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Beggar Man (4)

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The Beggar Man (4)

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The Beggar Man (4)

A beggar man came o'er yon lea
Wi' many good e'ens and good days to me
Saying, "Goodwife, for your charity
Will you lodge a beggar man?
     Lassie to my too row ray.

The night was cold, the carl was wet
And down ayont the ingle he sat
The daughter's shoulders he 'gan to clap
And cadgily ranted and sang.

And "O," quoth he, "If you were as black
As e'er the crown of my daddy's hat
Tis I would lay ye by my back
And away with me thou should gang."

And "O," quoth she,"If I were as white
As e'er the snow lay on the dyke,
I'd clothe me braw and ladylike
And away with thee I'd gang."

"O lassie, O lassie, you're far too young
And you haven't the cant of the begging tongue
You haven't the cant of the begging tongue
And with me you canna gang."

"I'll bow my back and crook my knee
And draw a black clout on my eye
And for a beggar they'll take me
And we shall be merry nd sing."

Between the two they made a plot
To rise an hour before the cock.
And wilily they slipped the lock
And through the fields they ran.

Up in the morn the old wife rose
And leisurely put on her clothes
Then to the servant's bed she goes
To speer for the silly poor man.

She went to the bed where the beggar lay
The straw was cold and he was away
She clapped her hands crying, "Well-a-day
For some of our gear'll be gone."

Some ran to the coffers and some to the kists
But nought was stolen that could be missed,
She danced her lane, cryin', "Praise be blessed
I've lodged an honest man!"

Since nothing's away that we can learn,
The kye are to milk and the milk's to churn
Go but the house, lass, and waken the bairn
And bid her come quickly ben.

The servant went where the daughter lay
The sheets were cold and she waqs away
And fast to the good wife she did say
She's away with the beggar man.

Some rode on horse, some ran on foot
The wife was wood and out of her wit
She could not gang, nor yet could she sit
And aye she cursed and she banned.

When years had passed, some two or three
The same old beggar came o'er the lea
Says, "Goodwife, for your charity
Will you lodge a beggar man?

"A beggar I'll ne'er lodge again
For I never had a daughter but ane
And away with a beggar she has gane
And I canna tell where nor when."

"O yonder she's comin' o'er yon lea
With many a fine tale to tell to thee
And she's got a baby on her knee
And another one in her wame.

Note: clap=caress; speer=inquire; kist=chest; wood=mad; ban=swear
Child #279

From Seeds of Love, Sedley
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