Digital Tradition Mirror

Poor Man

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Poor Man

O poor man, O poor man come tell unto me true;
How you maintain your family and how you carry them through;
How you maintain your family when most of them are small,
And nothing but your labour to maintain then all.

'Tis sometimes I do reap and sometimes I do sow,
Sometimes hedging, sometimes ditching, such work I often do;
There's nothing comes amiss to me, I harrow and I plow,
I maintain my family by sweat of my brow.

Early in the morning, l'm always of good cheer,
With a flail in my hand and a bottle of good beer;
A flail in my hand and a bottle of good beer,
I live as happy as those worth ten thousand a year.

My wife she's always willing to hall [sic] in the yoke,
We live like lambs together, and we never do provoke;
Altho' it may be possible that we do now live poor,
Yet we can feed the beggars that come to our door.

When I come home at nignt, su weary then I be,
Then I take up my youngest child and dance it on my knee,
The rest all come around me and make a prattling noise,
And this is all the comfort [a] poor man enjoys,

This nobleman hearing what this poor man did say,
He invited him to dine with him the very next day,
He invited him his wife and children all to bring,
And in token of favor he gave him a ring,

Quite early the next morning, this poor man arose,
And dress'd up all his children in the finest of their cloaths
Then the poor man and his wife and his seven children small
They all went to dine at this nobleman's hall, '

And then after dinner he soon did let him know,
What into this poor man's hands he had then to bestow;
'Twas forty or fifty good acres of his land,
He gave him in writing and sign'd his own hand,

Saying on this you may live happy all your life,
Therefore I do entreat you to be kind to your wife;
Be kind unto your wife and children all around,
There's few of those noblemen that are to be found.

From Contentment, Douglas.

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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