A PEPYSIAN GARLAND - online book

Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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The soldiers farewell
Pepys, iv, 42. There is a printed copy also in the collection of the Earl of Crawford {Catalogue of English Ballads, No. 793). B.L., one woodcut, two columns. The Pepys copy of this jig is printed on a broadside with another ballad called "A Pleasant Song Made by a Soldier," beginning "In summer time when Phoebus' rays" and included in the Roxburgke Ballads, vi, 284. Both ballads were registered at Stationers' Hall on December 14, 1624, as "Margarett, my sweetest" and "In summer time" (Arber's Transcript, iv, 131), though the latter was originally licensed on April 24, 1588 {ibid, n, 488). There is another copy of "The Soldier's Farewell," preserved under the significant title of "A Iigge," in the Percy Folio Manuscript (ed. Hales and Furnivall, 11, 355). That copy was evi­dently made from memory: it has hardly a line in which verbal changes, all without significance, are not made, and is inferior in every way to the printed sheet.
Ballads on this theme—the cruel trials to which a young woman's love is put—are common: see the traditional ballad of "Child Waters," No. 63, in F. J. Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads and the notes there. Perhaps the author of "The Soldier's Farewell" was influenced directly by the beautiful lyric of "The Nut-Brown Maid."
To a pleasant new Tune.
Thomas. 1 MArgaret my sweetest, Margaret I must go.1                          Margaret.
Most dear to me, that never may be so: T. Ah, Fortune wills it, I cannot it deny.1 M. then know my love your Margaret must dye.
1 Text has a comma.
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