Digital Tradition Mirror

The Fox and the Goose

The Fox and the Goose

 'Pax uobis' quod the fox,
 'for I am comyn to toowne'

 It fell ageyns the next nyght
 the fox yede to with all his myghte,
 with-outen cole or candlelight,
     whan that he cam vnto the town.

 When he cam all in the yarde,
 soore te geys were ill a-frede;
 'I shall macke some of youre berde,
     or that I goo from the toowne!'

 when he cam all in the croofte,
 there he stalkyd wundirfull soofte;
 'for here haue I be frayed full ofte
     whan that i haue come to toowne.'

 he hente a goose all be the heye,
 faste the goos began to creye!
 oowte yede men as they myght heye,
     and seyde, 'fals fox, ley it doowne!'

 'Nay,' he said, 'soo mot I the-
 sche shall go vnto the wode with me;
 sche and I wnther a tre,
     e-mange the beryis browne.

 I haue a wyf, and sche lyeth seke;
 many smale whelppis sche haue to eke -
 many bonys they must pike
     will they ley a-downe.'

[Robbins' Secular Lyrics, 1955]
 [Unfortunately no music survives for these. The oldest traditional version, in
the Harris MS,
 Scotland, c 1825, is being edited for publication in the near future


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