Sidor som bilder

utter oblivion by a lady, who wrote it down from memory as she had formerly heard it sung by her father. I am indebted for it to the friendship of Mr. Steevens.

It has been said, that the original Ballad, in black-letter, is among Anthony à Wood's Collections in the Ashmolean Museum. But, upon application lately made, the volume which contained this Song was missing, so that it can only now be given as in the former Edition.

The Banter of Hamlet is as follows:

"Hamlet. "O Jeptha, Judge of Israel,' what a treasure hadst thou ?

Polonius. What a treasure had he, my Lord?

Ham. Why, 'One faire daughter, and no more, the which he loved passing well.'

Polon. Still on my daughter.

Ham. Am not I i' th' right, old Jeptha?

Polon. If you call me Jeptha, my Lord, I have a daughter, that I love passing well.

Ham. Nay, that follows not.

Polon. What follows then, my Lord?

Ham. Why, 'As by lot, God wot:' and then you know, 'It came to passe, As most like it was.' The first row of the pious chanson will shew you more.”—Act ii. sc. 2.

[A more perfect copy of this ballad was reprinted by Evans in his Collection of Old Ballads from a black-letter broadside, and is included by Child in his Collection of English and Scottish Ballads (vol. viii. p. 198).

The wording is rather different in the two versions, and Evans's has two additional stanzas. It does not appear that anything is left out at line 18 of Percy's version, but in place of the stars at line 41 Evans's copy reads―

66 A sacrifice to God on high;
My promise must be finished."]

AVE you not heard these many years ago
Jeptha was judge of Israel?

He had one only daughter and no mo,
The which he loved passing well:

And, as by lott,
God wot,

It so came to pass,
As Gods will was,

That great wars there should be,
And none should be chosen chief but he

And when he was appointed judge,
And chieftain of the company,
A solemn vow to God he made;
If he returned with victory,
At his return
To burn

The first live thing,


That should meet with him then,
Off his house, when he should return agen.

It came to pass, the wars was oer,
And he returned with victory;
His dear and only daughter first of all
Came to meet her father foremostly :
And all the way
She did play

On tabret and pipe,
Full many a stripe,

With note so high,

For joy that her father is come so nigh.

But when he saw his daughter dear
Coming on most foremostly,
He wrung his hands, and tore his hair,
And cryed out most piteously;

Oh! it's thou, said he,
That have brought me

And troubled me so,
That I know not what to do.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

For I have made a vow, he sed,
The which must be replenished:




"What thou hast spoke
Do not revoke :

What thou hast said,
Be not affraid;

Altho' it be I;

Keep promises to God on high.

Some two or three

Young maids with me."


But, dear father, grant me one request,

That I may go to the wilderness,

Three months there with my friends to stay; 50
There to bewail my virginity;

And let there be,
Said she,


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

Malvolio. Fool


So he sent her away,

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



N his Twelfth Night, Shakespeare introduces the clown. singing part of the two first stanzas of the following Song; which has been recovered from an antient 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 Nugæ Antiquæ, 3 vols. 12mo; a work which the publick impatiently wishes to see continued.

The song is thus given by Shakespeare, act iv. sc. 2:—

Clown. 'My lady is unkind, perdy.'

Malvolio. Fool

Clown. Alas, why is she so?'

Malvolio. Fool, I say


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

[ocr errors]

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 ingenious 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 3rd and 5th stanzas is prefixed this title, Responce, and to the 4th and 6th, 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.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed]

'She loveth an other. better than me;
And yet she will say
I fynde no such doublenes:
I fynde women true.
My lady loveth me dowtles,
And will change for no newe.

'Thou art happy while that doeth last;
But I say, as I fynde,

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.1
'But I alas can no way prove
In love but lake and morn.'

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.






HIS sonnet (which is ascribed to Richard Edwards,* in the Paradise of Daintie Devises, fo. 31, b.) is by Shakespeare 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?

1. Mus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound.

Concerning him see Wood's Athen. Oxon. and Tanner's Bib lioth. also Sir John Hawkins's Hist. of Music, &c.

[1 turn.]

« FöregåendeFortsätt »