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He had not kept these pretty babes
A twelvemonth and a day,
To make them both away.
He bargain’d with two ruffians rude,
Which were of furious mood,
And slay them in a wood.
He did the children send
With one that was his friend,
Away then went these pretty babes,
Rejoicing at that tide,
They should on cock-horse ride.
As they rode on the way,
And work their lives decay.
So that the pretty speech they had,
Full sore they did repent.
Did yow to do his charge ;
Had paid him very large.
The other would not agree thereto,
So here they fell at strife į
About the children's life :
Did slay the other there,
While babes did quake for fear.
He took the children by the hand,
When tears stood in their eye,
And look they did not cry :
While they for food complain ;
These pretty babes, with hand in hand,
Went wandering up and down ; But never more they saw the man,
Approaching from the town :
Were all besmear'd and died ;
They sate them down and cried,
Thus wandered these two pretty babes,
Till death did end their grief ; In one another's arms they died,
As babes wanting relief : No burial these pretty babes
Of any man receives,
Till Robin-red-breast, painfully,
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 fir’d, his goods consum'd,
His lands were barren made ; His cattle died within the field,
And nothing with him stay'd.
And in the voyage to Portugal,
Two of his sons did die ; And, to conclude, himself was brought
To extreme misery : He pawn’d and mortgag'd 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 to kill, Was for a robbery judg’d to die,
As was God's blessed will ; Who did confess the very truth,
The which is here express'd : Their uncle died while he, for debt,
In prison long did rest.
All you that be executors made,
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.
All youths of fair England,
That dwell both far and near, Regard my story that I tell,
And to my song give ear.
A London lad I was,
A merchant's prentice bound, My name George Barnwel, that did spend
My master many a pound.
Take heed of harlots then,
And their enticing trains ;
To hang alive in chains.
As I, upon a day,
Was walking through the street, About my master's business,
I did a wanton meet.
A gallant dainty dame,
And sumptuous in attire,
And did my name require.
Which when I had declar'd,
I should have more than this.
• In faith, my boy, (quoth she)
· Such news I can you tell, • As shall rejoice your very heart,
" Then come where I do dwell.'
• Fair mistress, (then said I,)
If I the place may know, * This evening I will be with you,
For I abroad must go,
• To gather moneys in,
' That is my master's due : And, ere that I do home return, • I'll come and visit you.'
* Good Barnwel, (then quoth she)
• Do thou to Shoreditch come, And ask for mistress Milwood there, *Next door unto the Gun.
And trust me on my truth,
“If thou keep touch with me, * For thy friend's sake, and as my own heart,
'Thou shalt right welcome be.'