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If Ever I Marry If ever I marry, I'll marry a maid. To marry a widow I'm sore afraid. For maids they are simple and never will grutch (grudge) But widows full oft, as they say, know too much A maid is so sweet, and so gentle of kind, That a maid is the wife I will choose to my mind ; A widow is forward, and never will yield; Or if such there be, you will meet them but seeld. (seldom) A maid ne'er complaineth, do what so you will; But what you mean well, a widow takes ill. A widow will make you a drudge and a slave, And cost ne'er so much, she will ever go brave. (gaily dress'd) A maid is so modest, she seemeth a rose, When first it beginneth the bud to unclose; But a widow full blowen, full often deceives, And the next wind that bloweth shakes down all her leaves. That widows be lovely I never gainsay, But too well all their beauty they know to display; But a maid hath so great hidden beauty in store, She can spare to a widow, yet never be poor. Then if ever I marry, give me a fresh maid, If to marry with any I be not afraid; But to marry with any it asketh much care, And some bachelors hold they are best as they are. From Music of the Olden Time, Chappell ca 1557 RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!