Close ×

Search EBBA

EBBA 31200

British Library - Roxburghe
Ballad XSLT Template
The Woody Queristers
When Birds could speak, and Women they,
Had neither good nor ill to say?
The pritty Birds filld with pain,
Did to each other, thus Complain.
To the Tune of, The Bird-Catchers Delight.

OH! says the Cuckcow, loud and stout,
I flye the Country round about:
While other Birds my young-ones feed
And I myself do stand in need.

Then says the Sparrow on her nest,
I lovd a Lass but it was in jest
And ever since that selfsame thing,
I made a vow I neer would sing.

In comes the Robin and thus he said,
I lovd once a well favoured maid:
Her beauty kindled such a spark
That on my breast I bear the mark.

Then said the Lark upon the grass,
I lovd onc[e] a well favourd Lass,
But she would not heare her true love sing
Though he had a voice would please a King

Then said the Blackbird as he fled,
I loved one but she is dead:
And ever since my Love I do lack,
This is the cause I mourn in Black.

Then said the bonny Nightingale.
Thus I must end my mournfull tale:
While others sing, I sit and mourn,
Leaning my breast against a thorn.

Oh! says the Water-wag-tail then,
I ner shall be my self again,
I loved one, but could not prevail,
And this is the cause I wag my tail.

Then said the pretty coloured Jay,
My dearest Love is fled away:
And in remembrance of my dear,
A Feather of every sort I wear.

Then said the Leather-winged Batt,
Mind but my tale, and ile tell you what,
Is the cause I do fly by night:
Because I lost my hearts delight.

Then said the Green-Bird as she flew,
I loved one that provd untrue
And since she can no more be seen,
Like a Love-sick made I turn so green,

Then did begin the Chattering Swallow
My Love she is fled, but I would not follow
And now upon the Chimney high
I sing forth my poor melody.

Oh! says the Owl, my love is gone,
That I so much did dote upon:
I know not how my love to follow,
But after her I hoop and hollow.

Then says the Lapwing, as she flyes,
I search the Meadows and the Skies
But cannot find my Love again,
So about I fly in deadly pain.

Then said the Thrush, I squeak and sing
Which doth to me no comfort bring.
For oftentime I at midnight,
Record my Love and hearts Delight.

The Canary-Bird she then comes in,
To tell her tale she doth begin:
I am of my dearst Love bereft,
So I have my own Country left.

The Chafinch then begins to squeak,
For Love quoth he, my heart will break
I grieve so for my only dear,
I sing but two mounths in a year.

Then quoth the Magpye. I was crost,
In Love and now my Dear is lost:
And wanting of my hearts Delight,
I mourn for him in Black and White.

Oh! says the Rook and eke the Crow,
The Reason why in Black we go:
It is because we are forsook,
Come pitty us poor Crow and Rook.

The Bulfinch he was in a rage.
And nothing could his wrath asswage;
So in the woods, he would not Dwell,
But spend his time in lonesome Cell.

Thus you do hear the Birds complaint,
Taking Delight in their Restraint:
Let this to all a pattern be,
For to Delight in Constancy.

View Raw XML