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.'
[14TH OR 15TH CENTURY]
[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