“Twenty and three! There they
Stiff and stark on that crimson’d lea!—
Twenty and three?—Stay—let me see!
Stretched in his gore There lieth one more!
By the Pope’s triple crown there are twenty and four!
Twenty-four trunks I ween are there
But their heads and their limbs are no-body knows where!
Ay, twenty-four corpses, I rede there be,
Though one got away, and ran up a tree!”
“Look nigher, look nigher, My
“One is the corse of a bare-footed Friar!”
Out and spake Sir Ingoldsby Bray,
“A boon, a boon, King Richard,” quoth he,
“Now Heav’n thee save, A boon I crave,
A boon, Sir King, on my bended knee;
A year and a day Have I been away,
King Richard, from Ingoldsby Hall so free;
Dame Alice she sits there in lonely guise,
And she makes her moan, and she sobs and she sighs,
And tears like rain-drops fall from her eyes,
And she darneth her hose, and she crieth ’Alack!
Oh, when will Sir Ingoldsby Bray come back?’
A boon, a boon, my liege,” quoth he,
“Fair Ingoldsby Hall I fain would see!”
“Rise up, rise up, Sir Ingoldsby Bray,”
King Richard said right graciously,
“Of all in my host That I love the most,
I love none better, Sir Bray, than thee!
Rise up, rise up, thou hast my boon;
But mind you make haste, and come back again soon!”
Pope Gregory sits in St. Peter’s chair,
Pontiff proud, I ween, is he,
And a belted Knight, In armour dight,
Is begging a boon on his bended knee,
With sighs of grief and sounds of woe,
Featly he kisseth his Holiness’ toe.
“Now pardon, Holy Father, I crave,
O Holy Father, pardon and grace!
In my fury and rage A little Foot-page
I have left, I fear me, in evil case:
A scroll of shame From a faithless dame
Did that naughty Foot-page to a paramour bear:
I gave him a ‘lick’ With a stick, And a kick,
That sent him—I can’t tell your Holiness where!
Had he as many necks as hairs,
He had broken them all down those perilous stairs!”
“Rise up, rise up, Sir Ingoldsby
Rise up, rise up, I say to thee;
A soldier, I trow, Of the Cross art thou;
Rise up, rise up, from thy bended knee!
Ill it seems that soldier true
Of Holy Church should vainly sue:—
—Foot-pages they are by no means rare,
A thriftless crew, I ween, be they;
Well mote we spare A Page—or a pair,
For the matter of that—Sir Ingoldsby Bray,
But stout and true Soldiers like you,
Grow scarcer and scarcer every day!—
Be prayers for the dead Duly read,
Let a mass be sung, and a pater be said:
So may your qualms of conscience cease,
And the little Foot-page shall rest in peace!”