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But, dear father, grant me one request,

Three months there with my friends to stay;


That I may go to the wilderness,

There to bewail my virginity;

And let there be,

Said she,

Some two or three

Young maids with me."

So he sent her away,

For to mourn, for to mourn, till her dying day.



A Robyn, Jolly Robyn.

In his Twelfth Night, Shakspeare introduces the Clown, singing part of the two first stanzas of the following song, which has been recovered from an ancient MS. of Dr. Harrington's, at Bath, preserved among the many literary treasures transmitted to the ingenious and worthy possessor by a long line of most respectable ancestors. Of these, only a small part hath been printed in the Nuga Antiquæ, 3 vols. 12mo.; a work which the public impatiently wishes to see continued.

The song is thus given by Shakspeare, act iv. sc. 2, (Malone's edit. iv. 93.)

"Clown. Hey Robin, jolly Robin, [singing.] Tell me how thy lady does.

Malvolio. Fool

Clown. My lady is unkind perdy.

Mal. Fool

Clown. Alas, why is she so?

Mal. Fool, I say

Clown. She loves another. Who calls, ha?"

Dr. Farmer has conjectured that the song should begin thus:

"Hey, jolly Robin tell to me

How does thy lady do?

My lady is unkind perdy,
Alas! why is she so?"

But this emendation is now superseded by the proper readings of the old song itself, which is here printed from what appears the most ancient of Dr. Harrington's poetical MSS., and which has, therefore, been marked No. I. (scil. p. 68.) That volume seems to have been written in the reign of King Henry VIII., and as it contains many of the poems of Sir Thomas Wyat, hath had almost all the contents attributed to him by marginal directions, written with an old but later hand, and not always rightly, as, I think, might be made appear by other good authorities. Among the rest, this song is there attributed to Sir Thomas Wyat also; but the discerning reader will probably judge it to belong to a more obsolete writer.

In the old MS. to the third and fifth stanzas is prefixed this title, Responce, and to the fourth and sixth, Le Plaintif: but in the last instance so evidently wrong, that it was thought better to omit these titles, and to mark the changes of the dialogue by inverted commas. In other respects the MS. is strictly followed, except where noted in the margin. Yet the first stanza appears to be defective, and it should seem that a line is wanting, unless the four first words were lengthened in the tune.

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That women's love is but a blast,


And torneth with the wynde."

Suche folkes can take no harme by love,
That can abide their torn;

"But I alas can no way prove
In love, but lake and morne."

But if thou wilt avoyde thy harme,
Lerne this lessen of me,

At others fieres thy selfe to warme,
And let them warme with the.

Ver. 4, shall. MS.

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A Song to the Lute in Wusicke.

THIS Sonnet (which is ascribed to Richard Edwards1 in the "Paradise of Daintie Devises," fo. 31, b.) is by Shak

1 See Wood's Athen, Tanner's Biblioth., and Hawkins' Hist. of Music. Percy. I.


speare made the subject of some pleasant ridicule in his Romeo and Juliet, act iv. sc. 5, where he introduces Peter putting this question to the Musicians:

Peter. "....Why 'Silver Sound?' why 'Musicke with her silver sound?' what say you, Simon Catling?

1st Musician. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound.

Pet. Pretty! what say you, Hugh Rebecke?

2nd Mus. I say, silver sound, because Musicians sound for silver.

Pet. Pretty too! what say you, James Sound-post.

3rd Mus. Faith, I know not what to say.

Pet. ...I will say for you: It is 'Musicke with her silver sound,' because Musicians have no gold for sounding."

Edit. 1793, vol. xiv. p. 529.

This ridicule is not so much levelled at the song itself, (which for the time it was written is not inelegant,) as at those forced and unnatural explanations often given by us painful editors and expositors of ancient authors.

This copy is printed from an old quarto MS. in the Cotton Library, [Vesp. A. 25,] entitled "Divers things of Hen. viij's time:" with some corrections from The Paralise of Dainty Devises, 1596.

WHERE gripinge grefes the hart would wounde,
And dolefulle dumps the mynde oppresse,

There musicke with her silver-sound

With spede is wont to send redresse:

Of trobled mynds, in every sore,
Swete musicke hath a salve in store.

In joye yt maks our mirthe abounde,
In woe yt cheres our hevy sprites;
Be-strawghted heads relyef hath founde,
By musickes pleasaunt swete delightes:
Our senses all, what shall I say more?
Are subjecte unto musicks lore.

The Gods by musicke have theire prayse;

The lyfe, the soul therein doth joye:



For, as the Romayne poet sayes,

In seas, whom pyrats would destroy,
A dolphin saved from death most sharpe
Arion playing on his harpe.

O heavenly gyft, that rules the mynd,
Even as the sterne dothe rule the shippe!

O musicke, whom the gods assinde

To comforte manne, whom cares would nippe!
Since thow both man and beste doest move,
What beste ys he, wyll the disprove?

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King Cophetua and the Beggar-Waid,

Is a story often alluded to by our old dramatic writers. Shakspeare in his Romeo and Juliet, act ii. sc. 1, makes Mercutio say,

"Her [Venus's] purblind son and heir, Young Adam1 Cupid, he that shot so true, When King Cophetua loved the beggar-maid."

As the 13th line of the following ballad seems here particularly alluded to, it is not improbable but Shakspeare' wrote it shot so trim, which the players or printers, not perceiving the allusion, might alter to true. The former, as being the more humorous expression, seems most likely to have come from the mouth of Mercutio 2.

In the 2d Part of Hen. IV. act. v. sc. 3, Falstaff is introduced affectedly saying to Pistoll,

"O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news?
Let king Cophetua know the truth thereof."

These lines Dr. Warburton thinks were taken from an old bombast play of King Cophetua. No such play is, I believe,

1 See above, preface to Song i. Book ii. of this vol. p. 158, 159. 2 Since this conjecture was first made, it has been discovered that shot so trim was the genuine reading. See Shakspeare, edit. 1793, xiv. 393.

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