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Sir, said she, what Mall I do,
If I commit this Evil,
I hope you will prove civil?
And likewise Gold and Treasure :
And then you shall have your Pleasure.
Sure thy Will shall be obey'd,
Said I, my own dear Honey, Then into her Lap I lay'd
Full Forty Pounds in Money; We'll to the Market Town this Day,
And straitway end this Quarrel, And deck thee like a Lady gay,
In flourishing rich Apparel.
All my Gold and Silver there
To her I did deliver :
Out-coming to a River,
Such Rivers I ne'er see many,
And left me not one Penny.
Then my Heart was sunk full low,
With Grief and Care surrounded,
For fear of being drowned ;
I am not for your Devotion,
'Twill serve to inlarge my Portion.
I began to stamp and stare,
To see what she had acted ; With my Hands I tore my Hair,
Like one that was quite distracted. Give me my Money then I cry'd,
Good Faith, I did but lend it, But she full fast away did ride,
And vow'd she did not intend it.
XXIX. The famous Flower of Ser
ving-Men : Or, The Lady turn'd Serving-Man.
To the Tune of, Flora's Farewell : Or, Summer time:
Or, Love's Tide.
Having now inserted all the Historical
Ballads which I had depgn’d for this Collection, I will give my Readers a few of the best old Fabulous Songs, for so I am oblig'd to call 'em ; not that I think the Subject of them all the Invention of the Poet, but because I have not hitherto been able to trace them out in History. Perhaps, tho' written on Persons of Note, yet being confin'd to Particulars, the Facts they treat of may have escaped the Historians ; or perhaps, that being chiefly founded on amorous Intrigues, they would not, or durft not, take Notice of'em; or, which is as probable as any of the former Conjectures, perhapsI
mayhavepassed 'em over. Nor can this always be accounted a Fault, for I believe it very possible to read a Song, and the Story on which it is written at the same time, yet not know that they both treat of the fame Thing; for being mostly compos'd in the Days of
those Persons of whom they speak, our Poets have, to disguise Truth, blended Truth and Fiction so much together, that without having been Personally acquainted with the Heroes and Heroines, 'tis imposible to know them. Perhaps fome Persons who are better acquainted with antique Stories, or have more Leisure upon their Hands, may, upon the perufngof this Story,discover and bring the World acquainted with the King and fair Elise, whose Praises are here recorded.
TOU beauteous Ladies great and small, YOU
I write unto you one and all, Whereby that you may understand What I have suffer'd in this Land :
I was by Birth a Lady fair,
And then my Love built me a Bower, Bedeck'd with many a fragrant Flower ;
A braver Bower you never did see,
But there came Thieves late in the Night,
My Servants all from me did flye,
Yet though my Heart was full of Care, Heaven would not suffer me to despair ; Wherefore in haste I chang'd my Name, From fair Elife to sweet William.
And therewithal I cut my Hair, And dress'd my self in Man's Attire, My Doublet, Hofe, and Beaver Hat, And a Golden Band about my Neck ;
With a Silver Rapier by my side,
Thus in my sumptuous Man's Array,
Then to the King I bow'd full low,
Stand up, brave Youth, the King reply'd,
Wilt thou be Usher of my Hall,
Or wilt thou be my Chamberlain, To make my Bed both soft and fine? Or wilt thou be one of my Guard, And I will give thee thy Reward?