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The Song Book
O Bell my wife why dost thou flout,
Now is now, and then was then; Seek now all the world throughout,
Thou kenst not clowns from gentlemen. They are clad in black, green, yellow, or grey,
So far above their own degree, Once in my life I'll do as they,
For I'll have a new cloak about me.
King Stephen was a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown ; He held them sixpence all too dear,
Therefore he called the tailor lown. He was a wight of high renown,
And thouse but of a low degree ; It's pride that puts the country down,
Then take thine old cloak about thee.
Bell my wife she loves not strife,
Yet she will lead me if she can, And oft to lead a quiet life,
I'm forc'd to yield though I'm good-man. It's not for a man with a woman to threap,
Unless he first give o'er the plea ; Where I began I now mun leave,
And take mine old cloak about me.
Words from Percy's Reliques