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A most sweet Song of an English-Merchant Born in Chichester

To an Excellent New Tune.
A Rich Merchant man there was
that was both graue & wise,
Did kill a man at Embden Town
through quarrels that did rise,
Through quarrels that did rise,
the German being dead,
And for that fact the Merchant man,
was judg’d to loose his head.
A sweet thing is loue,
it rules both hearf and mind,
There is no comfort in this world.
to women that are kind.
A Scaffold builded was,
within the market place,
And all the people far and near,
did thither flock apace,
Did thither flock apace,
this doleful sight to see,
Who all in Veluet black as jet,
vnto the place came he.
A sweet, &c.
Bare-headed was he brought,
his hands were bound hefore,
A cambrick ruff about his neck,
as white as milk he wore:
His stockins were of silk,
as fine as fine might be,
Of person and of countenance,
a proper man was he.
A sweet, &c.
When he was mounted vp,
vpon the Scaffold high,
All women said great pitty it was
so sweet a man should dye:
The Merchants of the Town,
from death to set him free,
Did proffer there a thousand pound
but yet all would not be.
A sweet, &c.
The prisoner hereupon,
began to speak his mind,
(Quoth he) I haue deserued death,
in conscience I do find,
Yet sore against my will,
this man I kill’d (qd. he),
As Christ doth know, which of my soul
must only Sauiour be.
A sweet, &c.
With heart I do repent,
this most vnhappy deed,
And for his wife and children small
my very heart doth bleed:
The deed is done and past,
my hope of life is vain,
And yet the loss of this my life,
to them is little gain.
A sweet, &c.
Vnto the widow poor,
and to the Babes therefore,
I give a hundred pound a piece,
their comforts to restore,
Desiring at their hands,
no one request but this,
They will speak well of English men
though I haue done amiss.
This was no sooner done,
but that to stint the strife,
Four goodly maids did proffer him
for loue to saue his life:
This is our Law (qd. they),
we may your death remoue,
So you in lieu of our good will
will grant to vs your loue.
A sweet, &c.
Brave English-man (quoth one),
’tis I will saue thy life,
Nay (quoth the second) it is I,
so I may be thy wife:
‘Tis I (the third did say),
nay (quoth the fourth) tis I,
So each one after the other said,
still waiting his reply.
A sweet, &c.
Fair Maidens euery one,
I must confess and say,
That each of you well worthy is
to be a Lady gay:
And I vnworthy far,
the worst of you to haue,
Though you haue proffer’d willingly
my loathed life to saue.
A sweet, &c.
Then take a thousand thanks,
of me a dying man,
But speak no more of loue nor life,
for why my life is gone,
To Christ my soul I giue,
my body vnto death,
For none of you my heart can haue,
sith I must loose my breath.
A sweet, &c.
Fair Maids lament no more,
your Country Law is such,
It takes but hold vpon my life,
my goods it cannot touch
Within one Chest I haue
in Gold a thousand pound,
I giue it equal to you all,
for loue that I haue found.
A sweet, &c.
And now dear friends farewell,
sweet England now adieu,
And Chichester where I was born,
where first this breath I drew;
And now thou man of death,
vnto thy weapon stand,
O nay (another Damsel said)
sweet Headsman hold thy hand.
A sweet, &c.
Now hear a maidens plaint,
brave English-man (quoth she)
And grant me loue for loue again,
that craues but loue of thee:
I wooe and sue for loue,
that had been woo’d e’re this,
Then grant me loue, & therewithal
she proffered him a kiss;
A sweet, &c.
I’le dye within thy arms,
if thou wilt dye (quoth she)
Yet liue or dye sweet English man,
ile liue and dye with thee:
But can it be (quoth he)
that thou dost loue me so,
Tis not by long acquaintance Sir
whereby true loue doth grow,
A sweet, &c.
Then beg my life (quoth he)
and I will be thy own,
If I should seek the world for loue
more loue cannot be shown:
The people at that word
did giue a joyful cry,
And said great pitty it was,
so sweet a man should dye;
A sweet, &c.
I go my Loue (she said)
I run, I flye for thee,
& gentle Headsman spare a while,
my Louers head for me;
Vnto the Duke she went,
who did her grief remoue,
& with an hundred Maidens more,
she went to fetch her Loue:
A sweet, &c.
With musick sounding sweet,
the foremost of the train,
The gallant maiden like a bride,
did fetch him back again;
Yea hand in hand away they went,
vnto the Church that day,
And they were married presently,
in sumptuous rich array;
A sweet, &c.
To England came he then,
with his fair Lady Bride,
A fairer woman neuer lay
by any Merchants side;
Where we must leaue them now,
in pleasure and delight,
but of their names & dweling place
I must not here recite.
A sweet, &c.

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A most sweet Song of an English-Merchant Born in Chichester - THOMAS DELONEY