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EBBA 33584

National Library of Scotland - Crawford
Ballad XSLT Template
A Noble MARQUESS, To the Tune of The Bride's Good Morrow.

A Noble Marquess as he did ride a Hunting,
hard by a River side,
A proper Maiden she did sit a Spinning,
his gentle Eye espy'd;
Most fair and lovely, and of comely Grace was she
altho' in simple Attire,
She sang most sweet with pleasant Voice melodiously,
The more he lookt, the more he might,
Beauty bred his Heart's Delight;
and to this Damsel he went.
God speed, quoth he, thou famous Flower,
Fair Mistress of this homely Bower,
Where Love and Vertue lives with sweet Content,
With comely gesture, and modest mild behaviour,
She bad him welcome then,
She entertain'd him in faithful friendly manner,
and all his Gentlemen.
The noble Marquess in his Heart felt such a Flame,
which set his Senses all at Strife,
Quoth he fair Maiden shew soon what is thy Name?
I mean to take thee to my wife,
Grissel is my Name, quoth she,
Fare unfit for your Degree,
a silly Maiden, and of Parents poor,
Nay Grissel thou art Rich, he said,
a vertuous fair and comely Maid;
Grant me thy Love and I will ask no more.
At length she consented and been both contented,
they married were with speed;
Her Country Russet was turn'd to Silk and Velvet,
as to her State agreed;
And when that she was trimly tried in the same,
her Beauty shin'd most bright;
For staining every other brave and comely Dame,
that did appear in her Sight;
Many envied her therefore,
because she was of Parents poor,

And 'twixt her Lord and her great Strife did raise,
Some said this, and same said that,
Some did call her Beggar's Brat,
And to her Lord they would her often dispraise,
O noble Marquess quoth they, why do you wrong us
thus basely for to wed,
That might have got an Honourable Lady,
into your Princely Bed,
Who will not now your noble Issue still deride,
which shall be hereafter born,
That are of Blood so base by the Mother's side,
the which will bring them to scorn,
Put her therefore quite away,
take to you a Lady gay,
Whereby your Lineage may renowned be,
Thus every Day they seem'd to prate,
That malic'd Grissels good Estate,
who took all this most mild and patiently
when that the Marquess did see that they were bent thus,
against his faithful Wife,
who most dearly and tenderly he lov'd as his Life,
Minding in secret for to prove her Patient heart,
thereby her Foes to disgrace:
Thinking to play a hard discourteous part,
that Men might pity her Case;
Great with Child this Lady was,
And at length it came to pass,
Two lovely Children at one Birth she had,
A Son and Daughter God had sent,
which did their Father well content,
and which did make their Mother's heart full glad.
Great Royal Feasting were at the Children's Christening,
and princely Triumph made,
Six weeks together all Nobles that came thither,
were entertain'd and staid;
And when that these pleasant Sportings quite were [done]
the Marquess a Messenger [sent],

For his young Daughter, and his pretty smiling Son,
declaring his full Intent,
How that the Babes must murthered be,
For so the Marquess did decree.
Come let me have the Children he said,
with that fair Grissel wept full sore,
She wrung her Hands and said no more,
My gracious Lord must have his will obey'd,
She took the Babies from the Nursing Ladies,
Between her tender Arms,
She often wishes with many sorrowful Kisses,
that She might help their Harms;
Farewel, quoth she, my Children dear,
never shall I see you again;
'Tis along of me your sad and woful Mother dear,
for whose sake you must be slain;
Had I been born of royal Race,
You might have liv'd in happy Case,
but now you must die for my Unworthiness,
Come Messenger of Death quoth she,
Take my despised Babes to thee.
and to their Father my Complaint express,
He took the Children, and to his noble Master,
he brought them forth with speed,
Who secretly sent them unto a noble Lady,
to be nurst up indeed.
Then to fair Grissel with a heavy heart he goes,
where she sat mildly all alone.
A pleasant Gesture, and a lovely Look she shows,
as if Grief she had never known,
Quoth he, my Children now are slain,
What thinks fair Grissel of the same?
sweet Grissel now declare thy Mind to me.
Since you my Lord are pleas'd with it,
Poor Grissel thinks the Action fit,
both I and mine at your Command will be,
The Nobles murmur fair Grissel at thine Honour,
and I no Joy can have,
'Till thou be banish'd from my Court and Presence,
as they unjustly crave,
Thou must be stript out of thy Stately Garments,
and as thou camest to me,
In homely gray, instead of Silk and purest Pall,
Now all thy Cloathing must be;
My Lady thou must be no more,
Nor I thy Lord, which grieves me sore;
The poorest Life must now content thy Mind,
A Groat to thee I may not give,
Thee to maintain while I do live,
Against my Grissel such great Foes I find.
When gentle Grissel heard these woeful Tidings,
the Teers stood in her Eyes,
She nothing said, no words of Discontentment,
did from her Lips arise;
Her Velvet Gown most patiently she stript off,
her Girdle of Silk of the same;
Her russet Gown was brought again with many a Scoff;
to bear them all, herself did frame;

When she was drest in this Array,
and ready was to part away,
God send long Life unto my Lord, quoth she,
let no Offence be found in this,
To give my Lord a parting Kiss;
with watry Eyes, Farewel my Dear, quoth he,
From Stately Palace unto her Father's Cottage,
poor Grissel now is gone;
Full Fifteen winters she liv'd there contented,
no wrong she thought upon;
And at that time thro' all the Land the speeches went
the Marquess should married be,
Unto a noble Lady of high Descent,
and the same all Parties did agree,
The Marquess sent for Grissel fair,
The Bride's Bed-chamber to prepare,
that nothing should therein be found awry,
The Bride was with her Brother come,
Which was great Joy to all and some;
and Grissel took all this most patiently;
And in the Morning when that they should be wedded,
her Patience now was try'd,
Grissel was charg'd in princely manner,
for to attend the Bride;
Most willingly she gave Consent unto the same;
the Bride in her Bravery was drest,
And presently the noble Marquess thither came,
with all the Ladies at his Request,
Oh Grissel! I would ask of thee,
If to this Match thou wouldst agree?
methinks thy Looks are waxed wonderous coy.
With that they all began to smile,
And Grissel she replies the while,
God send Lord Marquess many Years of Joy.
The Marquess was mov'd to see his best beloved,
thus patient in Distress,
He stept unto her, ard by the Hand he took her,
these words he did express,
Thou art the Bride, and all the Brides I mean to have,
these two thy own Children be;
The youthful Lady on her Knees did Blessing crave
the Brother as willing as she;
And you that envy her Estate,
Whom I have made my loving Mate,
now blush for shame and honour vertuous Life;
The Chronicles of lasting Fame,
Shall evermore extoll the Name,
of Patient Grissel, my most constant Wife.

Enter'd into the Stamp-Office according to Act of Parliament.
London: Printed by J.D. for Sam. Howells.

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