Songs from The Beggar’s Opera: Air XXVII-“Green Sleeves”

By John Gay John Gay

Act III, Scene xiii, Air XXVII—“Green Sleeves”

Since laws were made, for every degree,
To curb vice in others, as well as me,
I wonder we han’t better company
         Upon Tyburn tree.
But gold from law can take out the sting;
And if rich men, like us, were to swing,
’Twould thin the land, such numbers to string
         Upon Tyburn tree.

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Poet John Gay



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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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