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EBBA 36025

Manchester Central Library - Blackletter Ballads
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The wofull lamentation of Mistris Jane Shore a Goldsmiths wife of
London, sometimes K. Edwards Concubine, who for her wanton life came to
a most miserable end. Set forth for an example to all lewd women.
To the tune of Live with me.

IF Rosamond that was so faire,
Had cause her sorrowes to declare,
[t]hen let Jane Shore with sorrow sing,
[t]hat was beloved of a King:
[T]hen wanton wives in time amend,
[For] love and beauty will have end.

[In Maid]en yeeres my beauty bright,
[Was l]oved deare of Lord & Knight:
But yet the love that they required,
then was not as my friends desired.

My Parents they for thirst of gaine,
A husband for me did obtaine:
and I their pleasure to fufill,
was forc'd to wed against my will.

[T]o Mathew Shore I was a wife,
[T]ill Lust brought ruine to my life:
[a]nd then my life so lewdly spent,
now makes my soule for to lament.

[I]n Lumbardstreet I once did dwell,
[As] London yet can witnesse well:
[wh]ere many Gallants did behold
[my b]eauty in a shop of gold.

[I sprea]d my plumes as wantons doe,
[Som]e sweet and secret friend to woo,
[bec]ause my love I did not find,
agreeing to my wanton mind.

At last my name at Court did ring,
Into the eares of Englands King,
who came and lik'd, & love required,
but I made coy what he desired

[Yet] Mistris Blage a neighbour neere,
[Who]se friendship I e[st]eemed deare,
[did sa]y it was a gal[l]ant thing,
[to be] beloved of a King.

[By he]r perswasions I was led,
[For t]o defile my marriage bed,
[& wr]ong my wedded husband Shore,
[Whom I had lov'd] ten yeeres before.

In heart and mind I did rejoyce,
That I had made so sweet a choise:
and therefore did my state resigne,
to be King Edwards Concubine.

From Citie then to Court I went,
And reapt the pleasures of content:
I had the joyes that love did bring,
and knew the secrets of a King.

When I was thus advanc'd on high,
Commanding Edward with mine eye
for Mistris Blage I in short space,
obtain'd a living of his Grace.

No friend I had but in short time,
I made unto promotion clime:
but yet for all this costly pride,
my husband could not me abide.

His bed though wronged by a King,
His hart with griefe did deadly sting:
from England soone he goes his way,
to end his life upon the Sea.

He could not live to see his fame,
Empaired by my wanton shame:
although a Prince of peerlesse might
did reape the pleasures of his right.

Long time I lived in the Court,
With Lords & Ladies of great port:
for when I smil'd all men were glad,
and when I mourn'd my prince grew sad,

But yet an honest mind I bore,
To helplesse people that were poore:
I still redrest the Orphans cry,
& saved their lives condemn'd to die.

I still had ruth on widdowes teares,
I succour'd babes of tender yeeres:
and never lookt for other gaine,
but love and thanks for all my pain.

At last my Royall King did dye,
And then my dayes of wo drew dye;
for when K. Richard got the crowne,
sweet Edwards friends were soon put downe.

I was then punisht for the sin,
That I so long had lived in:
yea everyone that was my friend,
that tyrant brought to timelesse end.

Then for my lewd and wanton life,
Who made a Strumpet of a Wife:
I penance did in London street,
in shamefull manner in a sheet.

Where many thousands did me view
That late in Court my credit knew:
which made the teares run downe my face
to think upon my foule disgrace.

Not thus content, they tooke from me,
My goods, my livings, and my fee:
& charg'd that none should me relieve
nor any succour to me give.

Then unto Mistris Blage I went,
To whom my Jewels I had sent,

in hope thereby to ease my want,
when riches fail'd, & love grew scant

But she denyed me the same,
When in my need for them I came:
to recompense my former love,
out of the doores she did me shove.

Thus love did vanish with my state,
Which now my soule repents too late:
therefore example take by me,
that friendship parts in poverty.

But yet a friend amongst the rest,
Whom I before had seene distrest,
and sav'd his life being judg'd to die,
did give me food to succour me.

For which by Law it was decreed,
That he was hang'd for his good deed:
his death did grieve me ten times more,
then I had dyed myselfe therefore.

Then those to whom I had done good,
Durst not restore me any food:
whereby in vaine I beg'd all day,
and still in street by night I lay.

My gowns beset with pearle and gold,
Were turn'd to simple garments cold:
my chaines, and gems, & golden rings,
to filthy rags and lothsome things.

Thus was I scornd of maid and wife,
For leading such a wicked life:
both sucking babes, and children small,
did make a pastime of my fall.

I could no[t] get one bit of bread,
Whereby my hunger might be fed:
nor drinke but such as kennell yeelds,
or stinking ditches in the fields.

Thus weary of my life at length,
I yeelded up my vitall strength:
within a ditch of lothsome sent,
where carrion dogs do much frequent.

Which Ditch now since my dying day,
Is Shore-ditch cald, as Writers say,
which is a witnesse for my sinne,
for being Concubine to a King.

You wanton wives that fall to lust,
Be you assured that God is just,
whoredome shall not escape his hand,
nor bide unpunisht in the Land.

If God to me such shame did bring,
That yeelded onely to a King,
how shall they scape that dayly run
to practise s[in]ne with every man,

You husbands match not but for love
Lest some misliking after prove:
women be warnd when you are wi[ves]
what plagues are due to lustfull livess.
Then wanton wives in time amend,
For love and beauty will have end.

FINIS.

At London printed by [?]

The second part of Jane Shore: wherein he[r] sorrowfull husband bewaileth his owne estate, h[is]
wives wantonnesse, the wrongs of marriage, and the fall of pride: a warning for all
wanton women to take heed by. To the tune of Live with me.

IF she that was faire Londons pride,
For beauty fam'd both far and wide,
With Swan-like song in sadnesse told
Her deepe distresses manifold:
then in the same let me also,
now beare a part of such like woe.

Kind Mathew Shore men called me,
A Goldsmith once of good degree,
And might have lived long therein,
Had not my Wife been wooed to sinne:
ah gentle Jane thy wanton race,
hath brought us both to this disgrace.

Thou hadst all things at wish and will,
Thy wanton fancy to fulfill;
No London Dame or Merchants wife,
Did leade so sweet and brave a life:
then gentle Jane the truth report,
why leftst thou me to live in Court?

Thou hadst both gold and jewels store,
No wife in London then had more:
And once a weeke to walke the field,
To see what pleasure it would yeeld:
but woe to me, that liberty
hath brought us both to misery,

I wedded thee whilst thou wert yong,
Before thou knewst what did belong
To husbands love, or marriage state,
Which brings repentance now too late:
thus wanton pride made thee unjust,
and so deceived was my trust.

But when the King possest my roome,
And cropt the gallant Rosie bloome,
Faire Londons blossome and my joy,
My heart was drownd in deepe annoy:
to thinke how unto publike shame,
thy wanton love brought my good name.

And then methought each man & wife,
In jesting sort accus'd my life,
And everyone to other said,
that Shores faire wife had wanton plaid:
whereby I grew in mind to change
my dwelling in some country strange

Then lands and goods I sold away,
And so from England went to sea,
Opprest with griefe and wofull minde,
But left my cause of griefe behinde:
my loving wife whom once I thought
would never be to lewdnesse brought.

But women now I well espy,
Are subject to inconstancy,
And few there be so true of love,
But by long suite will wanton prove:
for flesh is fraile and women weake,
when kings for love great suit do make

But yet from England my depart,
Was with a sad and heavy heart,
Whereof when as my leave I tooke,
I sent backe many a heavy looke,
desiring God if it might be,
to send one sigh sweet Jane to thee.

For if thou hadst but constant beene,
These dayes of woe I ne're had seene:
But yet I grieve and mourne full sore,

To think what plagues are kept in store
for such as carelesse tread awry
the modest steps of constancy.

Ah gentle Jane, if thou didst know
The uncouth pathes I daily goe,
And wofull teares for thee I shed,
For wronging thus our marriage bed:
then sure, I know, thou wouldst confesse
my love was true, though in distresse.

Both Flanders, France & Spaine I past,
And came to Turky at the last,
And then within that mighty Court,
I lived long in honest sort:
desiring God that sits in heaven,
that lovers sinnes might be forgiven.

And there advanc'd thy lovely name,
Of living wights the fairest Dame,
The praise of Englands beauties stain,
All which thy Husband did maintaine:
and set thy picture there in gold,
for Kings and Princes to behold.

But when I thought upon the sinne,
Thy wanton thoughts delighted in,
I griev'd that such a comely face,
Should hold true honour in disgrace:
And counted it a lucklesse day,
wherein thou first didst goe astray.

Desirous then some newes to heare,
Of her my soule did love so deare,
My secrets then I did impart
To one well skild in Magike Art,
who in a glasse did truely show[,]
such things as I desired to kn[ow,]

I there beheld thy Courtly state[,]
Thy pompe, thy pride, thy glor[y great]
And likewise there I did beho[ld]
My Jane in Edwards armes [infold.]
thy secret love I there espie[d,]
thy rise, thy fall, and how tho[u died,]

Thy naked beauty in the street,
I saw doe penance in a sheet,
Barefoote before a Beadles wand,
With burning Tapers in thy hand:
and babes not having use of tongue,
stood pointing as thou past along.

Thus ended was this shame of thine,
Though God gave yet no end to mine.
When I suppos'd thy name forgot,
And time had washt away the blot:
then in anothers Princes raigne,
I came to England backe againe.

But finding here my friends decaid,
The Princes lawes I disobaid,
And by true justice judg'd to dye,
For clipping gold in secrecie:
by gold was my best living made;
and so by gold my life decaid.

Thus have you heard the wofull strife,
That came by my unconstant wife:
Her fall, my death, wherein is shew['d]
The Story of a Strumpet lew[d.]
in hope thereby all wome[n may,]
take heed how they the [wanton play.]

The descrip-
tion of Jane
Shore.
This womans
beauty hath
beene highly
praised by a
famous Writer
that lived in
her time, na-
med Sr Tho-
mas Moore, who
described her
in this maner:
before her
death she was
poore & aged,
her stature was
meane, her
haire of a dark
yellow, her
face round &
full, her eyes
gray, her body
fat, white and
smooth, her
countenance
cheerefull like
to her condi-
tion. There is
a Picture of
hers now to
bee seene in
London, it is
such as she was
when she rose
out of her bed
in the mor-
ning, having
nothing on
but a rich
Mantle ca[s]t
under one arm
over her shoul-
der, and sitting
in a Chaire, on
which her na-
ked arme did
lye. What her
Fathers name
was, or where
she was borne,
is not certain-
ly known, but
her Husband
Mathew Shore, a
yong man of
right good
parentage,
wealth and be-
haviour, aban-
doned her bed
after the King
had made her
his Concu-
bine.


FINIS.
At London printed by G.P[?]

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