MacLean, Gerald, editor. The Return of the King : An Anthology of English Poems Commemorating the Restoration of Charles II / edited by Gerald MacLean
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The Royal Wanderer90

   [undated: before May?]
Although undated, this ballad was presumably among those produced by Francis Groves during the early months following Charles's return, a time when there was still a lively market for tales of the king's adventures that were as historically unreliable as this one. The link between Charles's exile and the wanderings of Aeneis, suggested by the title and the tune, is not pursued in the text. Nevertheless, the miraculous escape is once again imagined to be a sign of divine providence protecting the royal heir rather than the result of human agency and cunning.


[90] Wing: R2157A. Bl brs. Copies: GU Euing 312. Commentaries: Hazlitt, Handbook, p. 93.

The Royal Wanderer:
Gods Providence evidently manifested,in the most mysterious Deliverance of the Divine Majesty of CHARLS the Second, King of Great Brittain.

1: Though bold Rebellion for a time look brave,
2: Man shall not slay what God resolves to save.
3: To the sune of, The wandring Prince of Troy, or, Troy town.


1: WHen ravishing Rebellion reignes,
2: Then Loyalty is lead in chaines,
3: The Royall Princes of the blood,
4: By Traitors are not understood,
5:      but they could not his fate pull down,
6:      that was preserv'd for Englands Crown.

7: Witnesse the heat at Worcester fight,
8: Which put our Royall King to flight,
9: When twice a stately horse was there,
10: Shot under him by chance of warre.
11:      but all that chance could not throw down
12:      a Prince preserv'd for Englands Crown.

13: Yet was he forc'd to quit the field,
14: Princes sometimes to slaves must yield:
15: He with some faithfull Lords did fly,
16: To places for obscurity.
17:      And at a farm house there did he
18:      disrobe himself of Royaltie.

19: A chain of Gold, whose good account
20: Did to three hundred pounds amount,
21: He gave a trusty servant, and
22: Discharg'd them all from his command.
23:      then the Lord Wilmot with their knives
24:      cut both their hair, to save their lives.

25: Thus with one friend faithfull and good,
26: He wanders through an obscure wood:
27: Untill a hollow Oake unknown
28: Was made the King of Englands Throne,
29:      and all the succour that was brought,
30:      was by this Loyall servant sought.

31: But Wilmot in his wanderings,
32: A Souldier met of the old Kings,
33: That knew him, and with true good will,
34: Secur'd him in a Malt-house Kill,
35:      where he lay sweating, almost fier'd
36:      till Souldiers came, search'd, and retir'd.

37: 'Twas nere the house of Mistresse Lane,
38: Whose name let no wilde tongue prophane,
39: The Lord, with dangers much distrest,
40: Told how the poore King was opprest,
41:      to Mistresse Lane, whose sighs and tears,
42:      did shew her sorrows, griefs, and fears.

43: She humbly doth implore that he,
44: Would seek his sacred Majesty:
45: And bring him thither, that she might
46: Take speedy order for his flight.
47:      brave Wilmot he with eyes nere shut,
48:      till with much search he found him out.

49: Then from the hollow tree he brings
50: This heart of Oake, and best of Kings,
51: To Mistresse Lanes, where after shee,
52: Did kneel unto his Soveraignty:
53:      they call a counsill how he shou'd,
54:      in safety passe the Ocean flood.

The second part,
to the same Tune

55: BRistol was thought the privat'st place,
56: Where shipping might attend his Grace,
57: And as her servant William he,
58: Must cloak it in her Livery.
59:      Like wise before her he must ride,
60:      only her father in Law beside.

61: He was as weary of the Cloak,
62: As he was lately of the Oake:
63: But Master Lastell as most fit,91
64: Uncloak'd the King and carryed it.
65:      no danger in the way they saw,
66:      untill they met her Brother in Law.

67: The Brother spy'd and quickly spoke,
68: Sir, why bear you your servant's cloak?
69: But shee made answer, 'tis so great
70: That it doth thrust me from my seat.
71:      her Brother (answered thus by art)
72:      they talk no more, shake hands and part.

73: But note a change of more renown,
74: As they were passing through a Town,
75: They met a Troop of horse which might
76: Have put them all into a fright.
77:      but their good fate so gentle was
78:      they through the Captains troop did passe.

79: When they came to their Inne at night,
80: The Cook-mayd gave the King delight,
81: She asked his birth, and whence he came?
82: A Naylors son in Brumageham
83:      reply'd the King; prethee quoth shee
84:      my Jack in down, wind't up for me.

85: The King unus'd to deal in Jacks,
86: Winds up untill the tackling cracks:
87: At which the wench (if all tales true be)
88: Rayld at the King, and call'd him booby.
89:      the King went out and laught, but they
90:      next day to Bristol made their way.

91: At Bristol all their hopes were drown'd,
92: For no convenient ship was found:
93: From Mistresse Lane he parts, and goes
94: With trusty Wilmot 'mongst his foes.
95:      to London and to Westminster,
96:      ith'Hall, where the Scotch Ensignes were

97: He wandered up and down the Town,
98: By some conceal'd, to most unknown:
99: Twas not a thousand pound could make
100: Them their fidelities forsake.
101:      a ship is hir'd, the Master straight
102:      begins to understand his fraight.

103: Quoth he, what lading do you bring,
104: I surely know this is the King.
105: If I this strange, adventure run.
106: I shall be utterly undone.
107:      but with his heart they did prevail,
108:      and valiantly he hoysts up sayl.

109: Quoth he, if I on Tiburn swing,
110: Tis for the safety of a King:
111: And if he ever crowned bee,
112: He surely will remember me.
113:      the winds blew fair, Aver de grace
114:      in France became their landing place.

115: He rides to Roan, and writes from thence
116: To Paris, of Gods Providence.
117: The Duke of Orleance did come
118: With friends, to bid him welcome home.
119:      and now in London 'tis well known
120:      he was preserv'd for Englands Throne.

London Printed for F. Grove on Snow-hill. Entred according to order.


[91] Henry Lascelles.