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To his Brother-Members
and to all who hereafter follow them in being
Lovers of Old Ballads;
ESPECIALLY THE DWELLERS IN FAR COUNTRIES, WHO SPEAK ONE
COMMON LANGUAGE, AND DEARLY PRIZE
THE NAME OF ENGLAND,
Although the Atlantic or Pacific waves
THESE VOLUMES OF
J. W. EBSWORTH.
MOLASH VICARAGE: KENT.
O ME, buy my ballads, Bagford-ballads buy !
Black-letter broadsides, saved from Father Time;
That oft finds nourishment in rabble-rhyme.
And see old English homesteads round him rise,
Must list these echoes of their melodies.
Come, buy my ballads, Bag ford-ballads, come!
You'll find them varied briskly, grave and gay ;
To cheer their poverty, ʼmid toil or play:
That need a comment now to make them plain ;
Lamentings shrill, or low sad wails of pain.
Come, buy my ballads, Bag ford-ballads, buy !
Lovers who willow wore, and maids betray'd,
Albeit the rhymester ply'd a sorry trade.
Roysters have sang blithe staves from others here : . Who will, may choose the Hanging-verse of Thieves ;
Who will, the Storm-song of bold Marinere.
Come, buy my ballads, Bag ford-balladsy.come;
And read betwixt the lines what grief and pain . Were borne of old, while beat the martial drum,
And Ladies wept for those in battle slain. Rolls o'er the billows many a sound of fight,
Scorn of the foe, and shout of victory; Changed to the Sailor's welcome in delight,
When home again to sweetheart, safe from sea.
Come, buy my ballads, Bag ford-ballads! these
Are but a few, now offer'd from our store ; Soon with full hands, and choicer melodies
Snatch'd from Oblivion, shall we come once more. Not with fastidious touch we throw away
The flowers that look like weeds ; but, foul or sweet, We give you all, priz'd in that earlier day:
Whate er Old Bag ford cull'd, we give complete.
J. W. E.
The work is arranged in two divisions, nearly equal in bulk, to be bound
Impromptu (Editorial) . . . . . . .