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and disguising the Nut-Brown Maid in this modish fashion, Prior has drawn the moral fore-hammer of Johnson upon her devoted head; and it is not a little amusing to find the “ great moralist,” who seems entirely unacquainted with the real NutBrown Maid, or the materials on which Prior worked, earnestly and gravely denouncing Emma as a forward minx whose example is of very dangerous tendency. This is indeed

To break a butterfly upon the wheel.

At the risk of dwelling too long on this " flower in the winter-solstice of our poetry," a few verses of the Nut-Brown Maid are submitted to the indulgence of the modern reader.

A high-born lover, who, in the disguise of a squire of low degree, has gained the affections of the Nut-Brown Maid, a baron's daughter, wishes to put her love and fidelity to the most extreme trial the female mind can sustain ; and telling her that he has committed a crime, for which he must suffer death or fly, bids her farewell. Her reply to this alarming intelligence is as follows:

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I can beleve, it shall you greve,

And somewhat you dystrayne;
But, aftyrwarde, your paynes harde

Within a day or twayne
Shall sone aslake; and ye shall take

Comfort to you agayne.
Why sholde ye ought? for, to make thought,

Your labour were in vayne.
And thus I do; and pray you to,

As hartely, as I can;
For I must to the grene wode go,

Alone, a banyshed man.

SHE.
Now, syth that ye have shewed to me

The secret of your mynde,
I shall be playne to you agayne,

Lyke as ye shall me fynde.
Syth it is so, that ye wyll go,

I wolle not leve behynde;
Shall never be sayd, the Not.browne Mayd

Was to her love unkynde :
Make you redy, for so am I,

Allthough it were anone;
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde

I love but you alone.

HE.
Yet I you rede to take good hede

What men wyll thynke, and say:
Of yonge and olde it shall be tolde,

That ye be gone away,

Your wanton wyll for to fulfill,

In grene wode you to play ;
And that ye myght from your delyght

No longer make delay.
Rather than ye sholde thus for me

Be called an yll woman,
Yet wolde I to the grene wode go,

Alone, a banyshed man.

SHE.
Though it be songe of old and yonge,

That I sholde be to blame,
Theyrs be the charge, that speke so large

In hurtynge of my name :
For I wyll prove, that faythfulle love

It is devoyd of shame;
In your dystresse, and hevynesse,

To part with you, the same :
And sure all tho, that do not so,

True lovers are they none;
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde

I love but you alone,

HE
I counceyle you, remember howe,

It is no maydens lawe,
Nothynge to dout, but to renne out

To wode with an outlawe :
For ye must there in your hand bere

A bowe, redy to drawe;
And, as a thefe, thus must you lyve,

Ever in drede and awe;
Wherby to you grete harme myght growe:

Yet had I lever than,
That I had to the grene wode go,

Alone, a banyshed man.

SHE.
I thinke nat nay, but as ye say,

It is no maydens lore :

But love may make me for your sake,

As I have sayd before
To come on fote, to hunt, and shote

To gete us mete in store;
For so that I your company

May have, I aske no more :
From which to part, it maketh my hart

As colde as ony stone:
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde

I love but you alone.

НЕ.
Yet take good hede; for ever I drede

That ye coude nat sustayne
The thornie wayes, the depe valèies,

The snowe, the frost, the rayne,
The colde, the hete: for dry, or wete,

We must lodge on the playne; And, us above, none other rofe

But a brake bush, or twayne :
Which sone sholde greve you, I beleve;

And ye wolde gladly than
That I had to the grene wode go,

Alone, a banyshed man.

SHE.
Syth I have here bene partynère

With you of joy and blysse,
I must also parte of your wo

Endure, as reson is :
Yet am I sure of one plesure;

And, shortely, it is this:
That, where ye be, me semeth,

I coude nat fare amysse.
Without more speche, I you beseche

That we were sone agone;
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde

I love but you alone,

HE.
If ye go thyder, ye must consyder,

Whan ye have lust to dyne,
There shall no mete be for you gete,

Nor drinke, bere, ale, ne wyne.
No shetés clene, to lye betwene,

Made of threde and twyne;
None other house, but leves and bowes,

To cover your hed and myne,
O myne harte swete, this evyll dyete

Sholde make you pale and wan;
Wherfore I wyll to the grene wode go,

Alone, a banyshed man.

SHE.
Amonge the wylde dere, such an archére,

As men say that ye be,
Ne may nat fayle of good vitayle,

Where is so grete plente :
And water clere of the ryvère

Shall be full swete to me;
With which in hele I shall ryght wele

Endure, as ye shall see;
And, or we go, a bedde or two

I can provyde anone;
For, in my mynde, of all mankynde

I love but you alone.

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The seeming harsh lover exacts many other compliances, but cannot exhaust the boundless tenderness of the Nut-Brown Maid, who again replies,

SHE.
I shall as nowe do more for you

Than longeth to womanhede;
To shote my here, a bowe to bere,

To shote in tyme of nede,

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