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EBBA 33585

National Library of Scotland - Crawford
Ballad XSLT Template
Patient Grissel.
An Excellent BALLAD,

A Noble Marquis, as he was hunting,
Hard by a forest side,
A fair and comely maiden as she did sit a spinning.
His gentle eye espy'd.
Most fair and lovely, and of a comely grace was she,
Altho' in simple attire:
She sung most sweetly, with a pleasant voice melodiously,
Which set his heart on fire,
The more he look'd the more he might, this beauty did his heart delight.
So to her went with speed:
God bless the famous flower, mistress of his bower,
Thy beauty has caus'd my heart to bleed.
With comely gesture, and modest kind behaviour,
She bid him welcome then:
She entertain'd him in a faithful friendly manner,
And all his gentlemen.
The noble Marquis, in his heart felt such a flame
Which set his senses all at strife:
Quoth he, fair maiden, shew me soon what is thy name,
I mean to make thee my wife.
Grissel is my name, said she, far unfit for thy degree,
And of parents poor.
Nay, Grissel, thou art rich, he said, a virtuous fair, and comely maid,
Grant me thy love, I ask no more.
At length she consented, and being both contented,
They married were with speed:
Her country russet was chang'd to silk and velvet,
As to her state agreed.
And when that she was attired in the same,

Her beauty shin'd most bright,
Far exceeding every other fair and princely dame
That did appear in sight.
Many envied her therefore, because she was of parents poor
And 'twixt her Lord and she great strife did raise,
Some said this and that, some call'd her beggar's brat:
And to her Lord they would her oft dispraise.
O noble Marquis, said they, why dost thou wrong us?
Thus basely for to wed:
Who might have gotten an honourable lady
Unto thy princely bed.
Who will now thy noble issue soon deride,
Which shall hereafter be born,
Which are of blood so base, born on the mother's side,
Which will bring them to scorn.
Put her therefore quite away, and take to you a lady gay
Thereby your lineage may renowned be:
Thus every day they seem'd to prate at fair Grissels good estate
Who all this while took it patiently.
When that the Marquis did see they were bent
Against his bashful wife,
Whom he most dearly, tender, and entirely
Did love as his life.
Minding in secret for to prove her patient heart,
Thus her foes to disgrace,
Thinking to shew her an inconstant act,
That men might pity her disgrace.
Big with child the lady was, and at last it came to pass
Two godly children at one birth she had,
A son and daughter God hath sent, which did them content
And made both their hearts full glad.
The Marquis sent a messenger for his young daughter, and son:
Declaring they should murdered be,
She wrung her hands and said no more,
Only my Lord must be obey'd, said she,
She took the babies from the nursing ladies,
Between her tender arms:
And said with weeping sorrowful kisses.
That she might ease their harms.
Farewell, farewell, a thousand times, my children dear,
Never shall I see you again;
'Tis long of me, you mournful mother dear,
For whose sake you must me slain.
Had I been born of royal race, you'd liv'd in happy case;
But you must die for my unworthyness:
Come messenger of death, said she, take my dear babes to thee,
And to their father my complaints express.
He took the children dear, and to his master
He bore them hence with speed,
Who in secret sent them unto a noble lady,
To be brought up indeed.
Then to fair Grissel with a heavey heart he goes,
Where she sat mildly all alone.
A pleasant gesture and a look she shows,
As if no grief she had known,
Said he, my children now are slain, what thinks Grissel of the same,
Come shew thy mind to me

For I no joy can have
Till thou art banish'd from my court and presence,
As they unjustly crave.
Thou must be stript to thy best garments aid,
And as thou cam'st to me
In homely grey instead of silks and pearls,
Thy cloathing all must be.
My lady thou must be no more, (which grieves me sore,)
The poorest life must now content thy mind;
A groat I dare not give to maintain thee whilst I live.
Against my Grissel such foes I find.
When gentle Grissel did hear these tidings,
The tears stood in her eyes,
Nothing she answer'd, no words of discontent
She from her mouth lets fly.
Her velvet gown most patiently stripped off,
Her kirtle was the same;
Her russet gown was brought her down,
And she put on the same again.
With many tears, Let not offence be found in this,
Unto my Lord, quoth she;
To give my Lord a parting kiss with watery eyes,
Farewell my dear, said she.
From her princely palace to her father's cottage
Poor Grissel she is gone:
Full fifteen winters she lived there content,
No wrongs she thought upon.
And at this time through all the land news went,
The Marquis should married be
Unto a lady of high descent,
And to the same did all agree,
The Marquis bid Grissel the bride's chamber to prepare,
That nothing therein might be found away
And that in friendly sort she would attire
The bride upon that day.
Most willingly she gave consent to do the same,
The bride in bravery was drest
And presently the Marquis thither came,
With all the Lords at his request.
O Grissel, I will ask of thee, if to this match thou wilt agree
Methinks thy looks are vexed wond'rous coy,
With that they all began to smile, and Grissel she replied
the while
God send Lord Marquis many years of joy.
The Marquis was moved to see his best beloved
He then stept to her, and took her by the hand,
These words he did express.
Thou art my life, my joy, and only pride,
Thus patient in distress.
And all the brides I mean to have,
The youthful lady, hearing of this
Did on her knees her blessing crave;
Her brother too as well as she. Then the Marquis said
Blush you that envy her estate; for chronicles shall fame,
Her patience; and prosterity shall praise.
My virtuous, constant, patient Grissel's name.

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