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EBBA 36419

British Library - Bagford
Ballad XSLT Template
A WARNING for all Lewd Livers:
By the Example of a Disobedient CHILD, who rioutously wasted
and consumed his Father and Mother's Goods, and also his own, amongst vile
Strumpets, and other lewd Livers, and died most miserably on a Dunghil.
To the Tune of, Sir Andrew Barton, etc.

MY bleeding heart with grief and care,
Doth wish all young Men to beware,
That they no suchlike steps may tread,
Nor lead the life which I have led:

My Father was a Gentleman,
As many Gallants witness can;
He had no Son but only I,
Which made his gold and silver flye,

Whenas my Father had me sent
To sell his goods, or take up rent,
I did consume and waste the same,
In drinking or unlawful game.

The cards and dice were my delight,
I haunted taverns day and night;
Lewd Women were my chiefest Joys,
And my Consorts were Cut-purse-boys.

God's holy Word I disobey'd,
I car'd not what the Preacher said;
For quaffing cans of ale and beer,
Was all the service I would hear.

Then acting my ungracious part,
I broke my aged Father's heart;
When ghastly Death did on him seize,
I thought myself in happy ease.

What he had left I thought well got,
But now the shame falls to my lot,
Five hundred pound of good red gold,
For wine and beer I quickly sold.

Then was I prest to serve the King,
That might my name to honour bring;
A Soldier's life I held it base,
And always took it in disgrace.

And having thus consum'd my store,
I to my Mother went for more;
Who sold and mortgaged her land,
And put the mony in my hand.

And then with tears these words she said,
Thou know'st my Son thy Father's dead,
No more is left but I and thee,
Therefore, dear Son, be good to me.

If that thy love from me should fall,
I have no Friend on Earth at all:
Therefore, good Son, to me prove kind,
And thou reward in Heaven shalt find.

Then on my bended knees fell I,
Desiring of the Lord on high,
A shameful death might be his end,
That would his Mother once offend.

All you that do no reckoning make,
Of swearing when your words you speak,
Give ear to that which I will tell,
Lewd Livers seldom dyeth well.

You disobedient Children all,
Draw near and listen to my fall,
Example take, repent in time,
Lest that your woes be like to mine.

You Fathers dear, and Mothers kind,
Bear you this Lesson in your mind,
Trust not too much a wicked Child,
For oft times Men are so beguil'd:

When twigs are geeen you may them ply,
But let them grow while they be dry,
They will so stiff and stubborn stand,
You cannot bend them with your hand.

So that I ran a wicked race,
And to amend had not the grace,
Sixteen score pound in good red gold,
Into my hand my Mother told.

But in the compass of one year,
I spent it all as may appear,
And having left no means at all,
I unto robbing straight did fall.

Thus did I steal my Mother's rings,
Her brass, her pewter, and such things,
The very bed whereon she lay,
I like a Villain stole away.

Whatever I could get or take,
I thereof straight did mony make;
My flinty heart did feel no grief,
To see my Mother want relief.

At last she grew exceeding poor,
And beg'd relief from door to door:

No Infidel, nor Pagan wild,
Could bring to light so bad a Child.

At last my Mother lost her breath,
As she constrained was by Death;
Who yields relief, when Friends grow scan[t]
And ease to them that are in want.

From place to place then was I tost,
By every Man and Woman crost,
No harbour could I get, whereby
I might at night in safe-guard lie.

My dearest Kinsfolks do me chide,
My dearest Friends mock and deride,
Those that were my Consorts of late,
Their love is turned into hate.

Those that have feasted many a time,
And fed upon that which was mine,
Despise at me along the street,
As if they should a serpent meet.

Both old and young, both great and small,
Both rich and poor despise me all;
No Friend to take my part have I,
But was constrain'd in fields to lie.

In this my extream misery,
My grief, and my necessity,
No Creature gave for my relief,
One peice of bread to ease my grief.

But like a poor dispised Wretch,
His latest gasp that he did fetch,
Was on a dung-hill in the night,
Whenas no Creature was in sight.

But in the morning he was found,
As cold as clay upon the ground;
Thus was he born in shame to die,
And end his days in misery.

Take warning young Men by this vice,
Learn to avoid the cards and dice,
Lewd Womens company forbear,
They are the high-way unto care.

All Parents whilst your Babes be young,
Look to their ways in hand and tongue,
Then wickedness will not abound,
But grace in Children will be found.

London: Printed by and for W.O. and are to be sold by B. Deacon, at the Angel in Guiltspur-street.

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