael to coulter and sword!

Was-hael to hearth and hall!

To Saxon land and Saxon lord

And thrall.”