The False Fox
The fals fox came vnto our croft,
And so our gese ful fast he sought.
With how fox, how; with hey fox, hey!
Come no more vnto our howse to bere our gese aweye!
The fals fox came vnto our stye,
And toke our gese ther by an by.
The fals fox cam into our yerde,
And ther he made the gese aferde.
The fals fox came vnto our gate,
And toke our gese ther wher they sate.
The fals fox came vnto our halle-dore,
And shrove our gese ther in the flore.
The fals fox came into our halle,
And assoyled our gese both grete & small.
The fals fox came vnto our cowpe,
And ther he made our geese to stowpe.
He toke a gose fast by the nek,
And the goose thoo began to quek.
The good-wyfe came out in her smok,
And at the fox she threw hir rok.
The good-man came out with his flayle,
And smote the fox vpon the tayle.
He threw a gose vpon his back,
And furth he went thoo with his pak.
The goodman swore yf that he myght,
he wolde hym slee or it wer nyght.
The fals fox went into his denne,
And ther he was full mery thenne.
He came ayene yet the next weke,
And toke awey both henne & cheke.
The goodman saide vnto his wyfe,
'This fals fox lyveth a mery lyfe.'
The fals fox came vpon a day,
And with our gese he made affray.
He toke a goose fast by the nek,
And made her to sey 'wheccumquek.'
'I pray the, fox,' said the goose thoo,
'Take of my feders but not of my to.'
[Robbins' Secular Lyrics, 1955] [14th or 15th century]
[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