Sir Lave to the island stray'd;
He wedded there a lovely maid:
“I'll have her yet,” said John.

He brought her home across the main,
With knights and ladies in the train:
“I'm close behind,” said John.

They plac'd her on the bridal seat;
Sir Lave bade them drink and eat:
“Aye: that we will,” said John.

The servants led her then to bed,
But could not loose her girdle red!
“I can, perhaps,” said John.

He shut the door with all his might;
He lock'd it fast, and quench'd the light:
“I shall sleep here,” said John.

A servant to Sir Lave hied;-
“Sir John is sleeping with the bride:”
“Aye, that I am,” said John.

Sir Lave to the chamber flew:
“Arise, and straight the door undo!”
“A likely thing!” said John.

He struck with shield, he struck with spear-
“Come out, thou Dog, and fight me here!”
“Another time,” said John.

“And since thou with my bride hast lain,
To our good king I will complain.”
“That thou canst do,” said John.

As soon as e'er the morning shone,
Sir Lave sought our monarch's throne;
“I'll go there too,” said John.

“O King, chastise this wicked wight,
For with my wife he slept last night.”
“'T is very true,” said John.

“Since ye two love one pretty face,
Your lances must decide the case.”
“With all my heart,” said John.

The sun on high was shining bright,
And thousands came to see the fight:
“Lo! here I am:” said John.

The first course that they ran so free,
Sir John's horse fell upon his knee:
“Now help me God!” said John.

The next course that they ran, in ire,
Sir Lave fell among the mire.
“He's dead enough!” said John.

The victor to the castle hied,
And there in tears he found the bride:
“Thou art my own,” said John.

That night, forgetting all alarms,
Again she blest him in her arms.
“I have her now!” said John.