A Lamentable Ballad of Little Musgrove, and the Lady Barnet.

To an Excellent new Tune.
AS it fell out on a high Holy-day,
as many more be in the year,
Musgrove would to the Church and pray,
to see the fair Lady's there:
Gallants there were of good degree,
for beauty exceeding fair,
Most wondrous lovely to the eye,
which did to the Church repair.
Some came down in red Velvet,
and some came down in Pall,
Then next came down my Lady Barnet,
the fairest amongst them all;
She cast a look on little Musgrove,
as bright as the Summers Sun.
Full well then perceived little Musgrove,
Lady Barnets love he had won.
The Lady Barnet meek and mild,
saluted the little Musgrove,
Who did reply her kind Courtesie,
with Honur and gentle love:
I have a Bower in merry Barnet,
[...] with Co [...]slips sweet,
If that you please little Musgrove,
[...]n love me there to meet.
Within my arms one night to sleep,
for you my love have won,
[...] fear my suspicious Lord,
[...] home is gone:
[...] his beside my death,
[...] will lye with thee,
[...] sake I'll hazard my breath,
so dear is thy love to me.
What shall we do with our little Foot-page,
our Counsel for to keep,
And watch for fear Lord Barnet come,
while we together sleep:
Red gold shall be his hire, quoth he,
and silver shall be his fee.
So he our counsel safely keep,
that I may sleep with thee.
I will have none of your gold, he said,
nor none of your silver fee,
If I should keep your counsel Sir,
'twere great Disloyalty:
I will not be false unto my Lord,
for house nor yet for land.
But if my Lady prove untrue,
Lord Barnet shall understand.
Then swiftly ran this little Foot-page,
unto his Lord with speed,
He then was feasting with his own Friends,
not dreaming of this deed,
Most speedily the Page did haste,
most swiftly he did run,
And when he came to the broken Bridge,
he bent his breast and swam.
The Page did make no stay at all,
but went to the Lord with speed,
That he the truth might tell to him,
concerning this wicked deed:
He found his Lord at supper then,
great merriment they did keep,
My lord, qd. he, this night on my word,
Musgrove with your lady doth sleep.


IF this be true my little Foot-page,
and true that thou tellest to me,
My eldest Daughter I'll give thee,
and wedded thou shalt be:
If this be a lye my little Foot-page,
and a lye thou tellest to me,
A new pair of gallows shall be set up,
and hanged thou shalt be.
If this be a lye, my lord, said he,
and a lye that thou hearest of me,
Never stay a pair of gallows to make,
but hang me upon the next Tree:
Lord Barnet call'd his merry men all,
away with speed he would go;
His heart was so perplext with grief,
the truth of this he must know.
Saddle your horses with speed, he said,
and saddle me my white Steed,
If this be true as the Page hath said,
Musgrove shall repent this deed:
He charged his men to make no noise,
as they rode along the way,
For wind us horn (quoth he) for your life,
least our coming it should betray.
But one of them that Musgrove did love,
and respected his friendship most dear,
To give notice lord Barnet was come,
did [...]ind the Bugle most clear:
And evermore as he did scund
away Musgrove and away,
For if he take thee with my lady,
then slain thou shalt be this day.
O hark fair lady, your lord is near,
I hear his little horn blow,
And if he find me in your Arms thus,
O lye still, lye still, little Musgrove,
and keep my back from the cold,
I know it is my Fathers Shepherd,
driving Sheep unto the Pinfold.
Musgrove did turn him round about,
sweet slumber his eyes did greet,
When he did awake then did he espy,
lord Barnet at the beds-feet:
O rise up, rise up, thou little Musgrove,
and put thy cloathing on,
It never shall be said in England fair,
that I slew a naked man.
Here is two Swords, lord Barnet said,
Musgrove thy choice now make.
The best of them thy self shall have,
and I the worst will take:
The first blow Musgrove did strike,
he wounded lord Barnet sore,
The second blow lord Barnet gave,
Musgrove could strike no more.
He took his lady by the white hand,
all love to rage convert,
And with his Sword in furious wise,
he piere'd her tender heart:
A grave, a grave, lord Barnet cry'd,
prepare to lay us in,
My lady shall lye on the upper side,
cause she's the better Skin.
Then suddenly he slew himself,
which griev'd his friends full sore,
The death of these three worthy wights,
with tears they did deplore:
This sad mischief by lust was wrought,
then let us call for grace,
That we may shun the wicked vice,
and slye from sin apace.

[...] O. and T. Thackeray at the Angel in Duck-lane.

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