Little John a Begging
No: 142; variant: 142A
- . . . .
. . . .
. . beggar,’ he sayes,
‘With none such fellows as thee.’
- ‘I am not in iest,’ said Litle Iohn,
‘I sweare all by the roode;
Change with mee,’ said Little Iohn,
‘And I will giue thee some boote.’
- But he has gotten on this old mans gowne,
It reacht not to his wrist;
‘Christ’s curse on’s hart,’ said Litle Iohn,
‘That thinkes my gowne amisse.’
- But he has gotten on this old mans shoes,
Are clouted nine fold about;
‘Beshrew his hart,’ said Litle Iohn,
‘That bryer or thorne does doubt.
- ‘Wilt teach me some phrase of thy begging?’ says Iohn;
‘I pray thee, tell it mee,
How I may be as beggar-like
As any in my companie.’
- ‘Thou must goe two foote on a staffe,
The third upon a tree;
Full loud that thou must cry and fare,
When nothing ayleth thee.’
- But Iohn he walket the hills soe high,
Soe did [he] the hills soe browne;
The ready way that he could take
Was towards Nottingham towne.
- But as he was on the hills soe high,
He mett with palmers three;
Sayes, God you saue, my brethren all,
Now God you saue and see!
- This seuen yeere I haue you sought;
Before I cold neuer you see!
Said they, Wee had leuer such a cankred carle
Were neuer in our companie.
- But one of them tooke Litle Iohn on his head,
The blood ran over his eye;
Little Iohn turned him twise about
. . . .
- ‘If I . . . .
As I haue beene but one day,
I shold haue purcchased three of the best churches
That stands by any highway.’