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Broadside ballad entitled 'Death and the Lady'
DEATH & THE LADY.
Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return...Gen. iii.
She that liveth in pleasure. is dead while
They shall lie down alike in the dust, and worms shall cover over them...
Tremble, ye women that are at ease...lsaiah
I'm come to summons you away to-night.
LADY..What bold attempt is this?? pray let me know
From whence you come, and whither I must go:
shall I. who am a lady,' stoop or bow
To such a pale-faced visage? who art thou ?
DEATH...DO you not know me? I will tell thee then:-
Tis I that conquer all the SOBS of men;
No pitch of honour from my dart is free:
My name is Death. Have you not heard of me?
LADY Yes, I have heard of thee time after time ;
I did not think you would have come so soon:
Why must my morning sun go down at noon?
DEATH...Ta1k not of noon?you may as well be mute
This is no time at all for vain dispute;
Your riches, garments, gold . and jewels bright.
Your houses and lands must on new owners light.
LADY... My heart is cold ! it trembles at the news !
Are there not many bound in prison strong.
Who could but find the grave a place of rest
From all the grief with which they are oppresa'd.
Besides, there's many with a hoary head,
And palsied joints, from whom all joys are fled;
Release thou them whose sorrows are so great.
But spare my life to have a longer date.
DEATH...Though thy vain heart to riches is inclined,
Though some by age he full of grief and pain,
Prepare yourself to go; I'm come for you.
LADY But if. O if you could for me obtain
I wish to see her wed, whom I adore.
Leave her to Providence. for you must go
Then if to kings I don't this favour give.
No-I must sent you to another place.
LADY...You learned doctors, now exert your skill.
DEATH... Forbear to call; their skill will never do,
How freely can you let your riches fly,
Thoug 'in God's aame their suit to you they make.
LADY... O heavy news! must I no longer stay?
How shall I stand at the great judgment day !
Down from her eyes the chrystal tears did flew,
She said, None knows what I do undergo.
Upon my bed of sorrow here I lie.
My sins are great . manifold. and foul.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on my soul!
And though I do deserve thy righteous frown..
Thus may we see the mighty rise and fall
Though they are gay, their life is but a span.
A lump of clay, so vile a creature's man;
Then happy they whom Christ has made his care,
The grave's the market-place where all must meet,
If life were merchandize that gold could buy
Probable period of publication:
1880-1900 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(52)