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90

As if she had never walkt the way;
She had forgot her gowne of gray,

Which she did weare of late.
The proverbe old is come to passe,
The priest, when he begins his masse,
Forgets that ever clerke he was,

He knowth not his estate.

95

100

Here you may read, Cophetua,

Though long time fancie-fed,
Compelled by the blinded boy

The begger for to wed:
He that did lovers lookes disdaine,
To do the same was glad and faine,
Or else he would himselfe have slaine,

In storie, as we read.
Disdaine no whit, O lady deere,
But pitty now thy servant heere,
Least that it hap to thee this yeare,

As to that king it did.

105

110

And thus they led a quiet life

During their princely raine;
And in a tombe were buried both,

As writers sheweth plaine.
The lords they tooke it grievously,

Ver. 90, i. e. tramped the streets. addresses himself to his mistress, the plur. nuinb.

V. 105, Here the poet V. 112, sheweth was anciently

The ladies tooke it heavily,
The commons cryed piteously,

115
Their death to them was paine,
Their fame did sound so passingly,
That it did pierce the starry sky,
And throughout all the world did flye
To every princes realme.*

120 * An ingenious friend thinks the two last stanzas should change place.

VII.

Take thy Old Cloak about Thee, Is supposed to have been originally a Scottish ballad. The reader here has an ancient copy in the English idiom, with an additional stanza (the 2d) never before printed. This curiosity is preserved in the Editor's folio MS. but not without corruptions, which are here removed by the assistance of the Scottish edit. Shakspeare in his Othello, act ii. has quoted one stanza, with some variations, which are here adopted : the old MS. readings are however given in the margin.

This winters weather itt waxeth cold,

And frost doth freese on every hill,
And Boreas blowes his blasts soe bold,

That all our cattell are like to spill;
Bell my wife, who loves no strife,

She sayd unto me quietlie,
Rise

up, and save cow Crumbockes life,
Man, put thine old cloake about thee.

5 10

He.
O Bell, why dost thou flyte“ and scorne?'
Thou kenst my cloak is

very

thin: It is so bare and overworne

A cricke he thereon cannot renn : Then Ile noe longer borrowe nor lend,

· For once Ile new appareld bee, To-morrow Ile to towne and spend,'

For Ile have a new cloake about mee.

15

ShE.
Cow Crumbocke is a very good cowe,

She has been alwayes true to the payle,
Shee has helpt us to butter and cheese, I trow,
And other things she will not fayle;

20 I wold be loth to see her pine,

Good husband, councell take of mee, It is not for us to go soe fine,

Then take thine old cloake about thee.

25

HE.
My cloake it was a very good cloake,

Itt hath been alwayes true to the weare,
But now it is not worth a groat;

I have had it four and forty yeare: Sometime it was of cloth in graine,

'Tis now but a sigh clout as you may see, It will neither hold out winde nor raine;

Ill have a new cloake about mee.

30

ShE.
It is four and fortye yeeres agoe

Since the one of us the other did ken,
And we have had betwixt us towe

35
Of children either nine or ten;
Wee have brought them up to women and men ;

In the feare of God I trow they bee;
And why wilt thou thyself misken?

Man, take thine old cloake about thee. 40

HE.
O Bell my wyfe, why dost thou floute !

Now is nowe, and then was then:
Seeke now all the world throughout,

Thou kenst not clownes from gentlemen.
They are clad in blacke, greene, yellowe, or 'gray,'
Soe far above their owne degree:

46 Once in my life Ile “doe as they,'

For Ile have a new cloake about mee.

ShE.
King Stephen was a worthy peere,

His breeches cost him but a crowne,
He held them sixpence all too deere;

Therefore he calld the taylor Lowne.

50

Ver. 49, King Harry.. a very good king. MS. V.50, I trow his hose cost but. MS. V.51, He thought them 12d. to deere. MS. V. 52, clowne. MS.

He was a wight of high renowne,

And thouse but of a low degree :
Itt's pride that putts the countrye downe,

Then take thine old cloake about thee.

55

HE.
· Bell my wife she loves not strife,

Yet she will lead me if she can;
And oft, to live a quiet life,

I am forced to yield, though Ime good-man;' 60
Itt's not for a man with a woman to threape,

Unlesse he first give oer the plea :
As wee began wee now mun leave,

And Ile take mine old cloake about mee.

V. 53, He was king and wore the crowne. MS.

VIII.

Willow, Willow, dalillow. It is from the following stanzas that Shakspeare has taken his song of the Willow, in his Othello, act. iv. sc. 3, though somewhat varied and applied by him to a female character. He makes Desdemona introduce it in this pathetic and affecting manner,

“My mother had a maid call’d Barbara :

She was in love ; and he she lov'd prov'd mad,
And did forsake her. She had a Song of—Willow.
An old thing t’was, but it express'd her fortune ;
And she dyed singing it.”

Ed. 1793, vol. xv., p. 613. This is given from a black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, thus entitled, A Lovers Complaint, being forsaken of his Love. To a pleasant tune.”

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