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The Jolly Beggars: A Cantata
by [?]


Tune–“Whistle owre the lave o’t.”

Let me ryke up to dight that tear,
An’ go wi’ me an’ be my dear;
An’ then your every care an’ fear
May whistle owre the lave o’t.


I am a fiddler to my trade,
An’ a’ the tunes that e’er I played,
The sweetest still to wife or maid,
Was whistle owre the lave o’t.

At kirns an’ weddins we’se be there,
An’ O sae nicely’s we will fare!
We’ll bowse about till Daddie Care
Sing whistle owre the lave o’t.
I am, etc.

Sae merrily’s the banes we’ll pyke,
An’ sun oursel’s about the dyke;
An’ at our leisure, when ye like,
We’ll whistle owre the lave o’t.
I am, etc.

But bless me wi’ your heav’n o’ charms,
An’ while I kittle hair on thairms,
Hunger, cauld, an’ a’ sic harms,
May whistle owre the lave o’t.
I am, etc.


Her charms had struck a sturdy caird,
As weel as poor gut-scraper;
He taks the fiddler by the beard,
An’ draws a roosty rapier–
He swoor, by a’ was swearing worth,
To speet him like a pliver,
Unless he would from that time forth
Relinquish her for ever.

Wi’ ghastly e’e poor tweedle-dee
Upon his hunkers bended,
An’ pray’d for grace wi’ ruefu’ face,
An’ so the quarrel ended.
But tho’ his little heart did grieve
When round the tinkler prest her,
He feign’d to snirtle in his sleeve,
When thus the caird address’d her:


Tune–“Clout the Cauldron.”

My bonie lass, I work in brass,
A tinkler is my station:
I’ve travell’d round all Christian ground
In this my occupation;
I’ve taen the gold, an’ been enrolled
In many a noble squadron;
But vain they search’d when off I march’d
To go an’ clout the cauldron.
I’ve taen the gold, etc.

Despise that shrimp, that wither’d imp,
With a’ his noise an’ cap’rin;
An’ take a share with those that bear
The budget and the apron!
And by that stowp! my faith an’ houp,
And by that dear Kilbaigie,^1
If e’er ye want, or meet wi’ scant,
May I ne’er weet my craigie.
And by that stowp, etc.

[Footnote 1: A peculiar sort of whisky so called,
a great favorite with Poosie Nansie’s clubs.–R.B.]


The caird prevail’d–th’ unblushing fair
In his embraces sunk;
Partly wi’ love o’ercome sae sair,
An’ partly she was drunk:
Sir Violino, with an air
That show’d a man o’ spunk,
Wish’d unison between the pair,
An’ made the bottle clunk
To their health that night.

But hurchin Cupid shot a shaft,
That play’d a dame a shavie–
The fiddler rak’d her, fore and aft,
Behint the chicken cavie.
Her lord, a wight of Homer’s craft,^2
Tho’ limpin wi’ the spavie,
He hirpl’d up, an’ lap like daft,
An’ shor’d them Dainty Davie.
O’ boot that night.

He was a care-defying blade
As ever Bacchus listed!
Tho’ Fortune sair upon him laid,
His heart, she ever miss’d it.
He had no wish but–to be glad,
Nor want but–when he thirsted;
He hated nought but–to be sad,
An’ thus the muse suggested
His sang that night.


Tune–“For a’ that, an’ a’ that.”

I am a Bard of no regard,
Wi’ gentle folks an’ a’ that;
But Homer-like, the glowrin byke,
Frae town to town I draw that.


For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
An’ twice as muckle’s a’ that;
I’ve lost but ane, I’ve twa behin’,
I’ve wife eneugh for a’ that.