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For pastry-crust, like castle walls,

Stands braving me unto my face; I am not well until it falls,

And I made captain of the place.

The prunes so lovely, look on me,

I cannot choose but venture on: The pie-meat spicèd brave I see,

The which I must not let alone.

Then, butler, fill me forth some beer,

My song hath made me somewhat dry; And so, again, to this good cheer,

I'll quickly fall, courageously.

And for my master I will pray,

With all that of his household are, Both old and young, that long we may

Of God's good blessings have a share.

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Good customs they may be abused,

Which makes rich men so slack us,
This feast is to relieve the poor,

And not to drunken Bacchus.

Thus if thou doest, 't will credit raise thee,
God will thee bless, and neighbours praise thee.

The burthen of the following excellent old ballad is that lament, common in all ages, for the days that have passed away. Looking back on bygone times, the imagination, charmed with the novelty which surrounds every minute circumstance, exalts even the worst features into matter for admiration. We very much question the amount of happiness enjoyed by the people generally, when every nobleman usurped the power of a petty sovereign, and had a crew of lusty men at his command to do his individual bidding. This state of things could certainly not have tended to promote the public peace in those highly prized“ days of yore, when the old cap was new.”


HEN this old cap was new,

"Tis since two hundred year, No malice then we knew,

But all things plenty were :
All friendship now decays

(Believe me, this is true),
Which was not in those days,

When this old cap was new.

The nobles of our land

Were much delighted then,
To have at their command

A crew of lusty men,

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Which by their coats were known,

Of tawny, red, or blue,
With crests on their sleeves shown,

When this old cap was new.

Now pride hath banished all,

Unto our land's reproach, When he whose means are small

Maintains both horse and coach ; Instead of an hundred men,

The coach allows but two: This was not thought on then,

When this old cap was new.

Good hospitality

Was cherished then of many; Now poor men starve and die,

And are not helped by any; For charity waxeth cold,

And love is found in few : This was not in time of old,

When this old cap was new.

Wherever you travelled then,

You might meet on the way Brave knights and gentlemen,

Clad in their country grey, That courteous would appear,

And kindly welcome you : No puritans then were,

When this old cap was new.

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