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Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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A BATTLE OF BIRDS
All soaring vp, along the skye, as if the battle were on hie:
in multytudes, without compare,
which like black clowds, made dim the are.
4   First from the easterne skyes apeared,
a flight of Stares, which greatly feared, The people there, the same to see,
as like could not remembred be: for they in warlike squadrons flew, as if they others would persue.
5   And as this flight, thus houering lay,
prepared all in battle ray: From out the west, another came, as great in number as the same,
and .there oppos'd in warlike might, themselues against the other flight.
6   Whereas these Stares, or starling Birds,
for want of Helmetts, Glaues and Swords, They vsed their Tallents, Bills, and Beakes,1
and such a battle vndertakes :
that trembling feare and terror brought, to all which saw this battle fought.
7   For first, the Easterne flight sat downe,
with chattering noyes vpon the ground, As if they challenged, all the rest,
to meete and fight euen brest to brest, where presently was heard from farre, the same like chattering sound of warre.
8   And therevpon the westerne flight,
downe by the easterne Birds did light, Where after they a while had sat,
together in their Birdlike chat, they all vpon a sudaine rose, and each the other did oppose.
1 Text Bekaes.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III