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Quoth John to Joan, wilt thou have me?
O say, my Joan; say, my Joan; will that not do?
I cannot come every day to woo.
Then say, my Joan, &c.
I have a cheese upon the shelf,
Then say, my Joan, &c.
marry I would have thy consent;
Then say, my Joan; say, my Joan; will that not do?
The song "Quoth John to Joan," or“I cannot come every day to woo,” is certainly as old as the time of Henry VIII., because the first verse is to be found elaborately set to music in a manuscript of that date, formerly in the possession of Stafford Smith (who printed the song in Musica Antiqua, vol. i. page 32), and now in that of Dr. Rimbault. There are two copies of the words in vol. ii. of the Roxburghe Collection of Ballads, and it is in all the editions of “ Wit and Mirth, or Pills to purge Melancholy,” from 1698 to 1719. In Wit's Cabinet, 1731, it is called “The Clown's Courtship,” sung to the King at Windsor.- From Chappell’s “ Popular Music of the Olden Time."
THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE.
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, born 15—, died 1593.
COME, live with me and be my love,
And we will sit upon the rocks,
And I will make thee beds of roses,
A gown made of the finest wool,
A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
This song, so well known to all readers of Izaak Walton, is sung to an old English melody—the author unknown,-and has been set as a glee by Webbe, and as a ballad-song by Dr. Arne.
THE NYMPH'S REPLY.*
Sir WALTER RALEIGH, born 1552, died 1618.
But fading flowers in every
Thy belt of straw and ivy-buds,
But could youth last, could love still breed,
* This song, attributed to Raleigh, was originally printed with the signature of "Ignoto," and has been set as a glee by Webbe. It is also sung to the music of the original song,
This song, as we learn from “Percy's Relics,” was sung before Queen Elizabeth at Elvetham in Hampshire, as she opened the casement of her gallery window in the morning, by "three excellent musicians disguised in ancient country attire.” Another version, slightly different, is given in England's “Helicon."
YE LITTLE BIRDS THAT SIT AND SING.
From THOMAS HEYWOOD'S “Faire Maide of the Exchange," 1615.
YE little birds that sit and sing
Ye pretty wantons, warble.