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All in a greene meadowe.

[Page 518 of MS.]

I heard a nice girl

ALL: in a greene meadow, a riuer running by,
I hard a proper maiden both waile, weepe, and

crye,
the teares ffrom her eyes as cleare as any pearle ;
4 much did I lament the mourning of the girle :

shee sighed and sobbed, & to her selfe sayd,
alas! what hap had I to liue soe long a maid ?

lamenting that she had lived a maid so long.

8

Her coyness had pre

“Now in this world no Curtesye is knowen,
& young men are hard harted, which makes me liue

alone ;
the day & time hath beene, if I had still beene wise,
I might haue enioyed my true loue had I not beene so

n[ise']; but Coyishness, & toyishness, & peeuishness such store hath brought me to this pensiueness, and many mai

dens (more?].

vented her enjoying her true love,

“Some dames that are precise, & heare me thus Com

plaine, theyle thinke me fond & Idle, my Creditt much wold

sta[ine.] but lett me ansewre them; the Case might be their

owne ; the wisest on the earth, by loue may be orethrowen ; ffor Cupid is blinded, & cometh in a Cloud, & aimeth att a ragg as soone as att a robe.

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“Sith goddesses come downe to iest with such a boy, 20 then hapily poore maidens may tread their shoes

awrye.
Hellen of greece for bewty was the rarest,
a wonder of the world, & certainlye the ffairest ;
yett wold shee, nor Cold shee, liue a maiden still.

for Helen did it.

24

(page 519)

few or none can carrye
others all did marry

oftime that they haue vsed before
[Whoever it be] that come, I will deny no more,
[be itt light o]r be itt darke, doe he looke or winke,
[Ile let him hit] the marke, if he haue witt but for to

thinke.

She resolves to refuse no more,

MS, torn away.

[Tho silly m]aidens nicely deny itt when its offered, and advises

all girls to [yet I wi]sh them wisely to take itt when itts proffered; take it when 32 [If they be li]ke to Cressus to scorne soe true a freind,

[Theyle be] glad to receiue poore Charitye in the end.

[ti]me gone & time past is not recalld againe;
[t]herfore I wish all mayds make hast, lest with me

thé Complaine.

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Compare the French Charier droit, to tread straight, to take a right course; to behaue himself honestly, sincerely,

vprightly; or discreetly, warily, aduisedly.-Cot.

Thomas you cannott.

[Page 521 of MS.]

The very attractive air to which the following ballad was sung is to be found in Popular Music of the Olden Time, i. 337, but the words seem to exist only in this Manuscript. Their date cannot be much later than the commencement of James the First's reign, since one of the ballads against the Roman Catholics, written after the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, was to be sung “to the tune of Thomas, you cannot;" also because the air bears the same name in several collections of music for the virginals of corresponding, if not earlier, date.-W. C.

Thomas

4

THOMAS: vntyed his points apace,

& kindly hee beseeches
that shee wold giue him time & space

ffor to yntye 2 his breeches.
“Content, Content, Content!" shee cryes.
he downe with his breeches imedyatlye,
& ouer her belly he Cast his thye.
But then shee Cryes“ Thomas ! you Cannott, you

3 Cannott!
O Thomas, O Thomas, you Canott!”

lay on a girl,

8

Thomas, like a lively ladd,

lay close downe by her side :
he had the worst Courage that euer had man 4;

in conscience, the pore ffoole Cryed.

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· Point, a tagged lace, used in tying any part of the dress. Nares.-F.

2 The e has a tag as if for 8.-F.

3 MS. camot.-F.
4 ? man had.-W. C.

|

But then he gott some Courage againe,
& he crept vpon her belly amaine,
& thought to haue hitt her in the right vaine ;
But then shee &c.

16

She got angry.

20

1

24

He prayed to Venus for help.

28

This maid was discontented in mind,

& angry was with Thomas,
that he the time soe long had space,

& cold nott performe his promise.
he promised her a thing, 2 handfull att least,
which made this maid glad of such a ffeast;
but shee Cold not gett an Inch for a tast,
which made her

cry

&c.
Thomas went to Venus, the goddesse of loue,

& hartily he did pray,
that this ffaire maid might constant proue

till he performed what he did say.
in hart & mind they both wee[r]e content;
but ere he came att her, his courage was spent,
which made this maid

grow

discontent,
& angry was with Thomas, with Thomas,

& angry was with Thomas.
Vulcan & venus, with Mars & Apollo,

they all 4 swore they wold ayd him ;
Mars lent him his buckler & vulcan h[is hammer,?]

& downe by her side he laid him.3

32

36

She and 3 Gods promised to aid him,

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118

THOMAS YOU CANNOTT.

to the girl's content.

.

48

This mayd wa
that ffortune had lent hi
ffull oft he had beene
yett neuer cold stop .
he tickeled her tuch .
he made her to tr
& Thomas was glad he
& then shee cryes“ toot
& then shee cryes

.

52

66 toot

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