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Beggar Laddie

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The Beggar Laddie


The Beggar Laddie

It was in the pleasant month of June
When gentle ladies walk their lane,
When woods and valleys a' grow green
And the sun it shines sae clearly.
Doon in yon grove I spied a swain,
He'd a shepherd's sheep-club in his hand,
He was drivin'yowes oot ower the knowes,
And he was a weel-faured laddie.
"Come tell to me whit is your trade,
Or by whit airt you win your breid,
Or by whit airt you win your breid
When herdin' ye give over?"

"Makin'spindles is my trade,
And findin' sticks in time o'need,
For l'm a beggar to my trade;
Noo, lassie could ye love me?"

"l could love ye as many fold
As Jacob loved Rachel of old,
As Jesse loved his cups of gold,
My laddie, if ye'll believe me?"

"Then ye'll tak' aff your robes o'reid,
And ye'll pit on the beggin'weed,
And ye'll follow hard by at my back
And ye'll be the beggar's dawtie."

And when they cam' to yonder toon
They bocht a loaf and they baith sat doon,
They bocht a loaf and they baith sat doon,
And the lassie ate wi' her laddie.

But the lassie's courage began to fail,
And her rosie cheeks grew wan and pale
And the tears cam' trinklin'doon like hail
Or a heavy shower in summer.

"O gin I were on yonder hill
Where my faitoer's flocks do feed their fill,
I would sit me doon and greet a while
For the followin' o' my laddie.

When they cam' to yon marble gate,
Sae boldly as he knocked thereat,
He rappit loud and he rappit late,
And he rappit there sae rudely.

Then four-and-twenty gentlemen
Cam' oot to welcome the beggar hame,
And just as mony ladies gay,
To welcome the young knicht's lady.

His brither John stood next the wa',
He laughed till he was like to fa':
"O brither, I wish we had beggit a'
For sic a bonnie lassie."

"Yestreen I was the beggar's bride,
This nicht I'll lay doon by his side,
l've come to gweed by my misguide,
For noo l'm the young knicht's lady."

From Folk Songs and Ballads of Scotland, MacColl
Child #200
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