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THECHILDREN IN THE WOOD:A TRUE STORY OFTWO GOOD LITTLE CHILDREN AND THEI -CRUEL UNCLE.Wif t Qti g M ual sib Sllmimiawfm.JOHN WILEY AND SON,535 BROADWAY,NEW YORK.
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THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOD.A GENTLEMAN of good accbentIn Norfolk dwelt of late,Who did-in honour .far surmountMost men of his estate.Sore sick he was, and like to die,No help his life could save;His wife by him as sick did lie,And both possess'd one grave.No love between these two was lost,Each was to other kinid;In love they lived, in lofe they died,.And left two babes behind:The one a fine and pretty boy,Not passing three years old;The other a girl more young than he,And framed in beauty's mould.
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The father left his little son,As plainly doth appear,When he to perfect age should come,Three hundred pounds a year.And to his little daughter Jane,"Five hundred pounds in gold,To be paid down on marriage day,Which might not be controll'd.But if the children chanced to die,Ere they to age should come,Their uncle should possess their wealth;For so the will did run.SNow, brother,' said the dying man,'Look to my children dear;Be good unto my boy and girl,No friends else have they here.' To God and you I recommendMy children dcear this day;But little while, be sure, we haveWithin this world to stay.'You must be father, mother-both,And uncle, all in one;God knows what will become of them,When I am dead and gone.'
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With that bespake their mother dear;'Oh, brother kind,' quoth she,'You are the man must bring our babesTo wealth or misery.'And if you keep them carefully,Then God will you reward;But if you otherwise should deal,God will your deeds regard.'With lips as cold, as any stoneThey kiss'd their children small:'God bless .you both, my children dear;'With that the tears did fall.These speeches then their brother spake,To:thi sick couple there:'The keeping of your children small,Sweet sister, do not fear.' God never prosper me nor mine,Nor aught else that I have,If I do wrong your children dear,When you are laid in grave.'Their parents being dead and gone,The children home he takes,And brings them both into his house,And much of them he makes.
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He had not kept these pretty babesA twelvemonth and a day,But, for their wealth, he did deviseTo make them both away.He bargain'd with two ruffians strong,Who were of furious mood,That they should take these children youngAnd slay them in a wood.And told his wife and all he had,'He did the children sendTo be brought up in fair London,With one that'was his friend.Away they went, these pretty babes,Rejoicing at that tide;Rejoicing with a. merry mindThey should on cockhorse ride.
They prate and prattle pleasantly,As they rode on their way,To those who should their butchers be,And work their life's decay.So that the pretty speech they hadMade murder's heart relent,And they that undertook the deedFull sore did now repent.Yet one of them, more hard of heart,Did vow to do his charge,Because the wretch that hired himHad paid him very large.The other won't agree thereto,"So here they fell to strife;With one another they did fightAbout the children's life.
And he that was of mildest mood"Did slay the other.there,Within an unfrequented wood,While babes did quake for fear.He took the children by the hand,Tears standing in their eye,And bade them straightway follow him,And look they did not cry.And two long miles he led them on,While they for bread complain;'Stay here,' quoth he, 'I'll bring you some,When I come back again.'2' '"'".t **
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These pretty babes, with hand in hand,Went wandering up and down;Bti nevermore could see the manApproaching from the town.Their pretty lips with blackberriesWete all besmear'd and dyed;And when they saw the darksome night,They sat them down and cried.
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No burial this pretty pairDid cover them with leaves.
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And now the heavy wrath of God,Upon their uncle fell;Yea, fearful fiends did haunt his house,His conscience felt in hell.His barns were fired, his goods consumed,His lands were barren made,His cattle died within the field,And nothing with him stay'd.And in a voyage to Portugal,Tw-o of his sons did die;And to conclude, himself was broughtTo want and misery.He pawn'd and mortgaged all his landEre seven years came about;And now at lengththtis. wicked actDid by this means come out.
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The fellow that did take in handThese children for to kill,Was for a robbery judged to die,(Such was God's blessed will),Who did confess the very truth,As here hath been display'd:Their uncle having died in jail,Where he for debt was laid.
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