[Page 278]

The THIEF AND THE CORDELIER, A BALLAD.

To the Tune of King John, and the Abbot of Canterbury.
1 Who has e'er been at Paris, must needs know the Greve,
2 The fatal Retreat of th'unfortunate Brave;
3 Where Honor and Justice most odly contribute,
4 To ease Hero's Pains by a Halter and Gibbet.
Derry down, down, hey derry down.
5 There Death breaks the Shackles, which Force had put on;
6 And the Hangman compleats, what the Judge but begun:
7 There the 'Squire of the Pad, and the Knight of the Post,
8 Find their Pains no more balk'd, and their Hopes no more crost.
Derry down, &c.
9 Great Claims are there made, and great Secrets are known;
10 And the King, and the Law, and the Thief has His own:
11 But my Hearers cry out; What a duce dost Thou ayl?
12 Cut off thy Reflections; and give Us thy Tale.
Derry down, &c.
[Page 279]
13 'Twas there, then, in civil Respect to harsh Laws,
14 And for want of false Witness, to back a bad Cause,
15 A Norman, tho' late, was oblig'd to appear:
16 And Who to assist, but a grave Cordelier?
Derry down, &c.
17 The 'Squire, whose good Grace was to open the Scene,
18 Seem'd not in great Haste, that the Show shou'd begin:
19 Now fitted the Halter, now travers'd the Cart;
20 And often took Leave; but was loath to Depart.
Derry down, &c.
21 What frightens You thus, my good Son? says the Priest:
22 You Murther'd, are Sorry, and have been Confest.
23 O Father! My Sorrow will scarce save my Bacon:
24 For 'twas not that I Murther'd, but that I was Taken.
Derry down, &c.
25 Pough! pr'ythee ne'er trouble thy Head with such Fancies:
26 Rely on the Aid You shall have from Saint Francis:
27 If the Money You promis'd be brought to the Chest;
28 You have only to Dye: let the Church do the rest.
Derry down, &c.
29 And what will Folks say, if they see You afraid?
30 It reflects upon Me; as I knew not my Trade:
31 Courage, Friend; To-day is your Period of Sorrow;
32 And Things will go better, believe Me, To-morrow.
Derry down, &c.
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33 To-Morrow? our Hero reply'd in a Fright:
34 He that's hang'd before Noon, ought to think of To-night.
35 Tell your Beads, quoth the Priest, and be fairly truss'd up:
36 For You surely To-night shall in Paradise Sup.
Derry down, &c.
37 Alas! quoth the 'Squire, howe'er sumptuous the Treat,
38 Parblew, I shall have little Stomach to Eat:
39 I should therefore esteem it great Favor, and Grace;
40 Wou'd You be so kind, as to go in my Place.
Derry down, &c.
41 That I wou'd, quoth the Father, and thank you to boot;
42 But our Actions, You know, with our Duty must suit.
43 The Feast, I propos'd to You, I cannot taste:
44 For this Night, by our Order, is mark'd for a Fast.
Derry down, &c.
45 Then turning about to the Hangman, He said;
46 Dispatch me, I pr'ythee, this troublesome Blade:
47 For Thy Cord, and My Cord both equally tie;
48 And We Live by the Gold, for which other Men Dye.
Derry down, &c.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The THIEF AND THE CORDELIER, A BALLAD.
Author: Matthew Prior
Themes:
Genres: ballad metre; refrain

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Source edition

Poems on Several Occasions [English poems only]. London: Printed for JACOB TONSON at Shakespear's-Head over against Katharine-Street in the Strand, and JOHN BARBER upon Lambeth-Hill. MDCCXVIII., 1718, pp. 278-280. [42],506,[6]p.: ill.; 2°. (ESTC T075639)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

Other works by Matthew Prior