Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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268                                -ENGLISH SONG AND BALLAD MUSIC.
I scom to live by the shift,
Or by any sinister dealing; I'll flatter no man for a gift,
Nor will I get money by stealing. I'll be no knight of the post,
To sell my soul for a bribe ; Though all my fortunes be cross'd,
Yet I scorn the cheater's tribe. Then hang up sorrow and care,
It never shall make me rue; What though my cloak be threadbare,
I'm ragged, and torn, and true.
A boot of Spanish leather
I've seen set fast in the stocks, Exposed to wind and weather,
And foul reproach and mocks; While I, in my poor rags,
Can pass at liberty still— O, fie on these brawling brags,
When money is gotten so ill! O, fie on these pilfering knaves!
I scorn to be of that crew; They steal to make themselves brave—
I'm ragged, and torn, and true. '
I've seen a gallant go by
With all his wealth on his back; He looked as loftily
As one that did nothing lack. And yet he hath no means
But what he gets by the sword, Which he consumes on queans,
Forit thrives not, take my word. O, fie on these highway thieves!
The gallows will be their due— Though my doublet be rent i' th' sleeves,
I'm ragged, and torn, and true.
Some do themselves maintain
With playing at cards and dice; O, fie on that lawless gain,
Got by such wicked vice! They cozen poor country-men
With their delusions vilde; [vile] Yet it happens now and then
That they are themselves beguil'd; For, if they be caught in a snare,
The pillory claims its due;— Though my jerkin be worn and bare,
I'm ragged, and torn, and true.
I have seen some gallants brave
Up Holborn ride in a cart, Which sight much sorrow gave
To every tender heart; Then have I said to myself
What pity is it, for this, That any man for pelf
Should do such a foul amiss. O, fie on deceit and theft!
It makes men at the last rue ; Though I have but little left,
I'm ragged, and torn, and true.
The pick-pockets in a throng,
Either at market or fair, Will try whose purse is strong,
That they may the money share; But if they are caught i' th' action,
They're carried away in disgrace, Either to the House of Correction,
Or else to a worser place. O, fie on these pilfering thieves ?
The gallows will be their due; What need I sue for reprieves ?
I'm ragged, and torn, and true.
The ostler to maintain
Himself with money ill's purse, Approves the proverb true,
And says, Grammercy horse; He ro"bs the travelling beast,
That cannot divulge his ill, He steals a whole handful, at least,
From every half-peck he should fill. O, fie on these cozening scabs,
That rob the poor jades of their due! I scorn all thieves and drabs—
I'm ragged, and torn, and true.
'Tis good to be honest and just,
Though a man be never so poor; False dealers are still in mistrust,
They're afraid of the officer's door : Their conscience doth them accuse,
And they quake at the noise of a bush ; While he that doth no man abuse,
For the law needs not care a rush. Then well fare the men that can say,
I pay every man his due ; Although I go poor in array,
I'm ragged, and torn, and true.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III