Close ×

Search EBBA

EBBA 20229

Magdalene College - Pepys
Ballad XSLT Template
The woful Lamentation of Mistris Jane Shore, a Gold-smiths Wife
of London, sometimes King Edward the Fourth's Concubine who for her wanton life came to a miserable and. Set forth for the example of all wicked livers. Tune is, Live with me.

IF Rosamond that was so fair,
Had cause her sorrows to declare,
Then let Jane Shore with sorrow sing,
That was beloved of a King:
Then wanton Wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.
In Maiden years my beauty bright,
Was loved dear of Lord and Knight
But yet the love that they requir'd,
It Was not as my friends desir'd:
My Parents they for thirst of gain,
A husband for me did obtain,
And I their pleasure to fulfil,
Was forc'd to wed against my will:
To Matthew Shore I was a wife,
Till lust brought ruine to my life,
And then my life so lewdly spent,
Which makes my soul for to lament:
In Lumbard-street I once did dwell,
As London yet can witness well,
Where many gallants did behold
My beauty in a shop of Gold:
I spread my plumes as wantons do,
Some sweet and secret friend to woo,
Because my love I did not find,
Agreeing to my wanton mind.
At last my name in Court did ring,
Into the ears of Englands King,
Who came and lik'd and love requir'd,
But I made coy what he desir'd:
Yet Mistress Blague a neighbour neer
Whose friendship I esteemed dear,
Did say it was a gallant thing,
To be beloved of a King.
By her perswasions I was led,
For to defile my marriage-bed,

and wrong my wedded husband Shore,
Whom I had lov'd ten years before;
In heart and mind I did rejoyce,
That I had made so sweet a choice,
And therefore did my state resign,
To be King Edwards Concubine;
From City then to Court I went,
To reap the pleasures of content,
And had the joys that love could bring,
And knew the secrets of a King:
When I was thus advanc'd on high,
Commanding Edward with mine eye,
For Mistris Blague I in short space
Obtain'd a living of his Grece.
No friend I had but in short time
I made unto promotion climb:
But yet for all this costly pride,
My husband could not me abide:
His bed though wronged by a King,
His heart with grief did deadly sting.
From England then he goes away,
To end his life upon the Sea,
He could not live to see his name
Impared by my wanton shame,
Although a Prince of Peerless might,
Did reap the pleasures of his right.
Long time I lived in the Court,
With Lords and Ladies of great sort,
For when I smil'd all men were glad,
But when I mourn'd my Prince grew sad.
But yet an honest mind I bore,
To helpless people that were poor,
I still redrest the Orphans cry,
And sav'd their lives condemn'd to die
I still had ruth on Widdows tears,
I succour'd babes of tender years,
And never lookt for other gain,
But love and thanks for all my pain.
At last my Royal King did dye,
And then my days of woe grew nigh,
When Crook-back Richard got the crown
King Edwards friends were soon put down
I then was punisht for my sin,
That I so long had lived in.
Yea, every one that was his friend,
This Tyrant brought to shameful end.
Then for my rude and wanton life,
That made a strumpet of a Wife,
I pennance did in Lumbard-street,
In shameful manner in a sheet.
Where many thousands did me view,
Who late in Court my credit knew,
Which made the tears run down my face
To think upon my foul disgrace:
Not thus content they took from me
My Goods my livings, and my Fee,
& charg'd that none should me relieve,
Nor any succour to me give.

Then unto Mistris Blauge I went,
To whom my jewels I had sent,
In hope thereby to ease my want,
when riches fail'd and love grew scant:
But she deny'd to me the same,
When in my need for them I came.
To recompence my former love,
Out of her doors she did me shove;
So love did vanish with my state,
Which now my soul repents too late;
Therefore example take by me,
For friendship parts in poverty.
But yet one friend among the rest,
Whom I before had seen distrest,
And sav'd his life condemn'd to dye,
Did give me food to succour me,
For which by law it was decreed,
That he was hanged for that deed:
His death did grieve me so much more
Then had I dyed my self therefore:
Then those to whom I had done good,
Durst not restore me any food;
Where by in vain I beg'd all day,
And still in streets by night I lay.
My Gowns beset with Peal and gold,
Are turn'd to simple garments old;
My chains and jems and golden rings,
To filthy rags and loathsome things,
Thus was I scorn'd of Maid and wife
For leading such a wicked life;
Both sucking babes and children small,
Did make a pastime at my fall;
I could not get one bit of bread,
Whereby my hunger might be fed:
Nor drink but such as channels yield,
Or stinking ditches in the field:
Thus weary of my life at length,
I yielded up my vital strength.
Within a Ditch of loathsome scent,
Where carrion dogs do much frequet
The which now since my dying day,
Is Shoreditch cal'd as writers say:
Which is a witness of my sin,
For being Concubine to a King:
You wanton Wives that fall to lust,
Be you assur'd that God is just,
Whoredom shall not escape his hand,
Nor Pride unpunisht in this Land;
If God to me such shame should bring,
That yielded only to a King:
How shall they scape that daily run,
To practice sin with every man?
You Husbands match not but for love,
Lest some disliking after prove;
Women be warn'd when you are wives
What plagues are due to sinful lives:
Then Maids & Wives in time amend
For love and beauty will have end.

The second part of Jane Shore, wherein her sorrowful Husband bewaileth his own estate, and Wives wantonness, the wrong of Marriage, the fall of pride, being a warning for all women.

IF she that was fair Londons pride
For beauty fam'd both far and wide
With swanlike song in sadness told,
Her deep distresses manifold.
Then in the same let me also,
Now bear a part of such like woe:
Kind Matthew Shore men called me,
A Goldsmith once of good degree,
And might have lived long therein,
Had not my wife been wed to sin.
Ah gentle Jane thy wanton race,
Hath brought me to this foul disgrace.
Thou hadst all things at wish and will
Thy wanton fancy to fulfill,
No London dame, nor Merchants wife
Did lead so sweet and pleasant Life.
Then gentle Jane the truth report,
Why left'st thou me to live in Court?
Thou hadst both Gold and Silver store,
No wife in London then had more;
And once a week to walk in field,
To see what pleasure it would yield.
But woe to me that liberty,
Hath brought me to this misery:
I married thee whilst thou wert young
Before thou knew'st what did belong,
To husbands love or marriage state,
Which now my soul repents too late:
Thus wanton Pride made thee unjust,
And so deceived was my trust.
But when the King possest my Room,
And cropt my Rosie gallant bloom,
Fair Londons blossom and my joy
My heart was drown'd in deep annoy:
To think how unto publique shame,
Thy wicked life brought my good name
And then I thought each man and wife,
In jesting sort accus'd my life,
And every one to the other said,
That Shores fair wife the wanton plaid
Thereby in mind I grew to change.
My dwelling in some country strange,
My Lands and Goods I sold away,
And so from England went to Sea;
Opyrest with grief and woful mind,
But left my cause of grief behind.
My loving Wife whom I once thought,
Would never be to lewdness brought,
But women now I well espy,
Are subject to unconstancy;
And few there be so true of love,
But by long suit will wanton prove,
For flesh is frail and women weak.
When Kings for love long suit do make
But yet from England my depart,
Was with a sad and heavy heart,
Whereat when as my leave I took,
I sent back many a heavy look,
Desiring God if it might be,
To send one sigh sweet Jane to thee.
For if thou hadst but constant been,
These days of woe I ne'r had seen,
But yet I mourn and grieve full sore,

To think what plagues are left in store,
For such as careless tread awry;
The modest paths of constancy:
Ah gentle Jane if thou did'st know,
The uncouth paths I daily go,
And woful tears for thee I shed,
For wronging thus my Marriage-bed.
Then sure I am thou would'st confess,
My love was sure though in distress:
Both Flanders, France, and Spain I past
And came to Turky at the last:
And there within that mighty Court,
I lived long in honest sort;
Desiring God that sits in Heaven,
That Lovers sins might be forgiven:
And there advanc'd thy loving name,
Of living wights the fairest Dame?
The praise of Englands beauty stain,
All which thy Husband did maintain,
And set thy Picture there in Gold,
For Kings & Princes to behold,
But when I thought upon thy sin,
Thy wanton thoughts delighted in
I griev'd that such a comely face,
Should hold true honour in disgrace,
And counted it a luckless day,
When as thou first did'st go astray,
Desiring then some news to hear,
Of her my soul did love so dear,
My secrets then I did impart,
To one well skill'd in Magick art,
Who in a Glass did truly show,
Such things as I desir'd to know.
I there did see thy Courtly state,
Thy Pomp, thy Pride, thy Glory great
And likewise there I did behold,
My Jane in Edwards arms infold:
Thy secret love I there espy'd,
Thy vice, thy fall, and how thou died;
Thy naked body in the street,
I saw do penance in a sheet:
Barefoot before the Beadles wand,
With burning Taper in thy hand,
And Babes not having use of tongue,
Stood pointing as thou went'st along,
Thus ended was the shame of thine,
Though God gave yet no end to mine.
When I suppos'd my name forgot,
And time had washt away my blot,
And in another Princes Reign,
I came to England back again:
But staying there my friends decay'd,
My Princes laws I disobey'd,
And by true Justice judg'd to dye,
For clipping Gold in secresie.
By Gold was my best living made,
And so by Gold my life decay'd:
Thus have you heard the woful strife
That came by my unconstant Wife,
Her Fall, my Death, wherein is shew'd
The story of a Strumpet Lew'd.
In hope thereby some women may
take heed how they the wanton play.

The Description
OF
Jane Shore

THis womans
beauty hath
been highly prai-
sed by a famous
Writer that lived
in her time, named
Thomas Moor,
who described her
in this manner.

Before her death
she was poor and
aged, her stature
was mean, her hair
of a dark yellow,
her face round &
full, her eyes gray,
her Body fat,
white, and smooth
her countenance
chearful, like to
her conditions.

There is a picture
of hers to be seen
in London, it is
such as she was
when she rose out
of her bed in the
morning, having
nothing on but a
Rich Mantle cast
under her arm, o-
ver which her na-
ked arm did lye.

What her Fa-
thers name is, o-
where she was
Born, is not cer-
tainly known, but
her Husband Ma-
thew Shore, a
Young Man of
right good paren
tage, wealth, and
behaviour, aban-
doned her bed af-
ter the King had
made her his con
cubine.


printed for
J Clarke,
W. Thackeray,
and T. Passinger

View Raw XML