Little John Abegging ... ... ...beggar,' he sayes, `With none such fellows as thee.' `I am not in iest,' said Litle Iohn, `I sweare all by the roode; Change wiirth mee,' said Little Iohn, `And I will giue thee some boote.' But he has gotten on this old mans gowne, It reacht not to his wrist; `Christ's curse on's hart,' said Litle Iohn, `That thinkes my gowne amisse.' But he has gotten on this old mans shoes, Are clouted nine fold about; `Beshrew his hart,' said Litle Iohn, `That bryer or thorne does doubt. `Wilt teach me some phrase of thy begging?' says Iohn; `I pray thee, tell it mee, How I may be as beggar-like As any in my companie.' `Thou must goe two foote on a staffe, The third upon a tree; Full loud that thou must cry and fare, When nothing ayleth thee.' But Iohn he walket the hills soe high, Soe did he the hills soe browne; The ready way that he could take Was towards Nottingham towne. But as he was on the hills soe high, He mett wiirth palmers three; Sayes, God you saue, my brethren all, Now God you saue and see! This seuen yeere I haue you sought; Before I cold neuer you see! Said they, Wee had leuer such a cankred carle Were neuer in our companie. But one of them tooke Litle Iohn on his head, The blood ran over his eye; Little Iohn turned him twise about . . . . `If I . . . . As I haue beene but one day, I shold haue purcchased three of the best churches That stands by any highway.' Child #142 Version A in Child LMP July01
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!