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The Beggar-Laddie

No: 280; variant: 280E

  1. ‘TWAS in the merry month of June, When woods and gardens were all in bloom, When woods and gardens were all in bloom, And Ph’qbus shining clearly.
  2. Did you not see your shepherd-swain, Feeding his flocks upon the plain, Feeding his flocks all one by one, And keeping them together?
  3. Did you not see yon bonny green, Where dukes and lords and my love hath been, Where dukes and lords and my love hath been, And Ph’qbus shining clearly?
  4. ‘O shepherd, shepherd, tell me indeed Which is the way you dou win your bread, Which is the way you dou win your bread, When feeding you give over?’
  5. ‘By making spindles I win my bread, By turning whorles in time of need, By turning whorles in time of need, Say, lassy, can you love me?’
  6. ‘I could love you manifold, As Jacob loved Rachel of old, As Jacob loved Rachel of old, So dearly could I love you.’
  7. ‘You must cast off these robes of silk, And put about my shepherd’s cloak, And you must walk down at my back, Like a shepherd’s bonny lassie.’
  8. She has cast off her robes of silk, And put about his shepherd’s cloak, And she has walkd down at his back, Like a shepherd’s bonny lassie.
  9. O they walked up, and they walked down, Till this fair maiden she’s wearyed grown; Says she, My dear, we’ll go to some town, And there tak up our lodgings.
  10. O whan they cam to his father’s gate, Sae loudly, loudly as he did rap; Says she, My dear, we’ll be found in fault For rapping here sae boldly.
  11. But whan they cam to his father’s hall, O loud, loud laughter they laughed all, Saying, Brother, I wish we had herded all, Ye’ve got sic an a bonny lassie.
  12. Now this young couple they were wed, And all the way the flowers were spread, For in disguise they were married; She’s now the young squire’s lady.