Broadsides (2)

Taken from Hyder E. Rollins, ed., A Pepysian Garland: Black-Letter Broadside Ballads of the Years 1595–1639 (Cambridge U.P., 1922)

As before, the difference between, e.g., “asked” and “ask’d” is functional. The first is disyllabic, the second a monosyllable. Possessives (“mens”) don’t have apostrophes. I haven’t done any modernizing. The dates are Rollins’.


The Maid would give ten Shillings for a Kisse
To the Tune of Shall I wrastle in despaire.

You young men all take pitty on me,
the haplessest Maid you ever did see:
Refus’d of all, of all neglected,
hated of all and by none affected:
The cause I know not: well I know,
their fond neglect procures my woe.
Then since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

I doe as much as a Maide can doe,
for gainst my nature I doe woe:
I use all meanes that ere I can,
to get the love of a proper man:
Yet let me use the best of skill,
they still deny, and crosse my will:
Then since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

With Sievet sweet I make me fine,
with sweet complection I doe shine:
With beauteous colours passing deere,
paint and prune, yet nere the neere.
My cost is vaine, so well it proves:
for all my cost there’s no man loves:
Then since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

I have a face as fayre as any,
my nose and lip surpasseth many,
I have an eye that rowling lies,
though theies are better to intice:
Why should all men disdaining prove?
and worser beauties dearely love?
But since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

My armes are nimble to each poynt,
active I am in every joynt:
I am not as some maidens are,
so coy, for young men not to care,
Why should I then disdained be?
when those are lov’d be worse than me?
But since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

My waste is small, and likewise long,
my leg well calft, and boned strong,
My pretty foote you all may feele,
is not in bredth an inch in th’heele.
From head to foote in every part,
I seeme a building fram’d by Art:
Yet since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

Yet man’s obdurate to my mones,
they all stand senseless of my grones,
They nere regarde a proper maide:
great heyres are tane and she denaid,
Yet by all meanes I will assay,
to gaine mens loves as well as they:
For since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

Is Cupid dead, will he not strike,
and make some man perforce to like:
Or is he angry with a creature,
making me live the scorne of nature:
Or is his dart in’s Quiver fast:
oh no, I hope he’ll strike at last:
Since I their hopeful loves do misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

To the Dauncing schoole I usuall goe,
and lerne farre more than many doe.
Oft I resort to weddings for this,
onely to gayne a young man’s kisse.
Yet though my dauncing be so good,
by all youth there I am withstood:
Then since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

Let Venus guide some young mans hart,
or Anthropos strike here thy Dart:
Let young men pitty my hard state,
or prove like me unfortunate.
Come gentle young men ease my griefe,
nought but a kisse can give reliefe.
For since their hopeful loves I misse,
come here’s ten shillings for a kisse.

Anonymous (1615?)

Sievet>civet, musk, perfume


The Souldiers Farewel to his love.
Being a Dialogue betwixt Thomas and Margaret
To a pleasant new Tune

Margaret my sweetest, Margaret I must go.
Most dear to me, that never may be so:
T. Ah, Fortune wills it, I cannot it deny.
M. Then know my love your Margaret must dye.

T. Not for the gold my Love that Croesus had,
Would I once see thy sweetest looks so sad.
M. Nor for all that the which my eye did see,
Would I depart my sweetest Love from thee.

T. The King commands, & I must to the wars.
M. There’s others more enough may end the jars.
T. But I for one commanded am to go,
And for my life I dare not once say no.

M. Ah marry me, and you shall stay at home,
Full twenty weeks you know that I have gone.
T. There’s time enough another for to take
He’ll love thee well, and not thy child forsake.

M. And have I doted on thy sweetest face?
And dost infringe that which thou suedst in chase.
Thy faith I mean but I will wend with thee.
T. It is too far for Peg to go with me.

M. I’le go with thee my Love both night and day.
I’ll bear thy sword, I’le run and lead the way.
T. But we must rde, how will you follow then,
Amongst a Troop of us that’s Armed men?

M. I’le bear the Lance, I’le guide thy stirrop too,
I’le rub the horse, and more than that I’e do.
T. But Margerets fingers they are all too fine,
To wait on me when she doth see me dine.

M. I’le see you dine, I’le wait still at your back,
I’le give you wine or any thing you lack.
T. But you’ll repine when you shall see me have
A dainty wench that is both fine and brave.

M. I’le love your wench, my sweetest, I do vow,
I’le watch the time when she may pleasure you.
T. But you will grieve to see me sleep in bed,
And you must wait still in anothers stead.

M. I’le watch my love to see you sleep in rest,
And when you sleep then I shall think me blest.
T. The time will come you must delivered be,
If in the Camp it will discredit me.

M. I’le go from you before the time shall be,
When all is well my love againe I’le see.
T. All will not serve for Margaret must not go,
Then do resolve my Love, what else to do.

M. If nought will serve why then sweet love adieu.
I needs must die, and yet in dying true.
T. Nay stay my love, for I love Margaret well,
And here I vow with Margaret to dwell.

M. Give me your hand, your Margaret lives agan.
T. Here is my hand, I’ll never breed thy pain.
M. I’le kiss my Love in token it is so.
T. We will be wed, come Margaret let us go.

Anonymous (ca. 1624)


An Excellent New Medley

When Philomel begins to sing,
The grass growes green and flowres spring,
Me thinks it is a pleasant thing
To walk on Primrose Hill.
Maides, have you any connie-skins
To sell for laces or gret pinnes?
The Pope will pardon veniall sinnes:
Saint Peter.

Fresh fish and newes grow quickly stale:
Some say good wine can nere want sale,
But God send poor folkes beere and ale
Enough until they die.
Most people now are full of pride,
The boy said no, but yet he lyde,
His aunt did to the cuck-stoole ride
For scolding.

Within our towne fair Susan dwells:
Sure Meg is poyson’d, for she swells.
My friend, pull off your buzzard’s bells,
And let the haggard fly.
Take heed you pay not at tray-trip,
Shorte heeles forsooth will quickly slip,
The beadle makes folke with his whip
Dance naked.

Come tapster, tell us what’s to pay,
Jane frownd and cryde, “good Sir, away!”
She took his kindness, yet said “nay”
As maidens use to do;
The man shall have his mare agen,
When all false knaves prove honest men,
Our Sisly shall be sainted then,
True Roger.

The butcher with his masty dog,
At Rumford you may buy a hog,
I’ faith Ralph Goose hath got a clog,
His wench is great with childe.
In pillory put the baker’s head
For making of such little bread,
Good conscience now-a-dayes is dead,
Pierce plowman.

The cutpurse and his companie,
Theeves finde receivers presently;
Shun brokers, bawdes and usury,
For feare of after-claps.
Lord, what a wicked world is this,
The stone lets Kate, she cannot pisse;
Come hither, sweet, and take a kisse,
In kindenesse.

In Bath a wanton wife did dwell,
She had two buckets to a well,
Would not a dog for anger swell,
To see a pudding creepe;
The horse-leach is become a smith,
When halters faile, then take a with;
They say an old man hath no pith,
Round Robin.

Simon doth suck up all the egges,
Frank never drinks without nutmegs,
And pretty Parnell shewes her legs,
As slender as my waste:
When faire Jerusalem did stand,
The match is made, give me thy hand,
Maulkin must have a cambrick band,
Blew starched.

The cuckow sung hard by the doore,
Gyll brawled like a butter-whore,
Cause her buckheaded hushand swore
The miller was a knave.
Good poets leave off making playes,
Let players seek for souldiers’ payes,
I do not like the drunken fraies
In Smithfield.

Now roysters spurs do jingle brave,
John Sexton play’d the arrant knave
To digge a coarse out of the grave
And steal the sheet away.
The wandring prince of stately Troy,
Greene sleeves were wont to be my joy,
He is a blinde and paultry boy,
God Cupid.

Come hither friend and give good care,
A leg of mutton stuft is rare,
Take heed you do not steal my mare:
It is so hot it burns.
Behold the tryall of your love,
He took a scrich-owl for a dove,
This man is like ere long to prove
A monster.

’Tis merry when kinde maltmen meet;
No cowards fight but in the street;
Me thinks this wench smels very sweet
Of muske or somewhat else.
There was a man did play at Maw
The whilst his wife made him a daw,
Your case is altered in the law
Quoth Ployden.

The weaver will no shuttle shoote,
Go bid the cobler mend my boot,
He is a foole will go a-foot
And let his horse stand still;
Old John-a-Nokes and John-a-Stiles
Many an honest man beguiles,
But all the world is full of wiles
And knavery.

Of treason and of traytors spight,
The house is haunted with a sprite,
Now Nan will rise about midnight
And walk to Richards house;
You courtly states and gallants all,
Climbe not too hie for feare you fall;
If one please not another shall,
King Pipping.

Diana and her darlings deere,
The Dutchmen ply the double beere,
Boys ring the bels and make good cheere,
When Kempe returns from Rome.
O man what meanes thy heavie looke?
Is Will not in his mistris booke?
Sir Rouland for a refuge tooke
Horne Castle.

Rich people have the world at will,
Trades fade, but lawiers flourish still,
Jacke would be married unti Gyll;
But care will kill a cat.
Are you there, sirrah, with your beares?
A barbers shop with nittie haires,
Doll, Phillis hath lost both her eares
For cozzening.

Who list to lead a souldier’s wife?
Tom would eat meat but wants a knife,
The tinker swore that Tib his wife
Would playe at uptailes all.
Believe my word without an oath,
The tailor stole some of her cloath:
When George lay sicke, and Joane made him broath
With hemlocke.

The patron gelt the parsonage,
And Esau sold his heritage,
Now Leonard Lack-wit is foole age
To be his father’s heire.
There’s many scratch before it itch,
Saul did ask counsel of a witch,
Friend, ye may have a bacon flitch
At Dunmow.

King David plaid on a Welch harpe,
This threed will never make a good warpe,
At wise mens words each foole will carpe
And shoote their witlesse bolts.
Ione like a ram, wore hornes and wool.
Knew you my hostis of the Bull?
Squire Curio once was made a gull
In Shoreditch.

The blackamores are blabber-lipt,
At Yarmouth are the herrings shipt,
And at Bridewell the beggars whipt,
A man may live and learne.
Grief in my heart doth stop my tongue,
The poor man still must put up wrong,
Your way lies there, then walk along
To Witham.

There lies a lasse that I love well,
The broker hath gay clothes to sell
Which from the hangman’s budget fell,
Are you no further yet?
In summer times when peares be ripe
Who would give sixpence for a tripe?
Play, lad, or else lend me thy pipe
And taber.

Saint Nicholas clarkes will take a purse,
Young children now can sweare and curse,
I hope ye like me nere the worse
For finding fault therewith.
The servant is the masters mate,
When gossips meet theres too much prate,
Poor Lazarus lies at Dives gate
Halfe starved.

Make haste to sea and hoyst up sailes,
The hogs were serv’d with milking pales:
From filthy sluts and fro all jayles,
Good Lord, deliver us all!
I scorne to ride a raw-boned jade,
Fetch me a mattocke and a spade,
A Gravesend toste will soone be made,
Saint Dennis.

But for to finish up my song,
The ale-wife did the brewer wrong,
One day of sorrow seems as long
As ten daies do of mirth.
My medley now is at an end,
Have you no bowles or trayes to mend?
’Tis hard to finde so true a friend
As Damon.



The Lamentation of a new married man, briefly declaring the sorrow and grief that comes by marrying a young wanton wife.

To the tune of, Where is my true Love

You Batchelors that brave it
So gallant in the street,
With Muske & with Rose water,
Smelling all so sweet:
With shoes of Spanish leather,
So featly to your feet,
Behold me a married man.

Before that I was wedded,
I lived in delight,
I went unto the dancing school,
I learned at Fence to fight:
With twenty other pleasures,
That now are banisht quite
I being a &c.

When I lived single,
I knew no cause of strife,
I had my heart in quiet,
I had a pleasant life
But now my chiefest study
Is how to please my Wife,
I being a married man.

Quoth she, You do not love me,
To leave me all alone,
You must go a-gadding,
And I must bide at home,
While you among your minions,
Spend more than is your own:
This life leads , &c.

Do you think to keep me
So like a drudge each day,
To toil and moil so sadly
And lame me every way:
I’ll have a Maid, by Lady,
Shall work while I do play.
This life &c.

When must I give attendance
Upon my Mistress heels,
I must wait before her,
While she doth walk the Fields;
She’ll eat no meat but Lobsters
And pretty Girgs and Geles.
This life, &c.

Then must I get her Cherries,
And dainty Kathern Peares,
And then longs for Codlings,
She breedeth Childe she swears
When God knows ’tis a cushion
That she about her beares,
This life, &c.

She must have Rabbit suckers,
Without spot or specke,
I must buy her Pescods
At sixteen groats the Pecke,
She must have Eggs & white wine,
To wash her face and neck;
This life, &c.

If once to passé it cometh,
That she is brought to bed,
Why then with many dainties
She must be daily fed.
A hundred toyes and trifles
Comes then within her head;
This life &c.

Against the day that she is churched,
A new Gown she must have;
A dainty fine Rebato
About her neck so brave;
French boodies with a Farthingale
She never linnes to crave.
This life &c.

Abroad among her Gossips
Then must she daily go:
Requesting of this favour
A man must not say no
Lest that an unknown quarrel
About this matter grow
This life &c.

To offrings and to Weddings
Abroad that she must prance,
Whereas with lusty youngsters
This gallant dame must dance;
Her husband must say nothing,
What hap soever chance:
This life &c.

And then there is no remedy,
She must go to a play,
To purge abounding Choler,
And drive sad dumps away;
She tarries out till midnight,
She swears she will not stay,
This life &c.

When home at last she cometh,
To bed she gets her soon,
And there she sleeps full soundly,
Till the next day at noon,
Then must she eat a Caudle
With a silver spoone.
This life &c.

Therefore my friends be warned,
You that unwedded be,
The troubles of a married man
You do most plainly see.
Who likes not of his living,
Would he would change with me,
That now am a &c.

When I was wont full often
Good companie to keepe,
Now I must rock the Cradle,
And hush the childe asleep,
I had no time nor leisure
Out of my door to peep,
Since I was a married man.



Whipping Cheare;
Or the woefull lamentations of the three Sisters in the Spittle when they were in new Bridewell.

To the tune of Hempe and Flax.

Come you fatal Sisters three,
Whose exercise is spinning:
And helpe us to pull out these thrids,
For heer’s but a harsh begining.
Oh hemp, and flax, and tow to to to,
Tow to to to, tow tero.
Oh hempe, &c.

The blinded whipper hee attends us,
If the wheele leave turning,
And then the very Matrons lookes
Turnes all our mirth to mourning.
Oh hempe and flax, &c.

Now for a Cup of bottle Ale,
Some sugar-plummes and Cakes a,
But never a client must come in,
To giv’s a poore pinte of Sacke.
Here’s hemp and flax, &c.

Bessie the eldest Sister, shee
Is slayned much with honour,
And one cannot endure the labour
Which is thrust upon her.
Oh hemp and flax, &c.

Garden-alleys cleare are swept,
Hog Lane laments a little:
Our tinder boxes over our heades
Were broken at the Spittle:
Here’s hemp and flax, &c.

If the London Prentises,
And other good men of fashion
Would but refraine our companies,
When woe to our occupation.
Then hempe and flaxe, &c.

O you lusty Roaring Boys,
Come shew your brazen faces:
Let your weapons turne to beetles,
And shoulder out some of these lashes.
As hemp and flax, &c.

Gold and silver hath forsaken,
Our acquaintance cleerly:
Twined whipcord takes the place,
And strikes t’our shoulders neerely.
Here’s hemp and flax, &c.

You Punkes and Panders every one,
Come follow your loving sisters:
In new Bridewell there is a mill
Fills all our hands with blisters.
And hemp and flax, &c.

If the Millers art you like not,
To the hempe block packe yee:
Thumpe, and thumpe, and thumpe apace,
For feare the whipper take yee.
There’s hemp and flax, &c.

(ca 1612)


Phillida Flouts Me
The Country Lover’s Complaint

See Note

Oh! what a plague is Love! How shall I bear it?
She will unconstant prove, I greatly fear it:
It so torments my mind, that my strength faileth,
She wavers with the wind, as the ship saileth.
Please her the best you may,
She looks another way,
Alas and well-a-day!
Phillida flouts me.

At the Fair yesterday, she did pass by me;
She lookt another way, and would not spy me.
I woo’d her for to dine, I could not get her;
Dick had her to the wine; he might intreat her!
With Daniel she did dance,
On me she would not glance,
O thrice unhappy chance!
Phillida flouts me.

Fair Maid, be not so coy, do not disdain me;
I am my mother’s joy: Sweet, entertain me!
Shee’ll give me, when she dyes, all things that’s fitting,
Her Poultry and her Bees, and her Geese sitting;
A paire of Mallards beds
And barrel full of shreds,
And yet for all these goods,
Phillida flouts me.

Thou shalt eat curds and cream, all the year lasting,
And drink the chrystal stream, pleasant in tasting;
Wig and whey till thou burst, and Bramble Berries;
Pye-lid and pasty-crust, Pears, Plums and Cherries.
Thy raiment shall be thin,
Made of a weather’s skin;
All is not worth a Pin:
Phillida flouts me.

Cupid hath shot his Dart, and hath me wounded,
It pricked my tender heart, and ne’er rebounded:
I was a fool to scorn his Bow and Quiver,
I am like one forlorn, sick of a feaver:
Now I may weep and mourn,
Whilst with Love’s flames I burn,
Nothing will serve my turn,
Phillida flouts me.

I am a lively Lad, howe’er she takes me,
I am not half so bad as she would make me.
Whether she smile or frown, she may deceive me;
Ne’er a girl in the Town but fain would have me.
Since she doth from me flye,
Now I may sigh and dye,
And never cease to cry
Phillida flouts me.

In the last moneth of May, I made her posies,
I heard her often say that she loved Roses;
Cowslips and Jilli-flowers, and the white Lilly,
I broughte to deck the bowers, for my sweet Philly,
But she did all disdain,
And threw them back again,
Therefore it’s flat and plain,
Phillida flouts me.

Fair maiden have a care, and in time take me;
I can have those as fair, if you forsake me,
For Doll the dairy-maide laught at me lately,
And wanton Winifred favours me greatly;
One cast milk on my clothes,
T’other plaid with my nose;
What wanton toys are those?
Phillida flouts me.

I cannot work and sleep, all at a season;
Love wounds my heart so deep, without all reason.
I fade and pine away, with Grief and sorrow
I fall quite to decay, like any shadow.
I shall be dead, I fear,
Within a thousand year,
All is for grief and care:
Phillida flouts me.

She hath a cloute of mine, wrought with good Coventry,
Which she keeps for a sign of my Fidelity.
But in faith, if she frown, she shall not wear it:
I’ll give it Doll my maid, and she shall tear it.
Since ’twill no better be,
I’ll bear it patiently,
Yet all the world may see:
Phillida flouts me.


mallards beds>feather beds; wig> a small pie.


The Wooing Rogue

Come live with me and be my Whore,
And we will beg from door to door
Then under a hedge we’ll sit and louse us,
Until the Beadles come to rouse us
And if they’ll give us no relief
Thou shalt turn Whore and I’ll turn Thief.
Thou shalt turn Whore and I’ll turn Thief.

If thou canst rob, then I can steal,
And we’ll eat Roast-meat every meal:
Nay, we’ll eat white-bread every day
And throw our mouldy crusts away,
And twice a day we will be drunk,
And then at night I’ll kiss my Punk,
And then at night I’ll kiss my Punk.

And when we both shall have the Pox,
We then shall want both Shirts and Smocks,
To shift each others mangy hide,
That is with itch so pockified;
We’ll take some clean ones from a hedge,
And leave our old ones for a pledge.
And leave our old ones for a pledge,