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Poem by King James V of Scotland


The Jolly Beggar


There was a jollie beggar,
        And a begging he was boun,
And he took up his quarters
        Into a landart town:
He wadna lie into the barn,
        Nor wad he in the byre,
But in ahint the ha door,
        Or else afore the fire.
                And well go no more a roving,
                        A roving in the night;
                Well go no more a roving,
                        Let the moon shine eer so bright.

The beggars bed was made at een,
        Wi gude clean straw and hay,
And in ahint the ha door
        Twas there the beggar lay.
Up gat the gudemans daughter,
        All for to bar the door,
And there she saw the beggarman
        Standing in the floor.
                And well go no more a roving,
                        A roving in the night,
                Though maids be eer so loving,
                        And the moon shine eer so bright.

He took the lassie in his arms,
        Fast to the bed he ran
Hoolie, hoolie wi me, sir,
        Yell waken our gudeman.
The beggar was a cunning loon,
        And neer a word he spak
But lang afore the cock had crawn
        Thus he began to crack:
                And well go no more a roving,
                        A roving in the night,
                Save when the moon is moving,
                        And the stars are shining bright.

Have ye ony dogs about this toun,
        Maiden, tell me true?
And what wad ye do wi them,
        My hinney and my dow?
Theyll rive a my meal-powks,
        And do me mickle wrang.
O dool for the doing ot,
        Are ye the poor man ?
                And well go no more a roving,
                        A roving in the night,
                Nor sit a sweet maid loving
                        By coal or candle light.

Then up she gat the meal-powks,
        And flang them oer the wa,
The deil gae wi the meal-powks,
        My maiden fame and a;
I took ye for some gentleman,
        At least the laird o Brodie
O dool for the doing ot,
        Are ye the poor bodie?
                And well go no more a roving,
                        A roving in the night,
                Although the moon is moving,
                        And stars are shining bright.

He took the lassie in his arms,
        And gae her kisses three,
And four-and-twenty hunder merk
        To pay the nurses fee:
He took a wee horn frae his side,
        And blew baith loud and shrill,
And four-and-twenty belted knights
        Came skipping oer the hill.
                And well go no more a roving,
                        A roving in the night,
                Nor sit a sweet maid loving
                        By coal or candle light.

And he took out his little knife,
        Loot a his duddies fa,
And he was the brawest gentleman
        That was amang them a.
The beggar was a clever loon,
        And he lap shoulder height,
O ay for sicken quarters
        As I got yesternight!
                And well ay gang a roving,
                        A roving in the night,
                For then the maids are loving,
                        And stars are shining bright.



King James V of Scotland


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