Close ×

Search EBBA

EBBA 31455

British Library - Roxburghe
Ballad XSLT Template
Mr. PAGEs Wife of Plymouth.

UNhappy she whom fortune hath forlorn,
Despisd of grace that profferd grace did scorn.
My lawless love has luckless wrought my woe,
My discontent content did overthrow.

My loathed life too late I do lament,
My woeful deeds in heart I do repent.
A wife I was that wilful went away,
And for that fault am here prepard to die.

In blooming years my fathers greedy mind,
Against my Will a match for me did find;
Great wealth there was, yea gold and silver store,
But yet my heart had chosen one before.

Mine eyes dislikd my fathers liking quite,
My heart did loath my parents fond delight:
My childish mind and fancy told to me,
That with his age my youth could not agree.

On knees I prayd they would not me constrain,
With tears I cryd their purpose to refrain.
With sighs and sobs I did them often move,
I might not wed with him I could not love.

But all in vain my speeches still I spent,
My mothers will my wishes did prevent:
Tho wealthy Page possessd the outward part,
George Strangwidge was lodgd within my heart.

I wedded was, and wrapped all in woe,
Great discontent within my heart did grow.
I loathd to live, yet livd in deadly strife,
Because by force I was made Pages wife.

My chosen eyes could not his sight abide,
My tender youth did loath his aged side.
Scarce could I taste the meat whereon he fed,
My legs did loath to lodge within his bed.

Cause I knew none that I should slight him so,
That such disdain within my heart did grow;
Save only this, that fancy did me move,
And told me still George Strangwidge was my love.

Lo! here began my downfal and decay,
In mind I musd to make him strait away.
In that became his discontented wife,
Contented that he should be rid of life.

Methinks the Heavens cry vengeance for my fact,
Methinks the world condemns my monstrous act.
Methinks within me conscience tells me true,
That for this deed Hell-fire is my due.

My pensive soul doth sorrow for my sin,
For this offence my soul doth bleed within.
Mercy, Lord, for mercy still I cry:
Save thou my soul, and let my body die.

Well could I wish that Page enjoyed his life,
So that he had some other to his wife.
But never could I wish of low or high,
A longer life than see sweet Strangwidge die.

O woe is me! that had no better grace,
To stay till he had run out natures race.
My deeds I rue, but more I do repent
That to this thing my Strangwidge did consent.

I married was in much and endless strife,
But faith before did make me Strangwidges wife.
Consider well, and rightful judges be,
And give your doom twixt parents love and me.

I am their child and bound for to obey,
But not to love where I no love could lay.
To parents fond who greedy-minded be,
And seek to graft upon the golden tree.

O wretched world! whom cankerd rust doth blind,
And cursed men, who bear a greedy mind,
And hapless I, whose parents did force so,
To end my days in sorrow, grief and woe.

Ye Devonshire dames and affable Cornwal knights,
That here are come to visit woeful wights,
Regard my grief, and mark my woeful end,
But to your children prove a better friend.

And thou, my dear, who for my fault must die,
Be not afraid the sting of death to try;
Like as we livd and lovd together true,
So both at once lets bid the world adieu.

Ulalia, thy friend, does take her last farewel,
Whose soul with thee in heaven shall ever dwell.
Sweet Saviour Christ, do thou my soul receive.
The world I do with all my heart forgive.

And, parents now, whose greedy minds do show,
Your hearts desire, and inward mighty woe,
Mourn ye no more, so now my heart doth tell.
Ere this days gone my soul will be right well.

O Plymouth proud! I bid thee now, farewel.
Take heed, ye wives, let not your hands rebel.
And farewel life, wherein such sorrom shows,
And welcome grave, that doth my corps inclose.

And now, dear Lord, forgive me my misdeeds,
Repentance calls for a heart that inward bleeds.
My soul and body I recommend to thee,
Who with thy blood from death redeemed me.

Lord bless our king with long and happy life,
And send true peace twixt each man and his wife.
And give all parents wisdom to foresee
The match is spoild where minds do not agree.

Mrs. PAGEs Complaint for causing her Husband
to be Murdered for Love of GEORGE STRANG-

IF ever woe did touch a womans heart,
Or sin did gall for grief the outward part.
My conscience then and heavy heart within
Can witness well the sorrow for my sin.

When years were young my father made me wed
Against my will where fancy was not fed.
I was content his pleasure to obey,
Altho my heart was linkd another way.

Great were the gifts they offerd in my sight,
With wealth they thought to win me to delight,
But gold nor gifts my mind could not remove,
For I was linkd whereas I could not love.

Methought his sight was loathsome to my eye,
My heart did grudge against him inwardly;
This discontent did cause me deadly strife,
And with his wealth did cause a grievous life.

My constant love was on George Strangwidge set,
And woe to him who did our pleasure let;
His love in me so deep a root did take,
I would have gone a-begging for his sake.

Wronged he was thro fond desire of gain,
Wronged he was een thro my parents plain;
If faith and troth a perfect pledge might be,
I had been wife unto no man but he.

Eternal God! forgive my fathers deed,
And grant all parents may take better heed.
If I had been but constant to my friend,
I had not matchd to make so bad an end.

But wanting grace I sought my own decay,
And was the cause to make my friend away.
And he in whom my earthly joys did lie,
Thro my amiss a shameful death must die.

Farewel, sweet George, always my loving friend,
Needs must I laud and love thee to the end,
And albeit that Page possest thy due,
In sight of God thou wast my husband true.

My watery eyes unto the Heavens I bend,
Praying to Christ his mercies to extend,
This bloody deed do thou, O Lord! forgive,
And let my soul within thy kingdom live.

Farewel, false world, and friends that fickle be,
All wives farewel, a warning take by me.
Let not the Devil to murder you entice,
Seek to escape such foul and sinful vice.

And now, O Christ! to thee I yield my breath,
Strengthen my faith in bitter pangs of death,
Pardon my faults and follies I thee pray,
And with thy blood wash thou my sins away.

GEORGE STRANGWIDGES Lamentation for con-
senting to PAGES Death, for Love of ULALIA,

THE man that sighs and sorrows for his sin,
The corps which care and woe is trapped in,
In doleful sort records his swan-like song,
That waits for death, and loaths to live so long

O Glansfield! cause of my committed crime,
Sowed in wealth, as birds in bush of lime,
What cause hadst thou to bear such spight
Against my love, and take my hearts delight?

I would to God thy wisdom had been more,
Or that I had not entered thy door;
Or that thou hadst a kinder father been
Unto thy child, whose years are yet but green.

The match unmeet which thou for her did make,
When aged Page thy daughter home did take.
Well mayst thou rue, with tears that cannot dry,
Which is the cause that four of us must die.

Ulalia, more bright than the morning sun,
Whose beauty hath for ever my heart won.
My soul sobs more to think of thy disgrace,
Than to behold my own untimely race.

This deed late done in heart I do repent,
But that I lovd I cannot yet repent.
Thy seemely sight was ever sweet to me,
Would God my death could her excuser be.

It was for me, alas! thou didst the same,
On me by right thou ought to fix the blame;
My worthless love ha[s] brought thy life to scorn,
And woe is me, that ever I was born.

Farewel, my love, whose loyal heart was seen,
I would thou hadst not half so constant been.
Farewel, my love, the pride of Plymouth-town,
Farewel; the fairest flower is cut down.

For twenty years great was the cost, I know,
Thy unkind father did on thee bestow.
Yet afterwards kind fortune was severe,
He lost his child and joy within an hour.

Wrong and woe to God I do commit,
Who was the cause of matching them unfit.
And yet I cannot so my guilt excuse,
We gave consent his for to abuse.

Wretch that I am that my consent did give,
Had I denyd, Ulalia still should live;
Blind fancy said, This suit do not deny,
Live thou in bliss or else in sorrow die.

O Lord! forgive this cruel deed of mine,
Upon my soul let beams of mercy shine,
In justice, Lord, do thou no vengeance take,
Forgive us both for Jesus Christ his sake.

Printed and Sold at the Printing-Office in Bow-Church-Yard, LONDON

View Raw XML