Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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EEIGN OF ELIZABETH.
201
IN SAD AND ASHY WEEDS.
The four first stanzas of this song were found among the Howard papers in the Heralds' College, in the handwriting of Anne, Countess of Arundel, widow of the Earl who died in confinement in the Tower of London in 1595. They wero written on tho cover of a letter. Lodge, who printed them in his Illustrations of British History (iii. 241, 8vo., 1838), thought they " were probably composed" by the Countess; and that " the melancholy exit of her lord was not unlikely, to have produced these pathetic effusions." She could not, however, have been the author of verses, in her transcript of which the rhymes between the first and third lines of every stanza have been overlooked.* They were evidently written from memory, and rendered more applicable to her case by a few trifling alterations, such as " Not I, poor I, alone," instead of " Now, a poor lad alone," at the commencement of the fourth stanza.
The tune is contained in a MS. volume of virginal music, transcribed by Sir John Hawkins; the words in the Crown Q-arland of Golden Hoses, edition of 1659 (Percy Society reprint, p. 6.). It is there entitled " The good Shepherd's sorrow for the loss of his beloved son."
Among the ballads to the tune of In sad and ashy weeds, are " A servant's sorrow for the loss of his late royal mistress, Queen Anne " (wife to James I.), •" who died at Hampton Court" (May 2, 1618), beginning—• " In dole and deep distress, Poor soul, I, sighing, make my moan." It will be found in the same edition of the Crown Q-arland ; as well as an answer to In sad and ashy iveeds, entitled " Coridon's Comfort: the second part of the good Shepherd;" commencing, " Peace, Shepherd, cease to moan."
The tune is quoted under the title of " In sadness, or Who can blame my woe," as one for the Psalmes or Songs of Sion, &c, 1642.
* In the Countess's transcript, as printed by Lodge, the first four lines stand thus—
"In sad and ashy weeds I sigh, I groan, I pine, I mourn; My oaten yellow reeds I all to jet and ebon turn;"
instead of—
" In sad and ashy weeds
I sigh, I groan, I pine, I mourn;" as " weeds " should rhyme with " reeds" in the third line, and so in each verse.