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If Ever I Marry

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If Ever I Marry

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If Ever I Marry

If ever I marry, I'll marry a maid.
To marry a widow I'm sore afraid.
For maids they are simple and never will grutch (grudge)
But widows full oft, as they say, know too much

A maid is so sweet, and so gentle of kind,
That a maid is the wife I will choose to my mind ;
A widow is forward, and never will yield;
Or if such there be, you will meet them but seeld. (seldom)

A maid ne'er complaineth, do what so you will;
But what you mean well, a widow takes ill.
A widow will make you a drudge and a slave,
And cost ne'er so much, she will ever go brave. (gaily dress'd)

A maid is so modest, she seemeth a rose,
When first it beginneth the bud to unclose;
But a widow full blowen, full often deceives,
And the next wind that bloweth shakes down all her leaves.

That widows be lovely I never gainsay,
But too well all their beauty they know to display;
But a maid hath so great hidden beauty in store,
She can spare to a widow, yet never be poor.

Then if ever I marry, give me a fresh maid,
If to marry with any I be not afraid;
But to marry with any it asketh much care,
And some bachelors hold they are best as they are.

From Music of the Olden Time, Chappell
ca 1557
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