« 上一页继续 »
In the year 1584, the Spaniards, under the command of Alexander Farnese prince of Parma, began to gain great advantages in Flanders and Brabant, by recovering many Arong-holds and cities from the Hollanders, as Ghent, (called then by the English GAUNT,) Antwerp, Mechlin, &c. See Stow's Annals, p. 711. Some attempt made with the asistance of English volunteers 10 retrieve the former of thoje places probably gave occasion to this ballad. I can find no mention of our heroine in history, but the following rhymes rendered her famous among our poets. Ben Jonson often mentions ber, and calls any remarkable virago by her name. See bis Epicæne, first acted in 1609. Ac 4. jc. 2. His Tale of a Tub, Act 1. Jc. 4. And his masque intitled The Fortunate Ijies, 1626, where he quotes the very words of the ballad,
She is also mentioned in Fletcher's Scornful Lady, Ad 5. fub finem.
“ My large gentlewoman, my MARY AMBREI, “ had I but seen into you, you should have had another bed. fellow."
Printed from an ancient black-letter copy in the Pepys Cola lection, compared with another in the Editor's folio MS. The full title is, “ The valorous acts performed at Gaunt by * the brave bonnie lass Mary Ambree, who in revenge
of her lovers death did play her part most gallantly. The “ tune is, The blind beggar, &c."
CHEN captaines couragious, whom death colde
When brave Sir John Major * was slaine in her fight, 5
She clo‘hed herselfe from the top to the toe
A helmett of proofe shee ftrait did provide,
• So MS. Serjeant Major in PC.
Then tooke shee her sworde and her targett in hand,
My souldiers so valiant and faithfull, shee fayd,
Then cryed out her souldiers, and thus, they did say, 25
Shee cheared her souldiers, that foughten for life,
Before I will see the worst of
Shee led upp her souldiers in battel
arraye, Gainst three times theyr number by breake of the daye ; Seven howers in skirmish continued shee : Was not this a brave bonny laffe, Mary Ambree?
She filled the skyes with the smoke of her shott,
And when her false gunner, to spoyle her intent, 45
Being falselye betrayed for lucre of hyre,
Her foes they besett her on every fide,
Then tooke shee her sword and her targett in hand,
Now saye, English captaine, what woldest thou give
Now captaines couragious, of valour foe bold,
doe behold? A knight, fir, of England, and captaine soe free, Who shortelye with us a prisoner muft bee.
No captaine of England; behold in your fight
But art thou a woman, as thou dost declare,
The prince of Great Parma heard of her renowne,
But this virtuous mayden despised them all,
Then to her owne country shee backe did returne,