Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/38

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30
THE LONDON BALLADS.

The next in order has suffered dismally, and seems to have been of more recent origin, yet not recent enough to have left the press gang behind. Some of the terms also belong as obviously to old ballad convention as anything in the street games of children. But it is a ballad with only one rhyme in it.


POOR WILLIAM TAYLOR.

Poor William Taylor is a youthful lovyer,
Full of pride and full of fear;
He expected to get married
To a lady blithe and gay.


Her lily-white hands, her lovelie fingers,
Were all begobbed with pitch and tar;
And then there came a mighty scrimmage,
And she were one among the rest.


The silver buttons flew off her waistcoat,
And there appeared her lily-white breast.
Up bespeak this noble captain,
"Say, fair lady, what brought you here?"


"A seeking of my own true lovyer,
That was pressed in the other year."
"If his name be William Taylor,
That was pressed in the other year,


"He's married to another lady.
Living in the Iragreens.
If you want your William Taylor,
Come rise you up full early, by the break of day,


She rise full early, by the break of day.
There she spied her William Taylor,
With his lady by the hand;
She called for a brace of pistols,
A brace of pistols at her command.


There she shot poor William Taylor,
With his lady by her hand.
Come, all ye young men, take warning.
How to slight poor ladies kind.