John Skelton - MANNERLY MARGERY MILK AND ALE

MANNERLY MARGERY MILK AND ALE

[From the Fairfax MS., which formerly belonged to Ralph Thoresby, and now forms part of the Additional MSS. (5465. Fol. 109) in the British Museum. It was printed (together with the music) by Hawkins, Hist. of Music, iii. 2. This song was inserted also in the first edition of Ancient Songs, 1790, p.100, by Ritson, who observes, "Since Sir J. Hawkins's transcript was made, the MS. appears to have received certain alterations, occasioned, as it should seem, but certainly not authorised, by the over-scrupulous delicacy of its late or present possessor". p.102.]

<1>

AY, beshrew you, by my fay,
These wanton clerks be nice alway;<2>
Avaunt, avaunt, my popinjay!
What, will ye do nothing but play?
Tully vally,<3> straw, let be I say!
Gup, Christian Clout,<4> gup, Jack of the Vale!<5>
With, Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale.

By God, ye be a pretty pode,
And I love you an whole cart-load.
Straw, James Fodder, ye play the fode,<6> 10
I am no hackney for your rod:
Go watch a bull, your back is broad!
Gup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
With, Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale.

I wiss ye deal uncourteously;
What, would ye frumple me? now fie!
What, and ye shall be my p
igsney?
By Christ, ye shall not, no hardily;
I will not be japed bodily: 20
Gup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
With, Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale.

Walk forth your way, ye cost me nought;
Now have I found that I have sought:
The best cheap<7> flesh that ever I bought.
Yet, for His love that all hath wrought,
Wed me, or else I die for thought!<8>
Gup, Christian Clout, your breath is stale!
Go, Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale!
Gup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale! 30
With, Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale.

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