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WOMEN, women, love of women,
Makè bare purse with some men !
Some be nice as a nunne hen,

Yit all they be nat so.
Some be lewd, some all be shrewed,—2

Go shrews where they go.
Some be wise, and some be fond,
And some be tame, I understond,
And some can take bread of a man's hond,

Yit all they be nat so.
Some will be drunken as a mouse;
Some be crooked, and will hurt a louse ;
And some be fair, and good in a house ;

Yit all be nat so :
For some be lewd, and some be shrewed, -

Go shrew wheresoever ye go.
Some can prate withouten hire,
And some make debate in every shire,
And some checkmate with oure sire,

Yit all they be nat so.
Some be lewd, and some be shrewed,

Go where they go.
Some be brown, and some be white,
And some be tender as a tripe,
And some of them be cherry-ripe,

Yit all they be nat so.
Some be lewd, and some be shrewed,

Go where they go. 1 The date of this poem may be towards 1460. I have seen three several versions of it. Two of them are nearly alike, and are here substantially reproduced. From the other, which differs considerably, I have taken the stanza which appears third in the present reprint. 2 Curst, hateful.

Some of them be true of love
Beneath the girdle but not above,
And in a hood above can chove ;

Yit all they be nat so.
Some be lewd, and some be shrewed,

Go where they go.
Some can whister, and some can cry;
Some can flatter, and some can lie ;
And some can set the moke awry;

Yit all they do nat so.
Some be lewd, and some be shrewed,

Go where they go.
He that made this song full good
Came of the north and the southern blood,
And somewhat kine to Robin Hood ;

Yit all we be nat so.
Some be lewd, and some be shrewed,

Go where they go ;
Some be lewd and some be shrewed,

Go where they go.


For a man that is almost blind,
Let him go barehead all day again the wind,

Till the sun be set ;
And than wrap him in a cloak,
And put him in a house full of smoke,
And look that every hole be well shet.
And, whan his eyes begin to rope,
Fill hem full of brimstone and soap,

And hyll 3 him well and warm.
And, if he be not, by the next moon,
As well at midnight as at noon,

I shall lese my right arm.

When these things following be done to our intent,

Than put women in trust and confident.
When nettles in winter bring forth roses red,

And all manner of thorn-trees bear figs naturally,
And geese bear pearls in every mead,

Ănd laurel bear cherries abundantly,
And oaks bear dates very plenteously,

1 Kin. 2 Date towards 1480 : so also for the two poems that follow next. 3 Cover.

And kisks give of honey superfluence,

Than put women in trust and confidence.
When box bear paper in every lond and town,

And thistles bear berries in every place,
And pikes have naturally feathers in their crown,

And bulls of the sea sing a good bass,
And men be the ships fishes do trace,
And in women be found no insipience,

Than put hem in trust and confidence.
When whitings do walk forests to chase harts,
And herrings their horns in forests boldly blow,

And marmsats morn in moors and in lakes,
And gurnards shoot rooks out of a cross-bow,
And goslings hunt the wolf to overthrow,
And sprats bear spears in armes of defence,

Than put women in trust and confidence.
When swine be cunning in all points of music,

And asses be doctors of every science,
And cats do heal men be practising of physic,

And buzzards to scripture gif ony credence,
And marchans buy with horn, instead of groats and pence,

And pyes be made poets for their eloquence,
Than put women in trust and confidence.
When sparrows build churches on a heighth,

And wrens carry secks ? onto the mill,
And curlews carry timber houses to dighth,

And fomalls bear butter to market to sell,

And woodcocks wear woodknives cranes to kill,
And greenfinches to goslings do obedience,

Than put women in trust and confidence.
When crowves take sarmon 3 in woods and parks,

And be take with swifts and snails,
And camels in the air take swallows and larks,
And mice move mountains with wagging of their tails,
And shipmen take a ryd instead of sails,

And when wifes to their husbands do no offence,
Than put women in trust and confidence.
When hantlopes surmounts eagles in Alight,

And swans be swifter than hawks of the tower,
And wrens set gos-hawks be force and might,
And muskets

make vergece of crabbes sour, And ships sail on dry lond, syll gyfe flower, 4 And apes in Westminster gif judgment and sentence,

Than put women in trust and confidence.

1 Sacks.
2 Construct.

3 Salmon. 4 I don't understand these three words-not to speak of some few others passim.

I WILL you tell a full good sport,
How gossips gather them on a sort,
Their sick bodies for to comfort,
When they meet in a lane or street.
But I dare not, for their displeasance,
Tell of these matters half the substance ;
But yet somewhat of their governance,
As far as I dare, I will declare.
Good gossip mine, where have ye be?
It is so long sith I you see !
Where is the best wine ? Tell you me:
Can you aught tell full well.”
“I know a draught of merry-go-down,-
The best it is in all this town:
But yet would I not, for my gown,
My husband it wist, -ye may me trust.
“Call forth your gossips by and by,-
Elinore, Joan, and Margery,
Margaret, Alice, and Cecily ;
For they will come, both all and some.
“And each of them will somewhat bring,-
Goose, pig, or capon's wing,
Pasties of pigeons, or some such thing :
For a gallon of wine they will not wring.

“Go before be twain and twain,
Wisely, that ye be not seen ;
For I must home—and come again-
To wit, I wis, where my husband is.
A stripe or two God might send

If my husband might here see me.”
“ She that is afeard, let her flee!”
Quod Alice than : “I dread no man !”

“Now be we in tavern set;
A draught of the best let him fett,
To bring our husbands out of debt;

For we will spend till God more send.” Of this poem I have seen two versions. On the whole, I think the one here printed is superior in touches of character and manners. The other differs in arrangement and in numerous details, and devotes some stanzas to an incident which does not appear at all in our version-namely, the summoning of a harper for the diversion of the “ merry wives.

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Each of them brought forth their dish :
Some brought flesh, and somë fish.
Quod Margaret meek : “Now, with a wish,
I would Anne were here--she would make us cheer."
"How say you, gossips ? Is this wine good ?”
“That it is," quod Elinore, “by the rood !
It cherisheth the heart, and comfort the blood ;
Such junkets among shall make us live long.”
“Anne, bid fill a pot of muscadel,
For of all wines I love it well.
Sweet wines keep my body in hele :
If I had of it nought, I should take great thought,
How look ye, gossip, at the board's end ?
Not merry, gossip ? God it amend !
All shall be well, else God it defend :
Be merry and glad, and sit not so sad."
“ Would God I had done after your counsel !
For my husband is so fell
He beateth me like the devil of hell ;
And, the more I cry, the less mercy.'
Alice with a loud voice spake than :
“I wis,” she said, "little good he can
That beateth or striketh ony woman,
And specially his wife :-God give him short live !"
Margaret meek said : “So mote I thrife,
I know no mar, that is alife
That give me two strokes but he shall have fife :
I am not afeard, though I have no beard."
One cast down her shot, and went her way.

Gossip,” quod Elinore, “what did she pay?"
“Not but a penny.”

- Lo therefore I say She shall be no more of our lore. "Such guests we may have enow That will not for their shot allow. With whom come she? Gossip, with you ?" “Nay," quod Joan, “I come alone." “Now reckon our shot, and go we hence. What! cost it each of us but three pence? Pardie ! this is but a small expense For such a sort, and all but sport. “ Turn down the street where ye come out, And we will compass round-about." “Gossip," quod Anne, “what needeth that doubt? Your husbands be pleased when ye be reised.

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