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Broadside ballad entitled 'Death and the Lady'



Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return...Gen. iii.

She that liveth in pleasure. is dead while
she liveth....l Tim. v.6.            

They shall lie down alike in the dust, and worms shall cover over them...

Tremble, ye women that are at ease...lsaiah

DEATH..Fair lady, lay your costly robes aside.
No longer may you glory in your pride ;
Take leave of all your carnal vain delight,

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 ;
But, being in the glory of my prime.

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 !
There's bags of gold, if you will me excuse ;
And seize on those (so finish thou the strife)
Who wretched are and weary of their life.

Are there not many bound in prison strong.
In bitter grief of son! who've languish'd long.

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,
Yet thou must die end leave them all behind ;
I come to none before their warrant's seal'd,
And when it is they must submit and yield.

Though some by age he full of grief and pain,
Till their appointed hour they must remain :
I take no bribe?believe me, this is true-

Prepare yourself to go; I'm come for you.

LADY But if. O if you could for me obtain
My freedom, and a longer life to reign,
Fain would I stay. If thou my life would spare.
I have a daughter, beautiful and fair,

I wish to see her wed, whom I adore.
Grant me but this?I'll ask no more.
DEATH...This is a siender. frivolous excuse ;
1 have you fast, and will not let you loose.

Leave her to Providence. for you must go
Along with me, whether you will or no :
II Death comnands the king to leave his crown.
He at my feet must lay his sceptre down.

Then if to kings I don't this favour give.
But cut them off can yon expect to live
Beyond the limit of your time and space?

No-I must sent you to another place.

LADY...You learned doctors, now exert your skill.
And let not Death obtain of me his will;
Prepare your cordials, let me comfort find.
My gold shall fly like chaff before the wind.

DEATH... Forbear to call; their skill will never do,
They are but mortals here as well us you :
I give the fatal wound- my dart is sure?
'Tis far beyond the doctors' skill to cure.

How freely can you let your riches fly,
To purcha e life, rather than yield to die;
But while you flourish here, with all your store.
You would not give one peony to the poor.

Thoug 'in God's aame their suit to you they make.
Yon would not spare one peony for his sake ;
My Lord beheld wherein you did amiss.
And calls you hence to give account of this.

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 selfish life makes me afraid to die;

My sins are great . manifold. and foul.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on my soul!

And though I do deserve thy righteous frown..
Yet pardon. Lord, and send a blessing down :
Then, with a dying sigh, her heart did break.
And did the pleasures of this world forsake.

Thus may we see the mighty rise and fall
For surely Death shews no respect at all,
To those of either high or low degree:
The great submit to Death as well as we.

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,
Who die in the Lord, aad ever happy are.

The grave's the market-place where all must meet,
Both rich and poor, both small and great:

If life were merchandize that gold could buy
The rich would live, the poor alone would die.

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Probable period of publication: 1880-1900   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(52)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Death and the Lady'
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