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EBBA 30307

British Library - Roxburghe
Ballad XSLT Template
Wits never good till tis bought:
OR,
Good counsell for improvident men,
Fit to make use of now and then.
To the tune of Basses Carreere.

ONce musing alone,
upon things many a one,
Well observd and knowne by my selfe,
especially how,
that which late did flow,
I have wasted and now I want pelfe:
this vexed me sore,
and made me deplore,
That I had not before of it thought,
from experience I learnd,
what I since have discernd,
That true wits never good till tis bought.

Full many a time,
when I was in my prime,
My ambition to climbe honors hill,
did me forward pricke,
but my jade did so kicke,
And dame fortune a trick found to kill,
my hope in the bloome,
and debased my plume:
I did further presume than I ought,
then I wisht I had stayd,
at my owne proper trade,
But true wits never never good till tis bought.

To fight and to brawle,
and to quarrell with all,
And my betters miscall, I have usd,
but with woe I did find,
all are not of one minde,
Though I oft in some kinde was excusd,
yet sometimes I got,
a knocke with a pot,
When to speake and when not, thus Ime taught,
now where ever I come,
Ile keepe peace in the roome,
Thus true wits never good till tis bought.

I used to roare,
and to drinke on the score,
And I never thought more on the shot
come Tapster said I,
one tooth still is dry,
Then fills (by and by) tother pot,
I cald still apace,
but within a short space,
Into a strong place, was I bought,
then for eight houres wast,
foure dayes I must fast,
Thus true wits never good till tis bought.

I once had command,
of houses and Land,
Thus my case well did stand, among men:
but moved with pride,
and contention beside,
I would wrangle or chide, now and then:
if a horse I but found,
to leape into my ground,
Straight away to the pound, he was brought:
now I wish I had still,
kept my neighbours good will,
But true wits never good till tis bought.

This rancor and spleene,
my ruine hath beene,
As may plainly be seene, by my state:
contention in Law,
did my purse empty draw,
Which I never saw fore til tis too late,
upon every slight thing,
I my action would bring,
But my hands now I wring, with the thought:
now I wish I had that,
which hath made others flat.
But ttue wits never good till tis bought.

The second part, To the same tune.

IN company base,
that are voyd of all grace,
I came often in place, by meere chance,
but being with them,
whom alone Ide condemne,
Ide in presence esteeme, and advance:
but being apart,
catechising my heart,
It much sorrow & smart hath me brought:
then with sad melancholly,
I weepe for my folly.
Thus wits never good till tis bought.

Besides now and then,
I have hapned with men,
That too cunning have bin, at the catch:
And then in my drinke,
I with paper and inke,
Have made I did thinke, a good match:
but after when I,
more deliberately,
The businesse to try-all had brought,
I have foynd my selfe cheated,
and basely defeated,
Thus wits never good till tis bought.

Moreover I have,
told my mind to a knave,
Thinking him truly grave, truly just:
I my heart have exposd,
and my secrets disclosd,
As a friend I reposed, on his trust:
but the Rascall ignoble,
his heart being double,
Mee much woe and trouble hath wrought
but Ive learnd ere since that,
to take heed of my chat,
Thus true wits never good till tis bought.

When I was a Lad,
a good service I had,
Then my minde was to gadding full bent,
though I nothing did lacke,
nor for belly nor backe,
Yet I was not with that well content,
but upon small distaste,
my selfe I displast,
Thus my downfall in haste then I sought,
since I wisht to obtaine,
what I oft did disdaine,
Thus true wits never good till tis bought.

Too willing I was
my owne credit to passe,
Now I find it alas, to my paine,
that with setting my hand,
to another mans band,
For to sell house and Land, I was faine,
I have passed my word,
for what others have scord,
And I oft like a bird have bin caught,
in the prison to stay,
where I sung Lachrima,
Thus true wits never good till tis bought.

If any of those,
that are (causelesse) my foes,
Should so rashly suppose, in their hearts,
that all in this song,
to my selfe doth belong,
Their conjecture is wrong, for their part,
whoever they be,
where they something may see,
By which every degree, may be taught,
what eres thy profession,
thou maist learne this lesson,
That wits never good till tis hought.


Printed at London for Thomas Lambert.
FINIS.

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