« ПредишнаНапред »
ANCIENT POEM S.
THE NOT-BROWNE MAYD.
The sentimental beauties of this ancient ballad have always recommended it to Readers of taste, notwithstanding the rust of antiquity, which obscures the fiyle and expression. Indeed if it had no other merit, than the having afforded the ground-, work to Prior's HENRY AND EMMA, this ought to preserve. it from oblivion. That we are able to give it in fo correct à manner, is ozving to the great care and exactness of the accurate Editor of the PROLUSIONS 8vo. 1760 ; quho bas formed the text from two copies found in two different edi. tions of Arnolde's Chronicle, a book supposed to be first printed about 1521. From the Copy in the Prolufions the following is printed, with a few additional improvements gathered from another edition of Arnolde's book * preserved in the public Library at Cambridge. All the various readings of this Copy will be found here, either received into the text, or noted in the margin. The references to the Prolufions will few where they occur. In our ancient folio MS. defcribed in the preface, is a very corrupt and defective copy of this ballad, which yet afforded a great improvement in one pasage, les v. 3is.
It has been a much easier task to settle the text of this poem, than to ascertain its date. The Ballad of the NUTBROWNE MAYD was first revived in“ The Musés Mercury for June, 1707.” 4to. being prefaced with a little. “ Ejay on the "od English Poets and Poetry :" in which this poem is concluded to be “
near 300 years old,” upon reasons, which, though they appear inconclusive to us now, were sufficient to determine Prior ; who there first met with it. However, this opinion had the approbation of the learned WANLIY, an excellent judge of ancient books. For that whatever reJated to the reprinting of this old piece was referred to
Wanley, * This (ovhich my friend Mr. Farmer supposes to be the first Edition ) is in folio : ike folios are numbered at the bottom of the leaf : the Song begins at filio 75. In fighted Edit the poemasanboy collated with a very fine copy that was in the colletion of the late James Weft, E'qi the readings extračled thence are deacted thus ' Mr. W.
Wanley, appears from two letters of Prior's preserved
" Grant gracious God, grant me this time,
Henry the seventh, that soveraigne lord, &c.