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Why now let me die, Sir, or live upon trust,
And Prue left a child for the parish to nurse;
Well, peace to her ashes what signifies grief?
For that matter, Sir, be you squire, knight, or lord,
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.
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,
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
We have lost our estate here, before we have seen it.
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,
O, now a low ruin’d white shed I discern,
A house should be built, or with brick, or with
O Morley ! O Morley ! if that be a hall,
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:
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.