Percy's Reliques - The Auld Goodman

The Auld Goodman

A SCOTTISH SONG

            I have not been able to meet with a more ancient copy of this humorous old song, than that printed in The Tea-Table Miscellany, &c. which seems to have admitted some corruptions.

LATE in an evening forth I went
A little before the sun gade down,
And there I chanc't, by accident,
To light on a battle new begun:
A man and his wife wer fawn in a strife,
I canna weel tell ye how it began;
But aye she wail'd her wretched life,
Cryeng, "Evir alake! mine auld goodman."

HE

"Thy auld goodman, that thou tells of,
The country kens where he was born,
Was but a silly poor vagabond,
And ilka ane leugh him to scorn:
For he did spend and make an end
Of gear 'his fathers nevir wan;
He gart the poor stand frae the door,
Sae tell nae mair of thy auld goodman."

SHE

"My heart, alake! is liken to break,
Whan I think on my winsome John,
His blinkan ee, and gait sae free,
Was naithing like thee, thou dosend drone;
Wi' his rosie face, and flaxen hair,
And skin as white as ony swan,
He was large and tall, and comely withal;
Thou'lt nevir be like mine auld goodman."

HE

"Why dost thou plein? I thee maintein;
For meal and mawt thou disna want:
But thy wild bees I canna please,
Now whan our gear gins to grow scant:
Of houshold stuff thou hast enough,
Thou wants for neither pot nor pan;
Of siclike ware he left thee bare,
Sae tell nae mair of thy auld goodman."

SHE

"Yes I may tell, and fret mysell,
To think on those blyth days I had,
When I and he together lay
In armes into a weel-made bed:
But now I sigh and may be sad,
Thy courage is cauld, thy colour wan,
Thou falds thy feet, and fa's asleep;
Thou'lt nevir be like mine auld goodman."

Then coming was the night sae dark,
And gane was a' the light of day:
The carle was fear'd to miss his mark,
And therefore wad nae longer stay:
Then up he gat, and ran his way,
I trowe, the wife the day she wan:
And aye the owreword of the fray
Was, "Evir alake! mine auld Goodman!"

 

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