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T&OlJlr 4lTh Woon.
A GENTLEMAN of good account
In Norfolk dwelt of late,
Who did in honor far surmount
Most 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- were near the grave.
No love between these two was lost,
S .-" Each was to other kind;
\ \" In love they lived, in love they died,
And left two babes behind.
The one, a fine and pretty boy,
Not passing three years old;
-- _.._ The other, a girl morel young than he,
'And framed in beauty's mould.
The Baldwin Library
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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 her marriage-day,
Which might not be controlled:
But if the children chanced to die,
Ere they to age shouldcome,
Their uncle should possess their wealth;
For so the will did run.
"Now, brother," said the dying man,
Look to my children dear;
Be good unto my boy and girl,
No friends else have they here:"
And up bespake their mother dear,
O, brother kind," quoth she,
"You are the man must bring our babes
To wealth or misery."
This speech their
"L Sweet sister,
dear I "
Ilk .-: i,
S/.' .- _
"Be good unto
my boy and girl."
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"Hfe bargained wiL'h two ruffians,
to slay them in a wood."
The parents being dead and gone,
The children home he takes,
And brings them straight unto his house,
Where much of them he makes.
He had not kept these pretty babes
A twelvemonth and a day,
But, for their wealth, he did devise
To make them both away.
He bargained with two ruffians strong
That were of savage mood,
That they should take these children young,
And slay them in a wood.
He told his wife an artful tale:
.He would the children send
To be brought up in London town,
With one that was his friend.
Then merrily these pretty babes
Go riding on their way,
And prate and prattle pleasantly
With those that should them slay.
So that the pretty speech they had,
Made murderous hearts relent:
And they that undertook the deed,
Full sorely did repent.
Yet one of them, more hard of heart,
Did vow to do his charge,
Because the wretch that hired him,
Had paid him very large.
The other won't agree thereto,
So here they fall to strife;
With one another they did fight,
About the children's life.
And he that was of milder mood,
Did slay the other there,
Within an unfrequented wood:
The babes did quake for fear.
He took the children by the hand,
While they for food complain:
"Stay here," quoth he, "I'll bring you bread,
When I come back again."
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"With one another they did fight
About the children's life."
"These pretty babes, with hand in hand,
Went wandering.up and down."
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These pretty babes, with hand in hand
Went wandering up and down;
But never more could see the man
Approaching from the town.
Thus wandered these poor innocents
Till death did end their grief,
In one another's arms they died,
As wanting due relief:
No burial this pretty pair
Of any man receives,
Till Robin Redbreast piously
Did cover them with leaves.
And now the heavy wrath of God
Upon their uncle fell;
Yea, fearful fiends did haunt his house,
His conscience felt an hell:
His barns were fired, his goods consumed,
His lands were barren, made,
. His cattle died within the field,
And nothing with him stayed.
And in the voyage to Portugal
Two of his sons did die;
And to conclude, himself was brought
To want and .misery.
He pawned and mortgaged all his land
Ere seven years came about,
And now at length this wicked act
Did by this means come out:
The fellow that did take in hand
These children for
I -- -. to kill,
I I_ Was for a robbery
judged to die,
Such was God's
-He did confess the
A very truth,
|, As here hath been
'J The uncle having
1 -e died in jail,
Where he for debt
You that executors be made,
And overseers eke
Of children that be fatherless,
And infants mild and meek ;
Take you example by this thing,
And yield to each his right,
Lest God with such like misery
Your wicked minds requite.