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And brings them straight unto his
A twelvemonth and a day,
To make them both away.
Which were of furious mood, That they should take these children
And slay them in a wood. [young, He told his wife an artful tale,
He would the children send To be brought up in fair London,
With one that was his friend.” Away then went those pretty babes,
Rejoicing at that ride, Rejoicing with a merry mind,
They should on cockhorse ride. They prate and prattle pleasantly,
As they rode on the way, To those that should their butchers be,
And work their lives' decay.
So that the pretty speech they had
Made murder's heart relent, And they that undertook the deed
Full sore did now repent. Yet one of them, more hard of heart,
Did vow to do his charge, Because the wretch that hired him
Had paid him very large. The other won't agree thereto,
So here they fall to strife;
About the children's life.
Did slay the other there,
The babes did quake with fear. He took the children by the hand,
Tears standing in their eye,
And look they did not cry.
While they for food complain;
“Stay here," quoth he, “I'll bring you
When I come back again.” [bread These pretty babes, with hand in hand,
Went wandering up and down; But never more could see the man
Approaching from the town; Their pretty lips with blackberries
Were all besmeared and dyed, And when they saw the darksome night
They sat them down and cried. Thus wandered these poor innocents,
Till death did end their grief ; In one another's arms they died,
As wanting due relief.
Of any man receives,
Did cover them with leaves.
Upon their uncle fell; Yea, fearful fiends did haunt his house,
His conscience felt a hell.