The Lamentation of Mr. Pages Wife
Of Plimouth, who, being forc’d to wed him, consented to his
Murder, for the loue of G. Strangwidge: for
which they suffered at Barnstable
The Tune is Fortune my Foe, &c.
VNhappy she whom Fortune hath forlorne,
Despis’d of grace that proffered grace did scorne,
My lawlesse loue hath lucklesse wrought my woe,
My discontent content did ouerthrowe.
My lothed life to late I doe lament,
My wofull deedes in hearte I doe repent:
A wife I was that wilfull went awry,
And for that fault am here preparde to dye.
In blooming yeares my Fathers greedy minde,
Against my will, a match for me did finde:
Great wealth there was, yea, gold and siluer store,
But yet my heart had chosen one before.
Mine eies dislikt my fathers liking quite,
My hart did loth my parents fond delight:
My childish minde and fancie told to mee,
That with his age my youth could not agree.
On knees I prayde they would not me constraine;
With teares I cryde their purpose to refraine;
With sighes and sobbes I did them often moue,
I might not wed whereas I could not loue.
But all in vaine my speeches still I spent:
My mothers will my wishes did preuent,
Though wealthy Page possest the outward part,
George Strangwidge still was lodged in my hart.
I wedded was and wrapped all in woe;
Great discontent within my hart did growe;
I loathd to liue, yet liude in deadly strife,
Because perforce I was made Pages wife.
My closen eies could not his sight abide;
My tender youth did lothe his aged side:
Scant could I taste the meate whereon he fed;
My legges did lothe to lodge within his bed.
Cause knew I none I should dispise him so,
That such disdaine within my hart should growe,
Saue onely this, that fancie did me moue,
And told me still, George Strangwidge was my loue.
Lo! heere began my downfall and decay.
In minde I musde to make him strait away:
I that became his discontented wife,
Contented was he should be rid of life.
Methinkes the heauens crie vengeance for my fact,
Methinkes the world condemns my monstrous act,
Methinkes within my conscience tells me true,
That for that deede hell fier is my due.
My pensiue soule doth sorrow for my sinne,
For which offence my soule doth bleed within;
But mercy, Lord! for mercy still I crye:
Saue thou my soule, and let my bodie dye
Well could I wish that Page enioyde his life,
So that he had some other to his wife:
But neuer could I wish, of low or hie,
A longer life then see sweete Strangwidge die.
O woe is me! that had no greater grace
To stay till he had runne out Natures race.
My deedes I rue, but I doe repent
That to the same my Strangwidge gaue consent.
You parents fond, that greedy-minded bee,
And seeke to graffe vpon the golden tree,
Consider well and rightfull iudges bee,
And giue you doome twixt parents loue and mee.
I was their childe, and bound for to obey,
Yet not to loue where I no loue could laye.
I married was to muck and endlesse strife;
But faith before had made me Strangwidge wife.
O wretched world! who cankered rust doth blind,
And cursed men who beare a greedy minde;
And haplesse I, whom parents did force so
To end my dayes in sorrow, shame and wo.
You Denshire dames, and courteous Cornwall knights,
That here are come to visit wofull wights,
Regard my griefe, and marke my wofull end,
But to your children be a better frend.
And thou, my dear, that for my fault must dye
Be not affraide the sting of death to trye
Like as we liude and loude together true,
So both at once we’le bid the world adue.
Vlalia, thy friend, doth take her last farewell,
Whose soule with thee in heauen shall euer dwell.
Sweet Sauior Christ! do thou my soule receiue:
The world I doe with all my heart forgiue.
And parents now, whose greedy mindes doe show
Your harts desire, and inward heauie woe,
Mourn you no more, for now my heart doth tell,
Ere day be done my soule shalbe full well.
And Plimouth proude, I bid thee now farewell.
Take heede, you wiues, let not your hands rebel;
And farewell, life, wherein such sorrow showes,
And welcome, death, that doth my corps inclose-
And now, sweete Lord! forgive me my misdeedes.
Repentance cryes for soule that inward bleedes:
My soule and bodie I commend to thee,
That with thy bloud from death redeemed mee.
Lord! blesse our Queene with long and happy life,
And send true peace betwixt eche man and wife;
And giue all parents wisedome to foresee,
The match is marrde where mindes doe not agree.