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THE SPANISH VIRGIN, OR EFFECTS OF
The subject of this ballad is taken from a folio collection of tragical stories, intitled, “ The theatre of God's judgments, by Dr. Beard and Dr. Taylor, 1642." Pt. 2. p. 89.-The text is given (with corrections) from two copies ; one of them in black-letter in the Pepys collection. In this every stanza is accompanied with the following distich by way of burden:
“ Oh jealousie! thou art nurst in hell :
Depart from hence, and therein dwell."
All tender hearts, that ake to hear
Give heed unto my song.
Fair Isabella's tragedy
My tale doth far exceed :
In female hearts should breed !
In Spain a lady liv'd of late,
Who was of high degree;
Much woe and misery.
Strange jealousies so fill'd her head
With many a vain surmize,
And did her love despise.
A gentlewoman passing fair
Did on this lady wait;
Her beauty was compleat.
Her lady cast a jealous eye
Upon this gentle maid;
And did her oft upbraid.
And oft before his lady's face,
As thinking her her friend,
And comeliness commend.
All which incens'd his lady so,
She burnt with wrath extreame; At length the fire that long did glow,
Burst forth into a flame.
For on a day it so befell,
When he was gone from home, The lady all with rage did swell,
And to the damsell come.
And charging her with great offence,
And many a grievous fault;
Into a dismal vault,
That lay beneath the common-shore :
A dungeon dark and deep :
Offenders great to keep.
There never light of chearful day
Dispers’d the hideous gloom;
Around the wretched room :
And adders, snakes, and toads therein,
As afterwards was known,
And were to monsters grown.
Into this foul and fearful place,
The fair one innocent
Her malice to content.
This maid no sooner enter'd is,
But strait, alas ! she hears
Then grievously she fears.
Soon from their holes the vipers creep,
And fiercely her assail :
And her sad fate bewail.
With her fair hands she strives in vain
Her body to defend :
But all is to no end.
A servant listning near the door,
Struck with her doleful noise, Strait ran his lacly to implore ;
But she'll not hear his voice.
With bleeding heart he goes agen
To mark the maiden's groans ; And plainly hears, within the den,
How she herself bemoans.
Again he to his lady hies
With all the haste he may : She into furious passion flies,
And orders him away.
Still back again does he return
To hear her tender cries;
Which fill'd him with surprize.
In grief, and horror, and affright,
He listens at the walls ;
He to his lady calls.
Too sure, O lady, now quoth he,
Your cruelty hath sped;
I fear the virgin's dead.
She starts to hear her sudden fate,
And does with torches run :
For death his worst had done.