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The Beggar Man (4) A beggar man came o'er yon lea Wi' many good e'ens and good days to me Saying, "Goodwife, for your charity Will you lodge a beggar man? Lassie to my too row ray. The night was cold, the carl was wet And down ayont the ingle he sat The daughter's shoulders he 'gan to clap And cadgily ranted and sang. And "O," quoth he, "If you were as black As e'er the crown of my daddy's hat Tis I would lay ye by my back And away with me thou should gang." And "O," quoth she,"If I were as white As e'er the snow lay on the dyke, I'd clothe me braw and ladylike And away with thee I'd gang." "O lassie, O lassie, you're far too young And you haven't the cant of the begging tongue You haven't the cant of the begging tongue And with me you canna gang." "I'll bow my back and crook my knee And draw a black clout on my eye And for a beggar they'll take me And we shall be merry nd sing." Between the two they made a plot To rise an hour before the cock. And wilily they slipped the lock And through the fields they ran. Up in the morn the old wife rose And leisurely put on her clothes Then to the servant's bed she goes To speer for the silly poor man. She went to the bed where the beggar lay The straw was cold and he was away She clapped her hands crying, "Well-a-day For some of our gear'll be gone." Some ran to the coffers and some to the kists But nought was stolen that could be missed, She danced her lane, cryin', "Praise be blessed I've lodged an honest man!" Since nothing's away that we can learn, The kye are to milk and the milk's to churn Go but the house, lass, and waken the bairn And bid her come quickly ben. The servant went where the daughter lay The sheets were cold and she waqs away And fast to the good wife she did say She's away with the beggar man. Some rode on horse, some ran on foot The wife was wood and out of her wit She could not gang, nor yet could she sit And aye she cursed and she banned. When years had passed, some two or three The same old beggar came o'er the lea Says, "Goodwife, for your charity Will you lodge a beggar man? "A beggar I'll ne'er lodge again For I never had a daughter but ane And away with a beggar she has gane And I canna tell where nor when." "O yonder she's comin' o'er yon lea With many a fine tale to tell to thee And she's got a baby on her knee And another one in her wame. Note: clap=caress; speer=inquire; kist=chest; wood=mad; ban=swear Child #279 See also BEGGR1, BEGGR2, BEGGR3, BEGGRDHU From Seeds of Love, Sedley RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!