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"Though reason says thou shouldst forbeare, And stay thy hand from bloudy stroke,

Yet fancy bids thee not to fear,

Which fetter'd thee in Cupids yoke

Come death," quoth shee, "resolve my smart!".

And with those words she peerced her hart.

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Her funerall most costly made,
And all things finisht mournfullye,
Her body fine in mold was laid,

Where itt consumed speedilye:

Her sisters teares her tombe bestrewde,

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Her subjects griefe their kindnesse shewed.

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"False-harted wretch," quoth shee, "thou art;

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And traiterouslye thou hast betraid

Unto thy lure a gentle hart,

Which unto thee much welcome made;

My sister deare, and Carthage' joy,

Whose folly bred her deere annoy.

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"Yett on her death-bed when shee lay,
Shee prayd for thy prosperitye,
Beseeching God, that every day
Might breed thy great felicitye:

Thus by thy meanes I lost a friend;
Heavens send thee such untimely end.”

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When he these lines, full fraught with gall,
Perused had, and wayed them right,
His lofty courage then did fall;

And straight appeared in his sight
Queen Dido's ghost, both grim and pale;
Which made this valliant souldier quaile.

"Eneas," quoth this ghastly ghost,
"My whole delight, when I did live,
Thee of all men I loved most;

My fancy and my will did give;

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For entertainment I thee gave,
Unthankefully thou didst me grave.

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V. 120, MS. Hath made my breath my ute forsooke.

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And thus, as one being in a trance,
A multitude of uglye feinds
About this woffull prince did dance:
He had no helpe of any friends:

His body then they tooke away,
And no man knew his dying day.

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XXIV.

The Witches' Song.

From Ben Jonson's Masque of Queens, presented at Whitehall, Feb. 2, 1609.

The Editor thought it incumbent on him to insert some old pieces on the popular superstition concerning witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and ghosts. The last of these make their appearance in most of the tragical ballads; and in the following songs will be found some description of

the former.

It is true, this Song of the Witches, falling from the learned pen of Ben Jonson, is rather an extract from the various incantations of classical antiquity, than a display of the opinions of our own vulgar. But let it be observed, that a parcel of learned wiseacres had just before busied themselves on this subject, in compliment to King James I., whose weakness on this head is well known: and these had so ransacked all writers, ancient and modern, and so blended and kneaded together the several superstitions of different times and nations, that those of genuine English growth could no longer be traced out and distinguished.

By good luck, the whimsical belief of fairies and goblins could furnish no pretences for torturing our fellow-creatures, and therefore we have this handed down to us pure and unsophisticated.

1 WITCH.

"I HAVE been, all day, looking after

A raven, feeding upon a quarter;

And, soone as she turn'd her beak to the south,

I snatch'd this morsell out of her mouth."

2 WITCH.

"I have beene gathering wolves haires,

The madd dogges foames, and adders eares;
The spurging of a deadmans eyes:

And all since the evening starre did rise."

3 WITCH.

"I, last night, lay all alone

O' the ground to heare the mandrake grone;
And pluckt him up, though he grew full low:
And, as I had done, the cocke did crow."

4 WITCH.

"And I ha' beene chusing out this scull
From charnell houses that were full;
From private grots and publike pits;
And frighted a sexton out of his wits."
5 WITCH.

"Under a cradle I did crepe

By day; and, when the childe was a-sleepe
At night, I suck'd the breath, and rose

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And pluck'd the nodding nurse by the nose."

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6 WITCH.

"I had a dagger; what did I with that? Killed an infant to have his fat.

A piper it got at a church-ale ;

I bade him again blow wind i' the taile.”

7 WITCH.

"A murderer, yonder, was hung in chaines;

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The sunne and the wind had shrunke his veines;
I bit off a sinew; I clipp'd his haire;

I brought off his ragges that danc'd i' the ayre.”

8 WITCH.

"The scrich-owles egges and the feathers blacke, The bloud of the frogge, and the bone in his backe

I have been getting; and made of his skin

A purset, to keepe Sir Cranion in.”

9 WITCH.

"And I ha' beene plucking (plants among) Hemlock, henbane, adders-tongue,

Night-shade, moone-wort, libbards-bane;

And twise by the dogges was like to be tane.”

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10 WITCH.

"I, from the jawes of a gardiner's bitch,

Did snatch these bones, and then leap'd the ditch;

Yet went I back to the house againe,

Kill'd the blacke cat, and here is the braine."

11 WITCH.

"I went to the toad breedes under the wall, I charmed him out, and he came at my call; I scratch'd out the eyes of the owle before;

I tore the batts wing,-what would you have more ?”

DAME.

"Yes, I have brought, to helpe your vows,

Horned poppie, cypresse boughes,

The fig-tree wild that growes on tombes,

And juice that from the larch-tree comes,

The basiliskes bloud, and the vipers skin :-
And now our orgies let's begin.'

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XXV.

Robin Good-Fellow.

Alias Pucke, alias Hobgoblin, in the creed of ancient superstition, was a kind of merry sprite, whose character and achievements are recorded in this ballad, and in those well-known lines of Milton's L'Allegro, which the antiquarian Peck supposes to be owing to it:

"Tells how the drudging Goblin swet

To earn his creame-bowle duly set:
When in one night, ere glimpse of morne,
His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend,

And stretch'd out all the chimneys length,
Bask at the fire his hairy strength,
And crop-full out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matins rings."

The reader will observe, that our simple ancestors had reduced all these whimsies to a kind of system, as regular, and perhaps more

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