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EBBA 30164

British Library - Roxburghe
Ballad XSLT Template
The Merchants Daughter of Bristow.
To the Tune of The Maidens Joy.

BEhold the Touch-stone of true love,
Maudlin the Marchants daughter of Bristow towne,
Whose firme affection nothing could move:
This favour beares the lovelie browne.

A gallant youth was dwelling by,
Which many yeeres had borne this Lady great good will,
Shee loved him so faithfully,
But all her friends withstood it still.

The young man now perceiving well,
He could not get nor win the favour of her friends,
The force of sorrow to expell,
To view strange Countreys hee intends,

And now to take his last farewell,
Of his true love, his faire and constant Maudlin,
With musicke sweete that did excell,
Hee plaies under her window then.

(Farewell quoth he) mine owne true love,
Farewell my deere and chiefest treasure of my heart,
Through fortunes spight that false did prove,
I am inforcd from thee to part:

Into the land of Italy:
There will I waile and weary out my dayes in wo,
Seeing my true Love is kept from mee,
I hold my life a mortall fo.

Faire Bristow towne therefore adieu,
For Padua shall bee my habitation now,
Although my love doth lodge in thee,
To whom alone my heart I vow.

With trickling teares this hee did sing,
With sighs and sobs descending from his heart full sore,
Hee said when he his hands did wring,
Farewell sweet love for evermore.

Faire Maudlin from a window nigh,
Beholding her true Love with Musicke where hee stood,
But not a word shee durst reply,
Fearing her Parents angry mood.

In teares shee spent this dolefull night,
Wishing (though naked) with her faithfull friend,
She blames her friends and fortunes spight,
That wrought their loves such lucklesse end.

And in her heart shee made a vow,
Cleane to forsake her Countrey and her kinsfolkes all,
And for to follow her true Love,
To hide all chance that might befall.

The night is gone and the day is come,
And in the morning very early shee did rise:
She gets her downe in a lower roome,
Where sundrie Sea-men shee espies.

A gallant Master amongst them all,
(The Master of a faire and goodlie ship was he,)
Who there stood waiting in the Hall,
To speake with her Father if it might be.

She kindly takes him by the hand,
Good sir (said shee) and would you speake with any heere,
Quoth he, faire Maid therefore I stand,
Then gentle sir I pray you draw neere,

Into a pleasant Parlour by,
With hand in hand shee brings the Sea-man all alone,
Sighing to him most piteously
She thus to him did make her moane.

She falls upon her tender knee,
Good sir (she said) now pittie you a womans woe,

And prove a faithfull friend to me,
That I my griefe to you may shew,

Sith you repose your trust, he said,
To me that am unknowne, and eke a stranger heere,
Be you assurd most proper maid,
Most faithfull still I will appeare.

I have a Brother then quoth shee,
Whom as my life I love, and favour tenderlie,
In Padua (alas) is he,
Full sicke God wot, and like to die.

And faine I would my Brother see,
But that my Father will not yeeld to let me goe:
Wherefore good sir be good to me,
And unto me this favour shew.

Some ship-boyes garment bring to mee,
That I disguisd may goe away from hence unknowne,
And unto Sea Ile goe with thee,
If thus much favoar may be showne.

Faire Maid (quoth he) take heere my hand,
I will fulfill each t[h]ing that you desire,
And set you safe in that same Land,
And in that place that you require.

She gave him then a tender kisse,
And saith, your servant gallant Master will I be,
And prove your faithfull friend for this,
Sweete Master then forget not me.

This done as they had both decreed,
Soone after (early) before the breake of day,
He brings her garments then with speed,
Wherein shee doth her selfe array,

And ere her Father did arise,
Shee meets her Master as he walkes in the Hall,
Shee did attend on him likewise,
Even till her Father did him call.

But ere the Merchant made an end,
Of all the matters to the master hee could say,
His wife came weeping in with speed,
Saying, our Daughter is gone away.

The Merchant thus amazd in mind,
Yonder vile wretch inticd away my child, quoth he,
But well I wot I shall him find,
At Padua in Italy.

With that bespake the Master brave,
Worshipfull Master thither goes this pretty youth,
And any thing that you would have,
He will performe it, and write the truth.

Sweet youth (quoth hee) if it be so,
Beare me a letter to the English Marchants there,
And gold on thee I will bestow,
My Daughters welfare I doe feare,

Her M[o]ther takes her by the hand,
Faire youth (quod she) if there thou dost my daughter see,
Let me thereof soone understand,
And the[r]e is twenty Crownes for thee.

Thus through the Daughters strange disguise,
The Mother knew not when shee spake unto her Child,
And after her Master straight shee hies,
Taking her leave with countenance milde.

Thus to the Sea faire Maud[l]in is gone,
With her gentle Master, God send them a merry wind,
Where wee a while must let them alone,
Till you the second part doe find.

The second part, To the same tune.

WElcome sweete Maudlin from the Sea,
Where bitter stormes and tempests doe arise,
The plesant bankes of Italy,
Wee may behold with mortal eyes.

Thankes gentle Master then quoth shee,
A faithfull friend in sorrow hast thou beene,
If fortune once doth smile on mee,
My thankfull heart shall well bee seene.

Blest be the Land that feedes my Love,
Blest be the place whereas his person doth abide,
No triall will I sticke to prove,
Whereby my true Love may be tride.

Nowe will I walke witd joyfull heart,
To viewe the Town whereas my darlinge doth remaine
And seeke him out in everie part;
Untill I doe his sight attaine.

And I quoth he will not forsake,
Sweete Maudlin in her sorrow up and downe,
In wealth and woe thy part Ile take
And bringe thee safe to Padua towne.

And after many wearie steps,
In Padua they safely arrive at last,
For very joy her heart it leapes,
She thinkes not of her sorrowes past.

Condemned to dye hee was alas,
Except hee would from his Religion turne,
But rather then hee would to Masse,
In fiery flames hee vowd to burne.

Now doth Maudlin weepe and waile,
Her joy is changd to weeping, sorrow greife, and care,
But nothing could her plaints prevaile,
For death alone must be his share

Shee walked under the prison walls,
Where her true love doth lie and languish in distresse,
Most wofully for foode he calls,
When hunger did his heart oppresse.

He sighs and sobs, and makes great moane.
Farewell hee said sweete England now for evermore,
And all my friends that have me knowne,
In Bristow towne with wealth and store.

But most of all farewell quoth hee,
My owne true Love, sweet Maudlin, whom I left behind,
For never more I shall see thee,
Woe to thy Father, most unkind.

How well were I if thou wert here,
With thy faire hands to close up these wretched eyes,
My torments easie would appeare,
My soule with joy shall scale the skies.

When Maudlin heard her Lovers moane,
Her eyes with teares, her heart with sorrow filled,
To speake with him no meanes is knowne,
Such grievous doome on him did passe.

Then shee cast off her lads attire,
A Maidens weed upon her back she seemely set,
To the Judges house shee did enquire,
And there shee did a service get.

She did her duty there so well.
And eke so prudently she did her selfe behave,
With her in love her Master fell,
His servants favour hee doth crave.

Maudlin quoth hee, my hearts delight,
To whom my heart in affection is tied,
Breed not my death through thy despight,
A faithfull friend I will be tryed.

Grant me thy love, faire maid quoth hee,
And at my hands require what thou canst devise,
And I will grant it unto thee.
Whereby thy credit may arise,

I have a Brother, sir, she said,
For his Religion is now condemned to Die,
In loathsome prison hee is layd,
Opprest with griefe and misery.

Grant me my Brothers life, shee said,
And to you my love and liking will I give,
That may not be quoth hee faire maid,
Except he turne, he cannot live.

An English Frier there is shee said,
Of Learning great, and passing pure of Life,
Let him to my brother be sent,
And he will finish soone the strife.

Her Master hearing this request,
The Marriner in Friers weed she did array,
And to her Love that lay distrest,
Shee did a letter straight convey.

When hee had read these gentle lines,
His heart was ravished with sudden joy,
Where now shee was full well hee knew,
The Frier likewise was not coy,

But did declare to him at large,
The enterprise his Love for him had taken in hand:
The young man did the Frier charge,
His Love should straight depart the Land:

Here is no place for her hee said,
But woefull death, and danger of her harmelesse lif[e]
Professing Truth, I was betraid,
And fearefull flames must end my strife:

For ere I will my Faith deny,
And sweare my selfe to follow damned Antichrist,
Ile yeeld my body for to die,
To live in heaven with the Highest,

O sir, the gentle Frier said,
For your sweet Love, recant and save your wished l[ife]
A wofull match quoth hee is made,
Where Christ is lost to win a Wife.

When shee had wrought all meanes that might,
To save her friend, and that shee saw it would not b[e]
Then of the Judge shee claimed her right,
To die the death as well as hee.

When no perswasion could prevaile,
Nor change her mind in any thing that shee had said
She was with him condemned to die.
And for them both one fire was made,

And arme in arme most joyfully,
These Lovers twaine unto the fire they did goe,
The Marriner most faithfully,
Was likewise partner of their woe.

But when the Judges understood,
The faithfull friendship did in them remaine,
They saved their lives, and afterward,
To England sent them home againe.

Now was their sorrow turned to joy,
And faithfull Lovers had now their hearts desire,
Their paines so well they did imploy,
God granted that they did require.

And when they were to England come;
And in merry Bristow arrived at the last,
Great joy there was to all and some,
That heard the dangers they had past.

Her Gentle Master shee desired,
To be her Father, and at the Church to give her then,
it was fulfilled, as shee required,
Unto the joy of all good men.

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