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Muche people prayed for Cloudeslè,
That his lyfe saved myght be,
And whan he made hym redy to shote,
There was many weeping ee.


'But' Cloudeslè clefte the apple in two,
His sonne he did not nee.' 1
Over Gods forbode, sayde the kinge,
That thou shold shote at me.


thee eightene pence a day,
And my bowe shalt thou bere,
And over all the north countrè
I make the chyfe rydère."

And I thyrtene pence a day, said the quene, 265
By God, and by my fay;


Come feche thy payment when thou wylt,
No man shall say the nay.

Your sonne, for he is tendre of age,
Of my wyne-seller he shall be;
And when he commeth to mans estate,
Better avaunced shall he be.

Wyllyam, I make the a gentleman
Of clothyng, and of fe:

And thy two brethren, yemen of my chambre,
For they are so semely to se.

And, Wyllyam,bring me your wife, said the
Me longeth her sore to se:
She shall be my chefe gentlewoman,
To governe my nurserye.


yemen thanked them all curteously. To some byshop wyl we wend,








Ver. 265. And I geve the xvij pence, PC. V. 282. And sayd to some Bishopp wee will wend, MS.

$ faith.]

[1 nigh.


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Of all the synnes, that we have done,
To be assoyld1 at his hand.

So forth be gone these good yemen,
As fast as they might 'he *'
And after came and dwelled with the kynge,
And dyed good men all thre.

Thus endeth the lives of these good yemen;
God send them eternall blysse;
And all, that with a hand-bowe shoteth :
That of heven may never mysse.







HE Grave-digger's song in Hamlet, act v. is taken from three stanzas of the following poem, though greatly altered and disguised, as the same were corrupted by the ballad-singers of Shakespeare's time; or perhaps so designed by the poet himself, the better to suit the character of an illiterate clown. The original is preserved among Surrey's Poems, and is attributed to Lord Vaux, by George Gascoigne, who tells us, it "was thought by some to be made upon his death-bed;" a popular error which he laughs at. (See his Epist. to Yong Gent. prefixed to his Posies, 1575, 4to.) It is also ascribed to Lord Vaux in a manuscript copy preserved in the British Museum.† This Lord

* he, i.e. hie, hasten.

† Harl. MSS. num. 1703, § 25. [Called in that MS. "The Image of Death." There is another copy in the Ashmolean Library (MS. Ashm. No. 48.)] The readings gathered from that copy are distinguished here by inverted commas. The text is printed from the "Songs, &c. of the Earl of Surrey and others, 1557, 4to.”

[1 absolved.]

was remarkable for his skill in drawing feigned manners, &c. for so I understand an ancient writer. "The Lord Vaux his commendation lyeth chiefly in the facilitie of his meetre, and the aptnesse of his descriptions such as he taketh upon him to make, namely in sundry of his Songs, wherein he showeth the counterfait action very lively and pleasantly." Arte of Eng. Poesie, 1589, p. 51. See another Song by this Poet in vol. ii. No. viii.

[Thomas second Lord Vaux, the author of this poem, was born in the year 1510. He wrote several small pieces of the same character which evince taste and feeling, and his contributions to the Paradise of Dainty Devices exceed in number those of Richard Edwards himself, whose name appears upon the original title-page as the chief author. Lord Vaux was a courtier as well as a poet, and was one of the splendid retinue which attended Wolsey in his embassy, in the 19th Henry VIII., 1527, to the Court of France to negotiate a peace. He took his seat in the House of Lords in the 22nd Henry VIII., and two years afterwards, 1532, waited on the king to Calais and thence to Boulogne. He was rewarded with the Order of the Bath at the Coronation of Anne Boleyn, and was also appointed Captain of the Island of Jersey, which office he surrendered in the 28th Henry VIII.]

LOTH that I did love,

In youth that I thought swete,
As time requires: for my behove'
Me thinkes they are not mete.*

My lustes they do me leave,
My fansies all are fled;

And tract of time begins to weave
Gray heares upon my hed.

For Age with steling steps,

Hath clawde me with his crowch,



Ver. 6. be, PC. (printed copy in 1557) V. 10. Crouch perhaps should be clouch, clutch, grasp.

[1 behoof.

2 meet or fit.

⚫ crutch.]

And lusty Youthe' awaye he leapes,
As there had bene none such.

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My muse doth not delight
Me, as she did before :
My hand and pen are not in plight,
As they have bene of yore.

For Reason me denies,
'All' youthly idle rime;
And day by day to me she cries,
Leave off these toyes
in tyme.

The wrinkles in my brow,
The furrowes in my face
Say, Limping age will 'lodge' him now,
Where youth must geve him place.

The harbenger of death,

To me I se him ride,

The cough, the cold, the gasping breath,
Doth bid me to provide

A pikeax and a spade,

And eke a shrowding shete,
A house of clay for to be made
For such a guest most mete.
Me thinkes I heare the clarke,
That knoles the carefull knell
And bids me leave my 'wearye' warke,
Ere nature me compell.


My kepers* knit the knot,

That youth doth laugh to scorne,

Ver. 11. Life away she, PC. V. 18. This, PC. 1583 'tis hedge in Ed. 1557. hath caught him, MS. ynge-sheete, MS. V. 34. bell, MS. V. 35. wofull, did, PC.

* Alluding perhaps to Eccles. xii. 3






V. 23. So Ed.
V. 30. wynd-
PC. V. 38.

Of me that'shall bee cleane' forgot,
As I had 'ne'er' bene borne.

Thus must I youth geve up,

Whose badge I long did weare:
To them I yeld the wanton cup,
That better may it beare.

Lo here the bared skull;

By whose balde signe I know, That stouping age away shall pull 'What' youthful yeres did sow.

For Beautie with her band,

These croked cares had wrought,
And shipped me into the land,
From whence I first was brought.

And ye that bide behinde,
Have ye none other trust:
ye of claye were cast by kinde,
So shall ye turne' to dust.







N Shakespeare's Hamlet, act ii. the hero of the play takes occasion to banter Polonius with some scraps of an old Ballad, which has never appeared yet in any collection: for which reason, as it is but short, it will not perhaps be unacceptable to the reader; who will also be diverted with the pleasant absurdities of the composition. It was retrieved from


Ver. 39. clene shal be, PC. V. 40. not, PC. V. 45. bare-hedde, M. and some PCC. V. 48. Which, PC. That, MS. What is ect. V. 56. wast, PC.

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