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
XVIII
And in a voyage to Portugal
Two of his sons did die ; And, to conclude, himself was brought
To want and misery: He pawn'd and mortgaged all his land
Ere seven years came about. And now at last his wicked act
Did by this means come out.
XIX
The fellow that did take in hand
These children for to kill, Was for a robbery judged to die,
Such was God's blessed will: Who did confess the very truth,
As here hath been display'd : The uncle having died in jail,
Where he for debt was laid.
xx
You that executors be made,
And overseers eke, 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 suchlike misery
Your wicked minds requite.
850
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