Joseph Lilly's "A Collection of Seventy-Nine Black-letter Ballads and Broadsides"

[ This subset of Lilly was transcribed from the 1867 edition by Greg Lindahl -- I'm only transcribing the ballads which I find interesting (e.g. bawdy, but not anti-papist sermons) and have music. All typoes are probably mine, but good luck finding them!

A full facsimile of this book can be found online at A colletcion of seventy-nine black-letter ballads and broadsides, printed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, between the years 1559 and 1597. Accompanied with an introd. and illustrative notes by Lilly, Joseph, 1804-1870 and Daniel, George, 1789-1864 and Huth, Henry, 1815-1878

This page is part of the pre-1600 Ballads project.)


[ Notes from W. B. Olson:

Lilly, p. 214: My mistress sings no other song. With music in Robert Jones, The First Booke of Songes or Ayres, #19, 1600. Broadside version has 5 additional verses. 1600 is probable date of broadside expansion.

Lilly, P. 228: Tune "Earl of Bedford" is "Light o Love" from ballad noted by Simpson.


pages 14-16

A proper new balad in praise of my
Ladie Marques,
whose Death is bewailed to the Tune of New lusty gallant.

Ladies, I thinke you maruell that
I writ no mery report to you
And what is the cause I court it not
So merye as I was wont to dooe;
Alas! I let you vnderstand,
It is no newes for me to show;
The fairest flower of my garland
Was caught from court a great while agoe.

For, vnder the roufe of sweete Saint Paull,
There lyeth my Ladie buryed in claye,
Where I make memory for her soule
With weepinge eyes once euerye daye;
All other sightes I haue forgot,
That euer in court I ioyed to see,
And that is the cause I court it not,
So mery as I was wont to be.

And though that shee be dead and gone,
Whose courting need not be to tolde,
And natures moulde of fleshe and bone,
Whose lyke now liues not to beholde,
Me thinkes I see her walke in blacke,
In euery corner where I goe,
To looke if anie bodie do lacke
A friend to helpe them of theyr woe.

Mee thinkes I see her sorrowfull teares,
To princelye state approaching nye;
Mee thinkes I see her tremblinge feares,
Leste anie her suites shulde hit awrie;
Mee thinkes she shuld be still in place,
A pitifull speaker to a Queene,
Bewailinge every poore mans case,
As many a time shee hath ben seene.

Me thinkes I see her modeste mood,
Her comlie clothing plainlie clad,
Her face so sweete, her cheere so good,
The courtlie countenance that shee had;
But, chefe of all, mee thinkes I see,
Her vertues deutie daie by daie,
Homblie kneeling one her knee,
As her desire was still to praie.

Mee thinkes I cold from morow to night
Do no thing ells with verie good will,
But spend the time to speake and writte
The praise of my good ladies still;
Though reason saith, now she is dead,
Go seeke and sarue as good as she;
It will not sinke so in my head,
That euer the like in courte will bee.

But sure I am, ther liueth yet
In court a dearer frinde to mee,
Whome I to saure am so vnfit,
I am sure the like will neuer bee;
For I with all that I can dooe,
Vnworthie most maie seeme to bee,
To undoo the lachet of her shooe,
Yet will I come to courte and see.

Then haue amongste ye once againe,
Faint harts faire ladies neuer win;
I trust ye will consider my payne,
When any good venison cometh in;
And, gentill ladies, I you praie,
If my abstentinge breede to blame,
In my behalfe that ye will saie,
In court is remedie for the same.

Finis, Qd W. Elderton

Imprinted at London in Fletestreat
Beneath the COnduit, at the signe
of S. John Euangelift, by
Thomas Colwell.

(dated to 1569 by an entry in the Stationer's Register)

pages 24-25

A Newe Ballade of a Louer extollinge
his Ladye.
To the tune of Damon and Pithias.

Alas, my harte doth boyle,
And burne within my breste,
To showe to thee, myne onely deere,
My sute and my request.
My loue no toung can tell,
Ne pen can well descrye;
Extend thy loue for loue againe,
Or els for loue I dye.

My loue is set so suer,
And fixed on thee so,
That by no meanes I can abstaine,
My faythfull loue to showe;
My wounded harte, thierfore,
To thee for helpe doth crye;
Extend thy loue for loue againe,
Or els for loue I dye.

Although the gods were bent,
With greedie mynde to slaye,
My corpes with cruell panges of death,
And lyfe to take awaye.
Yet should my faythfull harte
At no tyme from thee flye;
Show loue therfore for loue againe,
Or els for loue I dye.

Although the sun were bent
To burne me with his beames;
And that mine eyes, throw greous pangs,
Should send forth bloudy streames;
Yet would I not forsake,
Byt styll to thee woulde crye,
To showe me loue for loue again,
Or els for loue I dye.

Ye through ech sterre were tournd
Untyll a fiery darte,
And were all ready bent with payne,
To perce throwe-out my harte;
Yet coulde I not forsake
To loue thee faythfullye;
Extend thy loue for loue againe,
Or els for loue I dye.

Ye through eche foule were formde,
A serpent fell to be,
My corps to slay with bloudy wounds,
And to deouwer me;
Yet would I be thine owne,
To loue full hartelye;
Extend thy loue for loue again,
Or els for loue I dye.

Ye through the lyon were,
With gapinge gredye jawe,
Readye with rygorus raggye teeth,
My fleshe to teare and gnawe;
Yet would I be thine owne,
To serue most earnestlye;
Extend thy loue for loue againe,
Or els for loue I dye.

Ye through the fishes all,
That swymes in surginge sease,
Should swallowe me with gredy mouth,
Yet could thee not apease.
My earnest harte to thee,
To loue entyerlye;
Extend thy loue for loue againe,
Or els for loue I dye.

Ye though the earth would gape,
And swallowe me there-in,
And that I should tormentyd be
In hell, with euery sun;
Yet would I be thy owne,
To saue or els to spyll;
Show me therfore lyke loue againe,
Or els thou dost me kyll.

Finis, q M. Ofb.

Imprinted at London, in Fletstrete, at the
signe of the Faucon, by Wylliam
Gryffith, 1568.

pages 60-63

A merry new Song how a Bruer meant to
make a Cooper cuckold, and how deere the Bruer
paid for the bargaine.

To the tune of, In Somer time.

If that you lift, now merry be,
Lend listning eares a while to me,
To heare a song of a Bruer bold,
That meant a Cooper to cuckold.

The Cooper walked downe the streete,
And with the Bruer chanc'd to meete:
He called,-- Worke for a Cooper, dame;
The Bruer was glad to heare the same.

Cooper, quoth the Bruer, come hether to me,
Perchance I haue some worke for thee:
If that they doings I doe well like,
Thou shalt haue worke for all this weeke.

The Cooper with cap and curtesie low,
Said, ready I am my tunning to show;
To doe your worke, sir, euery deale.
I doe not doubt to doe it well.

Then, quoth this lustie Bruer tho,
If thou my worke doest meane to doe,
Come to me to morrow before it be day,
To hoope vp these old tubs out of the way.

And so to make vp my merry rime,
The Cooper the next day rose betime;
To the Bruers gate he tooke his race,
And knocked there a great pace.

The Bruer leapt from his bed to the flore,
And to the Cooper he opned the dore;
He shewed him his worke without delay;
To the Coopers wife then he tooke the way.

The Cooper he called at mind at last,
His hatchet he had left at home for hast:
And home for his hatchet he must goe,
Before he could worke; the cause it was so.

But when he came his house somwhat nere,
His wife by fortune did him heare:
Alas! said she, what shift shall we make?
My husband is come,-- you will be take!

O Lord! sayd the Bruer, what shall I doe?
How shall I hide me? where shall I goe?
Said shee,-- if you will not be espide,
Creepe vnder this fat yourselfe to hide.

The Bruer he crept vnder the same,
And blundering in the Cooper came:
About the shop his tubs he cast,
To finde out his hatchet all in hast.

Then his curst wife began to prate,--
If thou let out my pig, ile breake thy pate!
A pig, said the Cooper, I know of none;
If thou hadst not spoke, the pig had bin gone.

If it be a sow-pig, said the Cooper,
Let me haue him rosted for my supper:
It is a bore-pig, man, said she,
For my owne dyet, and not for thee.

It is hard if a woman cannot haue a bit,
But straightway her husband must know of it.
A bore-pig, said the Cooper, so me thinks;
He is so ramish,-- fie, how he stinkes!

Well, sayd the Cooper, so I might thriue,
I would he were in thy belly aliue.
I thanke you for your wish, good man;
It may chance it shall be there anon.

The Bruer that vnder the fat did lye,
Like a pig did assay to grunt and crie:
But, alas! his voice was nothing small;
He cryed so big that he mard all.

Wife, said the Cooper, this is no pig,
But an old hog, he grunteth so big!
He lift vp the fat then by and by;
There lay the Bruer like a bore in a stie.

Wife, said the Cooper, thou wilt lie like a dog!
This is no pig, but a very old hog:
I sweare, quoth the Cooper, I doe not like him;
Ile knock him on the head ere ile keepe him.

O Lord! said the Bruer, serue me not so;
Hold thy hand, Cooper, and let me goe,
And I will giue thee both ale and beere,
To find thy house this sixe or seauen yeare.

I will none of thy ale nor yet of thy beere,
For feeare I be poisoned wiin seauen yeere!
Why, sayd the Bruer, if thou mistrust,
Hold here the keyes of my best chest;

And there is gold and siluer store,
Will serue thee so long and somewhat more:
If there be store, quoth the Cooper, I say,
I will not come emptie-handed away.

The Cooper went and filled his hat;
The Bruer shall pay for vsing my fat!
The hooping of twentie tubs euery day,
And not gaind me so much as I doe this way.

When he came againe his house within,--
Packe away, quod he, Bruer, with your broken shin;
And vnder my fat creepe no more,
Except you make wiser bargaines before.

pages 105-111

A merie newe Ballad intituled, the Pinnyng
of the Basket: and it is to bee songe to the tune of
the doune right Squire.

Twas my hap of late to heare
A pretie ieste,
The which by me, as may appeare,
Is here expreste,--
With tantara, tantara, tantara,--
For this belonges thereto;
With bitter broyles, and bickeryng blose,
And strife, with muche adoe.

Marke then, for now this maruell strange
I will declare:
A joigner sent his man to change
Money for ware,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Unto the toune he gose,
And hasted to the chandlers shop,
His money to dispose.

But see the chaunce, the chandler drie
Was gone to drinke,
Or els, poore soule, to plaie thereby
At sice and sincke,--
Tantara, tara, tantara,--
Whereat his wife did chase,
And out she went then, in a rage,
To seeke her good man, Rafe.

She ranged forthe, and could not reste
Vpon the molde,
When she hym founde, the bedlam beaste
Beganne to scolde,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Quoth she,-- Vnthriftie knaue,
If thou be at the good ale tappe,
Thou hast that thou wouldest haue!

This quiet man acquainted was
With her rough talke,
And paciently doeth with her passe,
And homeward walke,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
At home she found hym plaie,
Till he had serued his customer,--
And then beganne the fraie.

For hauyng doen,-- Hold here, quoth he,
The basket, dame;
Goe, gossip, giue it hym, and see,
You pinne the same--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Now doeth the sporte beginne;
Knowe thou, quoth she, sir knaue, that I
The basket will not pinne!

Her housebande, sore insenste, die sweare
By stockes and stones,
She should, or els he would prepare
To baste her bones,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Quoth he, Ile tame your tongue,
And make you pinne the basket to,
Doubt not, ere it be long.

Then with a bastian that stoode by,
Whiche he did smell,
At her he freely did let flie,
And bumbde her well,--
Tantara, tara, tantara,--
Vnguentum Bakaline
Did make this houswife quickly pinne
The basket passyng fine.

This pastyme pleased well the page,
That all this while
Sat on his horse, and sawe this rage
And bitter broyle,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
The good wife doeth retire,
And swears she will no more deny
Her housebandes iust desire.

The basket pinde, the page departes,
When all is paied;
He spurres his cutte, the jade startes,
He was so fraied,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
In haste he homeward rides,
Yet when he comes, for tariyng long,
His maister chafes and chides.

His mistres too, as one halfe madde,
Beganne to raue;
Because too long he taried had,
She calde hym knaue,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
He spake his mistres faire,
And tolde her she should knowe the cause
Of his long tariyng there.

Then boldly he began his tale,
And tolde them all,
Betwixt these two, how Beaudly Ale
Had bred a braull,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Quoth he, the chandlers wife
Would not intreated by to pinnne
The basket for her life,

Till he to beate her did beginne,
With bounsyng bloose,--
Then quickly she in poste to pinne
The basket goose,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
The joigner ioyes at this,
But sure his wife, to heare this tale,
Was quite bereft of blisse.

The joigners wife . . . . . . ame,
Whose gallant grace
Was chaunged, now beganne to frame
A frounyng face,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Quoth she, -- For all his bloose,
The knaue the basket should haue pinde
Hymself, spight of his nose!

Here then her housebande did beginne,--
Quoth he,-- If I
should bid you, wife, the basket pinne,
Would you deny?--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
To hym she plainly tolde
That she the basket would not pinne,
Thereof he might be so bolde!

Then thei herof for to conferre
Doe haste to bedde,
And here you see a seconde iarre
The basket bredde,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
The thirde doeth now beginne,--
The sillie page, to get some meate,
In haste doeth hye hym in.

No whit amazde, vnto the maide
He straight doeth goe,
The queane of hym no more afraide,
Beganne to crowe,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Caulyng hym kanue and sot,
And vsed hym, that, in the ende,
A broken head he got.

Henceforthe take heede of makyng strife,
Thou knaue, quoth she,
Betwixt thy maister and his wife,
Where loue should be,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
With greef her wordes he heares;
But yet it grieued hym more to feele
The blood about his eares.

Yet vp he slept full stoutly then,
And bomde me Jone;
That she lent he so paide againe,
He made her grone,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
And getts his supper too,
And made her sitte and eate with hym,
Although with muche adoe.

His maister on the morowe nexte
Of this was glad;
His mistres was herewiith so vexte,
It made her mad,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
This happe brynges ioye and care,
For now the joigners wife to pinne
The basket must prepare.

Her housebande by his mans good happe
Doeth hope to winne,
And makes her now, spite of her cappe,
The basket pinne,--
Again he doeth replie;
Will you the basket pinne or no?
She stoutly doeth denie.

Then with a bedstaffe he to baste
Her doeth beginne:
Yet would she not, for all his haste,
The basket pinne;--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
This combate beyng doen,
Unto a Justice house hard by,
In haste this dame doeth runne.

And to this ioylly Justice wife
Discoueryng all,
Betwixt her spouse and her what strife
Did late befall,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Whom she would faine haue bounde
Unto the peace, if by the happe
There might such meanes be founde.

Of this her frende the francke consent
She sone had wone,
To doe for her incontienent
What might be doen,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
This Justice wife now gose,
Her gossipps sute in haste vnto
Her housebande to disclose.

Her housebande, hearyng by this tale
How all thynges stood,
In mynde he at this ieste so stale
Did laugh a-good;
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
A little more adoe,
This Justice would have taught his wife
To pinne the basket too.

Now all good wiues, beware by this
Your names to blot;
The basket pinne with quietnesse,
Denie it not,--
Tantara, tara, tantara;--
Be counsailed by your frende;
And of this baskettes pinnyng now
Enough, and so an ende.

Finis, quod T. Rider.

Imprinted at London, for Henrie Kirkham,
and are to be sold at his shop, at the little North
doore of Paules, at the signe of the Blacke Boye.

pages 113-117

A very proper Dittie:
To the tune of Lightie Loue.

Leaue lightie loue, Ladies, for feare of yll name,
And true loue embrace ye, to purchace your Fame.

By force I am fixed my fancie to write,
Ingratitude willeth mee not to refraine:
Then blame me not, Ladies, although I indite
What lighty loue now amongst you doth raigne.
Your traces in places, without outward allurements,
Doth mooue my endeauour to be the more playne:
Your nicyngs and ticings, with sundrie procurementes,
To publish your lightie loue doth mee constrayne.

Deceite is not daintie, it coms at eche dish,
Fraude goes a fishyng with frendly lookes;
Throughe friendship is spoyled the seely poore fish,
That hoouer and shouer vpon your false hookes;
With baight you lay waight, to catch here and there,
Whiche causeth poore fishes their freedome to lose:
Then loute ye and floute ye, wherby doth appere
Your lighty loue, Ladies, styll cloaked with glose.

With DIAN so chaste you seeme to compare,
When HELLENS you bee, and hang on her trayne:
Mee thinkes faithfull Thisbies be now very rare,
Not one CLEOPATRA, I doubt, doth remayne;
You wincke and you twincke, tyll Cupid haue caught,
And forceth through flames your louers to sue:
Your lyghtie loue, Ladies, too deere they haue bought,
When nothyng wyll mooue you their causes to rue.

I speake not for spite, ne do i disdayne
Your beautie, fayre ladies, in any respect:
But ones ingratitude doth mee constrayne,
As childe hurt with fire, the same to neglect;
For proouing in louyng, I finde by good triall,
When beautie had brought mee vnto her becke,
She staying, not waying, but made a deniall,
And, shewyng her lightie loue, gaue mee the checke.

Thus fraude for frendship did lodge in her brest;
Suche are most women, that, when they espie
Their louers inflamed with sorowes opprest,
They stande then with Cupid against their replie;
They taunte, and they vaunte; they smile when they vew
How Cupid had caught them vnder his trayne;
But warned, discerned the proofe is most true
That lightie loue, Ladies, amongst you doth reigne.

It seemes, by your doynges, that Cressed doth scoole ye, --
Penelopeys vertues are cleane out of thought:
Mee thinkes, by your constantnesse, Heleyne doth rule ye,
Which both Greece and Troy to ruyne hath brought.
No doubt, to tell out your manyfolde driftes,
Would shew you as constant as is the sea sande:
To trust so vniust, that all is but shieftes,
With lightie loue bearyng your louers in hande

If ARGVS were lyuyng, whose eyes were in nomber
The peacockes plume painted, as writers replie,
Yet women by wiles full sore would him cumber,
For all his quicke eyes, their driftes to espie;
Suche feates, with disceates, they dayly frequent,
To conquere mennes mindes, their humours to feede,
That boldly I may geue arbittrement,
Of this your lightie loue, ladies, indeede.

Yet men that are subiect to Cupid his strooke,
And therin seemeth to haue your delight,
Thinke, when you see baight, theres hidden a hooke,
Whiche sure wyll bane you, if that you do bight:
Suche wiles and suche guiles by women are wrought,
That halfe their mischefes men cannot preuent;
When they are most pleasant vnto your thought,
Then nothyng but lightie loue is their intent.

Consider that poyson doth lurke oftentyme
In shape of sugre, to put some to payne,
And fayre wordes paynted, as dames can define,
The old prouerbe saith, doth make some fooles faine!
Be wise and precise, take warning by mee;
Trust not the crocodile, least you do rue;
To womens faire wordes do neuer agree,
For all is but lightie loue, this is most true.

ANEXES so daintie example may bee,
Whose lightie loue caused yong IPHIS his woe;
His true loue was tryed by death, as you see,
Her lightie loue forced the knight therunto;
For shame then refrayne, you ladies, therfore,
The cloudes they doo vanish, and light doth appeare;
You cannot dissemble, nor hide it no more,
Your loue is but lightie loue, this is most cleare.

For Troylus tried the same ouer well,
In louyng his ladie, as Fame doth reporte;
And likewise Menander, as stories doth tell,
Who swam the salt seas to his loue to resorte,
So true, that I rue such louers should lose
Their labour in seekyng their ladies vnkinde,
Whose loue thei did prooue, as the prouerbe now goes, --
Euen very lightie loue lodgde in their minde.

I touche no suche ladies as true loue imbrace,
But suche as to lightie loue dayly applie;
And none wyll be grieued, in this kinde of case,
Saue suche as are minded true loue to denie;
Yet frendly and kindly I shew you my minde;
Fayre ladies, I wish you to vse it no more;
But say what you list, thus I haue definde,
That lightie loue, ladies, you ought to abhore.

To trust womens wordes in any respect
The danger by mee right well it is seene,
And loue and his lawes who would not neglect,
The tryall wherof most peryllous beene?
Pretendyng the endyng if I haue offended,
I craue of you, ladies, an answere againe;
Amende, and whats said shall soone be amended,
If case that your lightie loue no longer do rayne.

Finis. By Leonarde Gybson.

Imprinted at London, in the vpper end of
the Fleetlane, by Richard Jhones; and are to be
solde at his shope, ioyning to the South-weste
Dore of Saint Paules church.

(dated to 1570 by a stationer's register entry)

pages 221-223

A newe Ballade intytuled, Good Fellowes
must go learne to daunce.

Good fellowes must go learne to daunce,
Thy brydeall is full nere a;
There is a brall come out of Fraunce,
The tryxt ye harde this yeare a;
For I must leape, and thou must hoppe,
And we must turne all three a;
The fourth must bounce it lyke a toppe,
And so we shall agree a;
I praye thee, mynstrell, make no stoppe,
For we wyll merye be a.

The brydegrome would giue twentie pounde
The mariage daye were paste a;
Ye knowe, whyles louers are vnbounde,
The knotte is slyper faste a; --
A better man maye come in place,
And take the bryde awaye a;
God send our Wilkin better grace,
Our pretie Tom, doth saye a, --
God vycar, axe the banes apace,
And haste the mariage daye a.

A bande of belles, in bauderycke wyse,
Woude decke vs in our kynde a;
A shurte after the Moryce guyse,
To flounce it in the wynde a.
A wyffler for to make the waye,
And Maye brought in withall a,
Is brauer then the sunne, I saye,
And passeth round or brall a;
For we will trype so tricke and gaye,
That we wyll passe them all a.

Drawe to dauncinge, neyghboures all,
Good fellowshyppe is best a,
It skylles not yf we take a fall,
In honoringe this feste a.
The bryde wyll thanke vs for oure glee,
The worlde wyll vs beholde a;
O where shall all this dauncinge bee,
In Kent or at Cotsolde a?
Oure Lorde doth knowe, then axe not mee, --
And so my tale is tolde a.

[ XXX second part (Adewe, Sweete Harte.) not transcribed ]

Imprinted at London, in Fletestrete, at
the signe of the Faucon, by Wylliam
Gryffith, and are to be solde at his
shoppe in S. Dunstones Chyrchyearde.

pages 251-255

A Ditty delightfull of mother Watkins ale,
A warning wel wayed, though counted a tale.

There was a maid this other day,
And she would needs go forth to play;
And as she walked she sithd and said,
I am afraid to die a mayd.
With that, behard a lad,
What talke this maiden had,
Whereof he was full glad,
And did not spare
To say, faire mayd, I pray,
Whether goe you to play?
Good sir, then did she say,
What do you care?
For I will, without faile,
Mayden, giue you Watkins ale;
Watkins ale, good sir, quoth she,
What is that I pray you tel me?
Tis sweeter farre then suger fine,
And pleasanter than muskadine;

And if you please, faire mayd, to stay
A little while, with me to play,
I will giue you the same,
Watkins ale cald by name,--
Or els I were to blame,
In truth, faire mayd.
Good sir, quoth she againe,
Yf you will take the paine,
I will it not refraine,
Nor be dismayd.
He took this mayden then aside,
And led her where she was not spyde,
And told her many a prety tale,
And gaue her well of Watkins ale.

Good sir, quoth she, in smiling sort,
What doe you call this prety sport?
Or what is this you do to me?
Tis called Watkins ale, quoth he,
Wherein, faire mayd, you may
Report another day,
When you go forth to play,
How you did speed.
Indeed, good sir, quoth she,
It is a prety glee,
And well it pleaseth me,
No doubt indeed.
Thus they sported and they playd,
This yong man and this prety mayd,
Vnder a banke whereas they lay,
Not long agoe this other day.

When he had done to her his will,
They talkt, but what it shall not skill;
At last, quoth she, sauing your tale,
Giue me some more of Watkins ale,
Or else I will not stay,
For I must needs away,--
My mother bad me play,--
The time is past;
Therfore, good sir, quoth she,
If you haue done with me.
Nay, soft, faire maid, quoth he,
Againe at last
Let vs talke a little while.
With that the mayd began to smile,
And saide, good sir, full well I know,
Your ale, I see, runs very low.

This yong man then, being so blamd,
Did blush as one being ashamde;
He tooke her by the midle small,
And gaue her more of Watkins ale;
And saide, faire maid, I pray,
When you goe forth to play,
Remember what I say,
Walke not alone.
Good sir, quoth she againe,
I thanke you for your paine,
For feare of further staine,
I will be gone.
Farewell, mayden, then quoth he;
Adue, good sir, againe quoth she.
Thus they parted at last,
Till thrice three months were gone and past.

This mayden then fell very sicke,
Her maydenhead began to kicke,
Her colour waxed wan and pale
With taking much of Watkins ale.
I wish all maydens coy,
That heare this prety toy,
Wherein most women ioy,
How they doe sport;
For surely Watkins ale,
And if it not be stale,
Will turne them to some bale,
As hath report.
New ale will make their bellies bowne,
As trial by this same is knowne;
This prouerbe hath bin taught in schools,--
It is no iesting with edge tooles.

Thrise scarcely changed hath the moon,
Since first this pretty tricke was done,
Which being harde of one by chance,
He made thereof a country dance;
And, as I heard the tale,
He cald it Watkins ale,
Which neuer will be stale,
I doe beleeue;
This dance is now in prime,
And chiefly vsde this time,
And lately put in rime.
Let no man greeue
To heare this merry iesting tale,
That which is called Watkins ale;
It is not long since it was made,--
The finest flower will soonest fade.

Good maydes and wiues, I pardon craue,
And lack not the which you would haue;
To blush it is a womans grace,
And well becometh a maidens face,
For women will refuse
The thing that they would chuse,
Cause men should them excuse
Of thinking ill;
Cat will after kind,
All winkers are not blind,--
Faire maydes, you know my mind,
Say what you will.
When you drinke ale beware the toast,
For therein lay the danger most.
If any heere offended be,
Then blame the author, blame not me.


Gregory Blount of Isenfir (Greg Lindahl)