A Lanthorne for Landlords
A Lanthorne for Landlords.
To the tune of, The Duke of Norfolke.
PUBLISHED FOR I. Wright
WIth sobbing griefe my heart will break
Asunder in my breast,
Before this story of great woe,
I truely have exprest:
Therefore let all kind hearted men,
And those that tender be,
Come beare a part of this my griefe,
and joyntly say with me,
Wo worth the man, &c.
Not long agoe in Lincolne dwelt,
As I did understand,
A labouring man from thence set forth
to serve in Ireland.
And there in Princes wars was slaine,
As doth that Country know,
But left his widow great with child
as ever she could goe.
This woman having gone her time,
Her husband being dead,
Of two fine pretty Boyes at once
was swéetly brought to bed;
Whereat her wicked Landlord straight,
Did ponder in his mind,
How that their wants he should relieve,
and succour for them find.
For being borne upon his ground,
This was his vile conceit,
That he the mother should maintaine,
and give the other meat:
Which to prevent he hied fast,
Unto this widdow poore,
And on the day she went to Church,
he turn'd her out of doore.
Her houshold goods he straind upon,
To satisfie the rent,
And left her scarce a ragge to weare,
so wilfull was he bent
Her pretty Babes that swéetly slept
Upon her tender breast,
Were forced by the Mizers rage,
by nights in streets to rest.
Quoth she, my husband in your cause,
In warres did lose his life,
And will you use thus cruelly
his harmelesse wedded wife?
O God revenge a widdowes wrong,
That all the world may know,
How you have forst a Soldiers wife
a begging for to goe.
From Lincolne thus this widdow went,
But left her curse behind,
And begged all the Land about,
her maintenance to find:
At many places where she came;
She knew the whipping post,
Constrained still as beggers be,
to last on such like rost.
But weary of such punishment,
Which she had suffered long,
She daily thought within her heart
she had exceeding wrong:
And comming neere to Norwich gates,
In griefe she sate her downe,
Desiring God that never shee
might come in that same Towne.
For I had rather live, quoth she,
Within these pleasant fields,
And feed my children with such food,
as woods and medowes yéeld,
Before I will of rich men beg,
Or crave it at their doore,
Whose hearts I know are mercilesse
unto the néedy poore.
HEr Boyes now growne to two yeeres old,
Did from their Mother run
To gather eares of Barly Corne,
as they before had done.
But marke what heavy chance befell
Unto these pretty Elves,
They happened into lands of Wheat,
wherein they lost themselves.
And thinking to returne againe,
They wandred further still,
Far from their Mothers hearing quite,
full sore against her will,
Who sought them all the fields about,
But labouring all in vaine,
For why, her children both were lost,
and could not come againe.
The two swéet Babes when they perceiv'd
The cole blacke night drew on,
And they not in their mothers sight,
for her did make great moane:
But wearied with the dayes great heat,
They sate them downe and cryed,
Untill such time that arme in arme,
these two swéet Infants dyed.
Their Mother after three dayes search,
Resolved had her minde,
That some good honest meaning man
did both her children finde:
And therefore went to séeke her selfe
A service out of hand,
Who chanced with that man to dwell,
which owed this green wheat land.
It fell out so in harvest time,
This wofull widdow then,
Was at the reaping of the Wheat,
with other labouring men.
Where finding of her livelesse Babes,
Almost consum'd away,
She wrung her hands and beat her brest,
but knew not what to say.
The rumor of which wofull chance,
Throughout the City told,
Enforced many a wéeping eye,
the same for to behold.
From whence she was convay'd againe
To Lincolne backe with spéed,
To prosecute the Law against
the causer of this déed.
But sée the Judgement of the Lord,
How he in fury great,
Did bring this Mizer to distresse,
though wealthy was his seat.
For when to Lincolne shee was brought,
The Caitiffe he was gone,
Of all his cursed family,
remaining was but one.
For first the house wherein she dwelt
Did prove unfortunate,
Which made the Landlord and his friends,
to marvell much thereat.
For tenants foure there dwelt therein,
A twelvemonth and a day,
Yet none of them could thrive at all,
but beggers went away:
Whereat this miserable wretch
Did turne it to a Barne,
And fild it full in harvest time,
with good red wheat and corne.
To keepe it safely from the poore,
Untill there came a yeare,
That famine might oppresse them all,
and make all victuals deare,
But God forgetting not the wrongs,
He did the Widow poore,
Sent downe a fire from heaven, which soone
consumed all his store:
By which this wicked mizer man,
Was brought to beggery,
And likewise laid a grievous scourge
upon his family:
His wife she prov'd a cursed witch,
And burned for the same,
His daughter now a Strumpet is
at London in defame.
At Leicester at the Sizes last,
Was hang'd his eldest sonne,
For their consenting wickedly
unto a murder done.
His second sonne was fled away
Unto the enemy,
And prov'd disloyall to his Prince,
and to his owne country.
His yongest sonne had like mishap,
Or worser in my minde,
For he consented to a bitch,
contrary unto kinde,
For which, the Lord without delay,
Rain'd vengeance on his head,
Who like a sinfull Sodomitte
defiled Natures bed:
For there were two great mastive dogs
That met him in a wood,
And tore his limbs in pieces small,
devouring up his blood:
Whereof when as his father heard,
Most like a desperate man,
Within a channell drown'd himselfe,
that downe the stréete it ran,
Where as water could scarce suffice,
To drowne a silly mouse:
And thus the ruine you have heard
of him and all his house.
The Widdow shee was soone possest
Of all the goods he left,
In recompence of those swéet Babes
mischance from her bereft.
Therefore let all hard-hearted men,
By this example take,
That God is just, and will be true,
for wofull widowes sake.
Woe worth the man, &c.
London, printed for I. Wright.