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Manchester Central Library - Blackletter Ballads
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Alas poore Trades-men what shall we do?
LONDONS Complaint through badnesse of Trading,
For work being scant, their substance is fadeing.
To the Tune of, Hallow my Fancy whether wilt thou goe?

AMidst of melancholly trading,
out of my store,
I found my substance fading
all my houshold viewing,
which to ruine
Falls daily more and more:
Forth then I went
And walkt about the City,
Where I beheld
What mov'd my heart with pity:
And being home returned
I thought upon this ditty,
Alas poor Trades-men
What shall we doe.

Shops, Shops, Shops, I discry now
with Windows ready shut,
They'l neither sell nor buy now,
Whilst our Lords and Gentry,
are ith Countrey,
the more is our griefe god-wott:
Woe to the causers
Of this seperation
Which bred the civill
Wars in this Nation.
It is the greatest cause
Of Londons long vacation,
Alas poore Trades-men
What shall we doe.

Forts in the fields new erected
where multitudes do run,
To see the same effected:
All their judgement spending,
and commending
the same to be well done:
But yet I feare,
Our digging and our ramming,
Scarse can defend
The poorest sort from famine,
For all the rich may have
As much as they can cramme in,
Alas poore trades-men
What shall we doe.

One may perhaps have large
whil'st thou and more complaines
Oppressed with their charge:
All this care and toyling,
with for moyling,
affords but little gains:
In hopes of peace
Ourselves have deluded,
That on our store
So far we have intruded,
Except a happy peace
Amongst us be concluded,
Alas poore trades-men
What shall we doe.

The second Part, To the same Tune.

COrn God be thank't is not scant yet,
and yet for ought we know
The poorer sort may want it.
In the midst of plenty,
more than twenty
have found it to be so:
For if they have not
Money for to buy it,
The richer sort they
Have hearts for to deny it,
If that youl not beleeve me,
You'l finde it when you try it,
Alas poore trades-men
What, etc.

Whilst we were wel imploied,
and need not for to play,
We plenty then enjoyed:
Every weeke a Noble
clear without trouble,
is better than eight pence a day:
Yet on the Sabbath day
We used to rest us,
And went to'th Church
To pray, and God hath blest us.
But since the civill wars
Begun for to molest us,
Alas poore trades-men
What, etc.

All things so out of order,
the Father kills the Son,
Yet this they count no murder
Wars are necessary,
oh no, but tarry,
I wish they'd not bin begun,
For where a Kingdom
Is of itselfe divided,
And people knows not
By whom they should be gui-ded
It is too great a matter
By me to be decided.
Alas poore trades-men
What, etc.

Now to conclude my ditty,
the Lord send England peace
And plenty in this City:
Grant the land may flourish,
long for to nourish
us with her blest increase.
Our Gracious King,
The Lord preserve and blesse Him
With safe return
To them that long do misse him,
And send him to remain
With them that well do wish him,
Alas poor trades-men
What shall we doe.

LONDON, Printed for Francis Grove.

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