MARGERY and LIZZY with Pitchers.
Hast heard no news of Barbara to-day?
No, not a word. I've not been out much lately.
It came to me through Sybill very straightly.
She's made a fool of herself at last, they say.
That comes of taking airs!
What meanst thou?
She daily eats and drinks for two now.
It serves the jade right for being so callow.
How long she's been hanging upon the fellow!
Such a promenading!
To fair and dance parading!
Everywhere as first she must shine,
He was treating her always with tarts and wine;
She began to think herself something fine,
And let her vanity so degrade her
That she even accepted the presents he made her.
There was hugging and smacking, and so it went on--
And lo! and behold! the flower is gone!
Canst any pity for her feel!
When such as we spun at the wheel,
Our mothers kept us in-doors after dark;
While she stood cozy with her spark,
Or sate on the door-bench, or sauntered round,
And never an hour too long they found.
But now her pride may let itself down,
To do penance at church in the sinner's gown!
He'll certainly take her for his wife.
He'd be a fool! A spruce young blade
Has room enough to ply his trade.
Besides, he's gone.
Now, that's not fair!
If she gets him, her lot'll be hard to bear.
The boys will tear up her wreath, and what's more,
We'll strew chopped straw before her door.
Margery [going home].
Time was when I, too, instead of bewailing,
Could boldly jeer at a poor girl's failing!
When my scorn could scarcely find expression
At hearing of another's transgression!
How black it seemed! though black as could be,
It never was black enough for me.
I blessed my soul, and felt so high,
And now, myself, in sin I lie!
Yet--all that led me to it, sure,
O God! it was so dear, so pure!