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He. Yf that ye went, ye sholde repent :

For in the forest nowe
I have purvayed me of a mayd,

Whom I love more than you;
Another fayrere, than ever ye were,

I dare it wele avowe;
And of you bothe eche sholde be wrothe

With other, as I trowe:
It were myne ese, to lyve in pese;

So wyll I, yf I can;
Wherfore I to the wode wyll go,

Alone, a banyshed man.

She. Though in the wode I undyrstode

Ye had a paramour, All this may nought remove my thought,

But that I wyll be your : And she shall fynde me soft, and kynde,

And courteys every hour; Glad to fulfyll all that she wyll

Commaunde me to my power : For had ye, lo, an hundred mo,

• Of hem I wolde be one;' For, in my mynde, of all mankynde I love but



He. Myne owne dere love, I se the prove

That ye be kynde, and true;
Of mayde, and wyfe, in all my lyfe,

The best that ever I knewe.
Be mery and glad, be no more sad,

The case is chaunged nowe;
For it were ruthe, that, for your truthe,

Ye sholde have cause to rewe:
Be nat dismayed; whatsoever I sayd

To you, whan I began;
I wyll nat to the grene wode go,

I am no banyshed man.

She. These tydings be more gladd to me,

Than to be made a quene,
Yf I were sure they sholde endure:

But it is often sene,
Whan men wyll breke promyse, they speke

The wordes on the splene.
Ye shape some wyle me to begyle,

And stele from me, I wene:
Than, were the case worse than it was,

And I more wo-begone:
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde

I love but you alone.

He. Ye shall nat nede further to drede;

I wyll nat dysparage
You, (God defend!) syth ye descend

Of so grete a lynage.
Nowe undyrstande; to Westmarlande,

Which is myne herytage,
I wyll you brynge; and with a rynge,

By way of maryage
I wyll you take, and lady make,

As shortely as I can:
Thus have you won an erlys son,

And not a banyshed man.”

Author. “ Here may ye se, that women be

In love, meke, kynde, and stable:
Late never man reprove them than,

Or call them variable;
But rather, pray God, that we may

To them be comfortable;
Which sometyme proveth such, as he loveth,

Yf they be charytable.
For syth men wolde that women sholde

Be meke to them each one;
Moche more ought they to God obey,

And serve but hym alone.

This fine old Ballad is the original of Prior's Henry and Emma, and on that account, though its merit was of a much more questionable kind, intitied to particular noticc. Its author has not even been guessed at, and its date is conjectural. It was revived in “ The Muses” Mercury," for June, 1707, and, by the united judgment of the learned Wanley, and the poet Prior, was concluded to be then above three hundred years old. Later, and perhaps more discerning antiquarians, have supposed its era to be about the end of the 14th or beginning of the 15th century.


Now ponder well, you parents deare,

These wordes, which I shall write;
A doleful story you shall heare,

In time brought forth to light:
A gentleman of good account

In Norfolke dwelt of late,
Who did in honour far surmount

Most men of his estate.

Sore sicke he was, and like to dye,

No helpe his life could save;
His wife by him as sicke did lye,

And both possest one grave.
No love between these two was lost

Each was to other kinde,
In love they liv'd, in love they dyed,

And left two babes behinde;

-The one a fine and pretty boy,

Not passing three yeares olde;
The other a girl more young than he,

And fram'd in beautyes molde.
The father left his little son

As plainly doth appeare,
When he to perfect age should come,

Three hundred poundes a yeare.


And to his little daughter Jane

Five hundred poundes in gold, To be paid downe on marriage-day,

Which might not be controllid: But if the children chanc'd to dye,

Ere they to age should come,
Their uncle should possesse their wealth;

For so the wille did run.
Now, brother, said the dying man,

Look to my children deare;
Be good unto my boy and girl,

No friendes else have they here: To God and you I recommend

My children deare this daye;
But little while be sure we have

Within this world to staye.
You must be father and mother both,

And uncle all in one;
God knowes what will become of them,

When I am dead and gone.
With that bespake their mother deare,

O brother kinde, quoth shee,
You are the man must bring our babes

To wealth or miserie:
And if you keep them carefully,
Then God will


reward; But if you otherwise should deal,

God will your deedes regard. With lippes as cold as any stone,

They kist their children small : God bless you both, my children deare;

With that the teares did fall. These speeches then their brother spake

To this sicke couple there, The keeping of your little ones

Sweet sister, do not feare;

God never prosper me nor mine,

Nor aught else that I have,
If I do wrong your children deare,

When you are layd in grave.
The parents being dead and gone,

The children home he takes,
And bringes them straite unto his house,

Where much of them he makes.
He had not kept these pretty babes

A twelvemonth and a daye,
But, for their wealth, he did devise

To make them both awaye.
He bargain'd with two ruffians strong,

Which were of furious mood,
That they should take these children young,

And slaye them in a wood:
He told his wife an artful tale,

He would the children send
To be brought up in faire London,

With one that was his friend.
Away then went these pretty babes,

Rejoycing at that tide, Rejoycing with a merrye minde,

They should on cock-horse ride.
They prate and prattle pleasantly,

As they rode on the waye,
To those that should their butchers be,

And work their lives decaye.
So that the pretty speeche they had,

Made Murder's heart relent;
And they that undertooke the deed,

Full sore did now repent.
Yet one of them more hard of heart,

Did vowe to do his charge,
Because the wretch that hired him,

Had paid him very large.

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