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EBBA 20663

Magdalene College - Pepys
Ballad XSLT Template
The Wanton wife of Bath.
The Tune is, Flying Fame.

IN Bath a wanton Wife did dwell,
as Caucer he doth write;
Who did in pleasure spend her days
in many a fond delight;
Upon a time sore sick she was,
and at the length did dye,
Her soul at last at Heavens gate,
did knock most mightily.
Then Adam came unto the gate,
who knocketh there? quoth he,
I am the Wife of Bath, she said,
and fain would come to thee.
Thou art [a] sinner[,] Adam said,
and her[e] no place shall have,
Alas for you good Sir, she said,
now [gip] you doting knave;
I will come in, in spight she said,
of all such churles as thee;
Thou were the causer of our woe,
our pain and misery.
And first broke Gods commandements

When Adam heard her tell this tale,
he ran away for life.
Then down came Jacob at the gate,
and bids her pack to Hell,
Thou folse deceiver, why said she,
thou maist be there full well;
For thou deceived'st thy father dear,
and thine own brother too:
Away went Jacob presently,
and made no more ado.
She knocks again with might and main,
and Lot he chides her straight,
Why then, quoth she, thou drunken ass,
who bids thee here to wait?
With thy two daughters thou didst lye,
on them two Bastards got,
And thus most tauntingly she chast
against poor silly Lot.
Who knocks there, quoth Judith then,
with such shrill sounding notes?
Alas fine minks you cannot hear,
quoth she, for cutting throats.
Good Lord how Judith blusht for shame,
when she heard her say so,
King David hearing of the same,
he to the Gate did go,
Quod David who knocks there so loud?
and maketh all this strife;

ANd when thou causedst thy servants
in battel to be slain,
Thou caused then more strife then I,
who would come here so fain.
The Womans mad said Solomon,
that thus doth taunt a King,
Not half so mad as you, she said,
I know in many a thing;
Thou hadst seven hundred wives at once,
for whom thou didst provid
For all this three hundred Whores,
thou didst maintain beside;
And those made thee forsake thy God,
and worship stocks and stones,
Besides the charge they put thee too,
in breeding of young bones.
Hadst thou not been besides thy wits,
thou wouldst not have ventured,
And therefore I do marvel much
how thou this place have entred.
I never heard, quoth Jonas then,
so vile a scold as this:
Thou whorson run-away, quoth she,
thou diddest more amiss.
I think quoth Thomas, womens tongues,
of Aspen-leaves are made,
Thou unbelieving wretch, quoth she,
all is not true, that's said.
When Mary Magdalen heard then,
she came unto the gate:
Quoth she, good woman you must think
upon your former state:
No sinner enters in this place,
quoth Mary Magdalen, then
'Twere ill for you fair Mistris mine,
she answered her again.
You for your honesty, quoth she
should once been stoned to death,

Had not our Saviour Christ come by,
and written on the Earth,
It was not your occuprtion,
you are become Divine,
I hope my Soul in Christs passion,
shall be as safe as thine.
Then rose the good Apostle Paul,
unto his Wife he said,
Except thou shake thy sins way,
thou here shalt be denied:
Remember Paul what thou hast done,
although a lewd desire,
How thou didst persecute Gods Church,
with wrath as hot as fire.
Then up starts Peter at the last,
and to the gate he hies,
Fond fool, quoth he, knock not so fast,
thou weariest Christ with cries.
Peter, said she, content thy self,
for mercy may be won,
I never did deny my Christ,
as thou thy self hast done.
When as our Saviour Christ heard this,
with Heavenly Angels bright,
He comes unto this sinful soul,
who trembled at his sight.
Of him for mercy she did crave,
quoth he, thou hast refused,
My proffer, grace, and mercy both,
and much my name abused.
Sore have I sinned, O Lord, she said,
and spent my time in vain,
But bring me like a wandring Sheep
into thy Flock again.
O Lord my God I will amend
my former wicked vice:
The thief at these poor silly words,
past into Paradise.
My Laws and my commandements
saith Christ were known to thee,
But of the same in any wise,
not yet one word did ye.
I grant the same, O Lord quoth she,
most lewdly did I live,
But yet the loving Father did
his Prodigal Son forgive.
So I forgive thy soul he said,
through thy repenting cry,
Come therefore enter into my joy,
I will not thee deny.


Printed for [J. Clarke,] W Thackeray and T. [Passinger]

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