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EBBA 31321

British Library - Roxburghe
Ballad XSLT Template
An Excellent BALLAD,
Of a most Dreadful COMBATE Fought between
Moore of Moore-hall, and the Dragon of Wantley.

OLD Stories tell, how Hercules
a Dragon slew at Lurna;
With Seven Heads, and Fourteen Eyes,
to see and well discern a:
But he had a Club this Dragon to drub,
or hed neer have dont, Ill warrant ye;
But Moore of Moore-hall, with nothing at all,
he slew the Dragon of Wantley.

This Dragon had two furious Wings,
each one upon each Shoulder:
With a Sting in his Tail, as long as a Flail,
which made him bolder and bolder:
He had long Claws, and in his Jaws
four and forty Teeth of Iron:
With a Hide as tough as any Buff,
which did him round environ.

Have you not heard of the Trojan Horse,
with Seventy Men in his Belly?
This Dragon was not quite so big,
but very near, Ill tell ye:
Devoured he poor Children three,
that could not with him grapple;
And at one Sup he eat them up,
as a Man would eat an Apple.

All Sorts of Cattle this Dragon did eat:
some say he eat up Trees;
And that the Forest sure he would
devour by Degrees:
For Houses & Churches were to him Geese & Turkies,
he eat all and left none behind:
But some Nuts dear Jack which he could not crack,
which on the Hills you will find.

In Yorkshire, near fair Rotherham,
the Place I know [it] well:
Some two or three Miles, or thereabouts,
I vow, I cannot tell;

But there is a Hedge, just on the Hill Edge,
and Matthews House hard by it:
Oh! there and then was this Dragons Den,
you could not chuse but spy it.

Some say this Dragon was a Witch;
some say he was a Devil:
For from his Nose a Smoke arose,
and with it burning Snivel;
Which he cast off, when he did cough,
into a Well that stands by;
Which made it look just like a Brook
running with burning Brandy.

Hard by a furious Knight there dwelt,
of whom all Towns did ring:
For he could wrestle, play at Quarter-staff, kick, cuff, and huff,
call Son of a Whore, do any Kind of Thing:
By the Tail and the Mane, with his Hands twain,
he swung a Horse till he was dead:
And what is stranger, he for very Anger,
eat him all up but his Head.

These Children, as I told, being eat:
Men, Women, Girls, and Boys,
Sighing and Sobbing, came to his Lodging,
and made a hideous Noise:
Oh! save us all Moore of Moore-hall,
thou peerless Knight of these Woods;
Do but slay this Dragon, who wont leave us a Rag on,
well give thee all our Goods.

Tut, tut, quoth he, no Goods I want:
but I want, I want, in sooth,
A fair Maid of Sixteen, thats brisk,
and smiles about the Mouth:
Hair black as a Sloe, both above and below,
with Blushes her Cheeks adorning:
To noint me oer Night, eer I go to Fight,
and to dress me in the Morning.

This being done, he did engage
to hew this Dragon down:
But first he went strong Armour to
bespeak at Sheffield Town:
With Spikes all about, not within but without,
of Steel so sharp and strong:
Both behind and before, Arms, Legs, and all oer,
some five or six Inches long.

Had you but seen him in this Dress,
how fierce he lookd, and how big;
You would have thought him to have been,
some Egyptian Porcupig:
He frightend all, Cats, Dogs, and all,
each Cow, each Horse, and each Hog;
For fear they did flee, for they took him to be,
some strange Out-landish Hedge-hog.

To see this Fight all People then,
got upon Trees and Houses:
On Churches some, and Chimnies too,
but they put on their Trowses,
Not to spoil their Hose: As soon as he arose,
to make him strong and mighty:
He drank by the Tale six Pots of Ale,
and a Quart of Aqua Vitae.

It is not Strength that always wins,
for Wit does Strength excel:
Which made our cunning Champion
creep down into a Well:
Where he did think this Dragon would drink,
and so he did in Truth:
And as he stoopd low, he rose up and cryd Boh!
and he hit him on the Mouth.

Oh! quoth the Dragon, pox take you, come out,
thou that disturbst me in my Drink:
With that he turnd, and sh--t at him,
good lack, how he did stink!
Beshrew thy Soul, thy Body is foul:
thy Dung smells not like Balsam:
Thou Son of a Whore, thou stinkst so sore,
sure thy Diet is unwholsome.

Our Politick Knight, on the other Side,
crept out upon the Brink:
And gave the Dragon such a Dowse,
he knew not what to think,
By Cock, quoth he, say you so; do you see?
and then at him he let fly:
With Hand and Foot, and so they went tot:
and the Word it was, Hey, Boys, hey;

Your Words, quoth the Dragon, I dont understand,
then to it they fell all at all:
Like two wild Boars, so fierce: I may
compare great Things with small:
Two Days and a Night with this Dragon did fight
our Champion on the Ground:
Tho their Strength it was great, their Skill it was neat,
they never had one Wound.

At length the hard Earth began for to quake,
the Dragon gave him such a Knock:
Which made him to reel, and straight he thought
to lift him as high as a Rock,
And then let him fall: But Moore of Moore-hall,
like a valiant Son of Mars:
As he came like a Lout, so he turnd him about,
and hit him a Kick on the A--se.

Oh, quoth the Dragon, with a deep Sigh,
and turnd six Times together;
Sobbing and tearing, cursing and swearing,
out of his Throat of Leather;
Moore of Moore-hall, O thou Rascal,
would I had seen thee never:
With the Thing at thy Foot thou hast prickd my Arse-gut,
and I am undone for ever.

Murder, Murder, the Dragon cryd,
alack! alack! for Grief;
Had you but missd that Place, you could
have done me no Mischief:
Then his Head he shakd, trembled and quakd,
and down he [l]ayd and cryd:
First on one Knee, then on Back tumbled he,
so groand, kickd, sh--t, and dyd.

SHEFFIELD: Printed and Sold by John Garnet.

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