CONTAINING ye MOST NOBLE ADVENTURE of ye BLACKBERRY
And yt came to passe that BARON VON HARLOT and SQUIRE TIM did essay forth up ye mountain in search of further heroic exploits and noble deeds. For there, they heard tell, lived a puissant LORD who had come into these parts from landes afar, and brought all the villages to meek subjection and cowardly abasement.
And yt was passing strange, for, some of the people did say he was a cruel and fell tyrant, who did wreak devastation and waste upon ye face of ye land; but, contrary, did some of ye people say, he was a kind and generous Lord, with gifts of bounty and plenty, and many fared from afar to marveil at his great richnesse of heart and plentiful spirit.
And for some of ye year, he did make his presence known thorough ye land, with sundry messengers and knights; but, for many months, he did keep withinne his demesnes, and whether he slept, or was sicke, they wot not.
So, ye BARON said to TIM, let us see this puissant Lord for ourself, and, God wot, some good may come of yt.
The Baron's hands staineth vermillion with the blood of
Ye day was fair when they set out on their journey, and there were but few welkins, and TIM did say, My Lady doth wear her blue mantle right well this day, and ye BARON said, who is this lady thou talkst of? And ye sun was high in ye sky and they began to pant and weary and wish for a drink to slake their thirst, for their provisions were but few.
And presently, they came to a mountain pass, and right by that pass there stood a fearsome GIANT, bearing a sword in arm outstretched, so that they did think ye way was barred. But then ye giant did say,
Step under or over, do what ye wille,So, after much debate, they walked under ye arm of ye giant, who for his part moved not from his spot. And so they fared forth up the mountain.
Yet I will stand here guarding stille.
Ye road was but bare and worn, and presently did it give way to a rough pass. But on either side of ye pass did stand two GIANTS with fearsome visage, both larger than ye giant before them. And they did hold their swords before them, pointing unto ye ground, and say,
Further travel, if ye dareThen with much trepidation did ye BARON and TIM venture forward, stepping gently over ye swords, and yet ye giants moved not. And so they fared on up ye mountain.
Into my MASTER'S lands to fare.
Markes of friendes
Now, high above ye fair town of BRIGHTENING, did they come to a castle ypight in Stately Gardens, most plenteously endight with every good thing of Goddes creation.
But bespread over the garden grounds were one hundred and one fearsome GIANTS, each one large than ye other.
And some did carry sword or sabre, and some did carry mace, and some did darrain themselves with javelin or spear, or prepare for wrestling, in armour bespread all over with spikes, and all did roar defiance, crying
If our MASTER you would see,And they did wail and snarl and gnash their teeth most terribly, but, being giants, did move but slowly, so ye BARON and TIM did draw their swords and hope to come to ye castle still. And as they pressed onward thorough the garden, lo, did this giant press on one side, and ye other press on ye other side, and this giant in spiked armour did lay hold of TIM's hand, and then three more enclosed in around them, emprisoning them in a wall of spears and of swords, but still, by dextrous manoeuvre, did they escape, and come to the castle gate.
Why then, SIR, you must pass by me.
And, behold, yt did open for them, and as yt did open, as one did ye giants fall back. And there in ye castle was a fair table, well bespread with all manner of sweetmeats, and fine red wine, and fruit of every description, and amidst it all stood LORD BLACK, laughing with arms outspread.
And he did welcome them in, and ply them with many welcome refreshments and giftes for their own Lorde.
And they stayed that nighte and many nightes after at LORD BLACK'S castle, passing ye hours in song and poetry and in ye making of witty jestes and hearty catches and rondelays.
Our puissant foe.