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EBBA 31294

British Library - Roxburghe
Ballad XSLT Template
Or; The BIRDS Harmony.
When Birds could speak, and Women they
Had neither Good or Bad to say;
The pretty Birds then filld with Pain,
Did to each other thus complain.

OH! said the Cukow, loud and stout,
I fly 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 self-same thing,
I made a wow I neer would sing.

In came the Robin and thus he said,
I loved once an ill-favourd maid;
Her beauty kindled such a spark,
That on my breast I bear the mark.

Then said the Lark upon the Grass,
I loved once a well-favourd Lass:
But she would not hear her true love sing,
Tho he had a voice would please a king.

Then said the Black Bird as he fled,
I loved one but she is dead;
And ever since my love I lack,
This is the cause I mourn in black.

O said the bonny Nightingale,
Then I must end my mournful Tale;
While others sing, I sit and mourn,
Leaning my breast upon a Thorn.

Ah! says the Water-Wag-Tail then,
I neer shall be myself again;
I loved one, but could not prevail,
This is the cause I wag my tail.

Then says the party colourd Jay,
My dearest Love is gone away;
And in remembrance of my dear,
A feather of each sort I wear.

Then says the leather-winged Bat,
Mind but my tail, Ill tell you what
Is the cause I fly by night,
Because I lost my hearts delight.

Then said the Green-Finch as she flew,
I loved one that provd untrue:
And since he can no more be seen,
Love like a sick-maid I turn to green.

Then did begin the chattering Swallow,
My love is fled, but Ill not follow,
And now upon the chimney high,
I sing forth my poor melody.

O says the Owl, my love is gone,
That I did so much doat upon;
I know not how my love to follow
But after her to hoop and hollow.

Then says the Lap-Wing as she flies,
I search the meadows and the skies:
But cannot find my love again,
So about I fly in deadly pain.

Then says thrush I squeak and sing,
Which doth to me no comfort bring;
For oftentimes I at midnight
Record my love and hearts delight.

The Canary Bird she then come in,
To tell her tale she did begin:
I am of my dear love bereft,
So I have my own country left.

The Chaff-Finch then begins to speak,
For love, quoth she, my heart will break,
I grieve for you, it dont appear,
I sing but two months in the year.

Then quoth the Magpie I was crost
In love, and now my dear is lost;
And warning of my hearts delight,
I mourn for him in black and white.

O says the Rook, and eke the Crow,
The reason why so black we grow;
It is because we are forsook,
Come pity us, poor Crow and Rook.

The Bull-Finch was in a rage,
And nothing could his wrath assuage;
So in the woods he would not dwell,
But spend his time in a doleful cell.

Thus you have heard the birds complaint
Taking delight in their restraint;

Let this to all a pattern be,
For to delight in constancy.

DOWN as I lay one morning in May,
My hands they were coupled fast:
My heart did rejoice to hear the pleasant voice
Of the Birds in the air as they past.

Then comes the Nightingale,
Speaking the words so plain,
I prithee kind heart, take it in good part,
And love when thou art lovd again.

Then says Tom-Tit-Mouse there be some men
That will change nine times a day:
O then says the Wren there be some Women
That will change as often as they.

O then says the Crow, if it be so,
Ill give you leave to smite off my head;
For a man unjust, no woman will him trust,
Until the very day he is dead.

O then says the Pye, tell me the reason why
You judge so hardly of men?
O then says the Lark I speak it from my heart,
That Women are worse than them?

O then says the Dove I once had a love,
And she loved me very kind:
O says the Rook Ill be sworn to a book!
Such another is hard to find.

O says the Daw I care not a straw,
Altho I may chuse me a mate:
O then say the Thrush, you shall have her
in a rush,
And take her a lower rate.

O then says the Duck, I wish you better luck
Than a man that I do know:
When hes from home, theres another in his
And so says the Cuckoo too.

Printed and Sold in Aldermary Church Yard
Bow Lane, London.

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