Little John A Begging (Child Ballad No. 142A)

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Little John A Begging (Child Ballad No. 142A)

by: Anonymous (Author), Francis James Child (Editor)

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[...] beggar,' he sayes,
   'With none such fellows as thee.'

'I am not in iest,' said Litle Iohn,
   'I sweare all by the roode;
Change with mee,' said Little Iohn,
   'And I will giue thee some boote.'

But he has gotten on this old mans gowne,
   It reacht not to his wrist;
'Christ's curse on's hart,' said Litle Iohn,
   'That thinkes my gowne amisse.'

But he has gotten on this old mans shoes,
   Are clouted nine fold about;
'Beshrew his hart,' says Litle Iohn,
   'That bryer or thorne does doubt.

'Wilt teach me some phrase of thy begging?' says Iohn;
   'I pray thee, tell it mee,
How I may be as beggar-like
   As any in my companie.'

'Thou must goe two foote on a staffe,
   The third vpon a tree;
Full loud that thou must cry and fare,
   When nothing ayleth thee.'

But Iohn he walket the hills soe high,
   Soe did [he] the hills soe browne;
The ready way that he cold take
   Was towards Nottingham towne.

But as he was on the hills soe high,
   He mett with palmers three;
Sayes, God you saue, my brethren all,
   Now God you saue and see!

This seuen yeere I haue you sought;
   Before I cold neuer you see!
Said they, Wee had leuer such a cankred carle
   Were neuer in our companie.

But one of them tooke Litle Iohn on his head,
   The blood ran over his eye;
Litle Iohn turned him twise about

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'If I [...]
   As I haue beene but one day,
I shold haue purcchased three of the beste churches
   That stands by any highway.'