Of the faithful Friendship that lasted between two faithful Friends.

To the Tune of, Flying Fame.
IN stately Rome sometimes did dwell,
a man of noble Fame.
Who had a son of seemlie shape,
Alphonso was his name:
When he was grown and come to age,
his Father thought it best.
To send his son to Athens faire.
where wisedoms School did rest.
And when he was at Athens come,
good Lectors for to learnâ–Ş
A place to board him with delight,
his friends did well discern.
A noble Knight of Athens Town,
of him did take the charge,
Who had a son Gancelo cal'd,
just of his pitch and age.
In stature and in person both,
in favour, speech, and face:
In qualitie and condition eke,
they 'greed in everle place.
So like they were in all respects,
the one unto the other;
They were not known but by their face,
of Father nor of Mother.
And as in favour they were found
alike in all respects;
Then so they did most dearlie love,
as prov'd by good respect.
Gancelo loved a Ladie fair,
which did in Athens dwell:
Who was in beautie peerlesse found,
so far she did excell.
Vpon a time it chanced so,
as fancie did him move;
That he would visit for delight,
his Ladie and his love:
And to his true and faithful friend,
he did declare the same:
Asking of him if he would see,
that fair and comelie Dame.
Alphonso did thereto agree,
and with Gancelo went:
To see the Ladie which he lov'd,
which bred his discontent,
But when he cast his christal eyes,
upon her angels hue:
The beautie of that Ladie bright,
did straight his heart subdue,
His gentle heart so wounded was,
with that fair Ladie face,
That afterward he dallie liv'd
in sad and woeful case.
And of his grief he knew not how
thereof to make an end:
For that he knew the Ladies love,
was yeelded to his friend.
Thus being sore perplext in mind,
upon his bed he lay:
Like one which death and deep despair
had almost worn away:
His friend Ganselo that did see,
his grief and great distresse:
At length resquested for to know,
his cause of heavinesse,
With much ado at length he told
the truth unto his friend:
Who did release his inward woe,
with comfort to the end.
Take courage then dear friend, quoth he,
though she through love be mine:
My right I will resign to thee,
the Lady shall be thine.
You know our favours are alike,
our speech alike likewise:
This day is mine apparel then
you shall your self disguise.
And unto Church then shall you go,
directlie in my stead;
So though in my friends suppose 'tis I
you shall the Lady wed.
Alphonso was so well apaid:
and as they had decreed,
He went a day, and wedded plain
the Lady there in deed.
But when the Nuptial feast was done,
and Phoebus quite was fled,
The Lady for Ganselo took
Alphonso to her bed.
That night they spent in pleasant sport,
and when the day was come,
A Post for fair Alphonso came,
to fetch him home to Rome.
Then was the matter plainly prov'd,
Alphonso wedded was,
And not Ganselo to that Dame,
which brought great woe alas.
Alphonso being come to Rome,
with this his Ladie gay;
Ganseloes friends and kindred all
in such a rage did stay.
That they depriv'd him of his wealth
his lands and rich attire,
And banisht him their Countrey quite
in rage and wrathfull ire.
With sad and pensive thoughts alas,
Ganselo wandred then,
Who was through Want constrain'd to beg,
relief of many men.
In this distresse oft would he say,
to Rome I mean to go,
To seek Alphonso my dear friend,
who will relieve my wo.
To Rome when poor Ganselo came,
and found Alphonsoes place,
Which was so famous, huge and fair,
himself in such poor case,
He was asham'd to shew himself
in that his poor array.
Saying, Alphonso knowes me well,
if he should come this way.
Wherefore he staid within the street,
Alphonso then came by,
But heeded not Ganselo poor,
his friend that stood so nigh.
Which griev'd Ganselo to the heart,
quoth he, and is it so:
Doth proud Alphonso now disdain
his friends to need to know.
In desperate sort away he went
into a Barn hard by,
And presently he drew his knife,
thinking thereby to die;
And bitterly in sorrow there
he did lament and weep.
And being over weigh'd with grief
he there fell fast asleep.
Where soundly there he sweetly sleept
came in a murdering thief,
And with a naked knife, lay by
this man so full of grief.
This knife so bright he took up straight,
and went away amain,
And thrust it into a murdered a man
which he before had slain,
And afterward he went with speed
and put this bloodie knife
Into his hand that sleeping lay,
to save himself from strife;
Which done, in haste away he ran:
and when that search was made
Ganselo with his bloodie knife
was for the murder staid;
And brought before the Magistrat,
who did confesse most plain,
That he indeed with that same knife
the murdered man had slain.
Alphonso sitting there as Iudge,
and knowing Ganseloes face,
To save his friend, did say himself
was guiltie in that case.
None quoth Alphonso, kill'd the man,
my Lord, but only I:
And therefore set this poor man free,
and let me justly die.
Then while for death these loving friends
in striving did proceed,
The man before the Senate came,
which did the fact indeed;
Who being moved with remorse,
their friendlie hearts to see,
Did prove before the judges plain,
none did the fact but he.
Thus when the truth was plainly told
of all sides joy was seen:
Alphonso did imbrace his friend,
which had so wofull been.
In rich array he cloathed him,
as fitted his degree;
And helps him to his lands again,
and former dignitie.
The murderer, for telling truth,
had pardon at that time.
Who afterward lamented much,
his soul and grievous crime,
FINIS.

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