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NICHOLAS BRETON,

A poet of whose life no anecdotes remain, unless he be pointed out in a passage transcribed by the late Mr, Steevens from "Bridges's Northamptonshire, p. 81." This states, that a person of this name, son to Capt. John Breton of Tamworth, in Staffordshire, after serving in the Lowcountries, under Dudley earl of Leicester, retired to an estate which he had purchased at Norton, in Northamptonshire, where he died in 1604. Breton was probably born about 1555, because his second production, "The Works of a "YoungWit," from which two of the following specimens were selected, was published in 1577.

In p. 321 of the new edition of " Theatrum Poetarum," ij contained the epitaph of another Nicholas Breton, who died on the 4th of June, 1658.

For the most complete catalogue known of his numerous performances, see Ritson's " Bibliographia Poetica."

A Farewell to Town.

Since secret Spite hath sworn my wo,
And I am driven by Destiny

Against my will, God knows, to go
From place of gallant company,

And, in the stead of sweet delight,

To reap the fruits of foul despite:

As it hath been a custom long
To bid farewell when men depart,

So will I sing this solemn song

Farewell, to some, with all my heart:

But those my friends: but to my foes

I wish a nettle in their nose.

I wish my friends their hearts' content;

My foes, again, the contrary:
I wish myself, the time were spent

That I must spend in misery:
I wish my deadly foe, no worse
Than want of friends, and empty purse.

But, now my wishes thus are done,

I must begin to bid farewell: With friends and foes I have begun,

And therefore, now I cannot tell
Which first to choose, or ere I part,
To write a farewell from my heart.

First, place of worldly Paradise,
Thou gallant court, to thee farewell!

For froward Fortune me denies
Now longer near to thee to dwell.

I must go live, I wot not where,

Nor how to live when I come there.

And next, adieu you gallant dames,
The chief of noble youth's delight!

Untoward Fortune now so frames,
That I am banish'd from your sight,

And, in your stead, against my will,

I must go live with country Jill.

Now next, my gallant youths farewell;

My lads that oft have cheer'd my heart i My grief of mind no tongue can tell,

To think that I must from you part.
I now must leave you all, alas,
And live with some odd lobcock ass!

And now farewell thou gallant lute,
With instruments of music's sounds!

Recorder, citern, harp, and flute,

And heavenly descants on sweet grounds;

I now must leave you all indeed,

And make some music on a reed!

And now you stately stamping steeds,
And gallant geldings fair, adieu!

My heavy heart for sorrow bleeds,
To think that I must part with you:

And on a strawen pannel sit,

And ride some country carting tit!

And now farewell both spear and shield,

Caliver, pistol, arquebus,
See, see, what sighs my heart doth yield

To think that I must leave you thus;
And lay aside my rapier blade,
And take in hand a ditching spade!

And you farewell, all gallant games,

Primero, and Imperial,
Wherewith I us'd, with courtly dames,

To pass away the time withal:
I now must learn some country plays
For ale and cakes on holidays!

And now farewell each dainty dish,
With sundry sorts of sugar'd wine!

Farewell, I say, fine flesh and fish,
To please this dainty mouth of mine!

I now, alas, must leave all these,

And make good cheer with bread and cheese!

And now, all orders, due farewell!

My table laid when it was noon;
My heavy heart it irks to tell

My dainty dinners all are done:
With leeks and onions, whig and whey,
I must content me as I may.
VOL. ii. T

And farewell all gay garments now,
With jewels rich, of rare device!

Like Robin Hood, I wot not how,
I must go range in woodman's wise

Clad in a coat of green or grey,

And glad to get it if I may.

What shall I say, but bid adieu
To every dram of sweet delight,

In place where pleasure never grew,
In dungeon deep of foul despite,

I must, ah me! wretch as I may,

Go sing the song of welaway!

[From the same.]

Not long ago, as I at supper sat,

Whereas indeed I had exceeding cheer,

In order serv'd, with store of this and that,

With flaggons fill'd with wine, and ale, and beer,

I did behold, that well set out the rest,

A troop of dames in brave attire addrest.—

Now 'gan I guess, by outward countenance,
The disposition of each dainty dame:

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