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EBBA 20178

Magdalene College - Pepys
Ballad XSLT Template
The wiving age.
A great Complaint of the Maidens of London,
Who now for lacke of good Husbands are undone,
For now many Widowes though never so old,
Are caught up by young men for lucre of gold.
To the tune of the Golden age.

THe Maidens of London are now in despaire,
How they shall get husbands, it is all their care,
Though maidens be never so vertuous and faire,
Yet old wealthy widowes, are yong mens chiefe ware.
Oh this is a wiving age.
Oh this is a wiving age.

A yong man need never take thought how to wive,
For widowes and maidens for husbands doe strive,
Heres scant men enough for them all left alive,
They flocke to the Church, like Bees to the Hive.
Oh this is a wiving age,
Oh this is a wiving age.

Twixt widowes and maids there is a great strife,
And either of them would faine be a wife,
They all doe cry out on this fond single life,
And long to dance after a Taber and Fife.
Oh this is a wiving age.
Oh this is wiving age.

The maidens I doubt will be put to the worst,
And widowes though old, will be maried all first,
To drinke the bride Posset good Lord how they thirst,
Though they have foule faces the're beautifull purst.
Oh this is a wiving age.
Oh this is a wiving age.

Most Widowes are impudent, they cannot blush,
For speech of the people they care not a rush:
They are very free and their money is flush.
They will have a young-man their aprons to brush
Oh this is a wiving age.
Oh this is a wiving age,

Yong maidens are bashfull, but widowes are bold,
They tempt poore yong men with their silver and gold,
For love now a daies for money is sold,
If she be worth treasure no matter how old.
Oh this is a wiving age.
Oh this is a wiving age.

For one maid now married theres widowes a score,
Their husbands scant dead a whole fornight before,
They cannot live single they'le mary therefore.
With any yong man though hees never so poore.
Oh this is a wiving age.
Oh this is a wiving age.

Oh is not this a pitifull case,
That many a delicate beautifull lasse,
Should thus by old widowes be put to disgrace,
For every yong lad has his widow in chase.
Oh this is a wiving age.
Oh this is a wiving age.

The second part, to the same tune.

LEt Maidens be patient, and never take thought,
But stay untill all the old widowes be caught,
For now like to horses for coyne they are bought,
They say that in Smithfield they'r cry'd twelve a groat.
Oh this is a wiving age.
Oh this is a wiving age.

Yet some of these widowes that marry so fast,
I doubt will have cause to repent of their haste:
If they marry yong men their shoulders to bast,
Oh then they will whine when the remedy is past,
And curse such a wiving age.
And curse, etc.

Likewise many yongmen perhaps may repent,
When all the old Angels are wasted and spent,
Theyle wish the tongue out, that gave first content,
Theyle say then I muse what a devill I meant
To match in that wiving age.
To match in that wiving age.

A young man that marries a widow for wealth,
Doth often much dammage unto his soules health,
For he will be toying and playing by stealth,
Shee's jealous though never so justly he dealth.
Take heed of this wiving age.
Take heed, etc.

When young Lads and Lasses as them doth behove,
Doe lawfully marry together in love,
God poures downe his blessings on them from above,
But youth and old dotage contrary doe prove,
As tis in this wiving age.
As tis, etc.

It may be accounted a wonder to see
An old crasse croane with a young man agree:
Tis onely for wealth that they married be
Then take them who list, a young maid is for me.
Oh this is a wiving age,
Oh this is a wiving age.

Then let no yong maidens be displeased in minde,
Though widowes are maried, and they left behinde:
Those yong men who are thus contrary to kinde,
You were better lose, then ever to finde,
Leave them to this wiving age.
Leave them, etc.

Yet must I confesse many widowes there be
Who from all libidinous thoughts are so free,
They wed not for lust, but for love as we see,
Finde me such a one, and Ile quickly agree,
To match in this wiving age.
To match in this wiving age.

Of all sorts and sexes theres some good some bad,
Theres choyce of both widowes and maids to be had,
He that happens well hath cause to be glad,
And therefore let every honest young Lad
Make choyce in this wiving age,
Make choyce, etc.

My song unto Virg[in]s is chiefly directed,
Who now in this age are little respected,
Though widowes be chosen and maids be rejected.
They will be esteemed, though now they'r neglected,
Yet not in this wiving age,
Yet not in this wiving age.

Finis. M. P.
Printed for Francis Coules at the upper end of the old Baily neere Newgate.

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