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The heir of Linne is full of gold :

And come with me, my friends, said he, Let's drink, and rant, and merry make,

And he that spares, ne'er mote he thee.*

They ranted, drank, and merry made,

Till all his gold it waxed thin ;
And then his friends they slunk away;

They left the unthrifty heir of Linne.

He had never a penny left in his purse,

Never a penny left but three,
And one was brass, another was lead,

And another it was white money.

Now well-a-day, said the heir of Linne,

Now well-a-day, and woe is me, For when I was the lord of Linne,

I never wanted gold nor fee.

But many a trusty friend have I,

And why should I feel grief or care ? I'll borrow of them all by turns,

So need I not be never bare.

* May he thrive.

But one, I wis, was not at home;

Another had paid his gold away; Another called him thriftless loon,

And bade him sharply wend his way.

Now well-a-day, said the heir of Linne,

Now well-a-day, and woe is me; For when I had my lands so broad,

On me they liv'd right merrily.

To beg my bread from door to door

I wis, it were a burning shame : To rob and steal it were a sin :

To work my limbs I cannot frame.

Now I'll away to lonesome lodge,

For there my father bade me wend; When all the world should frown on me,

I there should find a trusty friend.

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MWAY then hied the heir of Linne

O'er hill and holt, and moor and fen, Until he came to lonesome lodge,

That stood so low in a lonely glen.

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He looked up, he looked down,

In hope some comfort for to win:
But bare and loathly were the walls.

Here's sorry cheer, quo' the heir of Linne.

The little window dim and dark

Was hung with ivy, brier, and yew;
No shimmering sun here ever shone;

No wholesome breeze here ever blew.

No chair nor table he mote spy,

No cheerful hearth, no welcome bed, Nought save a rope with running noose,

That dangling hung up o'er his head.

And over it in broad letters,

These words were written plain to see : “Ah! graceless wretch, hast spent thine all,

And brought thyself to penury ?

“ All this my boding mind misgave,

I therefore left this trusty friend : Let it now shield thy foul disgrace,

And all thy shame and sorrows end.”

Sorely shent * wi' this rebuke,

Sorely shent was the heir of Linne ; His heart, I wis, was near to burst

With guilt and sorrow, shame and sin.

Never a word spake the heir of Linne,

Never a word he spake but three : This is a trusty friend indeed,

And is right welcome unto me.

* Disgraced.

Then round his neck the cord he drew,

And sprang aloft with his body: When lo! the ceiling burst in twain,

And to the ground came tumbling he. Astonished lay the heir of Linne,

Nor knew if he were live or dead : At length he looked, and saw a bill,*

And in it a key of gold so red.

He took the bill, and looked it on,

Straight good comfort found he there : It told him of a hole in the wall,

In which there stood three chests in-fere.

Two were full of the beaten gold,

The third was full of white money ; And over them in broad letters

These words were written so plain to see :

“Once more, my son, I set thee clear;

Amend thy life and follies past; For but thou amend thee of thy life,

That rope must be thy end at last.”

* Writing.

+ Together.

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