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BECKLER.

69

THE PRETTY PET.

A blythe and bonnie country lass,

Heigh-ho, bonnie lass, Sat sighing on the tender

grass,
And weeping said, Will none come woo me?
A smicker boy, a lither swain,

Heigh-ho, lither swain,
That in his love was wanton fain,

With smiling looks came straight unto her.

When as the wanton wench espied,

Heigh-ho, when she espied,
The means to make herself a bride,

She simper'd smooth as bonny bell;
The swain that saw her squint-e'ed kind,

Heigh-ho, squint-e'ed kind, His arms about her body twined,

And, Fair lass, how fare ye? Well.

The country kit said, well forsooth,

Heigh-ho, well forsooth,
But that I have a longing tooth,

A longing tooth that makes me cry.
Alas, said be, what gars thy grief,

Heigh-ho, what gars thy grief?
A wound, quoth she, without relief,

I fear a maid that I must die.

If that be all, the shepherd said,

Heigh-bo, shepherd said,
He makes thee wife it, gentle maid,

And so secure thy malady;

Hereon they kiss'd with many an oath,

Heigh-ho with many an oath;
And 'fore god Pan did plight their troth,

And to the church did hie them fast.

And God send every pretty pet,

Heigh-ho, the pretty pet, That fears to die of this conceit,

So kind a friend to help at last.

BECKLER_1621.

PHILLIDA AND CORYDON.

In the merry month of May,
In a morn by break of day,
Forth I walk'd the wood so wide,
When as May was in her pride,
There I spied, all alone,
Phillida and Corydon.

Much ado there was, God wot!
He would love, and she would not:
She said, never man was true:
He said, none was false to you;
He said, be had lov'd her long:
She said, love should have no wrong.

Corydon would kiss her then,
She said, maids must kiss no men,

NICHOLAS BRETON.

71

Till they did for good and all.
Then she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witness truth:
Never lov’d a truer youth.

Thus, with many a pretty oath,
Yea and

nay,

and faith and troth!
Such as silly shepherds use,
When they will not love abuse;
Love, which had been long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded:

And Phillida, with garlands gay,
Was crown'd the lady of the May.

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Who would not that face admire!

Who would not this saint adore!
Who would not this sight desire,

Though he thought to see no more!

Thou that art the shepherds' queen,

Look upon thy love-sick swain;
By thy comfort, have been seen

Dead men brought to life again.

The two foregoing Pieces are the composition of NICHOLAS BRETON, whose poety is considerable, and of various merit; an imperfect copy of the former of these, together with his “ Go, muse, rock me asleep,” have been inserted by Percy into the third vol. of “ Reliques,” without his knowing who their author was. Playford, in his “ Introduction to the Skill of Musick,” 1665, quotes the first stanza of Phillida and Corydon, set to music, for two voices, with the attached signature, B. R. Nicholas Breton supplied the press with a rich diversity of ingenious compositions, for more than forty years. He was born in 1555; died, 1624.

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Would you be taught, ye feather'd throng,

,
With love's sweet notes to grace your song,
To pierce the heart with thrilling lay,
Listen to mine Anne Hathaway!
She hath a way to sing so clear,
Phæbus might wondering stop to hear;

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SHAKESPEARE.

73

To melt the sad, make blithe the

gay, And nature charm, Anne hath a way;

She hath a way,

Anne Hathaway,
To breathe delight, Anne hath a way.

When envy's breath, and rancorous tooth,
Do soil and bite fair worth and truth,
And merit to distress betray,
To soothe the heart, Anne hath a way;
She hath a way to chase despair;
To heal all grief, to soothe all care,
Turn foulest night to fairest day,
Thou knowest, fond heart, Anne hath a way;

She bath a way,

Anne Hathaway;
To make grief bliss, Anne hath a way.

But were it to my fancy given,
To rate her charms, I'd call them heaven,
For though a mortal made of clay,
Angels must love Anne Hathaway;
She bath a way, so to controul,
To rapture the imprisond soul,
And sweetest heaven on earth display,
That to be heaven, Anne hath a way;

She hath a way,

Anne Hathaway;
To be heaven's self, Anne hath a way.

The above is doubtfully ascribed to SHAKESPEARE, and purports to have been addressed to the lady he married : “ To the idol of

H

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