Page images



This Sonnet is given from a small quarto MS. in the Editor's possession, written in the time of Queen Elizabeth. Another Copy of it, containing some variations, is reprinted in the Muses Library, p. 295, from an ancient miscellany, intitled England's Helicon, 1600, 4to. The author was NICHOLAS BRETON, a writer of some fame in the reign of Elizabeth ; who also published an interlude intitled “ An old man's lesson and a young man's love,” 4to. and many other little pieces in prose and verse, the titles of which may be seen in Winstanley, Ames' Typog. and Osborne's Harl. Catalog. &c. He is mentioned with great respect by Meres, in his 2d part of Wit's Commonwealth, 1598, f. 283, and is alluded to in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scorful Lady, Act 2. and again in Wit without Money, Act 3.-See Whalley's Ben Jonson, vol. III. p. 103.

The present Edition is improved by a copy in “Eng« land's Helicon," edit. 1614. Svo.

In the merrie moneth of Maye,
In a morne by break of daye,
With a troope of damselles playing
Forthe • I yode' forsooth a maying :


When anon by a wood side,
Where as Maye was in his pride,
I esried all alone
Phillida and Corydon.

Ver, 4. the wode, MS.



Much adoe there was, god wot;
He wold love, and she wold not.
She sayde, never man was trewe ;
He sayes, none was false to you.

He sayde, hee had lovde her longe:

love should have no wronge.
Corydon wold kisse her then :
She sayes, maydes must kisse no men,


Tyll they doe for good and all.
When she made the shepperde call
All the heavens to wytnes truthe,
Never loved a truer youthe.


Then with manie a prettie othe,
Yea and nay, and faith and trothe;
Suche as seelie shepperdes use
When they will not love abuse ;


Love, that had bene long deluded,
Was with kisses sweete concluded;
And Phillida with garlands gaye
Was made the lady of the Maye.

Att The foregoing little Pastoral of PHILLIDA AND Corydon is one of the songs in “ The Honourable En“ tertainment gieven to the Queenes Majestie in Pro

gresse at Elvetham in Hampshire, by the R. H. the “ Earle of Hertford, 1591,” 4to. [Printed by Wolfe. No name of author.] See in that pamphlet,

“ The thirde daies Entertainment.

« On

parts of

« On Wednesday morning about 9 o'clock, as her “ Majestie opened a casement of her gallerie window, "ther were 3 excellent musitians, who being disguised “ in auncient country attire, did greet her with a plea“ sant song of CORYDON AND PHILLIDA, made in 3 purpose. The

song, as well for the worth of “ the dittie, as the aptnesse of the note thereto applied, “ it pleased her Highnesse after it had been once sung “ to command it againe, and highly to grace it with “ her cheerefull acceptance and commendation.

In the merrie month of May, &c."

[ocr errors]

The Splendour and Magnificence of Elizabeth's reign is no where more strongly painted than in these little Diaries of some of her summer excursions to the houses of her nobility; nor could a more acceptable present be given to the world, than a republication of a select number of such details as this of the entertainment at ElVETHAM, that at KILLINGWORTH, &c. &c. which so strongly mark the spirit of the times, and present us with scenes so very remote from modern manners.

Since the above was written, the Public hath been gratified with a most complete work on the foregoing subject, intitled, The PROGRESSES AND Public Processions of Queen ELIZABETH, &c. By John NICHOLS, F.A.S. EDINB, AND PERTH, 1788, 2 Vols. 4to.





This ballad is ancient, and has been popular ; we find it quoted in many old plays. See Beaum. and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, 4to. 1613, Act 5. The Varietie, a comedy, 12mo. 1649, Act 4, &c. In Sir William Davenant's play, The Witts, Act 3, a gallant thus boasts of himself :

“ Limber and sound! besides I sing Musgrave, And for Chevy-chace no lark comes near me." In the Pepys Collection, vol. III. p.314, is an imitation of this old song, in 33 stanzas, by a more modern pen, with many alterations, but evidently for the worse.

This is given from an old printed copy in the British Museum, with corrections ; some of which are from a fragment in the Editor's folio MS. It is also printed in. Dryden's Collection of Miscellaneous Poems.

As it fell out on a highe holye daye,

As many bee in the yeare,
When yong men and maides together do goe,

Their masses and mattins to heare,


Little Musgrave came to the church door,

The priest was at the mass ;
But he had more mind of the fine women,

Then he had of our Ladyes grace.


And some of them were clad in greene,

And others were clad in pall ;
And then came in my lord Barnardes wife,

The fairest among them all.


Shee cast an eye on little Musgrave

As bright as the summer sunne :
O then bethought him little Musgrave,

This ladyes heart I have wonne.


Quoth she, I have loved thee, little Musgrave,

Fulle long and manye a daye. So have I loved you, ladye faire, Yet word I never durst saye.


I have a bower at Bucklesford-Bury*,

Full daintilye bedight,
If thoult wend thither, my little Musgrave,

Thoust lig in mine armes all night.


Quoth hee, I thanke yee, ladye faire,

This kindness yee shew to mee ;
And whether it be to my weale or woe,

This night will I lig with thee.


All this beheard a litle foot-page,

By his ladyes coach as he ranne:
Quoth he, thoughe I am my ladyes page,

Yet Ime my lord Barnardes manne,

My lord Barnard shall knowe of this,

Although I lose a limbe.
And ever whereas the bridges were broke,

He layd him downe to swimme.


** Bucklefield-berry, fol. MS.


« PreviousContinue »