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But now it is not worth a groate ;

I have had itt four-and-forty yeare.
Sometime it was of cloth in graine,

'Tis now but a sigh clout as you may see,
It will neither hold nor winde nor raine-

And He have a new cloake about mee.

She. It is four-and-forty yeeres agoe

Since the one of us the other did ken,
And we have had betwixt us towe

Of children either nine or ten;
We have brought them up to women and men,

In the fere of God I trowe they bee,
And why wilt thou thyself misken-

Man, take thy old cloake about thee.

He. O Bell, my wiffe, why dost thou floute,

Now is now, and then was then;
Seeke now all the world throughout,

Thou kenst not clownes from gentlemen,
They are cladd in blacke, greene, yellowe, or gray,

Soe far above their owne degree-
Once in my life Ile do as they,

For Ile have a new cloake about mee.

She. King Stephen was a worthy peere,

His breeches cost him but a crowne,
He held them sixpence all too deere,

Therefore he call'd the tailor loon.
He was a wight of high renowne,

And thouse but of a low degree-
Its pride that putts this countrye downe

Man, take thy old cloake about thee.

He. Bell, my wife, she loves not strife,

Yet she will lead me if she can;
And oft to live a quiet life

I'm forced to yield though I bee good-man.
Itt's not for a man with a woman to threepe,

Unless he first give o'er the plea ;
As we began sae will wee leave-
And Ile take my old cloake about mee.

Anonymous_16th century. THE COUNTRY LASSE.


Although I am a country lass,

A lofty mind I bear-a,
I think myself as good as those

That gay apparel wear-a.
My coat is made of homely gray,

Yet is my skin as soft-a
As those that with the chiefest wines

Do bathe their bodies oft-a.
Down, down, derry, derry down;

Heigh, downa, downa, downa ;
A derry, derry, derry, derry down,

Heigh down a derry !

What though I keep my father's sheep

A thing that must be 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 i' the country, They are so proud, that each one strives

For to out-brave our gentry. We country lasses lowly be,

For seat nor wall we strive not ; We are content with our degree-

Our debtors we despise 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 lasse as pretty
As those that every day devise

New shapes in court or city.

In every season of the year

I undergo my labor ;
No shower nor wind at all I fear,

My limbs I do not favor.
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.

From a Vlack-letter copy in the Assigns of Symcocke.

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Piping merrily.
Now they mow; each maiden,
Soon with sheaves is laden,

Busy as a bee !

Now the blisses,

Now the kisses
Now the wit doth flow
Till the beer is out;
Then with song and shout,

Hence they go, yo ho!
Translation of C. T. Brooks.

LUDWIG HOLTY, 1748-1776.



I ne'er on the border

Saw girl fair as Rosa,
The charming milk-maiden

Of sweet Finojosa.

Once making a journey

To Santa Maria
Of Calataveño,

From weary desire
Of sleep, down a valley

I strayed, where young Rosa
I saw, the milk-maiden

Of lone Finojosa.

In a pleasant green meadow,

'Midst roses and grasses,
Her herd she was tending,

With other fair lasses ;
So lovely her aspect,

I could not suppose her
A simple milk-maiden

Of rude Finojosa.

I think not primroses

Have half her smile's sweetness,
Or mild, molest beauty;

I speak with discreetness.

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