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To the solid delight of thy well-judging club,
Pursue me with satire: what harm is there in't?
But from all viva voce reflection forbear: 10 There can be no danger from what thou shalt print:
There may be a little from what thou may'st swear.
ON THE SAME PERSON.
IILE, faster than his costive brain in-
His case appears to me like honest Teague's,
"QUID SIT FUTURUM CRAS FUGE
A BALLAD OF
^E it ryght, or wrong, these men among on women do complayne; Affyrmynge this—how that it is a labour spent in vayne To love them wele; for never a dele they love a
man agayne: For late a man do what he can, theyr favour to attayne,
* This ancient poem was originally printed in an old black letter book, intitled, The Customes of London or Arnolde's Chronicle, which Mr. Capell supposes appeared about the year 1521. According to that gentleman's opinion—" It was certainly written in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and not sooner: the curious in these matters, who shall conceive a doubt of what is here asserted through remembrance of what he has seen advanced by a poet of late days, is desired to look into the works of the great Sir Thomas More, and particularly into a poem that stands at the head of them, and from thence receive conviction; if sameness of rhymes, sameness of orthography, and a very near affinity of words and phrases be capable of giving it." The 'poet of late days' mentioned above, is certainly Mr. Prior, who in the edition of his poems published in 1718, had asserted it to have been written three hundred years since. What led him to that mistaken notion, was probably a writer in the Muses' Mercury for June 1707, who conjectures that it was written about the year 1472. The same writer says, and the ballad seems to confirm it, that the persons represented are a young Lord, the Earl of Westmoreland's son, and a lady of equal quality. The copy from Irhich this poem hath hitherto been printed being very inaccurate, it is here given according to that published by Mr. Capell.
Yet, yf a newe do them pursue, theyr fyrst true lover than Laboureth for nought; for from her thought he is a banyshed man.
I say nat, nay, but that all day it is bothe writ and sayd, That womens fayth is, as who sayth, all utterly decayed:But, neverthelesse, ryght good wytnesse in this
case might be layed, That they love true, and continue; recorde the
notbrowne mayde; 10 Which, when her love came, her to prove, to her
to make his mone, Wolde nat depart; for in her hart she loved but
Than betwayne us late us dyscus what was all the manere
Betwayne them two: we wyll also tell all the payne, and fere,
That she was in: nowe I begyn, so that ye me answere;—
Wherefore, all ye, that present be, I pray you give an ere:—
I am the knyght; I come by nyght, as secret asi I can;
Sayinge, Alas, thus standeth the case, I am a banyshed man.
And I your wyll for to fulfyll in this wyll nat refuse;
Trustynge to shewe in wordes fewe, that men have na yll use 20
(To theyr own shame) women to blame, and cause- lesse them accuse:
Therfore to you I answere nowe, all women to excuse,—
Myne owne hart dere, with you what chere? I pray you, tell anone;For, in my mynde, of all mankynde I love but you alone.
It standeth so; a dede is do, whereof grete harme shall growe:My destiny is for to dy a shamefull deth, I trowe; Or elles to fle: the one must be; none other way I knowe, But to withdrawe as an outlawe, and take me to my bowe. Wherfore, adue, my owne hart true! none other rede I can;For I must to the grene wode go, alone, a banyshed man. 30
O Lorde, what is this worldys blysse,that chaungeth
as the mone! The somers day in lusty May is derked before the none.—
1 here you say, farewell; nay, nay, we depart nat
Why say ye so? wheder wyll ye go? alas, what
have ye done? All my welfare to sorrowe and care sholde chaunge,
yf ye were gone; For, in my mynde, of all mankynde I love but you
I can beleve, it shall you greve, and somwhat you dystrayne:But, aftyrwarde, your paynes harde within a day or twayne Shall sone aslake; and ye shall take comfort to you agayne. Why sholde ye ought? for, to make thought, your labour were in vayne. 40
And thus I do; and pray you to, as hartely as I can;For I must to the grene wode go, alone, a banyshed
Now, syth that ye have shewed to me the secret
of your mynde, I shall be playne to you agayne, lyke as ye shall
me fynde:Syth it is so that ye wyll go, I wolle not leve be- hynde; Shall it never be sayd, the Notbrowne mayd was to
her love unkynde: Make you redy; for so am I, although it were anone; For, in my mynde, of all mankynde I love but you