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The Gods passe man in blisse, because

They toile pot for more height,
But can enjoy, and in their own.

Eternall rest delight.

Then, princes, do not toile nor care,

Enjoy what you possesse, ir
Which whilest you do, you equallize

The gods in happinesse.

From the Tragedie of Cleopatra, by Thomas May. 1654.





Come will you buy? for I have heere
The rarest guinimes

that ever were;
Gold is but drosse, and features dye,
Els Æscupalius tells a lie.

But I,
Come will you buy ?
Have medicines for that malady.

Is there a lady in this place,
Would not bee maskt, but for her face?
O doe not blush, for heere is that
Will make your pale cheeks plumpe and fat.

Then why
Should I thus crye,
And none a scruple of me buye?
E 4

Come which

Come buy, you lusty gallants,

These simples which I sell ;
In all our dayes were never seene like these,

For beauty, strength, and smell.
Heres the king cup, the panzee, with the violet,

The rose that loves the shower.
The wholsome gilliflower,
Both the cowslip, lilly,

And the daffadilly,
With a thousand in my power.

Heres golden amaranthus,

That true love can provoke,
Of horehound store, and poysoning elebore,

With the polipode of the oake;
Heres chast vervine, and lustful eringo,

Health preserving sage,
And rue which cures old age,

With a world of others,

Making fruitful mothers;
All these attend mee as my page.

From the True Tragedy of Herod and Antipater, by Gervase Markham and William Samp



To the above I might easily have added other specimens of equal merit, but my object was to produce a performance of miscellaneous entertainment. It may be objected, that what I have inserted are not sufficiently select, and that far better examples of the poetry of the times in which these songs were composed, have already appeared in the compilations of Cooper, Headley, Aikin, Ellis, Ritson, and others. This may be conceded; but I do not think that any of the specimens I have here printed, are to be found, but in the particular old dramas which I have had before me. They will at least, therefore, have the merit of novelty to those, who may not have the opportunity of seeing the rare and curious volumes from which they have been taken.


Johannis Parkhursti Ludicra sive Epigrammata

Juvenilia. 4to. Apud Johannem Dayum Typographum. 1573.

OF this remarkably rare book we have no copy in the British Museum. I am indebted to my friend Mr. Douce for the use of one.

There is no account of John Parkhurst in any of our biographical dictionaries.

I subjoin, therefore, the following brief description of him and his writings.


He was born at Guildford in Surrey, and was sent, at a very early age, to Oxford. In 1529 he was a probationary Fellow of Merton College. He was in due time Rector of Cleve in Gloucestershire, which, on account of its great value, was usually denominated Bishops Cleve. After the death of Edward the Sixth, actuated by conscientious motives, he left his preferment, and retired to Zurich, where he continued till the decease of Queen Mary. At the accession of Elizabeth he returned to his native country, and was made Bishop of Norwich.

He wrote and published the following works:

1. Epigrammata in mortem duorum fratrum Suffolciensium Caroli et Henrici Brandon. 4to. 1552.

These brothers were the sons of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who died of the Sweating Sickness.

2. Ludicra-sive Epigrammata Juvenilia.

3. John Sheproves “ Distichs on the New Testament."

4. Epigrammata Seria. 8vo. 1560.

Parkhurst also, at the command of Queen Elizabeth, translated the Apocrypha, from The Book of Wisdom to the end. He died in 1574, and was buried in the Cathedral Church of Norwich. There is this inscription on his monument:

" Johannes Parkhurstus, Theologiæ Professor, Gylfordiæ natus, Oxoniæ educatus, temporibus

Mariæ Reginæ pro nitida conscientia Tigurena vixit exul voluntarius. Postea Præsul factus sanctissime hanc rexit ecclesiam 16 annos et mortuus est secundo die Februarii an. 1574 ætatis suæ 63."

There is another inscription to him on one of the pillars of the cathedral, in these terms:

“ Viro bono, docto, et pio Johanni Parkhursto Episcopo vigilantissimo, Georgius Gardiner posuit học.

This George Gardiner was Dean of Norwich.

I subjoin two or three specimens of Parkhurst's work.


ruga tuo.

Cum legis hunc nostrum, Lector, studiose libellum,

Decedat vultu tetrica
Non sunt hæc tristi conscripta Catonibus ore,

Non Heraclitis, non gravibus Curiis :
Sed si Heracliti, Curii, si forte Catones,

Adjicere huc oculos et legere ista velint, Multa hic invenient, quæ possint pellere curas,

Plurima quæ mestos exhilarari queant.


Quidam placentas optimas,
Dulci resparsas Zaccharo,
Mihi vorandas præbuit.
Aliquid comedi protinus,



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