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Too soone, alas ! shee gave consent

And yeelded to his will,
Though he protested to be true,

And faithfull to her still.
Shee felt her body altered quite,

Her bright hue waxed pale,
Her lovelye cheeks chang'd color white,

Her strength began to fayle.



Soe that with many a sorrowful sigh,

This beauteous ladye milde,
With greeved hart, perceived herselfe

To have conceived with childe.
Shee kept it from her parents sight

As close as close might bee, And soe put on her silken gowne

None might her swelling see.


Unto her lover secretly

Her greefe shee did bewray,
And, walking with him hand in hand,

These words to him did say ;
Behold, quoth shee, a maids distresse

By love brought to thy bowe,
Behold I

goe with childe by thee, Tho none thereof doth knowe.


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The litle babe springs in my wombe

To heare its fathers voyce,
Lett it not be a bastard called,

Sith I made thee my choyce:
Come, come, my love, perform thy vowe

And wed me out of hand;
O leave me not in this extreme

Of griefe, alas ! to stand.


Think on thy former promises,

Thy oathes and vowes eche one; Remember with what bitter teares

To mee thou madest thy moane. Convay me to some secrett place,

And marry me with speede ; Or with thy rapyer end my life,

Ere further shame proceede.



Alacke! my beauteous love, quoth hee,

My joye, and only dear;
Which way can I convay thee hence,

When dangers are so near ?
Thy friends are all of hye degree,

And I of meane estate ;
Full hard it is to gett thee forthe

Out of thy fathers gate.




Dread not thy life to save my fame,

For, if thou taken bee,
My selfe will step betweene the swords,

And take the harme on mee:
Soe shall I scape dishonor quite;

And if I should be slaine,
What could they say, but that true love

Had wrought a ladyes bane.


But feare not any further harme;

My selfe will soe devise,
That I will ryde away with thee
Unknowen of mortall

eyes : Disguised like some pretty page

Ile meete thee in the darke, And all alone Ile come to thee

Hard by my fathers parke.



And there, quoth hee, Ile meete my deare

If God soe lend me life,
On this day month without all fayle
I will make thee


Then with a sweet and loving kisse,

They parted presentlye,
And att their partinge brinish teares

Stoode in eche others eye.

30 Att

Att length the wished day was come,

On which this beauteous mayd, With longing eyes, and strange attire,

For her true lover stayd.
When any person shee espyed

Come ryding ore the plaine,
She hop'd it was her owne true love :

But all her hopes were vaine,




Then did shee weepe and sore bewayle

Her most unhappy
Then did shee speake these woefull words,

As succourless she sate;
O false, forsworne, and faithlesse man,

Disloyall in thy love,
Hast thou forgott thy promise past,

And wilt thou perjured prove?



And hast thou now forsaken mee

In this my great distresse,
To end my dayes in open shame,

Which thou mightst well redresse ?
Woe worth the time I eer believ'd

That flattering tongue of thine : Wold God that I had never seene

The teares of thy false eyne.

And 105

And thus with many a sorrowful sigh,

Homewards shee went againe;
Noe rest came in her waterye eyes,

Shee felt such privye paine.
In travail strong shee fell that night,

With many a bitter throwe;
What woefull paines shee then did feel,

Doth eche good woman knowe.



Shee called up her waiting mayd,

That lay at her bedds feete,
Who musing at her mistress woe,

Began full fast to weepe.
Weepe not, said shee, but shutt the dores,

And windowes round about,
Let none bewray my wretched state,

But keepe all persons out.


O mistress, call your mother deare

Of women you have neede,
And of some skilfull midwifes helpe,

That better may you speed.
Call not my mother for thy life,

Nor fetch no woman here ;
The midwifes helpe comes all too late,

My death I doe not feare.



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