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The Jolly Beggar

No: 279; variant: 279A

  1. ‘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.’
  2. He touk his clouty clok him about, his peakstaff in his hand, An he is awa to yon toun-end, leak ony peare man.
  3. ‘I ha ben about this fish-toun this years tua or three, Ha ye ony quarters, deam, that ye coud gie me?’
  4. ‘Awa, ye pear carl, ye dinne kean my name; Ye sudd ha caed me mistress fan ye called me bat deam.’
  5. He tuke his hat in his hand an gied her juks three: ‘An ye want manners, misstres, quarters ye’ll gie me.’
  6. ‘Awa, ye pear carle, in ayont the fire, An sing to our Lord Gray’s men to their hearts’ disire.’
  7. Some lowked to his goudie lowks, some to his milk-whit skine, Some to his ruffled shirt, the gued read gold hang in.
  8. Out spak our madin, an she was ay shay, Fatt will the jolly beager gett afore he gaa to lay?
  9. Out spak our goudwife, an she was not sae shay, He’se gett a dish of lang kell, besids a puss pay.
  10. Out spak the jolly beager, That dish I dou denay; I canne sup yer lang kell nor yet yer puss pay.
  11. 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.
  12. ‘Ha ye ony siler, carll, to bint the bear an wine?’ ‘O never a peney, misstress, had I lang sine.’
  13. The beager wadne lay in the barn, nor yett in the bayr, Bat in ahind the haa-dor, or att the kitchen-fire.
  14. The beager’s bed was well [made] of gued clean stray an hay, . . . . . . . . .
  15. The madin she rose up to bar the dor, An ther she spayed a naked man, was rinen throu the flour.
  16. 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.’
  17. The begger was a cuning carle, an never a word he spake Till he got his turn dean, an sayn began to crak.
  18. ‘Is ther ony dogs about this toun? madin, tell me nou:’ ‘Fatt wad ye dee we them, my hony an my dou?’
  19. ‘They wad ravie a’ my meall-poks an die me mukell wrang:’ ‘O doll for the deaing o it! are ye the pear man?
  20. ‘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?’
  21. She tuke the meall-poks by the strings an thrue them our the waa! ‘Doll gaa we meall-poks, madinhead an a’!’
  22. She tuke him to her press, gave him a glass of wine; He tuke her in his arms, says, Honey, ye’ss be mine.
  23. 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.
  24. He tuke out a pean-kniff, lute a’ his dudes faa, An he was the braest gentelman that was among them a’.
  25. He patt his hand in his poket an gaa her ginnes three, An four-an-tuenty hunder mark, to pay the nires feea.
  26. ‘Gin ye had ben a gued woman, as I thought ye had ben, I wad haa made ye lady of castels eaght or nine.’