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And when that you have read the same,
Consider well my woe ;
E'en him that loves you so.
Cowslips are for Counsel,
For secrets us between,
Should know the thing we mean :
As I think to be best,
And set my heart at rest.
I pray you keep this Nosegay well,
And set by it some store :
Both now and evermore;
To set it in your breast,
In ground he takes his rest.
“ A proper New Ballad, intituled,
JEPHA JUDGE OF ISRAEL."
From a Copy printed in black letter, in two columns, for
F. Coles, T. Vere, and W. Gilbertson. With a cut exhibiting
A Soldier with a drawn
sword and fagot.
SA Lady with a fan
in her hand.
This ballad is singularly rare. It is quoted by Hamlet,
and notwithstanding the elaborate researches of the commentators on Shakspeare, it has hitherto eluded all their vigilance. Dr. Percy indeed has printed a very imperfect
copy of it, wanting two whole stanzas, and otherwise mutilated by repeated alterations and omissions ; which is not to be wondered at, as he never had an opportunity of consulting the original, but printed from a transcript made by a lady “ who wrote it down from memory, as she had formerly heard it sung by her father.” The late Duke of Roxburghe fortunately met with a copy of the original edition, which is now,
for the first time, accurately reprinted. I will extract the passage in which Hamlet banters Polonius, and then subjoin the ballad.
Ham. O Jephthah judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst
thou! Pol. What a treasure had he, my Lord :
(ne fair daughter, and no more,
The which he lored passing well. Pol. Still on my daughter. Ham. Am I not i’ the right, old Jephthah ? Pol. If call me Jephthah, my Lord, I have a daughter,
that I love passing well. Ham. Nay, that follows not. Pol. What follows then, my
Lord ? Ham. Why, as by lot, God wot; and then, you know, It came
to pass, as most like it was,
I have read that many years agoe,
When Jepha was appointed now,
It chanced so these warrs were done,
When Jepha did perceive and see
For I have made a vow (quoth he)
For sithence God hath given you might,
But father do so much for me,
And when that time was come and gone,