The Ballads (or Pickering) Manuscript

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<poem> [The Pickering Manuscript]

The Smile[edit]

There is a Smile of Love And there is a Smile of Deceit And there is a Smile of Smiles In which these two Smiles meet And there is a Frown of Hate 5 And there is a Frown of disdain And there is a Frown of Frowns Which you strive to forget in vain For it sticks in the Hearts deep Core And it sticks in the deep Back bone 10 And no Smile that ever was smild But only one Smile alone That betwixt the Cradle & Grave It only once Smild can be But when it once is Smild 15 Theres an end to all Misery

The Golden Net[edit]

Three Virgins at the break of day Whither young Man whither away Alas for woe! alas for woe! t They cry & tears for ever flow The one was Clothd in flames of firet 5 The other Clothd in iron wire t The other Clothd in tears & sighs t Dazling bright before my Eyes They bore a Net of Golden twine To hang upon the Branches fine 10 Pitying I wept to see the woe That Love & Beauty undergo To be consumd in burning Fires And in ungratified Desires And in tears clothd Night & day 15 Melted all my Soul away When they saw my Tears a Smile That did Heaven itself beguile Bore the Golden Net aloft As on downy Pinions soft 20 Over the Morning of my Day Underneath the Net I stray Now intreating Burning Fire Now intreating Iron Wire Now intreating Tears & Sighs 25 O when will the morning rise

The Mental Traveller[edit]

I traveld thro' a Land of Men A Land of Men & Women too And heard & saw such dreadful things As cold Earth wanderers never knew For there the Babe is born in joy 5 Just as we Reap in joy the fruit Which we in bitter tears did sow And if the Babe is born a Boy He's given to a Woman Old 10 Who nails him down upon a rock Catches his Shrieks in Cups of gold She binds iron thorns around his head She pierces both his hands & feet She cuts his heart out at his side 15 To make it feel both cold & heat Her fingers number every Nerve Just as a Miser counts his gold She lives upon his shrieks & cries And She grows young as he grows old 20 Till he becomes a bleeding youth And she becomes a Virgin bright Then he rends up his Manacles And binds her down for his delight He plants himself in all her Nerves 25 Just as a Husbandman his mould And She becomes his dwelling place And Garden fruitful Seventy fold An aged Shadow soon he fades Wandring round an Earthly Cot 30 Full filled all with gems & gold Which he by industry had got And these are the gems of the Human Soul The rubies & pearls of a lovesick eye The countless gold of the akeing heart 35 The martyrs groan & the lovers sigh They are his meat they are his drink He feeds the Beggar & the Poor And the way faring Traveller For ever open is his door 40 His grief is their eternal joy They make the roofs & walls to ring Till from the fire on the hearth A little Female Babe does spring And she is all of solid fire 45 And gems & gold that none his hand Dares stretch to touch her Baby form Or wrap her in his swaddling-band But She comes to the Man she loves If young or old or rich or poor 50 They soon drive out the aged Host A Begger at anothers door He wanders weeping far away Untill some other take him in Oft blind & age-bent sore distrest 55 Untill he can a Maiden win And to Allay his freezing Age The Poor Man takes her in his arms The Cottage fades before his Sight The Garden & its lovely Charms 60 The Guests are scatterd thro' the land For the Eye altering alters all The Senses roll themselves in fear And the flat Earth becomes a Ball The Stars Sun Moon all shrink away 65 A desart vast without a bound And nothing left to eat or drink And a dark desart all around The honey of her Infant lips The bread & wine of her sweet smile 70 The wild game of her roving Eye Does him to Infancy beguile For as he eats & drinks he grows Younger & younger every day And on the desart wild they both 75 Wander in terror & dismay Like the wild Stag she flees away Her fear plants many a thicket wild While he pursues her night & day By various arts of Love beguild 80 By various arts of Love & Hate Till the wide desart planted oer With Labyrinths of wayward Love Where roams the Lion Wolf & Boart Till he becomes a wayward Babe 85 And she a weeping Woman Old Then many a Lover wanders here The Sun & Stars are nearer rolld The trees bring forth sweet Extacy To all who in the desart roam 90 Till many a City there is Built And many a pleasant Shepherds home But when they find the frowning Babe Terror strikes thro the region wide They cry the Babe the Babe is Born 95 And flee away on Every side For who dare touch the frowning form His arm is witherd to its root Lions Boars Wolves all howling flee And every Tree does shed its fruit 100 And none can touch that frowning form Except it be a Woman Old She nails him down upon the Rock And all is done as I have told

The Land of Dreams[edit]

Awake awake my little Boy Thou wast thy Mothers only joy Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep Awake thy Father does thee keep O what Land is the Land of Dreams 5 What are its Mountains & what are its Streams O Father I saw my Mother there Among the Lillies by waters fair Among the Lambs clothed in white She walkd with her Thomas in sweet delight 10 I wept for joy like a dove I mourn O when shall I again return Dear Child I also by pleasant Streams Have wanderd all Night in the Land of Dreams But tho calm & warm the Waters wide 15 I could not get to the other side Father O Father what do we here In this Land of unbelief & fear The Land of Dreams is better far Above the light of the Morning Star 20


Sweet Mary the first time she ever was there Came into the Ball room among the Fair The young Men & Maidens around her throng And these are the words upon every tongue An Angel is here from the heavenly Climes 5 Or again does return the Golden times Her eyes outshine every brilliant ray She opens her lips tis the Month of May Mary moves in soft beauty & conscious delight To augment with sweet smiles all the joys of the Night 10 Nor once blushes to own to the rest of the Fair That sweet Love & Beauty are worthy our care In the Morning the Villagers rose with delight And repeated with pleasure the joys of the night And Mary arose among Friends to be free 15 But no Friend from henceforward thou Mary shalt see Some said she was proud some calld her a whore And some when she passed by shut to the door A damp cold came oer her her blushes all fled Her lillies & roses are blighted & shed 20 O why was I born with a different Face Why was I not born like this Envious Racet Why did Heaven adorn me with bountiful hand And then set me down in an envious Land To be weak as a Lamb & smooth as a Dove 25 And not to raise Envy is calld Christian Love But if you raise Envy your Merits to blame For planting such spite in the weak & the tame I will humble my Beauty I will not dress fine I will keep from the Ball & my Eyes shall not shine 30 And if any Girls Lover forsakes her for me I'll refuse him my hand & from Envy be free She went out in Morning attird plain & neat Proud Marys gone Mad said the Child in the Street She went out in Morning in plain neat attire 35 And came home in Evening bespatterd with mire She trembled & wept sitting on the Bed side She forgot it was Night & she trembled & cried She forgot it was Night she forgot it was Morn Her soft Memory imprinted with Faces of Scorn 40 With Faces of Scorn & with Eyes of disdain Like foul Fiends inhabiting Marys mild Brain She remembers no Face like the Human Divine All Faces have Envy sweet Mary but thine And thine is a Face of sweet Love in Despair 45 And thine is a Face of mild sorrow & care And thine is a Face of wild terror & fear That shall never be quiet till laid on its bier

The Crystal Cabinet[edit]

The Maiden caught me in the Wild Where I was dancing merrily She put me into her Cabinet And Lockd me up with a golden Key This Cabinet is formd of Gold 5 And Pearl & Crystal shining bright And within it opens into a World And a little lovely Moony Night Another England there I saw Another London with its Tower 10 Another Thames & other Hills And another pleasant Surrey Bower Another Maiden like herself Translucent lovely shining clear Threefold each in the other closd 15 O what a pleasant trembling fear O what a smile a threefold Smile Filld me that like a flame I burnd I bent to Kiss the lovely Maid And found a Threefold Kiss returnd 20 I strove to sieze the inmost Form With ardor fierce & hands of flame But burst the Crystal Cabinet And like a Weeping Babe became A weeping Babe upon the wild 25 And Weeping Woman pale reclind And in the outward air again I filld with woes the passing Wind

The Grey Monk[edit]

I die I die the Mother said My Children die for lack of Bread What more has the merciless Tyrant said The Monk sat down on the Stony Bed The blood red ran from the Grey Monks side 5 His hands & feet were wounded wide His Body bent his arms & knees Like to the roots of ancient trees His eye was dry no tear could flow A hollow groan first spoke his woe 10 He trembled & shudderd upon the Bedt At length with a feeble cry he said When God commanded this hand to writet In the studious hours of deep midnight He told me the writing I wrote should provet 15 The Bane of all that on Earth I lovd My Brother starvd between two Walls His Childrens Cry my Soul appalls I mockd at the wrack & griding chain My bent body mocks their torturing pain 20 Thy Father drew his sword in the North With his thousands strong he marched forth Thy Brother has armd himself in Steel To avenge the wrongs thy Children feel But vain the Sword & vain the Bow 25 They never can work Wars overthrow The Hermits Prayer & the Widows tear Alone can free the World from fear For a Tear is an Intellectual Thing And a Sigh is the Sword of an Angel King 30 And the bitter groan of the Martyrs woe Is an Arrow from the Almighties Bow The hand of Vengeance found the Bed To which the Purple Tyrant fled The iron hand crushd the Tyrants head 35 And became a Tyrant in his stead

Auguries of Innocence

To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour A Robin Red breast in a Cage 5 Puts all Heaven in a Rage A Dove house filld with doves & Pigeons Shudders Hell thro all its regions A dog starvd at his Masters Gate Predicts the ruin of the State 10 A Horse misusd upon the Road Calls to Heaven for Human blood Each outcry of the hunted Hare A fibre from the Brain does tear A Skylark wounded in the wing 15 A Cherubim does cease to sing The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight Does the Rising Sun affright Every Wolfs & Lions howl Raises from Hell a Human Soul 20 The wild deer wandring here & there Keeps the Human Soul from Care The Lamb misusd breeds Public strife And yet forgives the Butchers Knife The Bat that flits at close of Eve 25 Has left the Brain that wont Believe The Owl that calls upon the Night Speaks the Unbelievers fright He who shall hurt the little Wren Shall never be belovd by Men 30 He who the Ox to wrath has movd Shall never be by Woman lovd The wanton Boy that kills the Fly Shall feel the Spiders enmity He who torments the Chafers sprite 35 Weaves a Bower in endless Night The Catterpiller on the Leaf Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly For the Last judgment draweth nigh 40 He who shall train the Horse to War Shall never pass the Polar Bar The Beggers Dog & Widows Cat Feed them & thou wilt grow fat The Gnat that sings his Summers song 45 Poison gets from Slanders tongue The poison of the Snake & Newt Is the sweat of Envys Foot The Poison of the Honey Bee Is the Artists jealousy 50 The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags Are Toadstools on the Misers Bagst A truth thats told with bad intent Beats all the Lies you can invent It is right it should be so 55 Man was made for Joy & Woe And when this we rightly know Thro the World we safely go Joy & Woe are woven fine A Clothing for the soul divine 60 Under every grief & pine Runs a joy with silken twine The Babe is more than swadling Bands Throughout all these Human Lands Tools were made & Born were hands 65 Every Farmer Understands Every Tear from Every Eye Becomes a Babe in Eternity This is caught by Females bright And returnd to its own delight 70 The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath Writes Revenge in realms of death The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air 75 Does to Rags the Heavens tear The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun Palsied strikes the Summers Sun The poor Mans Farthing is worth more Than all the Gold on Africs Shore. 80 One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands Or if protected from on high Does that whole Nation sell & buy He who mocks the Infants Faith 85 Shall be mock'd in Age & Death He who shall teach the Child to Doubt The rotting Grave shall neer get out He who respects the Infants faith Triumphs over Hell & Death 90 The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons Are the Fruits of the Two seasons The Questioner who sits so sly Shall never know how to Reply He who replies to words of Doubt 95 Doth put the Light of Knowledge out The Strongest Poison ever known Came from Caesars Laurel Crown Nought can Deform the Human Race Like to the Armours iron brace 100 When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow A Riddle or the Crickets Cry Is to Doubt a fit Reply The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile 105 Make Lame Philosophy to smile He who Doubts from what he sees Will neer Believe do what you Please If the Sun & Moon should Doubt Theyd immediately Go out 110 To be in a Passion you Good may Do But no Good if a Passion is in you The Whore & Gambler by the State Licencd build that Nations Fate The Harlots cry from Street to Street 115 Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet The Winners Shout the Losers Curse Dance before dead Englands Hearse Every Night & every Morn Some to Misery are Born 120 Every Morn & every Night Some are Born to sweet delight Some are Born to sweet delight Some are Born to Endless Night We are led to Believe a Lie 125 When we see not Thro the Eyet Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light God Appears & God is Light To those poor Souls who dwell in Night 130 But does a Human Form Display To those who Dwell in Realms of day

Long John Brown & Little Mary Bell[edit]

Little Mary Bell had a Fairy in a Nut Long John Brown had the Devil in his Gut Long John Brown lovd Little Mary Bell And the Fairy drew the Devil into the Nut-shell Her Fairy skipd out & her Fairy skipd in 5 He laughd at the Devil saying Love is a Sin The devil he raged & the Devil he was wroth And the devil enterd into the Young Mans broth He was soon in the Gut of the loving Young Swain For John eat & drank to drive away Loves pain 10 But all he could do he grew thinner & thinner Tho he eat & drank as much as ten Men for his dinner Some said he had a Wolf in his stomach day & night Some said he had the Devil & they guessd right The fairy skipd about in his glory Joy & Pride 15 And he laughd at the Devil till poor John Brown died Then the Fairy skipd out of the old Nut shell And woe & alack for Pretty Mary Bell For the Devil crept in when The Fairy skipd out And there goes Miss Bell with her fusty old Nut 20

William Bond[edit]

I wonder whether the Girls are mad And I wonder whether they mean to kill And I wonder if William Bond will die For assuredly he is very ill He went to Church in a May morning 5 Attended by Fairies one two & three But the Angels Of Providence drove them away And he returnd home in Misery He went not out to the Field nor Fold He went not out to the Village nor Town 10 But he came home in a black black cloud And took to his Bed & there lay down And an Angel of Providence at his Feet And an Angel of Providence at his Head And in the midst a Black Black Cloud 15 And in the midst the Sick Man on his Bed And on his Right hand was Mary Green And on his Left hand was his Sister Jane And their tears fell thro the black black Cloud To drive away the sick mans pain 20 O William if thou dost another Lovet Dost another Love better than poor Mary Go & take that other to be thy Wife And Mary Green shall her Servant be Yes Mary I do another Love 25 Another I Love far better than thee And Another I will have for my Wife Then what have I to do with thee For thou art Melancholy Pale And on thy Head is the cold Moons shine 30 But she is ruddy & bright as day And the sun beams dazzle from her eyne Mary trembled & Mary chilld And Mary fell down on the right hand floor That William Bond & his Sister Jane 35 Scarce could recover Mary more When Mary woke & found her Laid On the Right hand of her William dear On the Right hand of his loved Bed And saw her William Bond so near 40 The Fairies that fled from William Bond Danced around her Shining Head They danced over the Pillow white And the Angels of Providence left the Bed I thought Love livd in the hot sun Shine 45 But O he lives in the Moony light I thought to find Love in the heat of day But sweet Love is the Comforter of Night Seek Love in the Pity of others Woe In the gentle relief of anothers care 50 In the darkness of night & the winters snow In the naked & outcast Seek Love there