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And so to England came with speed,

To repossess King Lear
And drive his daughters from their thrones

By his Cordelia dear.
Where she, true-hearted noble queen,

Was in the battle slain ;
Yet he, good king, in his old days,

Possest his crown again.

But when he heard Cordelia's death,

Who died indeed for love
Of her dear father, in whose cause

She did this battle move,
He swooning fell upon her breast,

From whence he never parted :
But on her bosom left his life,
That was so truly hearted.

Old Ballad



As in the sunshine of the morn
A butterfly (but newly born)
Sat proudly perking on a rose,
With pert conceit his bosom glows;
His wings (all glorious to behold)
Bedropt with azure, jet, and gold,
Wide he displays; the spangled dew
Reflects his eyes and various hue.

His now forgotten friend, a snail,
Beneath his house, with slimy trail,



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Crawls o'er the grass, whom when he spies,
In wrath he to the gardener cries :

“What means yon peasant's daily toil,
From choking weeds to rid the soil ?
Why wake you to the morning's care?
Why with new arts correct the year?
Why grows the peach's crimson hue ?
And why the plum's inviting blue?
Were they to feast his taste design'd,
That vermin of voracious kind !
Crush then the slow, the pilfering race,
So purge thy garden from disgrace.'

“What arrogance !' the snail replied ;
• How insolent is upstart pride !
Hadst thou not thus, with insult vain
Provok'd my patience to complain,
I had conceald thy meaner birth,
Nor trac'd thee to the scum of earth;
For scarce nine suns have wak'd the hours,
To swell the fruit, and paint the flowers,
Since I thy humbler life survey'd,
In base, in sordid guise array'd.
I own my humble life, good friend ;
Snail was I born and snail shall end.
And what's a butterfly? At best
He's but a caterpillar drest;
And all thy race (a numerous seed)
Shall prove of caterpillar breed.'

7. Gay



"O where have you been, my long, long, love,

This long seven years and more?' O I'm come to seek my former vows

Ye granted me before.'

O hold your tongue of your former vows,

For they will breed sad strife ;
O hold your tongue of your former vows,

For I am become a wife.'

He turn'd him right and round about,

And the tear blinded his ee; 'I would never have trodden on Irish ground,

If it had not been for thee.

"I might have had a king's daughter,

Far, far beyond the sea;
I might have had a king's daughter,

Had it not been for love of thee.'

'If ye might have had a king's daughter,

Yourself you had to blame;
Ye might have taken the king's daughter,

For ye knew that I was nane.'

O false are the vows of womankind,

But fair is their false bodie; I never would have trodden on Irish ground Had it not been for love of thee.'


'If I was to leave my husband dear,

And my two babes also,
O what have you to take me to,

If with you I should go ?'

'I have seven ships upon the sea,

The eighth brought me to land; With four and twenty bold mariners,

And music on every hand.'

She has taken up her two little babes,

Kiss'd them both cheek and chin ; O fare ye well, my own two babes, For I'll never see you again.'

She set her foot upon the ship,

No mariners could she behold; But the sails were of the taffetie,

And the masts of the beaten gold.

She had not saild a league, a league,

A league but barely three,
When dismal grew his countenance,

And drumlie grew his ee.

The masts that were like the beaten gold

Bent not on the heaving seas;
And the sails that were of the taffetie

Filld not in the east land breeze.

They had not saild a league, a league,

A league but barely three, Until she espied his cloven foot,

And she wept right bitterly.


"O hold your tongue of your weeping,' says he,

‘Of your weeping now let me be; I will show you how the lilies grow

On the banks of Italy.'

O what hills are yon, yon pleasant hills,

That the sun shines sweetly on ?' O yon are the hills of heaven,' he said, 'Where you will never won.'

O what a mountain is yon,' she said,

*All so dreary with frost and snow?' 'Oyon is the mountain of hell,' he cried,

“Where you and I will go.'

And aye when she turn’d her round about

Aye taller he seem'd for to be ;
Until that the tops of that gallant ship

No taller were than he.

The clouds grew dark and the wind grew loud,

And the levin filled her ee;
And waesome waild the snow-white sprites

Upon the gurlie sea.

He struck the topmast with his hand,

The foremast with his knee;
And he brake that gallant ship in twain,
And sank her in the sea.

Old Ballad

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