News To The King, Good News For All

'NEWS to the king, good news for all,'
The corn is trodden, the river runs red.
'News of the battle,' the heralds call,
'We have won the field; we have taken the town;
We have beaten the rebels and crushed them down.'
And the dying lie with the dead.

'Who was my bravest?' quoth the king,
The corn is trodden, the river runs red.
'Whom shall I honour for this great thing?'
'Threescore were best, where none were worst;
But Walter Wendulph was aye the first.'
And the dying lie with the dead.

'What of my husband?' quoth the bride,
The corn is trodden, the river runs red.
'Comes he to-morrow; how long will he bide?'
'Put off thy bridegear, busk thee in black;
Walter Wendulph will never come back.'
And the dying lie with the dead.

by Augusta Davies Webster

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