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"A most excellent Song of the Love of young Palmus and faire Sheldra, with their unfortunate love."

To the tune of Shackley-hay.

YOUNG Palmus was a ferryman,
     Whom Sheldra fair did love,
At Shackley, where her sheep did graze,
     She there his thoughts did prove;
But he unkindly stole away,
     And left his love at Shackley-hay.
So loud at Shackley did she cry,
     The words resound at Shackley-hay.

But all in vain she did complain,
     For nothing could him move,
Till wind did turn him back again,
     And brought him to his love:
When she saw him thus turn'd by fate,
     She turn'd her love to mortal hate,
Then weeping to her did he say,
     I'll live with thee at Shackley-hay.

No, no, quoth she, I thee deny,
     My love thou once did scorn,
And my prayers wouldst not hear;
     But left me here forlorn,
And now being turn'd by fate of wind,
     Thou thinkst to win me to thy mind,
Go, go, farewell, I thee deny,
     Thou shall not live at Shackley-hay.

If that thou do'st my love disdain,
     Because I live on seas,
Or that I am ferryman,
     My Sheldra doth displease,
I will no more in that estate,
     Be servile unto wind and fate,
But quite forsake boats, oars, and sea,
     And live with thee at Shackley-hay.

My Sheldra's bed shall be my boat,
     Her arms shall be my oars,
Where love instead of storms shall float
     On pleasant downs and shores;
Her sweetest breath my gentle gale,
     Through tides of love to drive my sail,
Her look my praise, and her my joy,
     To live with me at Shackley-hay. 

Not Phaon shall with me compare,
     So fortunate to prove:
Fair Venus never was his fare,
     I'll bear the queen of love;
The working waters never fear,
     For Cupid's self our barge shall steer,
And to the shore I still will cry,
     Ally Sheldra comes to Shackley-hay.

To strew my boat for thy avail,
     I'll rob the flowery shores,
And whilst thou guid'st the silken sail,
     I'll row with silver oars;
And as upon the streams we float,
     A thousand swans shall guide our boat,
And to the shore still will I cry,
     My Sheldra comes to Shackley-hay:

And have a story painted there,
     Wherein there shall be seen,
How Sappho lov'd a ferryman,
     Being a learned queen:
In golden letters shall be writ,
     How well in love himself he quit,
That all the lasses still shall cry,
     With Palmus we'll to Shackley-hay.

And walking lazily to the strand,
     We'll angle in the brook,
And fish with thy white lilly hand,
     Thou need'st no other hook:
To which the fish shall soon be brought,
     And strive which shall the first be caught,
A thousand pleasures will we try,
     As we do row to Shackley-hay.

And if we be opprest with heat,
     In mid-time of the day,
Under the willows tall and great.
     Shall be our quiet bay,
Where I will make thee fans of boughs,
     From Phoebus' beams to shade thy brows,
And cause them at the ferry cry;
     A boat, a boat to Shackley-hay.

A troop of dainty neighbouring girls
     Shall dance along the strand,
Upon the gravel all of pearls,
     To wait when thou shalt land;
And cast themselves about thee round,
     Whilst thou with garlands shalt be crown'd,
And all the shepherds with joy shall cry,
     O Sheldra, come to Shackley-hay

Although I did myself absent,
     'Twas but to try thy mind;
But now thou mayst thyself repent
     For being so unkind;
For now thou art turn'd by wind and fate,
     Instead of love thou hast purchas'd hate,
Therefore return the to the sea,
     And bid farewell to Shackley-hay.


Thus  all in vain did he complain,
     And no remorse could
Young Palmus, through his own disdain,
     Made Sheldra fair unkind,
And she is from him fled and gone;
     He laid him in his boat alone,
And so betook him to the sea,
     And bade farewell to Shackley-hay.

Then from the happy sandy shore,
     Into the floating waves
His vessel, fraught with brinish tears,
     Into the main he laves:
But all in vain, for why, he still
     With weeping eyes his boat did fill;
And launcht his boat into the sea,
     And bad farewell to Shackley-hay

Now farewell to my Sheldra fair,
     Whom I no more shall see,
I mean to lead my life at sea
     By thy inconstancy.
Come, Neptune, come, to thee I cry,
     With thee I'll live with thee I'll die,
Thus he launch'd himself into the sea,
     And bad farewell to Shackley-hay.

But far from thence he had not gone,
     Ere Sheldra fair return'd,
Whose heart kind pity made to moan,
     Such passion in her burn'd:
But when she to that place arriv'd
     She found the shore from him depriv'd,
And her dear Palmus, now at sea,
     Had bad farewell to Shackley-hay.

She then with bitter sighs complain'd,
     Her grief did so abound,
Oft grieving that she him disdain'd,
     Whom she so loving found;
But now (alas) 't was all in vain,
     For he was gone by her disdain,
Leaving that place to her alone,
     Who now laments that he is gone.

O wretched Sheldra! then quoth she,
     Confess what fond disdain
Hath wrath caused to fall on thee;
     Could this long suffering pain,
By thee, alas! so soon forgot,
     Serv'd to thy love's strange hateful lot,
And thus to lie, and for him to cry
     Whom thou so fondly didst deny.

Who once did truly love, I see,
     Shall never after hate,
As doth too well appear by me
     In my forsaken state,
Alas, I meant my scorn to prove,
     By only trial of his love,
Now hapless me, now I do see,
     He hath forsaken woeful me.

Thus all this while in roughest seas,
     Poor Palmus' boat was tost,
But more his mind by his disease,
     Because he Sheldra lost:
In midst of this he her forswears,
     He rent his boat, and tore his hairs,
Threw hope away, for he, alas!
     Could be no more drown'd than he was.

E'en as his grief had swallow'd him,
     So strove the greedy waves
About his boat and o'er the brim,
     Each lofty billow raves;
There is no trust to swelling powers
     That what they may they still devour,
But by the breach the seas might see
     The boat felt more the rage than he.

Thus wreckt and scatter'd was their state,
     While he in quiet swam,
Through liquid paths to Thetis gate,
     By soft degrees went down
Whom when the Nymphs beheld, the girls
     Soon laid aside their sorting pearls,
And up they heav'd him as a guest;
     Unlook'd for now come to their feast.

His case they pitied, but when they
     Beheld his face right fain,
For very love, into the sea,
     They pull'd him back again;
So were they with his beauty mov'd,
     For what is fair is soon belov'd.
Thus with Nymphs he lives in the sea,
     That left his love at Shackley-hay.

Then Sheldra fair to Shackley went,
     To end her woeful days,
Because young Palmus cast himself
     Into the floating seas,
At Shackley-hay did fair Sheldra die,
     And Palmus in the sea doth lie,
So as they liv'd, so did they die,
     And bad farewell to Shackley-hay.



From the " Handefull of Pleasant Delites, 1584,"

To the tune of, — I wish to see those happy days.

I WHO was once a happy wight,
     And high in fortune's grace:
And who did spend my golden prime
     In running pleasure's race,
          Am now enforst of late
          Contrariwise to mourn,
Since Fortune joys into annoys
          My  former state to turn.

The toiling ox, the horse, the ass,
     Have time to take their rest,
Yea, all things else which nature wrought,
     Sometimes have joys in breast;
          Save only I and such
          Who vexed are with pain;
For still in tears my life it wears,
          And so I must remain.

How oft have I in folded arms
     Enjoyed my delight,
How oft have I excuses made,
     Of her to have a sight!
          But now to fortune's will
          I caused am to bow,
And for to reap a hugie heap,
          Which youthfull years did sow.

Wherefore, all ye which do as yet
     Remain, and bide behind,
Whose eyes Dame Beauty's blazing beams,
     As yet did never bind:
          Example let me be
          To you and other more;
Whose heavy heart hath felt the smart
          Subdued by Cupid's lore.

Take heed of gazing over much
     On damsels fair unknown;
For oftentimes the snake doth lie
     With roses overgrown:
          And under fairest flowers
          Do noisome adders lurk,
Of whom take heed, I thee areed,
          Least that thy cares they works

What though that she doth smile on thee,
     Perchance she doth not love,
And though she smack thee once or twice,
     She thinks thee so to prove,
          And when that thou dost think
          She loveth none but thee,
She hath in store perhaps some more,
          Which so deceived be.

Trust not therefore the outward shew,
     Beware in any case:
For good conditions do not lie
     Where is a pleasant face:
          But if it be thy chance,
          A lover true to have, 
Be sure of this, thou shalt not miss
          Each thing that thou wilt crave.

And when as thou (good reader) shalt
     Peruse this scroll of mine,
Let this a warning be to thee,
     And say a friend of thine
          Did write thee this of love,
          And of a zealous mind,
Because that be sufficiently
          Hath tried the female kind.

Here Cambridge now I bid farewell.
     Adieu to students all;
Adieu unto the colleges,
     And unto Gunvil-hall:
          And you my fellows once,
          Pray unto Jove that I
May have relief for this my grief,
          And speedy remedy:

And that he shield you everichone
     From beauty's luring looks,
Whose bait hath brought me to my bain,
     And caught me from my books:
          Wherefore for you my prayer shall be,
          To send you better grace,
That modesty with honesty
          May guide your youthful race.

[Finis quod Thomas Richardson,
sometime Student in Cambridge.]



[From "the Muses Gardin for Delights," by Robert Jones, 1610.]

I AM so farre from pittying thee,
That wear'st a branch of willow tree,
That I do envie thee and all,
That once were high and got a fall:
     O willow, willow, willo tree,
     I would thou didst belong to mee,

Thy wearing willow doth imply,
That thou art happier farre then I,
For once thou wert where thou wouldst be,
Though now thou wear'st the willow tree:
     O willow, willow, sweete willow,
     Let me once lie upon her pillow.

I doe defie both boughe and roote,
And all the fiends of hell to boote
One houre of paradised joye,
Makes purgatorie seeme a toye:
     O willow, willow, doe thy worst,
     Thou canst not make me more accurst.

I have spent all my golden time
In writing many a loving rime,
I have consumed all my youth
In vowing of my faith and trueth: 
     O willow, willow, willow tree,
     Yet can I not beleeved bee.

And now alas it is too late,
Gray hayres, the messenger of fate,
Bid me to set my heart at rest,
For beautie loveth yong men best:
     O willow willow I must die,
     Thy servant's happier farre then I. 


Being a pleasant new Court-song."

[From a black letter copy printed for the assigns of
Thomas Symcocke.]

As I went forth one summer's day,
     To view the meadows fresh and gay,
A pleasant bower I espied,
     Standing hard by a river side,
And in 't a maiden I heard cry,
     Alas there's none ere lov'd like I.

I couched close to hear her moan,
     With many a sigh and heavy groan,
And wisht that I had been the wight,
     That might have bred her heart's delight,
But these were all the words that she
     Did still repeat, None loves like me.

Then round the meadows did she walk,
     Catching each flower by the stalk,
Such as within the meadows grew,
     As dead-man's thumb and hare-bell blue;
And as she pluckt them, still cried she,
     Alas, there's none ere lov'd like me.

A bed therein she made to lie,
     Of fine green things that grew fast by,
Of poplar's and of willow leaves,
     Of sicamore and flaggy sheaves,
And as she pluckt them, still cried she,
     Alas, there's none ere lov'd like me.

The little larkfoot she'd not pass,
     Nor yet the flowers of three-leaved grass,
With milkmaids honey-suckle's phrase,
     The crow's-foot, nor the yellow crayse,
And as she pluckt them, still cried she,
     Alas, there's none ere lov'd like me.

The pretty daisy which doth shew
     Her love to Phoebus bred her woe,
Who joys to see his chearful face,
     And mourns when. he is not in place,
Alack, alack, alack, quoth she,
     There's none that ever loves like me.

The flowers of the sweetest scent,
     She bound them round with knotted bent,
And as she laid them still in bands,
     She wept, she wail'd, and wrung her hands,
Alas, alas, alas, quoth she,
     There's none that ever lov'd like me.

False man (quoth she), forgive thee heaven,
     As I do wish my sins forgiven,
In blest Elysium I shall sleep,
     When thou with perjured souls shall weep,
Who when they liv'd did like to thee,
     That lov'd their loves as thou dost me.

When she had fill'd her apron full,
     Of such sweet flowers as she could cull,
The green leaves serv'd her for a bed,
     The flowers pillows for her head,
Then down she lay, ne'er more did speak,
     Alas with love her heart did break.

(A second part to the preceding.)

When I had seen this virgin's end,
     I sorrowed as became a friend,
And wept to see that such a maid
     Should be by faithless love betray'd,
But woe I fear will come to thee,
     That was not in love, as she.

The birds did cease their harmony,
     The harmless lambs did seem to cry,
The flowers they did hang their head,
     The flower of maidens being dead,
Whose life by death is now set free,
     And none did love more dear than she.

The bubbling brooks did seem to moan,
     And Echo from the vales did groan,
Diana's nymphs did ring her knell,
     And to their queen the same did tell,
Who vowed by her chastity,
     That none should take revenge but she.

When as I saw her corpse was cold,
     I to her lover went, and told
What chance unto this maid befell,
     Who said I'm glad she sped so well,
D'ye think that I so fond would be
     To love no maid, but only she.

I was not made for her alone,
     I take delight to hear them moan,
When one is gone I will have more,
     That man is rich that hath most store,
I bondage hate, I must live free,
     And not be tied to such as she.

O, Sir, remember then (quoth I)
     The power of heaven's all-seeing eye,
Who doth remember vows forgot,
     Though you deny you know it not,
Call you to mind this maiden free,
     The which was wrong'd by none but thee.

Quoth he, I have a love more fair,
     Besides she is her father's heir,
A bonny lass doth please my mind,
     That unto me is wondrous kind,
Her will I love, and none but she,
     Who welcome still shall be to me.

False minded man that so would prove
     Disloyal to thy dearest love,
Who at her death for thee did pray,
     And wisht thee many happy days,
I would my love but would love me,
     E'en half so well as she lov'd thee.

Fair maidens will example take,
     Young men will curse thee for her sake,
They'll stop their ears unto our plaints,
     And call us devils seeming saints,
They'll say to-day that we are kind,
     To-morrow in another mind.




A rare example of a maide dwelling at Rie in Sussex, who for the love of a young man of Lester-shire, went beyond sea in the habit of a page, and after, to their hearts content were both marryed at Magrum in Germany, and now dwelling at Rye aforesaid."

To the tune of — "Come, come my sweet and bonny one."
From a black letter copy printed for T. Coules.

WITHIN the haven town of Rye,
     That stands in Sussex fair,
There dwelt a maid whose constancy
     Transcendeth all compare
          This turtle dove
          Did dearly love
     A youth, who did appear
          In mind and face,
          To be the grace
     And pride of Leycestershire.

This young man with a noble peer,
     Who lik't his service well,
Went from his native Leicestershire,
     In Sussex for to dwell:
          Where living nigh
          The town of Rye,
     This pretty maid did hear
          Of his good parents,
          Who by deserts,
     Were pride of Leycestershire.

For coming once into that town,
     It was at first his chance,
To meet with her whose brave renown
     All Sussex did advance:
          And she likewise
          In his fair eyes,
     When once she came him near,
          Did plainly see
          That none but he
     Was pride of Leycestershire.

Then little Cupid, God of Love,
     Began to play his part,
And on the sudden from above,
     He shot his golden dart,
          Which did constrain
          These lovers twain
     To prize each other dear,
          Sweet Margery
          Lov'd Anthony,
     The pride of Leycestershire.

Thus with concordant sympathy
     These lovers were combin'd,
One lov'd the other heartily,
     Yet neither told their mind:
          She long'd to speak
          Her mind to break,
     Unto her lover dear,
          She durst not tell,
          Though she lov'd well,
     The pride of Leycestershire.

Within short time it came to pass
     To sea the young man went,
And left this young and pretty lass
     In woe and discontent:
          Who wept full sore
          And griev'd therefore,
     When truly she did hear,
          That her sweet-heart
          From her must part,
     The pride of Leycestershire.


It was his hap that time to go
     To travel with his lord,
Which to his heart did breed much woe,
     Yet could he not afford
          A remedy
          To 's misery,
     But needs he must leave here
          His Madge behind,
          Who griev'd in mind
     For the pride of Leycestershire,

She being then bereaved clean
     Of hope, yet did invent
By her rare policy a mean
     To work her heart's content:
          In garments strange
          She straight did change
     Herself, rejecting fear,
          To go with him
          Whom she did deem
     The pride of Leycestershire.

And in the habit of a page
     She did entreat his lord,
That being a boy of tender age
     He would this grace afford,
          That he might go
          Service to shew
     To him both far and near,
          Who little thought,
          What love she ought,
     To the pride of Leycestershire.

This lord did take her, as she seem'd
     To be a pretty lad,
And for his page he her esteem'd,
     Which made her heart full glad:
          To sea went she,
          And so did he,
     Whom she esteem'd so dear,
          Who for her sake,
          Great moan did make,
     And shed full many a tear.

Thus he, poor lad, lay with his love,
     Full many a tedious night,
Yet neither of them both did prove
     A lover's true delight:
          She heard him weep,
          When he should sleep,
     And shed forth many a tear
          For Margery,
          Who then lay by
     The pride of Leycestershire.

Long time these lovers travell'd,
     And were bed-fellows still,
Yet she did keep her maiden-head
     Untill she had her will.
          She heard his moan,
          Yet still unknown, 
     She kept herself for fear,
          Yet at the last
          She cleaved full fast
     To the pride of Leycestershire.

For having travelled six weeks,
     Unknown unto her lover,
With rosy blushes in her cheeks,
     Her mind she did discover:
          See here, quoth she,
          One, that for thee
     Hath left her parents dear:
          Poor Margery,
          The maid of Rye,
     I am, behold me here.

When Anthony did hear this word,
     His heart with joy did leap,
He went unto his noble lord,
     To whom he did report,
          This wonderful thing
          Which straight did bring
     Amazement to him there,
          Of such a page
          In any age, 
     Quoth he, I did not hear.

At Magrum then, in Germany,
     Their lord did see them married,
From whence unto the town of Rye,
     In England were they carried.
          Where now they dwell,
          Beloved well
     Of neighbours far and near,
          Sweet Margery
          Loves Anthony,
     The pride of Leycestershire.

You maids and young men warning take
     By these two lovers kind,
Whoever you your choice do make,
     To them be true in mind:
          For perfect love
          Comes from above,
     As may by this appear,
          Which came to pass
          By Sussex lass 
     And the lad of Leycestershire.



"The pleasant History of Alexander and Lodwicke, who were so like one another, that none could know them asunder; wherein is declared how Lodwicke married the Princesse of Hungaria, in Alexander's name, and how each night he layd a naked sword betweene him and the Princesse, because he would not wrong his friend."

To the tune of Flying Fame.
[From the Pepys Collection.]

THE Emperor of Germany
     A turney did proclaim,
When many princes of renown,
     Resorted to the same;
Amongst the rest Prince Lodwicke,
     And Guido, prince of Spain,
Prince Alexander likewise came,
     Great honors to obtain.

The Emperor's promise was to give
     To him that won the day,
His only daughter as his bride,
     The story thus doth stay,
He to the Emperor accus'd
     The Princess of base lust,
And vow'd with sword for to maintain
     These accusations just.


Prince Lodwick being thus accus'd
     By Guido prince of Spain,
His friend, prince Alexander then
     This combat did maintain:
And sent his friend prince Lodwick
     To Hungary with speed, 
There in his room for to possess
     The high imperial weed.

Friend Lodwick, Alexander said,
     Go thou to Hungary,
Against the Spaniard I'll maintain
     Thy cause most manfully,
The King I understand is dead,
     Go then, and in my place
Possess the crown and dignity,
     And all the royal grace.

That they will there bestow an thee,
     Let it not be denied;
His daughter likewise in my name,
     Make her thy wedded bride,
But by our friendship I entreat
     This kindness at thy hands,
That thou by no means violate,
     True constancy's chaste bands.

Although thou wed her as thy wife,
     Yet know 'tis in my name,
Let her remain a virgin pure,
     I do request the same,
Because my heart she has in hold,
     And love her as my life,
Away, begone, thou know'st my mind,
     Leave me to end this strife.

Prince Lodwick now is on his way,
     And Alexander he
By fortune's aid the Spaniard slew,
     And set the Princess free,
Lodwicke in Alexander's name,
     Receiv'd in Hungary
The crown, and likewise in the church
     His wife received he.

But every night between them twain,
     His naked sword he'd lay,
Such constant friendship at that time
     His heart and thoughts did sway,
Prince Alexander came himself,
     Then Lodwicke took his leave,
Of Alexander, his dear friend,
     Which did him not deceive.

The Queen in heart was vexed sore,
     That she so long should lie,
With him that was her husband dear,
     And not love's pastimes try,
Unto a lord she made her moan,
     And they did both agree
To be reveng'd upon the king,
     And poison'd he should be.

The poison took not full effect,
     But brake forth on his face,
That he a leper did appear,
     And then in great disgrace
They kickt  and spurn'd him from the court,
     Thus in most shameful manner,
He was compel'd to beg for food,
     That lately liv'd in honor.

To Lodwick's court he did repair,
     Thus like a leper poor,
And for relief he did entreat
     At his friend Lodwick's door,
A ring he sent unto his friend, 
     Who well the same did know,
And came in love to greet his friend,
     Willing to ease his woe.

Quoth Alexander unto him,
     Kind friend there is no way 
To ease my pain unless that thou
     Thy loving babes do slay,
What is 't but I'll do for thee,
     Quoth Lodwicke by and by,
To ease my friend of this great pain,
     My pretty babes shall die.

For which he to the cradle goes
     Where they were fast asleep,
And with a knife he lets them blood,
     His promise for to keep:
And with their bloods he washt the sores,
     From Alexander's face,
Thus he like to a loyal friend
     The path of love did trace.

Thus Alexander being cleared,
     Of all his torturing pain,
Lodwick unto his Queen made known,
     How he his babes had slain,
This news did grieve her at the heart,
     But straight she runs to see,
Whether it was so or no,
     It prov'd the contrary.

For both the babes she found alive,
     As God would have it so,
Which did revive her drooping heart,
     Now joys exceed all woe,
King Alexander being well,
     To Hungary he goes,
And Lodwick, his beloved friend.
     To overthrow his foes.

The victory they soon obtain'd,
     And took the Lord and Queen,
And doom'd them to such cruel deaths,
     As yet had not been seen,
King Alexander again was crown'd
     By help of his good friend,
Their griefs to joys converted were,
     Their pleasures did transcend.




Her fear she should never be married."

To the tune of — I marry, and thank ye too.

ALAS! I am in a rage, 
     And bitterly weep and cry,
Because I'm nineteen years of age,
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

No gallant regards my moan,
     For love I am like to die,
It grieves my heart to lie alone,
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

Mine eyes do like fountains flow,
     As I on my pillow lie,
There's none know what I undergo,
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

There's Margery, Sue and Kate
     Have husbands with them to lie,
Yet none regard my wretched fate,
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

Young men I must tell you true,
     I scorn to report a lie:
I am both fair and handsome too,
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

My Father is grey and old,
     And surely ere long will die,
And though he'll leave me all his gold
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

Oh this is my grief and care!
     The which I cannot pass by,
To think I am my father's heir;
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

I am in distraction hurl'd,
     And do for a husband cry,
It's more to me than all the world
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

I am a poor love-sick girl,
     And ready with grief to die,
I proffer'd jewels and gold,
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

In silks I am still array'd,
     And ev'ry new fashion buy,
Because I'm loth to die a maid,
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

I paint and I powder still,
     To tempt all that I come nigh,
But yet let me do what I win,
     Yet cannot be married, not I.

There's n'er a lass in town,
     For beauty can me come nigh,
But fortune she has sent a frown,
     I cannot be married, not I.

The gold which I have in store,
     I value no more than clay,
I'd give all had I ten times more,
     So I might be married to day.



who in this ditty here complaining shews
What harm she got milking her daddy's ewes."'

To a pleasant Scotch tune called
The Broom of Cowdon Knowes.

THROUGH Liddersdale as lately I went,
     I musing on did pass,
I heard a maid was discontent, 
     She sigh'd and said, alas!
All maids that ever deceived were,
     Bear a part of these my woes,
For once I was a bonny lass
     When I milkt my daddy's ewes.
With O the broom, the bonny broom,
     The broom of Cowdon Knowes,
Fain would I be in the north country,
     To milk my daddy's ewes.

My love into the fields did come
     When my daddy was at home,
Sugar'd words he gave me there,
     Prais'd me for such a one,
His honey breath and lips so oft,
     And his alluring eye,
And tempting tongue hath woo'd me oft,
     Now forces me to cry,
          All maids, &c.

He joy'd me with his pretty chat,
     So well discourse could he,
Talking of this thing and of that,
     Which greatly liked me,
I was so, greatly taken with his speech,
     And with his comely making,
He used all the words could be
     To enchant me with his speaking.
          All maids, &c.

In Danby forest I was born,
     My beauty did excell,
My parents dearly loved me
     Till my belly began to swell:
I might have been a prince's peer,
     When I came over the Knoes,
Till the shepherd's boy beguiled me,
     Milking my daddy's ewes.
          All maids, &c.

When once I felt my belly swell,
     No longer might I abide,
My mother put me out of doors,
     And bang'd me back and side:
Then did I range the world so wide,
     Wandering about the Knoes,
Cursing the boy that helped me
     To fold my daddy's ewes.
          All maids, &c.

Who would have thought a boy so young,
     Would have us'd a maiden so,
As to allure her with his tongue,
     And then from her to go
Which hath, alas, procured my woe,
     To credit his fair shews,
Which now too late repent I do
     The milking of the ewes.
          All maids, &c.

I often since have wisht that I
     Had never seen his face,
I needed not thus mournfully
     Have sigh'd, and said alas;
I might have matched with the best,
     As all the country knows,
Had I escap'd the shepherd boy
     Helpt me to fold my ewes.
          All maids, &c.


All maidens fair then have a care,
     When you a milking go,
Trust not to young men's tempting tongues,
     That will deceive you so;
Them you shall find to be unkind,
     And glory in your woes;
For the shepherd's boy beguiled me,
     Folding my daddy's ewes.
          All maids, &c.

If you your virgin honors keep,
     Esteeming of them dear,
You need not then to wail and weep,
     Or your parents anger fear:
As I have said of them beware,
     Would glory in your woes,
You then may sing with merry cheer,
     Milking your daddy's ewes.
          All maid's, &c.

A young man hearing her complaint,
     Did pity this her case,
Saying to her, sweet beauteous saint,
     I grieve so fair a face
Should sorrow so, then sweeting know
     To ease thee of thy woes,
I'll go with thee to the north country,
     To milk thy daddy's ewes.
          All maids, &c.

Leander like I will remain,
     Still constant to thee ever,
As Pyramus or Troilus
     Till death our lives shall sever;
Let me be hated evermore
     Of all men that me know,
If false to thee, sweetheart, I be,
     Milking thy daddy's ewes.
          All maids, &c.

Then modestly she did reply,
     Might I so happy be,
Of you to find a husband kind,
     And for to marry me;
Then to you I would, during life,
     Continue constant still,
And be a true obedient wife,
     Observing of your will.
With O the broom, the bonny broom,
     The broom of Cowden Knowes,
Pain would I be in the north country,
     Milking my daddy's ewes.

Thus with a gentle soft embrace,
     He took her in his arms,
And with a kiss he smiling said,
     I'll shield thee from all harms,
And instantly will marry thee,
     To ease thee of thy woes,
And go with thee to the north country,
     To milk thy daddy's ewes.
With O the broom, the bonny broom,
     The broom of Cowden Knowes,
Fain would I be in my own country,
     Milking my daddy's ewes.




The Wronged Shepherd's Resolution,"

From a black letter copy printed by F. Coles, Vere, Wright, and Clarke.

THERE was a lass in the north country,
And she had lovers two or three;
But she unkindly dealt by one
Who had to her great favour shown,
Which made him thus for to complain,
I ne'er will see my love again,
     For since that she hath changed her mind,
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

I gave her ribbons for to wear,
And now and then a pair of gloves,
But she unkindly dealt by me,
And gave them to her other loves,
But now in the country will I hie,
And for to seek a new victory.
     For since that she hath changed her mind,
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

Sometimes she vow'd she did me love,
And I apt for to believe,
But all heir flattering words did prove
No more than baits for to deceive,
As I do find it to my pain.
Therefore I'll ne'er believe again,
     For since that she hath changed her mind,
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

I must confess that in my eye,
She was a pearl I valued high,
But what is beauty without grace,
Or one where virtue hath no place,
Her false alluring smiles no more,
Shall draw my senses out of door,
     For since that she hath changed her mind,
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

I gave her heart, I gave her hand,
And all I had at her command,
She could not ask what she would have,
But presently the same I gave.
Yet all my labours prov'd in vain,
For she would not requite my pain,
     Then since that she hath changed her mind,
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

When I did think her most secure,
Another did her mind allure,
And by some crafty wiles she went,
To undermine my sweet content,
So that I now repent the day,
That ere I cast my love away.
     For since that she hath changed her mind,
     I trust no more to women-kind.

But now my resolution's such,
To suffer for my loving much,
All women's company I'll shun,
For fear I further be undone,
And go where none hath power to know,
The subject of my grief and woe.
     For since that she hath changed her mind,
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

And in some dark and dismal place,
There will I build myself a cave,
And in some low and barren ground,
Where none but shepherds can be found,
I'll find a place for to bewail,
My sorrows which do me assail.
     For since that she hath changed her mind,
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

Some shady desart I will choose,
Which other mortals all refuse,
And on the trees her name I'll carve,
That doth from me so ill deserve,
That future ages all may know,
What love to her I once did owe.
     For since that she hath changed her mind,
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

The purling streams with me shall mourn,
And leaves relenting all shall turn,
The wood nymphs who my plaints do hear,
Shall now and then afford a tear,
All blaming her for cruelty,
That brought me to this misery.
     For since that she hath changed her minds
     I'll trust no more to women-kind.

And when my time is drawing nigh,
I will prepare myself to die,
The robin redbreasts kind will be,
Perhaps with leaves to cover me,
Then to the world I'll bid adieu,
And unto her that prov'd untrue,
     For since that she hath chang'd her mind,
     Young men beware of women-kind.



Wherein is shewed his dissolute life and deserved death."

OF a stout cripple that kept the high-way,
And begg'd for his living all time of the day,
A story I'll tell you that pleasant shall be,
The Cripple of Cornwall surnamed was he.

He crept on his hands and his knees up and down,
In a torn jacket and a ragged torn gown,
For he had never a leg to the knee,
The Cripple of Cornwall surnamed was he.

He was of a stomach courageous and stout,
For he had no cause to complain of the gout;
To go upon stilts most cunning was he,
With a staff on his neck most gallant to see.

Yea, no good fellowship would he forsake,
Were it in secret a horse for to take,
His stool he kept close in an old hollow tree,
That stood from the city a mile two or three.

Thus all the day long he begg'd for relief,
And all the night long he play'd the false thief,
For seven years together this custom kept he,
And no man knew him such a person to be.

There were few graziers went on the way,
But unto the cripple for passage did. pay,
And every brave merchant that he did descry,
He emptied their purses ere they did pass by.

The noble Lord Courtney, both gallant and bold,
Rode forth with great plenty of silver and gold,
At Exeter there a purchase to pay,
But that the false Cripple the journey did stay.

For why, the false Cripple heard tidings of late,
As he sat for alms at the nobleman's gate,
This is, quoth the Cripple, a booty for me,
And I'll follow it closely, as closely may be.

Then to his companions the matter he mov'd,
Which their false actions before had prov'd,
They make themselves ready and deeply they swear,
The money's their own before they come there.

Upon his two stilts the Cripple did mount,
To have the best. share it was his full account,
All cloathed in canvas down to the ground,
He took up his place his mates with him round.

Then came the Lord Courtney with half a score men,
Yet little suspecting these thieves in their den,
And they perceiving them come to their hand,
In a dark evening bid them to stand.

Deliver thy purse, quoth the Cripple, with speed,
We be good fellows and therefore have need,
Not so, quoth Lord Courtney, but this I'll tell ye,
Win it and wear it, else get none of me.

With that the Lord Courtney stood in his defence,
And so did his servants, but ere they went hence,
Two of the true men were slain in this fight,
And four of the thieves were put to the flight.

And while for their safeguard they run thus away,
The jolly bold Cripple did hold them in play,
And with his pike-staff he wounded them, so,
As they were unable to run or to go.

With fighting the Lord Courtney was out of breath,
And most of his servants were wounded to death,
Then came other horsemen riding so fast,
The Cripple was forced to fly at the last.

And over a river that run there beside,
Which was very deep, and eighteen foot wide,
With his long staff and his stilts leaped he,
And shifted himself in an old hollow tree.

Then throughout the city was hue and cry made,
To have these thieves apprehended and staid,
The Cripple he creeps on his hands and his knees,
And in the high-way great passing he sees.

And as they came riding he begging doth say,
O give me one penny, good masters, I pray,
And thus unto Exeter creeps he along,
No man suspecting that he bad done wrong,

Anon the Lord Courtney he spies in the street,
He comes unto him and kisses his feet,
God save your honor and keep you from ill,
And from the hands of your enemies still.

Amen, quoth Lord Courtney, and therewith threw down
Unto the poor Cripple an English crown,
Away went the Cripple, and thus he did think,
Five hundred pounds more will make me to drink.

In vain that hue and cry it was made,
They found none of them though the country was laid,
But this grieved the Cripple night and day,
That he so unluckily mist of his play.

Nine hundred pound this Cripple had got,
By begging and thieving, so good was his lot,
A thousand pound he would make it, he said,
And then he would give over his trade.

But as he striv'd his mind to fulfill,
In following his actions so lewd and so ill,
At last he was taken the law to suffice,
Condemned and hanged at Exeter 'size.

Which made all men amazed to see,
That such an impudent cripple as he,
Should venture himself such actions as they,
To rob in such sort upon the high-way.

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