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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Farewell of Sir Charles Baldwin to his Wife

By Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770)

From ‘The Bristowe Tragedie’

AND nowe the bell beganne to tolle,

And claryonnes to sounde;

Syr Charles hee herde the horses’ feete

A-prauncing onne the grounde:

And just before the officers

His lovynge wyfe came ynne,

Weepynge unfeignèd teeres of woe,

Wythe loude and dysmalle dynne.

“Sweet Florence! nowe I praie forbere,

Ynne quiet lett mee die;

Praie Godde, thatt ev’ry Christian soule

May looke onne dethe as I.

“Sweet Florence! why these brinie teeres?

Theye washe my soule awaie,

And almost make mee wyshe for lyfe,

Wythe thee, sweete dame, to staie.

“’Tys butt a journie I shalle goe

Untoe the lande of blysse;

Nowe, as a proofe of husbande’s love,

Receive thys holie kysse.”

Thenne Florence, fault’ring ynne her saie,

Tremblynge these wordyès spoke:—

“Ah, cruele Edwarde! bloudie kynge!

My herte ys welle nyghe broke:

“Ah, sweete Syr Charles! why wylt thou goe,

Wythoute thye lovynge wyfe?

The cruelle axe thatt cuttes thye necke,

Ytte eke shall ende mye lyfe.”

And nowe the officers came ynne

To brynge Syr Charles awaie,

Whoe turnedd toe hys lovynge wyfe,

And thus to her dydd saie:—

“I goe to lyfe, and nott to dethe;

Truste thou ynne Godde above,

And teache thye sonnes to feare the Lorde,

And ynne theyre hertes hym love:

“Teache them to runne the nobile race

Thatt I theyre fader runne:

Florence! shou’d dethe thee take—adieu!

Yee officers, leade onne.”

Thenne Florence rav’d as anie madde,

And dydd her tresses tere;

“Oh! staie, mye husbande! lorde! and lyfe!”

Syr Charles thenne dropt a teare.

’Tyll tyrèdd oute wythe ravynge loud,

She fellen onne the flore;

Syr Charles exerted alle hys myghte,

And march’d fromme oute the dore.

Uponne a sledde hee mounted thenne,

Wythe lookes fulle brave and swete;

Lookes, thatt enshone ne more concern

Thanne anie ynne the strete.