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Of patient Grissel and a Noble Marquesse

To the Tune of, The Brides good morrow.
A Noble Marquesse, as he did ride a hunting
hard by a riuers side:
A proper Maiden, as she did sit a spinning,
his gentle eyes had spide.
Most faire & louely, & of comely grace was she,
although in simple attire:
She sang full sweet, with pleasant voyce melodiously,
which set che Lords heart on fire.
The more he lookt, the more he might,
Beautie bred, his hearts delight.
and to this daintie Damsel then he went,
God speed (quoth he) thou famous Flower,
Fair Mistresse of this homely bower,
where loue & vertue liues with sweet content.
With comely gesture, & modest fine behauiour,
she bade him welcome then:
She entertain’d him in faithful friendly maner,
and all his Gentlemen.
The noble Marques in his hart felt such a flame
which set his senses at strife:
(Quoth he) faire Maiden shew me soone what is thy name,
I mean to make thee my wife.
Grissel is my name (quoth she)
Farre vnfit for your degree,
a silly Maiden and of parents poore.
Nay Grissel, thou art rich, he said,
A vertuous, faire, and comely maid,
grant me thy loue. and I will aske no more.
At length she consented, & being both contented,
they married with speed:
Her country russet was chang’d to silke & veluet
as to her state agreed.
And when that she was trimly tired in the same
her beauty shined most bright:
Far staining euery other braue & comely Dame
that did appeare in her sight,
Many enuied her therefore,
Because she was of parents poore,
and twixt her Lord & she great strife did raise:
Some saide this and some said that,
Some did call her beggars brat,
and to her Lord they would her oft dispraise.
0, noble Marques (qd. they) why do you wrong vs
thus basely for to wed:
That might haue gotten an honourable Lady
into your Princely bed:
Who will not now your noble issue still deride
which shall be hereafter borne,
That are of bloud so base by their mothers side,
the which will bring them to scorn:
Put her therfore, quite away,
Take to you a Lady gay,
whereby your Linage may renowned be.
Thus euery day they seeme to prate,
At malic’d Grissels good estate,
who tooke all this most mild and patiently.
When that the Marques did see that they were bent thus
against his faithfull wife,
Whom most dearley, tenderly, and entirely,
he loued as his life:
Minding in secret for to proue her patient heart
therby her foes to disgrace:
Thinking to play a hard discourteous part,
that men might pitty her case,
Great with child this Lady was,
And at length it came to passe,
two goodly children at one birth she had.
A sonne and daughter God had sent,
Which did their Father well content,
and which did make their mothers heart full glad.
Great royall Feastings was at the Childrens christning,
and Princely triumph made:
Six weekes together, all Nobles that came thither
were entertaind and staid.
And when that al these pleasant sportings quite were done,
the Marquesse a messenger sent
For his yong daughter, & his prety smiling son
declaring his full intent:
How that the babes must murthered be,
For so the Marquesse did decree:
come, let me haue the children, then he said,
With that faire Grissel wept full sore,
She wrung her hands, and said no more,
my gracious Lord must haue his will obayd.
She tooke the Babies from the nursing Ladies,
betweene her tender armes:
She often wishes, with many sorrowfull kisses,
that she might helpe their harmes.
Farwel farwel (quoth she) my children deere,
neuer shall I see you againe:
Tis long of me your sad & wofull mother here,
for whose sake ye must be slaine:
Had I beene borne of Royall race,
You might haue liu’d in happy case:
but you must die for my vnworthinesse,
Come messenger of death (said she)
Take my despised Babes to thee,
and to their father my complaints expresse.
He tooke the children, and to his Noble Master
he brought them forth with speed.
Who secret sent them vnto a noble Lady,
to be nurst vp indeed.
Then to faire Grissel with a heauy heart he goes
where she sate mildly all alone:
A pleasant gesture and a louely looke she shows,
as if griefe she had neuer knowne.
(Quoth he) my children now are slaine,
What thinkes faire Grissel of the same,
sweet Grissel now declare thy mind to mee.
Sith you my lord, are pleased with it,
Poor Grissel thinks the action fit,
both I and mine at your command will be.
The Nobles murmure fair Grissel, at thy honor,
and I no ioy can haue:
Till thou be banisht both from my Court & presence,
as they vniustly craue:
Thou must be stript out of thy stately garments,
and as thou camst vnto me,
In homely gray, instead of Bisse and purest Pal,
now all thy clothing must be.
My Lady thou shalt be no more,
Nor I thy Lord which grieues me sore,
the poorest life must now content thy mind.
A groat to thee I may not giue,
Thee to maintaine while I do liue;
against my Grissel such great foes I find.
When gentle Grissel heard these wofull tidings,
the teares stood in her eyes:
She nothing saide, no words of discontentment
did from her lips arise:
Her veluet gowne most patiently she slipt off,
her kirtle of silke with the same:
Her russet gowne was brought again with many a scoffe,
to heare them all her selfe she did frame.
When she was drest in this array:
And ready was to part away:
God send long life vnto my Lord (quoth she)
Let no offence be found in this,
To giue my Lord a parting kis:
with watered eyes, farewel my deere (qd. he).
From stately Palace vnto her Fathers cottage,
poore Grissel now is gone:
Full fifteen winters, she liued there contented,
no wrong she thought vpon;
And at that time through all the land the speeches went,
the Marquess should married be,
Vnto a Lady great of high discent,
and to the same all parties did agree.
The Marquesse sent for Grissel faire,
The Brides bed chamber to prepare,
that nothing should therein be found awry.
The Bride was with her Brother come,
Which was great ioy to all and some,
and Grissel tooke all this most patiently.
And in the morning when that they should be wedded
her patience now was tried:
Grissel was charged her selfe in princely manner,
for to attire the Bride.
Most willingly she gaue consent vnto the same,
the Bride in her brauery was drest:
And presently the noble Marques thither came,
with all his Lords at his request.
Oh Grisse, I would ask of thee,
If thou to this match would agree,
me thinks thy looks are waxen wondrous coy:
With that they all began to smile,
And Grissel she replies the uhile:
God send Lord Marques many yeeres of ioy.
The Marques was moued to see his best beloued
thus patient in distresse:
He stept vnto her, and by the hand he tooke her,
these words he did expresse.
Thou art the Bride, & all the Brides I mean to haue,
these two thine own children be:
The youthfull Lady on her knees did blessing craue
her brother as willing as she
And you that enuy her estate,
Whom I haue made my louing mate,
now blush for shame, and honour vertuous lire,
The Chronicles of lasting fame,
Shall euermore extoll the name
of patient Grissel, my most constant wife.

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Of patient Grissel and a Noble Marquesse - THOMAS DELONEY