Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE DRAGON OF WANTLEY.

1.
Old stories tell how Hercules

A dragon slew at Lerna,
With seven heads and fourteen eyes,

To see and well discern-a:
But he had a club, this dragon to drub,

Or he ne'er had done it, I warrant ye: But More of More-hall, with nothing at all,

He slew the dragon of Wantley.

2.
This dragon had two furious wings,

Each one upon each shoulder;
With a sting in his tail as long as a flail,

Which made him bolder and bolder.
He had long claws, and in his jaws

Four-and-forty teeth of iron; With a hide as tough as any buff,

Which did him round environ.

3. Have you not heard how the Trojan horse

Held seventy men in his belly ? This dragon was not quite so big,

But very near, I 'll tell ye; Devoured he poor children three,

That could not with him grapple; And at one sup he ate them up,

As one would eat an apple.

4.
All sorts of cattle this dragon would eat;

Some say he ate up trees,
And that the forests sure he would

Devour up by degrees :
For houses and churches were to him geese and turkeys;

He ate all and left none behind, But some stones, dear Jack, that he could not crack,

Which on the hills you will find.

5.
Hard by a furious knight there dwelt;

Men, women, girls, and boys,
Sighing and sobbing, came to his lodging,

And made a hideous noise,
O save us all, More of More-hall,

Thou peerless knight of these woods;
Do but slay this dragon, who won't leave us a rag on,

We'll give thee all our goods.

6. This being done, he did engage

To hew the dragon down;
But first he went new armour to

Bespeak at Sheffield town;
With spikes all about, not within but without,

Of steel so sharp and strong,
Both behind and before, arms, legs, and all o'er,

Some five or six inches long.

7. Had you but seen him in this dress,

How fierce he looked, and how big, You would have thought him for to be

Some Egyptian porcupig :

He frighted all, cats, dogs, and all,

Each cow, each horse, and each hog :
For fear they did flee, for they took him to be

Some strange, outlandish hedgehog.

8.

To see this fight all people then

Got up on trees and houses,
On churches some, and chimneys too ;

But these put on their trousers,
Not to spoil their hose. As soon as he rose,

To make him strong and mighty,
He drank, by the tale, six pots of ale,

And a quart of aqua-vitæ.

9. It is not strength that always wins,

For wit doth strength excel;
Which made our cunning champion

Creep down into a well,
Where he did think this dragon would drink,

And so he did in truth;
And as he stooped low, he rose up and cried, Boh!

And kicked him in the mouth.

10.
Oh,' quoth the dragon with a deep sigh,

And turned six times together,
Sobbing and tearing, cursing and swearing,

Out of his throat of leather:
‘More of More-ball, O thou rascal,

Would I had seen thee never; With the thing at thy foot thou hast pricked my throat,

And I'm quite undone for ever.

[ocr errors]

11. Murder! murder !' the dragon cried,

Alack, alack, for grief; Had you

but missed that place, you could
Have done me no mischief.'
Then his head he shaked, trembled and quaked,

And down he laid and cried ;
First on one knee, then on back tumbled he;

So groaned, and kicked, and died !

BLACK-EYED SUSAN.

1. All in the Downs the fleet was moored,

The streamers waving in the wind,
When black-eyed Susan came aboard ;

Oh! where shall I my true-love find ?
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true
If my sweet William sails among the crew.'

2. William, who high upon the yard

Rocked with the billow to and fro, Soon as her well-known voice he heard

He sighed, and cast his eyes below : The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands, And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

3. So the sweet lark, high poised in air,

Shuts close his pinions to his breast If chance his mate's shrill call he hear,

And drops at once into her nest:

The noblest captain in the British fleet
Might envy William's lip those kisses sweet.

4. O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,

My vows shall ever true remain ; Let me kiss off that falling tear;

We only part to meet again. Change as ye list, ye winds; my heart shall be The faithful compass that still points to thee.

5. · Believe not what the landmen say,

Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind : They'll tell thee, sailors, when away,

In every port a mistress find :
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For thou art present wheresoe'er I go.

6. "If to fair India's coast we sail,

Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright;
Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale;

Thy skin is ivory so white.
Thus every beauteous object that I view,
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.

7. “Though battle call me from thy arms,

Let not my pretty Susan mourn ; Though cannons roar, yet safe from harms

William shall to his dear return. Love turns aside the balls that round me fly, Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye.'

« PreviousContinue »