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Owned a house which emptye long ystood,
Full deeply sited in a derkning wood;
Murmring a shallow brook runneth along,
Mong the round stones it maken doleful song.
Now there spreaden a rumour that everich night
The rooms yhaunted been by many a sprite ;
The miller avoucheth, and all thereabout,
That they full oft hearen the hellifh rout;
Some faine they hear the jingling of chains,
And some hath yheard the pfautries straines ;
At midnight some the heedless horse ymeet,
And some espien a corse in a white sheet,
And oother things, faye, elfin, and elfe,
And shapes that fear createn to itselfe.
Now it so hapt, there was not ferre away,
Freers a fair and rich Abbaye,
Where liven a Freer ycleped Pere Thomas,
Who daren alone in derke through church-yerds pass.
This Freer would lye in thilke house all night,
In hope he might elpyen a dreadful sprite.
He taketh candle, beades, and holy watere,
And legends eke of Saintes, and bookes of prayere.
He entereth the room, and looketh round about,
And hafpen the door, to haspon the goblin out.
The candle hath he put clofe by the bed,
And in low tone his ave marye faid.
With water now besprinkled hath the floore,
:d maken crofs on key-hole of the doore.
as there not a mouse-hole in thilke place,
2 ycrufied hath by God his grace :
He crossed hath this, and eke he crossed that,
With benedicite and God knows what.
Now he goeth to bed and lieth adown,
When the clock had just stricken the cwelfth soun.
Berhinkerh him now what the cause had ybeen,
Why many sprites by mortals have been seen.
Hem remembreth how Dan Plutarch hath vsed
That Cæsar's sprite came to Brute his bed ;
Of chains that frighten erst Artemidore,
The tales of Pline, Valere, and many more.
Hem thinketh that some murdere here been done,
And he mought see some bloodye ghost anone,
Or that some orphlines writings here be stor’d,
Or pot of gold laine deep bencath a board :
Or thinketh hem, if he might see no sprite,
The Abbaye mought buy this house cheap outright.
As hem thus thinketh, anone aleep he lies,
l'p starten Sathanas with faucer e,es.
He turned the Freer upon his face downright,
Displaying his nether cheeks full broad and white.
Then quoth Dan Sathanas as he thwacked himn sore,
Thou didst forget to guard thy postern-door.
There is an hole which hath not croiled been :
Farewel, from whence I came, I creepen in.
Now plain it is ytellen in my verle,
1: Devils in hell bear Frecrs in their erse,
On earth the Devil in Freers doth ydwell;
Were diere no Freers, the Devil mought keep in Hell.
WORK FOR A COOPER.
A T A L E.
A MAN may lead a happy life,
Without that needful thing a wife :
This long have lusty Abbots known,
Who ne'er knew fpoufes—of their own.
What though your house be clean and ncat,
With couches, chairs, and beds compleat ;
Though you each day invite a friend,
Though he should every dish commend;
On Bagthot-heath your mutton fec,
Your fowls at Brentford born and bred;
Though purest wine your cellars boast,
Wine worthy of the fairest toast;
Yet there are other things requir’d :
Ring, and let 's see the maid
Bless me! those hands might hold a broom,
Twirle round a mop, and wash a room :
A batchelor his maid should keep,
Not for that servile use to sweep;
Let her his humour understand,
And turn to every thing her hand.
Get you a lass that is young and tight,
Whose arms are, like her apron, white.
What though her thift be seldom seen,
Let that, though coarse, be always clean;
She might each morn your tea attend,
And on your wrist your rustle mend;
Then, if you break a roguish jest,
Or squeeze her hand, or pat her breast,
She cries, Oh, dear Sir, don't be naught t'
And blushes speak her last night's fault.
To her your houshold cares confide,
your keys jingle at her side.
A footman's blunders teaze and fret
Ev'n while you chide, you smile on Betty
Discharge him then, if he's too spruce ;
For Betty's for his master's ufe.
you your amorous fancy baulk, For fear fome prudith neighbour talk? But
you 'll object, that you 're afraid
Of the pert freedoms of a maid.
Besides, your wiser heads will say,
That she who turns her hand this way,
From one vice to another drawn,
Will lodge your filver-spoons in pawn..
Has not the homely wrinkled jade
More need to learn the pilfering trade ?
For love all Betty's wants fupplies,
Laces her shoes, her manteau dyes,
All her stuff-suits the filings away,
And wears thread-fattin every day.
Who then a dirty drab would hire,
Brown as the hearth of kitchen-fire ;
When all must own, were Betty put
To the black duties of the flut,
As well the scours or scrubs a floor,
And still is good for something more?
Thus, to avoid the greater vice,
I knew a Priest, of conscience nice,
To quell his lust for neighbour's spouse,
Keep fornication in his house.
But your ’re impatient all this time,
Fret at my counsel, curse my rhyme.
Be satisfy'd : I'll talk no more,
For thus my tale begins--Of yore
There dwelt at Blois a Priest full fair,
With rolling eye and crisped hair ;
His chin hung low, his brow was sleek,
Plenty lay. balking on his cheek;
Whole days at cloyster-grates he sate,
Ogled, and talk'd of this and that
So feelingly, the Nuns lamented
That double-bars were e'er invented.
If he the wanton wife confeft,
With downcast eye, and heaving breast;
He stroak'd her cheek to still her fear,
And talk'd of sins en cavalier ;
Each time enjoin'd, her penance mild,
And fondled on her like his child.
At every jovial goslip's feast
Pere Bernard was a welcome guest;
Mirth suffer'd not the least restraint,
He could at will shake off the faint;
Nor frown'd he when they freely spoke,
But shook his fides, and took the joke ;
Nor fail'd he to promote the jest,
And shar'd the sins which they confest.