The Jolly Beggar
No: 279; variant: 279A
- ‘THER is a wife in yone toun-end, an she has dothers three,
An I wad be a beager for ony of a’ the three.’
- He touk his clouty clok him about, his peakstaff in his hand,
An he is awa to yon toun-end, leak ony peare man.
- ‘I ha ben about this fish-toun this years tua or three,
Ha ye ony quarters, deam, that ye coud gie me?’
- ‘Awa, ye pear carl, ye dinne kean my name;
Ye sudd ha caed me mistress fan ye called me bat deam.’
- He tuke his hat in his hand an gied her juks three:
‘An ye want manners, misstres, quarters ye’ll gie me.’
- ‘Awa, ye pear carle, in ayont the fire,
An sing to our Lord Gray’s men to their hearts’ disire.’
- Some lowked to his goudie lowks, some to his milk-whit skine,
Some to his ruffled shirt, the gued read gold hang in.
- Out spak our madin, an she was ay shay,
Fatt will the jolly beager gett afore he gaa to lay?
- Out spak our goudwife, an she was not sae shay,
He’se gett a dish of lang kell, besids a puss pay.
- Out spak the jolly beager, That dish I dou denay;
I canne sup yer lang kell nor yet yer puss pay.
- Bat ye gett to my supper a capon of the best,
Tuo or three bottels of yer wine, an bear, an we sall ha a merry feast.
- ‘Ha ye ony siler, carll, to bint the bear an wine?’
‘O never a peney, misstress, had I lang sine.’
- The beager wadne lay in the barn, nor yett in the bayr,
Bat in ahind the haa-dor, or att the kitchen-fire.
- The beager’s bed was well [made] of gued clean stray an hay,
. . . . . . . . .
- The madin she rose up to bar the dor,
An ther she spayed a naked man, was rinen throu the flour.
- He tuke her in his arms an to his bed he ran;
‘Hollie we me, sir,’ she says, ‘or ye’ll waken our pear man.’
- The begger was a cuning carle, an never a word he spake
Till he got his turn dean, an sayn began to crak.
- ‘Is ther ony dogs about this toun? madin, tell me nou:’
‘Fatt wad ye dee we them, my hony an my dou?’
- ‘They wad ravie a’ my meall-poks an die me mukell wrang:’
‘O doll for the deaing o it! are ye the pear man?
- ‘I thought ye had ben some gentelman, just leak the leard of Brody!
I am sorry for the doing o itt! are ye the pore boddie?’
- She tuke the meall-poks by the strings an thrue them our the waa!
‘Doll gaa we meall-poks, madinhead an a’!’
- She tuke him to her press, gave him a glass of wine;
He tuke her in his arms, says, Honey, ye’ss be mine.
- He tuke a horn fra his side an he blue loud an shill,
An four-an-tuenty belted knights came att the beager’s will.
- He tuke out a pean-kniff, lute a’ his dudes faa,
An he was the braest gentelman that was among them a’.
- He patt his hand in his poket an gaa her ginnes three,
An four-an-tuenty hunder mark, to pay the nires feea.
- ‘Gin ye had ben a gued woman, as I thought ye had ben,
I wad haa made ye lady of castels eaght or nine.’