If meat or drink thou ne’er gav’st nane,
   —Every nighte and alle,
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
   And Christe receive thy saule.

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
   —Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet1 and candle-lighte,
   And Christe receive thy saule.

392   The Seven Virgins


ALL under the leaves and the leaves of life
   I met with virgins seven,
And one of them was Mary mild,
   Our Lord’s mother of Heaven.

‘O what are you seeking, you seven fair maids,
   All under the leaves of life?
Come tell, come tell, what seek you
   All under the leaves of life?’

‘We’re seeking for no leaves, Thomas,
   But for a friend of thine;
We’re seeking for sweet Jesus Christ,
   To be our guide and thine.’

‘Go down, go down, to yonder town,
   And sit in the gallery,
And there you’ll see sweet Jesus Christ
   Nail’d to a big yew-tree.’

So down they went to yonder town
   As fast as foot could fall,
And many a grievous bitter tear
   From the virgins’ eyes did fall.

‘O peace, Mother, O peace, Mother,
   Your weeping doth me grieve:
I must suffer this,’ He said,
   ‘For Adam and for Eve.

‘O Mother, take you John Evangelist
   All for to be your son,
And he will comfort you sometimes,
   Mother, as I have done.’

‘O come, thou John Evangelist,
   Thou’rt welcome unto me;
But more welcome my own dear Son,
   Whom I nursed on my knee.’

Then He laid His head on His right shoulder,
   Seeing death it struck Him nigh—
‘The Holy Ghost be with your soul,
   I die, Mother dear, I die.’

O the rose, the gentle rose,
   And the fennel that grows so green!
God give us grace in every place
   To pray for our king and queen.

Furthermore for our enemies all
   Our prayers they should be strong:
Amen, good Lord; your charity
   Is the ending of my song.

393   Two Rivers

SAYS Tweed to Till—
‘What gars ye rin sae still?’
Says Till to Tweed—
‘Though ye rin with speed
   And I rin slaw,
For ae man that ye droon
   I droon twa.’

394   The Call

    MY blood so red
    For thee was shed,
Come home again, come home again;
My own sweet heart, come home again!
    You’ve gone astray
    Out of your way,
Come home again, come home again!

395   On Eleanor Freeman

who died 1650, aged 21

  By PanEris using Melati.

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