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Why now let me die, Sir, or live upon trust,
If I know to which question to answer you first:
Why things, since I saw you, most strangely have
varied,
The ostler is hang'd, and the widow is married.

And Prue left a child for the parish to nurse;
And Cicily went off with a gentleman's purse,
And as to my sister, so mild and so dear,
She has lain in the churchyard full many a year.

Well, peace to her ashes what signifies grief?
She roasted red veal, and she powder'd lean beef;
Full nicely she knew to cook up a fine dish ;
For tough were her pullets, and tender her fish.

For that matter, Sir, be you squire, knight, or lord,
I’ll give you whate'er a good inn can afford :
I should look on myself as unhappily sped,
Did I yield to a sister, or living, or dead.

Of mutton a delicate neck and a breast

Shall swim in the water in which they were drest;

And, because you great folks are with rarities taken,

Addle-eggs shall be next course, toss'd up with rank bacon.

Then supper was serv'd, and the sheets they were laid; And Morley most lovingly whisper'd the maid.

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The maid was she handsome 2 why truly so-so. But what Morley whisper'd we never shall know.

Then up rose these heroes as brisk as the sun, And their horses, like his, were prepared to run. Now when in the morning Matt ask'd for the score, John kindly had paid it the evening before.

Their breakfast so warm to be sure they did eat, A custom in travellers mighty discreet; [on, And thus with great friendship and glee they went To find out the place you shall hear of anon, Call'd Down, down, hey derry down

But what did they talk of from morning till noon? Why, of spots in the sun, and the man in the moon; Of the czar's gentle temper, the stocks in the city, The wise men of Greece, and the Secret Committee.

So to IIarlow they came; and, hey! where are you all 2 Show us into the parlour, and mind when I call; Why, your maids have no motion, your men have no life; Well, master, I hear you have buried your wife.

Come this very instant, take care to provide

Tea, sugar, and toast, and a horse and a guide.

Are the IIarrisons here, both the old and the young?

And where stands fair Down, the delight of my song?

O squire, to the grief of my heart I may say,

I have buried two wives since you travell'd this way;

And the Harrisons both may be presently here ;

And Down stands, I think, where it stood the last year.

Then Joan brought the tea-pot, and Caleb the toast ; [host; And the wine was froth'd out by the hand of mine But we clear.'d our extempore banquet so fast, That the Harrisons both were forgot in the haste.

Now hey for Down-Hall! for the guide he was got; The chariot was mounted ; the horses did trot; The guide he did bring us a dozen miles round; But oh all in vain: for no Down could be found.

O thou popish guide, thou hast led us astray,
Says he, How the devil should I know the way?
I never yet travell'd this road in my life;
But Down lies on the left, I was told by my wife.

Thy wife, answer'd Matthew, when she went abroad, Ne'er told thee of half the by-ways she had trod: Perhaps she met friends, and brought pence to thy house, But thou shalt go home without ever a souse.

What is this thing, Morley, and how can you mean it 2

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We have lost our estate here, before we have seen it.
Have patience, soft Morley in anger replied:
To find out our way, let us send off our guide.

O here I spy Down, cast your eye to the west,

Where a windmill so stately stands plainly confest. On the west, replied Matthew, no windmill I find; As well thou mayst tell me, I see the west wind :

Now pardon me, Morley, the windmill I spy,
But, faithful Achates, no house is there nigh.
Look again, says mild Morley; gadzooks' you are
blind :
The mill stands before ; and the house lies behind.

O, now a low ruin’d white shed I discern,
Until'd and unglaz'd ; I believe 'tis a barn.
A barn! why you rave: 'tis a house for a squire,
A justice of peace, or a knight of our shire.

A house should be built, or with brick, or with
Stone.
Why ’tis plaster and lath ; and I think that's all
One ;
And such as it is, it has stood with great fame,
Been call'd a hall, and has given its name
To Down, down, hey derry down

O Morley ! O Morley ! if that be a hall,
The fame with the building will suddenly fall—
WOL. II. 16

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With your friend Jemmy Gibbs' about buildings agree ; My business is land; and it matters not me.

I wish you could tell what a deuce your head ails: I show'd you Down-Hall; did you look for Versailles 2 [you, Then take house and farm as John Ballet will let For better for worse, as I took my Dame Betty.

And now, Sir, a word to the wise is enough:
You'll make very little of all your old stuff:
And to build at your age, by my troth, you grow
simple ! [ple?”
Are you young and rich, like the master of Wim-

If you have these whims of apartments and gardens,

From twice fifty acres you'll ne'er see five farthings:

And in yours I shall find the true gentleman's fate;

Ere you finish your house, you'll have spent your estate.

Now let us touch thumbs, and be friends ere we part. [heart. Here, John, is my thumb. And here, Mat, is my To Halstead I speed; and you go back to town. Thus ends the first part of the ballad of Down. Derry down, down, hey derry down. 1 James Gibbs, architect of the Ratcliffe Library, Oxford,

and many other buildings. * Edward Earl of Oxford.

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