1641 - Suckling, John - Ballad upon Wedding

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date 1641
Author Suckling, John
Title Ballad upon a Wedding
Mentions George upon the Greene [George à Greene, Pinder of Wakefield?]; Lusty Roger; Whitsun ale; Vincent of the Crown; course-a-park [a game]

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-02. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-07-17.


At Course-a-Park, without all doubt,
He should have first been taken out
By all the maids i' th' town:
Though lusty Roger there had been.
Or little George upon the Green,
Or Vincent of the Crown.
But wot you what ? the youth was going
To make an end of all his wooing;
The parson for him staid:
Yet by his leave (for all his haste)
He did not so much wish all past
(Perchance) as did the maid.
The maid—and thereby hangs a tale;
For such a maid no Whitson-ale
Could ever yet produce:
No grape, that's kindly ripe, could be
So round, so plump, so soft as she,
Nor half so full of juice.[1]

Source notes

"l. 19 Course-a-Park] A country game, akin to Barleybreak, and not unlike Kiss-in-the-ring".
"1. 32. Whitson-ale] [...] The surplus of these feasts, supplied by parochial contributions, was devoted to repairs, etc., connected with the church fabric or furniture. Thus, an inscription on the ringing-gallery at Cawston, Norfolk, records ' what good ale this work made'; and another, on the 'bachelors' loft' before the south chapel of the chancel at Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex, states that part of the expense was defrayed by 'alys.'" [p. 371.]
IRHB's brackets.

IRHB comments

The editor does not comment on what may be an allusion to George à Greene, the Pinder of Wakefield. In this context, "lusty Roger" just possibly might allude to Roger of Doncaster of the Gest ("Red Roger" of the A-version of Robin Hood's Death; C119 A), but that would make Suckling something of a Robin Hood expert, and besides an allusion to a villain like Roger of Doncaster would hardly be in place here.



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