Old Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 29 pages of information about Old Ballads.

There’s never a lord, an earl, or knight,
But in this bottle doth take delight;
For when he’s hunting of the deer
He oft doth wish for a bottle of beer. 
Likewise the man that works in the wood,
A bottle of beer will oft do him good. 
  So I wish in heav’n his soul may dwell
  That first found out the leather bottel.

And when the bottle at last grows old,
And will good liquor no longer hold,
Out of the side you may take a clout,
To mend your shoes when they’re worn out;
Or take and hang it up on a pin,
’Twill serve to put hinges and old things in. 
  So I wish in heav’n his soul may dwell
  That first found out the leather bottel.

WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE.

Woodman, spare that tree, Touch not a single bough—­ In youth it shelter’d me, And I’ll protect it now.  Twas my forefather’s hand That placed it near his cot.  There, woodman, let it stand, Thy axe shall harm it not.  That old familiar tree, Whose glory and renown Are spread o’er land and sea, Say, wouldst thou hack it down?

Woodman, forbear thy stroke,
  Cut not its earth-bound ties—­
Oh, spare that aged oak,
  Now, towering to the skies. 
Oft, when a careless child,
  Beneath its shade I heard
The wood-notes sweet and wild,
  Of many a forest bird. 
By mother kiss’d me here,
  My father press’d my hand,
I ask thee, with a tear,
  Oh, let that old oak stand.

My heart-strings round thee cling,
  Close at thy bark, old friend—­
Here shall the wild bird sing,
  And still thy branches bend. 
Old tree, the storm still brave,
  And, woodman, leave the spot—­
While I’ve a hand to save
  Thy axe shall harm it not.

        General G.P.  Morris.

THE TOKEN

The breeze was fresh, the ship in stays,
Each breaker hush’d, the shore a haze. 
When Jack no more on duty call’d,
His true love’s tokens overhaul’d;
The broken gold, the braided hair,
The tender motto, writ so fair,
Upon his ’bacco-box he views,
Nancy the poet, love the muse. 
“If you loves I, as I loves you,
No pair so happy as we two.”

The storm, that like a shapeless wreck,
Had strew’d with rigging all the deck,
That tars for sharks had giv’n a feast,
And left the ship a hulk—­had ceas’d: 
When Jack, as with his messmates dear,
He shared the grog their hearts to cheer,
Took from his ’bacco-box a quid,
And spell’d for comfort on the lid
“If you loves I, as I loves you,
No pair so happy as we two.”

The voyage,—­that had been long and hard,
But that had yielded full reward,
And brought each sailor to his friend
Happy and rich—­was at an end: 
When Jack, his toils and perils o’er,
Beheld his Nancy on the shore: 
He then the ’bacco-box display’d,
And cried, and seized the yielding maid,
“If you loves I, as I loves you,
No pair so happy as we two.”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Old Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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