Mudcat Café message #3026889 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #17805   Message #3026889
Posted By: Jim Dixon
08-Nov-10 - 02:11 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Burke and Hare (ballads about)
Subject: Lyr Add: WILLIAM BURKE
From The History of Burke and Hare and of the Resurrectionist Times by George Mac Gregor (Glasgow: Thomas D. Morison, 1884), page 290:


WILLIAM BURKE.

O Burke, cruel man, how detested thy name is!
Thy dark deeds of blood are a stain on our times.
O savage, relentless, forever infamous,
Long, long will the world remember thy crimes.

Thrice ten human beings, weep all you who hear it,
Were caught in his snares and caught in his den,
The shades of thy victims may elude thy vile spirit,
O Burke, cruel monster, thou basest of men.

The weary, the old, and the way-faring stranger,
Were woo'd by his kindness and led to his door,
But little knew they that the path led to danger,
O little knew they that their wanderings were o'er.

Little knew they that the beams of the morning,
To wake them to brightness, would shine all in vain,
And little their friend knew, who watched their returning,
That they were ne'er more to return back again.

O gather the bones of the murdered together,
And give them a grave in some home of the dead,
That their poor weeping friends with sad hearts may go thither,
And shed tears of sorrow above their cold bed.

Ye great men of learning, ye friends of dissection,
Who travell'd through blood to the temple of gain,
And bright human life for your hateful inspection,
O give the poor friends the white bones of the slain.

But woe to the riches and skill thus obtained,
Woe to the wretch that would injure the dead,
And woe to his portion whose fingers are stained
With the red drops of life that he cruelly shed.

Tho' Burke has been doom'd to expire on the gallows,
The vilest that ever dishonoured the tree,
Yet some may survive him whose hearts are as callous,
O, who will be safe if the tigers be free?

Let none e'er reside in the crime marked dwellings,
For ever disgraced by Burke and by Hare,
May the cold damp of horror lie dark in their ceilings,
And their pale ghastly walls still be dismal and bare.

Let their guilt and their gloom speak of nothing but terror,
Some dark deeds of blood to the stranger declare,
And ages to come ever mark them with horror,
For the ghosts of the murdered will still gather there.