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The Beggar-Laddie

No: 280; variant: 280D

  1. ‘TWAS in the pleasant month of June, When woods and valleys a’ grow green, And valiant ladies walk alane, While Phoebus shines soe clearly. And valiant ladies, etc.
  2. Out-ower yon den I spied a swain, Wi a shepherd’s club into his han; He was driving ewes out-ower yon knowes, And said, Lassie, I could love you. He was driving ewes, etc.
  3. ‘Oh, I could love you manifold, As Jacob lovd Rachel of old, As Jesse lovd the fields of gold, So dearly could I love you.
  4. ‘In ha’s and chambers ye’se be laid, In silks and cambrics ye’se be clade, An wi the finest ye’se be fed, My dear, gin ye would believe me.’
  5. ‘Your ha’s and chambers ye’ll soon sweep clean, Wi your flattering tongue now let me alane; You are designd to do me wrang, Awa, young man, and leave me.
  6. ‘But tell me now what is your trade, When you’ve given over sheep and club?’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  7. ‘By making besoms I win by bread, And spindles and whorles in time o need; Isn’t that a gentle trade indeed? Bonnie lassie, can you loe me?
  8. ‘Will ye cast aff your mantle black And put on you a clouty cloak, And follow me close at the back, The gaberlunyie-laddie?’
  9. Then she coost aff her mantle black, And she put on a clouty cloak, And she followd him close at the back, Her gaberlunyie-laddie.
  10. As they gaed through youn borough-town, For shame the lassie lookit down, But they bought a loaf and they both sat down, And the lassie ate wi her laddie.
  11. When they came to his father’s gate, Sae loudly as he rappd thereat; ‘My dear,’ said she, ‘ye’ll be found in faut For rapping there sae loudly.’
  12. Then four-and-twenty gentlemen Convoyd the gentle beggar ben, And aye as mony gay ladies Convoyd the bonny lassie.
  13. When they were come into the ha, Wi laughter a’ were like to fa: ‘I wish, dear brother, we had begge:d a’, For sic a bonnie lassie.’
  14. Then as he stood amang them a’, He let his meal-pocks a’ down fa, And in red gowd he shone oer them a’, And she was a young knight’s lady.
  15. Yestreen she was the begger’s bride, As his wife she now stood by his side, And for a’ the lassie’s ill misguide, She’s now the young knight’s lady.