As a bold young knight all fresh arrayed, I did ride into the woodlands,
At my belt a bright new blade, and a strong stout spear at hand.
I sought an enemy cruel and strong, with spear and dogs did go,
If I missed my mark I could not last long, for all men fear my foe.
My snapping hounds did charge and bay, my huntsmen they did ponder
In search of our elusive prey 'pon royal land we wandered,
My foe he carried two white blades and armor all of leather
He led us over paths unknown and into foul weather.
Before the rain washed scent away my dogs found more than traces.
They flushed him from his wallow hide and into open spaces.
I'd found an enemy cruel and strong, with spear alone did go,
If I missed my mark I could not last long for the boar no mercy shows.
He faced me with a gleaming eye, I braced myself to meet him
With his tusks he slashed my thigh, while my spear it pierced his breast.
I fell to ground all blood and pain and knew I'd reached my death
For the boar still stood with tusks prepared to kill with his last breath.
My huntsmen they did grasp their bows in haste and hopes to save me
Before they'd even nocked arrows the boar, he lay shot dead.
Then stepped to view the King's yeomen from all the woods around us
And seven knights from Henry's house did ride out and surround us.
The knight in charge was Syr William, the Marshall of all England.
He said my huntsmen were to die for poaching on the King's land.
And then the Marshall turned to me, "Now you, young knight," he said,
"By law ye should be hung and drawn, a rope should be your bed."
"But I see you've paid with one good leg for hunting Henry's course,
And to show a heart of chivalry, I'll only take your horse."
They rode away and left me there, alone with that dead boar,
And though my leg it burned like fire, the shame it pained twice more.
Now I'm a poor man wandering in village and in town,
And since Syr William took my horse I limp along the ground.
Now I've no horse and I've no sword, and gold I've not a speck,
But I've the tusks of that hell-spawn boar strung around my neck!
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