The Marriage of London Stone and the Boss of Billingsgate
Source: Here begynneth a treatyſe of this Galaunt With the maryage of the boſſe of Byllyngeſgate. vnto London Stone. London[?], 1521. STC 24242. Sigs. A5v-A6r.
HErken vnto me / bothe lowde and ſtyll
And to this matter / laye to your eere
And of your aduyſe & alſo your good wyll
Of this lytell proſſes / yt after doth appere.
Of.ii. yt haue dwelte ĩ londõ many a yere.
And nowe is dyſpoſed / to be man and wyfe
Helpe thẽ with your charyte / to bye theyr weddynge gere
For they be bothe naked / & not worth an halfpeny knyfe.
ℂTo you theyr names / I wyll declare
If ye knowe ony Impedymente.
The one is the boſſe at Byllyngeſgate of beaute ſo fayre.
And the other London Stone / curtes and gente
This is theyr purpoſe and hole entente
To be maryed / as ſoone as they maye
He that wolde let them I wolde he were ſhente
It wolde do you good to ſe them daunce and playe.
ℂ For now ye grete loue / yt is bytwene them twayne.
And neyther of them loked other in the face.
London Stone anſwered / full wyſely agayne.
Where is no loue / there lacketh grace
But euyll tunges is ſo vnmylde
And of late hath ſayd / in a place where they dyde mete
How the Boſſe of byllyngeſgate / hath had a chylde.
By the well with two buckettes in byſhop gate ſtrete.
ℂ It were able to make ony woman wepe
To be ſo deedly belyed as is the good Boſſe.
The man is in ſynnes depe
That robbeth her ſo of her good loſe 
[Sig. A6r] For to his ſoule it is daungerouſe.
Thus ſayth London Stone / of prudence ſo wyſe
He that in ſclaunder / ony wyll dyſcloſe,
Of the deuylles rewarde / he ſhall not myſſe
ℂ Therfore let my wyfe and me alone.
For by my ſtudy and wakynge many a nyght
I knowe by the ſterres / that ſhone by the moone,
That fayre Boſſe / hooly was in my ſyght
And that to my nature / ſhe ſholde be coequall.
And remayne as my fere  / euer in my ſyght.
By the purueyaunce / of the goddes Imperyall
To my comforte ſhynynge as the ſterres bryght
ℂ Wherfore I beſeche you / in humble wyſe
To reporte the beſte in euery place
And saye no worſe / than maye be to your prayſe.
Whiche Jupyter had ordeyned of his grete grace
Longe or that we came in to this towne
For our comforte / and for our ſolace.
As man and wyfe by dyuyne prouyſyowne
Therfore are we greed to remayne in this place.
ℂ Syth the goddes aboue / hath deſtyned them ſo,
Let vs be mery and thynke howe they daunce
For it is a goodly couple of them two.
For in theyr behauoure / was neuer founde varyaunce
As knoweth all that here be preſent
Whiche brynge the herers / to lyfe eternall,
Where god is regnynge permanent
Amonge his aungelles celeſtyall
- Here begynneth a treatyſe of this Galaunt With the maryage of the boſſe of Byllyngeſgate. vnto London Stone. London[?], 1521. STC 24242. Sigs. A5v-A6r. Rpt. Early English Books Online. Print.
- Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. Web. Subscr. OED.
This project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
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