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314 TONE-POETRY OF ROBERT BURNS
No. 332. There was three kings into the east.
Tune: Lull me beyond thee Playford's Dancing Master, 1670, p. 148.
There was three kings into the east, Three kings both great and high ;
And they hae sworn a solemn oath John Barleycorn should die.
They took a plough and plough'd him down,
Put clods upon his head ; And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.
But the cheerful Spring came kindly And show'rs began to fall; [on,
John Barleycorn got up again, And sore surprised them all.
The sultry suns of Summer came, And he grew thick and strong;
His head weel arm'd wi' pointed spears, That no one should him wrong.
The sober Autumn enter'd mild, When he grew wan and pale ;
His bending joints and drooping head Show'd he began to fail.
His colour sicken'd more and more,
He faded into age ; And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.
They've taen a weapon long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee ; Then tied him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie.
They laid him down upon his back, And cudgell'd him full sore ;
They hung him up before the storm, And turu'd him o'er and o'er.