(“It being deposed that vij women who were mayds before he knew them have been brought upon the towne [rates?] by the fornicacions of one Ralph Blossom, Mr Major inquired why he should not contribute xiv pence weekly toward their mayntenance. But it being shewn that the sayd R. B. was dying of a purple feaver, no order was made.”–Budmouth Borough Minutes: 16–.)
When I am in hell or some such place,
A-groaning over my sorry case,
What will those seven women say to me
Who, when I coaxed them, answered “Aye” to me?
“I did not understand your sign!”
Will be the words of Caroline;
While Jane will cry, “If I’d had proof of you,
I should have learnt to hold aloof of you!”
“I won’t reproach: it was to be!”
Will dryly murmur Cicely;
And Rosa: “I feel no hostility,
For I must own I lent facility.”
Lizzy says: “Sharp was my regret,
And sometimes it is now! But yet
I joy that, though it brought notoriousness,
I knew Love once and all its gloriousness!”
Says Patience: “Why are we apart?
Small harm did you, my poor Sweet Heart!
A manchild born, now tall and beautiful,
Was worth the ache of days undutiful.”
And Anne cries: “O the time was fair,
So wherefore should you burn down there?
There is a deed under the sun, my Love,
And that was ours. What’s done is done, my Love.
These trumpets here in Heaven are dumb to me
With you away. Dear, come, O come to me!”