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40 THE CHILDREN Ifl THE WOOD.
Up there shall start ten thousand wings,
7Jp shall the auk and fulmar start, —
And there, in the wastes of the silent sky,
Then softly, softly will we tread
By inland streams, to see
Sits there all silently.
THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOD.
Now ponder well, you parents dear,
The words which I shall write;
In time brought forth to light: —
In Norfolk lived of late,
Most men of his estate.
Sore sick he was, and like to die,
No help that he could have;
And both possessed one grave.
Each was to other kind;
And left two babes behind;
The one a fine and pretty boy,
Not passing three years old;
And made in beauty's mould.
As plainly doth appear,
Three hundred pounds a year;
And to his little daughter Jane
Five hundred pounds in gold.
Which might not be controlled;
Ere they to age should come, Their uncle should possess their we; Ith,
For so the will did run.
"Now, brother," said the dying man,
"Look to my children dear; Be good unto my boy and girl,
No friends else have I here. To God and you I do commend
My children night and day; But little while, be sure, we have
Within this world to stay.
"You must be father and mother both,
And uncle, all in one;
When I am dead and gone."
"O brother kind," quoth she, "You are the rran must bring our babes
To wealth or misery.
42 THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOD.
"And if you keep them carefully,
Then God will you reward;
God will your deeds regard."
She kissed her children small:
With that the tears did fall.
These speeches then their brother spoke
To this sick couple there:
Sweet sister, do not fear;
Nor aught else that I have,
When you are laid in grave."
Their parents being dead and gone,
The children home he takes,
And much of them he makes.
A twelvemonth and a day,
To make them both away.
He bargained with two ruffians rude,
Which were of furious mood,
And slay them in the wood.
He did the children send
With one that was his friend.
Away then went these pretty babes,
Rejoicing at that tide, Rejoicing with a merry mind,
They should on cock-horse ride.
As they rode on their way,
And work their lives' decay.
So that the pretty speech they had
Made murderous hearts relent;
Full sore they did repent.
Did vow to do his charge,
Had paid him very large.
The other would not agree thereto,
So here they fell at strife;
About the children's life;
Did slay the other there,
While babes did quake for fear.
He took the children by the hand,
When tears stood in their eye;
And look they did not cry.
While they for food complain: "Stay here," quoth he, "I 'll bring you bread,
When I do come again."
THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOD.
These pretty babes, with hand in hand,
Went wandering up and down; But never more they saw the man
Approaching from the town. Their pretty lips with blackberries
Were all besmeared and dyed, And when they saw the darksome night,
They sat them down and cried.
Thus wandered these two pretty babes,
Till death did end their grief; In one another's arms they died,
As babes wanting relief;
Of any man receives,
And now the heavy wrath of God
Upon their uncle fell; Yes, fearful fiends did haunt his house,
His conscience felt a hell; His barns were fired, his goods consumed,
His lands were barren made; His cattle died within the field,
And nothing with him stayed.
And in the voyage of Portugal,
Two of his sons did die;
To extreme misery.
Ere seven years came about, And now at length this wicked act
Did by this means come out.