The Oxford Book of Ballads - online book

A Selection Of The Best English Lyric Ballads Chosen & Edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch

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THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOD
rv
And to his little daughter Jane
Five hundred pounds in gold, To be paid down on marriage-day,
Which might not be controll'd. But if the children chanced to die
Ere they to age should come, Their uncle should possess their wealth;
For so the will did run.
v ' Now, brother,' said the dying man,
' Look to my children dear; Be good unto my boy and girl,
No friends else have they here: To God and you I recommend
My children dear this day; But little while be sure we have
Within this world to stay.
VI
' 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 bespake their mother dear:
' O brother kind,' quoth she, ' You are the man must bring our babes
To wealth or misery !
VII
' And if you keep them carefully,
Then God will you reward; But if you otherwise should deal,
God will your deeds regard.'
8SS
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