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And when that you have read the same,

Consider well my woe ;
Think ye then how to recompense

E'en him that loves you so.

Cowslips are for Counsel,

For secrets us between,
That none but you and I alone

Should know the thing we mean :
And if you will thus wisely do,

As I think to be best,
Then have you surely won the field,

And set my heart at rest.

I pray you keep this Nosegay well,

And set by it some store :
And thus farewell, the Gods thee guide,

Both now and evermore;
Not as the common sort do use,

To set it in your breast,
That when the smell is gone away,

In ground he takes his rest.


“ A proper New Ballad, intituled,


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 :

Ham. Why

(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, judge of Israel,
Had one fair daughter and no more,
Whom he loved passing well.
And as by lot, God wot,
It came to passe most like it was,
Great warrs there should be,
And who should be the chiefe, but he, but he.

When Jepha was appointed now,
Chiefe captain of the company,
To God the Lord he made a vow,
If he might have the victory,
At his return to burn
For his offering the first quick thing,
Should meet with him then,
From his house when he came agen, agen.

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It chanced so these warrs were done,
And home he came with victory,
His daughter out of doors did run,
To meet her father speedily,
And all the way did play
To taber and pipe, and many a stripe,
And notes full high,
For joy that he was so nigh, so nigh.

When Jepha did perceive and see
His daughter firm and formostly,
He rent his cloths and tore his haire,
And shrieked out most piteously,
For thou art she (quoth he)
Hath brought me low, alas for woe,
And troubled me so,
That I cannot tell what to doe, to doe.

For I have made a vow (quoth he)
Which must not be diminished,
A sacrifice to God on high,
My promise must be finished,
As you have spoke, provoke,
No further care but to prepare,
Your will to fulfill,
According to God's will, God's will.

For sithence God hath given you might,
To overcome your enemies,
Let one be offer'd up as right,
For to perform all promises,
And this let be, quoth she,
As thou hast said be not afraid,
Although it be I.
Keep promise with God on high, on high.

But father do so much for me,
As let me go to wildernesse,
There to bewaile my virginity,
Three months to bemoan my heavinesse,
And let there go some moe,
Like maids with me. Content, quoth he,
And sent her

To mourn till her latter day, her day.

And when that time was come and gone,
That she should sacrificed be,
This virgin sacrificed was,
For to fulfill all promises ;
As some


aye :
The virgins there three times a year,
Like sorrow fulfill,
For the daughter of Jepha still, still, still.

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