Lady Anne Bothwell's Balow

Balow, my Boy, ly still and sleep,
It grieves me sore to hear thee weep;
If thou'lt be silent, I'll be glad,
Thy Mourning makes my Heart full sad:
Balow, my Boy, thy Mother's Joy,
Thy Father's bred me great Annoy.
CHORUS: Balow, my Boy, ly still and sleep,
        It grieves me sore to hear thee weep.

Balow, my Darling, sleep a while,
And when thou wak'st then sweetly smile;
But smile not as thy Father did,
To cozen Maids, nay, God forbid;
For in thy Face his Looks I read,
Who overthrew my Maidenhead.

I was too credulous at the first,
To grant thee what a Maiden durst;
And in thy Bravery thou did'st vaunt,
That I no Maintenance should want:
Thou swear thou lov'd, thy Mind is moved,
Which since no otherwise has proved..

When he began to court my Love,
And with his sugar'd Words to move,
His tempting face, and flattering Chear,
In time to me did not appear;
But now I see that cruel he
Cares neither for his Babe nor me.

I wish I were a maid again,
From young men's Flatt'ry I would refrain;
For now unto my Grief I find
They are all faithless and unkind.
Their tempting Charms, which bred my Harms,
Witness my Babe lyes in my Arms,

Balow, my Child, weep not for me,
Whose greatest Grief's for wronging thee.
Nor pity her deserved Smart,
Who can blame none but her kind Heart;
For, too soon trusting, latest find,
With fairest Tongues have falsest Minds.

Balow, my Boy, thy Father's dead,
When he the thriftless Son has play'd;
Of Vows and Oaths forgetful, he
Preferr'd the Wars to thee and me.
But now, perhaps, thy Curse and mine
Make him eat Acorns with the Swine.

Farewell, farewell, thou falsest Youth
That ever kist a Woman's Mouth;
Let never any after me
Submit unto thy Courtesy;
For, if she do, O! cruel thou
Will her abuse, and care not how!

I wish I were into that Bounds
Where he lies smother'd in his Wounds,
Repeating, as he pants for Air,
My Name, whom once he call'd his Fair:
No Woman is so fiercely set,
But they'll forgive, tho' not forget.

Now Peace, my Comfort, curse not him,
Who now in Seas of Grief doth swim,
Perhaps at Death, yea who can tell,
Whether the Judge of Heaven or Hell,
By some predestinate dastard Lad,
Revenging me, hath struck him dead.

If Linnen lacks for my Love's sake
Then quickly to him would I make
My Smock, once for his Body meet,
And wrap him in that Winding-sheet.
Ay me, how happy had I been,
If he had ne'er been wrapt therein!

Balow, my Boy, for this I see;
That all this Wailing is for thee;
Thy Griefs are growing to a Sum,
God grant thee Patience when they come,
Born to bewail thy Mother's Shame;
A happless fate, a Bastard's Name!

Broom's extra verses:

Peace, wayward barne! - Oh, cease thy moan!
Thy farre more wayward daddy's gone;
And never will recalled be
By cryes of either thee or me;
   For should wee cry
   Until we dye,
Wee could not scant his cruelty.
   Balllow, ballow, &c.

He needs might in himselfe foresee,
What thou successively might'st be;
And could hee then (though me foregoe)
His infant leave, ere he did know
   How like the dad
   Would be the lad
In time, to make fond maydens glad.
   Ballow, ballow, &c.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin