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"A Nosegaie alwaies sweet, for Lovers to send for Tokens of Love, at Newyres Tide, or for fainings as they in their minds shall be disposed to write."

Reprinted from a very rare volume entitled a “Handefull of pleasant Delites," by Clement Robinson and divers others; printed by Richard Ihones, 1584, 12mo.

The following Ballad is well entitled to a place in this Collection from its own merits; but acquires additional interest from the allusion made to it by the frantic Ophelia; when strewing the flowers in her phrensy. "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance, &c Vide Hamlet, Act IV. Scene 5.

A NOSEGAY lacking flowers fresh,
     To you now do I send,
Desiring you to look thereon,
     When that you may intend:
For flowers fresh begin to fade,
     And Boreas in the field,
E'en with his hard congealed frost,
     No better flowers doth yield.

But if that winter could have sprung,
     A sweeter flower than this,
I would have sent it presently
     To you withouten miss:
Accept this then as time doth serve,
     Be thankful for the same,
Despise it not but keep it well,
     And mark each flower his name.

Lavender is for Lovers true,
     Which evermore be fain:
Desiring always for to have
     Some pleasure for their pain:
And when that they obtained have,
     The love that they require,
Then have they all their perfect joy,
     And quenched is the fire.

Rosemary is for Remembrance,
     Between us day and night,
Wishing that I might always have
     You present in my sight.
And when I cannot have,
     As I have said before,
Then Cupid with his deadly dart,
     Doth wound my heart full sore.

Sage is for Sustenance,
     That should man's life sustain,
For I do still lie languishing,
     Continually in pain,
And shall do still until I die,
     Except thou favour shew,
My pain, and all my grievous smart,
     Full well you do it know.

Fennel is for Flatterers,
     An evil thing it's sure,
But I have always meant truly,
     With constant heart most pure:
And will continue in the same
     As long as life doth last,
Still hoping for a joyful day
     When all our pains be past.

Violet is for Faithfulness,
     Which in me shall abide,
Hoping likewise that from your heart,
     You will not let it slide:
And, will continue in the same,
     As you have now begun,
And then for ever to abide,
     Then you my heart have won.

Thyme is to try me,
     As each be tried must;
Trusting you know, while life doth last,
     I will not be unjust:
And if I should I would that God
     To hell my soul should bear,
And eke also that Belzebub,
     With teeth he should me tear.

Roses are to rule me,
     With reason as you will,
For to be still obedient,
     Your mind for to fulfill:
And thereto will not disagree,
     In nothing that you say,
But will content your mind truly
     In all things that I may.

Gillyflowers is for Gentleness,
     Which in me shall remain,
Hoping that no sedition shall
     Depart our heart in twain:
As soon the sun shall loose his course,
     The moon against her kind,
Shall have no light, if that do
     Once put you from my mind.

Carnations are for Gratiousness,
     Mark that now by the way,
Have no regard to flatterers,
     Nor pass not what they say,
For they will come with lying tales,
     Your ears for to fulfill:
In any case do you consent
     Nothing unto their will.

Marigold is for Marriage,
     That would our minds suffice,
Least that suspicion of us twain,
     By any means should rise:
As for my part I do not care,
     Myself I will still use,
That all the women in the world
     For you I will refuse.

Pennyroyal is to print your Love,
     So deep within my heart,
That when you look this nosegay on,
     My pain you may impart,
And when that you have read the same,
     Consider well my woe;
Think ye then how to recompense
     E'en him that loves you so.

Cowslips are for Counsel,
     For secrets us between,
That none but you and I alone
     Should know the thing we mean:
And if you will thus wisely do,
     As I think to be best,
Then have you surely won the field,
     And set my heart at rest.

I pray you keep this Nosegay well,
     And set by it some store:
And thus farewell, the Gods thee guide,
     Both now and evermore;
Not as the common sort do use,
     To set it in your breast,
That when the smell is gone away,
     In ground he takes his rest.


"A proper New Ballad, intituled,


From a Copy printed in black letter, in two columns, for F. Coles, T. Vere, and W. Gilbertson. With a cut exhibiting

A Soldier with a drawn                    A Lady with a fan
sword and fagot                              in her hand.

This ballad is singularly rare. It is quoted by Hamlet, and notwithstanding the elaborate researches of the com­mentators on Shakspeare, it has hitherto eluded all their vigilance. Dr. Percy indeed has printed a very imper­fect copy of it, wanting two whole stanzas, and otherwise mutilated by repeated alterations and omissions; which is not to be wondered at, as he never had an op­portunity of consulting the original, but printed from a transcript made by a lady "who wrote it down from memory, as she had formerly heard it sung by her father." The late Duke of Roxburghe fortunately met with a copy of the original edition, which is now, for the first time, accurately reprinted. I will extract the passage in which Hamlet banters Polonius, and then subjoin the ballad.

Ham. O Jephthah judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!

Pol. What a treasure had he, my Lord?


Ham. Why —

One fair daughter, and no more,

The which he loved passing well.

Pol. Still on my daughter.

Ham. Am I not i' the right, old Jephthah?

Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my Lord, I have a daughter, that I love passing well.

Ham. Nay, that follows not.

Pol. What follows then, my Lord?

Ham. Why, as by lot, God wot; and then, you know, It came to pass, as most like it was.

I HAVE read that many years agoe,
When Jepha, judge of Israel,
Had one fair daughter and no more,
Whom he loved passing well.
And as by lot, God wot,
It came to passe most like it was,
Great warrs there should be,
And who should be the chiefe, but he, but he.

When Jepha was appointed now,
Chiefe captain of the company, 
To God the Lord he made a vow,
If he might have the victory,
At his return to burn
For his offering the first quick thing,
Should meet with him then,
From his house when he came agen, agen.

It chanced so these warrs were done,
And home he came with victory,
His daughter out of doors did ran,
To meet her father speedily,
And all the way did play
To taber and pipe, and many a stripe,
And notes full high,
For joy that he was so nigh, so nigh.
When Jepha did perceive and see
His daughter firm and formostly,
He rent his cloths and tore his haire,
And shrieked out most piteously,
For thou art she (quoth he)
Hath brought me low, alas for woe,
And troubled me so,
That I cannot tell what to doe, to doe,

For I have made a vow (quoth he)
Which must not be diminished,
A sacrifice to God on high,
My promise must be finished,
As you have spoke, provoke,
No further care but to prepare,
Your will to fulfill,
According to God's will, God's will.

For sithence God hath given you might,
To overcome your enemies,
Let one be offer'd up as right,
For to perform all promises,
And this let be, quoth she,
As thou hast said be not afraid,
Although it be I.
Keep promise with God on high, on high.

But father do so much for me,
As let me go to wildernesse,
There to bewaile my virginity,
Three months to bemoan my heavinesse,
And let there go some moe,
Like maids with me. Content, quoth he,
And sent her away,
To mourn till her latter day, her day.

And when that time was come and gone,
That she should sacrificed be,
This virgin sacrificed was,
For to fulfill all promises;
As some say for aye:
The virgins there three times a year,
Like sorrow fulfill,
For the daughter of Jepha still, still, still.


"An excellent Ballad, intituled,


This is the Ballad the first line of which Sir Toby Belch cites, with other poetical fragments, in Twelfth Night.

THERE dwelt a man in Babylon
     Of reputation great by fame,
He took to wife a fair woman,
     Susanna she was called by name;
A woman fair and virtuous;
                          Lady, lady:
Why should we not of her learn thus
                          To live godly?

Virtuously her life she lead,
     She feared God, she stood in awe,
As in the story we have read,
     Was well brought up in Moses' law;
Her parents they were goodly folk,
                         Lady, lady:
Why should we not, then, sing and talk
                         Of this lady?

That year two judges there were made,
     Which were the elders of Babylon,
To Joachim's house was all their trade,
     Who was Susanna's husband then:
Joachim was a great rich man,
                         Lady, lady;
These elders oft to his house came
                         For this lady.

Joachim bad an orchard by
     Fast joining to his house or place,
Whereas Susanna commonly
     Herself did daily there solace,
And that these elders soon espied,
                        Lady, lady,
And privily themselves did hide
                        For that lady.

These elders came to her anon,
     And thus they said, Fair dame God speed,
Thy doors are fast, the maids are gone,
    Consent to us and do this deed,
For we are men of no mistrust,
                        Lady, lady,
And yet to thee we have a lust,
                        O fair lady!
If that to us thou dost say nay,
     A testimonial we will bring,
We will say that one with thee lay,
     How canst thou then avoid the thing:
Therefore consent, and to us turn,
                        Lady, lady,
For we to thee in lust do burn,
                        O fair lady!

Then did she sigh, and said alas!
     Now woe is me on every side,
Was ever wretch in such a case,
     Shall I consent and do this deed?
Whether I do, or do it not,
                          Lady, lady;
It is my death right well I wot,
                          O true lady!

Better it were for me to fall
     Into your hands this day guiltless,
Then that I should consent at all
     To this your shameful wickedness;
And even with that (whereas she stood)
                         Lady, lady,
Unto the Lord she cried aloud,

These elders both likewise again,
     Against Susanna aloud they cried,
Their filthy lust could not obtain,
     Their wickedness they sought to hide,
Unto her friends they then her brought,
                         Lady, lady,
And with all speed the life they sought
                         Of that lady.


On the morrow she was brought forth
     Before the people there to stand,
That they might hear and know the truth,
     How these two elders Susanna found,
The elders swore and thus did say,
                          Lady, lady.
How that they saw a young man lay
                          With that lady.

Judgment there was for no offence, 
     Susanna causeless then must die,
These elders bore such evidence,
     Against her they did verify,
Who were believed then indeed,
                         Lady, lady,
Against Susanna to proceed,
                         That she should die.

Susanna's friends that stood her by,
     They did lament, and were full woe,
When as they saw no remedy,
     But that to death she then must go.
Then unto him that is so just,
                        Lady, lady,
(In God was all her hope and trust,)
                        To him did cry.

The Lord her voice heard, and beheld
     The daughter's cry of Israel,
His spirit he rais'd in a child,
     Whose name was called young Daniel,
Who cried aloud whereas he stood,
                       Lady, lady,
I am clear of the guiltless blood
                       Of this lady.

Are you such fools, quoth Daniel then,
     In judgment you have not done well,
Nor yet the right way have you gone,
     To judge a daughter of Israel:
By this witness of false disdain,
                       Lady, lady,
Wherefore to judgment turn again
                       For that lady.
And when to judgment they were set,
     He called for those wicked men:
And soon he did them separate,
     Putting the one from the other, then,
He asked the first where he did see
                         That fair lady,
He said under a mulberry tree,
                         Who lied falsely.

Thou liest, said Daniel, on thy head,
     Thy sentence is before the Lord,
He bad that forth he might be lead,
     And bring the other that bore record,
To see how they two did agree,
                          For this, lady,
He said under a pomgranate tree,
                          Who lied falsely.

Said Daniel as he did before,
     Behold the messenger of the Lord,
Stands waiting for you at the door,
     E'en to cut thee with a sword,
And even with that the multitude
                          Aloud did cry,
Give thanks to God, so to conclude
                          For this lady.
They dealt like with these wicked men,
     According as the scripture saith,
They did as with their neighbour then,
     By Moses' law were put to death,
The innocent preserved was,
                         Lady, lady,
As God by Daniel brought to pass
                         For this lady.

[For John Wright, near Pye Corner.]



From the old enterlude, called "Lusty Juventus."

IN a herber grene aslepe where as I lay,
The byrdes sange swete in the middes of the daye,
I dreamed fast of myrth and play:
     In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.

Methought I walked stil to and fro,
And from her company I could not go;
But when I waked it was not so:
     In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.

Therefore my hart is surely pyght
Of her alone to have a sight,
Which is my joy and hartes delyght:
     In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure.



From "a ryght pithy, pleasaunt and merie Comedie: intytuled Gammer Gurtons Nedle, imprinted by Thomas Colwell, 1575."

Backe and syde go bare, go bare,
     Booth foote and hande go colde:
But bellye God send thee good ale ynoughe,
     Whether it be newe or olde.

I CAN not eate, but lytle meate,
     My stomacke is not good;
But sure I thinke that I can drynke
     With him that weares a hood.
Thoughe I go bare, take ye no care,
     I am nothinge a colde:
I stuffe my skyn so full within,
     Of joly good ale and olde
          Back and syde go bare, go bare,
               Booth foote and hand go colde:
          But belly God send thee good ale inoughe,
               Whether it be new or olde.

I love no rost, but a nut brown toste,
     And a crab layde in the fyre,
A lytle bread shall do me stead,
     Much breade I not desyre:
No froste nor snow, no winde, I trowe,
     Can hurt mee if I wolde,
I am so wrapt and throwly lapt
     Of joly good ale and olde.
          Backe and syde go bare, &c,

And Tyb my wyfe that as her lyfe
     Loveth well good ale to seeke,
Full ofte drynkes shee, tyll ye may see
     The teares run downe her cheekes:
Then dooth she trowle to me the bowle,
     Even as a mault worm shuld,
And sayth, Sweete hart, I took my part
     Of this joly good ale and olde.
          Backe and syde go bare, &c.

Now let them drynke, tyll they nod and winke,
     Even as good felowes shoulde doe,
They shall not mysse to have the blisse,
     Good ale doth bringe men to:
And all poor soules that have scowred boules,
     Or have them lustely trolde,
God save the lyves of them and theyr wyves,
     Whether they be yonge or olde.
          Backe and syde go bare, &c.




Yorke, Yorke for my monie,
Of all the Cities that ever I see
For mery pastime and companie,
Except the Citie of London."

From a black letter copy, "Imprinted at London, by Richard Jones, dwelling neere Holborn-bridge, 1584."

As I came through the north country,
The fashions of the world to see,
I sought for merry company,
     To go to the city of London,
And when to the city of York I came,
I found good company in the same,
As well disposed to every game,
     As if it had been at London.
          York, York for my money,
               Of all the cities that ever I see,
          For merry pastime and company,
               Except the city of London.

And in that city what saw I then,
Knights, squires, and gentlemen
A shooting went to matches ten,
     As if it had been at London,
And they shot for twenty pounds a bow,
Besides great cheer they did bestow,
I never saw a gallanter show,
     Except I had been at London.
          York, York for my money, &c.

These matches, you shall understand,
The Earl of Essex took in hand,
Against the good Earl of Cumberland,
     As if they had been at London,
And agreed these matches all shall be
For pastime and good company,
At the city of York full merrily,
     As if it had been at London.
          York, York for my money, &c.

In York there dwells an alderman, which
Delights in archering very much,
I never heard of any such
     In all the city of London,
His name is Maltby, merry and wise,
At any pastime you can devise;
But in shooting all his pleasure lies,
     The like was never in London.
          York, &c.

This Maltby, for the city's sake,
To shoot, himself, did undertake,
At any good match the Earls would make,
     As well as they do at London:
And he brought to the field with him
One Speck, an archer proper and trim,
And Smith, that shoot about the pin,
     As if it had been at London.
          York, York, &c.

Then came from Cumberland archers three,
Best bowmen in the north country,
I will tell you their names what they be,
     Well known to the city of London:
Walmsley many a man doth know,
And Bolton how he draweth his bow,
And Ratcliffe's shooting long ago
     Well known to the city of London.
          York, &c.

And the noble Earl of Essex came
To the field himself to see the same,
Which shall be had for ever in fame,
     As soon as I come to London:
For he shew'd himself so diligent there,
To make a mark and keep it fair,
It is worthy memory to declare
     Through all the city of London.
          York, &c.

And then was shooting out of cry;
The skantling at a handful nigh,
And yet the wind was very high,
     As it is sometimes at London:
They clapt the clouts so on the rags,
There was such betting and such brags,
And gallopping up and down with nags,
     As if it had been at London.
          York, &c.

And never an archer gave regard,
To half a bow nor half a yard,
I never see matches go more hard,
     About the city of London:
For fairer play was never play'd,
Nor fairer lays were never laid,
And a week together they kept this trade,
     As if it had been at London.
          York, &c.

The mayor of York, with his company,
Were all in the fields, I warrant ye,
To see good Yule kept orderly,
     As if it had been at London:
Which was a dutifull sight to see,
The mayor and aldermen there to be,
For the setting forth in archery,
     As well as they do at London.
          York, &c.

An there was neither fault nor fray,
Nor any disorder any way,
But every man did pitch and pay,
     As if it had been at London:
As soon as every match was done,
Every man was paid that won,
And merrily up and down they run,
     As if it had been at London.
          York, &c.

And never a man that went abroad,
But thought his money well bestow'd,
And money laid on heap and load,
     As if it had been at London:
And gentlemen there, so frank and free,
As a mint at York again should be,
Like shooting did I never see,
     Except I had been at London.
          York, &c.

At York were ambassadors three,
Of Russia lords of high degree,
This shooting they desired to see,
     As if it had been at London:
And one desir'd to draw a bow,
The force and strength thereof to know,
And for his delight he drew it so,
     As seldom seen in London.
          York, &c.

And they did marvel very much,
There could be any archer such,
To shoot so far the clout to touch,
     Which is no news at London:
And they might well consider then,
An English shaft will kill a man,
As hath been proved where and when,
     And chronicled since in London.
          York, &c.

The Earl of Cumberland's archers won
Two matches clear, ere all was done:
And I made haste apace to run,
     To carry these news to London:
And Walmsley did the upshot win,
With both the shafts so near the pin,
You could scant have put three fingers in,
     As if it had been at London.
          York, &c.

I pass not for my money it cost,
Though some I spent, and some I lost,
I wanted neither sod nor roast,
     As if it had been at London:
For there was plenty of everything,
Red and fallow deer for the king,
I never saw so merry a shooting,
     Since first I came from London.
          York, &c.

God save the city of York therefore,
That hath such noble friends in stare,
And such good aldermen send them more.
     And the like goad, luck at London
For it is not little joy to see,
When lords and aldermen so agree,
With such according commonalty,
     God send us the like at London.
          York, &c.

God save the good Earl of Cumberland,
His praise in golden lines shall stand,
That maintains archery through the land,
     As well as they do at London:
Whose noble mind so courteously
Acquaints himself with the commonalty,
To the glory of his nobility,
     I will carry the praise to London.
          York, &c.

And tell the good Earl of Essex thus,
As he is now young and prosperous,
To use such properties virtuous,
     Deserves great praise in London:
For it is no little joy to see,
When noble youths so gracious be,
To give their good wills to their country,
     As well as they do at London.
          York, &c.

Farewell, good city of York to thee,
Tell Alderman Maltby this from me,
In print shall this good shooting be,
     As soon as I come to London:
And many a song will I bestow,
On all the musicians that I know,
To sing the praises where they go,
     Of the city of York in London,
          York, &c.

God save our Queen and keep our peace,
That our good shooting may encrease,
And praying to God, let us not cease,
     As well at York as London:
That all our country round about,
May have archers good to hit the clout,
Which England cannot be without,
     No more than York and London.
          York, &c.

God grant that once her Majesty,
Would come, her city of York to see,
For the comfort of that great country,
     As well as she doth to London:
Nothing shall be thought too dear,
To see her highness person there,
With such obedient love and fear,
     As ever she had in London.
          York, York for my money,
               Of all the cities that ever I see,
          For merry pastime and company,
               Except the city of London.

[From Yorke by W. E. i. e. Willlam Eiderton.]


"A most sweet Song of an English Merchant born in Chichester."

From a black letter copy in the Pepys Collection, printed by Clarke, Thackeray, and Passenger.

A RICH merchant-man there was
That was both grave and wise,
Did kill a man at Embden town
Through quarrels that did rise;
Through quarrels that did rise;
The German being dead;
And for that fact the merchant-man
Was judg'd to lose his head.
     A sweet thing is love,
     It rules both heart and mind,
     There is no comfort in this world
     To women that are kind.

A scaffold builded was
Within the market place,
And all the people far and near
Did thither flock apace,
Did thither flock apace
This doleful sight to see;
Who all in velvet black as jet
Unto the place came he.
     A sweet, &c.

Bareheaded was he brought,
His hands were bound before,
A cambrick ruff about his neck
As white as milk he wore:
His stockings were of silk,
As fine as fine might be,
Of person and of countenance
A proper man was he.
     A sweet, &c.

When he was mounted up
Upon the scaffold high;
All women said great pity 't was
So sweet a man should die,
The merchants of the town,
From death to set him free,
Did proffer there a thousand pound,
But yet all would not be.
     A sweet thing is love
     It rules both heart and mind,
     There is no comfort in this world.
     To women that are kind

The prisoner hereupon
Began to speak his mind,
Quoth he, I have deserved death
In conscience I do find,
Yet sore against my will
This man I kill'd, quoth he,
As Christ doth know, which of my soul
Must only saviour be.
     A sweet, &c.

With heart I do repent
This most unhappy deed,
And for his wife and children small
My very heart doth bleed:
The deed is done and past
My hope of life is vain
And yet the loss of this my life,
To them is little gain.
     A sweet, &c.

Unto the widow poor;
And to the babes therefore,
I give a hundred pounds a piece
Their comforts to restore
Desiring at their hands
No one request but this,
They will speak well of Englishmen,
Though I have done amiss.
     A sweet thing is love,
     It rules both heart and mind,
     There is no comfort in this world,
     To women that are kind.

This was no sooner done
But that to stint the strife,
Four goodly maids did proffer him
For love to save his life:
This is our law, quoth they,
We may your death remove,
So you in lieu of our good will
Will grant to us your love.
     A Sweet, &c.

Brave Englishman, quoth one,
'Tis I will save thy life,
Nay, quoth the second, it is I,
So I may be thy wife,
'Tis I, the third did say,
Nay, quoth the fourth, 'tis I,
So each one after the other said,
Still waiting his reply.
     A sweet, &c.

Fair maidens every one,
I must confess and say,
That each of you well worthy is
To be a lady gay,
And I unworthy far,
The worst of you to have,
Though you have proffer'd willingly,
My loathed life to save.
     A sweet thing is love.
     It rules both heart and mind,
     There is no comfort in this world,
     To women that are kind.

Then take a thousand thanks
Of me, a dying man,
But speak no more of love, nor life,
For why my life is gone:
To Christ my soul I give,
My body unto death,
For none of you my heart can have
Sith I must lose my breath.
     A sweet, &c.

Fair maids lament not me,
Your country law is such,
It takes but hold upon my life,
My goods it cannot touch,
Within one chest I have
Of gold a thousand pound,
I give it equal to you all
For love that I have found.
     A sweet, &c.

And now, dear friends, farewell,
Sweet England now adieu,
And Chichester, where I was born,
Where first this breath I drew:
And now thou man of death
Unto thy weapon stand;
O nay, another damsel said,
Sweet headsman hold thy hand.
     A sweet, &c.

Now hear a maiden's plaint,
Brave Englishman, quoth she,
And grant me love for love again,
That craves but love of thee:
I woo and sue for love,
That had been woo'd ere this,
Then grant me love, and therewithal
She proffered him a kiss.
     A sweet, &c.

I'll die within thy arms
If thou wilt die, quoth she,
Yet live or die, sweet Englishman,
I'll live and die with thee:
But can it be, quoth he,
That thou dost love me so,
'Tis not by long acquaintance, sir,
Whereby true love doth grow.
     A sweet, &c.

Then beg my life, quoth he,
And I will be thy own,
If I should seek the world for loves
More love cannot he shewn;
The people at that word,
Did give a joyful cry,
And said great pity it was
So sweet a man should die.
     A sweet, &c.

I go my love, she said,
I run, I fly for thee,
And, gentle headsman, spare awhile
My lover's head for me;
Unto the Duke she went,
Who did her grief remove,
And with an hundred maidens more
She went to fetch her love.
     A sweet, &c.

With music sounding sweet,
The foremost of the train,
The gallant maiden, like a bride,
Did fetch him back again;
Yea, hand in hand alway they went
Unto the church that day,
And they were married presently
In sumptuous rich array.
     A sweet, &c.

To England came he then
With his fair lady bride;
A fairer woman never lay
By any merchant's side;
Where we must leave them now
In pleasure and delight.
But of their names and dwelling place
I must not here recite.



Now all my friends are dead and gone,
     Alas what shall betide me,
For I poor maid am left alone,
     Without a house to hide me:
Yet still I'll be of merry cheer,
     And have kind welcome every where.
Though I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

I scorn to think of poverty,
     Or wanting food and cloathing,
I'll be maintained gallantly,
     And all my life want nothing,
A frolick mind I'll always bear,
     My poverty shall not appear,
Though I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

Though I am but a silly wench
     Of country education,
Yet I am woo'd by Dutch and French,
     And almost every nation:
Both Spaniards and Italians swear,
     That with their hearts they love me dear,
Yet I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

The Welch, the Irish, and the Scot,
     Since I came to the city,
In love to me are wondrous hot,
     They tell me I am pretty:
Therefore to live I will not fear,
     For I am sought with many a tear,
Yet I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

This London is a gallant place,
     To raise a lass's fortune,
For I that came of simple race,
     Brave roarers do importune:
I little thought in Worcestershire,
     To find such high preferment here,
For I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

One gives to me perfumed gloves,
     The best that he can buy me,
Live where I will I have the loves
     Of all that do live nigh me,
If any new toys I will wear,
     I have them cost they ne'er so dear,
And this is for a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

My fashions with the moon I change,
     As though I were a lady;
All quaint conceits, both new and strange,
     I'll have as soon as may be:
Your courtly ladies I can jeer,
     In clothes but few to me come near,
Yet I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.


French gowns, with sleeves like pudding-bags,
     I have at my requesting,
Now I forget my country rags,
     And scorn such plain investing:
My old acquaintance I cashier,
     And of my kin I hate to hear;
Though I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

My petticoats of scarlet brave,
     Of velvet, silk, and sattin,
Some students oft my love do crave,
     That speak bath Greek and Latin;
The soldiers for me domineer,
     And put the rest into great fear,
All this is for a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me,

The Precisian sincerely woos,
     And doth protest he loves me,
He tires me out with ayes and no's,
     And to impatience moves me,
Although an oath he will not swear,
     To lie at no time doth he fear,
All this is for a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

My coach, drawn with four Flanders mares,
     Each day attends my pleasure,
The watermen will leave their fares,
     To wait upon my leisure,
Two lackies labor every where,
     And at my word run far and near,
Though I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

In the pleasantest place the suburbs yield,
     My lodging is prepared,
I can walk forth into the fields,
     Where beauties oft are aired:
When gentlemen do spy me there,
     Some compliments Im sure to hear,
Though I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

And if my friends were living still,
     I would them all abandon,
Though I confess they loved me well,
     Yet I so like of London:
That farewell Dad and Mammy dear,
     And all my friends in Worcestershire,
I live well with a mark a year,
     Which my old mother gave me.

I would my sister Sue at home,
     Knew how I live in fashion,
That she might up to London come,
     To learn this occupation:
For I live like a lady here,
     I wear good clothes and eat good cheer,
Yet I have but a mark a year,
     And that my mother gave me.

Now blessed be that happy day,
     That I came to the city,
And for the carrier will I pray,
     Before I end my ditty.
You maidens that this ditty hear,
     Though means be short yet never fear,
 For I live with a mark year,
     Which my old mother gave me.



To a daintie new note, which if you can hit,
There's another tune will as well fit."

To the tune of, the mother beguild the daughter.

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

ALTHOUGH I am a country lass,
     A lofty mind I bear — a,
I think myself as good as those
     That gay apparell wear — a,
My coat is made of comely gray,
     Yet is my skin as soft — a,
As those that with the chiefest wines — a,
     Do hathe their bodies oft —  a,
Down, down derry, dery down,
     Heigh down a down a down a,
A dery, dery, dery, dery down,
     High down a down a dery.

What, though I keep my father's sheep,
     A thing that must he done — a,
A garland of the fairest flowers 
     Shall shroud me from the sun — a,
And when I see them feeding be,
     Where grass and flowers spring,
Close by a crystal fountain side,
     I sit me down and sing — a.

Dame Nature crowns us with delight,
     Surpassing court or city,
We pleasures take from morn to night,
     In sports and pastimes pretty:
Your city dames in coaches ride
     Abroad for recreation,
We country lasses hate their pride,
     And keep the country fashion.

Your city wives lead wanton lives,
     And if they come in the country,
They are so Proud, that each one strives
     For to outbrave our gentry.
We country lasses homely be,
     For seat nor wall we strive not,
We are content with our degree,
     Our debtors we deprive not.

I care not for the fan or mask,
     When Titan's heat reflecteth,
A homely hat is all I ask,
     Which well my face Protecteth,
Yet I am in my country guise,
     Esteemed lass as pretty,
As those that every day devise,
     New shapes in court or city.

In every season of the year
     I undergo my labour,
No shower, nor wind, at all I fear.
     My limbs I do not favour,
If summer's heat, my beauty stain,
     It makes me ne'er the sicker,
Sith I can wash it off again
     With a cup of Christmas liquor.


At Christmas time in mirth and glee
     I dance with young men neatly,
And who in the city like to me,
     Shall surely taste completely,
No sport, but pride and luxury
     In the city can be found then,
But bounteous hospitality
     In the country doth abound then.

In the spring my labour yields delight,
     To walk in the merry morning,
When Flora is (to please my sight)
     The ground with flowers adorning
With merry lads to make the hay
     I go, and do not grumble,
My work doth seem to be but play,
     When with young men I tumble.

The lark and thrush from briar to bush
     Do leap, and skip and sing — a,
And all this then to welcome in
     The long and look'd for spring — a;
We fear not Cupid's arrows keen,
     Dame Venus we defy — a,
Diana is our honour'd Queen,
     And her we magnify — a.

That which your city damsels scorn,
     We hold our chiefest jewel,
Without, to work at hay and corn,
     Within, to bake and brew well,
To keep the dairy decently,
     And all things clean and neatly,
Your city minions do defy,
     Their scorn we weigh not greatly.

When we together a milking go
     With pails upon our heads — a,
And walking over woods and fields,
     Where grass and flowers spread — a,
In honest pleasure we delight,
     Which makes our labour sweet,
And mirth exceeds on every side
     When lads and lasses meet.

Then do not scorn a country lass,
     Though she be plain and meanly,
Who takes the country wench to wife,
      (That goeth neat and cleanly)
Is better sped, than if he wed
     A fine one from the city,
For then they are so nicely bred,
     They must not work for pity.

I speak not this to that intent,
      (As some may well conjecture),
As though to wooing I were bent,
     Nor I ne'er learn lover's lectures;
But what I sing is in defence
     Of all plain country lasses,
Whose modest honest innocence
     All city girls surpasses.



I SPIED a nymph trip over the plain,
I lur'd to her, she turned again,
I woo'd her as a young man should do,
But her answer was, Sir, I love not you.

I thought she seem'd in every hart,
So lovely fram'd by Nature's art,
Her beauty soon allured me to woo,
But her answer was, Sir, I love not you.

I told her all the sweet of love,
And whatever her mind might move,
To entertain a lover true,
But her answer was, Sir, I love not you.

I told her how I would her deck,
Her head with gold, with pearls her neck,
She gave a frown, and away she flew,
But her answer was, Sir, I love not you.

Not me (sweet heart) oh tell me why!
Thou should my proffer'd love deny,
To whom my heart I have vow'd so true,
But her answer was, Sir, I love not you.

My sweet, and dearest love, quoth I,
Art thou resolv'd a maid to die,
Of such a mind I know but few,
But her answer was, Sir, I love not you.

This is the pleasant maying time,
This is the pleasant golden prime,
But age will come and make you to rue,
That e're you said, Sir I love not you.

O do not thou my suit disdain,
Nor make me spend my time in vain,
But kindly grant a lover's due,
Yet still she said, Sir, I love not you.

Fair nymph, quoth I, but grant me this,
To enrich my lips with one poor kiss,
I grant you that, which I grant but few,
Yet still she  said, Sir, I love not you.

The young man proffering then to depart,
It griev'd this maiden then to the heart,
For having kist, O then did she rue,
That ere she said, Sir, I love not you.

Wherefore with speed she thought it best,
To stay him by her kind request;
Whose counsels thus hath caus'd her to rue,
That ere she said, Sir, I love not you.

But now at last she did begin
With gentle words to lure him in:
The second part shall plainly shew
She chang'd her note of, I love not you.


Kind Sir, quoth she, what needs this haste,
With that a smile on him she cast,
Shame curb'd her long, but affection drew
These words, I love no man but you.

I feel the force of Cupid's dart,
So deep hath pierc'd my tender heart:
Believe me then, for my words are true,
You will I love, Sir, and none but you.

Do not deny my proffer'd love,
Nor think that I the wanton prove:
Though women seldom use to woo,
Yet I will love, Sir, and none but you.

When women love, they will it hide,
Until their lover they have tried,
Though I say nay, as maidens do,
You will I love, Sir, and none but you.

Here is, quoth she, my heart and hand;
My constant love thou shalt command:
And I do vow to be ever true,
You will I love, Sir, and none but you.

Whilst golden Titan does display,
His beams unto the chearful day,
Whilst spring the winter doth ensue,
You will I love, Sir, and none but you.

On thee my love is fixed fast,
On thee my love is firmly plac'd;
For thee I'll bid the world adieu,
You will I love, Sir, and none but you.

If Hero should Leander leave,
Fair Lucrece Collatine deceive,
Or Syrinx prove to Pan untrue,
Yet I'll love you, Sir, and none but you.

Object no former coy reply,
Suspect no future constancy;
Accept my love as a tribute due
Only to you, Sir, and to none but you.

The young man noting well her words,
This courteous answer then affords;
Give me thy hand, take mine in lieu:
My lave I grant here, and so do you.

To church with speed then let us hie
In marriage bands ourselves to tie,
Where interchanging hands and hearts
I'll love thee dearly till death us parts.

Mark well my song you maiden's coy,
That count true love a foolish toy:
Do not disdain when young men woo,
But love them freely as they love you.

[Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and J. Wright.]

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