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He told his wife an artful tale,

He would the children send
To be brought up in faire London,

With one that was his friend.



Away then went those pretty babes,

Rejoycing at that tide,
Rejoycing with a merry minde,

They should on cock-horse ride.
They prate and prattle pleasantly,

As they rode on the waye,
To those that should their butchers be,

And work their lives decaye :



So that the pretty speeche they had,

Made Murder's heart relent;
And they that undertooke the deed,

Full sore did now repent.
Yet one of them more hard of heart,

Did vowe 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 childrens life :
And he that was of mildest mood,

Did slaye the other there,


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He took the children by the hand,

Teares standing in their eye,
And bad them straitwaye follow him,

And look they did not crye:
And two long miles he ledd them on,

While they for food complaine :
Staye here, quoth he, I'll bring you bread,

When I come back againe.



These pretty babes, with hand in hand,

Went wandering up and downe;
But never more could see the man

Approaching from the town:
Their prettye lippes with black-berries;

Were all besmear'd and dyed,
And when they sawe the darksome night,

They sat them downe and cryed.


Thus wandered these poor

Till deathe did end their grief,
In one anothers armes they dyed,

As wanting due relief:
No burial “this' pretty pair'

any man receives,


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Till Robin-red-breast piously

Did cover them with leaves.,


And now the heavy wrathe of God

Upon their uncle fell;
Yea, fearfull fiends did haunt his house,

His conscience felt an hell :
His barnes were fir'd, his goodes consum'd,

His landes were barren made,
His cattle dyed within the field,

And nothing with him stayd.



And in a voyage to Portugal

Two of his sonnes did dye ;
And to conclude, himselfe was brought

To want and miserye :
He pawn'd and mortgaged all his land

Ere seven yearęs came about.
And now at length this wicked act

Did by this meanes come out :


The fellowe, that did take in hand

These children for to kill,
Was for a robbery judg'd to dye,

Such was God's blessed will :
Who did confess the very truth,

As here hath been display'd : Their uncle having dyed in gaol,

Where be for debt was layd.



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Printed, with a few slight corrections, from the Editor's

folio MS.


LOVER of late was I,
For Cupid would have it soe,
The boy that hath never an eye,

every man doth know:
I sighed and sobbed, and cryed, alas!
For her that laught, and called me ass.

Then knew not I what to doe,

When I saw itt was in vaine
A lady soe coy to wooe,

Who gave me the asse soe plaine :
Yet would I her asse freelye bee,
Soe shee would helpe, and beare with mee.

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An' I were as faire as shee,

Or shee were as kind as I,

cold have made, as wee,
Soe prettye a sympathye:
I was as kind as shee was faire,
But for all this wee cold not paire.

Ver. 13. faine. MS.

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