Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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168
ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
LADY.
What hold attempt is this? pray let me know From whence you come, and whither I must go! Shall I, who am a lady, stoop or bow To such a pale-fac'd visage? Who art thou?
DEATH.
Do you not know me? Well, I'll tell you, then : 'Tis I who conquer all the sons of men! No pitch of honour from my dart is free ; My name is Death! have you not heard of me ?
LADY.
Yes, I have heard of thee time after time ; But, being in the glory of my prime, I did not think you would have called so soon. Why must my sun go down before its noon ?
DEATH.
Talk not of noon ! you may as well be mute ; This is no more the time for to dispute: Your riches, jewels, gold, and garments brave— Houses and lands, must all new masters have. Though thy vain heart to riches was inclin'd, Yet thou must die, and leave them all behind.
LADY.
My heart is cold; I tremble at the news! Here's hags of gold if thou wilt me excuse, And seize on them : and finish thou the strife Of those that are most weary of their life. Are there not many hound in prison strong, In bitter grief of soul have languish'd long? All such would find the grave a place of rest From all the griefs by which they are opprest. Besides, there's many both with hoary head, And palsied joints, from which all strength is
fled. Release thou those, whose sorrows are so great, But spare my life to have a longer date.
DEATH.
This is a slender, frivolous excuse, I have you fast, and will not let you loose; Leave her to Providence, for you must go Along with me, whether you will or no. I, Death, command e'en kings to leave their
crown, And at my feet they lay their sceptres down. If unto kings this favour I don't give, But cut them off, can you expect to live Beyond the limits of your time and space? No ! I must send you to another place.
LADY.
You learned doctors, now express your skill, And let not Death of me obtain his will ; Prepare your cordials, let me comfort find, ■ And gold shall fly like chaffbefore the wind!
DEATH.
Forbear to call, their skill will never do, They are but mortals here, as well as you; I gave the fatal wound, my dart is sure; 'Tis far beyond the doctor's skill to cure. How freely can you let your riches fly To purchase life, rather than yield to die! But while you flourish'd here in all your store, You would not give one penny to the poor, Who in God's name their suit to you did make; You would not spare one penny for His sake. The Lord beheld wherein you did amiss, And calls you hence to give account for this.
LADY.
Oh, heavy news! must I no longer stay ? How shall I stand at the great judgment day." Down from her eyes the crystal tears did flow : She said, "None knows what now I undergo. Upon a bed of sorrow here I lie, My carnal life makes me afraid to die; My sins, alas ! are many, gross, and foul, Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on my soul! And though I much deserve thy righteous
frown, Yet pardon, Lord, and send a blessing down!"
Then, with a dying sigh, her heart did break, And she the pleasures of this world forsake. Thu3 do we see the high and mighty fall, For cruel death shows not respect at all To any one of high or low degree : Great men submit to death, as well as we. If old or young, our life is but a span— A lump of clay—so vile a creature's man. Then happy they whom Christ has made his
care— Die in the Lord, and ever blessed are!
DEATH.
Though they, by age, are full of grief and
pain, Yet their appointed time they must remain. I come to none before their warrant's seal'd, And when it is, all must submit and yield; I take no bribe, believe me this is true ; Prepare yourself, for now I come for you.
- LADY.
Be not severe ! O Death ! let me obtain A little longer time to live and reign ! Fain would I stay, if tjjou my life wilt spare, I have a daughter, beautiful and fair; I'd live to see her wed, whom I adore; Grant me but this, and I will ask no more.