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344 Ballads and Songs of Michigan
6 "You must be father and mother both and uncle all in one; God knows what will become of them when I am dead and
gone." With that bespoke their mother dear, "O brother kind," quoth
she, "You are the man must bring our babes to wealth or misery.
7 "And if you keep them carefully, then God will you reward; If otherwise you seem to deal, God will your deeds reward." With lips as cold as any stone she kissed her children small, "God bless you both, my children dear," with that the tears did
8 These speeches then the brother spoke to these sick couple there, "The keeping of your children dear, sweet sister, do not fear, God never prosper me nor mine nor ought else that I have
If I do wrong your children kind when you're laid in the grave."
9 Their parents being dead and gone, the children home he takes And seemed to soften all their moans so much of them he makes. He had not kept these pretty babes a twelve month and a day When for their wealth he did devise to take their lives away.
io He bargained with two ruffians rude, which were of furious
mood, That they should take these children young and slay them in
the wood. He told his wife, and all he had he did the children send To be brought up in fair London with one who was their friend.
ii Away they went, these pretty babes, rejoicing at that tide, Rejoicing with a merry mind while they on horseback ride. They prate and prattle pleasantly as they rode on the way To those who should their butcher be and would their lives decay.
12 The pretty speeches they oft said made the murderers' heart relent, For though they undertook the deed, full sore they 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.