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THE BLACKBIRD

On a fair summer morning of soft recreation
I heard a fair lady a-making a ^moan,                          great/,
With sighing and sobing and loud^ lamentation,                 sad/,
A ) saying "My Blackbird most royal is flown.
        My thoughts do deceive me,
        Reflections do grieve me,
And I am overwhelmed with sad misery.
        Yet if Death/^ should bind me,                           it
        As true love inclines me,
My Blackbird I'll seek out wherever he be.

II

"Once in fair England my Blackbird did flourish,
He was the chief flower that in it did spring,
Prime ladies of honour his person did nourish,
Because that he was the true son of a King.
        But this false fortune,
        Which still is uncertain,
Has caused this parting between him and me.
        His name I'll advance
        In Spain and in France,
And I'll seek out my Blackbird wherever he'll be.

III

"In England my Blackbird and I were together
When he was still noble and generous of heart,
And woe to the time when he first went from hither,
Alas! he was forced from thence to depart;
        In Scotland he's deemed
        And highly esteemed;
In England he seems stranger to be;
        Yet his name shall remain
        In France and in Spain,
All bliss to my Blackbird wherever he be.

IV

"It is not the ocean can fright me with danger;
For though like a pilgrim I wander forlorn,
I may still meet with friendship from one that's a stranger,
Much more than from one that in England was born.
        Oh, Heaven so spacious
        To Britain be gracious,
Though some there be odioius to him and to me;
        Yet joy and renown,
        And laurel shall crown
My Blackbird with honour wherever he be.

Notes from transcriber: except for two cases of instructions to indent
and a solid markout, every attempt was made to represent edit marks.
The italicized words to the right were hand-written margin notes.
There appeared to be an underlined name in the upper left hand
corner, something like T. McGhangaph.