There was a lady and a lady gay, Of children she had three, She sent them away to the North Countree To learn their grammaree. They'd not been gone but a very short time, Scarcely three weeks and a day, When death, cruel death, came hasting along And stole those babes away. There is a King in Heaven, she cried A King of third degree Send back, send back my three little pages, This night send them back to me. She made a bed in the uppermost room, On it she put a white sheet, And over the top a golden spread That they much better might sleep. Take it off, take it off, cried the older one, Take it off, take it off, cried he, For what's to become of this wide wicked world Since sin has first begun. She set a table of linen fine, On it she placed bread and wine, Come eat, come drink of mine. We want none of your bread, mother, Neither do we want your wine, For yonder stands our Savior deer, To Him we must resign. Green grass is over our heads, mother, Cold clay is over our feet, And every tear you shed for us, It wets our winding-sheet.
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