Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Ballads
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (1863–1944).  The Oxford Book of Ballads.  1910.
 
109. Dives and Lazarus
 
 
I

AS it fell out upon a day,
  Rich Dives he made a feast,
And he invited all his friends
  And gentry of the best.
 
II

Then Lazarus laid him down and down,
        5
  And down at Dives’ door;
‘Some meat, some drink, brother Dives,
  Bestow upon the poor!’—
 
III

‘Thou art none of my brother, Lazarus,
  That lies begging at my door;        10
No meat nor drink will I give thee,
  Nor bestow upon the poor.’
 
IV

Then Lazarus laid him down and down,
  And down at Dives’ wall,
‘Some meat, some drink, brother Dives,        15
  Or with hunger starve I shall!’—
 
V

‘Thou art none of my brother, Lazarus,
  That lies begging at my wall;
No meat nor drink will I give thee,
  But with hunger starve you shall.’        20
 
VI

Then Lazarus laid him down and down,
  And down at Dives’ gate:
‘Some meat, some drink, brother Dives,
  For Jesus Christ his sake!’—
 
VII

‘Thou art none of my brother, Lazarus,
        25
  That lies begging at my gate;
No meat nor drink will I give thee,
  For Jesus Christ his sake.’
 
VIII

Then Dives sent out his merry men,
  To whip poor Lazarus away;        30
They had no power to strike a stroke,
  But flung their whips away.
 
IX

Then Dives sent out his hungry dogs,
  To bite him as he lay;
They had no power to bite at all,        35
  But lickéd his sores away.
 
X

As it fell out upon a day,
  Poor Lazarus sicken’d and died;
Then came two angels out of heaven
  His soul therein to guide.        40
 
XI

‘Rise up, rise up, brother Lazarus,
  And go along with me;
For you’ve a place prepared in heaven,
  To sit on an angel’s knee.’
 
XII

As it fell out upon a day,
        45
  Rich Dives sicken’d and died;
Then came two serpents out of hell,
  His soul therein to guide.
 
XIII

‘Rise up, rise up, brother Dives,
  And go with us to see        50
A dismal place, prepared in hell,
  To sit on a serpent’s knee.’
 
XIV

Then Dives look’d up with his eyes,
  And saw poor Lazarus blest:
‘Give me one drop of water, brother Lazarus,        55
  To quench my flaming thirst.
 
XV

‘Oh had I as many years to abide
  As there are blades of grass,
Then there would be an end, but now
  Hell’s pains will ne’er be past!        60
 
XVI

‘Oh was I now but alive again,
  The space of one half hour!
Oh that I had my peace secure!
  Then the devil should have no power.’
 

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